9 Works

Kin do not always help: testing multiple hypotheses on nest feeding in a cooperatively breeding bird

Laurence Cousseau, Laurence Cousseau, Dries Van De Loock, Beate Apfelbeck, Mwangi Githiru, Erik Matthysen & Luc Lens
In cooperatively breeding species, group members may derive multiple benefits from helping to raise other individuals’ offspring, yet not all individuals do so. In this study, we tested several hypotheses to explain why group members feed offspring of breeding placid greenbuls (Phyllastrephus placidus). In accordance with the kin selection hypothesis, all helpers were first-order kin of the breeding female and the presence of helpers was associated with increased survival of the breeding pair. However, the...

Data from: Group-specific expressions of co-feeding tolerance in bonobos and chimpanzees preclude dichotomous species generalizations

Edwin J. C. Van Leeuwen, Nicky Staes, Stephanie Kordon, Jake Brooker, Suska Nolte, Zanna Clay, Marcel Eens & Jeroen M. G. Stevens
The human species exhibits a remarkable level of social tolerance which has propelled a plethora of behavioural expressions pivotal to our biological success. To date, the evolutionary origins of humans’ “ultra-sociality” remain unclear, despite a substantial research focus on our closest living evolutionary relatives, the great apes. Bonobos are typically portrayed as more socially tolerant than chimpanzees and consequentially (sometimes) presented as a better model to study the evolutionary roots of human sociality. Yet, the...

Keels of boxfish carapaces strongly improve stabilisation against roll

Sam Van Wassenbergh, Van Gorp Merel, Jana Goyens & Michael Alfaro
Boxfish (Ostraciidae) have peculiar body shapes with conspicuous keels formed by their bony carapace. Previous studies have proposed various hydrodynamic roles for these keels including: reducing drag during swimming, contributing to passive stabilisation of the swimming course, or providing resistance against roll rotations. Here, we tested these hypotheses using computational fluid dynamics simulations of five species of Ostraciidae with a range of carapace shapes. The hydrodynamic performance of the original carapace surface models, obtained from...

Cranial kinesis facilitates quick retraction of stuck woodpecker beaks

Sam Van Wassenbergh, Tim Andries, Evy Pauly & Anick Abourachid
Much like nails that are hammered into wood, the beaks of woodpeckers regularly get stuck upon impact. A kinematic video analysis of pecking by black woodpeckers shows how they manage to quickly withdraw their beaks, revealing a two-phase pattern: first a few degrees of nose-down rotation about the nasofrontal hinge causes the tip of the upper beak to be retruded while its proximal end is lifted. Next, the head is lifted, causing nose-up rotation about...

Three-dimensional movement of the beak during seed processing in domestic canaries

Maja Mielke & Sam Van Wassenbergh
Many songbird species rely on seeds as a primary food source and the process of picking up, positioning, cracking, dehusking, and swallowing seeds is one of the most sophisticated tasks of the beak. Still, we lack understanding about how granivorous songbirds move their beak during the different phases of seed processing. In this study, we used multi-view high speed imaging to analyze the three-dimensional movement of the beak in feeding domestic canaries. Our analysis focuses...

Unravelling the role of thyroid hormones in seasonal neuroplasticity in European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

Jasmien Ellen Maria Jozef Orije, Sander R. Raymaekers, Gaurav Majumdar, Geert De Groof, Elisabeth Jonckers, Gregory F. Ball, Marleen Verhoye, Veerle M. Darras & Annemie Van Der Linden
Thyroid hormones clearly play a role in the seasonal regulation of reproduction, but any role they might play in song behavior and the associated seasonal neuroplasticity in songbirds remains to be elucidated. To pursue this question, we first established seasonal patterns in the expression of thyroid hormone regulating genes in male European starlings employing in situ hybridization methods. Thyroid hormone transporter LAT1 expression in the song nucleus HVC was elevated during the photosensitive phase, pointing...

Sizing up DNA nanostructure assembly with native mass spectrometry and ion mobility

Jeroen F. Van Dyck, Jonathan R. Burns, Kyle Le Huray, Albert Konijnenberg, Stefan Howorka & Frank Sobott

Historical museum samples enable the examination of divergent and parallel evolution during invasion

Katarina Stuart, William Sherwin, Jeremy Austin, Melissa Bateson, Marcel Eens, Matthew Brandley & Lee Rollins
During the Anthropocene, Earth has experienced unprecedented habitat loss, native species decline, and global climate change. Concurrently, greater globalisation is facilitating species movement, increasing the likelihood of alien species establishment and propagation. There is a great need to understand what influences a species’ ability to persist or perish within a new or changing environment. Examining genes that may be associated with a species’ invasion success or persistence informs invasive species management, assists with native species...

No relationship between chronotype and timing of breeding when variation in daily activity patterns across the breeding season is taken into account

Marjolein Meijdam, Wendt Müller, Bert Thys & Marcel Eens
There is increasing evidence that individuals are consistent in the timing of their daily activities, and that individual variation in temporal behaviour is related to the timing of reproduction. However, it remains unclear whether observed patterns relate to the timing of the onset of activity or whether an early onset of activity extends the time that is available for foraging. This may then again facilitate reproduction. Furthermore, the timing of activity onset and offset may...

Registration Year

  • 2022

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • University of Antwerp
  • University of Adelaide
  • Ghent University
  • Newcastle University
  • Durham University
  • University of Leeds
  • University College London
  • UNSW Sydney
  • University of California Los Angeles
  • University of Maryland, College Park