Troost, Tineke; Kooi, Bob; Dieckmann, Ulf
We studied the joint evolution of predator body size and prey-size preference based on dynamic energy budget theory. The predators’ demography and their functional response are based on general eco-physiological principles involving the size of both predator and prey. While our model can account
Smith, Karen E.; Halpin, Christina G.
Many prey have evolved toxins as a defense against predation. Those species that advertise their toxicity to would-be predators with conspicuous warning signals are known as “aposematic.” Investment in toxicity by aposematically signaling prey is thought to underpin how aversive prey are to predators; increasing toxicity means that predators learn to avoid prey faster and attack them at lower rates. However, predators’ foraging decisions on aposematic prey are determined not only by their toxicity, but also by their nutrient content: predators can trade-off the costs of ingesting toxin with the benefits of acquiring nutrients. Prey body size is a cue that positively correlates with nutrient content, and that varies within and between aposematic species. We predicted that a dose of quinine (known to be toxic to birds) would be a more effective deterrent to avian predators when prey were small compared with when they were large, and that the benefits of possessing toxin would be greater for small-bodied prey. Using an established laboratory protocol of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) foraging on mealworms (Tenebrio molitor), we found evidence for increased protection from a dose of quinine for small-bodied compared with large-bodied prey. This shows that larger prey need more toxin to attain the same level of defense as smaller prey, which has implications for the evolution of aposematism and mimicry. PMID:28028378
Tucker, Marlee A; Rogers, Tracey L
Predator-prey relationships and trophic levels are indicators of community structure, and are important for monitoring ecosystem changes. Mammals colonized the marine environment on seven separate occasions, which resulted in differences in species' physiology, morphology and behaviour. It is likely that these changes have had a major effect upon predator-prey relationships and trophic position; however, the effect of environment is yet to be clarified. We compiled a dataset, based on the literature, to explore the relationship between body mass, trophic level and predator-prey ratio across terrestrial (n = 51) and marine (n = 56) mammals. We did not find the expected positive relationship between trophic level and body mass, but we did find that marine carnivores sit 1.3 trophic levels higher than terrestrial carnivores. Also, marine mammals are largely carnivorous and have significantly larger predator-prey ratios compared with their terrestrial counterparts. We propose that primary productivity, and its availability, is important for mammalian trophic structure and body size. Also, energy flow and community structure in the marine environment are influenced by differences in energy efficiency and increased food web stability. Enhancing our knowledge of feeding ecology in mammals has the potential to provide insights into the structure and functioning of marine and terrestrial communities. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
Tucker, Marlee A.; Rogers, Tracey L.
Predator–prey relationships and trophic levels are indicators of community structure, and are important for monitoring ecosystem changes. Mammals colonized the marine environment on seven separate occasions, which resulted in differences in species' physiology, morphology and behaviour. It is likely that these changes have had a major effect upon predator–prey relationships and trophic position; however, the effect of environment is yet to be clarified. We compiled a dataset, based on the literature, to explore the relationship between body mass, trophic level and predator–prey ratio across terrestrial (n = 51) and marine (n = 56) mammals. We did not find the expected positive relationship between trophic level and body mass, but we did find that marine carnivores sit 1.3 trophic levels higher than terrestrial carnivores. Also, marine mammals are largely carnivorous and have significantly larger predator–prey ratios compared with their terrestrial counterparts. We propose that primary productivity, and its availability, is important for mammalian trophic structure and body size. Also, energy flow and community structure in the marine environment are influenced by differences in energy efficiency and increased food web stability. Enhancing our knowledge of feeding ecology in mammals has the potential to provide insights into the structure and functioning of marine and terrestrial communities. PMID:25377460
Frederick S. Scharf; Francis Juanes; Rodney A. Rountree
We utilized a long-term data base collected over a broad geographic range to examine predator size - prey size relationships for 18 species of marine fish predators from continental shelf waters off...
Jonathan Carlo Briones
Full Text Available Body size and environmental prey availability are both key factors determining feeding habits of gape-limited fish predators. However, our understanding of their interactive or relative effects is still limited. In this study, we performed quantitative dietary analysis of different body sizes of goby (Gymnogobius isaza specimens collected from Lake Biwa between 1962 and 2004. First, we report that the diet was composed mainly of zooplankton (cladocerans and copepods before the 1980s, and thereafter, shifted to zoobenthos (gammarids. This foraging shift coincided with, and thus can be linked to, known historical events in the lake at that time: decrease in zooplankton abundance with the alleviation of eutrophication, increase in fish body size resulting from fish population collapse, and increase in gammarid abundance due to reduced fish predation pressure. Supporting this view, our data analyses revealed how the long-term changes in the diet composition would be co-mediated by changes in fish body size and environmental prey availability. Specifically, while zoobenthos abundance strongly affected the fish diet composition, larger (smaller fish preferred zoobenthos (zooplankton. Furthermore, the body size effects were stronger than those of prey availability. These results provide the best long-term evidence that fish feeding habits vary over decades with its body size and prey community due to anthropogenic disturbances.
Hirvonen, Heikki; Ranta, Esa
We investigated foraging behaviour of larval dragonflies Aeshna juncea in order to examine the significance of prey density and body size in predator-prey dynamics. A. juncea were offered separately three size-classes of Daphnia magna at low and high densities. The data were collected with direct observations of the foraging individuals. We found that large A. juncea larvae could better enhance their intake of prey biomass as prey size and prey density increased than their smaller conspecifics. However, increasing feeding efficiency of both larval instars was constrained by declining attack success and search rate with increasing prey size and density. With small D. magna, in contrast to large A. juncea, small A. juncea increased their searching efficiency as prey density increased keeping D. magna mortality rate at a constant level. In a predator-prey relationship this indicates stabilizing potential and feeding thresholds set by both prey density and prey-predator size ratio. Attack success dropped with prey size and density, but did not change in the course of the foraging bout. For both A. juncea sizes prey handling times increased as more medium and large prey were eaten. The slope of the increase became steeper with increasing prey-predator size ratio. These observations indicate that components of the predator-prey relationship vary with prey density, contrary to the basic assumptions of functional response equations. Moreover, the results suggest that the effects of prey density change during the ontogeny of predators and prey.
Møller, A P; Erritzøe, J
Prey avoid being eaten by assessing the risk posed by approaching predators and responding accordingly. Such an assessment may result in prey-predator communication and signalling, which entail further monitoring of the predator by prey. An early antipredator response may provide potential prey with a selective advantage, although this benefit comes at the cost of disturbance in terms of lost foraging opportunities and increased energy expenditure. Therefore, it may pay prey to assess approaching predators and determine the likelihood of attack before fleeing. Given that many approaching potential predators are detected visually, we hypothesized that species with relatively large eyes would be able to detect an approaching predator from afar. Furthermore, we hypothesized that monitoring of predators by potential prey relies on evaluation through information processing by the brain. Therefore, species with relatively larger brains for their body size should be better able to monitor the intentions of a predator, delay flight for longer and hence have shorter flight initiation distances than species with smaller brains. Indeed, flight initiation distances increased with relative eye size and decreased with relative brain size in a comparative study of 107 species of birds. In addition, flight initiation distance increased independently with size of the cerebellum, which plays a key role in motor control. These results are consistent with cognitive monitoring as an antipredator behaviour that does not result in the fastest possible, but rather the least expensive escape flights. Therefore, antipredator behaviour may have coevolved with the size of sense organs, brains and compartments of the brain involved in responses to risk of predation.
stage when viewed on a relative predator/prey size scale. The study is based on stomach analysis of larval/juvenile cod in the size range 10-35 mm from nursery grounds in the North Sea. Stomach contents (species, size) were compared to environmental composition and preference indices were calculated...... prey biomass was highest in the areas of a hydrographic front, where larvae have been shown to concentrate. Changes in prey availability with larval growth depend strongly on specific prey biomass spectra at a given location. Both increasing and decreasing prey availability al increasing larval size...
Rutten, AL; Oosterbeek, K; Ens, Bruno J.; Verhulst, S
Intake rate maximization alone is not. always sufficient in explaining prey size selection in predators. For example, bivalve-feeding oystercatchers regularly select. smaller prey than expected if they aimed to maximize their intake rat-C. It has been proposed that. to these birds large prey are
The aim of the present study is to describe the prey preference characteristics of cod larvae and assess preference variability in relation to species and size composition of copepod prey. A further aim is to examine the hypothesis that dietary prey size spectra remain the same during the larval...... stage when viewed on a relative predator/prey size scale. The study is based on stomach analysis of larval/juvenile cod in the size range 10-35 mm from nursery grounds in the North Sea. Stomach contents (species, size) were compared to environmental composition and preference indices were calculated....... Prey size spectra had the expected relationship to larval cod size, and preference for given copepod species could be ascribed to their relative size; Additional species-specific preferences were evident, for example the larger Pseudocalanus and the larger Calanus spp. were highly preferred. Available...
Full Text Available Prey size is an important factor in food consumption. In studies of feeding ecology, prey items are usually measured individually using calipers or ocular micrometers. Among amphibians and reptiles, there are species that feed on large numbers of small prey items (e.g. ants, termites. This high intake makes it difficult to estimate prey size consumed by these animals. We addressed this problem by developing and evaluating a procedure for subsampling the stomach contents of such predators in order to estimate prey size. Specifically, we developed a protocol based on a bootstrap procedure to obtain a subsample with a precision error of at the most 5%, with a confidence level of at least 95%. This guideline should reduce the sampling effort and facilitate future studies on the feeding habits of amphibians and reptiles, and also provide a means of obtaining precise estimates of prey size.
Chen, Xiaolin; Jiang, Yong
The diet of the skink, Eumeces chinensis (Lacertilia: Scincidae), in Xiamen (Amoy), China was examined using stomach analysis during April and May, and its selection of prey size was tested by feeding trials. Insects (primarily Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, and Orthoptera), gastropods and arachnids constituted most of the E. chinensis diet, but earthworms, leeches, crustaceans and fish were also consumed. In the field, male skinks ate more prey items that were 11-20 mm in length than other size classes. When presented with a choice of different-sized prey in the laboratory, male E. chinensis exhibited a strong preference for prey items 11-20 mm in length over other size classes. The relationship between prey size and handling time was exponential, indicating that there is an upper limit to the ability of E. chinensis to process prey. Mean energy intake for handling different-sized prey showed that selection of midsizeclass prey items would provide male E. chinensis with the most energy-efficient prey option. These results indicate that prey size selection in E. chinensis favors maximization of rates of energy intake, which is in agreement with optimal foraging theory.
Christopher R. Hatcher
Full Text Available Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula has had a conservation status of vulnerable since the 1970s. Little research has focussed on the ecology and even less has examined its juvenile stages. For the first time, reliance on invertebrate prey for growth was assessed in seedling Venus flytrap by systematic elimination of invertebrates from the growing environment. Prey were experimentally removed from a subset of Venus flytrap seedlings within a laboratory environment. The amount of growth was measured by measuring trap midrib length as a function of overall growth as well as prey spectrum. There was significantly lower growth in prey-eliminated plants than those utilising prey. This finding, although initially unsurprising, is actually contrary to the consensus that seedlings (traps < 5 mm do not catch prey. Furthermore, flytrap was shown to have prey specificity at its different growth stages; the dominant prey size for seedlings did not trigger mature traps. Seedlings are capturing and utilising prey for nutrients to increase their overall trap size. These novel findings show Venus flytrap to have a much more complex evolutionary ecology than previously thought.
Hartvig, Martin; Andersen, Ken Haste
Abstract Species with a large adult-offspring size ratio and a preferred predator–prey mass ratio undergo ontogenetic trophic niche shift(s) throughout life. Trophic interactions between such species vary throughout life, resulting in different species-level interaction motifs depending on the ma......Abstract Species with a large adult-offspring size ratio and a preferred predator–prey mass ratio undergo ontogenetic trophic niche shift(s) throughout life. Trophic interactions between such species vary throughout life, resulting in different species-level interaction motifs depending...... coexistence’ state when the ratio between sizes at maturation of the two species is less than a predator–prey mass ratio and the resource level is low to intermediate, or in a ‘trophic ladder’ state if the ratio of sizes at maturation is larger than the predator–prey mass ratio at all resource levels. While...
Full Text Available Exploitation of the hunting behavior of the solitary wasp Cerceris fumipennis is proving to be a useful method for detecting pest Buprestidae as well as for documenting buprestid diversity in eastern North America. Here we review prey carriage mechanisms in the species, and conclude that variation in prey carriage is correlated with the spectacular size range of their buprestid prey (4.9–22.3 mm length. Small prey items, including Agrilus species, are transported with the aid of a specialized morphological structure on the fifth metasomal sternite (“buprestid clamp”, resulting in a distinct curved posture during flight. Analysis of prey items from C. fumipennis in North Carolina in 2014 indicates that 30% of collected Agrilus spp. were not paralyzed prior to wasp arrival at the nest, and suggests that the buprestid clamp may function to prevent the escape of active small prey. Recognition that the curved flight posture of a female approaching her nest is a signal that she may be carrying a beetle in the genus Agrilus can improve efficiency of biosurveillance for pest Buprestidae.
Olberg, R M; Worthington, A H; Fox, J L; Bessette, C E; Loosemore, M P
To determine whether perching dragonflies visually assess the distance to potential prey items, we presented artificial prey, glass beads suspended from fine wires, to perching dragonflies in the field. We videotaped the responses of freely foraging dragonflies (Libellula luctuosa and Sympetrum vicinum-Odonata, suborder Anisoptera) to beads ranging from 0.5 mm to 8 mm in diameter, recording whether or not the dragonflies took off after the beads, and if so, at what distance. Our results indicated that dragonflies were highly selective for bead size. Furthermore, the smaller Sympetrum preferred beads of smaller size and the larger Libellula preferred larger beads. Each species rejected beads as large or larger than their heads, even when the beads subtended the same visual angles as the smaller, attractive beads. Since bead size cannot be determined without reference to distance, we conclude that dragonflies are able to estimate the distance to potential prey items. The range over which they estimate distance is about 1 m for the larger Libellula and 70 cm for the smaller Sympetrum. The mechanism of distance estimation is unknown, but it probably includes both stereopsis and the motion parallax produced by head movements.
Chris B Thaxter
Full Text Available Understanding how prey capture rates are influenced by feeding ecology and environmental conditions is fundamental to assessing anthropogenic impacts on marine higher predators. We compared how prey capture rates varied in relation to prey size, prey patch distribution and prey density for two species of alcid, common guillemot (Uria aalge and razorbill (Alca torda during the chick-rearing period. We developed a Monte Carlo approach parameterised with foraging behaviour from bird-borne data loggers, observations of prey fed to chicks, and adult diet from water-offloading, to construct a bio-energetics model. Our primary goal was to estimate prey capture rates, and a secondary aim was to test responses to a set of biologically plausible environmental scenarios. Estimated prey capture rates were 1.5 ± 0.8 items per dive (0.8 ± 0.4 and 1.1 ± 0.6 items per minute foraging and underwater, respectively for guillemots and 3.7 ± 2.4 items per dive (4.9 ± 3.1 and 7.3 ± 4.0 items per minute foraging and underwater, respectively for razorbills. Based on species' ecology, diet and flight costs, we predicted that razorbills would be more sensitive to decreases in 0-group sandeel (Ammodytes marinus length (prediction 1, but guillemots would be more sensitive to prey patches that were more widely spaced (prediction 2, and lower in prey density (prediction 3. Estimated prey capture rates increased non-linearly as 0-group sandeel length declined, with the slope being steeper in razorbills, supporting prediction 1. When prey patches were more dispersed, estimated daily energy expenditure increased by a factor of 3.0 for guillemots and 2.3 for razorbills, suggesting guillemots were more sensitive to patchier prey, supporting prediction 2. However, both species responded similarly to reduced prey density (guillemot expenditure increased by 1.7; razorbill by 1.6, thus not supporting prediction 3. This bio-energetics approach complements other foraging models
Thaxter, Chris B; Daunt, Francis; Grémillet, David; Harris, Mike P; Benvenuti, Silvano; Watanuki, Yutaka; Hamer, Keith C; Wanless, Sarah
Understanding how prey capture rates are influenced by feeding ecology and environmental conditions is fundamental to assessing anthropogenic impacts on marine higher predators. We compared how prey capture rates varied in relation to prey size, prey patch distribution and prey density for two species of alcid, common guillemot (Uria aalge) and razorbill (Alca torda) during the chick-rearing period. We developed a Monte Carlo approach parameterised with foraging behaviour from bird-borne data loggers, observations of prey fed to chicks, and adult diet from water-offloading, to construct a bio-energetics model. Our primary goal was to estimate prey capture rates, and a secondary aim was to test responses to a set of biologically plausible environmental scenarios. Estimated prey capture rates were 1.5 ± 0.8 items per dive (0.8 ± 0.4 and 1.1 ± 0.6 items per minute foraging and underwater, respectively) for guillemots and 3.7 ± 2.4 items per dive (4.9 ± 3.1 and 7.3 ± 4.0 items per minute foraging and underwater, respectively) for razorbills. Based on species' ecology, diet and flight costs, we predicted that razorbills would be more sensitive to decreases in 0-group sandeel (Ammodytes marinus) length (prediction 1), but guillemots would be more sensitive to prey patches that were more widely spaced (prediction 2), and lower in prey density (prediction 3). Estimated prey capture rates increased non-linearly as 0-group sandeel length declined, with the slope being steeper in razorbills, supporting prediction 1. When prey patches were more dispersed, estimated daily energy expenditure increased by a factor of 3.0 for guillemots and 2.3 for razorbills, suggesting guillemots were more sensitive to patchier prey, supporting prediction 2. However, both species responded similarly to reduced prey density (guillemot expenditure increased by 1.7; razorbill by 1.6), thus not supporting prediction 3. This bio-energetics approach complements other foraging models in
Thaxter, Chris B.; Daunt, Francis; Grémillet, David; Harris, Mike P.; Benvenuti, Silvano; Watanuki, Yutaka; Hamer, Keith C.; Wanless, Sarah
Understanding how prey capture rates are influenced by feeding ecology and environmental conditions is fundamental to assessing anthropogenic impacts on marine higher predators. We compared how prey capture rates varied in relation to prey size, prey patch distribution and prey density for two species of alcid, common guillemot (Uria aalge) and razorbill (Alca torda) during the chick-rearing period. We developed a Monte Carlo approach parameterised with foraging behaviour from bird-borne data loggers, observations of prey fed to chicks, and adult diet from water-offloading, to construct a bio-energetics model. Our primary goal was to estimate prey capture rates, and a secondary aim was to test responses to a set of biologically plausible environmental scenarios. Estimated prey capture rates were 1.5±0.8 items per dive (0.8±0.4 and 1.1±0.6 items per minute foraging and underwater, respectively) for guillemots and 3.7±2.4 items per dive (4.9±3.1 and 7.3±4.0 items per minute foraging and underwater, respectively) for razorbills. Based on species' ecology, diet and flight costs, we predicted that razorbills would be more sensitive to decreases in 0-group sandeel (Ammodytes marinus) length (prediction 1), but guillemots would be more sensitive to prey patches that were more widely spaced (prediction 2), and lower in prey density (prediction 3). Estimated prey capture rates increased non-linearly as 0-group sandeel length declined, with the slope being steeper in razorbills, supporting prediction 1. When prey patches were more dispersed, estimated daily energy expenditure increased by a factor of 3.0 for guillemots and 2.3 for razorbills, suggesting guillemots were more sensitive to patchier prey, supporting prediction 2. However, both species responded similarly to reduced prey density (guillemot expenditure increased by 1.7; razorbill by 1.6), thus not supporting prediction 3. This bio-energetics approach complements other foraging models in predicting likely
Eoin J O'Gorman
Full Text Available The distribution of species body size is critically important for determining resource use within a group or clade. It is widely known that non-avian dinosaurs were the largest creatures to roam the Earth. There is, however, little understanding of how maximum species body size was distributed among the dinosaurs. Do they share a similar distribution to modern day vertebrate groups in spite of their large size, or did they exhibit fundamentally different distributions due to unique evolutionary pressures and adaptations? Here, we address this question by comparing the distribution of maximum species body size for dinosaurs to an extensive set of extant and extinct vertebrate groups. We also examine the body size distribution of dinosaurs by various sub-groups, time periods and formations. We find that dinosaurs exhibit a strong skew towards larger species, in direct contrast to modern day vertebrates. This pattern is not solely an artefact of bias in the fossil record, as demonstrated by contrasting distributions in two major extinct groups and supports the hypothesis that dinosaurs exhibited a fundamentally different life history strategy to other terrestrial vertebrates. A disparity in the size distribution of the herbivorous Ornithischia and Sauropodomorpha and the largely carnivorous Theropoda suggests that this pattern may have been a product of a divergence in evolutionary strategies: herbivorous dinosaurs rapidly evolved large size to escape predation by carnivores and maximise digestive efficiency; carnivores had sufficient resources among juvenile dinosaurs and non-dinosaurian prey to achieve optimal success at smaller body size.
O'Gorman, Eoin J; Hone, David W E
The distribution of species body size is critically important for determining resource use within a group or clade. It is widely known that non-avian dinosaurs were the largest creatures to roam the Earth. There is, however, little understanding of how maximum species body size was distributed among the dinosaurs. Do they share a similar distribution to modern day vertebrate groups in spite of their large size, or did they exhibit fundamentally different distributions due to unique evolutionary pressures and adaptations? Here, we address this question by comparing the distribution of maximum species body size for dinosaurs to an extensive set of extant and extinct vertebrate groups. We also examine the body size distribution of dinosaurs by various sub-groups, time periods and formations. We find that dinosaurs exhibit a strong skew towards larger species, in direct contrast to modern day vertebrates. This pattern is not solely an artefact of bias in the fossil record, as demonstrated by contrasting distributions in two major extinct groups and supports the hypothesis that dinosaurs exhibited a fundamentally different life history strategy to other terrestrial vertebrates. A disparity in the size distribution of the herbivorous Ornithischia and Sauropodomorpha and the largely carnivorous Theropoda suggests that this pattern may have been a product of a divergence in evolutionary strategies: herbivorous dinosaurs rapidly evolved large size to escape predation by carnivores and maximise digestive efficiency; carnivores had sufficient resources among juvenile dinosaurs and non-dinosaurian prey to achieve optimal success at smaller body size.
Prey size spectra of suspension-feeding zooplankton may be predicted from foraging mode and a mechanistic understanding of prey perception and capture. I examine this for suspension-feeding copepods where 2 foraging modes can be distinguished: ambush feeding and active (i.e. cruising and feeding...... the prediction. I also make qualitative predictions of food size spectra in zooplankton with other prey perception mechanisms that accord with observations....
Vaughn-Hirshorn, Robin L; Muzi, Elisa; Richardson, Jessica L; Fox, Gabriella J; Hansen, Lauren N; Salley, Alyce M; Dudzinski, Kathleen M; Würsig, Bernd
We characterized dusky dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) feeding behaviors recorded on underwater video, and related behaviors to variation in prey ball sizes, dolphin group sizes, and study site (Argentina versus New Zealand, NZ). Herding behaviors most often involved dolphins swimming around the side or under prey balls, but dolphins in Argentina more often swam under prey balls (48% of passes) than did dolphins in NZ (34% of passes). This result may have been due to differences in group sizes between sites, since groups are larger in Argentina. Additionally, in NZ, group size was positively correlated with proportion of passes that occurred under prey balls (pdolphins in Argentina more often swam through prey balls (8% of attempts) than did dolphins in NZ (4% of attempts). This result may have been due to differences in prey ball sizes between sites, since dolphins fed on larger prey balls in Argentina (>74m(2)) than in NZ (maximum 33m(2)). Additionally, in NZ, dolphins were more likely to swim through prey balls to capture fish when they fed on larger prey balls (p=0.025).
Caparroy, P.; Thygesen, Uffe Høgsbro; Visser, Andre
A mathematical model of the attack success of planktonic predators (fish larvae and carnivorous copepods) is proposed. Based on a geometric representation of attack events, the model considers how the escape reaction characteristics (speed and direction) of copepod prey affect their probability...... of being captured. By combining the attack success model with previously published hydrodynamic models of predator and prey perception, we examine how predator foraging behaviour and prey perceptive ability affect the size spectra of encountered and captured copepod prey. We examine food size spectra of (i...... also acts in modifying the prey escape direction. The model demonstrates that the reorientation of the prey escape path towards the centre of the feeding current's flow field results in increased attack success of the predator. Finally, the model examines how variability in the kinetics of approach...
Meik, Jesse M; Lawing, A Michelle; Pires-daSilva, André
Speckled rattlesnakes (Crotalus mitchellii) inhabit multiple islands off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Two of the 14 known insular populations have been recognized as subspecies based primarily on body size divergence from putative mainland ancestral populations; however, a survey of body size variation from other islands occupied by these snakes has not been previously reported. We examined body size variation between island and mainland speckled rattlesnakes, and the relationship between body size and various island physical variables among 12 island populations. We also examined relative head size among giant, dwarfed, and mainland speckled rattlesnakes to determine whether allometric differences conformed to predictions of gape size (and indirectly body size) evolving in response to shifts in prey size. Insular speckled rattlesnakes show considerable variation in body size when compared to mainland source subspecies. In addition to previously known instances of gigantism on Angel de la Guarda and dwarfism on El Muerto, various degrees of body size decrease have occurred frequently in this taxon, with dwarfed rattlesnakes occurring mostly on small, recently isolated, land-bridge islands. Regression models using the Akaike information criterion (AIC) showed that mean SVL of insular populations was most strongly correlated with island area, suggesting the influence of selection for different body size optima for islands of different size. Allometric differences in head size of giant and dwarf rattlesnakes revealed patterns consistent with shifts to larger and smaller prey, respectively. Our data provide the first example of a clear relationship between body size and island area in a squamate reptile species; among vertebrates this pattern has been previously documented in few insular mammals. This finding suggests that selection for body size is influenced by changes in community dynamics that are related to graded differences in area over what are
Jesse M Meik
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Speckled rattlesnakes (Crotalus mitchellii inhabit multiple islands off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Two of the 14 known insular populations have been recognized as subspecies based primarily on body size divergence from putative mainland ancestral populations; however, a survey of body size variation from other islands occupied by these snakes has not been previously reported. We examined body size variation between island and mainland speckled rattlesnakes, and the relationship between body size and various island physical variables among 12 island populations. We also examined relative head size among giant, dwarfed, and mainland speckled rattlesnakes to determine whether allometric differences conformed to predictions of gape size (and indirectly body size evolving in response to shifts in prey size. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Insular speckled rattlesnakes show considerable variation in body size when compared to mainland source subspecies. In addition to previously known instances of gigantism on Angel de la Guarda and dwarfism on El Muerto, various degrees of body size decrease have occurred frequently in this taxon, with dwarfed rattlesnakes occurring mostly on small, recently isolated, land-bridge islands. Regression models using the Akaike information criterion (AIC showed that mean SVL of insular populations was most strongly correlated with island area, suggesting the influence of selection for different body size optima for islands of different size. Allometric differences in head size of giant and dwarf rattlesnakes revealed patterns consistent with shifts to larger and smaller prey, respectively. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data provide the first example of a clear relationship between body size and island area in a squamate reptile species; among vertebrates this pattern has been previously documented in few insular mammals. This finding suggests that selection for body size is influenced by changes in
Pedro A. Rincón; Markus Bastir; Gary D. Grossman
Identifying links between morphology and performance for ecologically relevant tasks will help elucidate the relationships between organismal design and fitness. We conducted a laboratory study to quantify the relationship between variation in body shape and prey-capture success in four drift-feeding minnow species. We offered drifting prey to individual fish in a test...
Burress, Edward D.; Holcomb, Jordan M.; Bonato, Karine Orlandi; Armbruster, Jonathan W.
Body size has many ecological and evolutionary implications that extend across multiple levels of organization. Body size is often positively correlated with species traits such as metabolism, prey size and trophic position (TP) due to physiological and mechanical constraints. We used stable isotope analysis to quantify TP among minnows across multiple assemblages that differed in their species composition, diversity and food web structure. Body size significantly predicted TP across different lineages and assemblages, and indicated a significant negative relationship. The observed negative relationship between body size and TP is contrary to conventional knowledge, and is likely to have arisen owing to highly clade-specific patterns, such that clades consist of either large benthic species or small pelagic species. Cyprinids probably subvert the physiological and mechanical constraints that generally produce a positive relationship between body size and TP using anatomical modifications and by consuming small-bodied prey, respectively. The need for herbivorous cyprinids to digest cellulose-rich foods probably selected for larger bodies to accommodate longer intestinal tracts and thereby to facilitate digestion of nutrient-poor resources, such as algae. Therefore, body size and TP are likely to have coevolved in cyprinids in association with specialization along the benthic to pelagic resource axis. PMID:27293777
Images ... boned category. Determining frame size: To determine the body frame size, measure the wrist with a tape measure and use the following chart to determine whether the person is small, medium, or large boned. Women: Height under 5'2" Small = wrist size less ...
Sonerud, Geir A; Steen, Ronny; Løw, Line M; Røed, Line T; Skar, Kristin; Selås, Vidar; Slagsvold, Tore
In birds with bi-parental care, the provisioning link between prey capture and delivery to dependent offspring is regarded as often symmetric between the mates. However, in raptors, the larger female usually broods and feeds the nestlings, while the smaller male provides food for the family, assisted by the female in the latter part of the nestling period, if at all. Prey items are relatively large and often impossible for nestlings to handle without extended maternal assistance. We video-recorded prey delivery and handling in nests of a raptor with a wide diet, the Eurasian kestrel Falco tinnunculus, and simultaneously observed prey transfer from male to female outside the nest. The male selectively allocated larger items, in particular birds and larger mammals, to the female for further processing and feeding of nestlings, and smaller items, in particular lizards and smaller mammals, directly to the nestlings for unassisted feeding. Hence, from the video, the female appeared to have captured larger prey than the male, while in reality no difference existed. The female's size-biased interception of the male's prey provisioning line would maximize the male's foraging time, and maximize the female's control of the allocation of food between her own need and that of the offspring. The male would maximize his control of food allocation by capturing smaller prey. This conflict would select for larger dominant females and smaller energy-efficient males, and induce stronger selection the longer the female depends on the male for self-feeding, as a proportion of the offspring dependence period.
MacLeod, C D; Reidenberg, J S; Weller, M; Santos, M B; Herman, J; Goold, J; Pierce, G J
Skulls of odontocetes (toothed whales, including dolphins and porpoises) are typified by directional asymmetry, particularly in elements associated with the airway. Generally, it is assumed this asymmetry is related to biosonar production. However, skull asymmetry may actually be a by-product of selection pressure for an asymmetrically positioned larynx. The odontocete larynx traverses the pharynx and is held permanently in place by a ring of muscle. This allows prey swallowing while remaining underwater without risking water entering the lungs and causing injury or death. However, protrusion of the larynx through the pharynx causes a restriction around which prey must pass to reach the stomach. The larynx and associated hyoid apparatus has, therefore, been shifted to the left to provide a larger right piriform sinus (lateral pharyngeal food channel) for swallowing larger prey items. This asymmetry is reflected in the skull, particularly the dorsal openings of the nares. It is hypothesized that there is a relationship between prey size and skull asymmetry. This relationship was examined in 13 species of odontocete cetaceans from the northeast Atlantic, including four narrow-gaped genera (Mesoplodon, Ziphius, Hyperoodon, and Kogia) and eight wide-gaped genera (Phocoena, Delphinus, Stenella, Lagenorhynchus, Tursiops, Grampus, Globicephala, and Orcinus). Skulls were examined from 183 specimens to assess asymmetry of the anterior choanae. Stomach contents were examined from 294 specimens to assess prey size. Results show there is a significant positive relationship between maximum relative prey size consumed and average asymmetry relative to skull size in odontocete species (wide-gape species: R2 = 0.642, P = 0.006; narrow-gape species: R2 = 0.909, P = 0.031). This finding provides support for the hypothesis that the directional asymmetry found in odontocete skulls is related to an aquatic adaptation enabling swallowing large, whole prey while maintaining respiratory
Population dynamics and evolutionary dynamics can occur on similar time scales, and a coupling of these two processes can lead to novel population dynamics. Recent theoretical studies of coevolving predator-prey systems have concentrated more on the stability of such systems than on the characteristics of cycles when they are unstable. Here I explore the characteristics of the cycles that arise due to coevolution in a system in which prey can increase their ability to escape from predators by becoming either significantly larger or significantly smaller in trait value (i.e., a bidirectional trait axis). This is a reasonable model of body size evolution in some systems. The results show that antiphase population cycles and cryptic cycles (large population fluctuation in one species but almost no change in another species) can occur in the coevolutionary system but not systems where only a single species evolves. Previously, those dynamical patterns have only been theoretically shown to occur in single species evolutionary models and the coevolutionary model which do not involve a bi-directional axis of adaptation. These unusual dynamics may be observed in predator-prey interactions when the density dependence in the prey species is strong.
Srivastava, D S; Trzcinski, M K; Richardson, B A; Gilbert, B
Ecologists have hypothesized that the exponent of species-area power functions (z value) should increase with trophic level. The main explanation for this pattern has been that specialist predators require prior colonization of a patch by their prey, resulting in a compounding of the effects of area up trophic levels. We propose two novel explanations, neither of which assumes trophic coupling between species. First, sampling effects can result in different z values if the abundances of species differ (in mean or evenness) between trophic levels. Second, when body size increases between trophic levels, effects of body size on z values may appear as differences between trophic levels. We test these alternative explanations using invertebrate food webs in 280 bromeliads from three countries. The z value of predators was higher than that of prey. Much of the difference in z values could be explained by sampling effects but not by body size effects. When damselflies occurred in the species pool, predator z values were even higher than predicted, as damselflies avoid small, drought-prone bromeliads. In one habitat, dwarf forests, detrital biomass became decoupled from bromeliad size, which also caused large trophic differences in z values. We argue that there are often simpler explanations than trophic coupling to explain differences in z values between trophic levels.
Barber-Meyer, Shannon M.; Mech, L. David; Newton, Wesley E.; Borg, Bridget
Risk to predators hunting dangerous prey is an emerging area of research and could account for possible persistent differences in gray wolf (Canis lupus) pack sizes. We documented significant differences in long-term wolf-pack-size averages and variation in the Superior National Forest (SNF), Denali National Park and Preserve, Yellowstone National Park, and Yukon, Canada (paccount for possible persistent differences in gray wolf (Canis lupus) pack sizes. We documented significant differences in long-term wolf-pack-size averages and variation in the Superior National Forest (SNF), Denali National Park and Preserve, Yellowstone National Park, and Yukon, Canada (p<0.01). The SNF differences could be related to the wolves’ risk when hunting primary prey, for those packs (N=3) hunting moose (Alces americanus) were significantly larger than those (N=10) hunting white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) (F1,8=16.50, p=0.004). Our data support the hypothesis that differential pack-size persistence may be perpetuated by differences in primary prey riskiness to wolves, and we highlight two important extensions of this idea: (1) the potential for wolves to provision and defend injured packmates from other wolves and (2) the importance of less-risky, buffer prey to pack-size persistence and year-to-year variation.
Annis, J. F.
The range of variability found among homogeneous groups is described and illustrated. Those trends that show significantly marked differences between sexes and among a number of racial/ethnic groups are also presented. Causes of human-body size variability discussed include genetic endowment, aging, nutrition, protective garments, and occupation. The information is presented to aid design engineers of space flight hardware and equipment.
Rudolf, Volker H W; Armstrong, Joanna
Many organisms undergo ontogenetic niche shifts due to considerable changes in size during their development. These ontogenetic shifts can alter the trophic position of individuals, the type and strength of ecological interactions across species, and allow for cannibalism within species. In this study we ask if and how the interaction of a size refuge and cannibalism in the prey alters the dynamics of intraguild predation (IGP) systems. By manipulating the composition of large cannibalistic (Aeshna umbrosa) and predatory (Anax junius) dragonfly larvae in mesocosms we show that the interaction of cannibals and predators was non-linear and increased the survival of prey. The structure of the final resource community shared by prey and predator differed between small and large dragonfly treatments but not within size classes across species. In general, the small prey stage showed similar shifts in microhabitat use and refuge use when exposed to either conspecific cannibals or predators, while large cannibals showed no clear anti-predator response. However, further behavioral experiments revealed that specific behavioral components, such as distances between individuals or number of movements, differed when individuals were exposed to either cannibals or predators. This indicates that individuals discriminated between conspecific or heterospecific predators. Furthermore, in similar experiments large cannibals and predators showed different behaviors when exposed to conspecifics rather than to each other. These changes in behavior are consistent with the observed increase in prey survival. In general, the results indicate that cannibalism and ontogenetic niche shifts can result in behavior-mediated indirect interactions that reduce the impact of the predator on the mortality of its prey and alter the interactions of IGP systems. However, they also indicate that size is not the sole determinant and that we also need to account for the species identity when predicting the
Saito, H.; Kiørboe, Thomas
distances. We develop a simple prey encounter rate model by describing the swimming prey as a 'force dipole' and assuming that a critical signal strength is required to elicit an attack. By fitting the model to the observations, a critical signal strength of 10(-2) cm s(-1) is estimated; this is very......The gut contents of Sagitta elegans were sampled twice daily (noon and midnight) during 9 days in October at an anchor station in the northern North Sea. Observations of the ambient prey field and of turbulent dissipation rates were collected simultaneously. The average number of prey per...... chaetognath was among the highest ever recorded, 0.57 +/- 0.10. Total gut content was independent of ambient prey concentration, suggesting that feeding rate was saturated. Clearance rates were estimated from gut contents and ambient prey concentrations and a literature-based estimate of digestion time...
Island colonisation by animal populations is often associated with dramatic shifts in body size. However, little is known about the rates at which these evolutionary shifts occur, under what precise selective pressures and the putative role played by adaptive plasticity on driving such changes. Isolation time played a significant role in the evolution of body size in island Tiger snake populations, where adaptive phenotypic plasticity followed by genetic assimilation fine-tuned neonate body and head size (hence swallowing performance) to prey size. Here I show that in long isolated islands (>6000 years old) and mainland populations, neonate body mass and snout-vent length are tightly correlated with the average prey body mass available at each site. Regression line equations were used to calculate body size values to match prey size in four recently isolated populations of Tiger snakes. Rates of evolution in body mass and snout-vent length, calculated for seven island snake populations, were significantly correlated with isolation time. Finally, rates of evolution in body mass per generation were significantly correlated with levels of plasticity in head growth rates. This study shows that body size evolution occurs at a faster pace in recently isolated populations and suggests that the level of adaptive plasticity for swallowing abilities may correlate with rates of body mass evolution. I hypothesise that, in the early stages of colonisation, adaptive plasticity and directional selection may combine and generate accelerated evolution towards an ‘optimal' phenotype. PMID:25074570
Island colonisation by animal populations is often associated with dramatic shifts in body size. However, little is known about the rates at which these evolutionary shifts occur, under what precise selective pressures and the putative role played by adaptive plasticity on driving such changes. Isolation time played a significant role in the evolution of body size in island Tiger snake populations, where adaptive phenotypic plasticity followed by genetic assimilation fine-tuned neonate body and head size (hence swallowing performance) to prey size. Here I show that in long isolated islands (>6000 years old) and mainland populations, neonate body mass and snout-vent length are tightly correlated with the average prey body mass available at each site. Regression line equations were used to calculate body size values to match prey size in four recently isolated populations of Tiger snakes. Rates of evolution in body mass and snout-vent length, calculated for seven island snake populations, were significantly correlated with isolation time. Finally, rates of evolution in body mass per generation were significantly correlated with levels of plasticity in head growth rates. This study shows that body size evolution occurs at a faster pace in recently isolated populations and suggests that the level of adaptive plasticity for swallowing abilities may correlate with rates of body mass evolution. I hypothesise that, in the early stages of colonisation, adaptive plasticity and directional selection may combine and generate accelerated evolution towards an 'optimal' phenotype.
Sara Catunda Pereira
Full Text Available This study aimed at evaluating the energetic return and feeding time on Philodryas nattereri kept in captivity. Snakes were fed biweekly for 60 days (four feeding trials, in two different feeding treatments (single and multiple prey items. The energetic return revealed no significant difference between the feeding treatments; however, we found a negative relationship between snake size and prey handling time during a feed using multiple prey items. In P. nattereri, when large preys are as easy to find as small ones, there seems to be no difference in energetic return.
Full Text Available The distribution of weak and strong non-linear feeding interactions (i.e., functional responses across the links of complex food webs is critically important for their stability. While empirical advances have unravelled constraints on single-prey functional responses, their validity in the context of complex food webs where most predators have multiple prey remain uncertain. In this study, we present conceptual evidence for the invalidity of strictly density-dependent consumption as the null model in multi-prey experiments. Instead, we employ two-prey functional responses parameterised with allometric scaling relationships of the functional response parameters that were derived from a previous single-prey functional response study as novel null models. Our experiments included predators of different sizes from two taxonomical groups (wolf spiders and ground beetles simultaneously preying on one small and one large prey species. We define compliance with the null model predictions (based on two independent single-prey functional responses as passive preferences or passive switching, and deviations from the null model as active preferences or active switching. Our results indicate active and passive preferences for the larger prey by predators that are at least twice the size of the larger prey. Moreover, our approach revealed that active preferences increased significantly with the predator-prey body-mass ratio. Together with prior allometric scaling relationships of functional response parameters, this preference allometry may allow estimating the distribution of functional response parameters across the myriads of interactions in natural ecosystems.
Dodrill, Michael J.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Kennedy, Theodore A.; Haye, John W
The cold and clear water conditions present below many large dams create ideal conditions for the development of economically important salmonid fisheries. Many of these tailwater fisheries have experienced declines in the abundance and condition of large trout species, yet the causes of these declines remain uncertain. Here, we develop, assess, and apply a drift-foraging bioenergetics model to identify the factors limiting rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) growth in a large tailwater. We explored the relative importance of temperature, prey quantity, and prey size by constructing scenarios where these variables, both singly and in combination, were altered. Predicted growth matched empirical mass-at-age estimates, particularly for younger ages, demonstrating that the model accurately describes how current temperature and prey conditions interact to determine rainbow trout growth. Modeling scenarios that artificially inflated prey size and abundance demonstrate that rainbow trout growth is limited by the scarcity of large prey items and overall prey availability. For example, shifting 10% of the prey biomass to the 13 mm (large) length class, without increasing overall prey biomass, increased lifetime maximum mass of rainbow trout by 88%. Additionally, warmer temperatures resulted in lower predicted growth at current and lower levels of prey availability; however, growth was similar across all temperatures at higher levels of prey availability. Climate change will likely alter flow and temperature regimes in large rivers with corresponding changes to invertebrate prey resources used by fish. Broader application of drift-foraging bioenergetics models to build a mechanistic understanding of how changes to habitat conditions and prey resources affect growth of salmonids will benefit management of tailwater fisheries.
Day, Troy; Abrams, Peter A; Chase, Jonathan M
Some of the best empirical examples of life-history evolution involve responses to predation. Nevertheless, most life-history theory dealing with responses to predation has not been formulated within an explicit dynamic food-web context. In particular, most previous theory does not explicitly consider the coupled population dynamics of the focal species and its predators and resources. Here we present a model of life-history evolution that explores the evolutionary consequences of size-specific predation on small individuals when there is a trade-off between growth and reproduction. The model explicitly describes the population dynamics of a predator, the prey of interest, and its resource. The selective forces that cause life-history evolution in the prey species emerge from the ecological interactions embodied by this model and can involve important elements of frequency dependence. Our results demonstrate that the strength of the coupling between predator and prey in the community determines many aspects of life-history evolution. If the coupling is weak (as is implicitly assumed in many previous models), differences in resource productivity have no effect on the nature of life-history evolution. A single life-history strategy is favored that minimizes the equilibrium resource density (if possible). If the coupling is strong, then higher resource productivities select for faster growth into the predation size refuge. Moreover, under strong coupling it is also possible for natural selection to favor an evolutionary diversification of life histories, possibly resulting in two coexisting species with divergent life-history strategies.
Nagashima, Takashi; Oami, Eitaro; Kutsuna, Natsumaro; Ishiura, Shoichi; Suo, Satoshi
The nervous system plays a critical role in the regulation of animal body sizes. In Caenorhabditis elegans, an amine neurotransmitter, dopamine, is required for the tactile perception of food and food-dependent behavioral changes, while its role in development is unknown. In this study, we show that dopamine negatively regulates body size through a D2-like dopamine receptor, DOP-3, in C. elegans. Dopamine alters body size without affecting food intake or developmental rate. We also found that dopamine promotes egg-laying, although the regulation of body size by dopamine was not solely caused by this effect. Furthermore, dopamine negatively regulates body size through the suppression of signaling by octopamine and Gq-coupled octopamine receptors, SER-3 and SER-6. Our results demonstrate that dopamine and octopamine regulate the body size of C. elegans and suggest a potential role for perception in addition to ingestion of food for growth.
Janssens, Lizanne; Van Dievel, Marie; Stoks, Robby
While nonconsumptive effects of predators may strongly affect prey populations, little is known how future warming will modulate these effects. Such information would be especially relevant with regard to prey physiology and resulting changes in prey stoichiometry. We investigated in Enallagma cyathigerum damselfly larvae the effects of a 4°C warming (20°C vs. 24°C) and predation risk on growth rate, physiology and body stoichiometry, for the first time including all key mechanisms suggested by the general stress paradigm (GSP) on how stressors shape changes in body stoichiometry. Growth rate and energy storage were higher at 24°C. Based on thermodynamic principles and the growth rate hypothesis, we could demonstrate predictable reductions in body C:P under warming and link these to the increase in P-rich RNA; the associated warming-induced decrease in C:N may be explained by the increased synthesis of N-rich proteins. Yet, under predation risk, growth rate instead decreased with warming and the warming-induced decreases in C:N and C:P disappeared. As predicted by the GSP, larvae increased body C:N and C:P at 24°C under predation risk. Notably, we did not detect the assumed GSP-mechanisms driving these changes: despite an increased metabolic rate there was neither an increase of C-rich biomolecules (instead fat and sugar contents decreased under predation risk), nor a decrease of N-rich proteins. We hypothesize that the higher C:N and N:P under predation risk are caused by a higher investment in morphological defense. This may also explain the stronger predator-induced increase in C:N under warming. The expected higher C:P under predation risk was only present under warming and matched the observed growth reduction and associated reduction in P-rich RNA. Our integrated mechanistic approach unraveled novel pathways of how warming and predation risk shape body stoichiometry. Key findings that (1) warming effects on elemental stoichiometry were predictable and
Mosgaard, Berit Jul
Only about half the studies that have collected information on the relevance of women's height and body mass index to their risk of developing ovarian cancer have published their results, and findings are inconsistent. Here, we bring together the worldwide evidence, published and unpublished...
Denver W Fowler
Full Text Available Despite the ubiquity of raptors in terrestrial ecosystems, many aspects of their predatory behaviour remain poorly understood. Surprisingly little is known about the morphology of raptor talons and how they are employed during feeding behaviour. Talon size variation among digits can be used to distinguish families of raptors and is related to different techniques of prey restraint and immobilisation. The hypertrophied talons on digits (D I and II in Accipitridae have evolved primarily to restrain large struggling prey while they are immobilised by dismemberment. Falconidae have only modest talons on each digit and only slightly enlarged D-I and II. For immobilisation, Falconini rely more strongly on strike impact and breaking the necks of their prey, having evolved a 'tooth' on the beak to aid in doing so. Pandionidae have enlarged, highly recurved talons on each digit, an adaptation for piscivory, convergently seen to a lesser extent in fishing eagles. Strigiformes bear enlarged talons with comparatively low curvature on each digit, part of a suite of adaptations to increase constriction efficiency by maximising grip strength, indicative of specialisation on small prey. Restraint and immobilisation strategy change as prey increase in size. Small prey are restrained by containment within the foot and immobilised by constriction and beak attacks. Large prey are restrained by pinning under the bodyweight of the raptor, maintaining grip with the talons, and immobilised by dismemberment (Accipitridae, or severing the spinal cord (Falconini. Within all raptors, physical attributes of the feet trade off against each other to attain great strength, but it is the variable means by which this is achieved that distinguishes them ecologically. Our findings show that interdigital talon morphology varies consistently among raptor families, and that this is directly correlative with variation in their typical prey capture and restraint strategy.
Fowler, Denver W; Freedman, Elizabeth A; Scannella, John B
Despite the ubiquity of raptors in terrestrial ecosystems, many aspects of their predatory behaviour remain poorly understood. Surprisingly little is known about the morphology of raptor talons and how they are employed during feeding behaviour. Talon size variation among digits can be used to distinguish families of raptors and is related to different techniques of prey restraint and immobilisation. The hypertrophied talons on digits (D) I and II in Accipitridae have evolved primarily to restrain large struggling prey while they are immobilised by dismemberment. Falconidae have only modest talons on each digit and only slightly enlarged D-I and II. For immobilisation, Falconini rely more strongly on strike impact and breaking the necks of their prey, having evolved a 'tooth' on the beak to aid in doing so. Pandionidae have enlarged, highly recurved talons on each digit, an adaptation for piscivory, convergently seen to a lesser extent in fishing eagles. Strigiformes bear enlarged talons with comparatively low curvature on each digit, part of a suite of adaptations to increase constriction efficiency by maximising grip strength, indicative of specialisation on small prey. Restraint and immobilisation strategy change as prey increase in size. Small prey are restrained by containment within the foot and immobilised by constriction and beak attacks. Large prey are restrained by pinning under the bodyweight of the raptor, maintaining grip with the talons, and immobilised by dismemberment (Accipitridae), or severing the spinal cord (Falconini). Within all raptors, physical attributes of the feet trade off against each other to attain great strength, but it is the variable means by which this is achieved that distinguishes them ecologically. Our findings show that interdigital talon morphology varies consistently among raptor families, and that this is directly correlative with variation in their typical prey capture and restraint strategy.
Rudolf, Volker H W
Direct and indirect interactions between two prey species can strongly alter the dynamics of predator-prey systems. Most predators are cannibalistic, and as a consequence, even systems with only one predator and one prey include two prey types: conspecifics and heterospecifics. The effects of the complex direct and indirect interactions that emerge in such cannibalistic systems are still poorly understood. This study examined how the indirect interaction between conspecific and heterospecific prey affects cannibalism and predation rates and how the direct interactions between both species indirectly alter the effect of the cannibalistic predator. I tested for these effects using larvae of the stream salamanders Eurycea cirrigera (prey) and Pseudotriton ruber (cannibalistic predator) by manipulating the relative densities of the conspecific and heterospecific prey in the presence and absence of the predator in experimental streams. The rates of cannibalism and heterospecific predation were proportional to the respective densities and negatively correlated, indicating a positive indirect interaction between conspecific and heterospecific prey, similar to "apparent mutualism." Direct interactions between prey species did not alter the effect of the predator. Although both types of prey showed a similar 30% reduction in night activity and switch in microhabitat use in response to the presence of the predator, cannibalism rates were three times higher than heterospecific predation rates irrespective of the relative densities of the two types of prey. Cumulative predation risks differed even more due to the 48% lower growth rate of conspecific prey. Detailed laboratory experiments suggest that the 3:1 difference in cannibalism and predation rate was due to the higher efficiency of heterospecific prey in escaping immediate attacks. However, no difference was observed when the predator was a closely related salamander species, Gyrinophilus porphyriticus, indicating that
Behavioural adaptation to ecological conditions can lead to brain size evolution. Structures involved in behavioural visual information processing are expected to coevolve with enlargement of the brain. Because birds are mainly vision-oriented animals, we tested the predictions that adaptation to different foraging constraints can result in eye size evolution, and that species with large eyes have evolved large brains to cope with the increased amount of visual input. Using a comparative appr...
Aizpurua, Ostaizka; Aihartza, Joxerra; Alberdi, Antton; Baagøe, Hans J; Garin, Inazio
Formerly thought to be a strictly insectivorous trawling bat, recent studies have shown that Myotis capaccinii also preys on fish. To determine whether differences exist in bat flight behaviour, prey handling and echolocation characteristics when catching fish and insects of different size, we conducted a field experiment focused on the last stage of prey capture. We used synchronized video and ultrasound recordings to measure several flight and dip features as well as echolocation characteristics, focusing on terminal buzz phase I, characterized by a call rate exceeding 100 Hz, and buzz phase II, characterized by a drop in the fundamental well below 20 kHz and a repetition rate exceeding 150 Hz. When capturing insects, bats used both parts of the terminal phase to the same extent, and performed short and superficial drags on the water surface. In contrast, when preying on fish, buzz I was longer and buzz II shorter, and the bats made longer and deeper dips. These variations suggest that lengthening buzz I and shortening buzz II when fishing is beneficial, probably because buzz I gives better discrimination ability and the broader sonar beam provided by buzz II is useless when no evasive flight of the prey is expected. Additionally, bats continued emitting calls beyond the theoretical signal-overlap zone, suggesting that they might obtain information even when they have surpassed that threshold, at least initially. This study shows that M. capaccinii can regulate the temporal components of its feeding buzzes and modify prey capture technique according to the target.
Full Text Available The nutritional composition of diets can vary widely in nature and have large effects on the growth, reproduction and survival of animals. Many animals, especially herbivores, will tightly regulate the nutritional composition of their body, which has been referred to as nutritional homeostasis. We tested how experimental manipulation of the lipid and protein content of live prey affected the nutrient reserves and subsequent diet regulation of web-building spiders, Argiope keyserlingi. Live locusts were injected with experimental solutions containing specific amounts of lipid and protein and then fed to spiders. The nutrient composition of the spiders' bodies was directly related to the nutrient composition of the prey on which they fed. We then conducted an experiment where spiders were fed either high lipid or high protein prey and subsequently provided with two large unmanipulated locusts. Prior diet did not affect the amount or ratio of lipid and protein ingested by spiders when feeding on unmanipulated prey. Argiope keyserlingi were flexible in the storage of lipid and protein in their bodies and did not bias their extraction of nutrients from prey to compensate for previously biased diets. Some carnivores, especially those that experience frequent food limitation, may be less likely to strictly regulate their body composition than herbivores because food limitation may encourage opportunistic ingestion and assimilation of nutrients.
Hawley, Jesse; Simpson, Stephen J; Wilder, Shawn M
The nutritional composition of diets can vary widely in nature and have large effects on the growth, reproduction and survival of animals. Many animals, especially herbivores, will tightly regulate the nutritional composition of their body, which has been referred to as nutritional homeostasis. We tested how experimental manipulation of the lipid and protein content of live prey affected the nutrient reserves and subsequent diet regulation of web-building spiders, Argiope keyserlingi. Live locusts were injected with experimental solutions containing specific amounts of lipid and protein and then fed to spiders. The nutrient composition of the spiders' bodies was directly related to the nutrient composition of the prey on which they fed. We then conducted an experiment where spiders were fed either high lipid or high protein prey and subsequently provided with two large unmanipulated locusts. Prior diet did not affect the amount or ratio of lipid and protein ingested by spiders when feeding on unmanipulated prey. Argiope keyserlingi were flexible in the storage of lipid and protein in their bodies and did not bias their extraction of nutrients from prey to compensate for previously biased diets. Some carnivores, especially those that experience frequent food limitation, may be less likely to strictly regulate their body composition than herbivores because food limitation may encourage opportunistic ingestion and assimilation of nutrients.
Shin, P K S; Cheung, P H; Yang, F Y; Cheung, S G
Portunid crabs Thalamita danae (carapace width: 46-56 mm) were exposed to low oxygen level (4.0 mg O2 l(-1)) and hypoxia (1.5 mg O2 l(-1)) for 6 h each day with three size classes (large: 15.0-19.9 mm, medium: 10.0-14.9 mm, small: 5.0-9.9 mm) of mussels Brachidontes variabilis offered as food. Consumption rate, prey size preference, and prey handling including breaking time, handling time, eating time and prey value, were studied during the time the crabs were exposed to reduced oxygen levels and results were compared with the crabs maintained at high oxygen level (8.0 mg O2 l(-1)) throughout the experiment. Consumption of mussels from all size classes was significantly higher at high oxygen level than at reduced oxygen levels. No mussel size preference was observed for crabs exposed to 4.0 or 8.0 mg O2 l(-1) but those crabs exposed to 1.5 mg O2 l(-1) preferred medium mussels. Both breaking time and handling time increased with mussel size but did not vary with oxygen level. Prey value of each mussel consumed (mg dry wt eaten crab(-1) s(-1)) was calculated by dividing the estimated dry weight of the mussel by the observed handling time. Mean prey value varied significantly with mussel size, with values obtained for large mussels being higher than small mussels at 4.0 and 8.0 mg O2 l(-1); the effect of oxygen level, however, was insignificant. In view of portunid crabs as major predators of mussels, results may help explain dominance of mussels in eutrophic harbours in Hong Kong.
Organ, Chris L; Brusatte, Stephen L; Stein, Koen
Sauropodomorph dinosaurs include the largest land animals to have ever lived, some reaching up to 10 times the mass of an African elephant. Despite their status defining the upper range for body size in land animals, it remains unknown whether sauropodomorphs evolved larger-sized genomes than non-avian theropods, their sister taxon, or whether a relationship exists between genome size and body size in dinosaurs, two questions critical for understanding broad patterns of genome evolution in dinosaurs. Here we report inferences of genome size for 10 sauropodomorph taxa. The estimates are derived from a Bayesian phylogenetic generalized least squares approach that generates posterior distributions of regression models relating genome size to osteocyte lacunae volume in extant tetrapods. We estimate that the average genome size of sauropodomorphs was 2.02 pg (range of species means: 1.77-2.21 pg), a value in the upper range of extant birds (mean = 1.42 pg, range: 0.97-2.16 pg) and near the average for extant non-avian reptiles (mean = 2.24 pg, range: 1.05-5.44 pg). The results suggest that the variation in size and architecture of genomes in extinct dinosaurs was lower than the variation found in mammals. A substantial difference in genome size separates the two major clades within dinosaurs, Ornithischia (large genomes) and Saurischia (moderate to small genomes). We find no relationship between body size and estimated genome size in extinct dinosaurs, which suggests that neutral forces did not dominate the evolution of genome size in this group.
Full Text Available Relatively little is known about the feeding habit of the Royal Bengal Tiger of Sundarbans and the relative biomass of individual prey base species that the predator consumes during each kill. This is the first attempt to collect such data from the study area. Data sets of two phases have been used. Identification of undigested remains of 214 tiger scat samples was carried out. A comparison with Sundarbans tigers in zoo has been made. In its natural habitat, the tiger consumes more of spotted deer, followed by wild boar, rhesus monkey, and water monitor. Though the tiger consumes a relatively low proportion of small prey species to meet its dietary requirements, it gains importance in the present perspective. Significant increase is noted in the relative number of prey species consumed in the second phase, which correlates well with increased prey availability. Hypotheses formulated to find the difference in prey biomass and relative number of prey consumed have been tested statistically. A significant difference in terms of relative number of prey consumed only was derived which has been qualitatively correlated with the positive effect of increased vigilance, as revealed by secondary data, on conserving tiger habitat vis-a-vis the increased prey availability in Sundarbans.
Matt W Hayward
Full Text Available Documenting the impacts of the Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions on predator-prey interactions is a challenge because of the incomplete fossil record and depauperate extant community structure. We used a comparative ecological approach to investigate whether the existing prey preference patterns of jaguars Panthera onca were potentially affected by the Pleistocene extinctions in the Americas compared with large felids in Africa and Asia. We reviewed the literature and found 25 studies reporting 3214 jaguar kills recorded throughout the species’ distribution. We found that jaguars significantly preferred capybara Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris and giant anteater Myrmecophaga tridactyla, and avoided agoutis, carnivorans, primates, black-eared opossum Didelphis marsupialis and tapirs. Generalised linear models showed that jaguars select prey primarily based on socio-ecological and behavioural traits (abundance and herd size, rather than morphological characteristics (body size. Nonetheless, their accessible prey weight range was 6-60 kg, preferred prey weight range was 45-85 kg, and mean mass of significantly preferred prey was 32 ± 13 kg leading to a predator to prey body mass ratio of 1:0.53, which is much less than that of other solitary felids. Compared with other large, solitary felids, jaguars have an unusual predator to prey body mass ratio, show limited effect of prey morphology as a driver of prey selection, lack evidence of optimal foraging beyond their preferred prey, and an absence of preferentially hunting on Cetartiodactyla herbivores. These features, coupled with the reduction in jaguar body mass since the Pleistocene, suggest that the loss of larger potential prey items within the preferred and accessible weight ranges at the end-Pleistocene still affects jaguar predatory behaviour. It may be that jaguars survived this mass extinction event by preferentially preying on relatively small species.
Rop, Charles J.
Describes an animal behavior experiment using guppies. Students observe the behavior of a guppy as it feeds on prey and make observations, collect and analyze data, draw conclusions, and design their own experiments. (SAH)
Smolinský, Radovan; Gvoždík, Lumír
The ability to modify phenotypes in response to heterogeneity of the thermal environment represents an important component of an ectotherm's non-genetic adaptive capacity. Despite considerable attention being dedicated to the study of thermally-induced developmental plasticity, whether or not interspecific interactions shape the plastic response in both a predator and its prey remains unknown. We tested several predictions about the joint influence of predator/prey scents and thermal conditions on the plasticity of preferred body temperatures (T (p)) in both actors of this interaction, using a dragonfly nymphs-newt larvae system. Dragonfly nymphs (Aeshna cyanea) and newt eggs (Ichthyosaura alpestris) were subjected to fluctuating cold and warm thermal regimes (7-12 and 12-22°C, respectively) and the presence/absence of a predator or prey chemical cues. Preferred body temperatures were measured in an aquatic thermal gradient (5-33°C) over a 24-h period. Newt T (p) increased with developmental temperature irrespective of the presence/absence of predator cues. In dragonflies, thermal reaction norms for T (p) were affected by the interaction between temperature and prey cues. Specifically, the presence of newt scents in cold regime lowered dragonfly T (p). We concluded that predator-prey interactions influenced thermally-induced plasticity of T (p) but not in a reciprocal fashion. The occurrence of frequency-dependent thermal plasticity may have broad implications for predator-prey population dynamics, the evolution of thermal biology traits, and the consequences of sustaining climate change within ecological communities.
Sun, Yao; Liu, Yong; Liu, Xinfu; Tang, Oisheng
The Eggers model was used to study the influence of two particle sizes of dietary prey on food consumption and ecological conversion efficiency of young-of-the-year sand lance, Ammodytes personatus, in continuous flow-through seawater in 2.5-m 3 tanks in the laboratory. The sand lances (average body weight 0.85 ± 0.21 g) were fed larval (average body length 0.56 ± 0.08 mm) or adult (average body length 10.12 ± 1.61 mm) Artemia salina. The gastric evacuation rate of the fish feeding on larval Artemia was 0.214, higher than that of those feeding on adult Artemia (0.189). The daily food consumption of the fish feeding on larval Artemia was 60.14 kJ/100 g in terms of energy content, higher than that of the fish feeding on adult Artemia (51.69 kJ/100 g), but the daily growth rate of fish feeding on larval Artemia was 14.86 kJ/100 g, significantly lower than that of the fish feeding on adult Artemia (19.50 kJ/100 g), indicating that less energy was used for growth when the food particles were smaller. Slow growth of sand lances preying on larval Artemia was probably due to the high energy consumption during predation, consistent with the basic suppositions of optimal foraging theory.
Hsui, A. T.; Toksoz, M. N.
The size dependence of planetary thermal evolution is investigated through calculations which take into account the effects of heat source differentiation and convection. The theoretical computations make use of hypothetical bodies for minor planets; Mercury, Venus and Mars are employed to represent the size spectrum of the inner planets. If started at a cold initial condition, an object with a radius less than 1000 km is unlikely to reach melting. Accretional heating, inductive heating and short half-life radioactive heating are among the mechanisms which may produce early melting and differentiation in larger planets. Core formation in Mercury and Venus is also discussed.
Xu, Tingting; Nerren, Jannah S.
Attitudes and biases toward body size perceived as fat and body size perceived as thin are present in young children (Cramer and Steinwert in "J Appl Dev Psychol" 19(3):429-451, 1998; Worobey and Worobey in "Body Image" 11:171-174, 2014). However, the information children have regarding body size and ways to modify body size…
Kunz, H.; Hemelrijk, C.K.
Individual-based models of schooling in fish have demonstrated that, via processes of self-organization. artificial fish may school in the absence of a leader or external stimuli, using local information only. We study for the first time how body size and body form of artificial fish affect school f
Full Text Available Body size at metamorphosis is a key trait in species (such as many anurans with biphasic life-histories. Experimental studies have shown that metamorph size is highly plastic, depending upon larval density and environmental conditions (e.g. temperature, food supply, water quality, chemical cues from conspecifics, predators and competitors. To test the hypothesis that this developmental plasticity is adaptive, or to determine if inducing plasticity can be used to control an invasive species, we need to know whether or not a metamorphosing anuran's body size influences its subsequent viability. For logistical reasons, there are few data on this topic under field conditions. We studied cane toads (Rhinella marina within their invasive Australian range. Metamorph body size is highly plastic in this species, and our laboratory studies showed that larger metamorphs had better locomotor performance (both on land and in the water, and were more adept at catching and consuming prey. In mark-recapture trials in outdoor enclosures, larger body size enhanced metamorph survival and growth rate under some seasonal conditions. Larger metamorphs maintained their size advantage over smaller siblings for at least a month. Our data support the critical but rarely-tested assumption that all else being equal, larger body size at metamorphosis is likely to enhance an individual's long term viability. Thus, manipulations to reduce body size at metamorphosis in cane toads may help to reduce the ecological impact of this invasive species.
Full Text Available A striking feature of web-building spiders is the use of silk to make webs, mainly for prey capture. However, building a web is energetically expensive and increases the risk of predation. To reduce such costs and still have access to abundant prey, some web-building spiders have evolved web invasion behaviour. In general, no consistent patterns of web invasion have emerged and the factors determining web invasion remain largely unexplored. Here we report web invasion among conspecifics in seven nocturnal species of orb-web spiders, and examined the factors determining the probability of webs that could be invaded and taken over by conspecifics. About 36% of webs were invaded by conspecifics, and 25% of invaded webs were taken over by the invaders. A web that was built higher and intercepted more prey was more likely to be invaded. Once a web was invaded, the smaller the size of the resident spider, the more likely its web would be taken over by the invader. This study suggests that web invasion, as a possible way of reducing costs, may be widespread in nocturnal orb-web spiders.
Gan, Wenjin; Liu, Shengjie; Yang, Xiaodong; Li, Daiqin; Lei, Chaoliang
A striking feature of web-building spiders is the use of silk to make webs, mainly for prey capture. However, building a web is energetically expensive and increases the risk of predation. To reduce such costs and still have access to abundant prey, some web-building spiders have evolved web invasion behaviour. In general, no consistent patterns of web invasion have emerged and the factors determining web invasion remain largely unexplored. Here we report web invasion among conspecifics in seven nocturnal species of orb-web spiders, and examined the factors determining the probability of webs that could be invaded and taken over by conspecifics. About 36% of webs were invaded by conspecifics, and 25% of invaded webs were taken over by the invaders. A web that was built higher and intercepted more prey was more likely to be invaded. Once a web was invaded, the smaller the size of the resident spider, the more likely its web would be taken over by the invader. This study suggests that web invasion, as a possible way of reducing costs, may be widespread in nocturnal orb-web spiders.
Bown, T.M.; Holroyd, P.A.; Rose, K.D.
There is a general inverse relationship between the natural logarithm of tooth area (a body size indicator) of some fossil mammals and paleotemperature during approximately 2.9 million years of the early Eocene in the Bighorn Basin of northwest Wyoming. When mean temperatures became warmer, tooth areas tended to become smaller. During colder times, larger species predominated; these generally became larger or remained the same size. Paleotemperature trends also markedly affected patterns of local (and, perhaps, regional) extinction and immigration. New species appeared as immigrants during or near the hottest (smaller forms) and coldest (larger forms) intervals. Paleotemperature trend reversals commonly resulted in the ultimate extinction of both small forms (during cooling intervals) and larger forms (during warming intervals). These immigrations and extinctions mark faunal turnovers that were also modulated by sharp increases in sediment accumulation rate.
Valeix, Marion; Loveridge, Andrew J; MacDonald, David W
Empirical tests of the resource dispersion hypothesis (RDH), a theory to explain group living based on resource heterogeneity, have been complicated by the fact that resource patch dispersion and richness have proved difficult to define and measure in natural systems. Here, we studied the ecology of African lions Panthera leo in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, where waterholes are prey hotspots, and where dispersion of water sources and abundance of prey at these water sources are quantifiable. We combined a 10-year data set from GPS-collared lions for which information of group composition was available concurrently with data for herbivore abundance at waterholes. The distance between two neighboring waterholes was a strong determinant of lion home range size, which provides strong support for the RDH prediction that territory size increases as resource patches are more dispersed in the landscape. The mean number of herbivore herds using a waterhole, a good proxy of patch richness, determined the maximum lion group biomass an area can support. This finding suggests that patch richness sets a maximum ceiling on lion group size. This study demonstrates that landscape ecology is a major driver of ranging behavior and suggests that aspects of resource dispersion limit group sizes.
Kristoffersen, Pernille; Rognsås, Stine Leming
Overestimation and underestimation of one’s body size implies a misperception of body size. Body size misperception is a key element in the development of eating disorders, and an important factor for maintenance of an overweight status. The current study aimed to examine body size misperception and predictors for misperception in a community sample of 6-year olds (N=797) who were followed up when they were 8 years old (N=689). The following predictors were examined: Body Mass Index (BMI) of ...
Full Text Available Resource partitioning is a central issue in ecology because it can establish to which point similar species can coexist in the same habitat. Great tits and blue tits have been classical model species in studies of trophic competence. However, most studies on the topic have been conducted at localities where caterpillars are by far the most relevant prey brought to the nestlings. In Mediterranean mixed forests, nevertheless, the abundance of caterpillars is relatively low and it is spiders that play a key role in the diet of great tits, at least for nestlings. The aim of this paper was to study nest food provisioning to establish the degree of diet overlap of these two tit species in a Mediterranean forest. Our results showed that blue tit feeding rates were higher than those of great tits, probably to compensate for the smaller prey delivered to nestlings by blue tits. Blue tits brought more spiders than great tits, while grey tits brought larger prey and more caterpillars. This may be because larger great tits can prey upon larger prey items than blue tits. As a main result, this study supports the view of resource partitioning by great and blue tits in sclerophyllous Mediterranean forest ecosystem.
Navalpotro, H.; Pagani-Nuñez, E.; Hernandez-Gomez, S.; Senar, J.C.
Resource partitioning is a central issue in ecology because it can establish to which point similar species can coexist in the same habitat. Great tits and blue tits have been classical model species in studies of trophic competence. However, most studies on the topic have been conducted at localities where caterpillars are by far the most relevant prey brought to the nestlings. In Mediterranean mixed forests, nevertheless, the abundance of caterpillars is relatively low and it is spiders that play a key role in the diet of great tits, at least for nestlings. The aim of this paper was to study nest food provisioning to establish the degree of diet overlap of these two tit species in a Mediterranean forest. Our results showed that blue tit feeding rates were higher than those of great tits, probably to compensate for the smaller prey delivered to nestlings by blue tits. Blue tits brought more spiders than great tits, while grey tits brought larger prey and more caterpillars. This may be because larger great tits can prey upon larger prey items than blue tits. As a main result, this study supports the view of resource partitioning by great and blue tits in sclerophyllous Mediterranean forest ecosystem. (Author)
Lovegrove, B G; Mowoe, M O
Explanations for the evolution of body size in mammals have remained surprisingly elusive despite the central importance of body size in evolutionary biology. Here, we present a model which argues that the body sizes of Nearctic mammals were moulded by Cenozoic climate and vegetation changes. Following the early Eocene Climate Optimum, forests retreated and gave way to open woodland and savannah landscapes, followed later by grasslands. Many herbivores that radiated in these new landscapes underwent a switch from browsing to grazing associated with increased unguligrade cursoriality and body size, the latter driven by the energetics and constraints of cellulose digestion (fermentation). Carnivores also increased in size and digitigrade, cursorial capacity to occupy a size distribution allowing the capture of prey of the widest range of body sizes. With the emergence of larger, faster carnivores, plantigrade mammals were constrained from evolving to large body sizes and most remained smaller than 1 kg throughout the middle Cenozoic. We find no consistent support for either Cope's Rule or Bergmann's Rule in plantigrade mammals, the largest locomotor guild (n = 1186, 59% of species in the database). Some cold-specialist plantigrade mammals, such as beavers and marmots, showed dramatic increases in body mass following the Miocene Climate Optimum which may, however, be partially explained by Bergmann's rule. This study reemphasizes the necessity of considering the evolutionary history and resultant form and function of mammalian morphotypes when attempting to understand contemporary mammalian body size distributions. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
In nature, almost all animals have to cope with periods of food shortage during their lifetimes. Starvation risks are especially high for carnivorous predatory species, which often experience long intervals between stochastic prey capturing events. A laboratory experiment using the common predatory carabid beetle Anchomenus dorsalis revealed an exceptional level of starvation resistance in this species: males survived up to 137 days and females up to 218 days without food at 20°C. Individual starvation resistance was strongly positively affected by pre-starvation body mass but only slightly by beetle structural body size per se. Females outperformed males even when the effect of gender was corrected for the effects of structural body size and pre-starvation body mass. The better performance of females compared to males and of beetles with higher relative pre-starvation body mass could be linked to higher fat content and lean dry mass before starvation, followed by a greater decrease in both during starvation. There was also a difference between the sexes in the extent of body mass changes both during ad libitum feeding and following starvation; the body masses of females fluctuated more compared to males. This study stresses the need to distinguish between body mass and structural body size when investigating the ecological and evolutionary consequences of body size. Investigation of the net effects of body size and sex is necessary to disentangle the causes of differences in individual performances in studies of species with significant sexual size dimorphism.
Full Text Available In nature, almost all animals have to cope with periods of food shortage during their lifetimes. Starvation risks are especially high for carnivorous predatory species, which often experience long intervals between stochastic prey capturing events. A laboratory experiment using the common predatory carabid beetle Anchomenus dorsalis revealed an exceptional level of starvation resistance in this species: males survived up to 137 days and females up to 218 days without food at 20°C. Individual starvation resistance was strongly positively affected by pre-starvation body mass but only slightly by beetle structural body size per se. Females outperformed males even when the effect of gender was corrected for the effects of structural body size and pre-starvation body mass. The better performance of females compared to males and of beetles with higher relative pre-starvation body mass could be linked to higher fat content and lean dry mass before starvation, followed by a greater decrease in both during starvation. There was also a difference between the sexes in the extent of body mass changes both during ad libitum feeding and following starvation; the body masses of females fluctuated more compared to males. This study stresses the need to distinguish between body mass and structural body size when investigating the ecological and evolutionary consequences of body size. Investigation of the net effects of body size and sex is necessary to disentangle the causes of differences in individual performances in studies of species with significant sexual size dimorphism.
Timothée R Cook
Full Text Available Within a single animal species, different morphs can allow for differential exploitation of foraging niches between populations, while sexual size dimorphism can provide each sex with access to different resources. Despite being potentially important agents of evolution, resource polymorphisms, and the way they operate in wild populations, remain poorly understood. In this study, we examine how trophic factors can select for different body sizes between populations and sexes in a diving endotherm. Dive depth and duration are positively related to body size in diving birds and mammals, a relationship explained by a lower mass-specific metabolic rate and greater oxygen stores in larger individuals. Based on this allometry, we predict that selection for exploiting resources situated at different depths can drive the evolution of body size in species of diving endotherms at the population and sexual level. To test this prediction, we studied the foraging ecology of Blue-eyed Shags, a group of cormorants with male-biased sexual size dimorphism from across the Southern Ocean. We found that mean body mass and relative difference in body mass between sexes varied by up to 77% and 107% between neighbouring colonies, respectively. Birds from colonies with larger individuals dived deeper than birds from colonies with smaller individuals, when accounting for sex. In parallel, males dived further offshore and deeper than females and the sexual difference in dive depth reflected the level of sexual size dimorphism at each colony. We argue that body size in this group of birds is under intense selection for diving to depths of profitable benthic prey patches and that, locally, sexual niche divergence selection can exaggerate the sexual size dimorphism of Blue-eyed Shags initially set up by sexual selection. Our findings suggest that trophic resources can select for important geographic micro-variability in body size between populations and sexes.
