Navigation Links
Tipsheet for the May issue of the American Naturalist
Date:4/26/2011

Article highlights from the May issue of The American Naturalist:

  • Cuttlefish: From camo to tuxedo in less than a second
  • Genes control fruit flies' social groupings
  • What can twins tell us about mate choice?

For the full May issue table of contents, go to www.journals.uchicago.edu/an. For more information or for photos (where available), contact Kevin Stacey: kstacey@press.uchicago.edu.

Cuttlefish: From camo to tuxedo in less than a second

Cuttlefish have the amazing ability to instantly change their color and body pattern so they can hide from predators or, alternatively, broadcast their presence to potential mates. A new study led by Sarah Zylinski of Duke University shows just how good these animals (relatives of octopus and squid) are at this quick change routine. Using sophisticated image analysis techniques, Zylinski and her team compared the color patterns of cuttlefish to patterns in their surroundings, both when the animals were hiding and when they were signaling. "The analysis shows that the cuttlefish are able to match intricate visual characteristics of their aquatic environments to maximize their camouflage against the visual systems of their vertebrate predators," Zylinski said. "However, in the presence of females, the males adopt body patterns that deviate from their immediate environment and make themselves maximally conspicuous." The research also suggests that cuttlefish may seek out simpler backgrounds when attempting to signal. [Photos available]

S. Zylinski (University of Sussex and Duke University), M. J. How (University of Queensland), D. Osorio (University of Sussex), R. T. Hanlon (Woods Hole Marine Biology Laboratory), and N. J. Marshall (University of Queensland), "To Be Seen Or To Hide: Visual Characteristics of Body Patterns for Camouflage and Communication in the Australian Giant Cuttlefish, Sepia apama"

Genes control fruit flies' social groupings

A new study reveals how a fruit fly's genes can influence the company it keeps. Using male flies that had been bred for varying levels of aggressiveness, researchers Julia Saltz and Brad Foley observed how the males formed groups when placed into an enclosure with females. The research showed that the non-aggressive flies clumped together, forming a few large groups. The aggressive flies, meanwhile, spread out into smaller groups. This sorting according to behavioral preference is known as social niche construction (SNC), and Saltz says this is the first time it has been demonstrated to have a genetic basis. In sorting themselves this way, both aggressive and non-aggressive flies were able to find mating success. Some flies were more likely to mate after winning an aggressive conflict. Those flies benefitted from being aggressive. Other flies however were more likely to mate after losing a squabble. Those flies benefitted from forgoing aggression. "Thus, successful males were those who 'used' SNC to generate the social environment in which they are most adept at mating," explains Saltz, a Ph.D. student and lead author on the paper. "Non-aggressive genotypes aren't just 'broken' males. They're pursuing an alternate social strategy."

Julia B. Saltz (University of Southern California and University of California, Davis) and Brad R. Foley (University of Southern California), "Natural Genetic Variation in Social Niche Construction: Social Effects of Aggression Drive Disruptive Sexual Selection in Drosophila melanogaster"

What can twins tell us about mate choice?

What factors influence our choice of a mate? Is it our genes? Does a man look for someone like his mother and a woman someone her father? None of the above, according to a study of Australian twins. Researchers from the University of Queensland found that for traits including body size, personality, age, social attitudes, and religiosity, identical twins did not tend to have similar spouses, after accounting for the fact that spouse pairs (and twins pairs) themselves tend to be similar. The results suggest that genes don't have much direct influence on mate choice for these traits. As for whether people choose a mate like their opposite-sex parent, that doesn't appear to be the case either. A twin's spouse was much more similar to the twin and co-twin than the twin's opposite-sex parent.

Brendan P. Zietsch (University of Queensland and Queensland Institute of Medical Research), Karin J. H. Verweij (University of Queensland and Queensland Institute of Medical Research), Andrew C. Heath (Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis), and Nicholas G. Martin (Queensland Institute of Medical Research), "Variation in Human Mate Choice: Simultaneously Investigating Heritability, Parental Influence, Sexual Imprinting, and Assortative Mating"


'/>"/>

Contact: Kevin Stacey
kstacey@press.uchicago.edu
773-834-0386
University of Chicago Press Journals
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Repulsion more important than cohesion in embryonic tissue separation
2. Addressing the nuclear waste issue
3. Plant oil may hold key to reducing obesity-related medical issues, MU researcher finds
4. Molecular muscle: Small parts of a big protein play key roles in building tissues
5. Getting organized: Berkeley Lab study shows how breast cell communities organize into breast tissue
6. Clinical Benefits of Zimmers DeNovo® NT Natural Tissue Graft in First Surgery Documented in Peer-Reviewed Publication
7. Earths life support systems discussed in an open-access special issue
8. Recommendations issued to counter patent, proprietary barriers to sharing stem cell data
9. Scientists grow human liver tissue to be used for transplantation
10. Biomedical breakthrough: Blood vessels for lab-grown tissues
11. Researchers investigate why a limited number of white blood cells are attracted to injured tissue
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/30/2017)... , June 30, 2017 Today, ... developer and supplier of face and eye tracking ... Featured Product provider program. "Artificial ... innovative way to monitor a driver,s attentiveness levels ... from being able to detect fatigue and prevent ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 2017   Bridge Patient Portal , an ... MD EMR Systems , an electronic medical record ... have established a partnership to build an interface ... GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution (CPS), ... These new integrations will allow healthcare delivery networks ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K on ... ... is available in the Investor Relations section of the Company,s website ... SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year Highlights: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... AMRI, a global contract research, development and manufacturing ... and quality of life, will now be offering its impurity solutions as a ... requirements for all new drug products, including the finalization of ICH M7 earlier ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... ... is a basic first aid supply for any work environment, but most personal eye wash ... if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s one less decision, and likely quicker response ... piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, or an acid or alkali, getting anything in ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , ... of Cancer Research, London (ICR) and ... with SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple ... as MUK nine . The University of ... is partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... SAN DIEGO, CALIF. (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... website as part of its corporate rebranding initiative announced today. The bold new ... broaden its reach, as the company moves into a significant growth period. , It ...
Breaking Biology Technology: