21 Works

Data from: The Victoria West: earliest prepared core technology in the Acheulean at Canteen Kopje and implications for the cognitive evolution of early hominids

Hao Li, Kathleen Kuman, Matt G. Lotter, George M. Leader & Ryan J. Gibbon
Prepared core technology illustrates in-depth planning and the presence of a mental template during the core reduction process. This technology is, therefore, a significant indicator in studying the evolution of abstract thought and the cognitive abilities of hominids. Here, we report on Victoria West cores excavated from the Canteen Kopje site in central South Africa, with a preliminary age estimate of approximately 1 Ma (million years ago) for these cores. Technological analysis shows that the...

Data from: Friends and Family: a software program for identification of unrelated individuals from molecular marker data. And from: Genetic diversity, relatedness and inbreeding of ranched and fragmented Cape buffalo populations in southern Africa

Deon De Jager, Petrus Swarts, Cindy Harper & Paulette Bloomer
The identification of related and unrelated individuals from molecular marker data is often difficult, particularly when no pedigree information is available and the data set is large. High levels of relatedness or inbreeding can influence genotype frequencies and thus genetic marker evaluation, as well as the accurate inference of hidden genetic structure. Identification of related and unrelated individuals is also important in breeding programmes, to inform decisions about breeding pairs and translocations. We present Friends...

Data from: First circumglobal assessment of Southern Hemisphere humpback whale mitochondrial genetic variation and implications for management

Howard C. Rosenbaum, Francine Kershaw, Martin Mendez, Cristina Pomilla, Matthew S. Leslie, Ken P. Findlay, Peter B. Best, Timothy Collins, Michel Vely, Marcia H. Engel, Robert Baldwin, Gianna Minton, Michael Meyer, Lillian Florez-Gonzalez, M. Michael Poole, Nan Hauser, Claire Garrigue, Muriel Brasseur, John Bannister, Megan Anderson, Carlos Olavarria & C. Scott Baker
The description of genetic population structure over a species’ geographic range can provide insights into its evolutionary history and also support effective management efforts. Assessments for globally distributed species are rare, however, requiring significant international coordination and collaboration. The global distribution of demographically discrete populations for the humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae is not fully known, hampering the definition of appropriate management units. Here, we present the first circumglobal assessment of mitochondrial genetic population structure across...

Data from: Habitat attributes similarities reduce impacts of land-use conversion on seed removal

Ananza M. Rabello, Catherine L. Parr, Antônio C.M. Queiroz, Danielle L. Braga, Graziele S. Santiago & Carla R. Ribas
Changes in land use strongly influence habitat attributes (e.g., herbaceous ground cover and tree richness) and can consequently affect ecological functions. Most studies have focused on the response of these ecological functions to land-use changes within only a single vegetation type. These studies have often focused solely on agricultural conversion of forests, making it nearly impossible to draw general conclusions across other vegetation types or with other land use changes (e.g., afforestation). We examined the...

Data from: Genetic responsiveness of African buffalo to environmental stressors: a role for epigenetics in balancing autosomal and sex chromosome interactions?

Pim Van Hooft, Eric R. Dougherty, Wayne M. Getz, Barend J. Greyling, Bas J. Zwaan, Armanda D.S. Bastos & Armanda D. S. Bastos
In the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) population of the Kruger National Park (South Africa) a primary sex-ratio distorter and a primary sex-ratio suppressor have been shown to occur on the Y chromosome. A subsequent autosomal microsatellite study indicated that two types of deleterious alleles with a negative effect on male body condition, but a positive effect on relative fitness when averaged across sexes and generations, occur genome-wide and at high frequencies in the same population....

Data from: Diurnal body temperature patterns in free-ranging populations of two southern African arid-zone nightjars

Ryan S. O'Connor, R. Mark Brigham & Andrew E. McKechnie
Endotherms allocate large amounts of energy and water to the regulation of a precise body temperature (Tb), but can potentially reduce thermoregulatory costs by allowing Tb to deviate from normothermic levels. Many data on heterothermy at low air temperatures (Ta) exist for caprimulgids, whereas data on thermoregulation at high Ta are largely absent, despite members of this taxon frequently roosting and nesting in sites exposed to high operative temperatures. We investigated thermoregulation in free-ranging Rufous-cheeked...

Data from: Climate change leads to increasing population density and impacts of a key island invader

Greg T.W. McClelland, Res Altwegg, Rudi J. Van Aarde, Sam Ferreira, Alan E. Burger, Steven L. Chown & Gregory T. W. McClelland
The considerable threats of invasive rodents to island biodiversity are likely to be compounded by climate change. Forecasts for such interactions have been most pronounced for the Southern Ocean islands where ameliorating conditions are expected to decrease thermal and resource restrictions on rodents. Firm evidence for changing rodent populations in response to climate change, and demonstrations of associated impacts on the terrestrial environment, are nonetheless entirely absent for the region. Using data collected over three...

Data from: Kinship and association in a highly social apex predator population, killer whales at Marion Island

Ryan R. Reisinger, , A. Rus Hoelzel & P. J. Nico De Bruyn
Social structure is a core element of population biology, influenced by intrinsic and environmental factors. Intra-taxon comparisons of social organization are useful in elucidating the role of such ecological determinants of sociality. Killer whales Orcinus orca are widely distributed, social delphinids with diverse morphology, diet, behaviour, and genetics, but few studies have quantitatively examined social structure in this species. We used 7 years of individual identification data on killer whales at Marion Island, Southern Ocean,...

Data from: Exploring the phylogeography of a hexaploid freshwater fish by RAD sequencing

Cora Sabriel Stobie, Carel J. Oosthuizen, Michael J. Cunningham & Paulette Bloomer
The KwaZulu-Natal yellowfish (Labeobarbus natalensis) is an abundant cyprinid, endemic to KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. In this study we developed a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) dataset from double-digest Restriction-site Associated DNA (ddRAD) sequencing of samples across the distribution. We addressed several hidden challenges, primarily focussing on proper filtering of RAD data and selecting optimal parameters for data processing in polyploid lineages. We used the resulting high-quality SNP dataset to investigate the population genetic structure of...

Data from: Evolution of sociality in spiders leads to depleted genomic diversity at both population and species level

Virginia Settepani, Mads F. Schou, Michelle Greve, Lena Grinsted, Jesper Bechsgaard & Trine Bilde
Across several animal taxa, the evolution of sociality involves a suite of characteristics, a ‘social syndrome’, that includes cooperative breeding, reproductive skew, primary female biased sex-ratio, and the transition from outcrossing to inbreeding mating system, factors that are expected to reduce effective population size (Ne). This social syndrome may be favoured by short-term benefits but come with long-term costs, because the reduction in Ne amplifies loss of genetic diversity by genetic drift, ultimately restricting the...

Data from: Vulnerability mapping as a tool to manage the environmental impacts of oil and gas extraction

Surina Esterhuyse, Frank Sokolic, Nola Redelinghuys, Marinda Avenant, Andrzej Kijko, Jan Glazewski, Lisa Plit, Marthie Kemp, Ansie Smit, A. Tascha Vos & Michael J. Von Maltitz
Various biophysical and socio-economic impacts may be associated with unconventional oil and gas (UOG) extraction. A vulnerability map may assist governments during environmental assessments, spatial planning and the regulation of UOG extraction, as well as decision-making around UOG extraction in fragile areas. A regional interactive vulnerability map was developed for UOG extraction in South Africa. This map covers groundwater, surface water, vegetation, socio-economics and seismicity as mapping themes, based on impacts that may emanate from...

Data from: Meerkat close calling patterns are linked to sex, social category, season and wind, but not fecal glucocorticoid metabolite concentrations

Jelena Mausbach, Ines Braga Goncalves, Michael Heistermann, André Ganswindt & Marta B. Manser
It is well established that animal vocalizations can encode information regarding a sender’s identity, sex, age, body size, social rank and group membership. However, the association between physiological parameters, particularly stress hormone levels, and vocal behavior is still not well understood. The cooperatively breeding African meerkats (Suricata suricatta) live in family groups with despotic social hierarchies. During foraging, individuals emit close calls that help maintain group cohesion. These contact calls are acoustically distinctive and variable...

Data from: The distribution and numbers of cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) in southern Africa

Florian J. Weise, Varsha Vijay, Andrew P. Jacobson, Rebecca F. Schoonover, Rosemary J. Groom, Jane Horgan, Derek Keeping, Rebecca Klein, Kelly Marnewick, Glyn Maude, Jorg Melzheimer, Gus Mills, Vincent Van Der Merwe, Esther Van Der Meer, Rudie J. Van Vuuren, Bettina Wacher, Stuart L. Pimm & Bettina Wachter
Assessing the numbers and distribution of threatened species is a central challenge in conservation, often made difficult because the species of concern are rare and elusive. For some predators, this may be compounded by their being sparsely distributed over large areas. Such is the case with the cheetah Acinonyx jubatus. The IUCN Red List process solicits comments, is democratic, transparent, widely-used, and has recently assessed the species. Here, we present additional methods to that process...

Data from: Continent-level drivers of African pyrodiversity

Gareth P. Hempson, Catherine L. Parr, Sally Archibald, T. Michael Anderson, Colin J. Courtney Mustaphi, Andrew P. Dobson, Jason E. Donaldson, Thomas A. Morrison, James Probert & Colin M. Beale
Pyrodiversity, which describes fire variability over space and time, is believed to increase habitat heterogeneity and thereby promote biodiversity. However, to date there is no standardised metric for quantifying pyrodiversity, and so broad geographic patterns and drivers of pyrodiversity remain unexplored. We present the first generalizable method to quantify pyrodiversity, and use it to address the fundamental questions of what drives pyrodiversity, which fire attributes constrain pyrodiversity under different conditions, and whether pyrodiversity is spatial...

