56 Works

Detection of prey odors underpins dietary specialization in a Neotropical top-predator: how army ants find their ant prey

John Manubay & Scott Powell
1. Deciphering the mechanisms that underpin dietary specialization and niche partitioning is crucial to understanding the maintenance of biodiversity. New world army ants live in species-rich assemblages throughout the Neotropics and are voracious predators of other arthropods. They are therefore an important and potentially informative group for addressing how diverse predator assemblages partition available prey resources. 2. New World army ants are largely specialist predators of other ants, with each species specializing on different ant...

A novel role for Eip74EF in male reproduction in promoting sperm elongation at the cost of fecundity

Mollie Manier, Sharif Chebbo, Sarah Josway & John Belote
Spermatozoa are the most morphologically variable cell type, yet little is known about genes controlling natural variation in sperm shape. Drosophila fruit flies have evolved the longest sperm known, which are evolving under postcopulatory sexual selection, driven by sperm competition and cryptic female choice. Long sperm outcompete short sperm but primarily when females have long seminal receptacles (SRs), the primary sperm storage organ. Thus, selection on sperm length is mediated by SR length, and the...

Data from: Games academics play and their consequences: how authorship, h-index, and journal impact factors are shaping the future of academia

Jan Gogarten, Colin Chapman, Julio Bicca-Marques, Sébastien Calvignac-Spencer, Pengfei Fan, Peter Fashing, Songtao Guo, Claire Hemingway, Fabian Leendertz, Baoguo Li, Ikki Matsuda, Rong Hou, Juan Carlos Serio-Silva & Nils Chr. Stenseth
Research is a highly competitive profession where evaluation plays a central role; journals are ranked and individuals are evaluated based on their publication number, the number of times they are cited, and their h-index. Yet, such evaluations are often done in inappropriate ways that are damaging to individual careers, particularly for young scholars, and to the profession. Furthermore, as with all indices, people can play games to better their scores. This has resulted in the...

Data from: A quantitative method for inferring locomotory shifts in amniotes during ontogeny, its application to dinosaurs, and its bearing on the evolution of posture

Kimberley E. J. Chapelle, Roger B. J. Benson, Josef Stiegler, Alejandro Otero, Qi Zhao & Jonah N. Choiniere
Evolutionary transitions between quadrupedal and bipedal postures are pivotal to the diversification of amniotes on land, including in our own lineage (Hominini). Heterochrony is suggested as a macroevolutionary mechanism for postural transitions, but understanding postural evolution in deep time is hindered by a lack of methods for inferring posture in extinct species. Dinosaurs are an excellent natural laboratory for understanding postural transitions, because their lineage contains at least four instances of quadrupedality evolving from bipedality,...

Data from: Knowing when to stick: touch receptors found in the remora adhesive disc

Karly E. Cohen, Brooke E. Flammang, Callie H. Crawford & L. Patricia Hernandez
Remoras are fishes that piggyback onto larger marine fauna via an adhesive disc to increase locomotor efficiency, likelihood of finding mates, and access to prey. Attaching rapidly to a large, fast moving host is no easy task, and while research to date has focused on how the disc supports adhesion, no attention has been paid to how or if remoras are able to sense attachment. We identified push-rod-like mechanoreceptor complexes embedded in the soft lip...

Data from: How much of the world is woody?

Richard G. FitzJohn, Matt W. Pennell, Amy E. Zanne, Peter F. Stevens, David C. Tank, William K. Cornwell & Matthew W. Pennell
1.The question posed by the title of this paper is a basic one, and it is surprising that the answer is not known. Recently assembled trait datasets provide an opportunity to address this, but scaling these datasets to the global scale is challenging because of sampling bias. Although we currently know the growth form of tens of thousands of species, these data are not a random sample of global diversity; some clades are exhaustively characterised,...

Data from: Apparent signal of competition limits diversification after ecological transitions from marine to freshwater habitats

Ricardo Betancur-R., Guillermo Orti, Alexandre P. Marceniuk, Ariel M. Stein, R. Alexander Pyron & R. Alexander Pyron
Adaptive radiations are typically triggered when a lineage encounters a significant range of open niche space (ecological opportunity), stemming from i) colonization of new areas, ii) extinction of competitors, or iii) key innovations. The most well-known of these is the colonization of new areas, either through geographic dispersal or the invasion of a novel ecological habitats. One aspect of ecological opportunity that has rarely been studied, however, is whether the existence of potential competitors may...

