66 Works

Data from: Efficient inference of recombination hot regions in bacterial genomes

Koji Yahara, Xavier Didelot, M Azim. Ansari, Samuel K. Sheppard & Daniel Falush
In eukaryotes, detailed surveys of recombination rates have shown variation at multiple genomic scales and the presence of “hotspots” of highly elevated recombination. In bacteria, studies of recombination rate variation are less developed, in part because there are few analysis methods that take into account the clonal context within which bacterial evolution occurs. Here we focus in particular on identifying “hot regions” of the genome where DNA is transferred frequently between isolates. We present a...

Data from: Laetoli footprints reveal bipedal gait biomechanics different from those of modern humans and chimpanzees

Kevin G. Hatala, Brigitte Demes & Brian G. Richmond
Bipedalism is a key adaptation that shaped human evolution, yet the timing and nature of its evolution remain unclear. Here we use new experimentally based approaches to investigate the locomotor mechanics preserved by the famous Pliocene hominin footprints from Laetoli, Tanzania. We conducted footprint formation experiments with habitually barefoot humans and with chimpanzees to quantitatively compare their footprints to those preserved at Laetoli. Our results show that the Laetoli footprints are morphologically distinct from those...

Data from: Functional and evolutionary consequences of cranial fenestration in birds

Sander W.S. Gussekloo, Michael A. Berthaume, Daniel R Pulaski, Irene Westbroek, Jan H. Waarsing, Robin Heinen, Ian R. Grosse, Elizabeth R. Dumont & Sander W. S. Gussekloo
Ostrich-like birds (Palaeognathae) show very little taxonomic diversity while their sister taxon (Neognathae) contains roughly 10000 species. The main anatomical differences between the two taxa are in the crania. Palaeognaths lack an element in the bill called the lateral bar that is present in both ancestral theropods and modern neognaths, have thin zones in the bones of the bill, and robust bony elements on the ventral surface of their crania. Here we use a combination...

Data from: Chimpanzees, bonobos and children successfully coordinate in conflict situations

Alejandro Sanchez-Amaro, Shona Duguid, Josep Call & Michael Tomasello
Social animals need to coordinate with others to reap the benefits of group-living even when individuals' interests are misaligned. We compare how chimpanzees, bonobos and children coordinate their actions with a conspecific in a Snowdrift game, which provides a model for understanding how organisms coordinate and make decisions under conflict. In study 1, we presented pairs of chimpanzees, bonobos and children with an unequal reward distribution. In the critical condition, the preferred reward could only...

Data from: Sex-specific association patterns in bonobos and chimpanzees reflect species differences in cooperation

Martin Surbeck, Cedric Girard-Buttoz, Christophe Boesch, Catherine Crockford, Barbara Fruth, Gottfried Hohmann, Kevin E. Langergraber, Klaus Zuberbühler, Roman M. Wittig & Roger Mundry
In several group-living species, individuals' social preferences are thought to be influenced by cooperation. For some societies with fission–fusion dynamics, sex-specific association patterns reflect sex differences in cooperation in within- and between-group contexts. In our study, we investigated this hypothesis further by comparing sex-specific association patterns in two closely related species, chimpanzees and bonobos, which differ in the level of between-group competition and in the degree to which sex and kinship influence dyadic cooperation. Here,...

Data from: Neandertal and Denisovan DNA from Pleistocene sediments

Viviane Slon, Charlotte Hopfe, Clemens L. Weiss, Fabrizio Mafessoni, Marco De La Rasilla & Carles Lalueza-Fox
Although a rich record of Pleistocene human-associated archaeological assemblages exists, the scarcity of hominin fossils often impedes the understanding of which hominins occupied a site. Using targeted enrichment of mitochondrial DNA we show that cave sediments represent a rich source of ancient mammalian DNA that often includes traces of hominin DNA, even at sites and in layers where no hominin remains have been discovered. By automation-assisted screening of numerous sediment samples we detect Neandertal DNA...

Data from: Group augmentation, collective action, and territorial boundary patrols by male chimpanzees

Kevin E. Langergraber, David P. Watts, Linda Vigilant & John C. Mitani
How can collective action evolve when individuals benefit from cooperation regardless of whether they pay its participation costs? According to one influential perspective, collective action problems are common, especially when groups are large, but may be solved when individuals who have more to gain from the collective good or can produce it at low costs provide it to others as a byproduct. Several results from a 20-y study of one of the most striking examples...

Data from: Joint attention skills in wild Arabian babblers (Turdoides squamiceps): a consequence of cooperative breeding?

Yitzchak Ben Mocha, Roger Mundry & Simone Pika
Human cooperation strongly relies on the ability of interlocutors to coordinate each other’s attentional state: joint attention. One predominant hypothesis postulates that this hallmark of the unique cognitive system of humans evolved due to the combination of an ape-like cognitive system and the prosocial motives that facilitate cooperative breeding. Here, we tested this hypothesis by investigating the communicative interactions of a cooperatively breeding bird species, the Arabian babbler (Turdoides squamiceps). The behaviour of twelve wild...