Longo, Matthew R.; Sadibolova, Renata
Vision of the body modulates somatosensation, even when entirely non-informative about stimulation. For example, seeing the body increases tactile spatial acuity, but reduces acute pain. While previous results demonstrate that vision of the body modulates somatosensory sensitivity, it is unknown whether vision also affects metric properties of…
Combes, S A; Salcedo, M K; Pandit, M M; Iwasaki, J M
same habitat, we found significant differences that are not explained by body size, suggesting that some dragonflies may be specialized for pursuing particular types of prey. Our results underscore the importance of performing comparative studies of predator-prey interactions with freely behaving subjects in natural settings, to provide insight into how the behavior of both participants influences the dynamics of the interaction. In addition, it is clear that gaining a full understanding of predator-prey interactions requires detailed knowledge not only of locomotory mechanics and behavior, but also of the sensory capabilities and constraints of both predator and prey.
Full Text Available Dinosaurs had functionally digitigrade or sub-unguligrade foot postures. With their immediate ancestors, dinosaurs were the only terrestrial nonplantigrades during the Mesozoic. Extant terrestrial mammals have different optimal body sizes according to their foot posture (plantigrade, digitigrade, and unguligrade, yet the relationship of nonplantigrade foot posture with dinosaur body size has never been investigated, even though the body size of dinosaurs has been studied intensively. According to a large dataset presented in this study, the body sizes of all nonplantigrades (including nonvolant dinosaurs, nonvolant terrestrial birds, extant mammals, and extinct Nearctic mammals are above 500 g, except for macroscelid mammals (i.e., elephant shrew, a few alvarezsauroid dinosaurs, and nondinosaur ornithodirans (i.e., the immediate ancestors of dinosaurs. When nonplantigrade tetrapods evolved from plantigrade ancestors, lineages with nonplantigrade foot posture exhibited a steady increase in body size following Cope's rule. In contrast, contemporaneous plantigrade lineages exhibited no trend in body size evolution and were largely constrained to small body sizes. This evolutionary pattern of body size specific to foot posture occurred repeatedly during both the Mesozoic and the Cenozoic eras. Although disturbed by the end-Cretaceous extinction, species of mid to large body size have predominantly been nonplantigrade animals from the Jurassic until the present; conversely, species with small body size have been exclusively composed of plantigrades in the nonvolant terrestrial tetrapod fauna.
Kubo, Tai; Kubo, Mugino O
Dinosaurs had functionally digitigrade or sub-unguligrade foot postures. With their immediate ancestors, dinosaurs were the only terrestrial nonplantigrades during the Mesozoic. Extant terrestrial mammals have different optimal body sizes according to their foot posture (plantigrade, digitigrade, and unguligrade), yet the relationship of nonplantigrade foot posture with dinosaur body size has never been investigated, even though the body size of dinosaurs has been studied intensively. According to a large dataset presented in this study, the body sizes of all nonplantigrades (including nonvolant dinosaurs, nonvolant terrestrial birds, extant mammals, and extinct Nearctic mammals) are above 500 g, except for macroscelid mammals (i.e., elephant shrew), a few alvarezsauroid dinosaurs, and nondinosaur ornithodirans (i.e., the immediate ancestors of dinosaurs). When nonplantigrade tetrapods evolved from plantigrade ancestors, lineages with nonplantigrade foot posture exhibited a steady increase in body size following Cope's rule. In contrast, contemporaneous plantigrade lineages exhibited no trend in body size evolution and were largely constrained to small body sizes. This evolutionary pattern of body size specific to foot posture occurred repeatedly during both the Mesozoic and the Cenozoic eras. Although disturbed by the end-Cretaceous extinction, species of mid to large body size have predominantly been nonplantigrade animals from the Jurassic until the present; conversely, species with small body size have been exclusively composed of plantigrades in the nonvolant terrestrial tetrapod fauna.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent discoveries on Palau are claimed to represent the remains of small-bodied humans that may display evidence insular size reduction. This claim has yet to be statistically validated METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Published postcranial specimens (n = 16 from Palau were assessed relative to recent small-bodied comparative samples. Resampling statistical approaches were employed to test specific hypotheses relating to body size in the Palau sample. Results confirm that the Palau postcranial sample is indisputably small-bodied. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: A single, homogenous body size morph is represented in early prehistoric postcrania from Palau. Small body size in early Palauans is an ancestral characteristic and was likely not a consequence of in-situ size reduction. Specimens from Palau have little bearing upon hypothesised insular size reduction in the ancestral lineage of Homo floresiensis.
Quick, V; Nansel, T R; Liu, D
OBJECTIVES: To examine 9-year trends and relationships regarding misperceptions of body size and dieting for weight loss among adolescents from 24 countries, and explore the influence of country-level overweight prevalence. METHODS: Sociodemographic characteristics, body size perception and dieti......, suggesting a potentially stronger impact of social comparison on weight-related perceptions than on behavior.......OBJECTIVES: To examine 9-year trends and relationships regarding misperceptions of body size and dieting for weight loss among adolescents from 24 countries, and explore the influence of country-level overweight prevalence. METHODS: Sociodemographic characteristics, body size perception and dieting......, underestimation of body size in overweight adolescents, dieting for weight loss in non-overweight and overweight adolescents and relationships between body size perception and dieting. Analyses were stratified by weight status and sex. Covariates included country-level overweight prevalence, family affluence...
Cueva Del Castillo, R
Body size is directly or indirectly correlated with fitness. Body size, which conveys maximal fitness, often differs between sexes. Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) evolves because body size tends to be related to reproductive success through different pathways in males and females. In general, female insects are larger than males, suggesting that natural selection for high female fecundity could be stronger than sexual selection in males. I assessed the role of body size and fecundity in SSD in the Neotropical cricket Macroanaxipha macilenta (Saussure). This species shows a SSD bias toward males. Females did not present a correlation between number of eggs and body size. Nonetheless, there were fluctuations in the number of eggs carried by females during the sampling period, and the size of females that were collected carrying eggs was larger than that of females collected with no eggs. Since mating induces vitellogenesis in some cricket species, differences in female body size might suggest male mate choice. Sexual selection in the body size of males of M. macilenta may possibly be stronger than the selection of female fecundity. Even so, no mating behavior was observed during the field observations, including audible male calling or courtship songs, yet males may produce ultrasonic calls due to their size. If female body size in M. macilenta is not directly related to fecundity, the lack of a correlated response to selection on female body size could represent an alternate evolutionary pathway in the evolution of body size and SSD in insects.
Wenkui LIU; Qixue FAN; Bangke ZHU; Haiming DU; Xigang FENG
The effects of prey density (0.1, 0.3, 1, 3 and snakehead (Channa argus × C. maculate) larvae were investigated. The larvae were divided into three groups with different body lengths of 0.68 cm, 1.50 cm and 3.20 cm, respectively. The growth of the hybrid snake-head larvae in all three groups increased with prey growth rate (SGR) was the highest when the prey density early development stage) decreased, while no significant change was observed in those of Group Ⅱ and Group Ⅲ. The survival rates of hybrid snakehead larvae in all three groups were high (91.11%-100%) and not significantly affected by the prey densities except in Group Ⅰ with the significantly lower than the others. Body size was not sensitive to prey density. The optimum prey density was confirmed at 1 prey·mL-1 in all the treatments.
Zwarts, L; Hulscher, JB; Koopman, K; Zegers, PM
This paper analyses the relationships between body weight in the Oystercatcher and two measures of its body size, bill length and wing length. The weight variation between individuals due to differences in body size is nearly as large as the seasonal variation in body weight within individuals. Wing
Holzleitner, Iris J; Hunter, David W; Tiddeman, Bernard P; Seck, Alassane; Re, Daniel E; Perrett, David I
Recent studies suggest that judgments of facial masculinity reflect more than sexually dimorphic shape. Here, we investigated whether the perception of masculinity is influenced by facial cues to body height and weight. We used the average differences in three-dimensional face shape of forty men and forty women to compute a morphological masculinity score, and derived analogous measures for facial correlates of height and weight based on the average face shape of short and tall, and light and heavy men. We found that facial cues to body height and weight had substantial and independent effects on the perception of masculinity. Our findings suggest that men are perceived as more masculine if they appear taller and heavier, independent of how much their face shape differs from women's. We describe a simple method to quantify how body traits are reflected in the face and to define the physical basis of psychological attributions.
ZWARTS, L; BLOMERT, AM
We quantified the prey selection and intake rate of a wading bird, knot Calidris canutus, when 6 different, intertidal prey species, the mud snail Peringia ulvae and the bivalves Macoma balthica, Cerastoderma edule, Mya arenaria, Scrobicularia plana and Mytilus edulis, were abundant. Knot usually
ZWARTS, L; BLOMERT, AM
We quantified the prey selection and intake rate of a wading bird, knot Calidris canutus, when 6 different, intertidal prey species, the mud snail Peringia ulvae and the bivalves Macoma balthica, Cerastoderma edule, Mya arenaria, Scrobicularia plana and Mytilus edulis, were abundant. Knot usually se
Liao, Z.; Payne, J.; Seixas, G.
Many organisms, such as penguins and polar bears, follow Bergmann's rule, which states that body size of animals tends to increase as temperature decreases, and thus as latitude increases toward to poles. A study of marine mollusk bivalves across a latitudinal gradient found no correlation between body size and latitude along the North American Pacific Coast, suggesting that the body size of marine bivalves might be controlled by other factors. This posed the question: Is there a lack of correlation between latitude and body size for all marine invertebrates or is it unique to marine bivalves? In this study, we examined four suborders of benthic foraminifera, Lagenina, Miliolina, Rotaliina, and Textulariina, a diverse phylum of amoeboid protists, to determine the relationship between body size and latitude within and across suborders at the global scale. We measured the shell (test) dimensions of foraminifera from a compilation of monograph images of type specimens. The mean test size as well as the maximum body size of those foraminifera suborders does not vary with increasing latitude. Our results show that foraminifera do not follow Bergmann's rule, consistent with the body size distribution pattern observed in marine bivalves. Different biological and environmental factors that vary between foraminifera suborders, such as life habitats, behaviors, and physiology, might have a greater influence on body size distributions.
DeMartini, Edward E.; Anderson, Todd W.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Beets, James P.
Group incidence and size are described for recruit parrotfishes, wrasses, and damselfishes on Hawaiian reefs over 3 years (2006–2008) at sites spanning the archipelago (20–28°N, 155–177°W). Coral-poor and coral-rich areas were surveyed at sites with both low (Hawaii Island) and high (Midway Atoll) predator densities, facilitating examination of relations among predator and recruit densities, habitat, and group metrics. Predator and recruit densities varied spatially and temporally, with a sixfold range in total recruit densities among years. Group (≥2 recruits) metrics varied with time and tracked predator and recruit densities and the proportion of schooling species. Groups often included heterospecifics whose proportion increased with group size. A non-saturating relationship between group size and recruit density suggests that the anti-predator benefits of aggregation exceeded competitive costs. Grouping behavior may have overarching importance for recruit survival—even at high recruit densities—and merits further study on Hawaiian reefs and elsewhere.
Ahrenstorff, Tyler D; Hrabik, Thomas R; Jacobson, Peter C; Pereira, Donald L
The movement patterns and body size of fishes are influenced by a host of physical and biological conditions, including temperature and oxygen, prey densities and foraging potential, growth optimization, and predation risk. Our objectives were to (1) investigate variability in vertical movement patterns of cisco (Coregonus artedi) in a variety of inland lakes using hydroacoustics, (2) explore the causal mechanisms influencing movements through the use of temperature/oxygen, foraging, growth, and predation risk models, and (3) examine factors that may contribute to variations in cisco body size by considering all available information. Our results show that cisco vertical movements vary substantially, with different populations performing normal diel vertical migrations (DVM), no DVM, and reverse DVM in lakes throughout Minnesota and northern Wisconsin, USA. Cisco populations with the smallest body size were found in lakes with lower zooplankton densities. These smaller fish showed movements to areas of highest foraging or growth potential during the day and night, despite moving out of preferred temperature and oxygen conditions and into areas of highest predation risk. In lakes with higher zooplankton densities, cisco grew larger and had movements more consistent with behavioral thermoregulation and predator avoidance, while remaining in areas with less than maximum foraging and growth potential. Furthermore, the composition of potential prey items present in each lake was also important. Cisco that performed reverse DVM consumed mostly copepods and cladocerans, while cisco that exhibited normal DVM or no migration consumed proportionally more macro-zooplankton species. Overall, our results show previously undocumented variation in migration patterns of a fish species, the mechanisms underlying those movements, and the potential impact on their growth potential.
Leyequien Abarca, E.; Boer, de W.F.; Cleef, A.M.
Theory suggests that body size is an important factor in determining interspecific competition and, ultimately, in structuring ecological communities. However, there is a lack of pragmatic studies linking body size and interspecific competition to patterns in ecological communities. The objective of
Leyequien Abarca, E.; Boer, de W.F.; Cleef, A.M.
Theory suggests that body size is an important factor in determining interspecific competition and, ultimately, in structuring ecological communities. However, there is a lack of pragmatic studies linking body size and interspecific competition to patterns in ecological communities. The objective of
Knegtering, Edo; van der Windt, Henny J.; Schoot Uiterkamp, Anton J. M.
Systematic knowledge about factors affecting the willingness of societies to conserve biodiversity is still scarce. This study investigates the role of body size in national decisions on wild animal species by analysing the average body sizes of the animal species subject to species-specific
Stillwell, R Craig; Morse, Geoffrey E; Fox, Charles W
Body size of many animals varies with latitude: body size is either larger at higher latitudes (Bergmann's rule) or smaller at higher latitudes (converse Bergmann's rule). However, the causes underlying these patterns are poorly understood. Also, studies rarely explore how sexual size dimorphism varies with latitude. Here we investigate geographic variation in body size and sexual size dimorphism of the seed-feeding beetle Stator limbatus, collected from 95 locations along a 38 degrees range in latitude. We examine 14 variables to test whether clines in environmental factors are adequate to explain geographic patterns of body size. We found that body size and sexual size dimorphism of S. limbatus varied considerably with latitude; beetles were smaller but more dimorphic at lower latitudes. Body size was not correlated with a gradient in mean temperature, contrary to the commonly accepted hypothesis that clines are produced by latitudinal gradients in temperature. Instead, we found that three factors were adequate to explain the cline in body size: clinal variation in host plant seed size, moisture (humidity), and seasonality (variance in humidity, precipitation, and temperature). We also found that the cline in sexual size dimorphism was partially explainable by a gradient in moisture, though moisture alone was not sufficient to explain the cline. Other ecological or environmental variables must necessarily contribute to differences in selection on male versus female body size. The main implications of our study are that the sexes differ in the magnitude of clinal variation in body size, creating latitudinal variation in sexual size dimorphism, and that clines in body size of seed beetles are likely influenced by variation in host seed size, water availability, and seasonality.
Minners, Jan; Gohlke-Baerwolf, Christa; Kaufmann, Beat A
BACKGROUND: Adjustment of cardiac dimensions by measures of body size appears intuitively convincing and in patients with aortic stenosis, aortic valve area (AVA) is commonly adjusted by body surface area (BSA). However, there is little evidence to support such an approach. OBJECTIVE: To identify...... the adequate measure of body size for the adjustment of aortic stenosis severity. METHODS: Parameters of aortic stenosis severity (jet velocity, mean pressure gradient (MPG) and AVA) and measures of body size (height, weight, BSA and body mass index (BMI)) were analysed in 2843 consecutive patients with aortic...... stenosis (jet velocity ≥2.5 m/s) and related to outcomes in a second cohort of 1525 patients from the Simvastatin/Ezetimibe in Aortic Stenosis (SEAS) study. RESULTS: Whereas jet velocity and MPG were independent of body size, AVA was significantly correlated with height, weight, BSA and BMI (Pearson...
Jiménez-Cruz, A.; M. Bacardí-Gascón; A. Castellón-Zaragoza; García-Gallardo, J. L.; Hovell, M.
Obesity in Mexico has reached epidemic proportions; and body image and body satisfaction might be cultu- rally related. Body dissatisfaction has been related to low self-esteem. The aim of this study was to assess the range of perception among Mexican teachers and pa- rents of the ideal body size of adults, boys and girls. Two-hundred and five teachers and eighty parents from Tijuana and Tecate schools participated in the study. Participants were asked to indicate the ideal body size for each...
Shawon, Md Shajedur Rahman; Eriksson, Mikael; Li, Jingmei
Body size in early life is inversely associated with adult breast cancer (BC) risk, but it is unclear whether the associations differ by tumor characteristics. In a pooled analysis of two Swedish population-based studies consisting of 6731 invasive BC cases and 28,705 age-matched cancer-free controls, we examined the associations between body size in early life and BC risk. Self-reported body sizes at ages 7 and 18 years were collected by a validated nine-level pictogram (aggregated into three categories: small, medium and large). Odds ratios (OR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated from multivariable logistic regression models in case-control analyses, adjusting for study, age at diagnosis, age at menarche, number of children, hormone replacement therapy, and family history of BC. Body size change between ages 7 and 18 were also examined in relation to BC risk. Case-only analyses were performed to test whether the associations differed by tumor characteristics. Medium or large body size at age 7 and 18 was associated with a statistically significant decreased BC risk compared to small body size (pooled OR (95% CI): comparing large to small, 0.78 (0.70-0.86), Ptrend size categories between age 7 and 18 . Women who remained medium or large between ages 7 and 18 had significantly decreased BC risk compared to those who remained small. A reduction in body size between ages 7 and 18 was also found to be inversely associated with BC risk (0.90 (0.81-1.00)). No significant association was found between body size at age 7 and tumor characteristics. Body size at age 18 was found to be inversely associated with tumor size (Ptrend = 0.006), but not estrogen receptor status and lymph node involvement. For all analyses, the overall inferences did not change appreciably after further adjustment for adult body mass index. Our data provide further support for a strong and independent inverse relationship between early life body size and BC risk
Björn van der Hoort
Full Text Available A classical question in philosophy and psychology is if the sense of one's body influences how one visually perceives the world. Several theoreticians have suggested that our own body serves as a fundamental reference in visual perception of sizes and distances, although compelling experimental evidence for this hypothesis is lacking. In contrast, modern textbooks typically explain the perception of object size and distance by the combination of information from different visual cues. Here, we describe full body illusions in which subjects experience the ownership of a doll's body (80 cm or 30 cm and a giant's body (400 cm and use these as tools to demonstrate that the size of one's sensed own body directly influences the perception of object size and distance. These effects were quantified in ten separate experiments with complementary verbal, questionnaire, manual, walking, and physiological measures. When participants experienced the tiny body as their own, they perceived objects to be larger and farther away, and when they experienced the large-body illusion, they perceived objects to be smaller and nearer. Importantly, despite identical retinal input, this "body size effect" was greater when the participants experienced a sense of ownership of the artificial bodies compared to a control condition in which ownership was disrupted. These findings are fundamentally important as they suggest a causal relationship between the representations of body space and external space. Thus, our own body size affects how we perceive the world.
MacNeill, Lillian P; Best, Lisa A
Body image dissatisfaction and disordered eating attitudes and behaviors are pervasive problems in Western society, particularly for females. The female "thin-ideal" is a potent contributor to the growing discontent with the female body and research has shown that even females who are normal or underweight, perceive themselves as overweight. The goal of the current study was to examine correlates of body image satisfaction and the perception of the female body. One hundred and sixty six female undergraduates (Mean Age=21.40 years) completed self-report measures pertaining to disordered eating (EAT-26) and body dissatisfaction (BIQ and ABS). Body image perception and satisfaction were measured using ratings of female bodies on a weight perception scale (PFRS). Overall, disordered eating was related to a lower ideal body size and greater body dissatisfaction. In support of previous research, the most common ideal female body had a BMI categorized as underweight. Although females in the current sample reported an ideal that was smaller than their current size, participants underestimated their current body size, which, given the amount of dieting and weight pressure in present Western society, seems counterintuitive. It is possible that thin ideal portrayed in the media is increasingly different from and at odds with the average female body. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Wiens, John J; Hoverman, Jason T
The loss of digits is a widespread evolutionary trend in tetrapods which occurs in nearly every major clade. Alberch and Gale showed that the order in which digits are evolutionarily lost in salamanders versus frogs corresponds to the order in which they develop in each group, providing a classic example of developmental constraint. However, what actually drives the loss of digits in salamanders has remained unclear. Alberch and Gale suggested that loss of digits might be associated with paedomorphosis or with reduced body size. We test these hypotheses by combining morphometric and phylogenetic information for 98 species of salamanders. We find that digit loss is associated with both paedomorphosis and reduction in body size. However, these trends are surprisingly contradictory, in that paedomorphosis is significantly associated with an increase in body size in salamanders. Thus, much of the extreme digit reduction is found in the smaller species within paedomorphic clades that have, on average, unusually large body size. Our results show that the consequences of changes in body size on morphology are highly context dependent. We also show (possibly for the first time) a significant association between paedomorphosis and increased body size, rather than the expected association with reduced body size.
Steen, David A.; McClure, Christopher J.W.; Smith, Lora L.; Halstead, Brian J.; Dodd, C. Kenneth; Sutton, William B.; Lee, James R.; Baxley, Danna L.; Humphries, W. Jeffrey; Guyer, Craig
When sympatric species compete, character divergence may help maintain coexistence. Snakes are often found in species-rich assemblages while exploiting similar resources; because snake body size is a relatively plastic trait that determines the range of prey sizes an individual may consume, divergence in body size between sympatric species may arise as a result of interspecific interactions. The North American racer, Coluber constrictor, and the larger coachwhip, Coluber flagellum, have a close taxonomic relationship and similar foraging strategies. Therefore, we hypothesized that C. constrictor would be smaller where they co-occur with C. flagellum, as compared to where C. flagellum is absent, throughout the southeastern extent of their range. To evaluate this hypothesis, we obtained data on body size for 2321 adult C. constrictor and 526 adult C. flagellum, along with habitat data and other potentially important factors influencing body size. Coluber constrictor was smaller than elsewhere when in peninsular Florida, in pine forests, on hydric soils and in the presence of the larger and potentially competing C. flagellum. Body size of C. flagellum did not vary by any measured habitat variables. The trends we documented are consistent with the hypothesis that C. constrictor body size is influenced by several variables, including co-occurrence with C. flagellum.
Pyron, R Alexander; Burbrink, F T
Evolutionary correlations between functionally related character suites are expected as a consequence of coadaptation due to physiological relationships between traits. However, significant correlations may also exist between putatively unrelated characters due to shared relationships between those traits and underlying variables, such as body size. Although such patterns are often dismissed as simple body size scaling, this presumption may overlook important evolutionary patterns of diversification. If body size is the primary determinant of potential diversity in multiple unrelated characters, the observed differentiation of species may be governed by variability in body size, and any biotic or abiotic constraints on the diversification thereof. Here, we demonstrate that traits related to both predatory specialization (gape and diet preference) and predatory avoidance (the development of Batesian mimicry) are phylogenetically correlated in the North American snake tribe Lampropeltini. This is apparently due to shared relationships between those traits and adult body size, suggesting that size is the primary determinant of ecomorphological differentiation in the lampropeltinines. Diversification in body size is apparently not linked to climatic or environmental factors, and may have been driven by interspecific interactions such as competition. Additionally, we find the presence of a 'key zone' for the development of both rattle- and coral snake mimicry; only small snakes feeding primarily on ectothermic prey develop mimetic colour patterns, in or near the range of venomous model species.
Cohen, Joel E; Plank, Michael J; Law, Richard
Taylor's law (TL), which states that variance in population density is related to mean density via a power law, and density-mass allometry, which states that mean density is related to body mass via a power law, are two of the most widely observed patterns in ecology. Combining these two laws predicts that the variance in density is related to body mass via a power law (variance-mass allometry). Marine size spectra are known to exhibit density-mass allometry, but variance-mass allometry has not been investigated. We show that variance and body mass in unexploited size spectrum models are related by a power law, and that this leads to TL with an exponent slightly <2. These simulated relationships are disrupted less by balanced harvesting, in which fishing effort is spread across a wide range of body sizes, than by size-at-entry fishing, in which only fish above a certain size may legally be caught.
Full Text Available Food limitation early in life may be compensated for by developmental plasticity resulting in accelerated development enhancing survival at the expense of small adult body size. However and especially for females in non-matching maternal and offspring environments, being smaller than the standard may incur considerable intra- and trans-generational costs.Here, we evaluated the costs of small female body size induced by food limitation early in life in the sexually size-dimorphic predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. Females are larger than males. These predators are adapted to exploit ephemeral spider mite prey patches. The intra- and trans-generational effects of small maternal body size manifested in lower maternal survival probabilities, decreased attractiveness for males, and a reduced number and size of eggs compared to standard-sized females. The trans-generational effects of small maternal body size were sex-specific with small mothers producing small daughters but standard-sized sons.Small female body size apparently intensified the well-known costs of sexual activity because mortality of small but not standard-sized females mainly occurred shortly after mating. The disadvantages of small females in mating and egg production may be generally explained by size-associated morphological and physiological constraints. Additionally, size-assortative mate preferences of standard-sized mates may have rendered small females disproportionally unattractive mating partners. We argue that the sex-specific trans-generational effects were due to sexual size dimorphism - females are the larger sex and thus more strongly affected by maternal stress than the smaller males - and to sexually selected lower plasticity of male body size.
Horne, Curtis R.; Hirst, Andrew G.; Atkinson, David
experience different developmental conditions. Yet, unlike other size patterns, these common seasonal temperature–size gradients have never been collectively analysed. We undertake the largest analysis to date of seasonal temperature-size gradients in multivoltine arthropods, including 102 aquatic...
Potvin, Jean; Goldbogen, Jeremy A; Shadwick, Robert E
Bulk-filter feeding is an energetically efficient strategy for resource acquisition and assimilation, and facilitates the maintenance of extreme body size as exemplified by baleen whales (Mysticeti) and multiple lineages of bony and cartilaginous fishes. Among mysticetes, rorqual whales (Balaenopteridae) exhibit an intermittent ram filter feeding mode, lunge feeding, which requires the abandonment of body-streamlining in favor of a high-drag, mouth-open configuration aimed at engulfing a very large amount of prey-laden water. Particularly while lunge feeding on krill (the most widespread prey preference among rorquals), the effort required during engulfment involve short bouts of high-intensity muscle activity that demand high metabolic output. We used computational modeling together with morphological and kinematic data on humpback (Megaptera noveaangliae), fin (Balaenoptera physalus), blue (Balaenoptera musculus) and minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) whales to estimate engulfment power output in comparison with standard metrics of metabolic rate. The simulations reveal that engulfment metabolism increases across the full body size of the larger rorqual species to nearly 50 times the basal metabolic rate of terrestrial mammals of the same body mass. Moreover, they suggest that the metabolism of the largest body sizes runs with significant oxygen deficits during mouth opening, namely, 20% over maximum VO2 at the size of the largest blue whales, thus requiring significant contributions from anaerobic catabolism during a lunge and significant recovery after a lunge. Our analyses show that engulfment metabolism is also significantly lower for smaller adults, typically one-tenth to one-half VO2|max. These results not only point to a physiological limit on maximum body size in this lineage, but also have major implications for the ontogeny of extant rorquals as well as the evolutionary pathways used by ancestral toothed whales to transition from hunting individual prey
Full Text Available Bulk-filter feeding is an energetically efficient strategy for resource acquisition and assimilation, and facilitates the maintenance of extreme body size as exemplified by baleen whales (Mysticeti and multiple lineages of bony and cartilaginous fishes. Among mysticetes, rorqual whales (Balaenopteridae exhibit an intermittent ram filter feeding mode, lunge feeding, which requires the abandonment of body-streamlining in favor of a high-drag, mouth-open configuration aimed at engulfing a very large amount of prey-laden water. Particularly while lunge feeding on krill (the most widespread prey preference among rorquals, the effort required during engulfment involve short bouts of high-intensity muscle activity that demand high metabolic output. We used computational modeling together with morphological and kinematic data on humpback (Megaptera noveaangliae, fin (Balaenoptera physalus, blue (Balaenoptera musculus and minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata whales to estimate engulfment power output in comparison with standard metrics of metabolic rate. The simulations reveal that engulfment metabolism increases across the full body size of the larger rorqual species to nearly 50 times the basal metabolic rate of terrestrial mammals of the same body mass. Moreover, they suggest that the metabolism of the largest body sizes runs with significant oxygen deficits during mouth opening, namely, 20% over maximum VO2 at the size of the largest blue whales, thus requiring significant contributions from anaerobic catabolism during a lunge and significant recovery after a lunge. Our analyses show that engulfment metabolism is also significantly lower for smaller adults, typically one-tenth to one-half VO2|max. These results not only point to a physiological limit on maximum body size in this lineage, but also have major implications for the ontogeny of extant rorquals as well as the evolutionary pathways used by ancestral toothed whales to transition from hunting
Hesler, Nana; Mundry, Roger; Sacher, Thomas;
organisation. Here we investigated whether repertoire size in Eurasian blackbirds correlates with measures of body size, namely length of wing, 8th primary, beak and tarsus. So far, very few studies have investigated species with large repertoires and a flexible song organisation in this context. We found...... positive correlations, meaning that larger males had larger repertoires. Larger males may have better fighting abilities and, thus, advantages in territorial defence. Larger structural body size may also reflect better conditions during early development. Therefore, under the assumption that body size...
Montgomery, Stephen H; Geisler, Jonathan H; McGowen, Michael R; Fox, Charlotte; Marino, Lori; Gatesy, John
Cetaceans rival primates in brain size relative to body size and include species with the largest brains and biggest bodies to have ever evolved. Cetaceans are remarkably diverse, varying in both phenotypes by several orders of magnitude, with notable differences between the two extant suborders, Mysticeti and Odontoceti. We analyzed the evolutionary history of brain and body mass, and relative brain size measured by the encephalization quotient (EQ), using a data set of extinct and extant taxa to capture temporal variation in the mode and direction of evolution. Our results suggest that cetacean brain and body mass evolved under strong directional trends to increase through time, but decreases in EQ were widespread. Mysticetes have significantly lower EQs than odontocetes due to a shift in brain:body allometry following the divergence of the suborders, caused by rapid increases in body mass in Mysticeti and a period of body mass reduction in Odontoceti. The pattern in Cetacea contrasts with that in primates, which experienced strong trends to increase brain mass and relative brain size, but not body mass. We discuss what these analyses reveal about the convergent evolution of large brains, and highlight that until recently the most encephalized mammals were odontocetes, not primates.
Gwendolen M Rodgers
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Grouping behaviour, common across the animal kingdom, is known to reduce an individual's risk of predation; particularly through dilution of individual risk and predator confusion (predator inability to single out an individual for attack. Theory predicts greater risk of predation to individuals more conspicuous to predators by difference in appearance from the group (the 'oddity' effect. Thus, animals should choose group mates close in appearance to themselves (eg. similar size, whilst also choosing a large group. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used the Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata, a well known model species of group-living freshwater fish, in a series of binary choice trials investigating the outcome of conflict between preferences for large and phenotypically matched groups along a predation risk gradient. We found body-size dependent differences in the resultant social decisions. Large fish preferred shoaling with size-matched individuals, while small fish demonstrated no preference. There was a trend towards reduced preferences for the matched shoal under increased predation risk. Small fish were more active than large fish, moving between shoals more frequently. Activity levels increased as predation risk decreased. We found no effect of unmatched shoal size on preferences or activity. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that predation risk and individual body size act together to influence shoaling decisions. Oddity was more important for large than small fish, reducing in importance at higher predation risks. Dilution was potentially of limited importance at these shoal sizes. Activity levels may relate to how much sampling of each shoal was needed by the test fish during decision making. Predation pressure may select for better decision makers to survive to larger size, or that older, larger fish have learned to make shoaling decisions more efficiently, and this, combined with their size
Weir, Laura K; Kindsvater, Holly K; Young, Kyle A; Reynolds, John D
Large male body size is typically favored by directional sexual selection through competition for mates. However, alternative male life-history phenotypes, such as "sneakers," should decrease the strength of sexual selection acting on body size of large "fighter" males. We tested this prediction with salmon species; in southern populations, where sneakers are common, fighter males should be smaller than in northern populations, where sneakers are rare, leading to geographical clines in sexual size dimorphism (SSD). Consistent with our prediction, fighter male body size and SSD (fighter male∶female size) increase with latitude in species with sneaker males (Atlantic salmon Salmo salar and masu salmon Oncorhynchus masou) but not in species without sneakers (chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta and pink salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha). This is the first evidence that sneaker males affect SSD across populations and species, and it suggests that alternative male mating strategies may shape the evolution of body size.
Gardner, Rick M; Brown, Dana L; Boice, Russell
This study investigated Amazon.com's website Mechanical Turk (MTurk) as a research tool for measuring body size estimation and dissatisfaction. 160 U.S. participants completed the BIAS-BD figural drawing scale and demographic questions posted on the MTurk website. The BIAS-BD consists of 17 drawings of various male and female body sizes based on anthropometric data corresponding to a range of 60% below to 140% above the average U.S. adult. Respondents selected a drawing that best reflected their current size and ideal size. Results revealed that respondents overestimated their body size by 6% and desired an ideal size 9.2% smaller than their perceived size. Findings are compared with three previous studies using the BIAS-BD scale. A general correspondence in findings between the four studies was found. We conclude that the MTurk can serve as a viable method for collecting data on the perceptual and attitudinal aspects of body image quickly and inexpensively.
Collar, David C; Schulte, James A; Losos, Jonathan B
Many features of species' biology, including life history, physiology, morphology, and ecology are tightly linked to body size. Investigation into the causes of size divergence is therefore critical to understanding the factors shaping phenotypic diversity within clades. In this study, we examined size evolution in monitor lizards (Varanus), a clade that includes the largest extant lizard species, the Komodo dragon (V. komodoensis), as well as diminutive species that are nearly four orders of magnitude smaller in adult body mass. We demonstrate that the remarkable body size disparity of this clade is a consequence of different selective demands imposed by three major habitat use patterns-arboreality, terrestriality, and rock-dwelling. We reconstructed phylogenetic relationships and ancestral habitat use and applied model selection to determine that the best-fitting evolutionary models for species' adult size are those that infer oppositely directed adaptive evolution associated with terrestriality and rock-dwelling, with terrestrial lineages evolving extremely large size and rock-dwellers becoming very small. We also show that habitat use affects the evolution of several ecologically important morphological traits independently of body size divergence. These results suggest that habitat use exerts a strong, multidimensional influence on the evolution of morphological size and shape disparity in monitor lizards.
Poveda, Alaitz; Ibáñez, María Eugenia; Rebato, Esther
Roma people are particularly vulnerable to developing overweight and obesity. Self-perception of body image may influence the prevalence of obesity in this ethnic minority. The objectives of this study are to estimate the prevalence of obesity, to analyse body size perceptions and preferences and to assess the relationship between body size perceptions and obesity in the Roma population. The analyses were carried out on 372 men, women and children from the Roma population residing in the Greater Bilbao region (Basque Country, Spain). In adults, a standard figural scale was used to analyse body size perceptions and preferences in this ethnic minority. Overall 51.7% of adult and 24.4% of minor Roma individuals were obese. Both Roma men and women had inaccurate self-perceptions of their body size. Significant differences on body size perceptions were detected based on age, sex, nutritional status and socioeconomic characteristics. This Roma population presents one of the highest rates of obesity worldwide. Although a certain awareness of the correct weight status was appreciated, the inability of Roma individuals to see themselves as overweight or obese may be a significant factor on the high prevalence of obesity in this population.
Full Text Available Lucy, considered to be the ancestor to all humanity was a very short creature about three and a half feet tall, weighing some 60 to 65 pounds and lived around 3.2 million years ago in Ethiopia. Perhaps the growth period among the australopithecines was much shorter than that of the modern day humans and hence simply by this yardstick, there has to be a lot of difference in body size between them. The longer the growth period the larger the body size and this is what seemed to happen to the humans during evolutionary history. Recently Mark Grabowski, a researcher at American Museum of Natural History, New York,observed in his research paper that "Bigger brains led to bigger bodies... as over the last four million years, brain size and body size increased substantially in our human ancestors" (Current Anthropology, Vol. 57, 174-196, April 2016. These observations were not new and were clearly understood by the scientific community earlier also. However, numerous hypotheses put forth had emphasized the role of natural selection on different traits independently. But none of them had gone in the direction of a correlated response to natural selection in favour of enlarging the brain size and the body size together. These viewpoints had concluded that increase in brain size and body size were the products of separate natural selection forces. However, Mark Grabowski states that "some genes cause variation in both brain and body size, with the result that selection on either trait can lead to a correlated response in the unselected trait." This is a new explanation to the problem. It highlights the role of correlated outcomes of the natural selection phenomena occurring to one trait but affecting the other trait even if that is not selected for. It is similar to saying that as the brain size increased from Lucy to Homo erectus so did the body size as if the animal pulled itself up and increased in size proportionately as well to keep pace with the
Kiørboe, Thomas; MacKenzie, Brian
Turbulent water motion has several effects on the feeding ecology of larval fish and other planktivorous predators. In this paper, we consider the appropriate spatial scales for estimating relative velocities between larval fish predators and their prey, and the effect that different choices...
Kraemer, William J; Torine, Jon C; Silvestre, Ricardo; French, Duncan N; Ratamess, Nicholas A; Spiering, Barry A; Hatfield, Disa L; Vingren, Jakob L; Volek, Jeff S
The purpose of this study was to present a profile of body size and composition of National Football League (NFL) players prior to the start of the regular season. Fifty-three members of the Indianapolis Colts professional football team were measured for height, body mass, and percentage body fat using the BOD POD air-displacement plethysmography system during summer camp of the 2003 football season. These data were categorized by position for comparison with previous studies of NFL football players. The relationships observed were as follows (= represents nonsignificant; > represents p Linebackers > Running Backs = Wide Receivers = Defensive Backs. Body Mass: Offensive Line = Defensive Line > Tight Ends = Linebackers > Running Backs = Quarterbacks/ Kickers/Punters > Wide Receivers = Defensive Backs. Percentage Body Fat: Offensive Line > Defensive Line > Quarterbacks/ Kickers/Punters = Linebackers = Tight Ends > Running Backs = Wide Receivers = Defensive Backs. Comparisons to teams in the 1970s indicate that body mass has increased only for offensive and defensive linemen; however, height and body fat among player positions have not dramatically changed. Furthermore, the body mass index is not an accurate measure or representation of body fat or obesity in NFL players. These data provide a basic template for size profiles and differences among various positions and allow comparisons with other studies for changes in the NFL over the past 3 decades.
