Volume 6

  • No. 8 August 2022

    Different brains

    The molecular basis of the division of labour is explored using transcriptomic analysis of the brains of different castes of pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis). In this image, brain structures from 3D brain reconstructions were overlaid on macrophotos of the ant heads.

    See See Li et al.

  • No. 7 July 2022

    One-way flow

    Polar bears diverged from brown bears roughly 500,000 years ago. However, analyses of a >100,000-year-old polar bear palaeogenome reveal that, as habitats shifted during the ice ages, the two species interbred. Today, although all brown bears exhibit ancestry from admixture with polar bears during the last interglacial period, polar bears do not retain brown bear ancestry.

    See Wang, M.-S. et al

  • No. 6 June 2022

    Changing interactions

    Hummingbird–plant mutualism is an ideal system to study climate-change pressures on ecological communities, given the availability of interaction and occurrence data. Even though species in Andean communities, such as this spangled coquette (Lophornis stictolophus), tend to have small geographic distributions, the communities appear resilient to future climate changes, unlike communities in lowland South America and in North America.

    See Sonne et al.

  • No. 5 May 2022

    Adapting to high altitude

    An adult male gelada in the Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. Geladas are adept rock climbers and descend down steep cliffs at night, where they are safe from predators. In the morning, they rise and ascend to forage for grasses.

    See Chiou et al.

  • No. 4 April 2022

    The power of sleep

    Hibernators have longer lifespans than would be expected based on their body weight. Use of epigenetic markers to estimate ageing supports the hypothesis that biological ageing is stalled during hibernation in yellow-bellied marmots, which hibernate for 7–8 months per year.

    See Pinho et al.

  • No. 3 March 2022

    Fire and water

    The aftermath of a wildfire in the conifer forests of the Sierra Nevada in California, USA, shows the differential survival of trees, potentially due to variation in sensitivity to water limitation.

    See Rao et al.

  • No. 2 February 2022

    Hunting disease

    A male puma (individual M87) up a tree, immediately prior to sampling. Fountain-Jones et al. provide evidence that male pumas were dominant in feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) transmission chains when hunting was excluded from the landscape. M87 was at the end of one FIV chain, and probably contracted the virus as a juvenile.

    See Fountain-Jones et al.

  • No. 1 January 2022

    Early Denisovans

    Stone tools from Denisova Cave linked to new Denisovan fossils. At 200,000 years old, the new fossils are the oldest Denisovans discovered so far, and were found in well-dated archaeological layers that are rich in lithics and animal remains.

    See Brown et al.