3,466 results match your criteria Biology letters[Journal]


The nuclear envelope: LINCing tissue mechanics to genome regulation in cardiac and skeletal muscle.

Biol Lett 2020 Jul 8;16(7):20200302. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

School of Cardiovascular Medicine and Sciences, King's College London, London SE5 9NU, UK.

Regulation of the genome is viewed through the prism of gene expression, DNA replication and DNA repair as controlled through transcription, chromatin compartmentalisation and recruitment of repair factors by enzymes such as DNA polymerases, ligases, acetylases, methylases and cyclin-dependent kinases. However, recent advances in the field of muscle cell physiology have also shown a compelling role for 'outside-in' biophysical control of genomic material through mechanotransduction. The crucial hub that transduces these biophysical signals is called the Linker of Nucleoskeleton and Cytoskeleton (LINC). Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0302DOI Listing

Avian major histocompatibility complex copy number variation is associated with helminth richness.

Biol Lett 2020 Jul 8;16(7):20200194. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Department of Biodiversity Studies and Bioeducation, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Łódź, Banacha 1/3, 90-237 Łódź, Poland.

Genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) play a key role in the adaptive immunity of vertebrates, as they encode receptors responsible for antigen recognition. Evolutionary history of the MHC proceeded through numerous gene duplications, which increase the spectrum of pathogens recognized by individuals. Although pathogen-mediated selection is believed to be a primary driver of MHC expansion over evolutionary times, empirical evidence for this association is virtually lacking. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0194DOI Listing

Acoustic allometry and vocal learning in mammals.

Biol Lett 2020 Jul 8;16(7):20200081. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Comparative Bioacoustics Group, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Wundtlaan 1, 6525 XD Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

is the study of how animal vocalizations reflect their body size. A key aim of this research is to identify outliers to acoustic allometry principles and pinpoint the evolutionary origins of such outliers. A parallel strand of research investigates species capable of , the experience-driven ability to produce novel vocal signals through imitation or modification of existing vocalizations. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0081DOI Listing

Disparities in the analysis of morphological disparity.

Biol Lett 2020 Jul 1;16(7):20200199. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Life Sciences Building, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TQ, UK.

Analyses of morphological disparity have been used to characterize and investigate the evolution of variation in the anatomy, function and ecology of organisms since the 1980s. While a diversity of methods have been employed, it is unclear whether they provide equivalent insights. Here, we review the most commonly used approaches for characterizing and analysing morphological disparity, all of which have associated limitations that, if ignored, can lead to misinterpretation. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0199DOI Listing

Beyond the limits: identifying the high-frequency detectors in the anuran ear.

Biol Lett 2020 Jul 1;16(7):20200343. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1606, USA.

Despite the predominance of low-frequency hearing in anuran amphibians, a few frog species have evolved high-frequency communication within certain environmental contexts. is the most remarkable anuran with regard to upper frequency limits; it is the first frog species known to emit exclusively ultrasonic signals. Characteristics of the Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions from the amphibian papilla and the basilar papilla were analysed to gain insight into the structures responsible for high-frequency/ultrasound sensitivity. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0343DOI Listing

It's in the loop: shared sub-surface foot kinematics in birds and other dinosaurs shed light on a new dimension of fossil track diversity.

Biol Lett 2020 Jul 1;16(7):20200309. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Division of Biology and Medicine, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.

The feet of ground-dwelling birds retain many features of their dinosaurian ancestry. Experiments with living species offer insights into the complex interplay among anatomy, kinematics and substrate during the formation of Mesozoic footprints. However, a key aspect of the track-making process, sub-surface foot movement, is hindered by substrate opacity. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0309DOI Listing

Endocrine regulation of egg rejection in an avian brood parasite host.

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 24;16(6):20200225. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior, School of Integrative Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL 61801, USA.

Parasite-host coevolution can lead to novel behavioural adaptations in hosts to resist parasitism. In avian obligate brood parasite and host systems, many host species have evolved diverse cognitive and behavioural traits to recognize and reject parasitic eggs. Our understanding of the evolution and ecology of these defences hinges on identifying the mechanisms that regulate them. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0225DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336846PMC

A snapping shrimp has the fastest vision of any aquatic animal.

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 24;16(6):20200298. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.

Animals use their sensory systems to sample information from their environments. The physiological properties of sensory systems differ, leading animals to perceive their environments in different ways. For example, eyes have different temporal sampling rates, with faster-sampling eyes able to resolve faster-moving scenes. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0298DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336845PMC

Extinction rates of non-avian dinosaur species are uncorrelated with the rate of evolution of phylogenetically informative characters.

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 24;16(6):20200231. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Department of the Geophysical Sciences, The University of Chicago, 5734 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

Determining the factors that shape temporal variation in species diversity is an ongoing challenge. One theory is that species exhibiting lower rates of phenotypic evolution should be more likely to go extinct as they are more susceptible to changing environmental conditions. However, little work has been done to assess whether this process shapes comparatively few lineages, or is a common mechanism shaping changes in species diversity. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0231DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336841PMC

Fine-scale genital morphology affects male ejaculation success: an experimental test.

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 24;16(6):20200251. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Division of Ecology and Evolution, Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia.

The evolution of male genital traits is usually ascribed to advantages that arise when there is sperm competition, cryptic female choice or sexual conflict. However, when male-female contact is brief and sperm production is costly, genital structures that ensure the appropriate timing of sperm release should also be under intense selection. Few studies have examined the role of individual structures in triggering ejaculation. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0251DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336860PMC

Plastics everywhere: first evidence of polystyrene fragments inside the common Antarctic collembolan .

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 24;16(6):20200093. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Department of Physical, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Siena, Siena 53100, Italy.

There is evidence and serious concern that microplastics have reached the most remote regions of the planet, but how far have they travelled in terrestrial ecosystems? This study presents the first field-based evidence of plastic ingestion by a common and central component of Antarctic terrestrial food webs, the collembolan . A large piece of polystyrene (PS) foam (34 × 31 × 5 cm) covered by microalgae, moss, lichens and microfauna was found in a fellfield along the shores of the Fildes Peninsula (King George Island). The application of an improved enzymatic digestion coupled with Fourier transform infrared microscopy (µ-FTIR), unequivocally detected traces of PS (less than 100 µm) in the gut of the collembolans associated with the PS foam and documented their ability to ingest plastic. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0093DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336848PMC

Globally invasive populations of the clonal raider ant are derived from Bangladesh.

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 17;16(6):20200105. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Laboratory of Social Evolution and Behavior, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY, 10065, USA.

Identifying the native range of invasive species is useful to understand their evolution and natural history, as well as to develop new methods to control potentially harmful introduced organisms. The clonal raider ant, , is an introduced species and an increasingly important social insect model organism, but its native range remains unknown. Here, we report a new series of collections from Bangladesh, Singapore, Vietnam and China. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0105DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336853PMC

Seasonal patterns of germination indicate host-pathogen coevolution.

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 17;16(6):20200177. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Zoological Institute and Museum, University of Greifswald, 17489 Greifswald, Germany.

Emerging infectious diseases rank among the most important threats to human and wildlife health. A comprehensive understanding of the mode of infection and presence of potential reservoirs is critical for the development of effective counter strategies. Fungal pathogens can remain viable in environmental reservoirs for extended periods of time before infecting susceptible individuals. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0177DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336850PMC

Gene swamping alters evolution during range expansions in the protist .

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 17;16(6):20200244. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, Zürich CH-8057, Switzerland.

At species' range edges, individuals often face novel environmental conditions that may limit range expansion until populations adapt. The potential to adapt depends on genetic variation upon which selection can act. However, populations at species' range edges are often genetically depauperate. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0244DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336843PMC

Divergence in parturition timing and vegetation onset in a large herbivore-differences along a latitudinal gradient.

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 17;16(6):20200044. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), SE-901 83 Umea, Sweden.

In northern environments, the period of access to high-quality forage is limited, exerting strong selective pressure to optimize the timing of parturition. We analysed timing and variation in moose () parturition dates of 555 females at 18 study sites across 12° of latitude (56-68° N, 1350 km) in Sweden. We found evidence for a spatial match of parturition timing to vegetation onset, but no evidence that moose adjust parturition to vegetation onset in a given year. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336859PMC

Can behaviour impede evolution? Persistence of singing effort after morphological song loss in crickets.

