To examine how topological disparity changed over time, we calculated the mean relative subclade DTT on pectoral and pelvic appendages separately. Following a previous study on mammalian neck anatomy (63), we first obtained the covariation of topological variables by performing independent PCAs for pectoral and pelvic networks. Next, we calculated the mean subclade disparity on the PC scores using the function dtt in the R package geiger (62). The higher the disparity, the higher the variance within subclades (i.e., lower conservation) and the lower the variance between subclades (64, 65). We tested the statistical significance of the observed disparity with a randomization inference test with 10,000 simulations under a BM evolution on our phylogeny. Function dtt also calculated the morphological disparity index, which quantified the overall difference in relative disparity of a clade compared to that expected under the null BM model. To offer a better pectoral-to-pelvic comparison, DTT analyses were also performed on the subsample of taxa for which we have both pectoral and pelvic appendages.

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