111 Works

Data from: Better safe than sorry: spider societies mitigate risk by prioritizing caution

Colin M. Wright, James L.L. Lichtenstein, Lauren P. Luscuskie, Graham A. Montgomery, Noa Pinter-Wollman & Jonathan N. Pruitt
Group members often vary in the information that they have about their environment. In this study, we evaluated the relative contribution of information held by the population majority vs. new immigrants to groups in determining group function. To do so we created experimental groups of the social spider Stegodyphus dumicola that were either iteratively exposed to a dangerous predator, the ant Anoplopepis custodiens, or kept in safety. We then seeded these groups (i.e., the population...

Data from: Within-group relatedness is correlated with colony-level social structure and reproductive sharing in a social fish.

Jennifer K. Hellmann, Michael G. Sovic, H. Lisle Gibbs, Adam R. Reddon, Constance M. O'Connor, Isaac Y. Ligocki, Susan Marsh-Rollo, Sigal Balshine & Ian M. Hamilton
In group-living species, the degree of relatedness among group members often governs the extent of reproductive sharing, cooperation and conflict within a group. Kinship among group members can be shaped by the presence and location of neighbouring groups, as these provide dispersal or mating opportunities that can dilute kinship among current group members. Here, we assessed how within-group relatedness varies with the density and position of neighbouring social groups in Neolamprologus pulcher, a colonial and...

Data from: The neuroscience of Romeo and Juliet: an fMRI study of acting

Steven Brown, Peter Cockett & Ye Yuan
The current study represents a first attempt at examining the neural basis of dramatic acting. While all people play multiple roles in daily life – for example “spouse” or “employee” – these roles are all facets of the “self” and thus the first-person (1P) perspective. Compared to such everyday role-playing, actors are required to portray other people and to adopt their gestures, emotions, and behaviors. Consequently, actors must think and behave not as themselves but...

Data from: Resolving the phylogenetic position of Darwin’s extinct ground sloth (Mylodon darwinii) using mitogenomic and nuclear exon data

Frédéric Delsuc, Melanie Kuch, Gillian C. Gibb, Jonathan Hughes, Paul Szpak, John Southon, Jacob Enk, Ana T. Duggan & Hendrik N. Poinar
Mylodon darwinii is the extinct giant ground sloth named after Charles Darwin, who first discovered its remains in South America. We have successfully obtained a high-quality mitochondrial genome at 99-fold coverage using an Illumina shotgun sequencing of a 12,880 year-old bone fragment from Mylodon Cave in Chile. Low level of DNA damage showed that this sample was exceptionally well preserved for an ancient sub-fossil, likely the result of the dry and cold conditions prevailing within...

Data from: Rapid and accurate taxonomic classification of insect (Class Insecta) cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) DNA barcode sequences using a naïve Bayesian classifier

Joel F. Gibson, Shadi Shokralla, G. Brian Golding, Mehrdad Hajibabaei, Teresita M. Porter & Donald J. Baird
Current methods to identify unknown insect (class Insecta) cytochrome c oxidase (COI barcode) sequences often rely on difficult to define thresholds of distances, sequence similarity cutoffs, or monophyly. Most methods do not provide a measure of confidence for the taxonomic assignments they provide. The aim of this study is to use a naïve Bayesian classifier (Wang et al., 2007) to automate unsupervised taxonomic assignments for large batches of insect COI sequences such as data obtained...

Data from: Evolution of niche preference in Sphagnum peat mosses

Matthew G. Johnson, Gustaf Granath, Teemu Tahvanainen, Remy Pouliot, Hans K. Stenøien, Line Rochefort, Håkan Rydin & A. Jonathan Shaw
Peat mosses (Sphagnum) are ecosystem engineers— species in boreal peatlands simultaneously create and inhabit narrow habitat preferences along two microhabitat gradients: an ionic gradient and a hydrological hummock-hollow gradient. In this paper we demonstrate the connections between microhabitat preference and phylogeny in Sphagnum. Using a dataset of 39 species of Sphagnum, with an 18-locus DNA alignment and an ecological dataset encompassing three large published studies, we tested for phylogenetic signal and within-genus changes in evolutionary...

Data from: Pan-African phylogeography of a model organism, the African clawed frog “Xenopus laevis”

Ben L.S. Furman, Adam J. Bewick, Tia L. Harrison, Eli Greenbaum, Václav Gvoždík, Chifundera Kusamba, Ben Evans, Benjamin L. S. Furman & Ben J. Evans
The African clawed frog Xenopus laevis has a large native distribution over much of sub-Saharan Africa and is a model organism for research, a proposed disease vector, and an invasive species. Despite its prominent role in research and abundance in nature, surprisingly little is known about the phylogeography and evolutionary history of this group. Here we report an analysis of molecular variation of this clade based on 17 loci (one mitochondrial, 16 nuclear) in up...

Data from: Evidence for climate-driven diversification? A caution for interpreting ABC inferences of simultaneous historical events

Jamie R. Oaks, Jeet Sukumaran, Jacob A. Esselstyn, Charles W. Linkem, Cameron David Siler, Mark T. Holder & Rafe M. Brown
Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) is rapidly gaining popularity in population genetics. One example, msBayes, infers the distribution of divergence times among pairs of taxa, allowing phylogeographers to test hypotheses about historical causes of diversification in co-distributed groups of organisms. Using msBayes, we infer the distribution of divergence times among 22 pairs of populations of vertebrates distributed across the Philippine Archipelago. Our objective was to test whether sea-level oscillations during the Pleistocene caused diversification across the...

Data from: Collective aggressiveness of an ecosystem engineer is associated with coral recovery

Jonathan N. Pruitt, Carl N. Keiser, Brett T. Banka, John S. Liedle, Andrew J. Brooks, Russ J. Schmitt & Sally J. Holbrook
The ecological impacts of animal groups may be different and predictable depending on their collective behavior. Farmerfish (Stegastes nigricans) live in social groups and collectively defend gardens of palatable algae. These gardens also serve as settlement and nursery habitats for corals because farmerfish mob corallivores that attempt to forage on corals within their gardens. We detected large among-colony differences in farmerfish collective aggression towards intruder fish that persist across years. We further found that the...

Data from: Synchronous diversification of Sulawesi's iconic artiodactyls driven by recent geological events

Laurent A. F. Frantz, Anna Rudzinski, Abang Mansyursyah Surya Nugraha, Allowen Evin, James Burton, Ardern Hulme-Beaman, Anna Linderholm, Ross Barnett, Rodrigo Vega, Evan K. Irving-Pease, James Haile, Richard Allen, Kristin Leus, Jill Shephard, Mia Hillyer, Sarah Gillemot, Jeroen Van Den Hurk, Sharron Ogle, Cristina Atofanei, Mark G. Thomas, Friederike Johansson, Abdul Haris Mustari, John Williams, Kusdiantoro Mohamad, Chandramaya Siska Damayanti … & Greger Larson
The high degree of endemism on Sulawesi has previously been suggested to have vicariant origins, dating back 40 Myr ago. Recent studies, however, suggest that much of Sulawesi’s fauna assembled over the last 15 Myr. Here, we test the hypothesis that more recent uplift of previously submerged portions of land on Sulawesi promoted diversification, and that much of its faunal assemblage is much younger than the island itself. To do so, we combined palaeogeographical reconstructions...

Data from: Genetic and environmental canalization are not correlated among altitudinally varying populations of Drosophila melanogaster

Ian Dworkin & Maria Pesevski
Organisms are exposed to environmental and mutational effects influencing both mean and variance of phenotypes. Potentially deleterious effects arising from this variation can be reduced by the evolution of buffering (canalizing) mechanisms, ultimately reducing phenotypic variability. There has been interest regarding the conditions enabling the evolution of canalization. Under some models, the circumstances under which genetic canalization evolves is limited, despite apparent empirical evidence for it. It has been argued that genetic canalization evolves as...

The influence of ultraviolet reflectance differs between conspicuous aposematic signals in neotropical butterflies and poison frogs

Justin Yeager & James B. Barnett
Warning signals are often characterized by highly contrasting, distinctive and memorable colors. Both chromatic (hue) and achromatic (brightness) contrast contribute to signal efficacy, making longwave colored signals (red and yellow) that generate both chromatic and achromatic contrast common. Shortwave colors (blue and ultraviolet) do not contribute to luminance perception, yet are also common in warning signals. The presence of UV aposematic signals is paradoxical as UV perception is not universal, and evidence for its utility...

Data from: Evolution of sociability by artificial selection

Andrew M. Scott, Ian Dworkin & Reuven Dukas
There has been extensive research on the ecology and evolution of social life in animals that live in groups. Less attention, however, has been devoted to apparently solitary species even though recent research indicates that they also possess complex social behaviors. To address this knowledge gap, we artificially selected on sociability, defined as the tendency to engage in non-aggressive activities with others, in fruit flies. Our goal was to quantify the factors that determine the...

Data from: How does human motor cortex regulate vocal pitch in singers?

Michel Belyk, Yune S. Lee & Steven Brown
Vocal pitch is used as an important communicative device by humans, as found in the melodic dimension of both speech and song. Vocal pitch is determined by the degree of tension in the vocal folds of the larynx, which itself is influenced by complex and non-linear interactions among the laryngeal muscles. The relationship between these muscles and vocal pitch has been described by a mathematical model in the form of a set of “control rules”....

Data from: The effects of life history and sexual selection on male and female plumage colouration

James Dale, Cody J. Dey, Kaspar Delhey, Bart Kempenaers & Mihai Valcu
Classical sexual selection theory provides a well-supported conceptual framework for understanding the evolution and signalling function of male ornaments. It predicts that males obtain greater fitness benefits than females through multiple mating because sperm are cheaper to produce than eggs. Sexual selection should therefore lead to the evolution of male-biased secondary sexual characters. However, females of many species are also highly ornamented. The view that this is due to a correlated genetic response to selection...

Data from: Limited genomic consequences of hybridization between two African clawed frogs, Xenopus gilli and X. laevis (Anura: Pipidae)

Benjamin L.S. Furman, Caroline M.S. Cauret, Graham A. Colby, G. John Measey & Ben J. Evans
The Cape platanna, Xenopus gilli, an endangered frog, hybridizes with the African clawed frog, X. laevis, in South Africa. Estimates of the extent of gene flow between these species range from pervasive to rare. Efforts have been made in the last 30 years to minimize hybridization between these two species in the west population of X. gilli, but not the east populations. To further explore the impact of hybridization and the efforts to minimize it,...

Data from: Allometric scaling of metabolism is linked to colony aggressiveness in ants

Krista Kraskura, Thomas Lenihan, James Lichtenstein, Kirsten Sheehy, Grant Doering, Alexander Little, Jonathan Pruitt & Erika Eliason
These data are supplementary to a study entitled: "Allometric scaling of metabolism is linked to colony aggressiveness in ants". These data describe metabolic rates and behavior (aggressiveness) in ant colonies across size. The majority of scaling relationships are established on solitary organisms, but metabolism also scales allometrically with colony size in eusocial insect societies. One possible parameter that may affect metabolism in social insect colonies, is a colony’s collective behavioral phenotype. These data were collected...

Magnetic resonance imaging reveals human brown adipose tissue is rapidly activated in response to cold

Katherine Morrison, Stephan Oreskovich, Frank Ong, Basma Ahmed, Norman Konyer, Denis Blondin, Elizabeth Gunn, Nina Singh, Michael Noseworthy, Francois Haman, Andre Carpentier, Zubin Punthakee & Gregory Steinberg
Context. In rodents, cold exposure induces the activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT) and the induction of intracellular triacylglycerol (TAG) lipolysis. However, in humans, the kinetics of supraclavicular (SCV) BAT activation and the potential importance of TAG stores remain poorly defined. Objective. To determine the time course of BAT activation and changes in intracellular TAG using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) assessment of the SCV (i.e. BAT depot) and fat in the posterior neck region (i.e....

