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Biology Letters

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28904180/females-can-solve-the-problem-of-low-signal-reliability-by-assessing-multiple-male-traits
#1
Abigail K Wegehaupt, William E Wagner
Male signals that provide information to females about mating benefits are often of low reliability. It is thus not clear why females often express strong signal preferences. We tested the hypothesis that females can distinguish between males with preferred signals that provide lower and higher quality direct benefits. In the field cricket, Gryllus lineaticeps, females usually prefer higher male chirp rates, but chirp rate is positively correlated with the fecundity benefits females will receive from males only for males that have experienced low quality diets...
September 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28904179/phylogenomic-analyses-of-more-than-4000-nuclear-loci-resolve-the-origin-of-snakes-among-lizard-families
#2
Jeffrey W Streicher, John J Wiens
Squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) are the most diverse group of terrestrial vertebrates, with more than 10 000 species. Despite considerable effort to resolve relationships among major squamates clades, some branches have remained difficult. Among the most vexing has been the placement of snakes among lizard families, with most studies yielding only weak support for the position of snakes. Furthermore, the placement of iguanian lizards has remained controversial. Here we used targeted sequence capture to obtain data from 4178 nuclear loci from ultraconserved elements from 32 squamate taxa (and five outgroups) including representatives of all major squamate groups...
September 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28904178/offspring-telomere-length-in-the-long-lived-alpine-swift-is-negatively-related-to-the-age-of-their-biological-father-and-foster-mother
#3
François Criscuolo, Sandrine Zahn, Pierre Bize
A growing body of studies is showing that offspring telomere length (TL) can be influenced by the age of their parents. Such a relationship might be explained by variation in TL at conception (gamete effect) and/or by alteration of early growth conditions in species providing parental care. In a long-lived bird with bi-parental care, the Alpine swift (Apus melba), we exchanged an uneven number of 2 to 4-day-old nestlings between pairs as part of a brood size manipulation. Nestling TL was measured at 50 days after hatching, which allowed investigation of the influence of the age of both their biological and foster parents on offspring TL, after controlling for the manipulation...
September 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28877955/new-perspectives-in-ocean-acidification-research-editor-s-introduction-to-the-special-feature-on-ocean-acidification
#4
Philip L Munday
Ocean acidification, caused by the uptake of additional carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, will have far-reaching impacts on marine ecosystems (Gattuso & Hansson 2011 Ocean acidification Oxford University Press). The predicted changes in ocean chemistry will affect whole biological communities and will occur within the context of global warming and other anthropogenic stressors; yet much of the biological research conducted to date has tested the short-term responses of single species to ocean acidification conditions alone...
September 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28855416/ancient-whales-did-not-filter-feed-with-their-teeth
#5
David P Hocking, Felix G Marx, Erich M G Fitzgerald, Alistair R Evans
The origin of baleen whales (Mysticeti), the largest animals on Earth, is closely tied to their signature filter-feeding strategy. Unlike their modern relatives, archaic whales possessed a well-developed, heterodont adult dentition. How these teeth were used, and what role their function and subsequent loss played in the emergence of filter feeding, is an enduring mystery. In particular, it has been suggested that elaborate tooth crowns may have enabled stem mysticetes to filter with their postcanine teeth in a manner analogous to living crabeater and leopard seals, thereby facilitating the transition to baleen-assisted filtering...
August 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28855415/dental-development-in-homo-naledi
#6
Zachary Cofran, Christopher S Walker
Humans' prolonged somatic development and life history are unique among primates, yet their evolutionary origins remain unclear. Dental development has been used as a proxy to reconstruct life history evolution in the hominin clade and indicates a recent emergence of the human developmental pattern. Here, we analyse tooth formation and eruption in two developing dentitions of Homo naledi, a late-surviving, morphologically mosaic hominin species. Deciduous dental development is more similar to humans than to chimpanzees, probably reflecting hominin symplesiomorphy rather than bearing life history significance...
August 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28855414/nuclear-and-mitochondrial-rna-editing-systems-have-opposite-effects-on-protein-diversity
#7
Daniel B Sloan
RNA editing can yield protein products that differ from those directly encoded by genomic DNA. This process is pervasive in the mitochondria of many eukaryotes, where it predominantly results in the restoration of ancestral protein sequences. Nuclear mRNAs in metazoans also undergo editing (adenosine-to-inosine or 'A-to-I' substitutions), and most of these edits appear to be nonadaptive 'misfirings' of adenosine deaminases. However, recent analysis of cephalopod transcriptomes found that many editing sites are shared by anciently divergent lineages within this group, suggesting they play some adaptive role...
