Navigation Links
Uncertainty drives the evolution of 'cooperative breeding' in birds
Date:8/16/2007

Rather than striking out to start a family of their own, members of some bird species will stick around longer to help a relative raise their young. Now, researchers report evidence that in African starlings such altruistic tendencies are most common among species that live in savannas, where the rainfall in any given year is virtually impossible to predict. The findings appear online August 16 in the journal Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press.

When the unpredictability of your environment is high, you dont know in advance what conditions you will be facing when the next breeding season rolls around, said Dustin Rubenstein of the University of California, Berkeley and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Faced with this uncertainty, it pays, evolutionarily speaking, to live and breed in social groups that will help you weather the bad times and make the most of the good times. Living in cooperative family groups may be like a form of insurance against the unpredictable nature of the environment that allows individuals to maximize their reproductive success over the course of their lifetimes.

Over the past few decades, mounting evidence has shown that many species of cooperatively breeding birds live in semi-arid tropical and sub-tropical environments, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and Australia. Although that pattern suggested that the environment might explain the behavior, few studies showed a strong relationship between the incidence of cooperative breeding among species and any particular environmental feature, the researchers noted.

In the new study, the researchers examined the pattern of breeding behavior exhibited by 45 species of African starlings in relation to the environments in which they liveincluding savannas, deserts and tropical forestswhile controlling for the evolutionary relationships among them. They also examined the rainfall patterns typical of each of those environments in 47 African countries
'/>"/>

