Navigation Links
When David beats Goliath
Date:9/24/2014

Body size has long been recognized to play a key role in shaping species interactions, with larger species usually winning conflicts with their smaller counterparts. But Queen's University biologist Paul Martin has found that occasionally, small species of birds can dominate larger species during aggressive interactions, particularly when they interact with distantly related species.

The new findings provide evidence that the evolution of certain traits can allow species to overcome the disadvantage of a smaller size.

"We want to understand why species live where they do, and how different species partition resources, like food, in nature," Dr. Martin explains. "This research feeds into that. The 'larger animal wins' rule that usually governs species interactions, and often influences where smaller species can live, is more likely to break down when the interacting species are distantly related."

For his research, Dr. Martin examined the outcome of 23,362 aggressive interactions among 246 bird species pairs including vultures at carcasses, hummingbirds at nectar sources and antbirds and woodcreepers at army ant swarms. The research looked at the outcome of aggressive contests for food among species as a function of their body size and evolutionary distance.

The research found that the advantages of large size declined with increased evolutionary distance between species a pattern explained by the evolution of certain traits in smaller birds that enhanced their abilities in aggressive contests.

Specific traits that may provide advantages to small species in aggressive interactions included well-developed leg musculature and talons, enhanced flight acceleration and maneuverability and traits associated with aggression including testosterone and muscle development.

"This study examines broad patterns across many species, and now we would like to understand the details of these interactions by studying specific groups," says Dr. Martin. "We really want to understand why some species can overcome the disadvantages of small size, while other species cannot."


'/>"/>

Contact: Anne Craig
anne.craig@queensu.ca
613-533-2877
Queen's University

Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. David and Goliath: How a tiny spider catches much larger prey
2. New journal, Brain and Gut, edited by David Perlmutter, best-selling author of Grain Brain, launching in summer 2014
3. David Allis, pioneer in epigenetics, to receive prestigious Japan Prize
4. Professor Sir David Weatherall, M.D., recieves 2013 Wallace H. Coulter Award
5. Bluemetal Architects appoints David Le Penske as Vice President of Health & Life Sciences
6. Environmental activist David Suzuki is fifth recipient of CWRU’s Inamori Ethics Prize
7. The American Society for Microbiology honors David Tobin
8. AnaptysBio Adds Dr. David L. Lacey and Dr. Michael Gallatin to Therapeutic Advisory Board
9. Researchers at Penn show optimal framework for heartbeats
10. Graphene plasmonics beats the drug cheats
11. New analysis of premature infants heartbeats, breathing could be cues for leaving NICU
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/10/2019)... ... October 09, 2019 , ... Calcium ... at Executive Plaza Hotel in Vancouver, Canada on September 23-24 for two days. ... various measures to develop healthy bone and to prevent calcium-related diseases. The theme ...
(Date:10/8/2019)... ... October 08, 2019 , ... Enplug , a leading ... than ever for businesses and organizations to use their digital signage networks to ... count down to or count up from date-related milestones, while the Holidays App ...
(Date:10/4/2019)... , ... October 04, 2019 , ... ... will be held November 10 at the Grand Elysée Hamburg Rothenbaumchaussee in Hamburg. ... Europe again this November,” said Miao Guo, Vice President of Operations and spokesperson ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/8/2019)... , ... October 08, 2019 , ... Today, Massachusetts stem ... its lead development technology. Like the company’s precursor patent, approved in the U.S. ... counting of tissue stem cells. Asymmetrex now markets the technology in the U.S. ...
(Date:10/3/2019)... ... October 02, 2019 , ... Today marked the official ... enabling clinical program outsourcing success by cultivating radical improvements in leadership, staff, and ... executive Brenda Reese, phaseUP™ brings clients deep, broad and unique expertise in the ...
(Date:10/3/2019)... ... October 02, 2019 , ... Rapid Novor, Inc., the world's ... it has moved into a new, 5000 sqft, purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility. Now home ... the company's continuous commitment to quality research and service offerings. , ...
(Date:9/24/2019)... Ind. (PRWEB) , ... September ... ... will be presenting their latest research in the area of high-level X-ray ... 4th, Dr. Pamela Smith, COO of Improved Pharma, will present “Synchrotron X-Ray ...
Breaking Biology Technology: