Dr Carlo Meloro
Carlo Meloro PhD
Lecturer in Vertebrate Palaeontology
Liverpool John Moores University
Natural Sciences and Psychology
James Parsons Building
Liverpool, L3 3AF
Honorary Research Fellow
Hull York Medical School, The University of Hull Loxley Building Cottingham Road, Hull HU6 7RX, UK
Eco-morphology and evolutionary history of mammalian carnivores.
'Taxon-free palaeontological methods for reconstructing environmental change'. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust March 2008– 2011.
The main task of my work is to clarify eco-morphology of extant mammalian carnivores in order to make predictions on paleobiology of Plio-Pleistocene East African species. I am focusing on the morphological variability of long bones which could be useful to determine habitat adaptations in extant as well as extinct species.
Teeth, mandible and skull features are considered as well to give inside on feeding ecology of East African Plio-Pleistocene carnivores.
Members of the order Carnivora exhibit a remarkable morphological variability in the mandible shape as the result of a complex evolutionary history and functional adaptations. I am focusing on terrestrial (fissiped) taxa in order to explain what are the main determinants of mandible shape.
2D geometric morphometric is involved in quantifying mandible shape. Comparative methods are considered to figure out the role of phylogenetic history in determining mandible shape.
The evolution of feeding habits in extinct European carnivores
The aim of this project was to explore the shape of the mandibular corpus in European carnivores in a complete evolutionary context. Fossil specimens have been considered to understand how species’ feeding ecology changed through time. Two SYNTHESYS grants (ES TAF – 858 and FR TAF – 1680) supported my research visits to the Museo Nacional de Ciencias of Madrid and Museum National d’ Histoire Naturelle of Paris.
This project aim was to clarify the evolution of large mammal communities in the Italian peninsula toward Ice Ages covering 3.5 until 0.3 Ma. Faunal lists were used to analyse patterns of species abundance in time and relationships between predators and their prey. The project was basically driven by Doct. Pasquale Raia (as part of him Ph.D thesis) together with Prof.ssa Carmela Barbera and Prof. Anastassios Kotsakis.
Meloro C. (2012) Mandibular shape correlates of tooth fracture in extant Carnivora. Implications to infer feeding behaviour of Rancho La Brea predators. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 106: 70-80. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1095-8312.2011.01843.x/abstract
Meloro C., Raia P., Carotenuto F., Cobb S. (2011) Phylogenetic signal, function and integration in the subunits of the carnivoran mandible. Evolutionary Biology 38: 465-475. http://www.springerlink.com/content/6051711vn6125u82/
Meloro C., O’Higgins P. (2011) Ecological adaptations of mandibular form in fissiped Carnivora. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 18: 185-200. IF = 1.562 http://www.springerlink.com/content/5662337272420059/
Meloro C. (2011) Locomotor adaptations in Plio-Pleistocene large carnivores from the Italian peninsula: Palaeoecological implications. Current Zoology 57(3): 269-283 http://www.actazool.org/paperdetail.asp?id=11879
Meloro C. (2011) Feeding habits of Plio-Pleistocene large carnivores as revealed by their mandibular geometry. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 31(2): 428-446. http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1080/02724634.2011.550357
Meloro C. (2011) Morphological disparity in Plio-Pleistocene large carnivore guilds from Italian peninsula. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 56 (1): 33-44. http://www.app.pan.pl/article/item/app20100037.html
Louys J., Meloro C., Elton S., Ditchfield P., Bishop L. (2011) Mesowear as a means of determining diets in African antelopes. Journal of Archaeological Science 38: 1485-1495.