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 17;16(6):20190931. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

School of Biology, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, UK.

Evolutionary loss of sexual signals is widespread. Examining the consequences for behaviours associated with such signals can provide insight into factors promoting or inhibiting trait loss. We tested whether a behavioural component of a sexual trait, male calling effort, has been evolutionary reduced in silent populations of Hawaiian field crickets () Cricket song requires energetically costly wing movements, but 'flatwing' males have feminized wings that preclude song and protect against a lethal, eavesdropping parasitoid. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0931DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336857PMC

The endangered Spitsbergen bowhead whales' secrets revealed after hundreds of years in hiding.

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 10;16(6):20200148. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, DK-1401 Copenhagen K, Denmark.

Spitsbergen's bowhead whales () were hunted to near extinction in the world's first commercial whaling enterprise; this population clearly remains threatened, but nothing is known about its distribution, making assessment unfeasible. In this study, we document range, movement patterns and habitat preferences of this population, based on tagging done from an icebreaker-based helicopter. Despite their reduced abundance, Spitsbergen's bowhead whales occupy much of their historical range, stretching across the northern Barents Region from East Greenland eastward to Franz Josef Land. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0148DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336847PMC

Evolution of moult-migration is directly linked to aridity of the breeding grounds in North American passerines.

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 10;16(6):20200155. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

Department of Biological Sciences, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops BC V2C 0C8, Canada.

To avoid energy allocation conflicts, birds generally separate breeding, migration and moult during the annual cycle. North American passerines typically moult on the breeding grounds prior to autumn migration. However, some have evolved a moult-migration strategy in which they delay moult until stopping over during autumn migration. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0155DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336858PMC

Is there a role for sarcolipin in avian facultative thermogenesis in extreme cold?

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 10;16(6):20200078. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

Division of Biological Sciences, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812, USA.

Endotherms defend their body temperature in the cold by employing shivering (ST) and/or non-shivering thermogenesis (NST). Although NST is well documented in mammals, its importance to avian heat generation is unclear. Recent work points to a prominent role for the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca ATPase (SERCA) in muscular NST. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0078DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336856PMC

Post-activation muscle potentiation and its relevance to cyclical behaviours.

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 10;16(6):20200255. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA.

Muscle can experience post-activation potentiation (PAP), a temporary increase in force and rate of force development, when contractions are closely timed; therefore, cyclical behaviours are likely affected by PAP, as succeeding contraction cycles can lead to potentiation over several subsequent cycles. Here, we examined PAP during cyclical contractions of the mallard lateral gastrocnemius (LG). Surface swimming, a cyclical behaviour, was mimicked with work-loops using LG length change and stimulation parameters. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0255DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336855PMC

Octopamine increases individual and collective foraging in a neotropical stingless bee.

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 10;16(6):20200238. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

Institute of Organismic and Molecular Evolutionary Biology, Johannes-Gutenberg University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany.

The biogenic amine octopamine (OA) is a key modulator of individual and social behaviours in honeybees, but its role in the other group of highly eusocial bees, the stingless bees, remains largely unknown. In honeybees, OA mediates reward perception and affects a wide range of reward-seeking behaviours. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that OA increases individual foraging effort and collective food source exploitation in the neotropical stingless bee . Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0238DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336854PMC

Predictability of food supply modulates nocturnal hypothermia in a small passerine.

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 3;16(6):20200133. Epub 2020 Jun 3.

Evolutionary Ecology, Lund University, SE-223 62, Sweden.

The combination of short days and long cold winter nights, in temperate regions, presents a major challenge for small diurnal birds. Small birds regularly employ heterothermy and enter rest-phase hypothermia during winter nights to conserve energy. However, we know little about how environmental conditions, such as food availability, shape these strategies. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0133DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336851PMC

Examining the mechanisms underlying the acquisition of animal tool behaviour.

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 3;16(6):20200122. Epub 2020 Jun 3.

Department for Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology, The University of Tübingen, Tübingen 72070, Germany.