Data from: Genetic divergence between two phenotypically distinct bottlenose dolphin ecotypes suggests separate evolutionary trajectories

Pedro F. Fruet, Eduardo R. Secchi, Juliana C. Di Tullio, Paulo C. Simões-Lopes, Fábio Daura-Jorge, Ana Paula B. Costa, Els Vermeulen, Paulo André C. Flores, Rodrigo C. Genoves, Paula Laporta, Luciano B. Beheregaray & Luciana M. Möller
Due to their worldwide distribution and occupancy of different types of environments, bottlenose dolphins display considerable morphological variation. Despite limited understanding about the taxonomic identity of such forms and connectivity among them at global scale, coastal (or inshore) and offshore (or oceanic) ecotypes have been widely recognized in several ocean regions. In the Southwest Atlantic Ocean (SWA), however, there are scarce records of bottlenose dolphins differing in external morphology according to habitat preferences that resemble...

Data from: Thermoregulation in free-ranging ground woodpeckers Geocolaptes olivaceus: no evidence of torpor

Ryno Kemp, Matthew J. Noakes & Andrew E. McKechnie
Heterothermic responses characterised by pronounced hypometabolism and reductions in body temperature (Tb) are one of the most effective ways in which small endotherms can offset the energetic cost of endothermic homeothermy. It remains unclear, therefore, why daily torpor and hibernation are restricted to only a subset of avian lineages. To further our understanding of the phylogenetic distribution of avian torpor, we investigated winter thermoregulation in the Southern African ground woodpecker (Geocolaptes olivaceus). We considered this...

Data from: Phenotypic selection and covariation in the life‐history traits of elephant seals: heavier offspring gain a double selective advantage

W. Chris Oosthuizen, Res Altwegg, Marie Nevoux, Marthán N. Bester, P.J. Nico De Bruyn & P. J. Nico De Bruyn
Early developmental conditions contribute to individual heterogeneity of both phenotypic traits and fitness components, ultimately affecting population dynamics. Although the demographic consequences of ontogenic growth are best quantified using an integrated measure of fitness, most analyses to date have instead studied individual fitness components in isolation. Here, wWe estimated phenotypic selection on weaning mass in female southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) by analyzing individual-based data collected between 1986 and 2016 with capture-recapture and matrix projection...

Data from: Prediction and attenuation of seasonal spillover of parasites between wild and domestic ungulates in an arid mixed-use system

Josephine G. Walker, Kate E. Evans, Hannah Rose Vineer, Jan A. Van Wyk & Eric R. Morgan
1.Transmission of parasites between host species affects host population dynamics, interspecific competition, and ecosystem structure and function. In areas where wild and domestic herbivores share grazing land, management of parasites in livestock may affect or be affected by sympatric wildlife due to cross-species transmission. 2.We develop a novel method for simulating transmission potential based on both biotic and abiotic factors in a semi-arid system in Botswana. Optimal timing of antiparasitic treatment in livestock is then...

Data from: Drought-induced starvation of aardvarks in the Kalahari: an indirect effect of climate change

Benjamin Rey, Andrea Fuller, Duncan Mitchell, Leith C.R. Meyer, Robyn S. Hetem & Leith C. R. Meyer
Aardvarks (Orycteropus afer) are elusive burrowing mammals, predominantly nocturnal and distributed widely throughout Africa except for arid deserts. Their survival may be threatened by climate change via direct and indirect effects of increasing heat and aridity. To measure their current physiological plasticity, we implanted biologgers into six adult aardvarks resident in the semi-arid Kalahari. Following a particularly dry and hot summer, five of the study aardvarks and 11 other aardvarks at the study site died....

Data from: An assessment of tree availability as a possible cause of population declines in scavenging raptors

Corinne J. Kendall, Daniel I. Rubenstein, Pamela L. Slater & Ara Monadjem
Lack of suitable nesting trees is an increasingly common issue for avian conservation given rampant habitat and tree destruction around the world. In the African savannah, habitat loss and particularly tree damage caused by elephants have been suggested as possible factors in the decline of large bird species. Given the recent declines of vultures and other scavenging raptors, it is critical to understand if nest availability is a limiting factor for these threatened populations. Loss...

Data from: Effects of macronutrient intake on the lifespan and fecundity of the marula fruit fly, Ceratitis cosyra (Tephritidae): extreme lifespan in a host specialist.

Kevin Malod, C. Ruth Archer, John Hunt, Susan W. Nicolson & Christopher W. Weldon
In insects, lifespan and reproduction are strongly associated with nutrition. The ratio and amount of nutrients individuals consume affects their life expectancy and reproductive investment. The geometric framework (GF) enables us to explore how animals regulate their intake of multiple nutrients simultaneously and determine how these nutrients interact to affect life history traits of interest. Studies using the GF on host-generalist tephritid flies have highlighted trade-offs between longevity and reproductive effort in females, mediated by...

Registration Year

  • 2017

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • University of Pretoria
  • University of Cape Town
  • University of the Witwatersrand
  • Princeton University
  • University of Liverpool
  • Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology
  • Southern Cross University
  • University of the Free State
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Columbia University