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Integrative and Comparative Biology

Stewart M Edie, Shan Huang, Katie S Collins, Kaustuv Roy, David Jablonski
Many aspects of climate affect the deployment of biodiversity in time and space, and so changes in climate might be expected to drive regional and global extinction of both taxa and their ecological functions. Here we examine the association of past climate changes with extinction in marine bivalves, which are increasingly used as a model system for macroecological and macroevolutionary analysis. Focusing on the Cenozoic Era (66 Myr ago to the present), we analyze extinction patterns in shallow-water marine bivalve genera relative to temperature dynamics as estimated from isotopic data in microfossils...
September 10, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Marco Del Giudice, Charles L Buck, Lauren Chaby, Brenna M Gormally, Conor C Taff, Christopher J Thawley, Maren N Vitousek, Haruka Wada
The term "stress" is used to capture important phenomena at multiple levels of biological organization, but finding a general and rigorous definition of the concept has proven challenging. Current models in the behavioral literature emphasize the cognitive aspects of stress, which is said to occur when threats to the organism are perceived as uncontrollable and/or unpredictable. Here we adopt the perspective of systems biology and take a step toward a general definition of stress by unpacking the concept in light of control theory...
September 10, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Ari Rudenko
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 6, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Angela Lepito
Animation is the collision of art and science. How does an animation studio like DreamWorks Animation use scientific principles and engage in science education to make our films better? By facilitating scientific master-classes, demos, and lectures we give our creators a fundamental understanding of reality that enables them to create the animation caricature known as the Illusion of Life. We leverage principles of biology and physics to create believable performances. I will share insights about our custom programming such as master-classes on Quadruped Anatomy and Flight and how these result in a better image on screen...
September 6, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Oriol Lapiedra
Human-driven rapid environmental changes such as urbanization challenge the persistence of animal populations worldwide. A major aim of research in urban ecology is to unravel which traits allow animals to successfully deal with these new selective pressures. Since behavior largely determines how animals interact with the environment, it is expected to be an important factor determining their success in urban environments. However, behavior is a complex trait and fully understanding how it contributes to urban success is not straightforward: different behaviors may help animals deal with urbanization at different levels of biological organization...
August 29, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Stuart S Sumida, Brian Jefcoat
Locomotion studies, biomechanics, and particularly vertebrate paleontology have had a deep influence on the development of motion pictures, animation, and computer generated visual effects. Biologically straightforward concepts such as morphological correlates of diet, sexual dimorphism, and ontogenetic change are powerful tools for animators and visual effects artists. Despite this deep debt to the ever-increasing role of science and technology in film making, scientists often forget to mine the communication strategies of their science-savvy entertainment industry kin...
August 20, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
David O Norris
Comparative endocrinology has traditionally focused on studies of the evolution of endocrine systems, regulation of hormone actions in animals, development of model systems, and the role of the environment in controlling hormone functions related to major life-history events. Comparative endocrinology also has made important contributions to basic research and clinical endocrinology. In recent years there has seen a shift to a focus on anthropogenic chemical factors and their alteration of major life history events through endocrine disruption...
August 17, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Atsushi Ishimatsu, Hieu Van Mai, Karen L M Martin
Although fishes by nature are aquatic, many species reproduce in such a way that their embryos are exposed to air either occasionally or constantly during incubation. We examine the ecological context and review specific examples of reproduction by fishes at the air-water interface, including fishes that do and do not breathe air. Four modes of reproduction at the air-water interface are described across 18 teleost Orders, from fresh water, estuaries and sea water. Mode 1, the most common type of reproduction by fishes at the air-water interface, includes 21 Families of mostly marine teleosts that spawn in water onto a substrate surface, on vegetation, or into hollow objects such as shells that will later be continuously or occasionally exposed to air...
August 13, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Eric Rodenbeck
Science, in the popular imagination, is about finding answers to questions. Scientists make discoveries, develop theories, and deliver those discoveries and theories to audiences with an interest in the truth as backed up by science. Well-designed data visualization (dataviz), by contrast, can generate and address not only new questions but new kinds of questions. It has the particular quality of allowing its viewers, users and makers the ability to generate new inquiries, and to put them in a better place to answer them...
August 10, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Simon Ducatez, Ferran Sayol, Daniel Sol, Louis Lefebvre
Although urbanization is a major threat to biodiversity, some species are able to thrive in cities. This might be because they have specific adaptations to urban conditions, because they are able to cope with artificial habitats in general or because they are generalists that can live in a wide range of conditions. We use the latest version of the IUCN database to distinguish these possibilities in 25,985 species of the four classes of terrestrial vertebrates with the help of phylogenetically controlled methods...
