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Biology Letters

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28724691/drought-induced-starvation-of-aardvarks-in-the-kalahari-an-indirect-effect-of-climate-change
#1
Benjamin Rey, Andrea Fuller, Duncan Mitchell, Leith C R Meyer, Robyn S Hetem
Aardvarks (Orycteropus afer) are elusive burrowing mammals, predominantly nocturnal and distributed widely throughout Africa except for arid deserts. Their survival may be threatened by climate change via direct and indirect effects of increasing heat and aridity. To measure their current physiological plasticity, we implanted biologgers into six adult aardvarks resident in the semi-arid Kalahari. Following a particularly dry and hot summer, five of the study aardvarks and 11 other aardvarks at the study site died...
July 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28724690/correction-to-high-protein-paternal-diet-confers-an-advantage-to-sons-in-sperm-competition
#2
Felix Zajitschek, Susanne Zajitschek, Mollie Manier
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
July 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28724689/california-scrub-jays-reduce-visual-cues-available-to-potential-pilferers-by-matching-food-colour-to-caching-substrate
#3
Laura A Kelley, Nicola S Clayton
Some animals hide food to consume later; however, these caches are susceptible to theft by conspecifics and heterospecifics. Caching animals can use protective strategies to minimize sensory cues available to potential pilferers, such as caching in shaded areas and in quiet substrate. Background matching (where object patterning matches the visual background) is commonly seen in prey animals to reduce conspicuousness, and caching animals may also use this tactic to hide caches, for example, by hiding coloured food in a similar coloured substrate...
July 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28724688/dopamine-d1-receptor-activation-leads-to-object-recognition-memory-in-a-coral-reef-fish
#4
Trevor J Hamilton, Martin Tresguerres, David I Kline
Object recognition memory is the ability to identify previously seen objects and is an adaptive mechanism that increases survival for many species throughout the animal kingdom. Previously believed to be possessed by only the highest order mammals, it is now becoming clear that fish are also capable of this type of memory formation. Similar to the mammalian hippocampus, the dorsolateral pallium regulates distinct memory processes and is modulated by neurotransmitters such as dopamine. Caribbean bicolour damselfish (Stegastes partitus) live in complex environments dominated by coral reef structures and thus likely possess many types of complex memory abilities including object recognition...
July 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28724687/direct-and-trans-generational-effects-of-male-and-female-gut-microbiota-in-drosophila-melanogaster
#5
Juliano Morimoto, Stephen J Simpson, Fleur Ponton
There is increasing evidence of the far-reaching effects of gut bacteria on physiological and behavioural traits, yet the fitness-related consequences of changes in the gut bacteria composition of sexually interacting individuals remain unknown. To address this question, we manipulated the gut microbiota of fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, by monoinfecting flies with either Acetobacter pomorum (AP) or Lactobacillus plantarum (LP). Re-inoculated individuals were paired in all treatment combinations. LP-infected males had longer mating duration and induced higher short-term offspring production in females compared with AP-infected males...
July 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28701471/effects-of-hypoxia-and-ocean-acidification-on-the-upper-thermal-niche-boundaries-of-coral-reef-fishes
#6
Rasmus Ern, Jacob L Johansen, Jodie L Rummer, Andrew J Esbaugh
Rising ocean temperatures are predicted to cause a poleward shift in the distribution of marine fishes occupying the extent of latitudes tolerable within their thermal range boundaries. A prevailing theory suggests that the upper thermal limits of fishes are constrained by hypoxia and ocean acidification. However, some eurythermal fish species do not conform to this theory, and maintain their upper thermal limits in hypoxia. Here we determine if the same is true for stenothermal species. In three coral reef fish species we tested the effect of hypoxia on upper thermal limits, measured as critical thermal maximum (CTmax)...
July 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28679696/distinct-developmental-pathways-underlie-independent-losses-of-flight-in-ratites
#7
Cynthia Faux, Daniel J Field
Recent phylogenetic studies question the monophyly of ratites (large, flightless birds incorporating ostriches, rheas, kiwis, emus and cassowaries), suggesting their paraphyly with respect to flying tinamous (Tinamidae). Flightlessness and large body size have thus likely evolved repeatedly among ratites, and separately in ostriches (Struthio) and emus (Dromaius). Here, we test this hypothesis with data from wing developmental trajectories in ostriches, emus, tinamous and chickens. We find the rate of ostrich embryonic wing growth falls within the range of variation exhibited by flying taxa (tinamous and chickens), but that of emus is extremely slow...
