Zoology

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors use reproductive mode data with matching phylogenetic data to explore the evolution of reproductive mode, transitions between reproductive modes, and diversification rates in amphibians.

    • H. Christoph Liedtke
    • , John J. Wiens
    •  & Ivan Gomez-Mestre
  • Article
    | Open Access

    This study characterizes the world’s largest seagrass ecosystem in The Bahamas by integrating spatial estimates with remote sensing and performing extensive ground-truthing of benthic habitat with 2,542 diver surveys, as well as data obtained from instrument-equipped tiger sharks, which have strong fidelity to seagrass ecosystems.

    • Austin J. Gallagher
    • , Jacob W. Brownscombe
    •  & Carlos M. Duarte
  • Article
    | Open Access

    You’re unique just like everyone else. But when does such individuality appear? Laskowski et al. find that clonal fish show unique behavioral patterns on their first day of life, and these patterns predict their behavior up to at least 10 weeks later.

    • Kate L. Laskowski
    • , David Bierbach
    •  & Max Wolf
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Plutella xylostella endures Bt toxins with no performance costs. This study reveals how, depending on the presence of the toxin, this insect modifies MAPK phosphorylation to modulate the transcription factor FTZ-F1 binding, to up- or down- regulate Bt receptors or non-receptor (resistant) paralogs.

    • Zhaojiang Guo
    • , Le Guo
    •  & Youjun Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The size and shape of the inner ear, or bony labyrinth, is thought to be related to ecological adaptations in vertebrates. Here, the authors examine this relationship in turtles across 230 million years of evolution, unexpectedly finding large labyrinth size and no association with ecology.

    • Serjoscha W. Evers
    • , Walter G. Joyce
    •  & Roger B. J. Benson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Invasive species are a leading driver of global biodiversity loss. Here, the authors show that the process of invasion itself can promote behavioral changes important to the success of widespread invaders, with implications for understanding the effects of alien species on invaded communities.

    • David G. Chapple
    • , Annalise C. Naimo
    •  & Bob B. M. Wong
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The genetic bases of yak adaptations to extreme conditions remains elusive. This study compares yak and cattle at a genomic and transcriptomic level, revealing a new type of endothelial cell and candidate genes related with elastic fiber formation in yak lungs that might contribute to high altitude adaptation.

    • Xue Gao
    • , Sheng Wang
    •  & Qi-En Yang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors show that Weddell seal mothers mobilize endogenous iron stores during lactation to provide to pups, resulting in iron concentrations in milk 100x higher than terrestrial mammals. This was associated with reduced dive durations in the mother, a cost of reproduction.

    • Michelle R. Shero
    • , Amy L. Kirkham
    •  & Jennifer M. Burns
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Zika virus (ZIKV), the causative agent of virus-induced brain damage in newborns, is transmitted by mosquitoes, mainly Aedes aegypti, and secondarily, Aedes albopictus. Here, Obadia et al. characterize ZIKV vector competence of 50 mosquito populations from six species collected in 12 different countries to inform about epidemic risk. They find that African ZIKV strain shows higher transmission efficiency compared to American and Asian ZIKV strains and that Ae. aegypti mosquitoes have highest susceptibility to infections, while Culexmosquitoes are largely non-susceptible.

    • Thomas Obadia
    • , Gladys Gutierrez-Bugallo
    •  & Anna-Bella Failloux
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors examine how body size, shape, and segment proportions correspond to ecology in models of 410 tetrapods. They find variable allometric relationships, differential scaling in small and large animals, and body proportions as a potential niche occupation mechanism.

    • Alice E. Maher
    • , Gustavo Burin
    •  & Karl T. Bates
  • Article
    | Open Access

    This study examines the tempo and drivers of penguin diversification by combining genomes from all extant and recently extinct penguin lineages, stratigraphic data from fossil penguins and morphological and biogeographic data from all extant and extinct species. Together, these datasets provide new insights into the genetic basis and evolution of adaptations in penguins.