August 9, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Judith Winston
Nomenclature and taxonomy are complementary and distinct aspects of the study of biodiversity, but the two are often confused even by biologists. Taxonomy is the part of the science of systematics that deals with identifying, describing, and categorizing organisms from species to higher taxa. Nomenclature is a system of giving names to organisms based on rules established for the process. Adoption of a system of binomial nomenclature by end of the 18th century helped standardize the process of naming the wealth of new organisms collected during the Age of Exploration, but before the middle of the 19th century, the turmoil resulting from differences in procedures and philosophies among practicing taxonomists necessitated the development of codes of nomenclature to regulate naming...
August 3, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Luke Mander
Current knowledge about the biogeographic patterns of biodiversity is based mostly on taxonomic diversity, which is typically measured as the number of species or higher taxa. In this paper I analyse 26 previously published Holocene lake core pollen records in order to assess how the morphological diversity of angiosperm pollen grains varies with latitude on a transect that includes eastern North America and the Neotropics. This represents a step towards understanding the evolution of plant morphology in a biogeographical context...
August 2, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 1, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Jane Loveless, Barbara Webb
Larval Drosophila move up attractive chemical gradients, and down aversive ones. Although their movement is often characterised as a series of runs and directed turns, it can also be modelled as a continuous modulation of turning extent by the detected change in stimulus intensity as the animal moves through the gradient. We show that a neuromechanical model of peristaltic crawling and spontaneous bending in the larva can be adapted to produce taxis behaviour by the simple addition of a local segmental reflex to modulate transverse viscosity (or 'bendiness') proportionally to the intensity change detected in the head...
July 30, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Sara ElShafie
Science is a search for evidence, but science communication must be a search for meaning. General audiences will only care about science if it is presented in a meaningful context. One of the most effective ways to do this is through storytelling. Stories are integral to all cultures. Studies indicate that stories even help audiences to process and recall new information. Scientists sometimes worry that storytelling will conflate empirical evidence with fabrication. But when telling non-fiction stories, it is a process of recognizing the story elements already present in the subject material and distilling the most concise and compelling account for a target audience...
July 30, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Lynn B Martin, Maren Vitousek, Jeremy W Donald, Travis Flock, Matthew J Fuxjager, Wolfgang Goymann, Michaela Hau, Jerry Husak, Michele A Johnson, Bonnie Kircher, Rosemary Knapp, Eliot T Miller, Laura A Schoenle, Tony Williams, Clinton D Francis
Circulating glucocorticoids (GCs) are the most commonly used biomarker of stress in wildlife. However, their utility as a tool for identifying and/or managing at-risk species has varied. Here, we took a very broad approach to conservation physiology, asking whether IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) listing status (concern versus no obvious concern) and/or location within a geographic range (edge versus non-edge) predicted baseline and post-restraint concentrations of corticosterone among many species of birds and reptiles...
July 25, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Julia D Sigwart, Amy Garbett
The majority of species on Earth are in "under-studied" groups, and indeed probably the majority of species remain undiscovered and undescribed. Species are natural units of evolution, and they are formed from branching phylogenetic processes that have a mathematical structure. So it follows that we should be able to develop a set of general principles that describe global patterns of species groups, like genera. Understanding such patterns would lend considerable power to the approach of "taxonomic surrogacy...
July 24, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Pablo Salmón, Hannah Watson, Andreas Nord, Caroline Isaksson
As urban areas expand rapidly worldwide, wildlife is exposed to a wide range of novel environmental stressors, such as increased air pollution and artificial light at night. Birds in highly polluted and/or urbanised habitats have been found to have increased antioxidant protection, which is likely important to avoid accumulation of oxidative damage, which can have negative fitness consequences. Yet, the current knowledge about the ontogeny of antioxidant protection in urban areas is limited; i.e., is the capacity to up-regulate the antioxidant defences already established during pre-natal development, or does it manifest itself during post-natal development? We cross-fostered great tit (Parus major) nestlings within and between urban and rural habitats, to determine if oxidative stress (measured as non-enzymatic total antioxidant capacity, superoxide dismutase and plasma lipid peroxidation) is affected by habitat of origin and/or by habitat of rearing...
July 20, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Anna Kipnis
More than ever, science is in the unenviable position of competing for the hearts and minds of the public against utterly false accounts of our world. These false accounts are often deeply spiritual, poetic, sublime - despite being false, they can leave a mark on the human imagination. It is difficult to convey scientific research in a way that leaves the audience with a comparable sense of awe or a personal connection to the subject matter. This is an area where games as a cultural form can offer some assistance and insight...
July 20, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
W R Hood, Y Zhang, A V Mowry, H W Hyatt, A N Kavazis
Evolutionary biologists have been interested in the negative interactions among life history traits for nearly a century, but the mechanisms that would create this negative interaction remain poorly understood. One variable that has emerged as a likely link between reproductive effort and longevity is oxidative stress. Specifically, it has been proposed that reproduction generates free radicals that cause oxidative stress and, in turn, oxidative stress damages cellular components and accelerates senescence...
July 16, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
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