Data from: A large-scale phylogeny of Amphibia including over 2800 species, and a revised classification of extant frogs, salamanders, and caecilians

Robert Alexander Pyron, John J. Wiens & R. Alexander Pyron
The extant amphibians are one of the most diverse radiations of terrestrial vertebrates (>6800 species). Despite much recent focus on their conservation, diversification, and systematics, no previous phylogeny for the group has contained more than 522 species. However, numerous studies with limited taxon sampling have generated large amounts of partially overlapping sequence data for many species. Here, we combine these data and produce a novel estimate of extant amphibian phylogeny, containing 2871 species (40% of...

Data from: Integrating phylogenomic and morphological data to assess candidate species-delimitation models in brown and red-bellied snakes (Storeria)

Robert Alexander Pyron, Felisa W. Hsieh, Alan R. Lemmon, Emily M. Lemmon, Catriona R. Hendry & R. Alexander Pyron
Systematics at the species level is still marked by theoretical and empirical tensions amongst the desires to identify geographical lineages, delimit species, and estimate their relationships. These goals are often confounded because each relies, at least to some extent, on the others being known. However, recently developed methods can simultaneously address all three. Furthermore, next-generation genomic sequencing allows us to generate large-scale molecular data sets to examine variation within species at a fine scale. Finally,...

Data from: Predicting community structure in snakes on Eastern Nearctic islands using ecological neutral theory and phylogenetic methods

Frank T. Burbrink, Alexander D. McKelvy, R. Alexander Pyron & Edward A. Myers
Predicting species presence and richness on islands is important for understanding the origins of communities and how likely it is that species will disperse and resist extinction. The equilibrium theory of island biogeography (ETIB) and, as a simple model of sampling abundances, the unified neutral theory of biodiversity (UNTB), predict that in situations where mainland to island migration is high, species-abundance relationships explain the presence of taxa on islands. Thus, more abundant mainland species should...

Data from: Phylogenomic analyses reveal convergent patterns of adaptive evolution in elephant and human ancestries

Morris Goodman, Kirstin N. Sterner, M. Munirul Islam, Monica Uddin, Chet C. Sherwood, Patrick R. Hof, Zhuo-Cheng Hou, Leonard Lipovich, Hui Jia, Lawrence I. Grossman, Derek E. Wildman, D. E. Wildman, L. I. Grossman, C. C. Sherwood, M. Islam, L. Lipovich, H. Jia, P. R. Hof, Z. C. Hou & K. N. Sterner
Specific sets of brain-expressed genes, such as aerobic energy metabolism genes, evolved adaptively in the ancestry of humans and may have evolved adaptively in the ancestry of other large-brained mammals. The recent addition of genomes from two afrotherians (elephant and tenrec) to the expanding set of publically available sequenced mammalian genomes provided an opportunity to test this hypothesis. Elephants resemble humans by having large brains and long life spans; tenrecs, in contrast, have small brains...

Data from: Diagnostic value of transthoracic echocardiography in patients with coarctation of aorta: the Chinese experience in 53 patients studied between 2008 and 2012 in one major medical center

Zhenxing Sun, Tsung O. Cheng, Ling Li, Li Zhang, Xinfang Wang, Nianguo Dong, Qing Lv, Ke Li, Li Yuan, Jing Wang & Mingxing Xie
Although aortography is well known as the “gold standard” for the diagnosis of coarctation of aorta (CoA), the method is invasive, expensive and not readily accepted by some patients. Ultrasound diagnosis for CoA is non-invasive, inexpensive, readily accepted by every patient, and can be repeated as frequently as necessary. The purpose of this presentation is to evaluate the applicability of transthoracic echocardiography for the diagnosis of CoA. The echocardiographic appearances of 53 patients with CoA...

Data from: Divergence time estimation using fossils as terminal taxa and the origins of Lissamphibia

Robert Alexander Pyron, Robert Alexander Pyron & R. Alexander Pyron
Were molecular data available for extinct taxa, questions regarding the origins of many groups could be settled in short order. As this is not the case, various strategies have been proposed to combine paleontological and neontological datasets. The use of fossil dates as node age calibrations for divergence time estimation from molecular phylogenies is commonplace. In addition, simulations suggest that the addition of morphological data from extinct taxa may improve phylogenetic estimation when combined with...