Full Text Available The visual recognition of action is one of the socially most important and computationally demanding capacities of the human visual system. It combines visual shape recognition with complex non-rigid motion perception. Action presented as a point-light animation is a striking visual experience for anyone who sees it for the first time. Information about the shape and posture of the human body is sparse in point-light animations, but it is essential for action recognition. In the posturo-temporal filter model of biological motion perception posture information is picked up by visual neurons tuned to the form of the human body before body motion is calculated. We tested whether point-light stimuli are processed through posture recognition of the human body form by using a typical feature of form recognition, namely size invariance. We constructed a point-light stimulus that can only be perceived through a size-invariant mechanism. This stimulus changes rapidly in size from one image to the next. It thus disrupts continuity of early visuo-spatial properties but maintains continuity of the body posture representation. Despite this massive manipulation at the visuo-spatial level, size-changing point-light figures are spontaneously recognized by naive observers, and support discrimination of human body motion.
Grabowski, Mark; Hatala, Kevin G; Jungers, William L; Richmond, Brian G
Body size directly influences an animal's place in the natural world, including its energy requirements, home range size, relative brain size, locomotion, diet, life history, and behavior. Thus, an understanding of the biology of extinct organisms, including species in our own lineage, requires accurate estimates of body size. Since the last major review of hominin body size based on postcranial morphology over 20 years ago, new fossils have been discovered, species attributions have been clarified, and methods improved. Here, we present the most comprehensive and thoroughly vetted set of individual fossil hominin body mass predictions to date, and estimation equations based on a large (n = 220) sample of modern humans of known body masses. We also present species averages based exclusively on fossils with reliable taxonomic attributions, estimates of species averages by sex, and a metric for levels of sexual dimorphism. Finally, we identify individual traits that appear to be the most reliable for mass estimation for each fossil species, for use when only one measurement is available for a fossil. Our results show that many early hominins were generally smaller-bodied than previously thought, an outcome likely due to larger estimates in previous studies resulting from the use of large-bodied modern human reference samples. Current evidence indicates that modern human-like large size first appeared by at least 3-3.5 Ma in some Australopithecus afarensis individuals. Our results challenge an evolutionary model arguing that body size increased from Australopithecus to early Homo. Instead, we show that there is no reliable evidence that the body size of non-erectus early Homo differed from that of australopiths, and confirm that Homo erectus evolved larger average body size than earlier hominins. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cohen, Emmanuel; Bernard, Jonathan Y.; Ponty, Amandine; Ndao, Amadou; Amougou, Norbert; Saïd-Mohamed, Rihlat; Pasquet, Patrick
Background The social valorisation of overweight in African populations could promote high-risk eating behaviours and therefore become a risk factor of obesity. However, existing scales to assess body image are usually not accurate enough to allow comparative studies of body weight perception in different African populations. This study aimed to develop and validate the Body Size Scale (BSS) to estimate African body weight perception. Methods Anthropometric measures of 80 Cameroonians and 81 ...
Lin, Huai-Ti; Leonardo, Anthony
Animals use rules to initiate behaviors. Such rules are often described as triggers that determine when behavior begins. However, although less explored, these selection rules are also an opportunity to establish sensorimotor constraints that influence how the behavior ends. These constraints may be particularly significant in influencing success in prey capture. Here we explore this in dragonfly prey interception. We found that in the moments leading up to takeoff, perched dragonflies employ a series of sensorimotor rules that determine the time of takeoff and increase the probability of successful capture. First, the dragonfly makes a head saccade followed by smooth pursuit movements to orient its direction-of-gaze at potential prey. Second, the dragonfly assesses whether the prey's angular size and speed co-vary within a privileged range. Finally, the dragonfly times the moment of its takeoff to a prediction of when the prey will cross the zenith. Each of these processes serves a purpose. The angular size-speed criteria biases interception flights to catchable prey, while the head movements and the predictive takeoff ensure flights begin with the prey visually fixated and directly overhead-the key parameters that underlie interception steering. Prey that do not elicit takeoff generally fail at least one of the criterion, and the loss of prey fixation or overhead positioning during flight is strongly correlated with terminated flights. Thus from an abundance of potential targets, the dragonfly selects a stereotyped set of takeoff conditions based on the prey and body states most likely to end in successful capture.
Kasimatis, Katja; Riginos, Cynthia
Theoretical treatments of egg size in fishes suggest that constraints on reproductive output should create trade-offs between the size and number of eggs produced per spawn. For marine reef fishes, the observation of distinct reproductive care strategies (demersal guarding, egg scattering, and pelagic spawning) has additionally prompted speculation that these strategies reflect alternative fitness optima with selection on egg size differing by reproductive mode and perhaps latitude. Here, we aggregate data from 278 reef fish species and test whether clutch size, reproductive care, adult body size, and latitudinal bands (i.e., tropical, subtropical, and temperate) predict egg size, using a statistically unified framework that accounts for phylogenetic correlations among traits. We find no inverse relationship between species egg size and clutch size, but rather that egg size differs by reproductive mode (mean volume for demersal eggs = 1.22 mm3, scattered eggs = 0.18 mm3, pelagic eggs = 0.52 mm3) and that clutch size is strongly correlated with adult body size. Larger eggs were found in temperate species compared with tropical species in both demersal guarders and pelagic spawners, but this difference was not strong when accounting for phylogenetic correlations, suggesting that differences in species composition underlies regional differences in egg size. In summary, demersal guarders are generally small fishes with small clutch sizes that produce large eggs. Pelagic spawners and egg scatterers are variable in adult and clutch size. Although pelagic spawned eggs are variable in size, those of scatterers are consistently small.
Kyle J Broadway
Full Text Available As the intensity and speed of environmental change increase at both local and global scales it is imperative that we gain a better understanding of the ecological implications of community shifts. While there has been substantial progress toward understanding the drivers and subsequent responses of community change (e.g. lake trophic state, the ecological impacts of food web changes are far less understood. We analyzed Wabash River fish assemblage data collected from 1974-2008, to evaluate temporal variation in body-size structure and functional group composition. Two parameters derived from annual community size-spectra were our major response variables: (1 the regression slope is an index of ecological efficiency and predator-prey biomass ratios, and (2 spectral elevation (regression midpoint height is a proxy for food web capacity. We detected a large assemblage shift, over at least a seven year period, defined by dramatic changes in abundance (measured as catch-per-unit-effort of the dominant functional feeding groups among two time periods; from an assemblage dominated by planktivore-omnivores to benthic invertivores. There was a concurrent increase in ecological efficiency (slopes increased over time following the shift associated with an increase in large-bodied low trophic level fish. Food web capacity remained relatively stable with no clear temporal trends. Thus, increased ecological efficiency occurred simultaneous to a compensatory response that shifted biomass among functional feeding groups.
Phillipou, Andrea; Rossell, Susan Lee; Gurvich, Caroline; Castle, David Jonathan; Troje, Nikolaus Friedrich; Abel, Larry Allen
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a psychiatric condition characterised by a distortion of body image. However, whether individuals with AN can accurately perceive the size of other individuals' bodies is unclear. In the current study, 24 women with AN and 24 healthy control participants undertook two biological motion tasks while eyetracking was performed: to identify the gender and to indicate the walkers' body size. Anorexia nervosa participants tended to 'hyperscan' stimuli but did not demonstrate differences in how visual attention was directed to different body areas, relative to controls. Groups also did not differ in their estimation of body size. The hyperscanning behaviours suggest increased anxiety to disorder-relevant stimuli in AN. The lack of group difference in the estimation of body size suggests that the AN group was able to judge the body size of others accurately. The findings are discussed in terms of body image distortion specific to oneself in AN. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
Hughes, L.A.E.; Schouten, L.J.; Goldbohm, R.A.; Brandt, P.A. van den; Weijenberg, M.P.
BACKGROUND: Few studies have considered the potential utility of clothing size as a predictor of diseases associated with body weight. METHODS: We used data on weight-stable men and women from a subcohort of the Netherlands Cohort Study to assess the correlation of clothing size with other
Peng, J.; Dabiri, J. O.
A Lagrangian method is developed to study mixing of small particles in open flows. Particle Lagrangian Coherent Structures (pLCS) are identified as transport barriers in the dynamical systems of particles. We apply this method to a planktonic predator-prey system in which moon jellyfish Aurelia aurita uses its body motion to generate fluid currents which carry their prey to the vicinity of their capture appendages. With the flow generated by the jellyfish experimentally measured and the dynamics of prey particles in the flow described by a modified Maxey-Riley equation, we use pLCS to identify the capture region in which prey can be captured. The properties of the capture region enable analysis of the effects of several physiological and mechanical parameters on the predator-prey interaction, such as prey size, escape force, predator perception, etc. The method provides a new methodology to study dynamics and mixing of small organisms in general.
Full Text Available Background Organism biomass is one of the most important variables in ecological studies, making biomass estimations one of the most common laboratory tasks. Biomass of small macroinvertebrates is usually estimated as dry mass or ash-free dry mass (hereafter ‘DM’ vs. ‘AFDM’ per sample; a laborious and time consuming process, that often can be speeded up using easily measured and reliable proxy variables like body size or wet (fresh mass. Another common way of estimating AFDM (one of the most accurate but also time-consuming estimates of biologically active tissue mass is the use of AFDM/DM ratios as conversion factors. So far, however, these ratios typically ignore the possibility that the relative mass of biologically active vs. non-active support tissue (e.g., protective exoskeleton or shell—and therefore, also AFDM/DM ratios—may change with body size, as previously shown for taxa like spiders, vertebrates and trees. Methods We collected aquatic, epibenthic macroinvertebrates (>1 mm in 32 shallow bays along a 360 km stretch of the Swedish coast along the Baltic Sea; one of the largest brackish water bodies on Earth. We then estimated statistical relationships between the body size (length or height in mm, body dry mass and ash-free dry mass for 14 of the most common taxa; five gastropods, three bivalves, three crustaceans and three insect larvae. Finally, we statistically estimated the potential influence of body size on the AFDM/DM ratio per taxon. Results For most taxa, non-linear regression models describing the power relationship between body size and (i DM and (ii AFDM fit the data well (as indicated by low SE and high R2. Moreover, for more than half of the taxa studied (including the vast majority of the shelled molluscs, body size had a negative influence on organism AFDM/DM ratios. Discussion The good fit of the modelled power relationships suggests that the constants reported here can be used to quickly estimate
Wei CHEN; Xin LU
Age and body size are two important demographic traits that determine the life history strategies of populations and species.We measured these two parameters of Rana amurensis,at a 900 m and a 500 m altitude site in northeastern China.At the two sites,age at first reproduction was 2 years for males and 3 years for females.The maximum age of males and females at the high-altitude site was 6 and 7 years,and 5 and 7 years at the low-altitude population,respectively.Females were significantly larger than males in both populations,due to greater age in both the high- and low-altitude sites.Body size of either males or females did not differ significantly between populations; only males showed increased body size at the high-altitude site when age effect was statistically controlled for.The increased cline of male body size may be attributable to delayed maturation of the sex due to a shorter growing season at high altitudes [Current Zoology 57 (6):781-784,2011].
Willows, Noreen D.; Marshall, Dru; Raine, Kim; Ridley, Denise C.
Native American Indians and First Nations are predisposed to obesity and diabetes. A study was done to understand Cree schoolchildren's diabetes awareness and body size perceptions in two communities that had diabetes awareness-raising activities in the Province of Quebec, Canada. Children (N = 203) in grades 4-6 were classified into weight…
Luckstead, Jeff; Devadoss, Stephen
We consider a distribution, which consists of lower tail Pareto, lognormal body, and upper tail Pareto, to estimate the size distribution of all US cities. This distribution fits the data more accurately than a distribution that comprises of only lognormal and the upper tail Pareto.
Willows, Noreen D.; Marshall, Dru; Raine, Kim; Ridley, Denise C.
Native American Indians and First Nations are predisposed to obesity and diabetes. A study was done to understand Cree schoolchildren's diabetes awareness and body size perceptions in two communities that had diabetes awareness-raising activities in the Province of Quebec, Canada. Children (N = 203) in grades 4-6 were classified into weight…
Soto, A.; Tang, C.; Pelagio, M.; Heim, N. A.; Payne, J.
There have been five major extinctions on planet Earth: the end of the Ordovician, late Devonian, late Permian, late Triassic and the late Cretaceous and through all of these, Crinoids have still managed to prosper. Our project attempts to find a correlation between these five mass extinctions and the body size of Crinoids. Past research has shown that bigger animals are more prone to extinction compared to smaller sized ones because of their complex environmental niches. We hypothesized that small-sized Crinoids would have a higher possibility of survival compared to the larger-sized Crinoids. We first graphed Crinoids' maximum body size and the five major extinctions throughout time for any visual correlation between them. We then used t-tests as our statistical analyses to find any differences between the size of survivors and. There was no mean difference between the mean size of victims and survivors with the exception of the end of the Triassic extinction. There are many possible explanations for this difference in the end of the Triassic such as 1) a rise in atmospheric CO2, 2) a combination was volcanic CO2 and catastrophic dissociation of gas hydrate, and/or 3) a cooling in temperature and oceanic changes occurred.
Maia-Carneiro, Thiago; Rocha, Carlos Frederico Duarte
Variations in body temperature (Tb) of lizards can be partially explained by intrinsic factors such as sex, ontogeny and body size. Liolaemus lutzae is a lizard species restricted to restingas in the Brazilian coast in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Herein, we studied sexual dimorphism and influences of sex, ontogeny, and body size to the Tb of L. lutzae. Adult males were larger than adult females, probably due to both intersexual selection and intra-sexual selection. There was intersexual difference in lizards' Tb (males hotter than females), but Tb did not differ after factored out for the effects of body size. The mean Tb of juvenile lizards was higher than that of adults after factored out for the effect of body mass. It is possible that adults may have excluded juveniles from microhabitats with better thermal regimes. Also, this might have occurred due to requirements of juveniles to maintain high growth rates. Forage searching for prey by juveniles also exposes them to high environmental temperatures. Juveniles also may have higher Tb than co-specific adults (relative to body mass) to favor prey capture. In absolute values, adult lizards tended to use microhabitats with lower temperatures than that used by juveniles, possibly to avoid risks of overheating and death. Body temperature and snout-vent length were positively related, as well as body temperature and body mass, presumably caused by the thermal inertia of the bodies (trend of a body to resist to changes in its temperature). Intrinsic factors such as sex, ontogeny and body size can affect the thermal ecology of L. lutzae, despite coastal habitat features to which they are exposed also influences the body temperature of active lizards in restinga habitats.
Dalley, Simon E.; Pollet, Thomas V.; Vidal, Jose
We predicted that an expectancy of acquiring a feared fat self and an expectancy of acquiring a hoped-for thin self both mediate the impact of body size on women's body esteem. We also predicted that the mediating pathway through the feared fat self would be stronger than that through the hoped-for
Dalley, Simon E.; Pollet, Thomas V.; Vidal, Jose
We predicted that an expectancy of acquiring a feared fat self and an expectancy of acquiring a hoped-for thin self both mediate the impact of body size on women's body esteem. We also predicted that the mediating pathway through the feared fat self would be stronger than that through the hoped-for
Dalley, Simon E.; Pollet, Thomas V.; Vidal, Jose
We predicted that an expectancy of acquiring a feared fat self and an expectancy of acquiring a hoped-for thin self both mediate the impact of body size on women's body esteem. We also predicted that the mediating pathway through the feared fat self would be stronger than that through the hoped-for
Schatz, Bertrand; Suzzoni, Jean-Pierre; Corbara, Bruno; Dejean, Alain
Prey selection by Plectroctena minor workers is two-fold. During cafeteria experiments, the workers always selected millipedes, their essential prey, while alternative prey acceptance varied according to the taxa and the situation. Millipedes were seized by the anterior part of their body, stung, and retrieved by single workers that transported them between their legs. They were rarely snapped at, and never abandoned. When P. minor workers were confronted with alternative prey they behaved like generalist species: prey acceptance was inversely correlated to prey size. This was not the case vis-à-vis millipedes that they selected and captured although larger than compared alternative prey. The semi-specialised diet of P. minor permits the colonies to be easily provisioned by a few foraging workers as millipedes are rarely hunted by other predatory arthropods, while alternative prey abound, resulting in low competition pressure in both cases. Different traits characteristic of an adaptation to hunting millipedes were noted and compared with the capture of alternative prey. We also noted the parsimony of the behavioural phases during their capture compared to the capture of alternative prey.
Helmus, Matthew R; Mercado-Silva, Norman; Vander Zanden, M Jake
Ecosystems are fragmented by natural and anthropogenic processes that affect organism movement and ecosystem dynamics. When a fragmentation restricts predator but not prey movement, then the prey produced on one side of an ecosystem edge can subsidize predators on the other side. When prey flux is high, predator density on the receiving side increases above that possible by in situ prey productivity, and when low, the formerly subsidized predators can impose strong top-down control of in situ prey--in situ prey experience apparent competition from the subsidy. If predators feed on some evolutionary clades of in situ prey over others, then subsidy-derived apparent competition will induce phylogenetic structure in prey composition. Dams fragment the serial nature of river ecosystems by prohibiting movement of organisms and restricting flowing water. In the river tailwater just below a large central Mexican dam, fish density was high and fish gorged on reservoir-derived zooplankton. When the dam was closed, water flow and the zooplankton subsidy ceased, densely packed pools of fish formed, fish switched to feed on in situ prey, and the tailwater macroinvertebrate community was phylogenetic structured. We derived expectations of structure from trait-based community assembly models based on macroinvertebrate body size, tolerance to anthropogenic disturbance, and fish-diet selectivity. The diet-selectivity model best fit the observed tailwater phylogenetic structure. Thus, apparent competition from subsidies phylogenetically structures prey communities, and serial variation in phylogenetic community structure can be indicative of fragmentation in formerly continuous ecosystems.
Cohen, Emmanuel; Bernard, Jonathan Y.; Ponty, Amandine; Ndao, Amadou; Amougou, Norbert; Saïd-Mohamed, Rihlat; Pasquet, Patrick
Background The social valorisation of overweight in African populations could promote high-risk eating behaviours and therefore become a risk factor of obesity. However, existing scales to assess body image are usually not accurate enough to allow comparative studies of body weight perception in different African populations. This study aimed to develop and validate the Body Size Scale (BSS) to estimate African body weight perception. Methods Anthropometric measures of 80 Cameroonians and 81 Senegalese were used to evaluate three criteria of adiposity: body mass index (BMI), overall percentage of fat, and endomorphy (fat component of the somatotype). To develop the BSS, the participants were photographed in full face and profile positions. Models were selected for their representativeness of the wide variability in adiposity with a progressive increase along the scale. Then, for the validation protocol, participants self-administered the BSS to assess self-perceived current body size (CBS), desired body size (DBS) and provide a “body self-satisfaction index.” This protocol included construct validity, test-retest reliability and convergent validity and was carried out with three independent samples of respectively 201, 103 and 1115 Cameroonians. Results The BSS comprises two sex-specific scales of photos of 9 models each, and ordered by increasing adiposity. Most participants were able to correctly order the BSS by increasing adiposity, using three different words to define body size. Test-retest reliability was consistent in estimating CBS, DBS and the “body self-satisfaction index.” The CBS was highly correlated to the objective BMI, and two different indexes assessed with the BSS were consistent with declarations obtained in interviews. Conclusion The BSS is the first scale with photos of real African models taken in both full face and profile and representing a wide and representative variability in adiposity. The validation protocol proved its
Full Text Available The social valorisation of overweight in African populations could promote high-risk eating behaviours and therefore become a risk factor of obesity. However, existing scales to assess body image are usually not accurate enough to allow comparative studies of body weight perception in different African populations. This study aimed to develop and validate the Body Size Scale (BSS to estimate African body weight perception.Anthropometric measures of 80 Cameroonians and 81 Senegalese were used to evaluate three criteria of adiposity: body mass index (BMI, overall percentage of fat, and endomorphy (fat component of the somatotype. To develop the BSS, the participants were photographed in full face and profile positions. Models were selected for their representativeness of the wide variability in adiposity with a progressive increase along the scale. Then, for the validation protocol, participants self-administered the BSS to assess self-perceived current body size (CBS, desired body size (DBS and provide a "body self-satisfaction index." This protocol included construct validity, test-retest reliability and convergent validity and was carried out with three independent samples of respectively 201, 103 and 1115 Cameroonians.The BSS comprises two sex-specific scales of photos of 9 models each, and ordered by increasing adiposity. Most participants were able to correctly order the BSS by increasing adiposity, using three different words to define body size. Test-retest reliability was consistent in estimating CBS, DBS and the "body self-satisfaction index." The CBS was highly correlated to the objective BMI, and two different indexes assessed with the BSS were consistent with declarations obtained in interviews.The BSS is the first scale with photos of real African models taken in both full face and profile and representing a wide and representative variability in adiposity. The validation protocol proved its reliability for estimating body weight
McCabe, Marita P; McGreevy, Shauna J
There has been limited previous research that has examined the role of sociocultural influences on body change strategies among adult men. The current study investigated the role of specific types of messages (encouragement, teasing and modelling) from peers and the media on the strategies to change weight among adult men. Differences were evaluated between 526 men aged from 18 to 60 years from three groups (normal weight, overweight and obese) on body image, body change strategies and messages about their body received from peers and the media. Men were primarily drawn from United States, Australia and Europe. Results showed that messages received by men regarding losing weight or increasing muscle size differed according to weight. Body image and media messages were the strongest predictors of losing weight, whereas body image importance and messages from peers were the strongest predictors of increasing muscles. These findings highlight the importance of sociocultural influences on body change strategies among adult males.
Braga Goncalves, I; Ahnesjö, I; Kvarnemo, C
Comparing five species of pipefish, egg size was significantly larger in species with brood pouches (Syngnathus typhle, Syngnathus acus and Syngnathus rostellatus) than in species without brood pouches (Entelurus aequoreus and Nerophis ophidion). Egg size correlated positively with female body size in species with brood pouches, but was similar across female sizes in the species lacking pouches. These results may reflect differences in offspring competition as a consequence of variable offspring relatedness within a brood, due to the mating systems adopted by the different species and the presence or absence of a brood pouch.
Cooper, Natalie; Purvis, Andy
Body size correlates with virtually every aspect of species biology, so understanding the tempo and mode of its evolution is of key importance in macroecology and macroevolution. Here we use body mass data from 3,473 of 4,510 extant mammalian species and an almost complete species-level phylogeny to determine the best model of log(body mass) evolution across all mammals, split taxonomically and spatially. An early-burst model fits better across all mammals than do models based on either Brownian motion or an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process, suggesting that mammals experienced a burst of morphological evolution relatively early in their history that was followed by slower change. We also use spatial models to investigate rates of body mass evolution within ecoregions. These models show that around 50% of the variation in rate can be explained by just a few predictors. High estimated rates are associated with cold, low-lying, species-poor, high-energy, mainland ecoregions. We conclude that the evolution of mammalian body size has been influenced by a complex interplay among geography, climate, and history.
Angel, Lauren P; Wells, Melanie R; Rodríguez-Malagón, Marlenne A; Tew, Emma; Speakman, John R; Arnould, John P Y
Sexual size dimorphism is widespread throughout seabird taxa and several drivers leading to its evolution have been hypothesised. While the Australasian Gannet (Morus serrator) has previously been considered nominally monomorphic, recent studies have documented sexual segregation in diet and foraging areas, traits often associated with size dimorphism. The present study investigated the sex differences in body mass and structural size of this species at two colonies (Pope's Eye, PE; Point Danger, PD) in northern Bass Strait, south-eastern Australia. Females were found to be 3.1% and 7.3% heavier (2.74 ± 0.03, n = 92; 2.67 ± 0.03 kg, n = 43) than males (2.66 ± 0.03, n = 92; 2.48 ± 0.03 kg, n = 43) at PE and PD, respectively. Females were also larger in wing ulna length (0.8% both colonies) but smaller in bill depth (PE: 2.2%; PD: 1.7%) than males. Despite this dimorphism, a discriminant function provided only mild accuracy in determining sex. A similar degree of dimorphism was also found within breeding pairs, however assortative mating was not apparent at either colony (R2 < 0.04). Using hydrogen isotope dilution, a body condition index was developed from morphometrics to estimate total body fat (TBF) stores, where TBF(%) = 24.43+1.94*(body mass/wing ulna length) - 0.58*tarsus length (r2 = 0.84, n = 15). This index was used to estimate body composition in all sampled individuals. There was no significant difference in TBF(%) between the sexes for any stage of breeding or in any year of the study at either colony suggesting that, despite a greater body mass, females were not in a better condition than males. While the driving mechanism for sexual dimorphism in this species is currently unknown, studies of other Sulids indicate segregation in foraging behaviour, habitat and diet may be a contributing factor.
Lauren P Angel
Full Text Available Sexual size dimorphism is widespread throughout seabird taxa and several drivers leading to its evolution have been hypothesised. While the Australasian Gannet (Morus serrator has previously been considered nominally monomorphic, recent studies have documented sexual segregation in diet and foraging areas, traits often associated with size dimorphism. The present study investigated the sex differences in body mass and structural size of this species at two colonies (Pope's Eye, PE; Point Danger, PD in northern Bass Strait, south-eastern Australia. Females were found to be 3.1% and 7.3% heavier (2.74 ± 0.03, n = 92; 2.67 ± 0.03 kg, n = 43 than males (2.66 ± 0.03, n = 92; 2.48 ± 0.03 kg, n = 43 at PE and PD, respectively. Females were also larger in wing ulna length (0.8% both colonies but smaller in bill depth (PE: 2.2%; PD: 1.7% than males. Despite this dimorphism, a discriminant function provided only mild accuracy in determining sex. A similar degree of dimorphism was also found within breeding pairs, however assortative mating was not apparent at either colony (R2 < 0.04. Using hydrogen isotope dilution, a body condition index was developed from morphometrics to estimate total body fat (TBF stores, where TBF(% = 24.43+1.94*(body mass/wing ulna length - 0.58*tarsus length (r2 = 0.84, n = 15. This index was used to estimate body composition in all sampled individuals. There was no significant difference in TBF(% between the sexes for any stage of breeding or in any year of the study at either colony suggesting that, despite a greater body mass, females were not in a better condition than males. While the driving mechanism for sexual dimorphism in this species is currently unknown, studies of other Sulids indicate segregation in foraging behaviour, habitat and diet may be a contributing factor.
Idgunji, S.; Zhang, H.; Payne, J.; Heim, N. A.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics, according to Clausius, states that entropy will always increase in the universe, meaning systems will break down and become simple and chaotic. However, this is seemingly contradicted by the existence of living organisms, which can have highly complex and organized systems. Furthermore, there is a greater contradiction in the theory of evolution, which sees organisms growing larger and becoming more complex over time. Our research project revolved around whether organisms actually became more complex over time, and correlating these findings with the body size of these organisms. We analyzed the relationship between body size and cell types of five different marine phyla: arthropods, brachiopods, chordates, echinoderms, and mollusks. We attempted to find a relation between the biovolume of these different phyla and the number of specialized cell types that they had, which is a common measure of biocomplexity. In addition, we looked at the metabolic intensity, which is the mass-specific rate of energy processing applied to an organism's size, because it is also correlated to genetic complexity. Using R programming, we tested for correlations between these factors. After applying a Pearson correlation test, we discovered a generally positive correlation between the body sizes, number of cell types, and metabolic intensities of these phyla. However, one exception is that there is a negative correlation between the body size and metabolic intensity of echinoderms. Overall, we can see that marine organisms tend to evolve larger and more complex over time, and that is a very interesting find. Our discovery yielded many research questions and problems that we would like to solve, such as how the environment is thermodynamically affected by these organisms.
Dalley, Simon E; Pollet, Thomas V; Vidal, Jose
We predicted that an expectancy of acquiring a feared fat self and an expectancy of acquiring a hoped-for thin self both mediate the impact of body size on women's body esteem. We also predicted that the mediating pathway through the feared fat self would be stronger than that through the hoped-for thin self. A community sample of 251 women reported their age, height, weight, and completed measures of body esteem and expectancy perceptions of acquiring the feared fat and hoped-for thin selves. Bayesian Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) demonstrated that expectancies about the feared fat self and about the hoped-for thin self mediated the relationship between body size and body esteem. Bayesian SEM also revealed that the pathway through the feared fat self was stronger than that through the hoped-for thin self. Implications for future research and the development of eating pathology are discussed.
Louzao, Maite; Igual, José M.; Genovart, Meritxell; Forero, Manuela G.; Hobson, Keith A.; Oro, Daniel
It is expected that nearby populations are constrained by the same ecological features shaping in turn similarity in their ecological traits. Here, we studied the spatio-temporal variability in egg size among local populations of the critically endangered Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus, a top marine predator endemic to the western Mediterranean region. Specifically we assessed whether this trait was influenced by maternal body size, as an indicator of a genetic component, and feeding ecology (through stable-carbon and nitrogen-isotope measurements), as an indicator of environmental factors. We found that egg size varied among local populations, an unexpected result at such a small spatial scale. Body size differences at the local population level only partially explained such differences. Blood isotope measurements also differed among local populations. Values of δ 15N suggested inter-population differences in trophic level, showing a similar general pattern with egg size, and suggesting a nutritional link between them whereby egg size was affected by differences in feeding resources and/or behaviour. Values of δ 13C suggested that local populations did not differ in foraging habits with respect to benthic- vs. pelagic-based food-webs. Egg size did not vary among years as did breeding performance, suggesting that a differential temporal window could affect both breeding parameters in relation to food availability. The absence of a relationship between breeding performance and egg size suggested that larger eggs might only confer an advantage during harsh conditions. Alternatively parental quality could greatly affect breeding performance. We showed that inter-population differences in egg size could be influenced by both body size and environmental factors.
Vesela, S.; Vijverberg, J.
The sensitivity of neonates of four Daphnia species to zinc was tested in relation to their mean body size. These mean sizes of these four Daphnia spp were: D. magna, 0.813 ± 0.055 mm, D.␣pulicaria, 0.745 ± 0.063 mm, D. pulex, 0.645 ± 0.044 mm and D. galeata, 0.611 ± 0.058 mm. A positive relationshi
Myszka, Anna; Piontek, Janusz
The objective of this paper is to assess the relationship between the degree of development of muscle attachment sites (musculoskeletal stress markers - MSM1) and the length and circumference measurements of long bones and the body build expressed with the reconstructed values of body height (BH) and body mass (BM). The bone material (102 male and 99 female skeletons) used in the study was collected in the medieval burial ground in Cedynia, Poland. The authors analyzed 10 musculoskeletal stress markers located on the scapula (2), humerus (2), radius (2), femur (2) and tibia (2). The frequency and the degree of expression of muscle attachment size was carried out using the scale prepared by Myszka (2007). The scale encompassed three degrees of expression of muscle attachment size. Only changes of robusticity type (nonpathological changes) were taken into account. The assessment of body build of individuals was carried out according to the method proposed by Vancata & Charvátová (2001). Body height was reconstructed from the length of the humerus and femur using eight equations. Body mass was reconstructed from the measurements of the breadth of the proximal and distal sections of the femur and tibia (mechanical method) using twenty one equations. The equations were developed for different reference populations. The same equations were used for men and women. The correlation between the MSM and the length and circumference measurements of the bones was analyzed using the principal components analysis and the Gamma correlation coefficient. The strength of the correlation between the reconstructed body build traits (BH, BM) and the moderate degree of musculoskeletal stress markers expression was studied based on the principal components method and the Pearson correlation coefficient. A linear correlation was found between musculoskeletal stress markers and the circumference measurements and the reconstructed body mass, but no relationship with body height and the
Smith, Felisa A; Boyer, Alison G; Brown, James H; Costa, Daniel P; Dayan, Tamar; Ernest, S K Morgan; Evans, Alistair R; Fortelius, Mikael; Gittleman, John L; Hamilton, Marcus J; Harding, Larisa E; Lintulaakso, Kari; Lyons, S Kathleen; McCain, Christy; Okie, Jordan G; Saarinen, Juha J; Sibly, Richard M; Stephens, Patrick R; Theodor, Jessica; Uhen, Mark D
The extinction of dinosaurs at the Cretaceous/Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary was the seminal event that opened the door for the subsequent diversification of terrestrial mammals. Our compilation of maximum body size at the ordinal level by sub-epoch shows a near-exponential increase after the K/Pg. On each continent, the maximum size of mammals leveled off after 40 million years ago and thereafter remained approximately constant. There was remarkable congruence in the rate, trajectory, and upper limit across continents, orders, and trophic guilds, despite differences in geological and climatic history, turnover of lineages, and ecological variation. Our analysis suggests that although the primary driver for the evolution of giant mammals was diversification to fill ecological niches, environmental temperature and land area may have ultimately constrained the maximum size achieved.
Kiørboe, Thomas; MacKenzie, Brian
Turbulent water motion has several effects on the feeding ecology of larval fish and other planktivorous predators. In this paper, we consider the appropriate spatial scales for estimating relative velocities between larval fish predators and their prey, and the effect that different choices...... is consistent with classical coagulation theory. We then demonstrate that differences in larval search strategy (pause- travel versus cruise search) and behaviour (e.g. reactive distance, swimming speed, pause duration) will lead to substantial differences in estimated encounter rates. In general, small larvae...... are more likely to benefit from turbulence-increased encounter than larger larvae. Overall ingestion rate probability (= probability of encounter x probability of successful pursuit) is likely to be highest at moderate-high levels of turbulence. In most larval fish habitats, turbulence levels appear to lie...
Enevoldsen, Carsten; Kristensen, T.
regimen. Results from this study indicate that a reliable model for estimating BW of very different dairy cows maintained in a wide range of environments can be developed using body condition score, demographic information, and measurements of hip height and hip width. However, for management purposes......The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of hip height and width, body condition score, and relevant demographic information to predict body weight (BW) of dairy cows. Seven regression models were developed from data from 972 observations of 554 cows. Parity, hip height, hip width......, substantial improvements can be obtained by developing models that are specific to a given site....
Bjerregaard, Lise G; Rasmussen, K M; Michaelsen, Kim F.
Background:Weight and weight gain throughout infancy are related to later obesity, but whether the strength of the associations varies during the infancy period is uncertain.Aims:Our aims were to identify the period of infancy when change in body weight has the strongest association with adult body...... mass index (BMI) and also the extent to which these associations during infancy are mediated through childhood BMI.Methods:The Copenhagen Perinatal Cohort, in which participants were followed from birth through 42 years of age, provided information on weight at 12 months and BMI at 42 years for 1633...... of Obesity advance online publication, 15 July 2014; doi:10.1038/ijo.2014.108....
Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A; Corcobado, Guadalupe; Moya-Laraño, Jordi
Silk is known for its strength and extensibility and has played a key role in the radiation of spiders. Individual spiders use different glands to produce silk types with unique sets of proteins. Most research has studied the properties of major ampullate and capture spiral silks and their ecological implications, while little is known about minor ampullate silk, the type used by those spider species studied to date for bridging displacements. A biomechanical model parameterised with available data shows that the minimum radius of silk filaments required for efficient bridging grows with the square root of the spider's body mass, faster than the radius of minor ampullate silk filaments actually produced by spiders. Because the morphology of spiders adapted to walking along or under silk threads is ill suited for moving on a solid surface, for these species there is a negative relationship between body mass and displacement ability. As it stands, the model suggests that spiders that use silk for their displacements are prevented from attaining a large body size if they must track their resources in space. In particular, silk elasticity would favour sexual size dimorphism because males that must use bridging lines to search for females cannot grow large. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Tucker, Marlee A; Rogers, Tracey L
Predator-prey body mass relationships are a vital part of food webs across ecosystems and provide key information for predicting the susceptibility of carnivore populations to extinction. Despite this, there has been limited research on the minimum and maximum prey size of mammalian carnivores. Without information on large-scale patterns of prey mass, we limit our understanding of predation pressure, trophic cascades and susceptibility of carnivores to decreasing prey populations. The majority of studies that examine predator-prey body mass relationships focus on either a single or a subset of mammalian species, which limits the strength of our models as well as their broader application. We examine the relationship between predator body mass and the minimum, maximum and range of their prey's body mass across 108 mammalian carnivores, from weasels to baleen whales (Carnivora and Cetacea). We test whether mammals show a positive relationship between prey and predator body mass, as in reptiles and birds, as well as examine how environment (aquatic and terrestrial) and phylogenetic relatedness play a role in this relationship. We found that phylogenetic relatedness is a strong driver of predator-prey mass patterns in carnivorous mammals and accounts for a higher proportion of variance compared with the biological drivers of body mass and environment. We show a positive predator-prey body mass pattern for terrestrial mammals as found in reptiles and birds, but no relationship for aquatic mammals. Our results will benefit our understanding of trophic interactions, the susceptibility of carnivores to population declines and the role of carnivores within ecosystems.
Briot, K; Kolta, S; Fechtenbaum, J; Said-Nahal, R; Benhamou, C L; Roux, C
Bone geometry plays a prominent role in bone strength. Cross-sectional studies have shown that advancing age is associated with increasing diameter of long bones, related to both periostal apposition and endosteal resorption. However, there are few data provided by prospective studies, especially concerning the changes in vertebral body dimensions. The objective of this prospective study was to measure the changes occurring in the vertebral body size of women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. Three-year data from placebo groups of the SOTI and TROPOS trials, performed in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis, were used for this study. In these trials, patients underwent lateral radiographs of the thoracic and lumbar spine at baseline and annually over 3 years, according to standardized procedures. Six-point digitization method was used: the four corner points of the vertebral body from T4 to L4 are marked, as well as an additional point in the middle of the upper and lower endplates. From these 6 points, the vertebral body perimeter, area and depth were measured at baseline and at 3 years. The analysis excluded all vertebrae with prevalent or incident fracture. A total of 2017 postmenopausal women (mean age 73.4+/-6.1 years) with a mean lumbar spine T score of -3.1+/-1.5, and a mean femoral neck T score of -3.0+/-0.7 are included in the analysis. Vertebral body dimensions increased over 3 years, by 2.1+/-5.5% (mean depth+/-SD), by 1.7+/-8.3% (mean area+/-SD) and by 1.5+/-4.9% (mean perimeter+/-SD) at the thoracic level (T4 to T12). At the lumbar level (L1 to L4), these dimensions increased as well: 1.4+/-3.6% (mean depth+/-SD), 1.4+/-5.7% (mean area+/-SD), 0.7+/-2.9% (mean perimeter+/-SD). A significant increase in vertebral body size was observed for each vertebral level from T5 to L4 for each of these parameters (p<0.01). These prospective results demonstrate that vertebral body dimensions increase over 3 years in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis
Wilson, John P.; Woodruff, D. Cary; Gardner, Jacob D.; Flora, Holley M.; Horner, John R.; Organ, Chris L.
Rugose projections on the anterior and posterior aspects of vertebral neural spines appear throughout Amniota and result from the mineralization of the supraspinous and interspinous ligaments via metaplasia, the process of permanent tissue-type transformation. In mammals, this metaplasia is generally pathological or stress induced, but is a normal part of development in some clades of birds. Such structures, though phylogenetically sporadic, appear throughout the fossil record of non-avian theropod dinosaurs, yet their physiological and adaptive significance has remained unexamined. Here we show novel histologic and phylogenetic evidence that neural spine projections were a physiological response to biomechanical stress in large-bodied theropod species. Metaplastic projections also appear to vary between immature and mature individuals of the same species, with immature animals either lacking them or exhibiting smaller projections, supporting the hypothesis that these structures develop through ontogeny as a result of increasing bending stress subjected to the spinal column. Metaplastic mineralization of spinal ligaments would likely affect the flexibility of the spinal column, increasing passive support for body weight. A stiff spinal column would also provide biomechanical support for the primary hip flexors and, therefore, may have played a role in locomotor efficiency and mobility in large-bodied species. This new association of interspinal ligament metaplasia in Theropoda with large body size contributes additional insight to our understanding of the diverse biomechanical coping mechanisms developed throughout Dinosauria, and stresses the significance of phylogenetic methods when testing for biological trends, evolutionary or not. PMID:27442509
John P Wilson
Full Text Available Rugose projections on the anterior and posterior aspects of vertebral neural spines appear throughout Amniota and result from the mineralization of the supraspinous and interspinous ligaments via metaplasia, the process of permanent tissue-type transformation. In mammals, this metaplasia is generally pathological or stress induced, but is a normal part of development in some clades of birds. Such structures, though phylogenetically sporadic, appear throughout the fossil record of non-avian theropod dinosaurs, yet their physiological and adaptive significance has remained unexamined. Here we show novel histologic and phylogenetic evidence that neural spine projections were a physiological response to biomechanical stress in large-bodied theropod species. Metaplastic projections also appear to vary between immature and mature individuals of the same species, with immature animals either lacking them or exhibiting smaller projections, supporting the hypothesis that these structures develop through ontogeny as a result of increasing bending stress subjected to the spinal column. Metaplastic mineralization of spinal ligaments would likely affect the flexibility of the spinal column, increasing passive support for body weight. A stiff spinal column would also provide biomechanical support for the primary hip flexors and, therefore, may have played a role in locomotor efficiency and mobility in large-bodied species. This new association of interspinal ligament metaplasia in Theropoda with large body size contributes additional insight to our understanding of the diverse biomechanical coping mechanisms developed throughout Dinosauria, and stresses the significance of phylogenetic methods when testing for biological trends, evolutionary or not.
Wilson, John P; Woodruff, D Cary; Gardner, Jacob D; Flora, Holley M; Horner, John R; Organ, Chris L
Rugose projections on the anterior and posterior aspects of vertebral neural spines appear throughout Amniota and result from the mineralization of the supraspinous and interspinous ligaments via metaplasia, the process of permanent tissue-type transformation. In mammals, this metaplasia is generally pathological or stress induced, but is a normal part of development in some clades of birds. Such structures, though phylogenetically sporadic, appear throughout the fossil record of non-avian theropod dinosaurs, yet their physiological and adaptive significance has remained unexamined. Here we show novel histologic and phylogenetic evidence that neural spine projections were a physiological response to biomechanical stress in large-bodied theropod species. Metaplastic projections also appear to vary between immature and mature individuals of the same species, with immature animals either lacking them or exhibiting smaller projections, supporting the hypothesis that these structures develop through ontogeny as a result of increasing bending stress subjected to the spinal column. Metaplastic mineralization of spinal ligaments would likely affect the flexibility of the spinal column, increasing passive support for body weight. A stiff spinal column would also provide biomechanical support for the primary hip flexors and, therefore, may have played a role in locomotor efficiency and mobility in large-bodied species. This new association of interspinal ligament metaplasia in Theropoda with large body size contributes additional insight to our understanding of the diverse biomechanical coping mechanisms developed throughout Dinosauria, and stresses the significance of phylogenetic methods when testing for biological trends, evolutionary or not.
Pujolar, Jose Martin; Locatello, Lisa; Zane, Lorenzo; Mazzoldi, Carlotta
In fish species with alternative male mating tactics, sperm competition typically occurs when small males that are unsuccessful in direct contests steal fertilization opportunities from large dominant males. In the grass goby Zosterisessor ophiocephalus, large territorial males defend and court females from nest sites, while small sneaker males obtain matings by sneaking into nests. Parentage assignment of 688 eggs from 8 different nests sampled in the 2003-2004 breeding season revealed a high level of sperm competition. Fertilization success of territorial males was very high but in all nests sneakers also contributed to the progeny. In territorial males, fertilization success correlated positively with male body size. Gonadal investment was explored in a sample of 126 grass gobies collected during the period 1995-1996 in the same area (61 territorial males and 65 sneakers). Correlation between body weight and testis weight was positive and significant for sneaker males, while correlation was virtually equal to zero in territorial males. That body size in territorial males is correlated with fertilization success but not gonad size suggests that males allocate much more energy into growth and relatively little into sperm production once the needed size to become territorial is attained. The increased paternity of larger territorial males might be due to a more effective defense of the nest in comparison with smaller territorial males.
Jose Martin Pujolar
Full Text Available In fish species with alternative male mating tactics, sperm competition typically occurs when small males that are unsuccessful in direct contests steal fertilization opportunities from large dominant males. In the grass goby Zosterisessor ophiocephalus, large territorial males defend and court females from nest sites, while small sneaker males obtain matings by sneaking into nests. Parentage assignment of 688 eggs from 8 different nests sampled in the 2003-2004 breeding season revealed a high level of sperm competition. Fertilization success of territorial males was very high but in all nests sneakers also contributed to the progeny. In territorial males, fertilization success correlated positively with male body size. Gonadal investment was explored in a sample of 126 grass gobies collected during the period 1995-1996 in the same area (61 territorial males and 65 sneakers. Correlation between body weight and testis weight was positive and significant for sneaker males, while correlation was virtually equal to zero in territorial males. That body size in territorial males is correlated with fertilization success but not gonad size suggests that males allocate much more energy into growth and relatively little into sperm production once the needed size to become territorial is attained. The increased paternity of larger territorial males might be due to a more effective defense of the nest in comparison with smaller territorial males.
Heim, Kurt C.; Wipfli, Mark S.; Whitman, Matthew S.; Seitz, Andrew C
Freshwater fishes utilising seasonally available habitats within annual migratory circuits time movements out of such habitats with changing hydrology, although individual attributes of fish may also mediate the behavioural response to environmental conditions. We tagged juvenile Arctic grayling in a seasonally flowing stream on the Arctic Coastal Plain in Alaska and recorded migration timing towards overwintering habitat. We examined the relationship between individual migration date, and fork length (FL) and body condition index (BCI) for fish tagged in June, July and August in three separate models. Larger fish migrated earlier; however, only the August model suggested a significant relationship with BCI. In this model, 42% of variability in migration timing was explained by FL and BCI, and fish in better condition were predicted to migrate earlier than those in poor condition. Here, the majority (33%) of variability was captured by FL with an additional 9% attributable to BCI. We also noted strong seasonal trends in BCI reflecting overwinter mass loss and subsequent growth within the study area. These results are interpreted in the context of size and energetic state-specific risks of overwinter starvation and mortality (which can be very high in the Arctic), which may influence individuals at greater risk to extend summer foraging in a risky, yet prey rich, habitat. Our research provides further evidence that heterogeneity among individuals within a population can influence migratory behaviour and identifies potential risks to late season migrants in Arctic beaded stream habitats influenced by climate change and petroleum development.
Matějů, Jan; Kratochvíl, Lukáš
Introduction Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is a widespread phenomenon in animals including mammals. It has been demonstrated that across species, the direction and magnitude of sexual dimorphism in body size often corresponds to social systems. Moreover, many animal lineages conform to “Rensch’s rule”, which states that male-biased SSD increases with body size. We tested whether considerable differences in sociality and large variation in body size were connected with the evolution of SSD in t...
Yu DU; Longhui LIN; Yuntao YAO; Chixian LIN; Xiang JI
Body size and female reproduction in the water monitor lizard(Varanus salvator) were studied. Forty-two adult females larger than 500 mm SVL and 32 adult males larger than 400 mm SVL were donated by local people in Ledong, Hainan under permit to our laboratory in Hainan in 2013 and 2014. The largest male and female measured 745 and 755 mm SVL, respectively. The mean SVL was greater in adult females than in adult males. Males had larger heads (head width) than females of the same SVL. The smallest reproductive female in our sample was 565 mm SVL. Females produced a single clutch of 17.1 (10−23) pliable-shelled eggs per breeding season stretching from mid-June and mid-September. Clutch size and clutch mass were all positively related to female SVL. However, there was no signiifcant linear relationship between egg mass and female SVL. Larger females generally produced more eggs, and thus heavier clutches than did smaller ones. There was no signiifcant linear relationship between relative clutch mass and female SVL. Phylogenetic generalized least squares (PGLS) analysis, accounting for phylogenetic relationships, showed that clutch size was positively correlated with mean maternal SVL in varanid lizards. PGLS analysis showed that phylogenetic relationships did not affect clutch (or/and egg) mass and the SVL although there were significant linear relationship between clutch (or/and egg) mass and mean maternal SVL. Therefore, we could draw some general conclusions about the body size and reproductive tactics in varanid lizards that larger females generally produced more eggs, larger eggs and thus heavier clutches than did smaller ones.
Richard J Williams
Full Text Available The niche model has been widely used to model the structure of complex food webs, and yet the ecological meaning of the single niche dimension has not been explored. In the niche model, each species has three traits, niche position, diet position and feeding range. Here, a new probabilistic niche model, which allows the maximum likelihood set of trait values to be estimated for each species, is applied to the food web of the Benguela fishery. We also developed the allometric niche model, in which body size is used as the niche dimension. About 80% of the links in the empirical data are predicted by the probabilistic niche model, a significant improvement over recent models. As in the niche model, species are uniformly distributed on the niche axis. Feeding ranges are exponentially distributed, but diet positions are not uniformly distributed below the predator. Species traits are strongly correlated with body size, but the allometric niche model performs significantly worse than the probabilistic niche model. The best-fit parameter set provides a significantly better model of the structure of the Benguela food web than was previously available. The methodology allows the identification of a number of taxa that stand out as outliers either in the model's poor performance at predicting their predators or prey or in their parameter values. While important, body size alone does not explain the structure of the one-dimensional niche.
Williams, Richard J; Anandanadesan, Ananthi; Purves, Drew
The niche model has been widely used to model the structure of complex food webs, and yet the ecological meaning of the single niche dimension has not been explored. In the niche model, each species has three traits, niche position, diet position and feeding range. Here, a new probabilistic niche model, which allows the maximum likelihood set of trait values to be estimated for each species, is applied to the food web of the Benguela fishery. We also developed the allometric niche model, in which body size is used as the niche dimension. About 80% of the links in the empirical data are predicted by the probabilistic niche model, a significant improvement over recent models. As in the niche model, species are uniformly distributed on the niche axis. Feeding ranges are exponentially distributed, but diet positions are not uniformly distributed below the predator. Species traits are strongly correlated with body size, but the allometric niche model performs significantly worse than the probabilistic niche model. The best-fit parameter set provides a significantly better model of the structure of the Benguela food web than was previously available. The methodology allows the identification of a number of taxa that stand out as outliers either in the model's poor performance at predicting their predators or prey or in their parameter values. While important, body size alone does not explain the structure of the one-dimensional niche.
Møller, A P; Peralta-Sánchez, J M; Nielsen, J T; López-Hernández, E; Soler, J J
1. Predators often prey on individuals that are sick or otherwise weakened. Although previous studies have shown higher abundance of parasites in prey, whether prey have elevated loads of micro-organisms remains to be determined. 2. We quantified the abundance of bacteria and fungi on feathers of woodpigeons Columba palumbus L., jays Garrulus glandarius L. and blackbirds Turdus merula L. that either fell prey to goshawks Accipiter gentilis L. or were not depredated. 3. We found an almost three-fold increase in bacterial load of prey compared with non-prey, while there was no significant difference between prey and non-prey in level of fungal infection of the plumage. 4. The results were not confounded by differences in size or mass of feathers, date of collection of feathers, or date of analysis of feathers for micro-organisms. 5. These findings suggest a previously unknown contribution of bacteria to risk of predation, with important implications for behaviour, population ecology and community ecology. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2011 British Ecological Society.
de Barros, Fábio Cury; de Carvalho, José Eduardo; Abe, Augusto Shinya; Kohlsdorf, Tiana
Anti-predatory behaviour evolves under the strong action of natural selection because the success of individuals avoiding predation essentially defines their fitness. Choice of anti-predatory strategies is defined by prey characteristics as well as environmental temperature. An additional dimension often relegated in this multilevel equation is the ontogenetic component. In the tegu Salvator merianae, adults run away from predators at high temperatures but prefer fighting when it is cold, whereas juveniles exhibit the same flight strategy within a wide thermal range. Here, we integrate physiology and morphology to understand ontogenetic variation in the temperature-dependent shift of anti-predatory behaviour in these lizards. We compiled data for body shape and size, and quantified enzyme activity in hindlimb and head muscles, testing the hypothesis that morphophysiological models explain ontogenetic variation in behavioural associations. Our prediction is that juveniles exhibit body shape and muscle biochemistry that enhance flight strategies. We identified biochemical differences between muscles mainly in the LDH:CS ratio, whereby hindlimb muscles were more glycolytic than the jaw musculature. Juveniles, which often use evasive strategies to avoid predation, have more glycolytic hindlimb muscles and are much smaller when compared with adults 1-2 years old. Ontogenetic differences in body shape were identified but marginally contributed to behavioural variation between juvenile and adult tegus, and variation in anti-predatory behaviour in these lizards resides mainly in associations between body size and muscle biochemistry. Our results are discussed in the ecological context of predator avoidance by individuals differing in body size living at temperature-variable environments, where restrictions imposed by the cold could be compensated by specific phenotypes. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Robinson, Eric; Aveyard, Paul
There is concern that the body size of fashion store mannequins are too thin and promote unrealistic body ideals. To date there has been no systematic examination of the size of high street fashion store mannequins. We surveyed national fashion retailers located on the high street of two English cities. The body size of 'male' and 'female' mannequins was assessed by two blinded research assistants using visual rating scales. The average female mannequin body size was representative of a very underweight woman and 100% of female mannequins represented an underweight body size. The average male mannequin body size was significantly larger than the average female mannequin body size. Only 8% of male mannequins represented an underweight body size. The body size of mannequins used to advertise female fashion is unrealistic and would be considered medically unhealthy in humans.
Kerr, D A; Ackland, T R; Schreiner, A B
In the quest to optimize performance of the elite athlete the sport scientist has sought to determine the ideal physique for a given sport or event. For some sports, specific structural characteristics offer definite performance advantages; for example in rowing, in addition to height, a large arm span has been identified as important. In other sports. such as long distance running, low levels of adiposity or 'fatness' appear to be linked with faster running times. There are four areas where appraisal of the athlete's physique can provide useful information: (1) identification of talented athletes; (2) to assess and monitor the growing athlete; (3) to monitor training and performance; and (4) to determine 'race weight' in weight-category sports. As a research tool a particular method must be reliable and valid. Other considerations include how expensive the method is, if it is suitable for a field situation and if large amounts of data on a number of subjects can be collected quickly. The method should be safe for both the athlete and the tester and provide useful feedback for the athlete or coach. Anthropometry, with training is able to fulfil most of these criteria and is the most widely used method of physique assessment in sports science. Large anthropometric data bases have been collected on elite athletes at Olympic games and world championships according to a standard protocol. Kinanthropometry, which has developed from anthropometry, is concerned with measurement and evaluation of different aspects of human movement and individual variation in body shape, size, proportion and composition. For the assessment of adiposity a sum of skinfolds, usually over six sites, is most commonly used rather than percentage body fat formulae. Muscle mass can be assessed indirectly through girth and corrected girth measurements. Limb lengths and breadths are used to assess skeletal structure and proportional differences in limb size. The anthropometric methods most commonly
Ringsby, Thor Harald; Jensen, Henrik; Pärn, Henrik; Kvalnes, Thomas; Boner, Winnie; Gillespie, Robert; Holand, Håkon; Hagen, Ingerid Julie; Rønning, Bernt; Sæther, Bernt-Erik; Monaghan, Pat
Evolution of body size is likely to involve trade-offs between body size, growth rate and longevity. Within species, larger body size is associated with faster growth and ageing, and reduced longevity, but the cellular processes driving these relationships are poorly understood. One mechanism that might play a key role in determining optimal body size is the relationship between body size and telomere dynamics. However, we know little about how telomere length is affected when selection for larger size is imposed in natural populations. We report here on the relationship between structural body size and telomere length in wild house sparrows at the beginning and end of a selection regime for larger parent size that was imposed for 4 years in an isolated population of house sparrows. A negative relationship between fledgling size and telomere length was present at the start of the selection; this was extended when fledgling size increased under the selection regime, demonstrating a persistent covariance between structural size and telomere length. Changes in telomere dynamics, either as a correlated trait or a consequence of larger size, could reduce potential longevity and the consequent trade-offs could thereby play an important role in the evolution of optimal body size.
Adamová-Ježová, Dana; Hospodková, Eliška; Fuchsová, Lucie; Štys, Pavel; Exnerová, Alice
European tits (Paridae) exhibit species-specific levels of initial wariness towards aposematic prey. This wariness may be caused by neophobia, dietary conservatism or innate bias against particular prey traits. We assessed the contribution of these three mechanisms to the behaviour of juvenile tits towards novel palatable prey and novel aposematic prey. We compared levels of initial wariness in great tits (Parus major), blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and coal tits (Periparus ater), and tested how the wariness can be deactivated by experience with a palatable prey. One group of birds was pre-trained to attack familiar naturally coloured mealworms the other one, novel red-painted mealworms. Then all the birds were offered a novel palatable prey of different colour and shape: cricket (Acheta domestica) with blue sticker, and then a novel aposematic firebug (Pyrrhocoris apterus). The three species of tits differed in how the experience with a novel palatable prey affected their behaviour towards another novel prey. Great tits and coal tits from experienced groups significantly decreased their neophobia towards both palatable prey and aposematic prey while blue tits did not change their strongly neophobic reactions. The interspecific differences may be explained by differences in body size, geographic range, and habitat specialisation.
Eriksson, Johan G.; Kajantie, Eero; Thornburg, Kent L.; Osmond, Clive; Barker, David J.P.
Aims People whose birthweights were towards the lower end of the normal range are at increased risk of coronary heart disease. This is attributed to foetal programming through malnutrition, but the cause of the malnutrition is unknown. Methods and results We studied 6975 men born in Helsinki during 1934–44. Their size at birth was recorded. Babies who later developed coronary heart disease tended to have a low ponderal index (birthweight/length3). Three different placental phenotypes predicted the disease. In primiparous mothers who were short, having below median height, the hazard ratio for the disease was 1.14 (95% confidence interval 1.08–1.21, P< 0.0001) for each centimetre increase in the difference between the length and breadth of the placental surface. In tall mothers whose body mass index was above the median, the hazard ratio was 1.25 (1.10–1.42, P= 0.0007) per 40 cm2 decrease in the surface area. In tall mothers whose body mass index was below the median, the hazard ratio was 1.07 (1.02–1.13, P= 0.01) per 1% increase in the placental weight/birthweight ratio. Conclusions Three different combinations of maternal and placental size predicted coronary heart disease. The mother's body size determines the availability of nutrients and is linked to the development and function of the placenta, reflected in its shape and size. We speculate that variations in three processes of normal placental development lead to foetal malnutrition. The processes are (i) implantation and spiral artery invasion, (ii) growth of the chorionic surface, and (iii) compensatory expansion of the chorionic surface. PMID:21632601
Hearns, J F; Broida, J P; Gayton, W F
Body-frame size is an important factor in determining an optimal body weight for a given height. Previous studies have indicated that many individuals incorrectly estimate their body-frame size, and, as a result, incorrectly assess their ideal weight. The present study investigated the accuracy of estimation of body-frame size as a function of sex and actual frame size. The subjects were 66 men and 52 women participating in a community adult fitness program. Data indicated that medium-framed individuals were the most accurate in their estimations of body-frame size. Also, women were twice as likely to be accurate as were men. These results are interpreted to mean that most people assume they are medium-framed and that there is a sex difference in the way body-frame size is estimated.
Sinclair, Elizabeth H; Walker, William A; Thomason, James R
The ecological significance of fish and squid of the mesopelagic zone (200 m-1000 m) is evident by their pervasiveness in the diets of a broad spectrum of upper pelagic predators including other fishes and squids, seabirds and marine mammals. As diel vertical migrators, mesopelagic micronekton are recognized as an important trophic link between the deep scattering layer and upper surface waters, yet fundamental aspects of the life history and energetic contribution to the food web for most are undescribed. Here, we present newly derived regression equations for 32 species of mesopelagic fish and squid based on the relationship between body size and the size of hard parts typically used to identify prey species in predator diet studies. We describe the proximate composition and energy density of 31 species collected in the eastern Bering Sea during May 1999 and 2000. Energy values are categorized by body size as a proxy for relative age and can be cross-referenced with the derived regression equations. Data are tabularized to facilitate direct application to predator diet studies and food web models.
Elizabeth H Sinclair
Full Text Available The ecological significance of fish and squid of the mesopelagic zone (200 m-1000 m is evident by their pervasiveness in the diets of a broad spectrum of upper pelagic predators including other fishes and squids, seabirds and marine mammals. As diel vertical migrators, mesopelagic micronekton are recognized as an important trophic link between the deep scattering layer and upper surface waters, yet fundamental aspects of the life history and energetic contribution to the food web for most are undescribed. Here, we present newly derived regression equations for 32 species of mesopelagic fish and squid based on the relationship between body size and the size of hard parts typically used to identify prey species in predator diet studies. We describe the proximate composition and energy density of 31 species collected in the eastern Bering Sea during May 1999 and 2000. Energy values are categorized by body size as a proxy for relative age and can be cross-referenced with the derived regression equations. Data are tabularized to facilitate direct application to predator diet studies and food web models.
Body Size Perceptions and Weight Status of Adults in a Nigerian Rural Community. ... Background: Overweight and obesity are now recognized worldwide as ... size perceptions were assessed through structured questions and body images.
Determinants of geographic variation in body size are often poorly understood, especially in organisms with complex life cycles. We examined patterns of adult body size and metamorphic traits variation in Iberian spadefoot toad (Pelobates cultripes) populations, which exhibit an extreme reduction in adult body size, 71.6% reduction in body mass, within just about 30 km at south-western Spain. We hypothesized that size at and time to metamorphosis would be predictive of the spatial pattern obs...
Goodman, Rachel M; Echternacht, Arthur C; Hall, Jim C; Deng, Lihan D; Welch, Jessica N
Geographic patterns in body size are often associated with latitude, elevation, or environmental and climatic variables. This study investigated patterns of body size and cell size of the green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis, and potential associations with geography or climatic variables. Lizards were sampled from 19 populations across the native range, and body size, red blood cell size and size and number of muscle cells were measured. Climatic data from local weather stations and latitude and longitude were entered into model selection with Akaike's information criterion to explain patterns in cell and body sizes. Climatic variables did not drive any major patterns in cell size or body size; rather, latitude and longitude were the best predictors of cell and body size. In general, smaller body and cell sizes in Florida anoles drove geographic patterns in A. carolinensis. Small size in Florida may be attributable to the geological history of the peninsular state or the unique ecological factors in this area, including a recently introduced congener. In contrast to previous studies, we found that A. carolinensis does not follow Bergmann's rule when the influence of Florida is excluded. Rather, the opposite pattern of larger lizards in southern populations is evident in the absence of Florida populations, and mirrors the general pattern in squamates. Muscle cell size was negatively related to latitude and red blood cell size showed no latitudinal trend outside of Florida. Different patterns in the sizes of the 2 cell types confirm the importance of examining multiple cell types when studying geographic variation in cell size.
Moncur, Breckann; Bailey, Bruce W.; Lockhart, Barbara D.; LeCheminant, James D.; Perkins, Annette E.
Background: Studies looking at self-esteem and body size or adiposity generally demonstrate a negative relationship. However, the relationship between the source of self-esteem and body size has not been examined in college women. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship of body size and adiposity to source of…
Moncur, Breckann; Bailey, Bruce W.; Lockhart, Barbara D.; LeCheminant, James D.; Perkins, Annette E.
Background: Studies looking at self-esteem and body size or adiposity generally demonstrate a negative relationship. However, the relationship between the source of self-esteem and body size has not been examined in college women. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship of body size and adiposity to source of…
Hung, N. M.; Stauffer, J. R.; Madsen, Henry
ponds in northern Vietnam. Furthermore, shell strength of common snails was assessed. Average daily consumption as percentage of fish weight ranged from 8.12% for smaller fish (100-250 g) to 4.68% in the larger fish (610-1250 g). Bithynia fuchsiana, the intermediate host of Clonorchis sinensis, and some...... intestinal trematodes were readily consumed by even the smallest black carp tested. The proportion of Melanoides tuberculata, an important host for intestinal trematodes, declined with an increase in its shell height. The same was observed for two viviparid snail species, Angulyagra polyzonata and Sinotaia......, to control snails serving as first intermediate hosts. However, the use of large juvenile (>2 kg) black carp in nursery ponds could be problematic and we decided to determine consumption rates by black carp of various sizes and their choice of different sizes of selected snail species found in aquaculture...
Fox, C W; Czesak, M E
Sexual size dimorphism varies substantially among populations and species but we have little understanding of the sources of selection generating this variation. We used path analysis to study how oviposition host affects selection on body size in a seed-feeding beetle (Stator limbatus) in which males contribute large ejaculates (nuptial gifts) to females. Females use nutrients in these ejaculates for egg production. Male body size, which affects ejaculate size, affects female fecundity and is thus under fecundity selection similar in magnitude to the fecundity selection on female body size. We show that when eggs are laid on a host on which larval mortality is low (seeds of Acacia greggii) fecundity predicts fitness very well and fecundity selection is the major source of selection on both male and female adult size. In contrast, when eggs are laid on a host on which larval mortality is high (seeds of Parkinsonia florida) fecundity poorly predicts fitness such that fecundity selection is relaxed on both male and female size. However, because egg size affects larval mortality on this poor host (P. florida) there is selection on female size via the female size --> egg size --> fitness path; this selection via egg size offsets the reduction in fecundity selection on female, but not male, body size. Thus, differences in host suitability (due to differences in larval mortality) affect the relative importance of two sources of selection on adult body size; fecundity selection on both male and female body size is lower on the poor quality host (P. florida) relative to the high quality host (A. greggii) whereas selection on female body size via effects of egg size on offspring survival (body size --> egg size --> fitness) is greater on the poor quality host relative to the high quality host. Because selection via the egg size path affects only females the difference in larval survival between hosts shifts the relative magnitude of selection on female vs. male size
Kranenbarg, S.; Muller, M.; Gielen, J.L.W.; Verhagen, J.H.G.
All members of the subphylum "Vertebrata" display the characteristics of the vertebrate body plan. These characteristics become apparent during the phylotypic period, in which all vertebrate embryos have a similar body shape and internal organization. Phylogenetic constraints probably limit the
van der Woude, Emma; Smid, Hans M; Chittka, Lars; Huigens, Martinus E
Throughout the animal kingdom, Haller's rule holds that smaller individuals have larger brains relative to their body than larger-bodied individuals. Such brain-body size allometry is documented for all animals studied to date, ranging from small ants to the largest mammals. However, through experimental induction of natural variation in body size, and 3-D reconstruction of brain and body volume, we here show an isometric brain-body size relationship in adults of one of the smallest insect species on Earth, the parasitic wasp Trichogramma evanescens. The relative brain volume constitutes on average 8.2% of the total body volume. Brain-body size isometry may be typical for the smallest species with a rich behavioural and cognitive repertoire: a further increase in expensive brain tissue relative to body size would be too costly in terms of energy expenditure. This novel brain scaling strategy suggests a hitherto unknown flexibility in neuronal architecture and brain modularity.
Björn van der Hoort; H Henrik Ehrsson
The size of our body influences the perceived size of the world so that objects appear larger to children than to adults. The mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear. It has been difficult to dissociate visual rescaling of the external environment based on an individual’s visible body from visual rescaling based on a central multisensory body representation. To differentiate these potential causal mechanisms, we manipulated body representation without a visible body by taking advanta...
Full Text Available Allometric equations are often based on the body mass of an animal because body mass determines many physiological functions. This should also hold for Brachiosaurus brancai and Dicraeosaurus hansemanni, two sauropods from the Upper Jurassic of Tendaguru/Tanzania (East Africa. Widely divergent estimates of body mass for the same specimen can be found in the literature for these two sauropods. Therefore, in order to determine the exact body mass and volume distribution in these sauropods, classical three-dimensional stereophotogrammetry as well as a newly developed laser scanner technique were applied to the mounted skeletons of Brachiosaurus brancai and Dicraeosaurus hansemanni in the Museum für Naturkunde (Berlin, Germany. Thereafter, scaling equations were used to estimate the size of organ systems. In a second step it was tested whether the given data from photogrammetry could be brought in line with the results derived from the allometric equations. These findings are applied to possible ecological problems in the Upper Jurassic of Tendaguru/Tanzania. Der Körpermasse eines Organismus werden oft allometrische Funktionen zugrunde gelegt, da von ihr viele physiologische Funktionen entscheidend abhängen. Dies sollte auch für ausgestorbene Organismen wie Brachiosaurus brancai und Dicraeosaurus hansemanni, zwei Sauropoden aus dem oberen Jura von Tendaguru/Tanzania in Ostafrika gelten. Da zu beiden Sauropoden nur sehr unterschiedliche Massenabschätzungen vorliegen, wurden die Körpermassen und Volumina von Brachiosaurus brancai und Dicraeosaurus hansemanni mit Hilfe der klassischen Photogrammetrie sowie einem neuentwickelten Laserscannerverfahren neu bestimmt. Basierend auf den so gemessenen Körpermassendaten wurden anschließend einige wichtige funktionell-morphologische Größen für eine paläophysiologische Rekonstruktion dieser Sauropoden mit Hilfe der Allometrie berechnet. Die gewonnenen Ergebnisse sind u. a. wichtig für die
Matějů, Jan; Kratochvíl, Lukáš
Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is a widespread phenomenon in animals including mammals. It has been demonstrated that across species, the direction and magnitude of sexual dimorphism in body size often corresponds to social systems. Moreover, many animal lineages conform to "Rensch's rule", which states that male-biased SSD increases with body size. We tested whether considerable differences in sociality and large variation in body size were connected with the evolution of SSD in the structural body size of ground squirrels, an otherwise ecologically relatively homogenous group of terrestrial rodents. We found the general trend of male-biased SSD in ground squirrels, however, male size increases nearly perfectly isometrically with female size among species and sociality does not explain departures from this relationship. Species with different sociality grades significantly differ in body size, with the most social species tending to be the largest. We suggest that lack of conformity with Rensch´s rule in ground squirrels may be attributed to their low variation in SSD, and briefly discuss three potential causes of small magnitude of SSD in the structural size in rodents: low selection on SSD in structural dimensions, ontogenetic and genetic constraints and the existence of ecological/selection factors preventing the evolution of extensive SSD.
Giannasi, N; Thorpe, R S; Malhotra, A
The important role that competition plays in structuring communities is well documented; however, the role of competition in an evolutionary context remains unclear. Evolutionary investigations into the role of competition have often focused on the process of character displacement, and a good example of this is the evolution of body size in the Anolis lizards of the Caribbean islands. Previous work on the A. roquet species group has taken a phylogenetic approach and concluded that patterns of body size differences are not caused by character displacement but are a result of size assortment. Using a phylogenetic reconstruction based on the sequence of the cytochrome b gene (cyt-b) and ancestral character-state reconstruction methods, we investigated the roles of character displacement and size assortment. Our results indicated that size assortment alone was insufficient to explain the observed patterns of body size differences. Furthermore, we found that change in body size was associated with a change in allopatry/sympatry, thus supporting the character-displacement hypothesis. We conclude that patterns of body size differences in the A. roquet species group appear to be the result of a combination of character displacement and size assortment because character displacement was only found to be possible on three occasions.
Winkler, Thomas W; Justice, Anne E; Graff, Mariaelisa
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified more than 100 genetic variants contributing to BMI, a measure of body size, or waist-to-hip ratio (adjusted for BMI, WHRadjBMI), a measure of body shape. Body size and shape change as people grow older and these changes differ substantially b...
Michels, N; Amenyah, S D
To inspire effective health promotion campaigns, we tested the relationship of ideal body size and body size dissatisfaction with (1) the potential resulting health-influencing factors diet, physical activity and well-being; and (2) with media as a potential influencer of body ideals. This is a cross-sectional study in 370 Ghanaian adolescents (aged 11-18 years). Questionnaires included disordered eating (EAT26), diet quality (FFQ), physical activity (IPAQ), well-being (KINDL) and media influence on appearance (SATAQ: pressure, internalisation and information). Ideal body size and body size dissatisfaction were assessed using the Stunkard figure rating scale. Body mass index (BMI), skinfolds and waist were measured. Linear regressions were adjusted for gender, age and parental education. Also, mediation was tested: 'can perceived media influence play a role in the effects of actual body size on body size dissatisfaction?'. Body size dissatisfaction was associated with lower well-being and more media influence (pressure and internalisation) but not with physical activity, diet quality or disordered eating. An underweight body size ideal might worsen disordered eating but was not significantly related to the other predictors of interest. Only a partial mediation effect by media pressure was found: especially overweight adolescents felt media pressure, and this media pressure was associated with more body size dissatisfaction. To prevent disordered eating and low well-being, health messages should include strategies that reduce body size dissatisfaction and increase body esteem by not focussing on the thin body ideal. Changing body size ideals in the media might be an appropriate way since media pressure was a mediator in the BMI-dissatisfaction relation. Copyright © 2017 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Zárybnická, Markéta; Riegert, Jan; Brejšková, Lucie; Šindelář, Jiří; Kouba, Marek; Hanel, Jan; Popelková, Alena; Menclová, Petra; Tomášek, Václav; Šťastný, Karel
In altricial birds, energy supply during growth is a major predictor of the physical condition and survival prospects of fledglings. A number of experimental studies have shown that nestling body mass and wing length can vary with particular extrinsic factors, but between-year observational data on this topic are scarce. Based on a seven-year observational study in a central European Tengmalm's owl population we examine the effect of year, brood size, hatching order, and sex on nestling body mass and wing length, as well as the effect of prey abundance on parameters of growth curve. We found that nestling body mass varied among years, and parameters of growth curve, i.e. growth rate and inflection point in particular, increased with increasing abundance of the owl's main prey (Apodemus mice, Microtus voles), and pooled prey abundance (Apodemus mice, Microtus voles, and Sorex shrews). Furthermore, nestling body mass varied with hatching order and between sexes being larger for females and for the first-hatched brood mates. Brood size had no effect on nestling body mass. Simultaneously, we found no effect of year, brood size, hatching order, or sex on the wing length of nestlings. Our findings suggest that in this temperate owl population, nestling body mass is more sensitive to prey abundance than is wing length. The latter is probably more limited by the physiology of the species.
Evans, Joyce M; Wang, Siqi; Greb, Christopher; Kostas, Vladimir; Knapp, Charles F; Zhang, Qingguang; Roemmele, Eric S; Stenger, Michael B; Randall, David C
Key Points Summary We report how blood pressure, cardiac output and vascular resistance are related to height, weight, body surface area (BSA), and body mass index (BMI) in healthy young adults at supine rest and standing.Much inter-subject variability in young adult's blood pressure, currently attributed to health status, may actually result from inter-individual body size differences.Each cardiovascular variable is linearly related to height, weight and/or BSA (more than to BMI).When supine, cardiac output is positively related, while vascular resistance is negatively related, to body size. Upon standing, the change in vascular resistance is positively related to size.The height/weight relationships of cardiac output and vascular resistance to body size are responsible for blood pressure relationships to body size.These basic components of blood pressure could help distinguish normal from abnormal blood pressures in young adults by providing a more effective scaling mechanism. Introduction: Effects of body size on inter-subject blood pressure (BP) variability are not well established in adults. We hypothesized that relationships linking stroke volume (SV), cardiac output (CO), and total peripheral resistance (TPR) with body size would account for a significant fraction of inter-subject BP variability. Methods: Thirty-four young, healthy adults (19 men, 15 women) participated in 38 stand tests during which brachial artery BP, heart rate, SV, CO, TPR, and indexes of body size were measured/calculated. Results: Steady state diastolic arterial BP was not significantly correlated with any index of body size when subjects were supine. However, upon standing, the more the subject weighed, or the taller s/he was, the greater the increase in diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure strongly correlated with body weight and height both supine and standing. Diastolic and systolic BP were more strongly related to height, weight and body surface area than to body mass index. When
Vucic-Pestic, Olivera; Rall, Björn C; Kalinkat, Gregor; Brose, Ulrich
1. Functional responses quantify the per capita consumption rates of predators depending on prey density. The parameters of these nonlinear interaction strength models were recently used as successful proxies for predicting population dynamics, food-web topology and stability. 2. This study addressed systematic effects of predator and prey body masses on the functional response parameters handling time, instantaneous search coefficient (attack coefficient) and a scaling exponent converting type II into type III functional responses. To fully explore the possible combinations of predator and prey body masses, we studied the functional responses of 13 predator species (ground beetles and wolf spiders) on one small and one large prey resulting in 26 functional responses. 3. We found (i) a power-law decrease of handling time with predator mass with an exponent of -0.94; (ii) an increase of handling time with prey mass (power-law with an exponent of 0.83, but only three prey sizes were included); (iii) a hump-shaped relationship between instantaneous search coefficients and predator-prey body-mass ratios; and (iv) low scaling exponents for low predator-prey body mass ratios in contrast to high scaling exponents for high predator-prey body-mass ratios. 4. These scaling relationships suggest that nonlinear interaction strengths can be predicted by knowledge of predator and prey body masses. Our results imply that predators of intermediate size impose stronger per capita top-down interaction strengths on a prey than smaller or larger predators. Moreover, the stability of population and food-web dynamics should increase with increasing body-mass ratios in consequence of increases in the scaling exponents. 5. Integrating these scaling relationships into population models will allow predicting energy fluxes, food-web structures and the distribution of interaction strengths across food web links based on knowledge of the species' body masses.