    • Theresa L. Cole
    • , Chengran Zhou
    •  & Guojie Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Plasmodium gametes and sporozoites activate surface-bound plasminogen to plasmin that degrades extracellular matrix barriers, therewith facilitating parasite motility in mosquitoes and mammalian hosts. To control malaria transmission, Pascini et al. generate Anopheles stephensi transgenic mosquitoes constitutively secreting human plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 in midgut and/or saliva which leads to inhibition of plasminogen activation and a reduction in oocyst intensity, infection prevalence, and transmission.

    • Tales V. Pascini
    • , Yeong Je Jeong
    •  & Joel Vega-Rodríguez
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Using a season-long field manipulation with an established model fish system on the Great Barrier Reef, this study demonstrates that limiting motorboat activity on reefs leads to faster growth and survival of more fish offspring compared to reefs experiencing busy motorboat traffic. Noise mitigation and abatement could therefore present a valuable opportunity for enhancing ecosystem resilience.

    • Sophie L. Nedelec
    • , Andrew N. Radford
    •  & Stephen D. Simpson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It is unclear how Lungfishes evolved durophagy, the consumption of hard prey, despite being the longest lineage of vertebrates with this feeding mechanism. Here, the authors describe exceptionally preserved fossils of Youngolepis from the Early Devonian, showing early adaptations to durophagy.

    • Xindong Cui
    • , Matt Friedman
    •  & Min Zhu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Intra-specific variations may contribute to heterogeneous responses to climate change across a species’ range. Here, the authors investigate the phenology of two bird species across their breeding ranges, and find that their sensitivity to temperature is uncoupled from exposure to climate change.

    • Liam D. Bailey
    • , Martijn van de Pol
    •  & Marcel E. Visser
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The importance of learning for brood parasites is explored using cuckoo catfish. The catfish increase their parasitism success as they gain experience, mainly by improving their social coordination and timing of intrusions to cichlid host spawnings.

    • Holger Zimmermann
    • , Radim Blažek
    •  & Martin Reichard
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Empirical evidence on the process of founding new populations for assisted colonisations is limited. This work examined two wild populations of green turtles in the Cayman Islands following a reintroduction program started 50 years ago. They show both populations are highly related to the captive population and that philopatry may reinforce the success of new populations.

    • Anna Barbanti
    • , Janice M. Blumenthal
    •  & Carlos Carreras
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Knowing the age of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes is important to understand transmission risk as only old mosquitoes can transmit the disease. Here, the authors develop a method based on mid-infrared spectra of mosquito cuticle that can rapidly identify the species and age class of main malaria vectors.

    • Doreen J. Siria
    • , Roger Sanou
    •  & Francesco Baldini
  • Article
    | Open Access

    ‘Macroevolution posed difficulties for Darwin and later theorists because species frequently change abruptly, or experience long periods of stasis, both counter to the theory of incremental change or gradualism. Here, the authors propose a macroevolutionary statistical model that accommodates this uneven evolutionary landscape, and shows how even abrupt macroevolutionary changes are compatible with gradualist microevolutionary processes.’

    • Mark Pagel
    • , Ciara O’Donovan
    •  & Andrew Meade
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The snail Bulinus truncatus is an intermediate host of the carcinogenic human blood fluke Schistosoma haematobium. Here the authors report the genome of Bu. truncatus, explore protein groups inferred to play a role in its interaction with the schistosome parasite, and identify expansions in gene families linked to immune response regulation.

    • Neil D. Young
    • , Andreas J. Stroehlein
    •  & Robin B. Gasser
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Arbovirus has co-evolved with its insect vector, enabling efficient and persistent transmission by vectors. Here, the authors reveal an immune homeostatic mechanism shaped by apoptosis and autophagy that facilitates arbovirus preservation within its whitefly vector.

    • Shifan Wang
    • , Huijuan Guo
    •  & Yucheng Sun
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Vision in mosquitoes plays a critical but understudied role in their attraction to hosts. Here, the authors show that encounter with an attractive odor gates the mosquito attraction to specific colors, especially the long wavelengths reflected from human skin. Filtering the long wavelengths reflected from the human skin or knocking-out the ability for the mosquito to detect the wavelengths, suppressed their attraction. This work transforms our understanding of mosquito vision from the conventional view that vision does little in mediating mosquito-host interactions, to the recognition that vision plays a critical role.