July 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28679695/mice-as-stowaways-colonization-history-of-danish-striped-field-mice
#8
Liselotte Wesley Andersen, Magnus Jacobsen, Christina Vedel-Smith, Thomas Secher Jensen
Species from the steppe region of Eastern Europe likely colonized northwestern Europe in connection with agriculture after 6500 BP. The striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius Pallas, 1783), is a steppe-derived species often found in human crops. It is common on the southern Danish islands of Lolland and Falster, which have been isolated from mainland Europe since approximately 10 300-8000 BP. Thus, this species could have been brought in with humans in connection with agriculture, or it could be an earlier natural invader...
July 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28659418/perception-of-animacy-in-dogs-and-humans
#9
Judit Abdai, Bence Ferdinandy, Cristina Baño Terencio, Ákos Pogány, Ádám Miklósi
Humans have a tendency to perceive inanimate objects as animate based on simple motion cues. Although animacy is considered as a complex cognitive property, this recognition seems to be spontaneous. Researchers have found that young human infants discriminate between dependent and independent movement patterns. However, quick visual perception of animate entities may be crucial to non-human species as well. Based on general mammalian homology, dogs may possess similar skills to humans. Here, we investigated whether dogs and humans discriminate similarly between dependent and independent motion patterns performed by geometric shapes...
June 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637839/correction-to-a-hypervariable-mitochondrial-protein-coding-sequence-associated-with-geographical-origin-in-a-cosmopolitan-bloom-forming-alga-heterosigma-akashiwo
#10
Aiko Higashi, Satoshi Nagai, Sergio Seoane, Shoko Ueki
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637838/experimental-species-removals-impact-the-architecture-of-pollination-networks
#11
Berry J Brosi, Kyle Niezgoda, Heather M Briggs
Mutualistic networks are key for the creation and maintenance of biodiversity, yet are threatened by global environmental change. Most simulation models assume that network structure remains static after species losses, despite theoretical and empirical reasons to expect dynamic responses. We assessed the effects of experimental single bumblebee species removals on the structure of entire flower visitation networks. We hypothesized that network structure would change following processes linking interspecific competition with dietary niche breadth...
June 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637837/physiological-thermal-limits-predict-differential-responses-of-bees-to-urban-heat-island-effects
#12
April L Hamblin, Elsa Youngsteadt, Margarita M López-Uribe, Steven D Frank
Changes in community composition are an important, but hard to predict, effect of climate change. Here, we use a wild-bee study system to test the ability of critical thermal maxima (CTmax, a measure of heat tolerance) to predict community responses to urban heat-island effects in Raleigh, NC, USA. Among 15 focal species, CTmax ranged from 44.6 to 51.3°C, and was strongly predictive of population responses to urban warming across 18 study sites (r(2) = 0.44). Species with low CTmax declined the most. After phylogenetic correction, solitary species and cavity-nesting species (bumblebees) had the lowest CTmax, suggesting that these groups may be most sensitive to climate change...
June 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28615353/discovery-of-the-fossil-otter-enhydritherium-terraenovae-carnivora-mammalia-in-mexico-reconciles-a-palaeozoogeographic-mystery
#13
Z Jack Tseng, Adolfo Pacheco-Castro, Oscar Carranza-Castañeda, José Jorge Aranda-Gómez, Xiaoming Wang, Hilda Troncoso
The North American fossil otter Enhydritherium terraenovae is thought to be partially convergent in ecological niche with the living sea otter Enhydra lutris, both having low-crowned crushing teeth and a close association with marine environments. Fossil records of Enhydritherium are found in mostly marginal marine deposits in California and Florida; despite presence of very rich records of fossil terrestrial mammals in contemporaneous localities inland, no Enhydritherium fossils are hitherto known in interior North America...
June 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28615352/preparatory-responses-to-socially-determined-mutually-exclusive-possibilities-in-chimpanzees-and-children
#14
Thomas Suddendorf, Jessica Crimston, Jonathan Redshaw
The capacity to imagine and prepare for alternative future possibilities is central to human cognition. Recent research suggests that between age 2 and 4 children gradually begin to demonstrate a capacity to prepare for two simple, mutually exclusive alternatives of an immediate future event. When children were given the opportunity to catch a target an experimenter dropped into an inverted Y-shaped tube, 2-year olds-as well as great apes-tended to cover only one of the exits, whereas 4-year-olds spontaneously and consistently prepared for both possible outcomes...