Donnelly-Greenan, Erica L; Harvey, James T; Nevins, Hannahrose M; Hester, Michelle M; Walker, William A
Marine plastic pollution affects seabirds, including Pacific Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis rodgersii), that feed at the surface and mistake plastic for prey or incidentally ingest it. Direct and indirect health issues can result, including satiety and possibly leading to inefficient foraging. Our objective was to examine fulmar body condition, identify cephalopod diet to species, enumerate and weigh ingested plastic, and determine if prey number and size were correlated with ingested plastics in beach-cast fulmars wintering in Monterey Bay California (2003, n=178: 2007, n=185). Fulmars consumed mostly Gonatus pyros, G. onyx, and G. californiensis of similar size for both years. We found a significant negative correlation between pectoral muscle index and average size of cephalopod beaks per stomach; a significant increase in plastic categories between 2003 and 2007; and no significant correlation between number and mass of plastic compared with number and size of prey for either year.
Gingerich, P D
Second molar length and body weight are used to test the correlation between tooth size and body size in living Hominoidea. These variates are highly correlated (r= 0.942, p less than 0.001), indicating that tooth size can be used in dentally unspecialized fossil hominoids as one method of predicting the average body weight of species. Based on tooth size, the average body weight of Aegyptopithecus zeuxis is estimated to have been beteen 4.5 and 7.5 kg, which is corroborated by known cranial and postcranial elements. Using Radinsky's estimates of brain size, the encephalization quotient (EQ) for Aegyptopithecus was between 0.65 and 1.04. A similar analysis for Proconsul africanus yields a body weight between 16 and 34 kg, and an EQ between 1.19 and 1.96.
Allen, Thomas W; Vogel, Robert A; Lincoln, Andrew E; Dunn, Reginald E; Tucker, Andrew M
We characterized the size of active National Football League (NFL) players by multiple criteria and analyzed their relation to traditional cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors with the objective of further clarifying the occurrence of cardiovascular risk factors in different player positions. This cross-sectional study was conducted in professional athletic training facilities. The participants were 504 active veteran players from a convenience sample of 12 NFL teams, grouped as interior linemen (IL) or all others (AO). Comparisons were made between the NFL groups and an age-equivalent general population database. The IL group was significantly larger than AO by all size measures. Both groups were significantly larger than the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) group. Mean percent body fat measurements in AO (mean, 13.4%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 12.9%-14%) and IL (mean, 25.2%; 95% CI, 24.4%-26%) groups were lower than estimates for the general population. Systolic blood pressure (BP) was higher in IL (mean, 131 mm Hg; 95% CI, 129-133 mm Hg) than AO (mean, 126 mm Hg; 95% CI, 125-127 mm Hg) and greater in both groups compared with the CARDIA group (mean, 112 mm Hg; 95% CI, 111-112 mm Hg). Mean low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), total cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose were within the normal range for both IL and AO. Interior linemen had significantly lower HDL-C than AO and the CARDIA group. Both NFL groups had significantly lower fasting glucose than CARDIA. Body fat in active NFL players was lower than predicted by standard measures of obesity. Although the players were large, they were in the normal range for most CVD risk factors. Mean BP in the prehypertensive range was found in both NFL position groups, but was significantly higher in IL than in AO. Prehypertension in these athletes warrants vigilance.
Havens, K.E.; Motta Pinto- Coelho, R.; Beklioglu, M.; Christoffersen, K.S.; Jeppesen, E.; Lauridsen, T.; Mazumder, A.; Méthot, G.; Pinel Alloul, B.; Tavşanoğlu, U.N.; Erdoğan, S.; Vijverberg, J.
The body size of zooplankton has many substantive effects on the function of aquatic food webs. A variety of factors may affect size, and earlier studies indicate that water temperature may be a particularly important variable. Here we tested the hypothesis that the body size of cladocerans,
Understanding the rock type that melted to yield magmas at large igneous provinces is a difficult petrological problem because most major element oxide abundances are consistent with either peridotite or pyroxenite sources. However, CaO can often be used as an indicator because accumulated fractional melts of mantle peridotite have about 10% within the garnet lherzolite stability field, an abundance that does not change significantly over a wide range of initial and final melting pressures. In contrast, many primary magmas formed by melting of various pyroxene-garnet lithologies have less than 10% CaO. A lithological source analysis is now possible for many but not all primitive LIP lava compositions that had experienced only olivine addition and subtraction. Results show that peridotite is the dominant source for magmatism at the Azores, Cape Verde, Ascension, St. Helena, and Tristan da Cunha. It can be inferred that mantle below the central and south Atlantic hemisphere is mostly free of subducted crust. The Cook-Austral chain is similar, but all other Pacific OIB exhibit both peridotite and variable pyroxenite source melting, indicating a much greater role for subducted crust in the Pacific hemisphere. Hawaii is distinguished from all other OIB in containing huge pyroxenite bodies at about the 10 kilometer scale. In the Indian Ocean, pyroxenite melting is major for Kerguelen, and difficult to evaluate for Reunion. Pyroxenite melting plays a major role for all continental flood basalts. In all cases, compositions of pyroxenite sources and their partial melts are highly variable. Some sources can form in a second stage by reaction of peridotite with partial melts of subducted oceanic crust (Sobolev et al., 2005), but others can form as bimineralic eclogite and clinopyroxenite residues of partial melts of subducted oceanic crust. Within any volcano that displays both peridotite and pyroxenite source lithologies, lithophile trace element abundances are usually much
Hartman, Christopher; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.
We studied seasonal and physiological influences on mercury concentrations in western grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) and Clark's grebes (A. occidentalis) across 29 lakes and reservoirs in California, USA. Additionally, at three of these lakes, we conducted a time series study, in which we repeatedly sampled grebe blood mercury concentrations during the spring, summer, and early fall. Grebe blood mercury concentrations were higher among males (0.61 ± 0.12 μg/g ww) than females (0.52 ± 0.10 μg/g ww), higher among Clark's grebes (0.58 ± 0.12 μg/g ww) than western grebes (0.51 ± 0.10 μg/g ww), and exhibited a strong seasonal pattern (decreasing by 60% from spring to fall). Grebe blood THg concentrations exhibited a shallow, inverse U-shaped pattern with body size, and was lowest among the smallest and largest grebes. Further, the relationship between grebe blood mercury concentrations and wing primary feather molt exhibited a shallow U-shaped pattern, where mercury concentrations were highest among birds that had not yet begun molting, decreased approximately 24% between pre-molt and late molt, and increased approximately 19% from late molt to post-molt. Because grebes did not begin molting until mid-summer, lower grebe blood mercury concentrations observed in late summer and early fall were consistent with the onset of primary feather molt. However, because sampling date was a much stronger predictor of grebe mercury concentrations than molt, other seasonally changing environmental factors likely played a larger role than molt in the seasonal variation in grebe mercury concentrations. In the time series study, we found that seasonal trends in grebe mercury concentrations were not consistent among lakes, indicating that lake-specific variation in mercury dynamics influence the overall seasonal decline in grebe blood mercury concentrations. These results highlight the importance of accounting for sampling date, as well as ecological processes that may
Dawson-Andoh, Nana A; Gray, James J; Soto, José A; Parker, Scott
Depictions of Caucasian women in the mainstream media have become increasingly thinner in size and straighter in shape. These changes may be inconsistent with the growing influence of African American beauty ideals, which research has established as more accepting of larger body sizes and more curvaceous body types than Caucasians. The present study looked at trends in the portrayal of African American women featured in JET magazine from 1953 to 2006. Beauty of the Week (BOW) images were collected and analyzed to examine body size (estimated by independent judges) and body shape (estimated by waist-to-hip ratio). We expected body sizes to increase and body shapes to become more curvaceous. Results revealed a rise in models' body size consistent with expectations, but an increase in waist-to-hip ratio, contrary to prediction. Our findings suggest that the African American feminine beauty ideal reflects both consistencies with and departures from mainstream cultural ideals.
Leonard, William R
This paper examines the evolutionary origins of human dietary and activity patterns, and their implications for understanding modern health problems. Humans have evolved distinctive nutritional characteristics associated the high metabolic costs of our large brains. The evolution of larger hominid brain size necessitated the adoption of foraging strategies that both provided high quality foods, and required larger ranges and activity budgets. Over time, human subsistence strategies have become ever more efficient in obtaining energy with minimal time and effort. Today, populations of the industrialized world live in environments characterized by low levels of energy expenditure and abundant food supplies contributing to growing rates of obesity. Analyses of trends in dietary intake and body weight in the US over the last 50 years indicate that the dramatic rise in obesity cannot be explained solely by increased energy consumption. Rather, declines in activity are also important. Further, we find that recent recommendations on physical activity have the potential to bring daily energy expenditure levels of industrialized societies surprisingly close to those observed among subsistence-level populations. These findings highlight the importance of physical activity in promoting nutritional health and show the utility of evolutionary approaches for developing public health recommendations.
Vera Lucia de Campos Brites
Full Text Available Studies of the predatory behavior of six specimens of hatchlings from the same clutch of Crotalus durissus collilineatus, born and raised in captivity, were conducted. The animal focal technique (observing the snakes through a glass visor was used in studying the snakes in order to minimize stress. The snakes were fed mice sequentially and were observed until they no longer sought the prey. Different capture strategies were adopted by this subspecies after the first occasion on which prey was caught. Percentages of the total number of capture strategies observed indicate that 20% (n = 4 made use of seizure, and 80% (n = 16 made use of poisoning, as a mean of subduing prey. The strategy of seizing prey manifested itself on the third or fourth occasion that prey was offered and appeared to be linked to the small size of the prey. It was observed that in 95% (n = 20 of the cases, ingestion began with the cranium of the prey. Regardless of the body part that was ingested first by the serpent, all serpents displayed adjustment behavior of the cranium/head and the jaws (“yawning”.
Harriger, Jennifer A
Researchers have demonstrated that societal concerns about dieting and body size have led to an increase in negative attitudes toward obese people and that girls as young as 3 years old endorse similar body size stereotypes as have been previously found with adults. Few studies, however, have examined age differences in their participants. A sample of 102 girls (3-5-years-old) completed measures of body size stereotyping. Results indicate that while body-size stereotyping is present by age 3, pro-thin beliefs may develop prior to anti-fat beliefs. Implications and future directions for research with preschool children are discussed.
Grabowski, Mark; Hatala, Kevin G.; Richmond, Brian G.
Body size is a fundamental biological property of organisms, and documenting body size variation in hominin evolution is an important goal of palaeoanthropology. Estimating body mass appears deceptively simple but is laden with theoretical and pragmatic assumptions about best predictors and the most appropriate reference samples. Modern human training samples with known masses are arguably the ‘best’ for estimating size in early bipedal hominins such as the australopiths and all members of the genus Homo, but it is not clear if they are the most appropriate priors for reconstructing the size of the earliest putative hominins such as Orrorin and Ardipithecus. The trajectory of body size evolution in the early part of the human career is reviewed here and found to be complex and nonlinear. Australopith body size varies enormously across both space and time. The pre-erectus early Homo fossil record from Africa is poor and dominated by relatively small-bodied individuals, implying that the emergence of the genus Homo is probably not linked to an increase in body size or unprecedented increases in size variation. Body size differences alone cannot explain the observed variation in hominin body shape, especially when examined in the context of small fossil hominins and pygmy modern humans. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Major transitions in human evolution’. PMID:27298459
Wang, X. F.; Wong, W.; Heim, N.; Payne, J.
While there is evidence of a general increase in body size over time, there has been no comprehensive attempt to determine the influence of abiotic factors on body size. Although an increase in maximum body size has been observed during and after the Precambrian oxidation events in the Late Archean and at the onset of the Cambrian, these observations took into account the appearance of eukaryotic life and multicellular life respectively. Using a database of marine animal body sizes spanning the Phanerozoic, we conducted a series of Pearson product-moment correlation tests with igneous rock weathering (Strontium-87: Strontium-86), rate of carbon cycle (δ13C), temperature (δ18O), CO2 concentration, sulfate mineral weathering (δ34S), atmospheric oxygen concentration, and sea level as independent variables, and mean body size as the dependent variable. Our test yielded a correlation coefficient of 0.81 between δ18O and body size, and -0.78 between rCO2 and body size; since δ18O is inversely correlated with temperature, these results indicate that both temperature and CO2 have strong inverse relationships with body size. Atmospheric oxygen yielded a correlation coefficient of 0.09, demonstrating that it ceased to play an influential role in shaping body sizes following the start of the Phanerozoic.
Jungers, William L; Grabowski, Mark; Hatala, Kevin G; Richmond, Brian G
Body size is a fundamental biological property of organisms, and documenting body size variation in hominin evolution is an important goal of palaeoanthropology. Estimating body mass appears deceptively simple but is laden with theoretical and pragmatic assumptions about best predictors and the most appropriate reference samples. Modern human training samples with known masses are arguably the 'best' for estimating size in early bipedal hominins such as the australopiths and all members of the genus Homo, but it is not clear if they are the most appropriate priors for reconstructing the size of the earliest putative hominins such as Orrorin and Ardipithecus The trajectory of body size evolution in the early part of the human career is reviewed here and found to be complex and nonlinear. Australopith body size varies enormously across both space and time. The pre-erectus early Homo fossil record from Africa is poor and dominated by relatively small-bodied individuals, implying that the emergence of the genus Homo is probably not linked to an increase in body size or unprecedented increases in size variation. Body size differences alone cannot explain the observed variation in hominin body shape, especially when examined in the context of small fossil hominins and pygmy modern humans.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'. © 2016 The Author(s).
Pough, F Harvey; Preest, Marion R; Fusari, Margaret H
Fossorial lizards differ in morphology from their surface-dwelling relatives. The Australian sphenomorphine skink genus Ctenotus consists of surface-dwelling species, and is closely related to the genus Lerista, which includes both surface-dwelling and fossorial species. Sand-swimming represents the derived condition and has evolved independently in several lineages of Lerista. The heads of lizards in the two genera differ in shape (blunt snout for Ctenotus versus wedge-shaped for Lerista) and in length relative to the body (approximately 20% of snout-vent length for Ctenotus versus 12% for sand-swimming Lerista). Do these specializations affect the sizes or types of prey that can be consumed by Lerista? We compared prey-handling by Ctenotus and Lerista to correlate morphological differences with differences in prey-handling ability, and to distinguish the effects of snout shape and head length. Feeding trials included three categories of insect prey that the lizards normally eat: soft-bodied larvae (Lepidoptera), hard-bodied larvae (Coleoptera), and roaches (Blatoidea). In comparisons based on the mass of a prey item relative to the mass of a lizard, Lerista had longer handling times for all prey categories and were limited to smaller prey than were Ctenotus. However, when comparisons were based on the length of prey relative to the length of a lizard's head, Lerista ate some elongate prey as fast or faster than did Ctenotus, and both genera successfully swallowed prey more than twice the length of their own head. Thus, the differences in prey-handling performance of Ctenotus and Lerista probably result from the fact that Lerista have a relatively shorter head than Ctenotus. All Lerista species, surface-dwelling and fossorial, have short heads compared to primitive sphenomorphine lizards. Fossorial species of Lerista have elongate trunks, and consequently their heads are shorter in proportion to trunk length than those of surface-dwelling Lerista. However, most
Silva, Diego A S; Da Silva, Rafael C; Gonçalves, Eliane C A
Identifying the factors that influence the body image of body builders is important for understanding this construct. The aim of this study was to analyze the association between body image and age, socioeconomic status, and place of residence of body builders from two cities in Brazil. A cross-sectional study of 301 body builders with an average age of 25.2 yr. (SD = 3.5) was carried out. The Muscle Silhouette Measure scale was used, in which the discrepancy between current and desired silhouette was examined. Older body builders showed greater discrepancy between current and desired silhouette, reflecting their desire for a more muscular body.
Ajslev, Teresa Adeltoft; Sorensen, Thorkild I A; Jess, Tine
Maternal inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may influence intrauterine growth and hence size at birth, but the consequences for offspring in later life remain uncertain. This study investigated the growth of children of mothers with Crohn's disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC).......Maternal inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may influence intrauterine growth and hence size at birth, but the consequences for offspring in later life remain uncertain. This study investigated the growth of children of mothers with Crohn's disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC)....
Guo, Ning; Hu, Mao-Bin; Jiang, Rui
In the real world, pedestrians can arch the shoulders or rotate their bodies actively to across the narrow space. The method is helpful to reduce the effective size of the body. In this paper, the impact of variable body size on the direction choice has been investigated by an improved heuristic-based model. In the model, it is assumed that the cost of adjusting body size is a factor in the process to evaluate the optimal direction. In a typical simulation scenario, the pedestrian reluctant to adjust body size will pass by the blocks. On the contrary, the pedestrian caring little about body size will traverse through the exit. There is a direction-choice change behavior between bypass and traverse considering block width and the initial location of the pedestrian.
Connette, Grant M; Crawford, John A; Peterman, William E
An increasing number of studies have demonstrated relationships between climate trends and body size change of organisms. In many cases, climate might be expected to influence body size by altering thermoregulation, energetics or food availability. However, observed body size change can result from a variety of ecological processes (e.g. growth, selection, population dynamics) or imperfect observation of biological systems. We used two extensive datasets to evaluate alternative mechanisms for recently reported changes in the observed body size of plethodontid salamanders. We found that mean adult body size of salamanders can be highly sensitive to survey conditions, particularly rainfall. This systematic bias in the detection of larger or smaller individuals could result in a signature of body size change in relation to reported climate trends when it is simply observation error. We also identify considerable variability in body size distributions among years and find that individual growth rates can be strongly influenced by weather. Finally, our study demonstrates that measures of mean adult body size can be highly variable among surveys and that large sample sizes may be required to make reliable inferences. Identifying the effects of climate change is a critical area of research in ecology and conservation. Researchers should be aware that observed changes in certain organisms can result from multiple ecological processes or systematic bias due to nonrandom sampling of populations.
Daanen, H.A.M.; Byvoet, M.B.
Purpose: The challenge for companies selling clothing over the internet is to combine a minimal requested effort of the visitor in entering (body) information with low-percentage no-fit returns. The purpose of this paper is to present a method that converts self-reported information to individual ad
Anschutz, D.J.; Strien, T. van; Becker, E.S.; Engels, R.C.M.E.
Research Question: Previous research showed that exposure to pictures with slim women predicted higher levels of body dissatisfaction compared to pictures with normal weight women. The present study investigated experimentally whether these findings could be expanded to television, by comparing expo
Malousaris, Grigoris G; Bergeles, Nikolaos K; Barzouka, Karolina G; Bayios, Ioannis A; Nassis, George P; Koskolou, Maria D
The aim of this study was to describe the morphological characteristics of competitive female volleyball players. For this purpose, body weight and height, breadths and girths as well as skinfold thickness at various body sites were assessed in 163 elite female volleyball players (age: 23.8+/-4.7 years, years of playing: 11.5+/-4.2, hours of training per week: 11.9+/-2.9, means+/-S.D.). Seventy-nine of these players were from the A1 division and the rest from the A2 division of the Greek National League. Two-way ANOVA was used to compare the differences in these characteristics between competition level and playing position. Body height ranged from 161cm to 194cm, and the mean value (177.1+/-6.5cm) was not inferior to that of international players of similar calibre. Adiposity of these players (sum of 5 skinfolds: 51.8+/-10.2mm, percent body fat: 23.4+/-2.8) was higher than that reported in other studies in which, however, different methodology was used. Volleyball athletes of this study were mainly balanced endomorphs (3.4-2.7-2.9). The A1 division players were taller and slightly leaner with greater fat-free mass than their A2 counterparts. Significant differences were found among athletes of different playing positions which are interpreted by their varying roles and physical demands during a volleyball game. The volleyball players who play as opposites were the only subgroup of players differing between divisions; the A2 opposites had more body fat than A1 opposites. These data could be added in the international literature related to the anthropometric characteristics of competitive female volleyball players.
Linse, Katrin; Barnes, David K. A.; Enderlein, Peter
Much has been made of body-size variability with latitude, and extreme body sizes in polar waters, but body size has never been investigated along a latitudinal gradient within polar waters. The Scotia arc and Antarctic Peninsula are ideal for latitudinal studies, and a number of species extend along the length of this region. We studied body size in two gastropod molluscs, Margarella antarctica and Nacella concinna, an echinoid, Sterechinus neumayeri, and two bryozoans, Celleporella bougainvillea and Inversiula nutrix, at six sites from South Georgia to Adelaide Island (54-68°S). We hypothesised that size, age, and growth would not correlate with latitude, given the uniformity of conditions (i.e. temperature, dissolved oxygen, etc.) within the Polar Frontal Zone. We found significant differences in size of all five species among our study sites, but not a linear trend, nor one that correlated with latitude. In bryozoans, this result was because growth was positively and age negatively correlated with latitude—resulting in little difference in overall size. In the grazer organisms (the two gastropods and the echinoid) a correlation with local food availability (chlorophyll a concentration) did not correlate with latitude. Fecundity in the gastropod M. antarctica was positively correlated with body size, and body size also was influenced by food availability. We conclude that variation in body size in all five study taxa was governed by local factors such as food availability and competition and not by latitude.
Michelle L Hall
Full Text Available Body size is a key sexually selected trait in many animal species. If size imposes a physical limit on the production of loud low-frequency sounds, then low-pitched vocalisations could act as reliable signals of body size. However, the central prediction of this hypothesis--that the pitch of vocalisations decreases with size among competing individuals--has limited support in songbirds. One reason could be that only the lowest-frequency components of vocalisations are constrained, and this may go unnoticed when vocal ranges are large. Additionally, the constraint may only be apparent in contexts when individuals are indeed advertising their size. Here we explicitly consider signal diversity and performance limits to demonstrate that body size limits song frequency in an advertising context in a songbird. We show that in purple-crowned fairy-wrens, Malurus coronatus coronatus, larger males sing lower-pitched low-frequency advertising songs. The lower frequency bound of all advertising song types also has a significant negative relationship with body size. However, the average frequency of all their advertising songs is unrelated to body size. This comparison of different approaches to the analysis demonstrates how a negative relationship between body size and song frequency can be obscured by failing to consider signal design and the concept of performance limits. Since these considerations will be important in any complex communication system, our results imply that body size constraints on low-frequency vocalisations could be more widespread than is currently recognised.
Baar, Yuval; Friedman, Ariel Leib Leonid; Meiri, Shai; Scharf, Inon
Ongoing climate change affects various aspects of an animal's life, with important effects on distribution range and phenology. The relationship between global warming and body size changes in mammals and birds has been widely studied, with most findings indicating a decline in body size over time. Nevertheless, little data exist on similar size change patterns of invertebrates in general and insects in particular, and it is unclear whether insects should decrease in size or not with climate warming. We measured over 4000 beetle specimens, belonging to 29 beetle species in 8 families, collected in Israel during the last 100 years. The sampled species are all herbivorous. We examined whether beetle body size had changed over the years, while also investigating the relationships between body size and annual temperature, precipitation, net primary productivity (NPP) at the collection site and collection month. None of the environmental variables, including the collection year, was correlated with the size of most of the studied beetle species, while there were strong interactions of all variables with species. Our results, though mostly negative, suggest that the effect of climate change on insect body size is species-specific and by no means a general macro-ecological rule. They also suggest that the intrapopulation variance in body size of insects collected as adults in the field is large enough to conceal intersite environmental effects on body size, such as the effect of temperature and NPP.
Kishida, Osamu; Trussell, Geoffrey C; Nishimura, Kinya; Ohgushi, Takayuki
Trophic cascades are often a potent force in ecological communities, but abiotic and biotic heterogeneity can diffuse their influence. For example, inducible defenses in many species create variation in prey edibility, and size-structured interactions, such as cannibalism, can shift predator diets away from heterospecific prey. Although both factors diffuse cascade strength by adding heterogeneity to trophic interactions, the consequences of their interactioh remain poorly understood. We show that inducible defenses in tadpole prey greatly intensify cannibalism in predatory larval salamanders. The likelihood of cannibalism was also strongly influenced by asymmetries in salamander size that appear to be most important in the presence of defended prey. Hence, variation in prey edibility and the size structure of the predator may synergistically affect predator-prey population dynamics by reducing prey mortality and increasing predator mortality via cannibalism. We also suggest that the indirect effects of prey defenses may shape the evolution of predator traits that determine diet breadth and how trophic dynamics unfold in natural systems.
ELDA IRMA JEANNE JOICE KAWULUR
Full Text Available Gonad maturation in pubertal girls and boys is accompanied with somatic growth spurt, changes in quantity and distribution of body fat (BF, development of secondary sex characters, and relevant physiological events. Menarche (first event of menstruation and spermarche (first event of nocturnal sperm emission are usually used as indicators of gonad maturation. We found that median age at menarche of Arfak girls in Manokwari, West Papua is 12.2 years, while median age at spermarche of boys is 13.6 years. A possible factor causing young age at menarche is due to adaptation to unstable environmental conditions because of high risk of mortality by malaria disease during childhood. The events of menarche and spermarche achieved one year after the peak body height (BH velocity, and just before or at the same time with the time of maximum growth rate of body weight (BW, body mass index (BMI, and BF. The average BMI of Arfak girls was big at 21.9 kg/m2 at the time of their menarche. Bigger average BMI might be caused by prepubertal slowing down of BH growth compare to growth of BW whichis still increasing. Girls accumulate BF before puberty to be used as an energy reserve for the occurrence of menarche. At the time of development of secondary sexual characters girls use the fat reserve so it decline sharply after puberty. In boys, growth rate of BF was stopped at 11 years old, and then growing negatively presumably because boys use fat mass for the occurence of spemarche. BF growth rate reached the lowest point at the age 16 years old, and then increase linearly with age through adolescence until adulthood at age 23 years old.
Michael, Damian R; Banks, Sam C; Piggott, Maxine P; Cunningham, Ross B; Crane, Mason; MacGregor, Christopher; McBurney, Lachlan; Lindenmayer, David B
Ecogeographical rules help explain spatial and temporal patterns in intraspecific body size. However, many of these rules, when applied to ectothermic organisms such as reptiles, are controversial and require further investigation. To explore factors that influence body size in reptiles, we performed a heuristic study to examine body size variation in an Australian lizard, Boulenger's Skink Morethia boulengeri from agricultural landscapes in southern New South Wales, south-eastern Australia. We collected tissue and morphological data on 337 adult lizards across a broad elevation and climate gradient. We used a model-selection procedure to determine if environmental or ecological variables best explained body size variation. We explored the relationship between morphology and phylogenetic structure before modeling candidate variables from four broad domains: (1) geography (latitude, longitude and elevation), (2) climate (temperature and rainfall), (3) habitat (vegetation type, number of logs and ground cover attributes), and (4) management (land use and grazing history). Broad phylogenetic structure was evident, but on a scale larger than our study area. Lizards were sexually dimorphic, whereby females had longer snout-vent length than males, providing support for the fecundity selection hypothesis. Body size variation in M. boulengeri was correlated with temperature and rainfall, a pattern consistent with larger individuals occupying cooler and more productive parts of the landscape. Climate change forecasts, which predict warmer temperature and increased aridity, may result in reduced lizard biomass and decoupling of trophic interactions with potential implications for community organization and ecosystem function.
Full Text Available Abstract Dancers use multiple forms of body language when performing their functions in the contemporary dance scene. Some neurocognitive aspects are involved in dance, and we highlight the aspect of body image, in particular, the dimensional aspect of the body perception. The aim of this study is to analyze the perceptual aspect of body image (body size estimation and its possible association with the motor aspect (dynamic balance involved in the practice of dance, comparing contemporary dancers with physically active and inactive individuals. The sample consisted of 48 subjects divided into four groups: 1 Professional Group (PG; 2 Dance Student Group (SG; 3 Physically Active Group (AG; and 4 Physically Inactive Group (IG.Two tests were used: the Image Marking Procedure (body size estimation and the Star Excursion Balance Test (dynamic balance. Was observed that dancing and exercising contribute to a proper body size estimation, but cannot be considered the only determining factor. Although dancers have higher ability in the motor test (dynamic balance, no direct relation to the perception of body size was observed, leading us to conclude it is a skill task/dependent acquired by repeating and training. In this study, we found a statistical significant association between educational level and body size estimation. The study opens new horizons in relation to the understanding of factors involved in the construction of the body size estimation.
Etienne, R.S.; Olff, H.
A critical but poorly understood pattern in macroecology is the often unimodal species - body size distribution ( also known as body size - diversity relationship) in a local community ( embedded in a much larger regional species pool). Purely neutral community models that assume functional
M. Geurts (Marjolein); Scheijmans, F.E.V. (Féline E.V.); T. van Seeters (Tom); G.J. Biessels; L.J. Kappelle (Jaap); B.K. Velthuis (Birgitta K.); H.B. van der Worp (Bart); C.B. Majoie (Charles); Y.B.W.E.M. Roos (Y. B W E M); L.E.M. Duijm (Lucien); K. Keizer (Koos); A. van der Lugt (Aad); D.W.J. Dippel (Diederik); Greve, D. (Droogh-de); H.P. Bienfait; M.A. van Walderveen (M.); M.J.H. Wermer (Marieke); G.J. Lycklama à Nijeholt (Geert); J. Boiten (Jelis); A. Duyndam (Anita); V.I.H. Kwa; F.J. Meijer (F.); E.J. van Dijk (Ewoud); A.M. Kesselring (Anouk); J. Hofmeijer; J.A. Vos (Jan Albert); W.J. Schonewille (W.); W.J. van Rooij (W.); P.L.M. de Kort (Paul); C.C. Pleiter (C.); S.L.M. Bakker (Stef); Bot, J.; M.C. Visser (Marieke); B.K. Velthuis (Birgitta); I.C. van der Schaaf (Irene); J.W. Dankbaar (Jan); W.P. Mali (Willem); van Seeters, T.; A.D. Horsch (Alexander D.); J.M. Niesten (Joris); G.J. Biessels (Geert Jan); L.J. Kappelle (Jaap); J.S.K. Luitse; Y. van der Graaf (Yolanda)
textabstractBackground: High body temperatures after ischemic stroke have been associated with larger infarct size, but the temporal profile of this relation is unknown. We assess the relation between temporal profile of body temperature and infarct size and functional outcome in patients with acute
Baudron, A.; Needle, C.; Rijnsdorp, A.D.; Marshall, C.T.
Decreasing body size has been proposed as a universal response to increasing temperatures. The physiology behind the response is well established for ectotherms inhabiting aquatic environments: as higher temperatures decrease the aerobic capacity, individuals with smaller body sizes have a reduced r
M. Geurts (Marjolein); Scheijmans, F.E.V. (Féline E.V.); T. van Seeters (Tom); G.J. Biessels; L.J. Kappelle (Jaap); B.K. Velthuis (Birgitta K.); H.B. van der Worp (Bart); C.B. Majoie (Charles); Y.B.W.E.M. Roos (Yvo); L.E.M. Duijm (Lucien); K. Keizer (Koos); A. van der Lugt (Aad); D.W.J. Dippel (Diederik); Greve, D. (Droogh-de); H.P. Bienfait; M.A. van Walderveen (M.); M.J.H. Wermer (Marieke); G.J. Lycklama à Nijeholt (Geert); J. Boiten (Jelis); A. Duyndam (Anita); V.I.H. Kwa; F.J. Meijer (F.); E.J. van Dijk (Ewoud); A.M. Kesselring (Anouk); J. Hofmeijer; J.A. Vos (Jan Albert); W.J. Schonewille (W.); W.J. van Rooij (W.); P.L.M. de Kort (Paul); C.C. Pleiter (C.); S.L.M. Bakker (Stef); Bot, J.; M.C. Visser (Marieke); B.K. Velthuis (Birgitta); I.C. van der Schaaf (Irene); J.W. Dankbaar (Jan); W.P. Mali (Willem); van Seeters, T.; A.D. Horsch (Alexander D.); J.M. Niesten (Joris); G.J. Biessels (Geert Jan); L.J. Kappelle (Jaap); J.S.K. Luitse; Y. van der Graaf (Yolanda)
textabstractBackground: High body temperatures after ischemic stroke have been associated with larger infarct size, but the temporal profile of this relation is unknown. We assess the relation between temporal profile of body temperature and infarct size and functional outcome in patients with acute
Kern, Maximilian M.; Guzy, Jacquelyn C.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Gibbons, J. Whitfield; Dorcas, Michael E.
Because resources are finite, female animals face trade-offs between the size and number of offspring they are able to produce during a single reproductive event. Optimal egg size (OES) theory predicts that any increase in resources allocated to reproduction should increase clutch size with minimal effects on egg size. Variations of OES predict that egg size should be optimized, although not necessarily constant across a population, because optimality is contingent on maternal phenotypes, such as body size and morphology, and recent environmental conditions. We examined the relationships among body size variables (pelvic aperture width, caudal gap height, and plastron length), clutch size, and egg width of diamondback terrapins from separate but proximate populations at Kiawah Island and Edisto Island, South Carolina. We found that terrapins do not meet some of the predictions of OES theory. Both populations exhibited greater variation in egg size among clutches than within, suggesting an absence of optimization except as it may relate to phenotype/habitat matching. We found that egg size appeared to be constrained by more than just pelvic aperture width in Kiawah terrapins but not in the Edisto population. Terrapins at Edisto appeared to exhibit osteokinesis in the caudal region of their shells, which may aid in the oviposition of large eggs.
Full Text Available The perception of the size and shape of one's body (body image is a fundamental aspect of how we experience ourselves. We studied the neural correlates underlying perceived changes in the relative size of body parts by using a perceptual illusion in which participants felt that their waist was shrinking. We scanned the brains of the participants using functional magnetic resonance imaging. We found that activity in the cortices lining the left postcentral sulcus and the anterior part of the intraparietal sulcus reflected the illusion of waist shrinking, and that this activity was correlated with the reported degree of shrinking. These results suggest that the perceived changes in the size and shape of body parts are mediated by hierarchically higher-order somatosensory areas in the parietal cortex. Based on this finding we suggest that relative size of body parts is computed by the integration of more elementary somatic signals from different body segments.
Juan A. Waessle
Full Text Available Seven species of the family Sciaenidae have been reported inhabiting bottom waters of the Río de la Plata estuary. Of these juvenile stripped weakfish (Cynoscion guatucupa, king weakfish (Macrodon ancylodon, whitemouth croaker (Micropogonias furnieri and banded ground drum (Paralonchurus brasiliensis are by far the most abundant. These species are also important prey of several top-predator species among large fishes, seabirds and mammals. In this study we provide new information regarding otolith morphology and body size relationships of juvenile sciaenid fish. The sagittae morphology of juvenile sciaenids showed strong changes in the course of their development (e.g. in overall shape and development of concrescences on the outer surface. Analysing the morphometric relationships, we concluded that otolith length and otolith mass are good indicators of fish standard length and fish weight in all species. If otolith length or mass is used to estimate fish length, the regression explained more than 97% of the variation in all species. All equations relating fish standard length and fish weight for juvenile stages of the species studied explained a very large proportion of the variance in the data. These data will help researchers studying food habits of top predators to determine size and weight of usually juvenile fish-prey from length, broad and/or weight of recovered otoliths.
Secor, Stephen M; Faulkner, Angela C
Specific dynamic action (SDA), the accumulated energy expended on all physiological processes associated with meal digestion, is strongly influenced by features of both the meal and the organism. We assessed the effects of meal size, meal type, body temperature, and body size on the postprandial metabolic response and calculated SDA of the marine toad, Bufo marinus. Peak postprandial rates of O(2) consumption (.V(O2)) and CO(2) production (.V(CO2)) and SDA increased with meal size (5%-20% of body mass). Postprandial metabolism was impacted by meal type; the digestion of hard-bodied superworms (Zophobas larva) and crickets was more costly than the digestion of soft-bodied earthworms and juvenile rats. An increase in body temperature (from 20 degrees to 35 degrees C) altered the postprandial metabolic profile, decreasing its duration and increasing its magnitude, but did not effect SDA, with the cost of meal digestion remaining constant across body temperatures. Allometric mass exponents were 0.69 for standard metabolic rate, 0.85 for peak postprandial .V(O2), and 1.02 for SDA; therefore, the factorial scope of peak postprandial .V(O2) increased with body mass. The mass of nutritive organs (stomach, liver, intestines, and kidneys) accounted for 38% and 20% of the variation in peak postprandial .V(O2) and SDA, respectively. Toads forced to exercise experienced 25-fold increases in .V(O2) much greater than the 5.5-fold increase experience during digestion. Controlling for meal size, meal type, and body temperature, the specific dynamic responses of B. marinus are similar to those of the congeneric Bufo alvarius, Bufo boreas, Bufo terrestris, and Bufo woodhouseii.
Woude, van der E.; Smid, H.M.; Chittka, L.; Huigens, M.E.
Throughout the animal kingdom, Haller's rule holds that smaller individuals have larger brains relative to their body than larger-bodied individuals. Such brain-body size allometry is documented for all animals studied to date, ranging from small ants to the largest mammals. However, through experim
Full Text Available High level exercising during adolescence alone enhance peak bone mineral density and reduce osteoporosis risk. It's a well-known fact that body weight influences menarche age. Intensive sports activity and thinness appear to have a synergetic effect in delaying menarche. It will be a big task during future to study relationship of physical structure to high level performance because discouraging results have shown some important high lights. It appears that with high level of sports, anatomical, biological and biomechanical modelling of physique changes. The performance may be more appropriate if the next future training may attempt to match the model better than before.
