Preprints

Filtering by Subject: Animal Sciences

Social cues and habitat structure influence the behavior of a non-social insect

Matteo Marcantonio, Stefano Masier, Argiris Kourtidis, et al.

Published: 2024-03-05
Subjects: Agriculture, Animal Sciences, Biodiversity, Entomology, Life Sciences

Habitat fragmentation and loss is a known threat to biodiversity. Their combined effect leaves organisms in small isolated patches of habitat, contributing to the current biodiversity crisis. The first response of animals to environmental change is typically behavioral. Beyond the physical elements of the environment, the "social landscape" shapes the spatial distribution of the habitats [...]

No time to die: Temporal patterns of nest predation in a multi-brooded Southern Hemisphere passerine bird

Richard S. Turner, Helen L. Osmond, Robert D. Magrath, et al.

Published: 2024-01-18
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Behavior and Ethology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Ornithology

1. Nest predation is frequently the primary cause of early-life mortality in wild avian populations, generating selection for optimising the timing of reproduction to reduce predation risk. Investigating temporal patterns of nest predation is therefore necessary for understanding the intricate relationships between birds and their predators. 2. In this study, we considered the role of temporal [...]

Dense Sampling Phylogenomics Reveals Highly Dynamic Evolution of Batesian Mimicry Accuracy in Two Clades of Myrmecomorphic Spiders

Michael Kelly, Shahan Derkarabetian, Jim McLean, et al.

Published: 2024-01-14
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Genetics and Genomics

Batesian mimicry is an impressive example of convergent evolution driven by predation. However, the observation that many mimics only superficially resemble their models despite strong selective pressures is an apparent paradox. Here, we tested whether inaccurate mimicry represents an optimized or transitional stage at the macro-evolutionary scale by performing the hereto largest phylogenetic [...]

Animal social networks are robust to changing association definitions

Alex Hoi Hang Chan, Jamie Dunning, Terry Burke, et al.

Published: 2024-01-12
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Behavior and Ethology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Ornithology

The interconnecting links (edges) between individuals (nodes) in an animal social network are often defined by discrete, directed behaviours (interactions). However, where interactions are difficult to observe, a network edge is instead defined as individuals sharing space or overlapping in time (an association). Despite an increasingly accessible toolkit to assemble and analyse animal social [...]

The Palearctic view on a bat fungal disease

Flora Whiting-Fawcett, Anna Sofia Blomberg, Tanya Troitsky, et al.

Published: 2023-12-08
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Biology, Immunology and Infectious Disease, Life Sciences, Zoology

The fungal infection causing white-nose disease in hibernating bats in North America has resulted in dramatic population declines of affected species since it was first discovered in 2007. Shortly after, it was demonstrated that the causative agent, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, is native to the Palearctic, where it also infects several bat species. However, infection in the Palearctic rarely [...]

Vocal Dimorphism in Anna’s Hummingbirds

Sierra Ru-Yi Glassman, Adi Domer, Adi Domer

Published: 2023-11-28
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Behavior and Ethology, Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Integrative Biology, Life Sciences, Ornithology, Zoology

Whereas vocal sexual dimorphism is widespread amongst birds, it has been historically overlooked in non-passerines such as hummingbirds. By evaluating correlations among sex, behaviors, and vocalizations, the meaning and utility of intentional sound production may be inferred. Anna's Hummingbirds (Calypte anna) exhibit pronounced sexual dimorphism, with males being larger and having more vibrant [...]

A computer vision toolkit for the dynamic study of air sacs in Siamang with a general application to the study of elastic kinematics in other animals

Lara S. Burchardt, Yana van de Sande, Mounia Kehy, et al.

Published: 2023-10-15
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Biology, Neuroscience and Neurobiology

Biological structures are defined by elements like bones and cartilage, and elastic elements like muscles and membranes. Computer vision advances have enabled automatic tracking of moving animal skeletal poses. Such developments put us on the verge of gaining insights in complex dynamics otherwise studied in more static terms (e.g., images). However, the elastic soft-tissues of organisms, like [...]

Paws for thought: Impacts of animal husbandry on tundra greening in High Arctic Svalbard

Elise Gallois, Logan Berner, Kristine Bakke Westergaard, et al.