Despite major advances in the study of animal tool behaviour, researchers continue to debate how exactly certain behaviours are acquired. While specific mechanisms, such as genetic predispositions or action copying, are sometimes suspected to play a major role in behavioural acquisition, controlled experiments are required to provide conclusive evidence. In this opinion piece, we refer to classic ethological methodologies to emphasize the need for studying the relative contributions of different factors to the emergence of specific tool behaviours. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0122DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336849PMC

Sperm sex ratio adjustment in a mammal: perceived male competition leads to elevated proportions of female-producing sperm.

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 3;16(6):20190929. Epub 2020 Jun 3.

Centre for Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences (M092), The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, Western Australia 6009, Australia.

Mammal sex allocation research has focused almost exclusively on maternal traits, but it is now apparent that fathers can also influence offspring sex ratios. Parents that produce female offspring under conditions of intense male-male competition can benefit with greater assurance of maximized grand-parentage. Adaptive adjustment in the sperm sex ratio, for example with an increase in the production of X-chromosome bearing sperm (CBS), is one potential paternal mechanism for achieving female-biased sex ratios. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0929DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336842PMC

Internet 'shellebrity' reflects on origin of rare mirror-image snails.

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 3;16(6):20200110. Epub 2020 Jun 3.

School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham, University Park NG7 2RD, UK.

While animal bodies are typically bilaterally symmetric on the outside, the internal organs nearly always show an invariant left-right (LR) asymmetry. In comparison, snails are both internally and externally LR asymmetric, outwardly obvious in the shell coiling direction, or chirality. Although some species of snail are naturally variable for chirality, sinistral individuals occur very rarely in most species. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0110DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336844PMC

Breastfeeding dynamically changes endogenous oxytocin levels and emotion recognition in mothers.

Biol Lett 2020 Jun 3;16(6):20200139. Epub 2020 Jun 3.

Department of Education, Kyoto University, Yoshida-honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.

Breastfeeding behaviours can significantly change mothers' physiological and psychological states. The hormone oxytocin may mediate breastfeeding and mothers' emotion recognition. This study examined the effects of endogenous oxytocin fluctuation via breastfeeding on emotion recognition in 51 primiparous mothers. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0139DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336852PMC

Condition dependence of phenotypic integration and the evolvability of genitalic traits in a neriid fly.

Biol Lett 2020 May 27;16(5):20200124. Epub 2020 May 27.

Evolution and Ecology Research Centre, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

The spectacular diversity of insect male genitalia, and their relative insensitivity to the environment, have long puzzled evolutionary biologists and taxonomists. We asked whether the unusual evolvability of male genitalia could be associated with low morphological integration of genitalic traits, by comparison with male somatic traits and female traits. We also asked whether this pattern was robust to variation in resource availability during development, which affects adult condition. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0124DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7280035PMC

Chimpanzee lip-smacks confirm primate continuity for speech-rhythm evolution.

Biol Lett 2020 May 27;16(5):20200232. Epub 2020 May 27.

School of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of St Andrews, St Mary's Quad, South Street, St Andrews, KY16 9JP, UK.

Speech is a human hallmark, but its evolutionary origins continue to defy scientific explanation. Recently, the open-close mouth rhythm of 2-7 Hz (cycles/second) characteristic of all spoken languages has been identified in the orofacial signals of several nonhuman primate genera, including orangutans, but evidence from any of the African apes remained missing. Evolutionary continuity for the emergence of speech is, thus, still inconclusive. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0232DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7280036PMC

Ventral motion parallax enhances fruit fly steering to visual sideslip.

Biol Lett 2020 May 20;16(5):20200046. Epub 2020 May 20.

Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA.

Flies and other insects use incoherent motion (parallax) to the front and sides to measure distances and identify obstacles during translation. Although additional depth information could be drawn from below, there is no experimental proof that they use it. The finding that blowflies encode motion disparities in their ventral visual fields suggests this may be an important region for depth information. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7280038PMC

A novel pattern of germ cell divisions in the production of hymenopteran insect eggs.

Biol Lett 2020 May 13;16(5):20200137. Epub 2020 May 13.

W. M. Keck Science Department, Claremont McKenna, Pitzer and Scripps Colleges, Claremont, CA 91711, USA.

Egg development is a defining process of reproduction in higher eukaryotes. In the fruit fly, , this process begins with four mitotic divisions starting from a single germ cell, producing a cyst of 16 cystocytes; one of these cells will become the oocyte and the others supporting nurse cells. These mitotic divisions are exceptional because cytokinesis is incomplete, resulting in the formation of cytoplasmic bridges known as ring canals that interconnect the cystocytes. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0137DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7280034PMC

Prey speed influences the speed and structure of the raptorial strike of a 'sit-and-wait' predator.