August 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28855413/predation-metabolic-priming-and-early-life-history-rearing-environment-affect-the-swimming-capabilities-of-growth-hormone-transgenic-rainbow-trout
#8
Glenn T Crossin, Robert H Devlin
The period of first feeding, when young salmonid fishes emerge from natal stream beds, is one fraught with predation risk. Experiments conducted in semi-natural stream mesocosms have shown that growth hormone transgenic salmonids are at greater risk of predation than their non-transgenic siblings, due partly to the higher metabolic demands associated with transgenesis, which force risky foraging behaviours. This raises questions as to whether there are differences in the swim-performance of transgenic and non-transgenic fishes surviving predation experiments...
August 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28855412/responses-of-neurogenesis-and-neuroplasticity-related-genes-to-elevated-co2-levels-in-the-brain-of-three-teleost-species
#9
Floriana Lai, Cathrine E Fagernes, Nicholas J Bernier, Gabrielle M Miller, Philip L Munday, Fredrik Jutfelt, Göran E Nilsson
The continuous increase of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere resulting in ocean acidification has been reported to affect brain function in some fishes. During adulthood, cell proliferation is fundamental for fish brain growth and for it to adapt in response to external stimuli, such as environmental changes. Here we report the first expression study of genes regulating neurogenesis and neuroplasticity in brains of three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), cinnamon anemonefish (Amphiprion melanopus) and spiny damselfish (Acanthochromis polyacanthus) exposed to elevated CO2 The mRNA expression levels of the neurogenic differentiation factor (NeuroD) and doublecortin (DCX) were upregulated in three-spined stickleback exposed to high-CO2 compared with controls, while no changes were detected in the other species...
August 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28835470/ospreys-do-not-teach-offspring-how-to-kill-prey-at-the-nest
#10
Megan Howard, Will Hoppitt
There is strong evidence for teaching in only a handful of species, most of which are cooperative breeders, leading some researchers to suggest that teaching may be more likely to evolve in such species. Alternatively, this initial distribution could be an artefact of the popularity and tractability of cooperative breeders as behavioural study systems. Therefore, establishing or refuting this potential evolutionary link requires researchers to assess potential cases of teaching in more non-cooperatively breeding species...
August 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28835469/sea-ice-induced-growth-decline-in-arctic-shrubs
#11
Mads Forchhammer
Measures of increased tundra plant productivity have been associated with the accelerating retreat of the Arctic sea-ice. Emerging studies document opposite effects, advocating for a more complex relationship between the shrinking sea-ice and terrestrial plant productivity. I introduce an autoregressive plant growth model integrating effects of biological and climatic conditions for analysing individual ring-width growth time series. Using 128 specimens of Salix arctica, S. glauca and Betula nana sampled across Greenland to Svalbard, an overall negative effect of the retreating June sea-ice extent was found on the annual growth...
August 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28814575/prenatal-environment-affects-embryonic-response-to-song
#12
Diane Colombelli-Négrel, Sonia Kleindorfer
Early environmental enrichment improves postnatal cognition in animals and humans. Here, we examined the effects of the prenatal acoustic environment (parental song rate) on prenatal attention in superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) embryos, the only songbird species with evidence of prenatal discrimination of maternal calls and in ovo call learning. Because both adults also sing throughout the incubation phase, we broadcast songs to embryos and measured their heart rate response in relation to parental song rate and tutor identity (familiarity, sex)...
August 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28814574/a-dinosaur-missing-link-chilesaurus-and-the-early-evolution-of-ornithischian-dinosaurs
#13
Matthew G Baron, Paul M Barrett
The enigmatic dinosaur taxon Chilesaurus diegosuarezi was originally described as a tetanuran theropod, but this species possesses a highly unusual combination of features that could provide evidence of alternative phylogenetic positions within the clade. In order to test the relationships of Chilesaurus, we added it to a new dataset of early dinosaurs and other dinosauromorphs. Our analyses recover Chilesaurus in a novel position, as the earliest diverging member of Ornithischia, rather than a tetanuran theropod...
