139 Works

Data from: Taxonomic structure of the fossil record is shaped by sampling bias

Graeme T. Lloyd, Jeremy R. Young & Andrew B. Smith
Understanding biases that affect how species are partitioned into higher taxa is critical for much of palaeobiology, as higher taxa are commonly used to estimate species diversity through time. Using the deep-sea record of coccolithophorid microfossils over the last 150 million years (myr), we demonstrate that sampling and taxonomic effort are important drivers of the species/genus ratio. An unexpected two-stepped change in the ratio of species to genera over the last 150 myr correlates strongly...

Data from: No deep diving: evidence of predation on epipelagic fish for a stem beaked whale from the late Miocene of Peru

Olivier Lambert, Alberto Collareta, Walter Landini, Klaas Post, Benjamin Ramassamy, Claudio Di Celma, Mario Urbina-Schmitt & Giovanni Bianucci
Although modern beaked whales (Ziphiidae) are known to be highly specialized toothed whales that predominantly feed at great depths upon benthic and benthopelagic prey, only limited palaeontological data document this major ecological shift. We report on a ziphiid–fish assemblage from the Late Miocene of Peru that we interpret as the first direct evidence of a predator–prey relationship between a ziphiid and epipelagic fish. Preserved in a dolomite concretion, a skeleton of the stem ziphiid Messapicetus...

Data from: How has the environment shaped geographical patterns of insect body sizes? A test of hypotheses using sphingid moths

Nicolas Beerli, Florian Baertschi, Liliana Ballesteros-Mejia, Ian J. Kitching & Jan Beck
Aim: We mapped the geographical pattern of body sizes in sphingid moths and investigated latitudinal clines. We tested hypotheses concerning their possible environmental control, i.e., effects of temperature (negative: temperature size rule or Bergmann’s rule; positive: converse Bergmann rule), food availability, robustness to starvation during extreme weather, and seasonality. Location: Old World and Australia/Pacific region Methods: Body size data of 950 sphingid species were compiled and related to their distribution maps. Focusing on body length,...

Data from: Early consequences of allopolyploidy alter floral evolution in Nicotiana (Solanaceae)

Elizabeth W. McCarthy, Jacob B. Landis, Amelda Kurti, Amber J. Lawhorn, Mark W. Chase, Sandra Knapp, Steven C. Le Comber, Andrew R. Leitch & Amy Litt
Background: Polyploidy has played a major role in angiosperm evolution. Previous studies have examined polyploid phenotypes in comparison to their extant progenitors, but not in context of predicted progenitor phenotypes at allopolyploid origin. In addition, differences in the trends of polyploid versus diploid evolution have not been investigated. We use ancestral character-state reconstructions to estimate progenitor phenotype at allopolyploid origin to determine patterns of polyploid evolution leading to morphology of the extant species. We also...

Data from: A congruent phylogenomic signal places eukaryotes within the Archaea.

Tom A. Williams, Peter G. Foster, Tom M. W. Nye, Cymon J. Cox & T. Martin Embley
Determining the relationships among the major groups of cellular life is important for understanding the evolution of biological diversity, but is difficult given the enormous time spans involved. In the textbook 'three domains' tree based on informational genes, eukaryotes and Archaea share a common ancestor to the exclusion of Bacteria. However, some phylogenetic analyses of the same data have placed eukaryotes within the Archaea, as the nearest relatives of different archaeal lineages. We compared the...

Data from: Exploring phylogenetic relationships within Myriapoda and the effects of matrix composition and occupancy on phylogenomic reconstruction

Rosa Fernández, Gregory D. Edgecombe & Gonzalo Giribet
Myriapods, including the diverse and familiar centipedes and millipedes, are one of the dominant terrestrial arthropod groups. Although molecular evidence has shown that Myriapoda is monophyletic, its internal phylogeny remains contentious and understudied, especially when compared to those of Chelicerata and Hexapoda. Until now, efforts have focused on taxon sampling (e.g., by including a handful of genes from many species) or on maximizing matrix size (e.g., by including hundreds or thousands of genes in just...

Data from: Lessons learned from microsatellite development for non-model organisms using 454 pyrosequencing

Corine Schoebel, Sabine Brodbeck, Dominique Buehler, Carolina Cornejo, Jyoti Gajurel, Hanna Hartikainen, Daniela Keller, Marie Leys, Štěpánka Říčanová, Gernot Segelbacher, Silke Werth, Daniela Csencsics & C. N. Schoebel
Microsatellites, also known as simple sequence repeats (SSRs), are among the most commonly used marker types in evolutionary and ecological studies. Next Generation Sequencing techniques such as 454 pyrosequencing allow the rapid development of microsatellite markers in nonmodel organisms. 454 pyrosequencing is a straightforward approach to develop a high number of microsatellite markers. Therefore, developing microsatellites using 454 pyrosequencing has become the method of choice for marker development. Here, we describe a user friendly way...