Huttenlocker, Adam K
The extent to which mass extinctions influence body size evolution in major tetrapod clades is inadequately understood. For example, the 'Lilliput effect,' a common feature of mass extinctions, describes a temporary decrease in body sizes of survivor taxa in post-extinction faunas. However, its signature on existing patterns of body size evolution in tetrapods and the persistence of its impacts during post-extinction recoveries are virtually unknown, and rarely compared in both geologic and phylogenetic contexts. Here, I evaluate temporal and phylogenetic distributions of body size in Permo-Triassic therocephalian and cynodont therapsids (eutheriodonts) using a museum collections-based approach and time series model fitting on a regional stratigraphic sequence from the Karoo Basin, South Africa. I further employed rank order correlation tests on global age and clade rank data from an expanded phylogenetic dataset, and performed evolutionary model testing using Brownian (passive diffusion) models. Results support significant size reductions in the immediate aftermath of the end-Permian mass extinction (ca. 252.3 Ma) consistent with some definitions of Lilliput effects. However, this temporal succession reflects a pattern that was underscored largely by Brownian processes and constructive selectivity. Results also support two recent contentions about body size evolution and mass extinctions: 1) active, directional evolution in size traits is rare over macroevolutionary time scales and 2) geologically brief size reductions may be accomplished by the ecological removal of large-bodied species without rapid originations of new small-bodied clades or shifts from long-term evolutionary patterns.
Mohammad, Rezkar Jaafar; Otani, Maki; Kania, Per Walter
towards an antigen to be initiated even in fry. The number of leukocytes in individual fish at different developmental stages is likely to influence the capacity of the fish to respond simultaneously to several antigens (pathogens and vaccine components). This parameter may therefore be crucial for both...... - 780 g (group IV) were investigated. The number of lymphocytes was generally higher in head kidney compared to blood and spleen but they dominated in all samples (blood, head kidney and spleen) and their numbers increased exponentially with fish size. Percentages of lymphocytes in relation...
Caruso, Nicholas M; Sears, Michael W; Adams, Dean C; Lips, Karen R
Reduction in body size is a major response to climate change, yet evidence in globally imperiled amphibians is lacking. Shifts in average population body size could indicate either plasticity in the growth response to changing climates through changes in allocation and energetics, or through selection for decreased size where energy is limiting. We compared historic and contemporary size measurements in 15 Plethodon species from 102 populations (9450 individuals) and found that six species exhibited significant reductions in body size over 55 years. Biophysical models, accounting for actual changes in moisture and air temperature over that period, showed a 7.1-7.9% increase in metabolic expenditure at three latitudes but showed no change in annual duration of activity. Reduced size was greatest at southern latitudes in regions experiencing the greatest drying and warming. Our results are consistent with a plastic response of body size to climate change through reductions in body size as mediated through increased metabolism. These rapid reductions in body size over the past few decades have significance for the susceptibility of amphibians to environmental change, and relevance for whether adaptation can keep pace with climate change in the future.
Okie, Jordan G.; Boyer, Alison G.; Brown, James H.; Costa, Daniel P.; Ernest, S. K. Morgan; Evans, Alistair R.; Fortelius, Mikael; Gittleman, John L.; Hamilton, Marcus J.; Harding, Larisa E.; Lintulaakso, Kari; Lyons, S. Kathleen; Saarinen, Juha J.; Smith, Felisa A.; Stephens, Patrick R.; Theodor, Jessica; Uhen, Mark D.; Sibly, Richard M.
Body size affects nearly all aspects of organismal biology, so it is important to understand the constraints and dynamics of body size evolution. Despite empirical work on the macroevolution and macroecology of minimum and maximum size, there is little general quantitative theory on rates and limits of body size evolution. We present a general theory that integrates individual productivity, the lifestyle component of the slow–fast life-history continuum, and the allometric scaling of generation time to predict a clade's evolutionary rate and asymptotic maximum body size, and the shape of macroevolutionary trajectories during diversifying phases of size evolution. We evaluate this theory using data on the evolution of clade maximum body sizes in mammals during the Cenozoic. As predicted, clade evolutionary rates and asymptotic maximum sizes are larger in more productive clades (e.g. baleen whales), which represent the fast end of the slow–fast lifestyle continuum, and smaller in less productive clades (e.g. primates). The allometric scaling exponent for generation time fundamentally alters the shape of evolutionary trajectories, so allometric effects should be accounted for in models of phenotypic evolution and interpretations of macroevolutionary body size patterns. This work highlights the intimate interplay between the macroecological and macroevolutionary dynamics underlying the generation and maintenance of morphological diversity. PMID:23760865
Okie, Jordan G; Boyer, Alison G; Brown, James H; Costa, Daniel P; Ernest, S K Morgan; Evans, Alistair R; Fortelius, Mikael; Gittleman, John L; Hamilton, Marcus J; Harding, Larisa E; Lintulaakso, Kari; Lyons, S Kathleen; Saarinen, Juha J; Smith, Felisa A; Stephens, Patrick R; Theodor, Jessica; Uhen, Mark D; Sibly, Richard M
Body size affects nearly all aspects of organismal biology, so it is important to understand the constraints and dynamics of body size evolution. Despite empirical work on the macroevolution and macroecology of minimum and maximum size, there is little general quantitative theory on rates and limits of body size evolution. We present a general theory that integrates individual productivity, the lifestyle component of the slow-fast life-history continuum, and the allometric scaling of generation time to predict a clade's evolutionary rate and asymptotic maximum body size, and the shape of macroevolutionary trajectories during diversifying phases of size evolution. We evaluate this theory using data on the evolution of clade maximum body sizes in mammals during the Cenozoic. As predicted, clade evolutionary rates and asymptotic maximum sizes are larger in more productive clades (e.g. baleen whales), which represent the fast end of the slow-fast lifestyle continuum, and smaller in less productive clades (e.g. primates). The allometric scaling exponent for generation time fundamentally alters the shape of evolutionary trajectories, so allometric effects should be accounted for in models of phenotypic evolution and interpretations of macroevolutionary body size patterns. This work highlights the intimate interplay between the macroecological and macroevolutionary dynamics underlying the generation and maintenance of morphological diversity.
Moskovitz, N.; Walker, R.
The group IVA fractionally crystallized iron meteorites display a diverse range of metallographic cooling rates, ranging from 100 - 6600 K/Myr . These have been attributed to their formation in a metallic core, ˜150 km in radius that cooled to crystallization without any appreciable insulating mantle. Such an exposed core may have resulted from a hit-and-run collision  between two large (˜ 103 km) protoplanetary bodies. Here we build upon this formation scenario by incorporating several new constraints. These include (i) a recent U-Pb radiometric closure age of 4565.3 Mya (IVA iron Muonionalusta , (ii) new measurements and modeling of highly siderophile element compositions for a suite of IVAs, and (iii) consideration of the thermal effects of heating by the decay of the short-lived radionuclide 60Fe.
Anthropometric surveys devised by each country attempt to fulfill the requirements of the manufacturers, designers, and human welfare device production, providing them with data and tools and allowing them to face both the internal and export markets. To this end, national anthropometric data collections and comparisons including three-dimensional information, together with comparison of these data among countries, are conducted at both the domestic and global levels. The anthropometric data of the Korean population measured in 2013 (Korean Agency for Technology and Standard (KATS) 2013 data) and the data collected from 2010 (KATS 2010 data) that was conducted on 710 males between the ages of 13 and 18 years were analyzed in this section to obtain information on Korean boys' physical features and growth. The mean height increased about 5 cm from 13 to 14 years which shows the early fast maturing somatotype. Also, the mean height of boys aged from 15 to 16 increased about 1 to 2 cm. For the results of body proportion rate index against height, they show 0.93, 0.81, 0.38, 0.99, and 0.26 times the height in eye height, shoulder height, fingertip height, and span and maximum shoulder breadth, respectively, in 16-year-old boys. For the body mass index, the weight is increased from the age of 16 years. There are several studies that cover growth features of the entire range from birth to maturity, and they have reported the comparison of the growth patterns among Europeans. Even though such researches have been made, as for the industry, the human modeling tools based on the anthropometric data and morphological features that cover all the countries should be developed for well-fit garments and other human-oriented design process.
Altitudinal clines in body size can result from the effects of natural and sexual selection on growth rates and developing times in seasonal environments. Short growing and reproductive seasons constrain the body size that adults can attain and their reproductive success. Little is known about the effects of altitudinal climatic variation on the diversification of Neotropical insects. In central Mexico, in addition to altitude, highly heterogeneous topography generates diverse climates that can occur even at the same latitude. Altitudinal variation and heterogeneous topography open an opportunity to test the relative impact of climatic variation on body size adaptations. In this study, we investigated the relationship between altitudinal climatic variation and body size, and the divergence rates of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in Neotropical grasshoppers of the genus Sphenarium using a phylogenetic comparative approach. In order to distinguish the relative impact of natural and sexual selection on the diversification of the group, we also tracked the altitudinal distribution of the species and trends of both body size and SSD on the phylogeny of Sphenarium. The correlative evidence suggests no relationship between altitude and body size. However, larger species were associated with places having a warmer winter season in which the temporal window for development and reproduction can be longer. Nonetheless, the largest species were also associated with highly seasonal environments. Moreover, large body size and high levels of SSD have evolved independently several times throughout the history of the group and male body size has experienced a greater evolutionary divergence than females. These lines of evidence suggest that natural selection, associated with seasonality and sexual selection, on maturation time and body size could have enhanced the diversification of this insect group. PMID:26684616
Full Text Available Altitudinal clines in body size can result from the effects of natural and sexual selection on growth rates and developing times in seasonal environments. Short growing and reproductive seasons constrain the body size that adults can attain and their reproductive success. Little is known about the effects of altitudinal climatic variation on the diversification of Neotropical insects. In central Mexico, in addition to altitude, highly heterogeneous topography generates diverse climates that can occur even at the same latitude. Altitudinal variation and heterogeneous topography open an opportunity to test the relative impact of climatic variation on body size adaptations. In this study, we investigated the relationship between altitudinal climatic variation and body size, and the divergence rates of sexual size dimorphism (SSD in Neotropical grasshoppers of the genus Sphenarium using a phylogenetic comparative approach. In order to distinguish the relative impact of natural and sexual selection on the diversification of the group, we also tracked the altitudinal distribution of the species and trends of both body size and SSD on the phylogeny of Sphenarium. The correlative evidence suggests no relationship between altitude and body size. However, larger species were associated with places having a warmer winter season in which the temporal window for development and reproduction can be longer. Nonetheless, the largest species were also associated with highly seasonal environments. Moreover, large body size and high levels of SSD have evolved independently several times throughout the history of the group and male body size has experienced a greater evolutionary divergence than females. These lines of evidence suggest that natural selection, associated with seasonality and sexual selection, on maturation time and body size could have enhanced the diversification of this insect group.
Farafidy ANDRIANTAHINA; LIU Xiaolin; HUANG Hao; XIANG Jianhai
To quantify the response to selection,heritability and genetic correlations between weight and size of Litopenaeus vannamei,the body weight (BW),total length (TL),body length (BL),first abdominal segment depth (FASD),third abdominal segment depth (TASD),first abdominal segment width (FASW),and partial carapace length (PCL) of 5-month-old parents and of offspring were measured by calculating seven body measurings of offspring produced by a nested mating design.Seventeen half-sib families and 42 full-sib families of L.vannamei were produced using artificial fertilization from 2-4 dams by each sire,and measured at around five months post-metamorphosis.The results show that heritabilities among various traits were high:0.515+0.030 for body weight and 0.394+0.030 for total length.After one generation of selection,the selection response was 10.70％ for offspring growth.In the 5th month,the realized heritability for weight was 0.296 for the offspring generation.Genetic correlations between body weight and body size were highly variable.The results indicate that external morphological parameters can be applied during breeder selection for enhancing the growth without sacrificing animals for determining the body size and breed ability; and selective breeding can be improved significantly,simultaneously with increased production.
Andriantahina, Farafidy; Liu, Xiaolin; Huang, Hao; Xiang, Jianhai
To quantify the response to selection, heritability and genetic correlations between weight and size of Litopenaeus vannamei, the body weight (BW), total length (TL), body length (BL), first abdominal segment depth (FASD), third abdominal segment depth (TASD), first abdominal segment width (FASW), and partial carapace length (PCL) of 5-month-old parents and of offspnng were measured by calculating seven body measunngs of offspnng produced by a nested mating design. Seventeen half-sib families and 42 full-sib families of L. vannamei were produced using artificial fertilization from 2-4 dams by each sire, and measured at around five months post-metamorphosis. The results show that hentabilities among vanous traits were high: 0.515±0.030 for body weight and 0.394±0.030 for total length. After one generation of selection. the selection response was 10.70% for offspring growth. In the 5th month, the realized heritability for weight was 0.296 for the offspnng generation. Genetic correlations between body weight and body size were highly variable. The results indicate that external morphological parameters can be applied dunng breeder selection for enhancing the growth without sacrificing animals for determining the body size and breed ability; and selective breeding can be improved significantly, simultaneously with increased production.
Linkenauger, S.A.; Ramenzoni, V.C.; Proffitt, D.R.
The notion that apparent sizes are perceived relative to the size of one's body is supported through the discovery of a new visual illusion. When graspable objects are magnified by magnifying goggles, they appear to shrink back to near-normal size when one's hand (also magnified) is placed next to t
During predator-prey encounters, a high locomotor performance in unsteady manoeuvres (i.e. acceleration, turning) is desirable for both predators and prey. While speed increases with size in fish and other aquatic vertebrates in continuous swimming, the speed achieved within a given time, a relevant parameter in predator-prey encounters, is size independent. In addition, most parameters indicating high performance in unsteady swimming decrease with size. Both theoretical considerations and data on acceleration suggest a decrease with body size. Small turning radii and high turning rates are indices of maneuverability in space and in time, respectively. Maneuverability decreases with body length, as minimum turning radii and maximum turning rates increase and decrease with body length, respectively. In addition, the scaling of linear performance in fish locomotion may be modulated by turning behaviour, which is an essential component of the escape response. In angelfish, for example, the speed of large fish is inversely related to their turning angle, i.e. fish escaping at large turning angles show lower speed than fish escaping at small turning angles. The scaling of unsteady locomotor performance makes it difficult for large aquatic vertebrates to capture elusive prey by using whole-body attacks, since the overall maneuverability and acceleration of small prey is likely to be superior to that of large predators. Feeding strategies in vertebrate predators can be related to the predator-prey length ratios. At prey-predator ratios higher than approximately 10(-2), vertebrate predators are particulate feeders, while at smaller ratios, they tend to be filter feeders. At intermediate ratios, large aquatic predators may use a variety of feeding methods that aid, or do not involve, whole body attacks. Among these are bubble curtains used by humpback whales to trap fish schools, and tail-slapping of fish by delphinids. Tail slapping by killer whales is discussed as an
Hartmann, Christina; Siegrist, Michael
The present study investigated the longitudinal development of body size perception in relation to different personality traits. A sample of Swiss adults (N=2905, 47% men), randomly selected from the telephone book, completed a questionnaire on two consecutive years (2012, 2013). Body size perception was assessed with the Contour Drawing Rating Scale and personality traits were assessed with a short version of the Big Five Inventory. Longitudinal analysis of change indicated that men and women scoring higher on conscientiousness perceived themselves as thinner one year later. In contrast, women scoring higher on neuroticism perceived their body size as larger one year later. No significant effect was observed for men scoring higher on neuroticism. These results were independent of weight changes, body mass index, age, and education. Our findings suggest that personality traits contribute to body size perception among adults.
Goncalves, Rodrigo J.; Kiørboe, Thomas
Feeding-current feeding copepods detect and capture prey individually, but the mechanism by which nonmotile prey is detected has been unclear. Early reports that copepods detect phytoplankton prey at distances of one body length or more led to the hypothesis that solutes leaking from the prey wou...
Ion Alexandru Bobulescu
Full Text Available Obesity is associated with increased risk for kidney disease and uric acid nephrolithiasis, but the pathophysiological mechanisms underpinning these associations are incompletely understood. Animal experiments have suggested that renal lipid accumulation and lipotoxicity may play a role, but whether lipid accumulation occurs in humans with increasing body mass index (BMI is unknown. The association between obesity and abnormal triglyceride accumulation in non-adipose tissues (steatosis has been described in the liver, heart, skeletal muscle and pancreas, but not in the human kidney. We used a quantitative biochemical assay to quantify triglyceride in normal kidney cortex samples from 54 patients undergoing nephrectomy for localized renal cell carcinoma. In subsets of the study population we evaluated the localization of lipid droplets by Oil Red O staining and measured 16 common ceramide species by mass spectrometry. There was a positive correlation between kidney cortex trigyceride content and BMI (Spearman R = 0.27, P = 0.04. Lipid droplets detectable by optical microscopy had a sporadic distribution but were generally more prevalent in individuals with higher BMI, with predominant localization in proximal tubule cells and to a lesser extent in glomeruli. Total ceramide content was inversely correlated with triglycerides. We postulate that obesity is associated with abnormal triglyceride accumulation (steatosis in the human kidney. In turn, steatosis and lipotoxicity may contribute to the pathogenesis of obesity-associated kidney disease and nephrolithiasis.
Bobulescu, Ion Alexandru; Lotan, Yair; Zhang, Jianning; Rosenthal, Tara R.; Rogers, John T.; Adams-Huet, Beverley; Sakhaee, Khashayar; Moe, Orson W.
Obesity is associated with increased risk for kidney disease and uric acid nephrolithiasis, but the pathophysiological mechanisms underpinning these associations are incompletely understood. Animal experiments have suggested that renal lipid accumulation and lipotoxicity may play a role, but whether lipid accumulation occurs in humans with increasing body mass index (BMI) is unknown. The association between obesity and abnormal triglyceride accumulation in non-adipose tissues (steatosis) has been described in the liver, heart, skeletal muscle and pancreas, but not in the human kidney. We used a quantitative biochemical assay to quantify triglyceride in normal kidney cortex samples from 54 patients undergoing nephrectomy for localized renal cell carcinoma. In subsets of the study population we evaluated the localization of lipid droplets by Oil Red O staining and measured 16 common ceramide species by mass spectrometry. There was a positive correlation between kidney cortex trigyceride content and BMI (Spearman R = 0.27, P = 0.04). Lipid droplets detectable by optical microscopy had a sporadic distribution but were generally more prevalent in individuals with higher BMI, with predominant localization in proximal tubule cells and to a lesser extent in glomeruli. Total ceramide content was inversely correlated with triglycerides. We postulate that obesity is associated with abnormal triglyceride accumulation (steatosis) in the human kidney. In turn, steatosis and lipotoxicity may contribute to the pathogenesis of obesity-associated kidney disease and nephrolithiasis. PMID:25170827
Goiran, C.; Dubey, S.; Shine, R.
In terrestrial snakes, many cases of intraspecific shifts in dietary habits as a function of predator sex and body size are driven by gape limitation and hence are most common in species that feed on relatively large prey and exhibit a wide body-size range. Our data on sea snakes reveal an alternative mechanism for intraspecific niche partitioning, based on sex-specific seasonal anorexia induced by reproductive activities. Turtle-headed sea snakes ( Emydocephalus annulatus) on coral reefs in the New Caledonian Lagoon feed entirely on the eggs of demersal-spawning fishes. DNA sequence data (cytochrome b gene) on eggs that we palpated from stomachs of 37 snakes showed that despite this ontogenetic stage specialization, the prey comes from a taxonomically diverse array of species including damselfish (41 % of samples, at least 5 species), blennies (41 %, 4 species) and gobies (19 %, 5 species). The composition of snake diets shifted seasonally (with damselfish dominating in winter but not summer), presumably reflecting seasonality of fish reproduction. That seasonal shift affects male and female snakes differently, because reproduction is incompatible with foraging. Adult female sea snakes ceased feeding when they became heavily distended with developing embryos in late summer, and males ceased feeding while they were mate searching in winter. The sex divergence in foraging habits may be amplified by sexual size dimorphism; females grow larger than males, and larger snakes (of both sexes) feed more on damselfish (which often lay their eggs in exposed sites) than on blennies and gobies (whose eggs are hidden within narrow crevices). Specific features of reproductive biology of coral reef fish (seasonality and nest type) have generated intraspecific niche partitioning in these sea snakes, by mechanisms different from those that apply to terrestrial snakes.
Full Text Available Extinction risk and body size have been found to be related in various vertebrate groups, with larger species being more at risk than smaller ones. We checked whether this was also the case for snakes by investigating extinction risk-body size relationships in the New World's Colubroidea species. We used the IUCN Red List risk categories to assign each species to one of two broad levels of threat (Threatened and Non-Threatened or to identify it as either Data Deficient or Not-Evaluated by the IUCN. We also included the year of description of each species in our analysis as this could affect the level of threat assigned to it (earlier described species had more time to gather information about them, which might have facilitated their evaluation. Also, species detectability could be a function of body size, with larger species tending to be described earlier, which could have an impact in extinction risk-body size relationships. We found a negative relationship between body size and description year, with large-bodied species being described earlier. Description year also varied among risk categories, with Non-Threatened species being described earlier than Threatened species and both species groups earlier than Data Deficient species. On average, Data Deficient species also presented smaller body sizes, while no size differences were detected between Threatened and Non-Threatened species. So it seems that smaller body sizes are related with species detectability, thus potentially affecting both when a species is described (smaller species tend to be described more recently as well as the amount of information gathered about it (Data Deficient species tend to be smaller. Our data also indicated that if Data Deficient species were to be categorized as Threatened in the future, snake body size and extinction risk would be negatively related, contrasting with the opposite pattern commonly observed in other vertebrate groups.
Vilela, Bruno; Villalobos, Fabricio; Rodríguez, Miguel Ángel; Terribile, Levi Carina
Extinction risk and body size have been found to be related in various vertebrate groups, with larger species being more at risk than smaller ones. We checked whether this was also the case for snakes by investigating extinction risk–body size relationships in the New World's Colubroidea species. We used the IUCN Red List risk categories to assign each species to one of two broad levels of threat (Threatened and Non-Threatened) or to identify it as either Data Deficient or Not-Evaluated by the IUCN. We also included the year of description of each species in our analysis as this could affect the level of threat assigned to it (earlier described species had more time to gather information about them, which might have facilitated their evaluation). Also, species detectability could be a function of body size, with larger species tending to be described earlier, which could have an impact in extinction risk–body size relationships. We found a negative relationship between body size and description year, with large-bodied species being described earlier. Description year also varied among risk categories, with Non-Threatened species being described earlier than Threatened species and both species groups earlier than Data Deficient species. On average, Data Deficient species also presented smaller body sizes, while no size differences were detected between Threatened and Non-Threatened species. So it seems that smaller body sizes are related with species detectability, thus potentially affecting both when a species is described (smaller species tend to be described more recently) as well as the amount of information gathered about it (Data Deficient species tend to be smaller). Our data also indicated that if Data Deficient species were to be categorized as Threatened in the future, snake body size and extinction risk would be negatively related, contrasting with the opposite pattern commonly observed in other vertebrate groups. PMID:25409293
Taira, Wataru; Iwasaki, Mayo; Otaki, Joji M.
The body size of the pale grass blue butterfly, Zizeeria maha, has been used as an environmental indicator of radioactive pollution caused by the Fukushima nuclear accident. However, geographical and temporal size distributions in Japan and temperature effects on size have not been established in this species. Here, we examined the geographical, temporal, and temperature-dependent changes of the forewing size of Z. maha argia in Japan. Butterflies collected in 2012 and 2013 from multiple prefectures throughout Japan demonstrated an inverse relationship of latitude and forewing size, which is the reverse of Bergmann’s cline. The Fukushima population was significantly larger than the Aomori and Miyagi populations and exhibited no difference from most of the other prefectural populations. When monitored at a single geographic locality every other month, forewing sizes were the largest in April and the smallest in August. Rearing larvae at a constant temperature demonstrated that forewing size followed the temperature-size rule. Therefore, the converse Bergmann’s rule and the temperature-size rule coexist in this multivoltine species. Our study establishes this species as a useful environmental indicator and supports the idea that the size reduction observed only in Fukushima Prefecture in 2011 was caused by the environmental stress of radioactive pollution. PMID:26197998
Full Text Available North Island robins of New Zealand are a food hoarding species, which is unique in that they almost exclusively cache highly perishable hunted insects for later retrieval. In order to do so, they either kill and dismember or paralyze their prey for caching, depending on the prey size and kind. The present study comprises two experiments, using a Violation of Expectancy (VoE paradigm to examine variation in search behavior response to different prey conditions. The first experiment presents three different types of prey (mealworms, earthworms and locusts in expected (present and unexpected (absent conditions. The second experiment presents prey in varying states of animacy (alive and whole, dead and whole, dead and halved, and an inanimate stick and reveals prey in expected (same state or unexpected (differing state conditions. While robins did not respond with differential search times to different types of unexpectedly missing prey in Experiment 1, in Experiment 2 robins searched longer in conditions where prey was found in a differing state of animacy than initially shown. Robins also searched longer for prey when immediately consuming retrieved prey than when caching retrieved prey. Results indicate that North Island robins may be sensitive to prey animacy upon storage and retrieval of insect prey; such information could play a role in storage, pilfering and retrieval strategies of such a perishable food source.
Fitzpatrick, J L; Almbro, M; Gonzalez-Voyer, A; Hamada, S; Pennington, C; Scanlan, J; Kolm, N
The size of the vertebrate brain is shaped by a variety of selective forces. Although larger brains (correcting for body size) are thought to confer fitness advantages, energetic limitations of this costly organ may lead to trade-offs, for example as recently suggested between sexual traits and neural tissue. Here, we examine the patterns of selection on male and female brain size in pinnipeds, a group where the strength of sexual selection differs markedly among species and between the sexes. Relative brain size was negatively associated with the intensity of sexual selection in males but not females. However, analyses of the rates of body and brain size evolution showed that this apparent trade-off between sexual selection and brain mass is driven by selection for increasing body mass rather than by an actual reduction in male brain size. Our results suggest that sexual selection has important effects on the allometric relationships of neural development.
Stocks, T.; Renders, C.M.; Bulk-Bunschoten, A.M.W.; Hirasing, R.A.; Buuren, S. van; Seidell, J.C.
Excess weight in early life is believed to increase susceptibility to obesity, and in support of such theory, excess weight and fast weight gain in early childhood have been related to overweight later in life. The aim of this study was to review the literature on body size and growth in 0- to 4-yea
Casas, Jérôme; Steinmann, Thomas
Many prey species, from soil arthropods to fish, perceive the approach of predators, allowing them to escape just in time. Thus, prey capture is as important to predators as prey finding. We extend an existing framework for understanding the conjoint trajectories of predator and prey after encounters, by estimating the ratio of predator attack and prey danger perception distances, and apply it to wolf spiders attacking wood crickets. Disturbances to air flow upstream from running spiders, which are sensed by crickets, were assessed by computational fluid dynamics with the finite-elements method for a much simplified spider model: body size, speed and ground effect were all required to obtain a faithful representation of the aerodynamic signature of the spider, with the legs making only a minor contribution. The relationship between attack speed and the maximal distance at which the cricket can perceive the danger is parabolic; it splits the space defined by these two variables into regions differing in their values for this ratio. For this biological interaction, the ratio is no greater than one, implying immediate perception of the danger, from the onset of attack. Particular attention should be paid to the ecomechanical aspects of interactions with such small ratio, because of the high degree of bidirectional coupling of the behaviour of the two protagonists. This conclusion applies to several other predator-prey systems with sensory ecologies based on flow sensing, in air and water.
Kim, Hyeongmin; Song, Ki Duk; Kim, Hyeon Jeong; Park, WonCheoul; Kim, Jaemin; Lee, Taeheon; Shin, Dong-Hyun; Kwak, Woori; Kwon, Young-jun; Sung, Samsun; Moon, Sunjin; Lee, Kyung-Tai; Kim, Namshin; Hong, Joon Ki; Eo, Kyung Yeon; Seo, Kang Seok; Kim, Girak; Park, Sungmoo; Yun, Cheol-Heui; Kim, Hyunil; Choi, Kimyung; Kim, Jiho; Lee, Woon Kyu; Kim, Duk-Kyung; Oh, Jae-Don; Kim, Eui-Soo; Cho, Seoae; Lee, Hak-Kyo; Kim, Tae-Hun; Kim, Heebal
Since being domesticated about 10,000-12,000 years ago, domestic pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus) have been selected for traits of economic importance, in particular large body size. However, Yucatan miniature pigs have been selected for small body size to withstand high temperature environment and for laboratory use. This renders the Yucatan miniature pig a valuable model for understanding the evolution of body size. We investigate the genetic signature for selection of body size in the Yucatan miniature pig. Phylogenetic distance of Yucatan miniature pig was compared to other large swine breeds (Yorkshire, Landrace, Duroc and wild boar). By estimating the XP-EHH statistic using re-sequencing data derived from 70 pigs, we were able to unravel the signatures of selection of body size. We found that both selections at the level of organism, and at the cellular level have occurred. Selection at the higher levels include feed intake, regulation of body weight and increase in mass while selection at the molecular level includes cell cycle and cell proliferation. Positively selected genes probed by XP-EHH may provide insight into the docile character and innate immunity as well as body size of Yucatan miniature pig.
Full Text Available Since being domesticated about 10,000-12,000 years ago, domestic pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus have been selected for traits of economic importance, in particular large body size. However, Yucatan miniature pigs have been selected for small body size to withstand high temperature environment and for laboratory use. This renders the Yucatan miniature pig a valuable model for understanding the evolution of body size. We investigate the genetic signature for selection of body size in the Yucatan miniature pig. Phylogenetic distance of Yucatan miniature pig was compared to other large swine breeds (Yorkshire, Landrace, Duroc and wild boar. By estimating the XP-EHH statistic using re-sequencing data derived from 70 pigs, we were able to unravel the signatures of selection of body size. We found that both selections at the level of organism, and at the cellular level have occurred. Selection at the higher levels include feed intake, regulation of body weight and increase in mass while selection at the molecular level includes cell cycle and cell proliferation. Positively selected genes probed by XP-EHH may provide insight into the docile character and innate immunity as well as body size of Yucatan miniature pig.
Hechinger, Ryan F.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; McLaughlin, John P.; Fredensborg, Brian L.; Huspeni, Todd C.; Lorda, Julio; Sandhu, Parwant K.; Shaw, Jenny C.; Torchin, Mark E.; Whitney, Kathleen L.; Kuris, Armand M.
This data set presents food webs for three North American Pacific coast estuaries and a “Metaweb” composed of the species/stages compiled from all three estuaries. The webs have four noteworthy attributes: (1) parasites (infectious agents), (2) body-size information, (3) biomass information, and (4) ontogenetic stages of many animals with complex life cycles. The estuaries are Carpinteria Salt Marsh, California (CSM); Estero de Punta Banda, Baja California (EPB); and Bahía Falsa in Bahía San Quintín, Baja California (BSQ). Most data on species assemblages and parasitism were gathered via consistent sampling that acquired body size and biomass information for plants and animals larger than ∼1 mm, and for many infectious agents (mostly metazoan parasites, but also some microbes). We augmented this with information from additional published sources and by sampling unrepresented groups (e.g., plankton). We estimated free-living consumer–resource links primarily by extending a previously published version of the CSM web (which the current CSM web supplants) and determined most parasite consumer–resource links from direct observation. We recognize 21 possible link types including four general interactions: predators consuming prey, parasites consuming hosts, predators consuming parasites, and parasites consuming parasites. While generally resolved to the species level, we report stage-specific nodes for many animals with complex life cycles. We include additional biological information for each node, such as taxonomy, lifestyle (free-living, infectious, commensal, mutualist), mobility, and residency. The Metaweb includes 500 nodes, 314 species, and 11 270 links projected to be present given appropriate species' co-occurrences. Of these, 9247 links were present in one or more of the estuarine webs. The remaining 2023 links were not present in the estuaries but are included here because they may occur in other places or times. Initial analyses have examined
Kooi, B.W.; Venturino, E.
In this paper we analyse a predator–prey model where the prey population shows group defense and the prey individuals are affected by a transmissible disease. The resulting model is of the Rosenzweig–MacArthur predator–prey type with an SI (susceptible-infected) disease in the prey. Modeling prey gr
Kooi, B.W.; Venturino, E.
In this paper we analyse a predator–prey model where the prey population shows group defense and the prey individuals are affected by a transmissible disease. The resulting model is of the Rosenzweig–MacArthur predator–prey type with an SI (susceptible-infected) disease in the prey. Modeling prey
Robert Y. Fidler
Full Text Available As a consequence of intense fishing pressure, fished populations experience reduced population sizes and shifts in body size toward the predominance of smaller and early maturing individuals. Small, early-maturing fish exhibit significantly reduced reproductive output and, ultimately, reduced fitness. As part of resource management and biodiversity conservation programs worldwide, no-take marine protected areas (MPAs are expected to ameliorate the adverse effects of fishing pressure. In an attempt to advance our understanding of how coral reef MPAs meet their long-term goals, this study used visual census data from 23 MPAs and fished reefs in the Philippines to address three questions: (1 Do MPAs promote shifts in fish body size frequency distribution towards larger body sizes when compared to fished reefs? (2 Do MPA size and (3 age contribute to the efficacy of MPAs in promoting such shifts? This study revealed that across all MPAs surveyed, the distribution of fishes between MPAs and fished reefs were similar; however, large-bodied fish were more abundant within MPAs, along with small, young-of-the-year individuals. Additionally, there was a significant shift in body size frequency distribution towards larger body sizes in 12 of 23 individual reef sites surveyed. Of 22 fish families, eleven demonstrated significantly different body size frequency distributions between MPAs and fished reefs, indicating that shifts in the size spectrum of fishes in response to protection are family-specific. Family-level shifts demonstrated a significant, positive correlation with MPA age, indicating that MPAs become more effective at increasing the density of large-bodied fish within their boundaries over time.
Wignall, Sophie J; Thomas, Nicole A; Nicholls, Michael E R
Although there is a growing consensus that women with anorexia nervosa have a distorted body schema, the origins of this disturbance remain uncertain. The present investigation examined the effects of body size, eating pathology, and sex upon the body schema of an at-risk, undergraduate population. In Study 1, 98 participants mentally simulated their passage through apertures. When aperture width was manipulated, narrow and broad women over- and under-estimated their spatial requirements for passage, respectively. This relationship was exacerbated by dietary restraint. When aperture height was manipulated, short and tall men over- and under-estimated their spatial requirements for passage, respectively. Study 2 (N=32) replicated the association between women's veridical and internally-represented widths, although no significant effects of eating pathology were observed. Our findings suggest that body schema enlargement is not necessarily pathological, and may be driven by normal perceptual biases and internalised sociocultural body ideals. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Nawrot, Rafał; Albano, Paolo G; Chattopadhyay, Devapriya; Zuschin, Martin
Body size is a synthetic functional trait determining many key ecosystem properties. Reduction in average body size has been suggested as one of the universal responses to global warming in aquatic ecosystems. Climate change, however, coincides with human-enhanced dispersal of alien species and can facilitate their establishment. We address effects of species introductions on the size structure of recipient communities using data on Red Sea bivalves entering the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal. We show that the invasion leads to increase in median body size of the Mediterranean assemblage. Alien species are significantly larger than native Mediterranean bivalves, even though they represent a random subset of the Red Sea species with respect to body size. The observed patterns result primarily from the differences in the taxonomic composition and body-size distributions of the source and recipient species pools. In contrast to the expectations based on the general temperature-size relationships in marine ectotherms, continued warming of the Mediterranean Sea indirectly leads to an increase in the proportion of large-bodied species in bivalve assemblages by accelerating the entry and spread of tropical aliens. These results underscore complex interactions between changing climate and species invasions in driving functional shifts in marine ecosystems. © 2017 The Author(s).
Tian, Changxu; Li, Ling; Liang, Xu-Fang; He, Shan; Guo, Wenjie; Lv, Liyuan; Wang, Qingchao; Song, Yi
Body size is an obvious and important characteristic of fish. Mandarin fish Siniperca chuatsi (Basilewsky) is one of the most valuable perciform species widely cultured in China. Individual differences in body size are common in mandarin fish and significantly influence the aquaculture production. However, little is currently known about its genetic control. In this study, digital gene expression profiling and transcriptome sequencing were performed in mandarin fish with differential body size at 30 and 180 days post-hatch (dph), respectively. Body weight, total length and body length of fish with big-size were significantly higher than those with small-size at both 30 and 180 dph (P mandarin fish that went through the same training procedure. The genes were involved in the growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor axis, cell proliferation and differentiation, appetite control, glucose metabolism, reproduction and sexual size dimorphism pathways. This study will help toward a comprehensive understanding of the complexity of regulation of body size in mandarin fish individuals and provide valuable information for future research.
L. Basso Da Silva; V. L. S. Valente
Mating activity and wing length were investigated in the F1 progeny of Drosophila willistoni females collected in the field to examine any possible relationship between body size and mating success. The flies were observed in a mating chamber under laboratory conditions. No significant differences in wing length were observed between copulating and noncopulating flies, and there was no significant correlation between wing length and copulation latency for both males and females. These results therefore suggest that the commonly accepted view that large body size is positively correlated with mating success in Drosophila does not always hold true. The results support the view that the extent of environmentally induced variation in body size may be an important factor in determining whether an association between body size and mating success is observed in Drosophila species.
Eriksen, Bjørn O; Melsom, Toralf; Mathisen, Ulla D; Jenssen, Trond G; Solbu, Marit D; Toft, Ingrid
The normalization of GFR to a standardized body-surface area of 1.73 m(2) impedes comparison of GFR across individuals of different genders, heights, or weights. Ideally, GFR should be normalized to a parameter that best explains variation in GFR. Here, we measured true GFR by iohexol clearance in a representative sample of 1627 individuals from the general population who did not have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or kidney disease. We also estimated total body water (TBW), extracellular fluid volume, lean body mass, liver volume, metabolic rate, and body-surface area. We compared two methods of normalizing GFR to these physiologic variables: (1) the conventional method of scaling GFR to each physiologic variable by simple division and (2) a method based on regression of the GFR on each variable. TBW explained a higher proportion of the variation in GFR than the other physiologic variables. GFR adjusted for TBW by the regression method exhibited less dependence on gender, height, and weight compared with the other physiologic variables. Thus, adjusting GFR for TBW by the regression method allows direct comparisons between individuals of different genders, weights, and heights. We propose that regression-based normalization of GFR to a standardized TBW of 40 L should replace the current practice of normalizing GFR to 1.73 m(2) of body-surface area.
Kornilaki, Ekaterina N.
The aim of this study was to examine how children perceive their body size and whether their actual or perceived body size can explain their anti-fat views. Four hundred and fourteen 5-6, 7-8 and 9-10-year-old children were read short vignettes depicting two characters, one possessing a positive and the other a negative quality. Following each…
Kornilaki, Ekaterina N.