Biol Lett 2020 May 13;16(5):20200098. Epub 2020 May 13.

School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QG, UK.

Predators must often employ flexible strategies to capture prey. Particular attention has been given to the strategies of visual predators that actively pursue their prey, but sit-and-wait predators have been largely overlooked, their strategies often characterized as stereotyped. Praying mantids are primarily sit-and-wait predators that often employ crypsis to catch their prey using a raptorial strike produced by their highly modified forelimbs. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0098DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7280040PMC

An irregular hourglass pattern describes the tempo of phenotypic development in placental mammal evolution.

Biol Lett 2020 May 13;16(5):20200087. Epub 2020 May 13.

Fachbereich Geowissenschaften, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany.

Organismal development is defined by progressive transformations that ultimately give rise to distinct tissues and organs. Thus, temporal shifts in ontogeny often reflect key phenotypic differences in phylogeny. Classical theory predicts that interspecific morphological divergence originates towards the end of embryonic or fetal life stages, i. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0087DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7280037PMC

Consistency in the strength of laterality in male, but not female, guppies across different behavioural contexts.

Biol Lett 2020 May 13;16(5):20190870. Epub 2020 May 13.

Department of Biological & Marine Sciences, University of Hull, Cottingham Road, Hull HU6 7RX, UK.

Laterality, the division of brain functions into separate hemispheres, is widespread across animal taxa. Lateralized individuals exhibit cognitive advantages yet substantial variation in laterality exists, particularly between the sexes. Why variation is maintained is unknown as few studies consider differences in lateralized behaviours between the sexes, and their underlying selection pressures, across different contexts. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0870DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7280045PMC

Teenage dogs? Evidence for adolescent-phase conflict behaviour and an association between attachment to humans and pubertal timing in the domestic dog.

Biol Lett 2020 May 13;16(5):20200097. Epub 2020 May 13.

School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Leicestershire LE12 5RD, UK.

The relationship between parent and child changes around adolescence, with children believed to have: (i) an earlier puberty if they have less secure attachments to their carer; (ii) a phase of increased conflict behaviour toward their carer; and (iii) heightened conflict behaviour when carer attachments are less secure. We find support for analogous associations in adolescent dogs based on behaviour and reproductive timing of potential guide dogs. Bitches with behaviour indicative of insecure attachments pre-adolescence became reproductively capable earlier. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0097DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7280042PMC

Experience shapes accuracy in territorial decision-making in a poison frog.

Biol Lett 2020 May 13;16(5):20200094. Epub 2020 May 13.

Department of Evolutionary Biology, Unit of Integrative Zoology, University of Vienna, Althanstraße 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria.

The trade-off between speed and accuracy affects many behavioural processes like predator avoidance, foraging and nest-site selection, but little is known about this trade-off relative to territorial behaviour. Some poison frogs are highly territorial and fiercely repel calling male intruders. However, attacks need to be conducted cautiously, as they are energetically costly and bear the risk of own injury or accidentally targeting the wrong individual. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0094DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7280039PMC

Oligocene divergence of frogmouth birds (Podargidae) across Wallace's Line.

Biol Lett 2020 May 13;16(5):20200040. Epub 2020 May 13.

Centre for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH), School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide, North Terrace Campus, Adelaide 5005, Australia.

Wallace's Line demarcates the transition between the differentiated regional faunas of Asia and Australia. However, while patterns of biotic differentiation across these two continental landmasses and the intervening island groups (Wallacea) have been extensively studied, patterns of long-term dispersal and diversification across this region are less well understood. Frogmouths (Aves: Podargidae) are a relictual family of large nocturnal birds represented by three extant genera occurring, respectively, in Asia, 'Sahul' (Australia and New Guinea) and the Solomon Islands, thus spanning Wallace's Line. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7280043PMC

Nocturnal pollinators strongly contribute to pollen transport of wild flowers in an agricultural landscape.

Biol Lett 2020 May 13;16(5):20190877. Epub 2020 May 13.