Louys J., Meloro C., Elton S., Ditchfield P., Bishop L. (2011) Mammal community structure correlates with arboreal heterogeneity in faunally and geographically diverse habitats: implications for community convergence. Global Ecology and Biogeography. (Early View) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1466-8238.2010.00643.x/full
Raia P., Carotenuto F., Meloro C., Piras P., Barbera C. (2011) Species accumulation over space and time in European Plio-Holocene mammals. Evolutionary Ecology 25: 171-188. http://www.springerlink.com/content/tq4lk22754780740/
Meloro C., Raia P. (2010) Cats and dogs down the tree: the tempo and mode of evolution in the lower carnassial of fossil and living Carnivora. Evolutionary Biology 37(4):177-186. http://www.springerlink.com/content/x252t892vw086700/
Piras P., Colangelo P., Adams D.C., Buscalioni A., Cubo J., Kotsakis T., Meloro C., Raia P. (2010) The Gavialis-Tomistoma debate: the contribution of skull ontogenetic allometry and growth trajectories to the study of crocodylian relationships. Evolution and Development 12(6): 568-579. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1525-142X.2010.00442.x/abstract
Raia P., Carotenuto F., Meloro C., Piras P., Pushkina D. (2010). The shape of contention. How much adaptation related to hypsodonty is there in ungulate mandibles? Evolution 64(5): 1489-1503. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00921.x/abstract
Raia P., Carotenuto F., Meloro C., Piras P., Barbera C. Kotsakis T. (2009) More than three million years of community evolution. The temporal and geographical evolution of the Plio-Pleistocene Western Eurasia mammal faunas. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 276: 15-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.02.005
Meloro C., Raia P., Piras P., Barbera C., O’Higgins P. (2008) The shape of the mandibular corpus in large fissiped carnivores: allometry, function and phylogeny. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 154: 832-845. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1096-3642.2008.00429.x/abstract
Meloro C., Raia P., Carotenuto F., Barbera C. (2008) Diversity and turnover of Plio-Pleistocene large mammal fauna from the Italian Peninsula. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 268: 58-64. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2008.08.002
Meloro C., Raia P., Barbera C. (2007) Effect of predation on prey abundance and survival in Plio-Pleistocene mammalian communities. Evolutionary Ecology Research 9(3): 505-525. http://www.evolutionary-ecology.com/v0.html
Meloro C., Raia P., Barbera C. (2006) Grotta Milano: una trappola per carnivori sui Monti Alburni. L`Appennino Meridionale 3(1): 71-79. http://www.gsne.it/Attivita/appennino_orso.pdf
Meloro C., Esposito E., Barbera C. (2004) Note paleo-ecologiche sulla Grotta della Jena. L`Appennino Meridionale 1(2): 157-165. http://www.fscampania.it/pubb/misc/full%20text_meloro%20et%20al%202004_2.pdf
Meloro C., Elton S., Louys J., Ditchfield P. Bishop L. (2010) What to do with fragmentary fossils? An example based on a fossil dog from Olduvai Bed II. IPC3 volume of abstracts pag. 279.
Meloro C. (2010) What’s on carnivores menu 2 million years ago? Multiple evidences from mandibular form. IPC3 volume of abstracts pag. 278.
Louys J., Meloro C., Elton S., Ditchfield P., Bishop L. (2010) Quantitative approaches in palaeosynecology: correlating community structure with habitats. IPC3 volume of abstracts pag. 254.
Louys J., Elton S., Meloro C., Ditchfield P., Bishop L. (2010) Vegetation heterogeneity as a
predictor of large mammal community structure in palaeoecology and conservation. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Suppl. 50. pag. 158.
Meloro C., Elton S. (2009) Primates and felids: a long evolutionary history. Primate-Felid Interactions Workshop. 8-9 April 2009. Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, University of Oxford.
Meloro C., Elton S. (2008) 'O Granny what big teeth you have'. Carnivore predation on European macaques in the Pliocene and Pleistocene. Colloquium on European Primates. 11-13 September, Siena, Italy.
Meloro C. (2008) Feeding ecology in Plio-Pleistocene large carnivores: a geometric morphometric approach. 19-20 April. Quaver meeting York.
Meloro C. (2007) La fauna Quaternaria di Grotta Milano (Petina, Salerno). Atti I Convegno Regionale di Speleologia “Campania Speleologica” 1-3 giugno 2007 Oliveto Citra: 75-83.
Meloro C. (2007) Paleoecology of Plio-Pleistocene large carnivore guild: a geometric morphometrics approach. 2-3 April, Quaver meeting UCL, London.
Barbera C., Raia P., Meloro C. (2006) I mammiferi di Melpignano conservati presso il Museo di Paleontologia di Napoli. Thalassia Salentina 29 suppl: 237-243.
Meloro C. (2004) Diversity patterns in Quaternary large mammals communities from Italy. XIV Congresso della Societa' Italiana di Ecologia: 1-6.