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33 papers 25 to 100 followers
By Tom Wassmer Assistant Professor of Biology at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan
Malika Ihle, Bart Kempenaers, Wolfgang Forstmeier
Research on mate choice has primarily focused on preferences for quality indicators, assuming that all individuals show consensus about who is the most attractive. However, in some species, mating preferences seem largely individual-specific, suggesting that they might target genetic or behavioral compatibility. Few studies have quantified the fitness consequences of allowing versus preventing such idiosyncratic mate choice. Here, we report on an experiment that controls for variation in overall partner quality and show that zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) pairs that resulted from free mate choice achieved a 37% higher reproductive success than pairs that were forced to mate...
2015: PLoS Biology
Karen L Kramer, Andrew F Russell
Because human mothers routinely rely on others to help raise their young, humans have been characterized as cooperative breeders.(1-9) Several large-scale phylogenetic analyses have presented compelling evidence that monogamy preceded the evolution of cooperative breeding in a wide variety of nonhuman animals.(10-14) These studies have suggested that monogamy provides a general rule (the monogamy hypothesis) for explaining evolutionary transitions to cooperative breeding.(15) Given the prevalence of cooperative breeding in contemporary human societies, we evaluate whether this suggests a monogamous hominin past...
March 2015: Evolutionary Anthropology
Azar Gat
Was human fighting always there, as old as our species? Or is it a late cultural invention, emerging after the transition to agriculture and the rise of the state, which began, respectively, only around ten thousand and five thousand years ago? Viewed against the life span of our species, Homo sapiens, stretching back 150,000-200,000 years, let alone the roughly two million years of our genus Homo, this is the tip of the iceberg. We now have a temporal frame and plenty of empirical evidence for the "state of nature" that Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacque Rousseau discussed in the abstract and described in diametrically opposed terms...
May 2015: Evolutionary Anthropology
Camilo E Khatchikian, Melissa A Prusinski, Melissa Stone, Peter Bryon Backenson, Ing-Nang Wang, Erica Foley, Stephanie N Seifert, Michael Z Levy, Dustin Brisson
Migration is a primary force of biological evolution that alters allele frequencies and introduces novel genetic variants into populations. Recent migration has been proposed as the cause of the emergence of many infectious diseases, including those carried by blacklegged ticks in North America. Populations of blacklegged ticks have established and flourished in areas of North America previously thought to be devoid of this species. The recent discovery of these populations of blacklegged ticks may have resulted from either in situ growth of long-established populations that were maintained at very low densities or by migration and colonization from established populations...
July 2015: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Jacob M Musser, Günter P Wagner, Richard O Prum
Feathers are an evolutionary novelty found in all extant birds. Despite recent progress investigating feather development and a revolution in dinosaur paleontology, the relationship of feathers to other amniote skin appendages, particularly reptile scales, remains unclear. Disagreement arises primarily from the observation that feathers and avian scutate scales exhibit an anatomical placode-defined as an epidermal thickening-in early development, whereas alligator and other avian scales do not. To investigate the homology of feathers and archosaur scales we examined patterns of nuclear β-catenin localization during early development of feathers and different bird and alligator scales...
May 2015: Evolution & Development
Armin P Moczek, Karen E Sears, Angelika Stollewerk, Patricia J Wittkopp, Pamela Diggle, Ian Dworkin, Cristina Ledon-Rettig, David Q Matus, Siegfried Roth, Ehab Abouheif, Federico D Brown, Chi-Hua Chiu, C Sarah Cohen, Anthony W De Tomaso, Scott F Gilbert, Brian Hall, Alan C Love, Deirdre C Lyons, Thomas J Sanger, Joel Smith, Chelsea Specht, Mario Vallejo-Marin, Cassandra G Extavour
Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) has undergone dramatic transformations since its emergence as a distinct discipline. This paper aims to highlight the scope, power, and future promise of evo-devo to transform and unify diverse aspects of biology. We articulate key questions at the core of eleven biological disciplines-from Evolution, Development, Paleontology, and Neurobiology to Cellular and Molecular Biology, Quantitative Genetics, Human Diseases, Ecology, Agriculture and Science Education, and lastly, Evolutionary Developmental Biology itself-and discuss why evo-devo is uniquely situated to substantially improve our ability to find meaningful answers to these fundamental questions...
