Biomechanical Disparity

Morphological disparity (variation in biological form) has long been used by paleontologists as a proxy for eco-functional variation through time. However, work on modern organisms has established that variation in structure does not necessarily equate to variation in function, as multiple different structures may have the same function. I have developed a biomechanical disparity metric based on biomechanical traits that acts as a comparison to morphological disparity and quantifies evolutionary morphological trends in an explicitly functional context.