June 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28615351/body-shape-convergence-driven-by-small-size-optimum-in-marine-angelfishes
#15
Bruno Frédérich, Francesco Santini, Nicolai Konow, Joseph Schnitzler, David Lecchini, Michael E Alfaro
Convergent evolution of small body size occurs across many vertebrate clades and may reflect an evolutionary response to shared selective pressures. However it remains unclear if other aspects of phenotype undergo convergent evolution in miniaturized lineages. Here we present a comparative analysis of body size and shape evolution in marine angelfishes (Pomacanthidae), a reef fish family characterized by repeated transitions to small body size. We ask if lineages that evolve small sizes show convergent evolution in body shape...
June 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28615350/a-circannual-perspective-on-daily-and-total-flight-distances-in-a-long-distance-migratory-raptor-the-montagu-s-harrier-circus-pygargus
#16
Almut E Schlaich, Willem Bouten, Vincent Bretagnolle, Henning Heldbjerg, Raymond H G Klaassen, Iben H Sørensen, Alexandre Villers, Christiaan Both
Long-distance migrants are particularly recognized for the distances covered on migration, yet little is known about the distances they cover during the rest of the year. GPS-tracks of 29 Montagu's harriers from breeding areas in France, The Netherlands and Denmark showed that harriers fly between 35 653 and 88 049 km yr(-1), of which on average only 28.5% is on migration. Mean daily distances during migration were 296 km d(-1) in autumn and 252 km d(-1) in spring. Surprisingly, males' daily distances during breeding (217 km d(-1)) were close to those during migration, whereas breeding females moved significantly less (101 km d(-1)) than males...
June 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28592521/no-evidence-for-extrinsic-post-zygotic-isolation-in-a-wild-saccharomyces-yeast-system
#17
Guillaume Charron, Christian R Landry
Although microorganisms account for the largest fraction of Earth's biodiversity, we know little about how their reproductive barriers evolve. Sexual microorganisms such as Saccharomyces yeasts rapidly develop strong intrinsic post-zygotic isolation, but the role of extrinsic isolation in the early speciation process remains to be investigated. We measured the growth of F1 hybrids between two incipient species of Saccharomyces paradoxus to assess the presence of extrinsic post-zygotic isolation across 32 environments...
June 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28592520/tyrannosauroid-integument-reveals-conflicting-patterns-of-gigantism-and-feather-evolution
#18
Phil R Bell, Nicolás E Campione, W Scott Persons, Philip J Currie, Peter L Larson, Darren H Tanke, Robert T Bakker
Recent evidence for feathers in theropods has led to speculations that the largest tyrannosaurids, including Tyrannosaurus rex, were extensively feathered. We describe fossil integument from Tyrannosaurus and other tyrannosaurids (Albertosaurus, Daspletosaurus, Gorgosaurus and Tarbosaurus), confirming that these large-bodied forms possessed scaly, reptilian-like skin. Body size evolution in tyrannosauroids reveals two independent occurrences of gigantism; specifically, the large sizes in Yutyrannus and tyrannosaurids were independently derived...
June 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28566543/climate-and-sex-ratio-variation-in-a-viviparous-lizard
#19
George D Cunningham, Geoffrey M While, Erik Wapstra
The extent to which key biological processes, such as sex determination, respond to environmental fluctuations is fundamental for assessing species' susceptibility to ongoing climate change. Few studies, however, address how climate affects offspring sex in the wild. We monitored two climatically distinct populations of the viviparous skink Niveoscincus ocellatus for 16 years, recording environmental temperatures, offspring sex and date of birth. We found strong population-specific effects of temperature on offspring sex, with female offspring more common in warm years at the lowland site but no effect at the highland site...
May 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28566542/wolbachia-induced-meiotic-drive-and-feminization-is-associated-with-an-independent-occurrence-of-selective-mitochondrial-sweep-in-a-butterfly
#20
Mai Miyata, Tatsuro Konagaya, Kenji Yukuhiro, Masashi Nomura, Daisuke Kageyama
Maternally inherited Wolbachia endosymbionts manipulate arthropod reproduction in various ways. In the butterfly Eurema mandarina, a cytoplasmic incompatibility-inducing Wolbachia strain wCI and the associated mtDNA haplotypes are known to originate from the sister species Eurema hecabe, which offered a good case study for microbe-mediated hybrid introgression. Besides wCI, some females with the Z0 karyotype harbour a distinct Wolbachia strain wFem, which causes all-female production by meiotic drive and feminization...
May 2017: Biology Letters
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