Data from: Physical and social cues shape nest-site preference and prey capture behavior in social spiders

Gabriella Najm, Angelika Pe, Jonathan Pruitt & Noa Pinter-Wollman
Animals often face conflicting demands when making movement decisions. To examine the decision process of social animals, we evaluated nest site preferences of the social spider Stegodyphus dumicola. Colonies engage in collective web building, constructing three-dimensional nests and two-dimensional capture webs on trees and fences. We examined how individuals and groups decide where to construct a nest based on habitat structure and conspecific presence. Individuals had a strong preference for three dimensional-substrates and conspecific presence....

Evolution of the speech‐ready brain: The voice/jaw connection in the human motor cortex

Steven Brown, Ye Yuan & Michel Belyk
A prominent model of the origins of speech, known as the “frame/content” theory, posits that oscillatory lowering and raising of the jaw provided an evolutionary scaffold for the development of syllable structure in speech. Because such oscillations are non‐vocal in most non‐human primates, the evolution of speech required the addition of vocalization onto this scaffold in order to turn such jaw oscillations into vocalized syllables. In the present functional MRI study, we demonstrate overlapping somatotopic...

Life history predicts flight muscle phenotype and function in birds

Shane DuBay, Yongjie Wu, Graham Scott, Yanhua Qu, Qiao Liu, Joel Smith, Chao Xin, Andrew Hart Reeve, Chen Juncheng, Dylan Meyer, Jing Wang, Jacob Johnson, Zachary Cheviron, Fumin Lei & John Bates
1. Functional traits are the essential phenotypes that underlie an organism’s life history and ecology. Although biologists have long recognized that intraspecific variation is consequential to an animals’ ecology, studies of functional variation are often restricted to species-level comparisons, ignoring critical variation within species. In birds, interspecific comparisons have been foundational in connecting flight muscle phenotypes to species-level ecology, but intraspecific variation has remained largely unexplored. 2. We asked how age- and sex-dependent demands on...

Defense against outside competition is linked to cooperation in male-male partnerships

Jennifer Hellmann, Kelly Stiver, Susan Marsh-Rollo & Suzanne Alonzo
Male-male competition is a well-known driver of reproductive success and sexually-selected traits in many species. However, in some species, males work together to court females or defend territories against male competitors. Dominant (nesting) males sire most offspring, but subordinate (satellite) males are better able to sneak fertilizations relative to unpartnered males. Because satellites only gain reproductive success by sneaking, there has been much interest in identifying the mechanisms enforcing satellite cooperation (defense) and reducing satellite...

Coordinated changes across the O2 transport pathway underlie adaptive increases in thermogenic capacity in high-altitude deer mice

Graham Scott, Kevin Tate, Oliver Wearing, Catherine Ivy, Zachary Cheviron, Jay Storz & Grant McClelland
Animals native to the hypoxic and cold environment at high altitude provide an excellent opportunity to elucidate the integrative mechanisms underlying the adaptive evolution of complex traits. The capacity for aerobic thermogenesis can be a critical determinant of survival for small mammals at high altitude, but the physiological mechanisms underlying the evolution of thermogenic capacity remain unresolved. We examined this issue by comparing high-altitude deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) to low-altitude deer mice and white-footed mice...

Data from: Artificial selection on sexual aggression: correlated traits and possible trade‐offs

Reuven Dukas, Janice L. Yan, Andrew M. Scott, Surabhi Sivaratnam & Carling M. Baxter
Forced copulation is an extreme form of sexual aggression that can affect the evolution of sex-specific anatomy, morphology and behavior. To characterize mechanistic and evolutionary aspects of forced copulation, we artificially selected male fruit flies based on their ability to succeed in the naturally prevalent behavior of forced matings with newly eclosed (teneral) females. The low and high forced copulation lineages showed rapid divergence, with the high lineages ultimately showing twice the rates of forced...

UV reflectance in poison frog

Justin Yeager & James Barnett
We have identified strong UV reflectance in the white spots of only a single population of the polymorphic/polytypic poison frog species Oophaga sylvatica. As congeners (O. pumilio) are unable to view UV signals, it stands to reason that natural selection, or neutral processes are likely to be responsible for these signals. We employ visual modeling techniques to estimate the perception of these UV signals, and in a series of comparisons we show surprisingly minimal gains...

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  • McMaster University
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