Environmental Change Research Centre, Department of Geography, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.

Dramatic declines in diurnal pollinators have created great scientific interest in plant-pollinator relationships and associated pollination services. Existing literature, however, is generally focused on diurnal pollinating insect taxa, especially on Apidae (Hymenoptera) and Syrphidae (Diptera) pollinators, while nocturnal macro-moths that comprise extremely species-rich flower-visiting families have been largely neglected. Here, we report that in agricultural landscapes, macro-moths can provide unique, highly complex pollen transport links, making them vital components of overall wild plant-pollinator networks in agro-ecosystems. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0877DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7280044PMC

Honeybee microbiome is stabilized in the presence of propolis.

Biol Lett 2020 May 6;16(5):20200003. Epub 2020 May 6.

USDA-ARS Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Laboratory, Baton Rouge, LA 70820, USA.

Honeybees have developed many unique mechanisms to help ensure the proper maintenance of homeostasis within the hive. One method includes the collection of chemically complex plant resins combined with wax to form propolis, which is deposited throughout the hive. Propolis is believed to play a significant role in reducing disease load in the colony due to its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7280041PMC

Is repeatability of metabolic rate influenced by social separation? A test with a teleost fish.

Biol Lett 2020 Apr 29;16(4):20190825. Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Laboratory of Evolutionary Physiology and Behavior, Chongqing Key Laboratory of Animal Biology, Chongqing Normal University, Chongqing 401331, People's Republic of China.

Metabolic rates are typically thought to have important influences on fitness and more broadly be relevant to the ecology and evolution of animals. Previous studies demonstrate that metabolic rates are repeatable to a certain extent under constant conditions, but how social conditions influence the repeatability of metabolic rate remains largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the repeatability of resting metabolic rate (RMR) in the highly social crucian carp () after being socially separated for different time periods relative to control fish that were not socially separated. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0825DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7211464PMC

Microplastics disrupt hermit crab shell selection.

Biol Lett 2020 Apr 29;16(4):20200030. Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Institute for Global Food Security, School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, UK.

Microplastics (plastics < 5 mm) are a potential threat to marine biodiversity. However, the effects of microplastic pollution on animal behaviour and cognition are poorly understood. We used shell selection in common European hermit crabs () as a model to test whether microplastic exposure impacts the essential survival behaviours of contacting, investigating and entering an optimal shell. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7211466PMC

Genetic evidence of widespread variation in ethanol metabolism among mammals: revisiting the 'myth' of natural intoxication.

Biol Lett 2020 Apr 29;16(4):20200070. Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr NW, Calgary AB T2N 1N4, Canada.

Humans have a long evolutionary relationship with ethanol, pre-dating anthropogenic sources, and possess unusually efficient ethanol metabolism, through a mutation that evolved in our last common ancestor with African great apes. Increased exposure to dietary ethanol through fermenting fruits and nectars is hypothesized to have selected for this in our lineage. Yet, other mammals have frugivorous and nectarivorous diets, raising the possibility of natural ethanol exposure and adaptation in other taxa. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7211468PMC

Change in geomagnetic field intensity alters migration-associated traits in a migratory insect.

Biol Lett 2020 Apr 29;16(4):20190940. Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Department of Entomology, College of Plant Protection, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, People's Republic of China.

Geomagnetic field (GMF) intensity can be used by some animals to determine their position during migration. However, its role, if any, in mediating other migration-related phenotypes remains largely unknown. Here, we simulated variation in GMF intensity between two locations along the migration route of a nocturnal insect migrant, the brown planthopper , that varied by approximately 5 µT in field intensity. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0940DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7211463PMC

Wind drives temporal variation in pollinator visitation in a fragmented tropical forest.

Biol Lett 2020 Apr 22;16(4):20200103. Epub 2020 Apr 22.

Department of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, University of California, Davis, CA, USA.

Wind is a critical factor in the ecology of pollinating insects such as bees. However, the role of wind in determining patterns of bee abundance and floral visitation rates across space and time is not well understood. Orchid bees are an important and diverse group of neotropical pollinators that harvest pollen, nectar and resin from plants. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0103DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7211451PMC

Predation risks of signalling and searching: bats prefer moving katydids.

Biol Lett 2020 Apr 22;16(4):20190837. Epub 2020 Apr 22.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Apartado 0843-03092, Balboa, Panama.

Males signalling their attractiveness to females are at risk from predators that exploit mating signals to detect and locate prey. Signalling, however, is not the only risky activity in sexual interactions: mate searching can incur risk as well. Male Neotropical pseudophylline katydids produce both acoustic and vibrational signals (tremulations). Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0837DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7211453PMC

Examining the link between relaxed predation and bird coloration on islands.

Biol Lett 2020 Apr 22;16(4):20200002. Epub 2020 Apr 22.

CEFE UMR 5175, CNRS - Université de Montpellier - EPHE, 1919 route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier Cedex 05, France.

Insular ecosystems share analogous ecological conditions, leading to patterns of convergent evolution that are collectively termed as the 'island syndrome'. In birds, part of this syndrome is a tendency for a duller plumage, possibly as a result of relaxed sexual selection. Despite this global pattern, some insular species display a more colourful plumage than their mainland relatives, but why this occurs has remained unexplained. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7211456PMC

Whole-genome analysis across 10 songbird families within Sylvioidea reveals a novel autosome-sex chromosome fusion.

Biol Lett 2020 Apr 22;16(4):20200082. Epub 2020 Apr 22.

Department of Biology, Lund University, Ecology Building, 223 62 Lund, Sweden.

Sex chromosomes in birds have long been considered to be extremely stable. However, this notion has lately been challenged by findings of independent autosome-sex chromosome fusions within songbirds, several of which occur within a single clade, the superfamily Sylvioidea. To understand what ecological and evolutionary processes drive changes in sex chromosome systems, we need complete descriptions of sex chromosome diversity across taxonomic groups. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0082DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7211462PMC

Structural colours reflect individual quality: a meta-analysis.

Authors:
Thomas E White

Biol Lett 2020 Apr 15;16(4):20200001. Epub 2020 Apr 15.

School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales 2106, Australia.

Colourful ornaments often communicate salient information to mates, and theory predicts covariance between signal expression and individual quality. This has borne out among pigment-based signals, but the potential for 'honesty' in structural coloration is unresolved. Here, I synthesized the available evidence to test this prediction via meta-analysis and found that, overall, the expression of structurally coloured sexual signals is positively associated with individual quality. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7211460PMC

Vocal production learning in the pale spear-nosed bat, .

Biol Lett 2020 Apr 15;16(4):20190928. Epub 2020 Apr 15.

Division of Neurobiology, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany.

Vocal production learning (VPL), or the ability to modify vocalizations through the imitation of sounds, is a rare trait in the animal kingdom. While humans are exceptional vocal learners, few other mammalian species share this trait. Owing to their singular ecology and lifestyle, bats are highly specialized for the precise emission and reception of acoustic signals. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0928DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7211467PMC

Brilliant angle-independent structural colours preserved in weevil scales from the Swiss Pleistocene.

Biol Lett 2020 Apr 15;16(4):20200063. Epub 2020 Apr 15.

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University College Cork, Cork T23 TK30, Ireland.

Extant weevils exhibit a remarkable colour palette that ranges from muted monochromatic tones to rainbow-like iridescence, with the most vibrant colours produced by three-dimensional photonic nanostructures housed within cuticular scales. Although the optical properties of these nanostructures are well understood, their evolutionary history is not fully resolved, in part due to a poor knowledge of their fossil record. Here, we report three-dimensional photonic nanostructures preserved in brightly coloured scales of two weevils, belonging to the genus or , from the Pleistocene (16-10 ka) of Switzerland. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0063DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7211455PMC

Acoustically advertising male harbour seals in southeast Alaska do not make biologically relevant acoustic adjustments in the presence of vessel noise.

Biol Lett 2020 Apr 8;16(4):20190795. Epub 2020 Apr 8.

Biology Department, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA.

Aquatically breeding harbour seal () males use underwater vocalizations during the breeding season to establish underwater territories, defend territories against intruder males, and possibly to attract females. Vessel noise overlaps in frequency with these vocalizations and could negatively impact breeding success by limiting communication space. In this study, we investigated whether harbour seals employed anti-masking strategies to maintain communication in the presence of vessel noise in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0795DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7211458PMC