The first Silurian trilobite with three-dimensionally preserved soft parts reveals novel appendage morphology

Mark Sutton, Derek Siveter, Richard Fortey, Derek Briggs & David Siveter
The first Silurian trilobite known with soft parts preserved, a Dalmanites species, is described from the Herefordshire Lagerstätte. Biramous appendages and much of the alimentary system are evident. High-fidelity three-dimensional preservation reveals a novel, double arrangement of the exopod filaments, interconnected by a presumed membranous sheet. This morphology explains a misinterpretation of the exopod as supporting spiral structures, originally reported nearly 150 years ago. The new exopod morphology is considered primarily respiratory in function and...

Hearing from the ocean and into the river: The evolution of the inner ear of Platanistoidea (Cetacea, Odontoceti)

Mariana Viglino, Maximiliano Gaetán, Mónica R. Buono, R. Ewan Fordyce & Travis Park
The inner ear of the two higher clades of modern cetaceans (Neoceti) is highly adapted for hearing infrasonic (mysticetes) or ultrasonic (odontocetes) frequencies. Within odontocetes, Platanistoidea comprises a single extant riverine representative, Platanista gangetica, and a diversity of mainly extinct marine species from the late Oligocene onward. Recent studies, drawing on features including the disparate tympanoperiotic, have not yet provided a consensus phylogenetic hypothesis for platanistoids. Further, cochlear morphology and evolutionary patterns have never been...

Evolution, diversity, and disparity of the tiger shark lineage Galeocerdo in deep time

Julia Türtscher, Faviel A. López-Romero, Patrick L. Jambura, René Kindlimann, David J. Ward & Jürgen Kriwet
Sharks have a long and rich fossil record that consists predominantly of isolated teeth due to the poorly mineralized cartilaginous skeleton. Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo), which represent apex predators in modern oceans, have a known fossil record extending back into the early Eocene (ca. 56 Ma) and comprise 22 recognised extinct and one extant species to date. However, many of the fossil species remain dubious, resulting in a still unresolved evolutionary history of the tiger shark...

Data for butterfly near-infrared adaptation research

Changku Kang, Sehyuk Lim, Won Young Lee, Yunji Choi, Devi Stuart-Fox & Blanca Huertas
Climatic gradients frequently predict large-scale ecogeographical patterns in animal coloration, but the underlying causes are often difficult to disentangle. We examined ecogeographical patterns of reflectance among 343 European butterfly species and isolated the role of selection for thermal benefits by comparing animal-visible and near-infrared (NIR) wavebands. NIR light accounts for ~50% of solar energy but cannot be seen by animals so functions primarily in thermal control. We found that reflectance of both dorsal and ventral...

Data from: Integrated population models poorly estimate the demographic contribution of immigration

Matthieu Paquet, Jonas Knape, Debora Arlt, Pär Forslund, Tomas Pärt, Øystein Flagstad, Carl G. Jones, Malcolm A. C. Nicoll, Ken Norris, Josephine M. Pemberton, Håkan Sand, Linn Svensson, Vikash Tatayah, Petter Wabakken, Camilla Wikenros, Mikael Åkesson & Matthew Low
Estimating the contribution of demographic parameters to changes in population growth is essential for understanding why populations fluctuate. Integrated Population Models (IPMs) offer a possibility to estimate contributions of additional demographic parameters, for which no data have been explicitly collected: typically immigration. Such parametersare often subsequently highlighted as important drivers of population growth. Yet, accuracy in estimating their temporal variation, and consequently their contribution to changes in population growth rate, has not been investigated. To...

Data from: Wintering bird communities are tracking climate change faster than breeding communities

Aleksi Lehikoinen, Åke Lindström, Andrea Santangeli, Päivi Sirkiä, Lluis Brotons, Vincent Devictor, Jaanus Elts, Ruud P. B. Fobben, Henning Heldbjerg, Sergi Herrando, Marc Herremans, Marie-Anne R. Hudson, Frederic Jiguet, Alison Johnston, Romain Lorrilliere, Emma-Liina Marjakangas, Nicole L. Michel, Charlotte M. Moshøj, Renno Nellis, Jean-Yves Paquet, Adam C. Smith, Tibor Szep & Chris Van Turnhout
1. Global climate change is driving species’ distributions towards the poles and mountain tops during both non-breeding and breeding seasons, leading to changes in the composition of natural communities. However, the degree of season differences in climate-driven community shifts has not been thoroughly investigated at large spatial scales. 2. We compared the rates of change in the community composition during both winter (non-breeding season) and summer (breeding) and their relation to temperature changes. 3. Based...

Supplementary information for: A biased fossil record can preserve reliable phylogenetic signal

C. Henrik Woolley, Jeffrey Thompson, Yun-Hsin Wu, David Bottjer & Nathan Smith
Abstract.­­––The fossil record is notoriously imperfect and biased in representation, hindering our ability to place fossil specimens into an evolutionary context. For groups with fossil records mostly consisting of disarticulated parts (e.g., vertebrates, echinoderms, plants), the limited morphological information preserved sparks concerns about whether fossils retain reliable evidence of phylogenetic relationships, and lends uncertainty to analyses of diversification, paleobiogeography, and biostratigraphy in Earth history. To address whether a fragmentary past can be trusted, we need...

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