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Why some birds think simple songs are sexy
Date:11/1/2011

o and Yang Hu, "Birdsong Performance and the Evolution of Simple (Rather than Elaborate) Sexual Signals"


How global warming could cause animals to shrink

A new study shows how global warming may cause the world's cold-blooded organisms to shrink in size. Most cold-blooded creatures are subject to what's known as the temperature-size rule, which describes how individuals of the same species tend to grow to smaller adult sizes when reared in warmer temperatures. Using 40 years of data on marine planktonic copepods, tiny crustaceans that are the main animal plankton in the world's oceans, researchers led by Andrew Hirst of Queen Mary University of London have confirmed the mechanism behind the rule. They found that warmer water causes copepods to grow faster, but also causes them to mature faster still. As a result, individuals end up with smaller body sizes when they reach full maturity. This is the first time this mechanism has been demonstrated in a large number of species, and it sheds important light on how cold-blooded creatures may be impacted as the world continues to warm.

Jack Forster, Andrew G. Hirst,and Guy Woodward, "Growth and Development Rates Have Different Thermal Responses"


How historic climate change drove modern species diversity

The lush tropical rainforests of northeastern Australia are home to the ornate nursery frog, a common terrestrial frog that thrives in warm, wet climates. But the climate in this region has not always been so hospitable, and a team of researchers led by biologist Conrad Hoskin wanted to see how historical climate change might have influenced the evolution of modern frog populations. Using paleoclimate data, the researchers show that during the last ice age, the present-day rainforest would have contracted substantially, with two small patches of forest isolated to the north and south of a larger central patch. If nur
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Contact: Kevin Stacey
kstacey@press.uchicago.edu
401-284-3878
University of Chicago Press Journals
Source:Eurekalert  

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