Published: 2023-08-08
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Plant Sciences, Research Methods in Life Sciences

Dog sledding in High Arctic Svalbard is a key tourist attraction, and the keeping of animals and livestock has historically been in practice in the settlements of the archipelago. The resulting waste disposal practices - particularly those involving the disposal of animal faeces and fodder - hugely enrich soils with excess nutrients. Here, we explore how animal husbandry affected changes in [...]

Recent human-bear conflicts in Northern Italy: a review, with considerations of future perspectives

Mattia De Vivo

Published: 2023-07-18
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Behavior and Ethology, Biodiversity, Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Population Biology, Zoology

The killing of a runner in Northern Italy by a brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos) and the subsequent investigation of such matter highlighted a Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) that has been present in Trentino since the introduction of bears for conservation during the Life Ursus Project. Such conflict may be exacerbated as both human and bear populations get bigger. In this paper, I summarize the [...]

The trade-off between vocal learning and dexterity: a balancing act

Pedro Tiago Martins, Cedric Boeckx

Published: 2023-05-30
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Behavior and Ethology, Behavioral Neurobiology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Uncontroversial evidence of vocal production learning, the capacity to modify vocal output on the basis of experience, is sparsely distributed in the animal kingdom. We suggest that this is in large part due to a trade-off between vocal learning complexity and a much more widely distributed trait—non-vocal dexterity. We argue that given some generally required neural and anatomical conditions for [...]

Repeated evolution of extreme locomotor performance independent of changes in extended phenotype use in spiders

Michael B. J. Kelly, Kawsar Khan, Kaja Wierucka, et al.

Published: 2023-04-25
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Behavior and Ethology, Biodiversity, Biology, Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Entomology, Evolution, Integrative Biology, Life Sciences, Zoology

Many animals utilize self-built structures – so-called extended phenotypes – to enhance body functions, such as thermoregulation, prey capture or defence. Yet, it is unclear whether the evolution of animal constructions supplements or substitutes body functions. Here, using Austral brown spiders, we explored if the evolutionary loss and gain of silken webs as extended prey capture devices [...]

Interspecific behavioural interference and range dynamics: current insights and future directions

Christophe Patterson, Jonathan Drury

Published: 2023-04-25
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Ornithology, Other Animal Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology, Zoology

Novel biotic interactions in shifting communities play a key role in determining the ability of species’ ranges to track suitable habitat. To date, the impact of biotic interactions on range dynamics have predominantly been studied in the context of interactions between different trophic levels or, to a lesser extent, exploitative competition between species of the same trophic level. Yet, both [...]

What acoustic telemetry can and can’t tell us about fish biology

David M.P. Jacoby, Adam T Piper

Published: 2023-02-07
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Aquaculture and Fisheries Life Sciences, Behavior and Ethology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Marine Biology, Zoology

Acoustic telemetry (AT) has become ubiquitous in aquatic monitoring and fish biology, conservation and management. Since the early use of active ultrasonic tracking that required researchers to follow at a distance their species of interest, the field has diversified considerably with exciting advances in both hydrophone and transmitter technology. Once a highly specialised methodology however, [...]

Dominant attitudes and values towards wildlife and the environment in coastal Alabama

Sarah Weber Hertel, Jana Stupavsky, Kristine Alford, et al.

Published: 2023-01-03
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Biology, Environmental Studies, Life Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences

Surveys assessing attitudes and values about the environment can help predict human behavior towards wildlife and develop effective conservation goals alongside local communities. Southern Alabama is a hotspot for biodiversity and endemism in the United States and is in need of studies to protect its wildlife. Land and wildlife management practices in Alabama have moved from indigenous-led [...]

Use of Airborne Laser Scanning to assess effects of understorey vegetation structure on nest-site selection and breeding performance in an Australian passerine bird

Richard S. Turner, Ophélie J. D. Lasne, Kara N. Youngentob, et al.

Published: 2022-12-18
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Behavior and Ethology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Ornithology

In wild bird populations, the structure of vegetation around nest-sites can influence the risk of predation of dependent offspring, generating selection for nest-sites with vegetation characteristics associated with lower predation rates. However, vegetation structure can be difficult to quantify objectively in the field, which might explain why there remains a general lack of understanding of [...]

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