Data from: An evaluation of fossil tip-dating versus node-age calibrations in tetraodontiform fishes (Teleostei: Percomorphaceae)

Dahiana Arcila, R. Alexander Pyron, James C. Tyler, Guillermo Ortí, Ricardo Betancur-R. & R. Alexander Pyron
Time-calibrated phylogenies based on molecular data provide a framework for comparative studies. Calibration methods to combine fossil information with molecular phylogenies are, however, under active development, often generating disagreement about the best way to incorporate paleontological data into these analyses. This study provides an empirical comparison of the most widely used approach based on node-dating priors for relaxed clocks implemented in the programs BEAST and MrBayes, with two recently proposed improvements: one using a new...

Data from: Effectiveness of phylogenomic data and coalescent species-tree methods for resolving difficult nodes in the phylogeny of advanced snakes (Serpentes: Caenophidia)

R. Alexander Pyron, Catriona R. Hendry, Vincent M. Chou, Emily M. Lemmon, Alan R. Lemmon & Frank T. Burbrink
Next-generation genomic sequencing promises to quickly and cheaply resolve remaining contentious nodes in the Tree of Life, and facilitates species-tree estimation while taking into account stochastic genealogical discordance among loci. Recent methods for estimating species trees bypass full likelihood-based estimates of the multi-species coalescent, and approximate the true species-tree using simpler summary metrics. These methods converge on the true species-tree with sufficient genomic sampling, even in the anomaly zone. However, no studies have yet evaluated...

Data from: Ecological fidelity of functional traits based on species presence-absence in a modern mammalian bone assemblage (Amboseli, Kenya)

Joshua H. Miller, Anna Kay Behrensmeyer, Andrew Du, S. Kathleen Lyons, David Patterson, Anikó Tóth, Amelia Villaseñor, Erustus Kanga, Denné Reed & Anna K. Behrensmeyer
Comparisons between modern death assemblages and their source communities have demonstrated fidelity to species diversity across a variety of environments and taxonomic groups. However, differential species preservation and collection (including body-size bias) in both modern and fossil death assemblages may still skew the representation of other important ecological characteristics. Here, we move beyond live-dead taxonomic fidelity and focus on the recovery of functional ecology (how species interact with their ecosystem) at the community level for...

Data from: Molecular evidence for the monophyly of flatfishes (Carangimorpharia: Pleuronectiformes)

Ricardo Betancur-R. & Guillermo Ortí
Proliferation of phylogenetic studies based on poor taxonomic sampling or insufficient molecular evidence usually leads to conflicting results. As a consequence, advancement of systematic knowledge yields to confusion. The problem is exacerbated for taxonomic groups with historically difficult resolution of evolutionary relationships such as the flatfishes. Molecular evidence to support monophyly for this emblematic group of fishes and their interrelationships has been elusive, and a recent paper published in this journal went as far as...

Data from: The emergence of the lobsters: phylogenetic relationships, morphological evolution and divergence time comparisons of an ancient group (Decapoda: Achelata, Astacidea, Glypheidea, Polychelida)

Heather D. Bracken-Grissom, Shane T. Ahyong, Richard D. Wilkinson, Rodney M. Felmann, Carrie E. Schweitzer, Jesse W. Breinholt, Matthew Bendall, Ferran Palero, Tin-Yam Chan, Darryl L. Felder, Rafael Robles, Ka-Hou Chu, Ling-Ming Tsang, Dohyup Kim, Joel W. Martin, Keith A. Crandall & Rodney M. Feldmann
Lobsters are a ubiquitous and economically important group of decapod crustaceans that includes the infraorders Polychelida, Glypheidea, Astacidea and Achelata. They include familiar forms such as the spiny, slipper, clawed lobsters and crayfish and unfamiliar forms such as the deep-sea and “living fossil” species. The high degree of morphological diversity among these infraorders has led to a dynamic classification and conflicting hypotheses of evolutionary relationships. In this study, we estimated phylogenetic relationships amongst the major...

Data from: The tree of life and a new classification of bony fishes

Ricardo Betancur-R., Adela Roa-Varon, Nancy I. Holcroft, W. Calvin Borden, Terry Grande, Kent Carpenter, Millicent Sanciangco, Chenhong Li, Dahiana Arcila, Jesus A Ballesteros, Guillermo Ortí, J. Andrés López, Matthew A. Campbell, Edward O. Wiley, Gloria Arratia, Guoqing Lu, Stuart Willis, Richard E. Broughton, Cureton II, James C, Feifei Zhang & Daniel J. Hough
The tree of life of fishes is in a state of flux because we still lack a comprehensive phylogeny that includes all major groups. The situation is most critical for a large clade of spiny-finned fishes, traditionally referred to as percomorphs, whose uncertain relationships have plagued ichthyologists for over a century. Most of what we know about the higher-level relationships among fish lineages has been based on morphology, but rapid influx of molecular studies is...

Data from: Multi-locus phylogenetic analysis reveals the pattern and tempo of bony fish evolution

Richard E. Broughton, Ricardo Betancur-R., Chenhong Li, Gloria Arratia & Guillermo Orti
Over half of all vertebrates are “fishes”, which exhibit enormous diversity in morphology, physiology, behavior, reproductive biology, and ecology. Investigation of fundamental areas of vertebrate biology depend critically on a robust phylogeny of fishes, yet evolutionary relationships among the major actinopterygian and sarcopterygian lineages have not been conclusively resolved. Although a consensus phylogeny of teleosts has been emerging recently, it has been based on analyses of various subsets of actinopterygian taxa, but not on a...

Data from: Characterization of human cortical gene expression in relation to glucose utilization.

Kirstin N. Sterner, Michael R. McGowen, Harry T. Chugani, Adi L. Tarca, Chet C. Sherwood, Patrick R. Hof, Christopher W. Kuzawa, Amy M. Boddy, Ryan L. Raaum, Amy Weckle, Leonard Lipovich, Lawrence I. Grossman, Monica Uddin, Morris Goodman & Derek E. Wildman
Objectives: Human brain development follows a unique pattern characterized by a prolonged period of postnatal growth and reorganization, and a postnatal peak in glucose utilization. The molecular processes underlying these developmental changes are poorly characterized. The objectives of this study were to determine developmental trajectories of gene expression and to examine the evolutionary history of genes differentially expressed as a function of age. Methods: We used microarrays to determine age-related patterns of mRNA expression in...

Data from: Addressing gene tree discordance and non-stationarity to resolve a multi-locus phylogeny of the flatfishes (Teleostei: Pleuronectiformes)

Ricardo Betancur-R., Chenhong Li, Thomas A. Munroe, Jesus A. Ballesteros & Guillermo Ortí
Non-homogeneous processes and, in particular, base compositional non-stationarity have long been recognized as a critical source of systematic error. But only a small fraction of current molecular systematic studies methodically examine and effectively account for the potentially confounding effect of non-stationarity. The problem is especially overlooked in multi-locus or phylogenomic scale analyses, in part because no efficient tools exist to accommodate base composition heterogeneity in large data sets. We present a detailed analysis of a...

Data from: Pattern and process in hominin brain size evolution are scale-dependent

Andrew Du, Andrew M. Zipkin, Kevin G. Hatala, Elizabeth Renner, Jennifer L. Baker, Serena Bianchi, Kallista H. Bernal & Bernard A. Wood
A large brain is a defining feature of modern humans, yet there is no consensus regarding the patterns, rates, and processes involved in hominin brain size evolution. We use a reliable proxy for brain size in fossils, endocranial volume (ECV), to better understand how brain size evolved at both clade- and lineage-level scales. For the hominin clade overall, the dominant signal is consistent with a gradual increase in brain size. This gradual trend appears to...

Data from: Phylogenetic evidence from freshwater crayfishes that cave adaptation is not an evolutionary dead-end

David Ben Stern, Jesse Breinholt, Carlos Pedraza-Lara, Marilú López-Mejía, Christopher L. Owen, Heather Bracken-Grissom, Fetzner Jr., James W., Keith A. Crandall, David B. Stern & James W. Fetzner
Caves are perceived as isolated, extreme habitats with a set of uniquely specialized biota, which long ago led to the idea that caves are ‘evolutionary dead-ends.’ This suggests that cave-adapted taxa may be doomed for extinction before they can diversify or transition to a more stable state. However, this hypothesis has not been explicitly tested in a phylogenetic framework with multiple independent cave-dwelling groups. Here we use the freshwater crayfish, a group with dozens of...

Data from: Limited evidence for third party affiliation during development in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii)

Jordan A. Miller, Margaret A. Stanton, Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf, Kaitlin R. Wellens, A. Catherine Markham & Carson M. Murray
Examining the ontogeny of conflict-mitigating behaviors in our closest living relatives is an important component of understanding the evolutionary origins of cooperation in our species. In this study, we used 26 years of data to investigate the emergence of third party affiliation (TPA), defined as affiliative contact given to recipients of aggression by uninvolved bystanders (regardless of initiation), in wild immature eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) of Gombe National Park, Tanzania. We also characterized TPA...

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