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Volume 5 Issue 7, July 2021

Y chromosomes matter

Females of Poecilia parae are large and grey (centre), but males are always one of five discrete morphs that differ in colour, body size and mating behaviour. Each morph has a unique Y chromosome, allowing the different complex reproductive strategies to be passed on perfectly from father to son.

See Sandkam, B. al.

Image: Wouter van der Bijl and Benjamin Sandkam. Cover Design: Allen Beattie.


  • A paper published in Nature Ecology & Evolution has recently become the journal’s first retraction. We take the opportunity to reflect on a kinder and more open way of maintaining scientific rigour.



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Comment & Opinion

  • Kimberleigh Tommy is a PhD candidate and science communicator, based at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in South Africa, where she studies hominin functional morphology as it relates to locomotion. She has won numerous awards for both her science communication and research; most recently she was named one of The Mail and Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans making a difference in their fields as well as a recipient of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science South African National Young Talents programme awards. We asked her about her background, her interests and her hopes for the future.

    • Luíseach Nic Eoin
    • Kimberleigh Tommy
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News & Views

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  • Remote sensing of geospatial biodiversity patterns is an important complement to field observations. This priority list suggests how remote sensing observations can be better integrated into the essential biodiversity variables.

    • Andrew K. Skidmore
    • Nicholas C. Coops
    • Vladimir Wingate
  • This Perspective examines how systems ecology models that incorporate pathogens can transform our understanding of ecosystem functioning, disease ecology, and the detection and control of zoonoses.

    • James M. Hassell
    • Tim Newbold
    • Katrina M. Pagenkopp Lohan
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  • The authors explore dental development in a stem-chondrichthyan ischnacanthid acanthodian to inform our understanding of the ancestral gnathostome dental condition, finding that although dermal oral tubercles are a conserved feature of early gnathostomes, the complex cyclic shedding dentitions and whorls appear to have evolved multiple times.

    • Martin Rücklin
    • Benedict King
    • Philip C. J. Donoghue
  • Nautilus, the sole surviving externally shelled cephalopod from the Palaeozoic, holds an important phylogenetic position to understand the evolution of cephalopods. A complete genome of Nautilus pompilius sheds light on the evolution of the pinhole eye and biomineralization.

    • Yang Zhang
    • Fan Mao
    • Ziniu Yu
    Article Open Access
  • A meta-analysis of 139 studies of diploid animals shows that they rarely avoid mating with kin, although the degree of relatedness and prior experience with kin do alter the effect size, and there is evidence of publication bias.

    • Raïssa A. de Boer
    • Regina Vega-Trejo
    • John L. Fitzpatrick
  • Citizen-science data on bird observations from eastern North America show that the timing of spring arrival of migratory birds is broadly correlated with fluctuations in vegetation green-up but that the varying sensitivity of different bird species to this phenological event is linked to their different migratory strategies.

    • Casey Youngflesh
    • Jacob Socolar
    • Morgan W. Tingley
  • Combining a published dataset of stable carbon isotopes from herbivore tooth enamel with multidecadal Landsat estimates of C3 woody cover across 30 African ecosystems, the authors show that there is little relationship between intrataxonomic variation in δ13C enamel and vegetation structure, leading them to recommend a community-level approach for making vegetation inferences.

    • Joshua R. Robinson
    • John Rowan
    • Matt Sponheimer
  • A simulation study integrates existing artificial selection methods to develop a ‘top-down’ approach to engineering complex, stable microbial communities based on iterated randomization and selection of community structure and function.

    • Chang-Yu Chang
    • Jean C. C. Vila
    • Alvaro Sanchez
  • The spatial and physical nature of tumour growth remains unclear. Combining whole-tumour images from clear cell renal cell carcinoma with genomic data, the authors show more aggressive subclonal growth and metastasizing subclones in the tumour centre.

    • Yue Zhao
    • Xiao Fu
    • Kevin Litchfield
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Amendments & Corrections

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