Closely related species are expected to be similar in their ecological attributes. However, clades colonizing new environments and diversifying due to ecological processes often show morphological and ecological divergence. Canids arrived in South America after the formation of the Isthmus of Panama and diversified to occupy a variety of habitats. We test whether the diversification of this group was followed by divergence in species niches. If ecological processes are associated with species divergences, we expect to see species occupying distinct climatic niches, showing divergent phenotypes, and showing a close association between their phenotypes and ecological attributes.
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