Cultural linkage: the influence of package transmission on cultural dynamics

Justin Yeh, Laurel Fogarty & Anne Kandler
Many cultural traits are not transmitted independently, but together as a package. This can happen because, for example, media may store information together making it more likely to be transmitted together, or through cognitive mechanisms such as causal reasoning. Evolutionary biology suggests that physical linkage of genes (being on the same chromosome) allows neutral and maladaptive genes to spread by hitchhiking on adaptive genes, while the pairwise difference between neutral genes is unaffected. Whether packaging...

Data from: The “tolerant chimpanzee” - towards the costs and benefits of sociality in female bonobos

Niina O. Nurmi, Gottfried Hohmann, Lucas G. Goldstone, Tobias Deschner & Oliver Schülke
Humans share an extraordinary degree of sociality with other primates, calling for comparative work into the evolutionary drivers of the variation in social engagement observed between species. Of particular interest is the contrast between the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and bonobo (Pan paniscus), the latter exhibiting increased female gregariousness, more tolerant relationships, and elaborate behavioral adaptations for conflict resolution. Here we test predictions from three socio-ecological hypotheses regarding the evolution of these traits using data on...

Palm fruit colours are linked to the broad-scale distribution and diversification of primate colour vision systems

Renske Onstein, Daphne Vink, Jorin Veen, Christopher Barratt, Suzette Flantua, Serge Wich & Daniel Kissling
A long-standing hypothesis in ecology and evolution is that trichromatic colour vision (the ability to distinguish red from green) in frugivorous primates has evolved as an adaptation to detect conspicuous (reddish) fruits. This could provide a competitive advantage over dichromatic frugivores which cannot distinguish reddish colours from a background of green foliage. Here, we test whether the origin, distribution and diversity of trichromatic primates is positively associated with the availability of conspicuous palm fruits, i.e....

How community forest management performs when REDD+ payments fail

Amy Collins, Mark Grote, Tim Caro, Aniruddha Ghosh, James Thorne, Jonathan Salerno & Monique Borgerhoff Mulder
The reduced emissions in deforestation and degradation (REDD+) initiative uses payments for ecosystem services as incentives for developing countries to manage and protect their forests. REDD+ initiatives also prioritize social (and environmental) co-benefits aimed at improving the livelihoods of communities that are dependent on forests. Despite the incorporation of co-benefits into REDD+ goals, carbon sequestration remains the primary metric for which countries can receive payments from REDD+, but after more than 10 years of REDD+,...

Coevolution of relative brain size and life expectancy in parrots

Simeon Q. Smeele, Dalia A. Conde, Annette Baudisch, Simon Bruslund, Andrew Iwaniuk, Johanna Staerk, Timothy F. Wright, Anna M. Young, Mary Brooke McElreath & Lucy Aplin
Previous studies have demonstrated a correlation between longevity and brain size in a variety of taxa. Little research has been devoted to understanding this link in parrots; yet parrots are well-known for both their exceptionally long lives and cognitive complexity. We employed a large-scale comparative analysis that investigated the influence of brain size and life history variables on longevity in parrots. Specifically, we addressed two hypotheses for evolutionary drivers of longevity: the Cognitive Buffer Hypothesis,...

Genomic basis for skin phenotype and cold adaptation in the extinct Steller's sea cow

Diana Le Duc, Akhil Velluva, Molly Cassatt-Johnstone, Remi-Andre Olsen, Sina Baleka, Chen-Ching Lin, Johannes R. Lemke, John R. Southon, Alexander Burdin, Ming-Shan Wang, Sonja Grunewald, Wilfried Rosendahl, Ulrich Joger, Sereina Rutschmann, Thomas B. Hildebrandt, Guido Fritsch, James A. Estes, Janet Kelso, Love Dalén, Michael Hofreiter, Beth Shapiro & Torsten Schöneberg
Steller’s sea cow, an extinct sirenian and one of the largest Quaternary mammals, was described by Georg Steller in 1741 and eradicated by humans within 27 years. Here, we complement Steller’s descriptions with paleogenomic data from 12 individuals. We identified convergent evolution between Steller’s sea cow and cetaceans but not extant sirenians, suggesting a role of several genes in adaptation to cold environments. Among these are inactivations of lipoxygenase genes, which in humans and mouse...

Data from: Exploiting gene families for phylogenomic analysis of myzostomid transcriptome data

Stefanie Hartmann, Conrad Helm, Birgit Nickel, Matthias Meyer, Torsten H. Struck, Ralph Tiedemann, Joachim Selbig & Christoph Bleidorn
BACKGROUND: In trying to understand the evolutionary relationships of organisms, the current flood of sequence data offers great opportunities, but also reveals new challenges with regard to data quality, the selection of data for subsequent analysis, and the automation of steps that were once done manually for single-gene analyses. Even though genome or transcriptome data is available for representatives of most bilaterian phyla, some enigmatic taxa still have an uncertain position in the animal tree...

Data from: Patterns of interventions and the effect of coalitions and sociality on male fitness

Lars Kulik, Laura Muniz, Roger Mundry & Anja Widdig
In group living animals, especially among primates, there is consistent evidence that high-ranking males gain a higher reproductive output than low-ranking males. Primate studies have shown that male coalitions and sociality can impact male fitness; however, it remains unclear whether males could potentially increase their fitness by preferentially supporting and socializing with females. Here we investigate patterns of male interventions and the effect of coalitions and sociality on male fitness in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)...

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