May 2015: Evolution & Development
Morito Hayashi, Mohammed Bakkali, Alexander Hyde, Sara L Goodacre
BACKGROUND: Long-distance dispersal events have the potential to shape species distributions and ecosystem diversity over large spatial scales, and to influence processes such as population persistence and the pace and scale of invasion. How such dispersal strategies have evolved and are maintained within species is, however, often unclear. We have studied long-distance dispersal in a range of pest-controlling terrestrial spiders that are important predators within agricultural ecosystems...
2015: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Katie J Field, Silvia Pressel, Jeffrey G Duckett, William R Rimington, Martin I Bidartondo
The domination of the landmasses of Earth by plants starting during the Ordovician Period drastically altered the development of the biosphere and the composition of the atmosphere, with far-reaching consequences for all life ever since. It is widely thought that symbiotic soil fungi facilitated the colonization of the terrestrial environment by plants. However, recent discoveries in molecular ecology, physiology, cytology, and paleontology have brought into question the hitherto-assumed identity and biology of the fungi engaged in symbiosis with the earliest-diverging lineages of extant land plants...
August 2015: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Mirkka Lahdenperä, Khyne U Mar, Virpi Lummaa
INTRODUCTION: Short post-reproductive lifespan is widespread across species, but prolonged post-reproductive life-stages of potential adaptive significance have been reported only in few mammals with extreme longevity. Long post-reproductive lifespan contradicts classical evolutionary predictions of simultaneous senescence in survival and reproduction, and raises the question of whether extreme longevity in mammals promotes such a life-history. Among terrestrial mammals, elephants share the features with great apes and humans, of having long lifespan and offspring with long dependency...
2014: Frontiers in Zoology
Chris D Thomas
Speciation rates need to be considered when estimating human impacts on the numbers of species on Earth, given that past mass extinctions have been followed by the accelerated origination of new taxa. Here, I suggest that the Anthropocene is already exhibiting a greatly accelerated plant speciation rate due to agriculture, horticulture, and the human-mediated transport of species, followed by hybridisation. For example, more new plant species have come into existence in Europe over the past three centuries than have been documented as becoming extinct over the same period, even though most new hybrid-origin species are likely to remain undetected...
August 2015: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Micaela Martinez-Bakker, Barbara Helm
Biological rhythms, from circadian control of cellular processes to annual cycles in life history, are a main structural element of biology. Biological rhythms are considered adaptive because they enable organisms to partition activities to cope with, and take advantage of, predictable fluctuations in environmental conditions. A flourishing area of immunology is uncovering rhythms in the immune system of animals, including humans. Given the temporal structure of immunity, and rhythms in parasite activity and disease incidence, we propose that the intersection of chronobiology, disease ecology, and evolutionary biology holds the key to understanding host-parasite interactions...
June 2015: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Christopher J Lowe, D Nathaniel Clarke, Daniel M Medeiros, Daniel S Rokhsar, John Gerhart
Our understanding of vertebrate origins is powerfully informed by comparative morphology, embryology and genomics of chordates, hemichordates and echinoderms, which together make up the deuterostome clade. Striking body-plan differences among these phyla have historically hindered the identification of ancestral morphological features, but recent progress in molecular genetics and embryology has revealed deep similarities in body-axis formation and organization across deuterostomes, at stages before morphological differences develop...
April 23, 2015: Nature
Neil P Kelley, Nicholas D Pyenson
Many top consumers in today's oceans are marine tetrapods, a collection of lineages independently derived from terrestrial ancestors. The fossil record illuminates their transitions from land to sea, yet these initial invasions account for a small proportion of their evolutionary history. We review the history of marine invasions that drove major changes in anatomy, physiology, and ecology over more than 250 million years. Many innovations evolved convergently in multiple clades, whereas others are unique to individual lineages...
