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Royal Society Open Science

Ivan Norscia, Elisa Demuru, Elisabetta Palagi
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Andrew C Gallup, Jorg J M Massen
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Alejandra M Manjarrez-Casas, Homayoun C Bagheri, Akos Dobay
Filamentous organisms represent an example where incomplete separation after cell division underlies the development of multicellular formations. With a view to understanding the evolution of more complex multicellular structures, we explore the transition of multicellular growth from one to two dimensions. We develop a computational model to simulate multicellular development in populations where cells exhibit density-dependent division and death rates. In both the one- and two-dimensional contexts, multicellular formations go through a developmental cycle of growth and subsequent decay...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Siobhán M Mattison, Bret Beheim, Bridget Chak, Peter Buston
Son preference predominates in China, yet there are patterned exceptions to this rule. In this paper, we test whether lineality (patrilineal versus matrilineal inheritance and descent) is associated with son versus daughter preference among the ethnic Mosuo (Na) of Southwest China. Our results show (i) an increased probability of continued fertility among matrilineal women after having a son compared with a daughter and (ii) an increased probability of continued fertility among patrilineal women after having a daughter compared with a son...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Phillip J Clapham, Yulia V Ivashchenko
Falsification of reports on Japanese catches of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) is known to have occurred at both land whaling stations and in North Pacific factory fleets. Here, we conduct an analysis of pelagic sperm whale catches in the Southern Hemisphere: we compare true Soviet length data from the Yuri Dolgorukiy factory fleet during 1960-1975 to data for the same period reported to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) by Japan. Prior to implementation of the International Observer Scheme (IOS) in 1972, the Soviet fleet killed 5536 females, of which only 153 (2...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Yongjing Wang, Duc Truong Pham, Zhichun Zhang, Jinjun Li, Chunqian Ji, Yanju Liu, Jinsong Leng
Self-healing composites are able to restore their properties automatically. Impressive healing efficiencies can be achieved when conditions are favourable. On the other hand, healing might not be possible under adverse circumstances such as very low ambient temperature. Here, we report a structural composite able to maintain its temperature to provide a sustainable self-healing capability-similar to that in the natural world where some animals keep a constant body temperature to allow enzymes to stay active...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Wing-Cheong Lo, Likun Zheng, Qing Nie
Stochastic fluctuations in reaction-diffusion processes often have substantial effect on spatial and temporal dynamics of signal transductions in complex biological systems. One popular approach for simulating these processes is to divide the system into small spatial compartments assuming that molecules react only within the same compartment and jump between adjacent compartments driven by the diffusion. While the approach is convenient in terms of its implementation, its computational cost may become prohibitive when diffusive jumps occur significantly more frequently than reactions, as in the case of rapid diffusion...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Suzanne Mason, Chandra Salgado Kent, David Donnelly, Jeffrey Weir, Kerstin Bilgmann
Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) are typically considered highly mobile, offshore delphinids. This study assessed the residency of a small community of short-beaked common dolphins in the shallow, urbanized Port Phillip Bay, south-eastern Australia. The ability to identify common dolphins by their dorsal fin markings and coloration using photo-identification was also investigated. Systematic and non-systematic boat surveys were undertaken between 2007 and 2014. Results showed that 13 adult common dolphins and their offspring inhabit Port Phillip Bay, of which 10 adults exhibit residency to the bay...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Sebastián Apesteguía, Juan D Daza, Tiago R Simões, Jean Claude Rage
The fossil record shows that iguanian lizards were widely distributed during the Late Cretaceous. However, the biogeographic history and early evolution of one of its most diverse and peculiar clades (acrodontans) remain poorly known. Here, we present the first Mesozoic acrodontan from Africa, which also represents the oldest iguanian lizard from that continent. The new taxon comes from the Kem Kem Beds in Morocco (Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous) and is based on a partial lower jaw. The new taxon presents a number of features that are found only among acrodontan lizards and shares greatest similarities with uromastycines, specifically...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Jared T Bruton, Todd G Nelson, Trent K Zimmerman, Janette D Fernelius, Spencer P Magleby, Larry L Howell
Packing soft-sheet materials of approximately zero bending stiffness using Soft Origami (origami patterns applied to soft-sheet materials) into cylindrical volumes and their deployment via mechanisms or internal pressure (inflation) is of interest in fields including automobile airbags, deployable heart stents, inflatable space habitats, and dirigible and parachute packing. This paper explores twofold patterns, the 'flasher' and the 'inverted-cone fold', for packing soft-sheet materials into cylindrical volumes...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Cory T Williams, Kathryn Wilsterman, Victor Zhang, Jeanette Moore, Brian M Barnes, C Loren Buck
The sexes differ in how and when they allocate energy towards reproduction, but how this influences phenotypic plasticity in daily activity patterns is unclear. Here, we use collar-mounted light loggers and triaxial accelerometers to examine factors that affect time spent above ground and overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA), an index of activity-specific energy expenditure, across the active season of free-living, semi-fossorial arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii). We found high day-to-day variability in time spent above ground and ODBA with most of the variance explained by environmental conditions known to affect thermal exchange...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Brian Skinner
Same-sex sexual behaviour is ubiquitous in the animal kingdom, but its adaptive origins remain a prominent puzzle. Here, I suggest the possibility that same-sex sexual behaviour arises as a consequence of the competition between an evolutionary drive for a wide diversity in traits, which improves the adaptability of a population, and a drive for sexual dichotomization of traits, which promotes opposite-sex attraction and increases the rate of reproduction. This trade-off is explored via a simple mathematical 'toy model'...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
C M Champ, M Vorobyev, N J Marshall
Coral reef fishes are among the most colourful animals in the world. Given the diversity of lifestyles and habitats on the reef, it is probable that in many instances coloration is a compromise between crypsis and communication. However, human observation of this coloration is biased by our primate visual system. Most animals have visual systems that are 'tuned' differently to humans; optimized for different parts of the visible spectrum. To understand reef fish colours, we need to reconstruct the appearance of colourful patterns and backgrounds as they are seen through the eyes of fish...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Paul E Smaldino, Richard McElreath
Poor research design and data analysis encourage false-positive findings. Such poor methods persist despite perennial calls for improvement, suggesting that they result from something more than just misunderstanding. The persistence of poor methods results partly from incentives that favour them, leading to the natural selection of bad science. This dynamic requires no conscious strategizing-no deliberate cheating nor loafing-by scientists, only that publication is a principal factor for career advancement...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Olle Lind
Today, there is good knowledge of the physiological basis of bird colour vision and how mathematical models can be used to predict visual thresholds. However, we still know only little about how colour vision changes between different viewing conditions. This limits the understanding of how colour signalling is configured in habitats where the light of the illumination and the background may shift dramatically. I examined how colour discrimination in zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) is affected by adaptation to different backgrounds...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Kaveh Laksari, Danial Shahmirzadi, Camilo J Acosta, Elisa Konofagou
This study aims at determining the in vitro anisotropic mechanical behaviour of canine aortic tissue. We specifically focused on spatial variations of these properties along the axis of the vessel. We performed uniaxial stretch tests on canine aortic samples in both circumferential and longitudinal directions, as well as histological examinations to derive the tissue's fibre orientations. We subsequently characterized a constitutive model that incorporates both phenomenological and structural elements to account for macroscopic and microstructural behaviour of the tissue...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Aaron Drummond, Matthew A Palmer, James D Sauer
Pro-environment policies require public support and engagement, but in countries such as the USA, public support for pro-environment policies remains low. Increasing public scientific literacy is unlikely to solve this, because increased scientific literacy does not guarantee increased acceptance of critical environmental issues (e.g. that climate change is occurring). We distinguish between scientific literacy (basic scientific knowledge) and endorsement of scientific inquiry (perceiving science as a valuable way of accumulating knowledge), and examine the relationship between people's endorsement of scientific inquiry and their support for pro-environment policy...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Eathan Janney, Hollis Taylor, Constance Scharff, David Rothenberg, Lucas C Parra, Ofer Tchernichovski
Music maintains a characteristic balance between repetition and novelty. Here, we report a similar balance in singing performances of free-living Australian pied butcherbirds. Their songs include many phrase types. The more phrase types in a bird's repertoire, the more diverse the singing performance can be. However, without sufficient temporal organization, avian listeners may find diverse singing performances difficult to perceive and memorize. We tested for a correlation between the complexity of song repertoire and the temporal regularity of singing performance...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
S L Cox, P I Miller, C B Embling, K L Scales, A W J Bicknell, P J Hosegood, G Morgan, S N Ingram, S C Votier
Oceanic fronts are key habitats for a diverse range of marine predators, yet how they influence fine-scale foraging behaviour is poorly understood. Here, we investigated the dive behaviour of northern gannets Morus bassanus in relation to shelf-sea fronts. We GPS (global positioning system) tracked 53 breeding birds and examined the relationship between 1901 foraging dives (from time-depth recorders) and thermal fronts (identified via Earth Observation composite front mapping) in the Celtic Sea, Northeast Atlantic...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Corie L Charpentier, Jonathan H Cohen
Exposure to high pCO2 or low pH alters sensation and behaviour in many marine animals. We show that crab larvae lose their ability to detect and/or process predator kairomones after exposure to low pH over a time scale relevant to diel pH cycles in coastal environments. Previous work suggests that acidification affects sensation and behaviour through altered neural function, specifically the action of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), because a GABA antagonist, gabazine, restores the original behaviour. Here, however, gabazine resulted in a loss of kairomone detection/processing, regardless of pH...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
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