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The nascent field of evolutionary biomechanics seeks to understand how form begets function, and researchers have taken two tacks towards this goal: inferring form based on function (comparative biomechanics) or inferring function based on form (functional morphology). Each tack has strengths and weaknesses, which the other could improve. The symposium, “Melding Modeling and Morphology – Integrating approaches to understand the evolution of form and function” sought to highlight research stitching together the two tacks. In this introduction to the symposium’s issue, we highlight these works, discuss the challenges of interdisciplinary collaborations, and suggest possible avenues available to create new collaborations to create a unifying framework for evolutionary biomechanics.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Integrative and Comparative Biology in 2020. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at


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