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Volume 7 Issue 4, April 2023

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Tagged Antarctic minke whales (Balaenoptera bonaerensis), which are the smallest lunge feeders, surface in a group before 9 feeding dives in 3 minutes. Cade et al. found that these ultra-high feeding rates (which can exceed 200 lunges per hour at night) barely enable the whales to meet their expected metabolic needs, and suggest that biomechanical, environmental and physiological constraints would not allow lunge feeding as a strategy in smaller species.

See Cade et al

Image: Duke Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing. Cover Design: Allen Beattie.


  • The UN agreement to protect the biodiversity of the high seas is an important first step towards meeting the 30×30 target in the marine realm.



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Comment & Opinion

  • Transforming the rapidly growing ocean economy into a ‘blue economy’ based on principles of sustainability, equity and inclusivity is crucial. We contend that marine biotechnology is not on this trajectory and that a more holistic approach for people and nature is needed to bring marine biotechnology into the blue economy.

    • Robert Blasiak
    • Jean-Baptiste Jouffray
    • Henrik Österblom
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Books & Arts

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Research Highlights

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News & Views

  • A large-scale field study finds that different bee species experience different levels of risk from pesticides, depending on how much land is farmed within their foraging range. For bumblebees and solitary bees, more seminatural habitat means less risk from pesticides, but this is not true for honeybees.

    • Edward A. Straw
    News & Views
  • A mathematical model of eco-evolutionary dynamics estimates different birth rates of cells at the periphery of a tumour versus its centre, giving insight into locally stable evolutionary mechanisms that arise as a result of boundary-driven growth.

    • Subhayan Chattopadhyay
    • David Gisselsson
    News & Views
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Research Briefings

  • Using genome assemblies and comparative analyses, we identified evolutionary signatures of selection associated with repeated gains and losses of social behaviour in sweat bees. These signatures include changes in regulatory regions and young genes, as well as complementary patterns of positive and relaxed selection on proteins involved in juvenile hormone signalling.

    Research Briefing
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  • A meta-analysis of peer-review data from over 300,000 biological sciences manuscripts reveals worse review outcomes for authors from historically excluded groups, and limited data evaluating the effectiveness of interventions to address bias in peer review.

    • Olivia M. Smith
    • Kayla L. Davis
    • Courtney L. Davis
  • The authors incorporate mechanistic information about lizard physiological responses to heat into predictions of trait variation across time and space, finding that the range of functional traits is more constrained in locations where the local climate strongly selects for thermal performance.

    • Juan G. Rubalcaba
    • Sidney F. Gouveia
    • Jennifer Sunday
  • Theoretical models of foraging efficiency suggest that lunge-filter-feeding marine vertebrates could be as small as 10 kg. However, here the authors show with bio-logged data from filter-feeding minke whales that in practice there are minimum body-size constraints on filter feeders, below which this becomes an unviable feeding strategy.

    • David E. Cade
    • Shirel R. Kahane-Rapport
    • Ari S. Friedlaender
  • Analysing pesticide residues in pollen and nectar collected by three bee species along a land-use gradient, the authors show that extensive foragers like Apis mellifera have higher pesticide risk than species that forage at intermediate or limited ranges, irrespective of landscape context.

    • Jessica L. Knapp
    • Charlie C. Nicholson
    • Maj Rundlöf
    Article Open Access
  • A Bayesian state-dependent evolutionary phylodynamic model (SDevo) quantifies the difference in division rates between cells at the periphery and interior of a tumour. In simulations and using clinical hepatocellular carcinoma data, the authors use SDevo to interrogate spatial patterns in tumour growth.

    • Maya A. Lewinsohn
    • Trevor Bedford
    • Alison F. Feder
    Article Open Access
  • The authors sequence genome-wide data from multiple human individuals in southern Spain and find long-lasting genetic continuity. Here, in contrast to regions elsewhere in Europe, a 23,000-year-old individual from Malalmuerzo carries genetic ancestry that connects earlier Aurignacian-associated individuals with western European hunter-gatherers long after the Last Glacial Maximum.

    • Vanessa Villalba-Mouco
    • Marieke S. van de Loosdrecht
    • Wolfgang Haak
    Article Open Access
  • Integrating Australian Aboriginal art and narratives with soil excavation data suggests that the regularly spaced bare circles in Australian arid grasslands (sometimes known as ‘fairy circles’) are in fact linyji or mingkirri, termite pavement nests used by Aboriginal people for domestic and sacred purposes over generations.

    • Fiona Walsh
    • Gladys Karimarra Bidu
    • Jeffery Jangala James
    Analysis Open Access
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Amendments & Corrections

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