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Integrative and Comparative Biology

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No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Kenneth Kardong
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
D Ann Pabst, William A McLellan, Sentiel A Rommel
Mesoplodont beaked whales are extreme divers, diving for over 45 mins and to depths of over 800 m. These dives are of similar depth and duration to those of the giant sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) whose body mass can be 50 times larger. Velten et al. (2013) provided anatomical data that demonstrated that on-board oxygen stores were sufficient to aerobically support the extreme dives of mesoplodonts if their diving metabolic rates are low. Because no physiological data yet exist, we utilized an anatomical approach-the body composition technique-to examine the relative metabolic rates of mesoplodonts...
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Richard W Blob, Christopher J Mayerl, Angela R V Rivera, Gabriel Rivera, Vanessa K H Young
Though ultimately descended from terrestrial amniotes, turtles have deep roots as an aquatic lineage and are quite diverse in the extent of their aquatic specializations. Many taxa can be viewed as "on the fence" between aquatic and terrestrial realms, whereas others have independently hyperspecialized and moved "all in" to aquatic habitats. Such differences in specialization are reflected strongly in the locomotor system. We have conducted several studies to evaluate the performance consequences of such variation in design, as well as the mechanisms through which specialization for aquatic locomotion is facilitated in turtles...
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Annalisa Berta, Agnese Lanzetti, Eric G Ekdale, Thomas A Deméré
The origin of baleen and filter feeding in mysticete cetaceans occurred sometime between approximately 34 and 24 million years ago and represents a major macroevolutionary shift in cetacean morphology (teeth to baleen) and ecology (raptorial to filter feeding). We explore this dramatic change in feeding strategy by employing a diversity of tools and approaches: morphology, molecules, development, and stable isotopes from the geological record. Adaptations for raptorial feeding in extinct toothed mysticetes provide the phylogenetic context for evaluating morphological apomorphies preserved in the skeletons of stem and crown edentulous mysticetes...
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Alexandra Houssaye, Frank E Fish
One of the great transformations in evolution of vertebrates has been the return to the aquatic environment after the conquest of terrestrial ecosystems. With structural and physiological characteristics adapted to function on land, the various non-piscine taxa had to modify these characteristics to perform in water. Secondary aquatic vertebrates successfully transformed mechanisms for feeding, locomotion, osmoregulation, and sensory systems to function and thrive in an aqueous environment. This symposium emphasized the changes that had to be acquired to operate in the water with morphologies previously evolved to function on land...
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Suzy C P Renn, Cynthia F O'Rourke, Nadia Aubin-Horth, Eleanor J Fraser, Hans A Hofmann
In many species, under varying ecological conditions, social interactions among individuals result in the formation of dominance hierarchies. Despite general similarities, there are robust differences among dominance hierarchies across species, populations, environments, life stages, sexes, and individuals. Understanding the proximate mechanisms underlying the variation is an important step toward understanding the evolution of social behavior. However, physiological changes associated with dominance, such as gonadal maturation and somatic growth, often complicate efforts to identify the specific underlying mechanisms...
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Marcy A Kingsbury, Leah C Wilson
Although the modulation of social behaviors by most major neurochemical systems has been explored, there are still standouts, including the study of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP). VIP is a modulator of circadian, reproductive, and seasonal rhythms and is well known for its role in reproductive behavior, as it is the main vertebrate prolactin-releasing hormone. Originally isolated as a gut peptide, VIP and its cognate receptors are present in virtually every brain area that is important for social behavior, including all nodes of the core "social behavior network" (SBN)...
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Lynn B Martin, S C Burgan, James S Adelman, Stephanie S Gervasi
The new fields of ecological immunology and disease ecology have begun to merge, and the classic fields of immunology and epidemiology are beginning to blend with them. This merger is occurring because the integrative study of host-parasite interactions is providing insights into disease in ways that traditional methods have not. With the advent of new tools, mathematical and technological, we could be on the verge of developing a unified theory of infectious disease, one that supersedes the barriers of jargon and tradition...
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
David A Galbraith, Soojin V Yi, Christina M Grozinger
Kinship theory provides a universal framework in which to understand the evolution of altruism, but there are many molecular and genetic mechanisms that can generate altruistic behaviors. Interestingly, kinship theory specifically predicts intragenomic conflict between maternally-derived alleles (matrigenes) and paternally-derived alleles (patrigenes) over the generation of altruistic behavior in cases where the interests of the matrigenes and patrigenes are not aligned. Under these conditions, individual differences in selfish versus altruistic behavior are predicted to arise from differential expression of the matrigenes and patrigenes (parent-specific gene expression or PSGE) that regulate selfish versus altruistic behaviors...
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Hans A Hofmann, Suzy C P Renn, Dustin R Rubenstein
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Sunetra Das, Sharmishtha Shyamal, David S Durica
In the field of crustacean biology, usage of RNA-seq to study gene expression is rapidly growing. Major advances in sequencing technology have contributed to the ability to examine complex patterns of genome activity in a wide range of organisms that are extensively used for comparative physiology, ecology and evolution, environmental monitoring, and commercial aquaculture. Relative to insect and vertebrate model organisms, however, information on the organization of crustacean genomes is virtually nonexistent, making de novo transcriptome assembly, annotation and quantification problematic and challenging...
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Léo Botton-Divet, Raphaël Cornette, Anne-Claire Fabre, Anthony Herrel, Alexandra Houssaye
The locomotor environment and behavior of quadrupedal mammals exert functional constraints on their limbs. Therefore long bone shapes are thought to reflect at least partially the species' locomotor ecology. Semi-aquatic species move through two media with distinct density and viscosity and their locomotor apparatus should therefore reflect a trade-off between the divergent functional constraints it faces. Adaptation to a semi-aquatic lifestyle occurred independently in otters (Lutrinae) and minks (Mustelinae)...
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Alexandra Houssaye, P Martin Sander, Nicole Klein
Numerous amniote groups adapted to an aquatic life. This change of habitat naturally led to numerous convergences. The various adaptive traits vary depending on the degree of adaptation to an aquatic life, notably between shallow water taxa still able to occasionally locomote on land and open-marine forms totally independent from the terrestrial environment, but also between surface swimmers and deep divers. As a consequence, despite convergences, there is a high diversity within aquatic amniotes in e.g., shape, size, physiology, swimming mode...
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Theagarten Lingham-Soliar
Among extinct ichthyosaurs the Jurassic forms Ichthyosaurus and Stenopterygius share a number of anatomical specializations with lamnid sharks, characterized in the white shark, Carcharodon carcharias These features allow their inclusion within the mode of high-speed thunniform swimming to which only two other equally distinctive phylogenetic groups belong, tuna and dolphins-a striking testaments to evolutionary convergence. Jurassic ichthyosaurs evolved from reptiles that had returned to the sea (secondarily adapted) about 250 million years ago (MYA) while lamnid sharks evolved about 50 MYA from early cartilaginous fishes (originating ca...
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Frank E Fish
Re-invasion of the aquatic environment by terrestrial vertebrates resulted in the evolution of species expressing a suite of adaptations for high-performance swimming. Examination of swimming by secondarily aquatic vertebrates provides opportunities to understand potential selection pressures and mechanical constraints, which may have directed the evolution of these aquatic species. Mammals and birds realigned the body and limbs for cursorial movements and flight, respectively, from the primitive tetrapod configuration...
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Lisa Noelle Cooper, Mark T Clementz, Sharon Usip, Sunil Bajpai, S Taseer Hussain, Tobin L Hieronymus
The earliest cetaceans were interpreted as semi-aquatic based on the presence of thickened bones and stable oxygen isotopes in tooth enamel. However, the origin of aquatic behaviors in cetacean relatives (e.g., raoellids, anthracotheres) remains unclear. This study reconstructs the origins of aquatic behaviors based on long bone microanatomy and stable oxygen isotopes of tooth enamel in modern and extinct cetartiodactylans. Our findings are congruent with published accounts that microanatomy can be a reliable indicator of aquatic behaviors in taxa that are obligatorily aquatic, and also highlight that some "semi-aquatic" behaviors (fleeing into the water to escape predation) may have a stronger relationship to bone microanatomy than others (herbivory in near-shore aquatic settings)...
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Donald L Mykles, Karen G Burnett, David S Durica, Blake L Joyce, Fiona M McCarthy, Carl J Schmidt, Jonathon H Stillman
High-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) technology has become an important tool for studying physiological responses of organisms to changes in their environment. De novo assembly of RNA-seq data has allowed researchers to create a comprehensive catalog of genes expressed in a tissue and to quantify their expression without a complete genome sequence. The contributions from the "Tapping the Power of Crustacean Transcriptomics to Address Grand Challenges in Comparative Biology" symposium in this issue show the successes and limitations of using RNA-seq in the study of crustaceans...
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Donald L Mykles, Karen G Burnett, David S Durica, Jonathon H Stillman
Crustaceans, and decapods in particular (i.e., crabs, shrimp, and lobsters), are a diverse and ecologically and commercially important group of organisms. Understanding responses to abiotic and biotic factors is critical for developing best practices in aquaculture and assessing the effects of changing environments on the biology of these important animals. A relatively small number of decapod crustacean species have been intensively studied at the molecular level; the availability, experimental tractability, and economic relevance factor into the selection of a particular species as a model...
December 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
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