August 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28794278/research-papers-gender-bias-and-peer-review
#14
EDITORIAL
Rick Battarbee
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28794277/modulation-of-social-space-by-dopamine-in-drosophila-melanogaster-but-no-effect-on-the-avoidance-of-the-drosophila-stress-odorant
#15
Robert W Fernandez, Adesanya A Akinleye, Marat Nurilov, Omar Feliciano, Matthew Lollar, Rami R Aijuri, Janis M O'Donnell, Anne F Simon
Appropriate response to others is necessary for social interactions. Yet little is known about how neurotransmitters regulate attractive and repulsive social cues. Using genetic and pharmacological manipulations in Drosophila melanogaster, we show that dopamine is contributing the response to others in a social group, specifically, social spacing, but not the avoidance of odours released by stressed flies (dSO). Interestingly, this dopamine-mediated behaviour is prominent only in the day-time, and its effect varies depending on tissue, sex and type of manipulation...
August 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28794276/a-test-for-paedomorphism-in-domestic-pig-cranial-morphology
#16
Allowen Evin, Joseph Owen, Greger Larson, Mélanie Debiais-Thibaud, Thomas Cucchi, Una Strand Vidarsdottir, Keith Dobney
Domestic animals are often described as paedomorphic, meaning that they retain juvenile characteristics into adulthood. Through a three-dimensional landmark-based geometric morphometric analysis of cranial morphology at three growth stages, we demonstrate that wild boar (n = 138) and domestic pigs (n = 106) (Sus scrofa) follow distinct ontogenetic trajectories. With the exception of the size ratio between facial and neurocranial regions, paedomorphism does not appear to be the primary pattern describing the observed differences between wild and domestic pig cranial morphologies...
August 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28794275/did-true-frogs-dispersify
#17
Kin Onn Chan, Rafe M Brown
The interplay between range expansion and concomitant diversification is of fundamental interest to evolutionary biologists, particularly when linked to intercontinental dispersal and/or large scale extinctions. The evolutionary history of true frogs has been characterized by circumglobal range expansion. As a lineage that survived the Eocene-Oligocene extinction event (EOEE), the group provides an ideal system to test the prediction that range expansion triggers increased net diversification. We constructed the most densely sampled, time-calibrated phylogeny to date in order to: (i) characterize tempo and patterns of diversification; (ii) assess the impact of the EOEE; and (iii) test the hypothesis that range expansion was followed by increased net diversification...
August 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28794274/stable-isotope-analyses-of-feather-amino-acids-identify-penguin-migration-strategies-at-ocean-basin-scales
#18
Michael J Polito, Jefferson T Hinke, Tom Hart, Mercedes Santos, Leah A Houghton, Simon R Thorrold
Identifying the at-sea distribution of wide-ranging marine predators is critical to understanding their ecology. Advances in electronic tracking devices and intrinsic biogeochemical markers have greatly improved our ability to track animal movements on ocean-wide scales. Here, we show that, in combination with direct tracking, stable carbon isotope analysis of essential amino acids in tail feathers provides the ability to track the movement patterns of two, wide-ranging penguin species over ocean basin scales...
August 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28768797/has-snake-fang-evolution-lost-its-bite-new-insights-from-a-structural-mechanics-viewpoint
#19
Chris Broeckhoven, Anton du Plessis
Venomous snakes-the pinnacle of snake evolution-are characterized by their possession of venom-conducting fangs ranging from grooved phenotypes characterizing multiple lineages of rear-fanged taxa to tubular phenotypes present in elapids, viperids and atractaspidines. Despite extensive research, controversy still exists on the selective pressures involved in fang phenotype diversification. Here, we test the hypothesis that larger fangs and consequently a shift to an anterior position in the maxilla evolved to compensate for the costs of structural changes, i...
August 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28768796/feeding-the-enemy-loss-of-nectar-and-nectaries-to-herbivores-reduces-tepal-damage-and-increases-pollinator-attraction-in-iris-bulleyana
#20
Ya-Ru Zhu, Min Yang, Jana C Vamosi, W Scott Armbruster, Tao Wan, Yan-Bing Gong
Floral nectar usually functions as a pollinator reward, yet it may also attract herbivores. However, the effects of herbivore consumption of nectar or nectaries on pollination have rarely been tested. We investigated Iris bulleyana, an alpine plant that has showy tepals and abundant nectar, in the Hengduan Mountains of SW China. In this region, flowers are visited mainly by pollen-collecting pollinators and nectarivorous herbivores. We tested the hypothesis that, in I. bulleyana, sacrificing nectar and nectaries to herbivores protects tepals and thus enhances pollinator attraction...
August 2017: Biology Letters
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