April 17, 2015: Science
J-F Le Galliard, M Paquet, M Mugabo
Temperament traits are seen in many animal species, and recent evolutionary models predict that they could be maintained by heterogeneous selection. We tested this prediction by examining density-dependent selection in juvenile common lizards Zootoca vivipara scored for activity, boldness and sociability at birth and at the age of 1 year. We measured three key life-history traits (juvenile survival, body growth rate and reproduction) and quantified selection in experimental populations at five density levels ranging from low to high values...
May 2015: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
T N Sherratt, M Mesterton-Gibbons
Although possession is 'nine-tenths of the law', respect for ownership is widespread in the animal kingdom even without third-party enforcement. Thus, the first individuals to find objects are frequently left unchallenged by potential competitors and tend to win contests when disputes arise. Game theory has shown that respect for ownership ('Bourgeois' behaviour) can arise as an arbitrary convention to avoid costly disputes. However, the same theory predicts that a paradoxical respect for lack of ownership ('anti-Bourgeois' behaviour) can evolve under the same conditions and in some cases is the only stable outcome...
June 2015: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
S Eryn McFarlane, Jamieson C Gorrell, David W Coltman, Murray M Humphries, Stan Boutin, Andrew G McAdam
Genetic variation in fitness is required for the adaptive evolution of any trait but natural selection is thought to erode genetic variance in fitness. This paradox has motivated the search for mechanisms that might maintain a population's adaptive potential. Mothers make many contributions to the attributes of their developing offspring and these maternal effects can influence responses to natural selection if maternal effects are themselves heritable. Maternal genetic effects (MGEs) on fitness might, therefore, represent an underappreciated source of adaptive potential in wild populations...
May 7, 2015: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Annalisa Varriale
DNA methylation is a key epigenetic modification in the vertebrate genomes known to be involved in biological processes such as regulation of gene expression, DNA structure and control of transposable elements. Despite increasing knowledge about DNA methylation, we still lack a complete understanding of its specific functions and correlation with environment and gene expression in diverse organisms. To understand how global DNA methylation levels changed under environmental influence during vertebrate evolution, we analyzed its distribution pattern along the whole genome in mammals, reptiles and fishes showing that it is correlated with temperature, independently on phylogenetic inheritance...
2014: International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Matthew R J Morris
Baldwin's synthesis of the Organicist position, first published in 1896 and elaborated in 1902, sought to rescue environmentally induced phenotypes from disrepute by showing their Darwinian significance. Of particular interest to Baldwin was plasticity's mediating role during environmental change or colonization-plastic individuals were more likely to successfully survive and reproduce in new environments than were nonplastic individuals. Once a population of plastic individuals had become established, plasticity could further mediate the future course of evolution...
2014: International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Samantha Young, Thomas A DeméRé, Eric G Ekdale, Annalisa Berta, Nicholas Zellmer
Mysticetes have evolved a novel filter feeding apparatus-baleen-an epidermal keratinous tissue composed of keratin that grows as a serial arrangement of transverse cornified laminae from the right and left sides of the palate. The structure and function of baleen varies among extant mysticete clades and this variation likely can be viewed as adaptations related to different filter feeding strategies. In one of the first morphometric studies of the full baleen apparatus, we describe the morphology of complete baleen racks in neonate, yearling and adult gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus), and note morphometric variations between age groups as well as within individual racks...
April 2015: Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology
John T Rotenberry, Elizabeth Swanger, Marlene Zuk
Alternative reproductive tactics may arise when natural enemies use sexual signals to locate the signaler. In field crickets, elevated costs to male calling due to acoustically orienting parasitoid flies create opportunity for an alternative tactic, satellite behavior, where noncalling males intercept females attracted to callers. Although the caller-satellite system in crickets that risk detection by parasitoids resembles distinct behavioral phenotypes, a male's propensity to behave as caller or satellite can be a continuously variable trait over several temporal scales, and an individual may pursue alternate tactics at different times...
April 2015: American Naturalist
2015-03-29 04:47:36
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