Positive selection causes beneficial alleles to rise to high frequency, resulting in a selective sweep of the diversity surrounding the selected sites. Accordingly, the signature of a selective sweep in an ancestral population may still remain in its descendants. Identifying signatures of selection in the ancestor that are shared among its descendants is important to contextualize the timing of a sweep, but few methods exist for this purpose. We introduce the statistic SS-H12, which can...
Data from: Female zebra finches prefer the songs of males who quickly solve a novel foraging task to the songs of males unable to solve the taskClara Howell, Rindy Anderson & Elizabeth Derryberry
Correlative evidence suggests that high problem-solving and foraging abilities in a mate are associated with direct fitness advantages, so it would benefit females to prefer problem-solving males. Recent work has also shown that females of several bird species who directly observe males prefer those that can solve a novel foraging task over those that cannot. In addition to or instead of direct observation of cognitive skills, many species utilize assessment signals when choosing a mate....
As avian reproductive success is generally prey limited, identifying important prey types or sizes, and understanding mechanisms governing prey availability are important objectives for avian conservation ecology. Irruptive White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) nesting at coastal colonies in the southern Everglades numbered over 100,000 nests in the 1930s. A century of drainage and altered hydrologic patterns reduced aquatic prey availability and eliminated large nesting events; nesting activity in recent decades has been typically <5% of historical...
Data from: The extension of internal humidity levels beyond the soil surface facilitates mound expansion in MacrotermesDaniel S. Calovi, Paul Bardunias, Nicole Carey, Rupert Soar, Scott Turner, Radhika Nagpal & Justin Werfel
Termites in the genus Macrotermes construct large-scale soil mounds above their nests. The classic explanation for how termites coordinate their labour to build the mound, based on a putative cement pheromone, has recently been called into question. Here we present evidence for an alternate interpretation based on sensing humidity. The high humidity characteristic of the mound internal environment extends a short distance into the low-humidity external world, in a “bubble” that can be disrupted by...
Likelihood-based tests of phylogenetic trees are a foundation of modern systematics, and examples of such tests are among the most widely-referenced scientific literature of all time. Over the past decade, an enormous wealth and diversity of model-based approaches have been developed for phylogenetic inference of both gene trees and species trees. However, while many techniques exist for conducting formal likelihood-based tests of gene trees, such frameworks are comparatively underdeveloped and underutilized for testing species-level hypotheses....
Developmental changes in bone mechanics from Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris), obligate swimming mammalsDanielle Ingle
Mammals living in aquatic environments load their axial skeletons differently than their terrestrial counterparts. The structure and mechanical behavior of trabecular bone can be especially indicative of varying habitual forces. Here, we investigate vertebral trabecular bone mechanical properties (yield strength, stiffness, and toughness) throughout development in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris), obligate undulatory swimmers. Thoracic, lumbar, and caudal vertebrae were dissected from manatees (N=20) during necropsies. We extracted 6 mm3 samples from vertebral bodies and...
The nests built by social insects are complex group-level structures that emerge from interactions among individuals following simple behavioral rules. Nest patterns vary among species, and the theory of complex systems predicts that there is no simple one-to-one relationship between variations in collective patterns and variation in individual behaviors. Therefore, a species-by-species comparison of the actual building process is essential to understand the mechanism producing diverse nest patterns. Here we compare tunnel formation of three...
Recent research shows that introgression between closely-related species is an important source of adaptive alleles for a wide range of taxa. Typically, detection of adaptive introgression from genomic data relies on comparative analyses that require sequence data from both the recipient and the donor species. However, in many cases, the donor is unknown or the data is not currently available. Here, we introduce a genome-scan method---VolcanoFinder---to detect recent events of adaptive introgression using polymorphism data...
Sharks vary greatly in morphology, physiology, and ecology. Differences in whole body shape, swimming style, and physiological parameters have previously been linked to varied habitat uses. Along with whole body morphology, shark pectoral fins are also previously described to vary in both shape and skeleton; however, there are limited comparative data on external and skeletal morphology. Further, fins were previously categorized into two discrete groups based on the amount of skeletal support present: (1) aplesodic,...
Recent research in mammals supports a link between cognitive ability and the gut microbiome, but little is known about this relationship in other taxa. In a captive population of 38 Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata), we quantified performance on cognitive tasks measuring learning and memory. We sampled the gut microbiome via cloacal swab and quantified bacterial alpha and beta diversity. Performance on cognitive tasks related to beta diversity but not alpha diversity. We then identified differentially...
Florida Atlantic University11
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