Contact: Nancy Wampler
nwampler@cell.com
617-386-2121
Cell Press
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Unchecked DNA replication drives earliest steps toward cancer
2. Climate change drives widespread amphibian extinctions
3. Habitat microstructure drives salamander metamorphosis
4. Mindless autopilot drives people to underestimate food decisions
5. Buildup of damaged DNA in cells drives aging
6. A genetic gang of 4 drives spread of breast cancer
7. Molecular biology fills gaps in knowledge of bat evolution
8. Same mutation aided evolution in many fish species, Stanford study finds
9. Researchers trace evolution to relatively simple genetic changes
10. Family trees of ancient bacteria reveal evolutionary moves
11. Great White shark evolution debate involves WSU Lake Campus geology professor
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/16/2014)... have a new synthesis of recent research findings to ... in the two states. , The Ecology and ... Washington: A Synthesis of the Relevant Biophysical Science and ... published by the U.S. Forest Service,s Pacific Northwest Research ... managers for a synthesis of the large body of ...
(Date:10/16/2014)... efficiently, they are anything but sustainable: environmental damage ... is becoming increasingly evident. Despite their disadvantages, however, ... regarded as the sole possibility of achieving higher ... Bernhard Schmid, an ecology professor at the University ... agriculture and forestry. After all, a new study ...
(Date:10/16/2014)... Calif. (October 16, 2014) – Post-menopausal women experienced ... on hormone levels or genital bleeding, after 12 ... an investigational fermented soy germ-based nutritional supplement previously ... to a new peer-reviewed pilot study reported in ... (NAMS) annual scientific meeting. , "These data ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):New report synthesizes best available science on management of moist mixed-conifer forests 2Plant communities produce greater yield than monocultures 2Plant communities produce greater yield than monocultures 3S-equol supplements associated with improved measures of reproductive health in postmenopausal women 2
... Virus (HCV) infects up to 500,000 people in the ... is the single biggest cause of people requiring a ... with groups across Europe and the USA, scientists from ... may be a significant step towards a vaccine. ...
... The Simons Foundation, through its Autism Research Initiative, has ... University Cell and DNA Repository (RUCDR) to establish a ... will be collected from 2,000 families that have a ... this project is known, will constitute the core resource ...
... may be to blame for the gradual extinction of ... according to Ulrich Kutschera and colleagues from the University ... in Austria. Their findings show that human-induced temperature ... of Austria may have led to the near extinction ...
Cached Biology News:Possible hepatitis C vaccine 2Rutgers Genetics receives $7.8 million for autism research 2Rutgers Genetics receives $7.8 million for autism research 3Role reversal as humans suck life out of leeches 2
(Date:10/20/2014)... NEW YORK , Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... of their experimental ZMapp™ antibody therapeutic to fight ... of how difficult and time-consuming the production of ... healthcare market research publisher said that while some ... cycle of this compound, those with industry knowledge ...
(Date:10/20/2014)... , October 20, 2014 ... gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and the delivery of care has ... diseases and worrying inequalities in the provision of healthcare ... which was commissioned by United European Gastroenterology (UEG), have ... political and public awareness of the burden of GI ...
(Date:10/20/2014)... 2014 Earle Martin , ... today that Ellen Teplitzky, an experienced attorney specializing ... pharmaceutical industry, has joined the firm as Director ... services practice. NDA Partners provides legal services, ... testimony, to top law firms and their clients ...
(Date:10/19/2014)... , Oct. 19, 2014 NextCODE Health, which enables ... genome in real time, today announced the launch of its ... Exchange , at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) ... learn more, sign up and apply for free beta access, ... features and benefits can be viewed here . ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Kalorama: ZMapp Highlights Need For Faster Biopharmaceutical Production 2Kalorama: ZMapp Highlights Need For Faster Biopharmaceutical Production 3Major Survey Reveals Changing Trends and Inequalities in Healthcare Provision for Gastrointestinal Disorders Across Europe 2Major Survey Reveals Changing Trends and Inequalities in Healthcare Provision for Gastrointestinal Disorders Across Europe 3Major Survey Reveals Changing Trends and Inequalities in Healthcare Provision for Gastrointestinal Disorders Across Europe 4Major Survey Reveals Changing Trends and Inequalities in Healthcare Provision for Gastrointestinal Disorders Across Europe 5NDA Partners Appoints Ellen Teplitzky, JD as Director of its Legal Services Practice 2The NextCODE Exchange: The first global, real-time system for sharing full-resolution genomic data 2The NextCODE Exchange: The first global, real-time system for sharing full-resolution genomic data 3
... Calif., Oct. 19, 2011 Process automation specialist Endress+Hauser ... company that develops, produces and distributes sensors, hardware and ... to strengthen its position in the area of biotechnology ... important role in the future, not only in the ...
... Applications International Corporation (SAIC) (NYSE: SAI ) ... National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part ... preclinical services for the development of biopharmaceutical products for ... the end of fiscal year 2011.  The total funding ...
... NEW YORK, Oct. 19, 2011 ... research report is available in its ... Erythematosus Therapeutics (SLE) - Pipeline Assessment ... http://www.reportlinker.com/p0656881/Systemic-Lupus-Erythematosus-Therapeutics-SLE---Pipeline-Assessment-and-Market-Forecasts-to-2018.html#utm_source=prnewswire&utm_medium=pr&utm_campaign=Pathology ...
Cached Biology Technology:Endress+Hauser and Finesse Solutions Form Strategic Partnership - Swiss Process Automation Provider Invests in US Biotech Company 2Endress+Hauser and Finesse Solutions Form Strategic Partnership - Swiss Process Automation Provider Invests in US Biotech Company 3SAIC Awarded Contract by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases 2Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Therapeutics (SLE) - Pipeline Assessment and Market Forecasts to 2018 2Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Therapeutics (SLE) - Pipeline Assessment and Market Forecasts to 2018 3Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Therapeutics (SLE) - Pipeline Assessment and Market Forecasts to 2018 4Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Therapeutics (SLE) - Pipeline Assessment and Market Forecasts to 2018 5Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Therapeutics (SLE) - Pipeline Assessment and Market Forecasts to 2018 6Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Therapeutics (SLE) - Pipeline Assessment and Market Forecasts to 2018 7Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Therapeutics (SLE) - Pipeline Assessment and Market Forecasts to 2018 8Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Therapeutics (SLE) - Pipeline Assessment and Market Forecasts to 2018 9Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Therapeutics (SLE) - Pipeline Assessment and Market Forecasts to 2018 10