    • Diego Alonso San Alberto
    • , Claire Rusch
    •  & Jeffrey A. Riffell
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Learning from one’s own experience, and/or social learning from older individuals, could influence decision-making in migrating birds. Here the authors analyse 16 years of tracking data on whooping cranes to show that whether social or experiential learning is the dominant process in migration timing depends on life stage.

    • Briana Abrahms
    • , Claire S. Teitelbaum
    •  & Sarah J. Converse
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Navigation and trajectory planning in environments with background flow, relevant for robotics, are challenging provided information only on local surrounding. The authors propose a reinforcement learning approach for time-efficient navigation of a swimmer through unsteady two-dimensional flows.

    • Peter Gunnarson
    • , Ioannis Mandralis
    •  & John O. Dabiri
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here the authors report single-nucleus RNA sequencing for several anatomical locations in 11 species, including cat, dog, hamster, lizard, goat, rabbit, duck, pigeon, pangolin, tiger, and deer, highlighting coexpression of SARS-CoV-2 entry factors ACE2 and TMPRSS2.

    • Dongsheng Chen
    • , Jian Sun
    •  & Xun Xu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Naked mole-rats are hypoxia-tolerant mammals, and during hypoxia their body temperature decreases via unknown mechanisms. Here the authors report that the hypoxia-induced body temperature decrease in naked mole rats occurs through decreased brown adipose tissue thermogenesis via decreases in a key thermogenic mitochondrial protein: UCP1.

    • Hang Cheng
    • , Rajaa Sebaa
    •  & Matthew E. Pamenter
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Herbivore cooperation between insect pests can result in substantially greater damage to crops but also constitutes a good target for improved pest control. Liu et al. reveal how the brown plant-hopper and the rice striped stem-borer obtain mutual benefits when feeding on the same rice plant.

    • Qingsong Liu
    • , Xiaoyun Hu
    •  & Yunhe Li
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Insect acquisition of insecticide resistance represents a serious problem for agriculture. Here, authors reveal an insect symbiotic bacteria that degrades insecticide fenitrothion into a non-insecticidal but bactericidal compound, which is subsequently excreted by the insect host.

    • Yuya Sato
    • , Seonghan Jang
    •  & Yoshitomo Kikuchi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Anthropogenic change, such as urban heat islands, present challenges to biodiversity that can be overcome through phenotypic plasticity. Unlike their ancestral counterparts, urban lizards have fewer maladaptive gene expression responses to higher temperatures in a common garden experiment, suggesting the evolution of adaptive plasticity.

    • Shane C. Campbell-Staton
    • , Jonathan P. Velotta
    •  & Kristin M. Winchell
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Evolutionary arms races can drive adaptations in hosts and parasites as well as among competing parasites. A combination of multi-omics and functional tests identifies a set of genes that allow a parasitic wasp to minimize intraspecific competition by inducing hosts to escape before more wasps can parasitize them.

    • Jiani Chen
    • , Gangqi Fang
    •  & Jianhua Huang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Incretin hormones regulate insulin and glucagon secretion in mammals, but similar peptides have not been characterized in invertebrates. Here the authors show that neuropeptide F functions similar to mammalian incretin in fruit flies, responding to sugar and enhancing insulin-like peptide secretion.

    • Yuto Yoshinari
    • , Hina Kosakamoto
    •  & Ryusuke Niwa
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Little is known on how mitonuclear interactions influence genomic divergence among hybrid and parental lineages. A study of hybridizing wood warbler species complex finds a nuclear gene block with mitochondrial functions coevolves with mitochondrial genome, driven by climate-associated divergent selection underlying hybrid-parental population divergence.

    • Silu Wang
    • , Madelyn J. Ore
    •  & Darren Irwin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The parasite causing toxoplasmosis can manipulate prey to behave in ways that promote transmission to the parasite’s definitive feline hosts. The first study consistent with this extended phenotype in the wild finds that infected hyena cubs approach lions more closely than uninfected peers and have higher rates of lion mortality.

    • Eben Gering
    • , Zachary M. Laubach
    •  & Thomas Getty