Parents of many species care for their offspring by protecting them from a wide range of environmental hazards, including desiccation, food shortages, predators, competitors, and parasites and pathogens. Currently, little is known about the mechanisms and fitness consequences of parental defenses against bacterial pathogens and competitors. Here we combine approaches from microbiology and behavioural ecology to investigate the role and mechanistic basis of antibacterial secretions applied to carcasses by parents of the burying beetle Nicrophorus...
Data from: Finite element modelling vs. classic beam theory: comparing methods for stress estimation in a morphologically diverse sample of vertebrate long bonesCharlotte A. Brassey, Lee Margetts, Andrew C. Kitchener, Philip J. Withers, Phillip L. Manning & William I. Sellers
Classic beam theory is frequently employed in biomechanics to model the stress behaviour of vertebrate long bones, particularly when creating intraspecific scaling models. Although methodologically straightforward, classic beam theory requires complex irregular bones to be approximated as slender beams, and the errors associated with simplifying complex organic structures to such an extent are unknown. Alternative approaches, such as Finite Element Analysis (FEA), whilst much more time-consuming to perform, require no such assumptions. This paper compares...
The relationship between morphometrics and phylogenetic analysis has long been controversial. Here we propose an approach that is based on mapping morphometric traits onto phylogenies derived from other data and thus avoids the pitfalls encountered by previous studies. This method treats shape as a single, multidimensional character. We propose a test for the presence of a phylogenetic signal in morphometric data, which simulates the null hypothesis of the complete absence of phylogenetic structure by permutation...
Shared behavioural, morphological and physiological characteristics are indicative of the evolution of extant birds from non-avian maniraptoran dinosaurs. One such shared character is the presence of uncinate processes; respiratory structures in extant birds. Recent research has suggested a respiratory role for these processes found in oviraptorid and dromaeosaurid dinosaurs. By measuring the geometry of fossil rib cage morphology we demonstrate that the mechanical advantage, conferred by uncinate processes, for movements of the ribs in the...
Colour variation in the peppered moth Biston betularia was long accepted to be under strong natural selection. Melanics were believed to be fitter than pale morphs because of lower predation at daytime resting sites on dark, sooty bark. Melanics became common during the industrial revolution, but since 1970 there has been a rapid reversal, assumed to have been caused by predators selecting against melanics resting on today's less sooty bark. Recently, these classical explanations of...
Data from: Locomotory abilities and habitat of the Cretaceous bird Gansus yumenensis inferred from limb length proportionsRobert L. Nudds, Jessie Atterholt, Xia Wang, H. L. You, Gareth J. Dyke & H.-L. You
The relative length proportions of the three bony elements of the pelvic (femur, tibiotarsus and tarsometatarsus) and pectoral (humerus, ulna and manus) limbs of the early Cretaceous bird Gansus yumenensis, a well-represented basal ornithuromorph from China are investigated and compared to those of extant taxa. Ternary plots show that the pectoral limb length proportions of Gansus are most similar to Apodiformes (swifts and hummingbirds), which plot away from all other extant birds. In contrast, the...
Data from: Change and stability in a steep morph-frequency cline in the snail Cepaea nemoralis (L.) over 43 years.Robert A. D. Cameron, Laurence M. Cook & Jeremy J. D. Greenwood
Populations of the polymorphic land snail Cepaea nemoralis (L.) from Deepdale, Derbyshire, UK, sampled in 1965-67, showed a pattern of area effects, with steep clines among groups of populations differing in shell colour and banding morph frequencies. In 2010 most of these populations were resampled. In particular a continuous transect made in 1967 of 42 18.34m x 18.34m quadrats across a steep cline in several morph frequencies was completely resampled. In the dale as a...
University of Manchester7
Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology1
University of Pennsylvania1
National Museums Scotland1
University of Edinburgh1
University of Southampton1
French National Centre for Scientific Research1
University College London1
University of St Andrews1
College of William & Mary1