The aim of this study was to examine how children perceive their body size and whether their actual or perceived body size can explain their anti-fat views. Four hundred and fourteen 5-6, 7-8 and 9-10-year-old children were read short vignettes depicting two characters, one possessing a positive and the other a negative quality. Following each…
Berciano, Maria T; Novell, Mariona; Villagra, Nuria T; Casafont, Iñigo; Bengoechea, Rocio; Val-Bernal, J Fernado; Lafarga, Miguel
This paper studies the cell size-dependent organization of the nucleolus and Cajal bodies (CBs) in dissociated human dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons from autopsy tissue samples of patients without neurological disease. The quantitative analysis of nucleoli with an anti-fibrillarin antibody showed that all neurons have only one nucleolus. However, the nucleolar volume and the number of fibrillar centers per nucleolus significantly increase as a function of cell body size. Immunostaining for coilin demonstrated the presence of numerous CBs in DRG neurons (up to 20 in large size neurons). The number of CBs per neuron correlated positively with the cell body volume. Light and electron microscopy immunocytochemical analysis revealed the concentration of coilin, snRNPs, SMN and fibrillarin in CBs of DRG neurons. CBs were frequently associated with the nucleolus, active chromatin domains and PML bodies, but not with telomeres. Our results support the view that the nucleolar volume and number of both fibrillar centers and CBs depend on the cell body mass, a parameter closely related to transcriptional and synaptic activity in mammalian neurons. Moreover, the unusual large number of CBs could facilitate the transfer of RNA processing components from CBs to nucleolar and nucleoplasmic sites of RNA processing.
Vo, T.; Tolosa, R.; Heim, N. A.; Payne, J.
A wide range of climates exists on planet Earth, and the different kinds of life inhabiting each area vary greatly in accordance with its topography and weather conditions. The nature of each climate is in part determined by its latitude—latitudes closer to 90º suggest a colder climate while latitudes closer to 0º suggest a warmer, more tropical climate. The evolution of organisms is expected to differ in different parts of the world because environment plays such a significant role in it. In our study, we focus on the relationship between location and the extent to which the evolution of ostracod body size follows Cope's Rule (i.e., the tendency for body size to increase over time) and Bergmann's Rule (i.e., body size decreases with temperature) from the Ordovician to the Holocene. Using body sizes of ostracod occurrences, we explored the relationships among size, latitude and time. Modern ecosystems near the poles are more sensitive to environmental and climate change than those near the equator, we hypothesized that ostracods with latitudes closer to the poles will follow Cope's Rule more closely. To test this hypothesis, we compared body size and latitude as well as trends of body size evolution over time in tropical, temperate and polar regions. The graphs produced showed that over different latitudes, there was a decreasing trend in the mean size of ostracods over time. This means that the evolution of ostracod body size does not follow Cope's Rule any more in polar and temperate regions than it does in tropical regions. In fact, our data suggests that ostracods do not necessarily follow Cope's Rule or Bergmann's Rule at all, which concurs with a notion that has been previously brought up—the possibility that ectothermic marine organisms are exceptions to Bergmann's Rule.
Frequencies of echolocation calls with maximum power of Himalayan leaf-nosed bats and Horsfield's leaf-nosed bats during searching phase were 74.1 and 92.1 kHz, respectively. Head-body length, forearm length and body mass of Himalayan leaf-nosed bats were 82.9 mm, 89.7 mm and 59.1 g, respectively; and the corresponding values of Horsfield's leaf-nosed bats were 68.4 mm, 61.3 mm and 19.7 g, respectively. Echolocation frequency and the three parameters of body size, head-body length, forearm length and body mass, were all negatively correlated, and the correlation coefficients were -0.86, -1.58 and -2.19, respectively. This study thereby proved that echolocation frequency and body size were negatively correlated in the two species of hipposiderid bats.
Jones, M W; Hutchings, J A
Alternative mating strategies in male Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, are characterized by variability in body size and mate competition. Controlling breeding numbers of larger, older anadromous males, we examined whether body size of mature male parr influenced fertilization success and whether such an association was affected by mate competition among parr. Variation at three to four hypervariable microsatellite loci was used to determine individual paternity of 53-60 offspring from two or three nests from each experimental treatment. Although individual and total parr reproductive success differed significantly among nests within treatments, there was no relationship between parr size and individual reproductive success at any level of competition when anadromous males were involved. However, in a single treatment having no anadromous male, the influence of body size on parr fertilization success was highly significant. Combining data from all treatments, parr body size was an important predictor of the probability of an individual being involved in spawning. We found a negative relationship between total parr reproductive success and intensity of anadromous male competition. To our knowledge, the present study is the first to estimate the effective number of males from individual fertilization success in fish. Our estimates of Ne should not be taken as absolute and may have a downward bias because we did not sample all nests and we used a proxy for lifetime reproductive success. They do, however, illustrate how mature male parr can greatly increase the effective number of males when the latter is estimated from anadromous individuals alone. Although reproductive success by mature male parr increases the effective number of males, this increase seems likely to be most pronounced in natural populations when the number of anadromous males is low.
Lee, Sang-Hee; Kwon, Ohsung; Song, Hark-Soo
The existence of prey refuges in a predator-prey system is known to be strongly related to the ecosystem's stability. In this study, we explored how the prey refuge distribution affects the predator-prey system. To do so, we constructed a spatial lattice model to simulate an integrative predator (wolf) - prey (rabbit) - plant (grass) relationship. When a wolf (rabbit) encountered a rabbit (grass), the wolf (rabbit) tended to move to the rabbit (grass) for foraging while the rabbit tended to escape from the wolf. These behaviors were mathematically described by the degrees of willingness for hunting ( H) and escaping ( E). Initially, n refuges for prey were heterogeneously distributed in the lattice space. The heterogeneity was characterized as variable A. Higher values of A equate to higher aggregation in the refuge. We investigated the mean population density for different values of H, E, and A. To simply characterize the refuge distribution effect, we built an H-E grid map containing the population density for each species. Then, we counted the number of grids, N, with a population density ≥ 0.25. Simulation results showed that an appropriate value of A positively affected prey survival while values of A were too high had a negative effect on prey survival. The results were explained by using the trade-off between the staying time of the prey in the refuge and the cluster size of the refuge.
Adam K Huttenlocker
Full Text Available The extent to which mass extinctions influence body size evolution in major tetrapod clades is inadequately understood. For example, the 'Lilliput effect,' a common feature of mass extinctions, describes a temporary decrease in body sizes of survivor taxa in post-extinction faunas. However, its signature on existing patterns of body size evolution in tetrapods and the persistence of its impacts during post-extinction recoveries are virtually unknown, and rarely compared in both geologic and phylogenetic contexts. Here, I evaluate temporal and phylogenetic distributions of body size in Permo-Triassic therocephalian and cynodont therapsids (eutheriodonts using a museum collections-based approach and time series model fitting on a regional stratigraphic sequence from the Karoo Basin, South Africa. I further employed rank order correlation tests on global age and clade rank data from an expanded phylogenetic dataset, and performed evolutionary model testing using Brownian (passive diffusion models. Results support significant size reductions in the immediate aftermath of the end-Permian mass extinction (ca. 252.3 Ma consistent with some definitions of Lilliput effects. However, this temporal succession reflects a pattern that was underscored largely by Brownian processes and constructive selectivity. Results also support two recent contentions about body size evolution and mass extinctions: 1 active, directional evolution in size traits is rare over macroevolutionary time scales and 2 geologically brief size reductions may be accomplished by the ecological removal of large-bodied species without rapid originations of new small-bodied clades or shifts from long-term evolutionary patterns.
Longo, Matthew R.; Haggard, Patrick
The perceived distance between touches on a single skin surface is larger on regions of high tactile sensitivity than those with lower acuity, an effect known as "Weber's illusion". This illusion suggests that tactile size perception involves a representation of the perceived size of body parts preserving characteristics of the somatosensory…
M. Van Sanh
Full Text Available Eight Swamp buffalo bulls (4 large and 4 local small sized and 240 buffalo cows (120 selected and 120 non-selected were used to evaluate the effects of bull size and selected cows on body weight of calves. Experimental animals were allocated into 4 groups: T1- large sized bulls x selected cows (BSB+SC; T2 - large sized bulls x non-selected cows (BSB+NSC; T3 – local small sized bulls x selected cows (SSB+SC and CT – local small sized bulls x non-selected cows (SSB+NSC as a control group. Each bull was mated with 15 selected cows and 15 non-selected cows. Body weight of calves at birth, 3, 6, 12 and 24 months of ages was highest in calves of T1, then T2 and then T3 while the lowest weight was found in the CT group. Calf weight in the large sized bulls and selected cows group was higher by 10-15% than that of calves in the local small bulls and non-selected cows group at all ages. It is concluded that the use of large sized bulls for breeding increased body weight of calves. Using large bulls and selected buffalo cows was the best solution for improving the body weight of the local buffalo.
van der Grient, Jesse M A; Rogers, Alex D
Body size (weight per individual) is an important concept in ecology. It has been studied in the deep sea where a decrease in size with increasing depth has often been found. This has been explained as an adaptation to food limitation where size reduction results in a lowered metabolic rate and a decreased energetic requirement. However, observations vary, with some studies showing an increase in size with depth, and some finding no depth correlation at all. Here, we collected data from peer-reviewed studies on macro- and meiofaunal abundance and biomass, creating two datasets allowing statistical comparison of factors expected to influence body size in meio- and macrofaunal organisms. Our analyses examined the influence of region, taxonomic group and sampling method on the body size of meiofauna and macrofauna in the deep sea with increasing depth, and the resulting models are presented. At the global scale, meio- and macrofaunal communities show a decrease in body size with increasing depth as expected with the food limitation hypothesis. However, at the regional scale there were differences in trends of body size with depth, either showing a decrease (e.g. southwest Pacific Ocean; meio- and macrofauna) or increase (e.g. Gulf of Mexico; meiofauna only) compared to a global mean. Taxonomic groups also showed differences in body size trends compared to total community average (e.g. Crustacea and Bivalvia). Care must be taken when conducting these studies, as our analyses indicated that sampling method exerts a significant influence on research results. It is possible that differences in physiology, lifestyle and life history characteristics result in different responses to an increase in depth and/or decrease in food availability. This will have implications in the future as food supply to the deep sea changes as a result of climate change (e.g. increased ocean stratification at low to mid latitudes and reduced sea ice duration at high latitudes).
Dancause, Kelsey Needham; Vilar, Miguel; DeHuff, Christa; Wilson, Michelle; Soloway, Laura E; Chan, Chim; Lum, J Koji; Garruto, Ralph M
Obesity is a global epidemic, and measures to define it must be appropriate for diverse populations for accurate assessment of worldwide risk. Obesity refers to excess body fatness, but is more commonly defined by body mass index (BMI). Body composition varies among populations: Asians have higher percent body fat (%BF), and Pacific Islanders lower %BF at a given BMI compared to Europeans. Many researchers thus propose higher BMI cut-off points for obesity among Pacific Islanders and lower cut-offs for Asians. Because of the great genetic diversity in the Asia-Pacific region, more studies analyzing associations between BMI and %BF among diverse populations remain necessary. We measured height; weight; tricep, subscapular, and suprailiac skinfolds; waist and hip circumference; and %BF by bioelectrical impedance among 546 adult Melanesians from Vanuatu in the South Pacific. We analyzed relationships among anthropometric measurements and compared them to measurements from other populations in the Asia-Pacific region. BMI was a relatively good predictor of %BF among our sample. Based on regression analyses, the BMI value associated with obesity defined by %BF (>25% for men, >35% for women) at age 40 was 27.9 for men and 27.8 for women. This indicates a need for a more nuanced definition of obesity than provided by the common BMI cut-off value of 30. Rather than using population-specific cut-offs for Pacific Islanders, we suggest the World Health Organization's public health action cut-off points (23, 27.5, 32.5, 37.5), which enhance the precision of assessments of population-wide obesity burdens while still allowing for international comparison.
Gray, Peter B; Frederick, David A
We investigated body image in St. Kitts, a Caribbean island where tourism, international media, and relatively high levels of body fat are common. Participants were men and women recruited from St. Kitts (n = 39) and, for comparison, U.S. samples from universities (n = 618) and the Internet (n = 438). Participants were shown computer generated images varying in apparent body fat level and muscularity or breast size and they indicated their body type preferences and attitudes. Overall, there were only modest differences in body type preferences between St. Kitts and the Internet sample, with the St. Kitts participants being somewhat more likely to value heavier women. Notably, however, men and women from St. Kitts were more likely to idealize smaller breasts than participants in the U.S. samples. Attitudes regarding muscularity were generally similar across samples. This study provides one of the few investigations of body preferences in the Caribbean.
Walzer, Andreas; Schausberger, Peter
The adaptive canalization hypothesis predicts that traits with low phenotypic plasticity are more fitness relevant, because they have been canalized via strong past selection, than traits with high phenotypic plasticity. Based on differing male body size plasticities of the predatory mites Phytoseiulus persimilis (low plasticity) and Neoseiulus californicus (high plasticity), we accordingly hypothesized that small male body size entails higher costs in female choice and male-male competition in P. persimilis than N. californicus. Males of both species are highly polygynous but females differ in the level of polyandry (low level in P. persimilis; medium level in N. californicus). We videotaped the mating interactions in triplets of either P. persimilis or N. californicus, consisting of a virgin female (small or standard-sized) and a small and a standard-sized male. Mating by both small and standard-sized P. persimilis females was biased towards standard-sized males, resulting from the interplay between female preference for standard-sized males and the inferiority of small males in male-male competition. In contrast, mating by N. californicus females was equally balanced between small and standard-sized males. Small N. californicus males were more aggressive ('Napoleon complex') in male-male competition, reducing the likelihood of encounter between the standard-sized male and the female, and thus counterbalancing female preference for standard-sized males. Our results support the hypothesis that male body size is more important to fitness in the low-level polyandrous P. persimilis than in the medium-level polyandrous N. californicus and provide a key example of the implications of sexually selected body size plasticity on mating behaviour.
Diedrichs, Phillippa C; Lee, Christina
Despite consensus that exposure to media images of thin fashion models is associated with poor body image and disordered eating behaviours, few attempts have been made to enact change in the media. This study sought to investigate an effective alternative to current media imagery, by exploring the advertising effectiveness of average-size female fashion models, and their impact on the body image of both women and men. A sample of 171 women and 120 men were assigned to one of three advertisement conditions: no models, thin models and average-size models. Women and men rated average-size models as equally effective in advertisements as thin and no models. For women with average and high levels of internalisation of cultural beauty ideals, exposure to average-size female models was associated with a significantly more positive body image state in comparison to exposure to thin models and no models. For men reporting high levels of internalisation, exposure to average-size models was also associated with a more positive body image state in comparison to viewing thin models. These findings suggest that average-size female models can promote positive body image and appeal to consumers.
Basset, A.; Angelis, D.L.
Body size is a major phenotypic trait of individuals that commonly differentiates co-occurring species. We analyzed inter-specific competitive interactions between a large consumer and smaller competitors, whose energetics, selection and giving-up behaviour on identical resource patches scaled with individual body size. The aim was to investigate whether pure metabolic constraints on patch behaviour of vagile species can determine coexistence conditions consistent with existing theoretical and experimental evidence. We used an individual-based spatially explicit simulation model at a spatial scale defined by the home range of the large consumer, which was assumed to be parthenogenic and semelparous. Under exploitative conditions, competitive coexistence occurred in a range of body size ratios between 2 and 10. Asymmetrical competition and the mechanism underlying asymmetry, determined by the scaling of energetics and patch behaviour with consumer body size, were the proximate determinant of inter-specific coexistence. The small consumer exploited patches more efficiently, but searched for profitable patches less effectively than the larger competitor. Therefore, body-size related constraints induced niche partitioning, allowing competitive coexistence within a set of conditions where the large consumer maintained control over the small consumer and resource dynamics. The model summarises and extends the existing evidence of species coexistence on a limiting resource, and provides a mechanistic explanation for decoding the size-abundance distribution patterns commonly observed at guild and community levels. ?? Oikos.
Hernandez, J.; Payne, J.; Keating-Bitonti, C.
The Island Rule states that organisms converge on an optimal body size through time. The Gulf of Mexico is surrounded by land, which allows the organisms to retain similar amounts of nutrients. We hypothesis that organisms living in the Gulf of Mexico will not show size difference. This study focuses on nutrient availability and benthic foraminiferal body size distributions. Foraminifera are single-celled marine organisms that are an excellent recorder of the environment. An ANOVA statistical test was done to see if foram body size varied with our different independent variables. We did not observe a significant difference in the body size of benthic foraminifera between those living in the shallow water and those in the deep basin in the Gulf of Mexico. Our results suggest that benthic foraminifera in the Gulf of Mexico receive a greater amount of nutrients because it is surrounded by land. Overall, our prediction to this study tested out to be true because the organisms showed no significant change on the body size.
Rode, K.D.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Regehr, E.V.
Rates of reproduction and survival are dependent upon adequate body size and condition of individuals. Declines in size and condition have provided early indicators of population decline in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) near the southern extreme of their range. We tested whether patterns in body size, condition, and cub recruitment of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea of Alaska were related to the availability of preferred sea ice habitats and whether these measures and habitat availability exhibited trends over time, between 1982 and 2006. The mean skull size and body length of all polar bears over three years of age declined over time, corresponding with long-term declines in the spatial and temporal availability of sea ice habitat. Body size of young, growing bears declined over time and was smaller after years when sea ice availability was reduced. Reduced litter mass and numbers of yearlings per female following years with lower availability of optimal sea ice habitat, suggest reduced reproductive output and juvenile survival. These results, based on analysis of a longterm data set, suggest that declining sea ice is associated with nutritional limitations that reduced body size and reproduction in this population. ?? 2010 by the Ecological Society of America.
Fernando, Thilini; Flibotte, Stephane; Xiong, Sheng; Yin, Jianghua; Yzeiraj, Edlira; Moerman, Donald G.; Meléndez, Alicia; Savage-Dunn, Cathy
Organismal growth and body size are influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. We have utilized the strong molecular genetic techniques available in the nematode C. elegans to identify genetic determinants of body size. In C. elegans, DBL-1, a member of the conserved family of secreted growth factors known as the Transforming Growth Factor β superfamily, is known to play a major role in growth control. The mechanisms by which other determinants of body size function, however, is less well understood. To identify additional genes involved in body size regulation, a genetic screen for small mutants was previously performed. One of the genes identified in that screen was sma-21. We now demonstrate that sma-21 encodes ADT-2, a member of the ADAMTS (a disintegrin and metalloprotease with thrombospondin motifs) family of secreted metalloproteases. ADAMTS proteins are believed to remodel the extracellular matrix and may modulate the activity of extracellular signals. Genetic interactions suggest that ADT-2 acts in parallel with or in multiple size regulatory pathways. We demonstrate that ADT-2 is required for normal levels of expression of a DBL-1-responsive transcriptional reporter. We further demonstrate that adt-2 regulatory sequences drive expression in glial-like and vulval cells, and that ADT-2 activity is required for normal cuticle collagen fibril organization. We therefore propose that ADT-2 regulates body size both by modulating TGFβ signaling activity and by maintaining normal cuticle structure. PMID:21256840
Full Text Available In a recent study, we quantified the scaling of ingested food size (Vb—the maximum size at which an animal consistently ingests food whole—and found that Vb scaled isometrically between species of captive strepsirrhines. The current study examines the relationship between Vb and body size within species with a focus on the frugivorous Varecia rubra and the folivorous Propithecus coquereli. We found no overlap in Vb between the species (all V. rubra ingested larger pieces of food relative to those eaten by P. coquereli, and least-squares regression of Vb and three different measures of body mass showed no scaling relationship within each species. We believe that this lack of relationship results from the relatively narrow intraspecific body size variation and seemingly patternless individual variation in Vb within species and take this study as further evidence that general scaling questions are best examined interspecifically rather than intraspecifically.
Shoneye, C; Johnson, F; Croker, H; Steptoe, A; Wardle, J
There is evidence that black women are more satisfied with their body size despite higher rates of overweight. One possible mechanism is differential exposure to ultrathin images. We hypothesized that models in magazines aimed at black women are not as thin as models in materials aimed at the general population. Pictures of women from magazines aimed at black women and magazines aimed at the general population were compared (N=51). Female raters (21 white, 21 black) matched pictures to one of four drawings depicting very thin to normal-weight women. The mean body size of pictures from black magazines was significantly higher than for general magazines (pmagazines were in the two thinnest size categories compared with 46% of pictures from black magazines. Media aimed at black women are less likely to use extremely slim models, which could contribute to or reflect a greater range of acceptable body sizes.
Estes, J.A.; Lindberg, D.R.; Wray, C.
Kelps and other fleshy macroalgae - dominant reef-inhabiting organisms in cool - seasmay have radiated extensively following late Cenozoic polar cooling, thus triggering a chain of evolutionary change in the trophic ecology of nearshore temperate ecosystems. We explore this hypothesis through an analysis of body size in the abalones (Gastropoda; Haliotidae), a widely distributed group in modern oceans that displays a broad range of body sizes and contains fossil representatives from the late Cretaceous (60-75 Ma). Geographic analysis of maximum shell length in living abalones showed that small-bodied species, while most common in the Tropics, have a cosmopolitan distribution, whereas large-bodied species occur exclusively in cold-water ecosystems dominated by kelps and other macroalgae. The phylogeography of body size evolution in extant abalones was assessed by constructing a molecular phylogeny in a mix of large and small species obtained from different regions of the world. This analysis demonstrates that small body size is the plesiomorphic state and largeness has likely arisen at least twice. Finally, we compiled data on shell length from the fossil record to determine how (slowly or suddenly) and when large body size arose in the abalones. These data indicate that large body size appears suddenly at the Miocene/Pliocene boundary. Our findings support the view that fleshy-algal dominated ecosystems radiated rapidly in the coastal oceans with the onset of the most recent glacial age. We conclude with a discussion of the broader implications of this change. ?? 2005 The Paleontological Society. All rights reserved.
Roy T Sabo
Full Text Available To determine whether childhood body size, composition and blood pressure are associated with adult cardiac structure by estimating childhood "age of divergence."385 female and 312 male participants in the Fels Longitudinal Study had echocardiographic measurements of left ventricular mass, relative wall thickness, and interventricular septal thickness. Also available were anthropometric measurements of body mass index, waist circumference, percentage body fat, fat free mass, total body fat, and systolic and diastolic blood pressures, taken in both childhood and adulthood. The age of divergence is estimated as the lowest age at which childhood measurements are significantly different between patients with low and high measurements of adult cardiac structure.Childhood body mass index is significantly associated with adult left ventricular mass (indexed by height in men and women (ages of divergence: 7.5 years and 11.5 years, respectively, and with adult interventricular septal thickness in boys (age of divergence: 9 years. Childhood waist circumference indexed by height is associated with left ventricular mass (indexed by height in boys (age of divergence: 8 years. Cardiac structure was in general not associated with childhood body composition and blood pressure.Though results are affected by adult body size, composition and blood pressure, some aspects of adult cardiac structure may have their genesis in childhood body size.
Veale, David; Miles, Sarah; Read, Julie; Bramley, Sally; Troglia, Andrea; Carmona, Lina; Fiorito, Chiara; Wells, Hannah; Wylie, Kevan; Muir, Gordon
We explored self-discrepancy in men with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) concerned about penis size, men without BDD but anxious about penis size, and controls. Men with BDD (n=26) were compared to those with small penis anxiety (SPA; n=31) and controls (n=33), objectively (by measuring) and investigating self-discrepancy: actual size, ideal size, and size they felt they should be according to self and other. Most men under-estimated their penis size, with the BDD group showing the greatest discrepancy between perceived and ideal size. The SPA group showed a larger discrepancy than controls. This was replicated for the perceptions of others, suggesting the BDD group internalised the belief that they should have a larger penis size. There was a significant correlation between symptoms of BDD and this discrepancy. This self-actual and self-ideal/self-should discrepancy and the role of comparing could be targeted in therapy.
Jaramillo, Eduardo; Dugan, Jenifer E; Hubbard, David M; Contreras, Heraldo; Duarte, Cristian; Acuña, Emilio; Schoeman, David S
Predicting responses of coastal ecosystems to altered sea surface temperatures (SST) associated with global climate change, requires knowledge of demographic responses of individual species. Body size is an excellent metric because it scales strongly with growth and fecundity for many ectotherms. These attributes can underpin demographic as well as community and ecosystem level processes, providing valuable insights for responses of vulnerable coastal ecosystems to changing climate. We investigated contemporary macroscale patterns in body size among widely distributed crustaceans that comprise the majority of intertidal abundance and biomass of sandy beach ecosystems of the eastern Pacific coasts of Chile and California, USA. We focused on ecologically important species representing different tidal zones, trophic guilds and developmental modes, including a high-shore macroalga-consuming talitrid amphipod (Orchestoidea tuberculata), two mid-shore scavenging cirolanid isopods (Excirolana braziliensis and E. hirsuticauda), and a low-shore suspension-feeding hippid crab (Emerita analoga) with an amphitropical distribution. Significant latitudinal patterns in body sizes were observed for all species in Chile (21° - 42°S), with similar but steeper patterns in Emerita analoga, in California (32°- 41°N). Sea surface temperature was a strong predictor of body size (-4% to -35% °C-1) in all species. Beach characteristics were subsidiary predictors of body size. Alterations in ocean temperatures of even a few degrees associated with global climate change are likely to affect body sizes of important intertidal ectotherms, with consequences for population demography, life history, community structure, trophic interactions, food-webs, and indirect effects such as ecosystem function. The consistency of results for body size and temperature across species with different life histories, feeding modes, ecological roles, and microhabitats inhabiting a single widespread coastal
Johanna C. Thalmann
Full Text Available For long-lived species, environmental factors experienced early in life can have lasting effects persisting into adulthood. Large herbivores can be susceptible to cohort-wide declines in fitness as a result of decreases in forage availability, because of extrinsic factors, including extreme climate or high population densities. To examine effects of cohort-specific extrinsic factors on size of adults, we performed a retrospective analysis on harvest data of 450 male black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus over 19 years in central California, USA. We determined that population density of females had a more dominant effect than did precipitation on body size of males. Harvest of female deer resulted in increases in the overall size of males, even though a 6-year drought occurred during that treatment period. Body size was most influenced by female population density early in life, while antler size was highly affected by both weather early in life and the year directly before harvest. This study provides insights that improve our understanding of the role of cohort effects in body and antler size by cervids; and, in particular, that reduction in female population density can have a profound effect on the body and antler size of male deer.
Xueyun FENG; Wei CHEN; Junhua HU; Jianping JIANG
Variation in body size and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) can have important consequences for animal ecology, behavior, population dynamics and the evolution of life-history traits. Organisms are expected to be larger in colder climate (i.e., Bergmann’s rule) and SSD varies with body size (i.e., Rensch’s rule). However, the underlying mechanisms are still elusive. The plateau brown frog (Rana kukunoris), a medium-sized anuran species with female-biased SSD, is endemic to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). From 1797 m (Maoxiang’ping) to 3453 m (Heihe’qiao) in the eastern margin of the QTP, we surveyed 10 populations of R. kukunoris and collected phalanges and snout vent length (SVL) data for 258 adult individuals (199 males versus 59 females). Based on these data, we explored how body size and SSD varying along the altitudinal gradient and examined the corresponding effects of temperature. We found body size to be larger at higher altitude for males but not for females, with likely effects from the temperature on the variation in male body size. Sex differences in growth rates may be the main cause of the variation in SSD. Our results suggested that only males follow the Bergmann’s rule and variation in SSD of R. kukunoris do not support the Rensch’s rule and its inverse. Therefore, the variations of body size can be different between sexes and the applicability of both Bergmann’s rule and Rensch’s rule should depend on species and environment where they live.
Zhu, Bicheng; Wang, Jichao; Zhao, Longhui; Sun, Zhixin; Brauth, Steven E.; Tang, Yezhong; Cui, Jianguo
Most species are believed to evolve larger body sizes over evolutionary time. Previous studies have suggested that sexual selection, through male-male competition and female choice, favors larger males. However, there is little evidence of selection against large size. The female serrate-legged small treefrogs (Philautus odontotarsus) must carry passive males from leks to breeding grounds over relatively long distances after amplexus to find a suitable place to lay eggs. The costs of large male size may therefore decrease mating success due to reduced agility and/or higher energy requirements. Thus, we hypothesized that selection would not favor larger males in P. odontotarsus. Females can assess male body size on the basis of the dominant frequency of male calls in frogs. To assess female P. odontotarsus preferences for a potential mate’s body size, male calls of high, average and low dominant frequency were played back to the females in phonotaxis experiments. Results showed that most females prefer the advertisement call with average dominant frequency. In addition, we compared the body mass distribution of amplectant males with that of single males in nature. The body masses of amplectant males are more narrowly distributed in the intermediate range than that of single males. The phonotaxis results and the data of actual female preferences in the field show that females strongly prefer potential mates of mean body sizes, consistent with the view that, in this species at least, larger males are not always perceived as better by females. In the present study, P. odontotarsus provides an example of an amphibian species in which large size does not have an advantage in mating success for males. Instead, our results provide evidences that stabilizing selection favors the optimal intermediate size of males. PMID:26901766
Cienciala, P.; Hassan, M. A.
Channel morphology and dynamics strongly influence fish populations in running waters by defining habitat template for movement, spawning, incubation, and foraging. In this research we adopted a modeling approach to investigate how body size controls the relationship between salmonid fish and their foraging habitat in streams. Body size is a fundamental ecological parameter which affects resource acquisition, locomotory costs, metabolic rates, and competitive abilities. We focus on two specific questions. First, we examined how distinct types of channel morphology and associated flow fields shape specific growth potential for different body size classes of trout. Second, we modeled these fish-habitat relationships in a size-structured population in the presence of intraspecific competition. In the latter scenario, fish may not be able to occupy energetically optimal foraging habitat and the predicted specific growth potential may differ from the intrinsic habitat quality. To address the research questions, we linked a 2D hydrodynamic model with a bioenergetic foraging model for drift-feeding trout. Net energy intake, simulated for four study reaches with different channel morphology, was converted into maps of specific growth rate potential. We extended this model by including a component that enabled us to estimate territory size for fish of a given body size and account for the effects of competition on spatial distribution of fish. The predictions that emerge from our simulations highlight that fish body size is an important factor that determines the relationship between channel morphology and the quality of foraging habitat. The results also indicate that distinct types of channel morphology may give rise to different energetic conditions for different body size classes of drift-feeding salmonids.
Zoe M Brooke
Full Text Available Given the budgetary restrictions on scientific research and the increasing need to better inform conservation actions, it is important to identify the patterns and causes of biases in research effort. We combine bibliometric information from a literature review of almost 16,500 peer-reviewed publications on a well-known group of 286 species, the Order Carnivora, with global datasets on species' life history and ecological traits to explore patterns in research effort. Our study explores how species' characteristics influenced the degree to which they were studied (measured as the number of publications. We identified a wide variation in intensity of research effort at both Family and Species levels, with some of the least studied being those which may need protection in future. Our findings hint at the complex role of human perspectives in setting research agendas. We found that better-studied species tended to be large-bodied and have a large geographic range whilst omnivory had a negative relationship with research effort. IUCN threat status did not exhibit a strong relationship with research effort which suggests that the conservation needs of individual species are not major drivers of research interest. This work is the first to use a combination of bibliometric analysis and biological data to quantify and interpret gaps in research knowledge across an entire Order. Our results could be combined with other resources, such as Biodiversity Action Plans, to prioritise and co-ordinate future research effort, whilst our methods can be applied across many scientific disciplines to describe knowledge gaps.
Bush, Sarah E; Clayton, Dale H
Although most parasites show at least some degree of host specificity, factors governing the evolution of specificity remain poorly understood. Many different groups of host-specific parasites show a striking correlation between parasite and host body size, suggesting that size reinforces specificity. We tested this hypothesis by measuring the relative fitness of host-specific feather lice transferred to pigeons and doves that differ in size by an order of magnitude. To test the general influence of size, we transferred unrelated groups of wing and body lice, which are specialized for different regions of the host. Lice were transferred in both directions, from a large native host species, the rock pigeon (Columba livia), to several progressively smaller hosts, and from a small native host species, the common ground dove (Columbina passerina), to several larger hosts. We measured the relative fitness (population size) of lice transferred to these novel host species after two louse generations. Neither wing lice nor body lice could survive on novel host species that were smaller in size than the native host. However, when host defense (preening behavior) was blocked, both groups survived and reproduced on all novel hosts tested. Thus, host defense interacted with host size to govern the ability of lice to establish on small hosts. Neither wing lice nor body lice could survive on larger hosts, even when preening was blocked. In summary, host size influenced the fitness of both types of feather lice, but through different mechanisms, depending on the direction of the transfer. Our results indicate that host switching is most likely between hosts of similar body size. This finding has important implications for studies of host-parasite coevolution at both the micro- and macroevolutionary scales.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Previous work has suggested that the experience of psychological stress may influence physical attractiveness ideals, but most evidence in favour of this hypothesis remains archival. The objective of this study was to experimentally investigate the impact of stress on men's judgements of female body size. METHODS: Men were randomly assigned to either an experimental group, in which they took part in a task that heightened stress (experimental group, n = 41 or in which they did not take part in such a task (control group, n = 40. Both groups rated the attractiveness of female bodies varying in size from emaciated to obese, completed a measure of appetite sensation, and had their body mass indices (BMIs measured. RESULTS: Between-groups analyses showed that the experimental group was matched with the control group in terms of mean age, BMI, and appetite sensation. Further analyses showed that men in the experimental group rated a significantly heavier female body size as maximally attractive than the control group. Men in the experimental group also rated heavier female bodies as more attractive and idealised a wider range of female figures than did the control group. CONCLUSION: This study found that the experience of stress was associated with a preference among men for heavier female body sizes. These results indicate that human attractiveness judgements are sensitive to variations in local ecologies and reflect adaptive strategies for dealing with changing environmental conditions.
Jerina, Klemen; Pokorny, Boštjan
We analysed effects of females’ body mass and age on reproductive capacity of European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in a large sample set of 1312 females (305 yearlings and 1007 adults), hunted throughout Slovenia, central Europe, in the period 2013–2015. Body mass positively affected probability of ovulation and potential litter size (number of corpora lutea), although its effect was more pronounced in yearlings than in adults. Between age groups, we found clear differences in responses of both reproductive parameters to body mass which influences primarily reproductive performance of younger, and in particular, lighter individuals: at the same body mass yearlings would at average have smaller litters than adults, and at lower body mass also young to middle-aged adults would have smaller litters than old ones. In addition, while yearlings have to reach a critical threshold body mass to attain reproductive maturity, adult females are fertile (produce ova) even at low body mass. However, at higher body mass also younger individuals shift their efforts into the reproduction, and after reaching an age-specific threshold the body mass does not have any further effects on the reproductive output of roe deer females. Increased reproductive capacity at more advanced age, combined with declining body mass suggests that old does allocate more of their resources in reproduction than in body condition. PMID:28403161
Kret, Mariska E; Roelofs, Karin; Stekelenburg, Jeroen J; de Gelder, Beatrice
We receive emotional signals from different sources, including the face, the whole body, and the natural scene. Previous research has shown the importance of context provided by the whole body and the scene on the recognition of facial expressions. This study measured physiological responses to face-body-scene combinations. Participants freely viewed emotionally congruent and incongruent face-body and body-scene pairs whilst eye fixations, pupil-size, and electromyography (EMG) responses were recorded. Participants attended more to angry and fearful vs. happy or neutral cues, independent of the source and relatively independent from whether the face body and body scene combinations were emotionally congruent or not. Moreover, angry faces combined with angry bodies and angry bodies viewed in aggressive social scenes elicited greatest pupil dilation. Participants' face expressions matched the valence of the stimuli but when face-body compounds were shown, the observed facial expression influenced EMG responses more than the posture. Together, our results show that the perception of emotional signals from faces, bodies and scenes depends on the natural context, but when threatening cues are presented, these threats attract attention, induce arousal, and evoke congruent facial reactions.
Dietl, Gregory P; Durham, Stephen R
Documentation of the near- and long-term effects of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, one of the largest environmental disasters in US history, is still ongoing. We used a novel before-after-control-impact analysis to test the hypothesis that average body size of intertidal populations of the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) inhabiting impacted areas in Louisiana decreased due to increased stress/mortality related to the oil spill. Time-averaged death assemblages of oysters were used to establish a pre-spill baseline of body-size structure for four impacted and four control locations along a 350 km stretch of Louisiana's coastline. Post-spill body sizes were then measured from live oysters at each site in order to evaluate the differences in body size between oiled (i.e. impact) and unoiled (i.e. control) locations before and after the spill. Our results indicate that average body size of oysters remained relatively unchanged after the oil spill. There were also no temporal patterns in temperature, salinity or disease prevalence that could have explained our results. Together, these findings suggest that oysters either recovered rapidly following the immediate impact of the DWH oil spill, or that its impact was not severe enough to influence short-term population dynamics of the oyster beds.
Korswagen Hendrik C
Full Text Available Abstract Background In C. elegans and other nematode species, body size is determined by the composition of the extracellular cuticle as well as by the nuclear DNA content of the underlying hypodermis. Mutants that are defective in these processes can exhibit either a short or a long body size phenotype. Several mutations that give a long body size (Lon phenotype have been characterized and found to be regulated by the DBL-1/TGF-β pathway, that controls post-embryonic growth and male tail development. Results Here we characterize a novel gene affecting body size. lon-8 encodes a secreted product of the hypodermis that is highly conserved in Rhabditid nematodes. lon-8 regulates larval elongation as well as male tail development. In both processes, lon-8 appears to function independently of the Sma/Mab pathway. Rather, lon-8 genetically interacts with dpy-11 and dpy-18, which encode cuticle collagen modifying enzymes. Conclusion The novel gene lon-8 encodes a secreted product of the hypodermis that controls body size and male ray morphology in C. elegans. lon-8 genetically interacts with enzymes that affect the composition of the cuticle.
Mavoa, Helen M; McCabe, Marita
This paper reviews literature between 1974 and 2007 that addresses the impact of sociocultural factors on reported patterns of eating, physical activity (activity) and body size of Tongans and indigenous Fijians (Fijians) in their countries of origin. There have been changes in diet (more imported and fewer traditional foods), activity (reduced, especially in urban settings), residence (rural-urban shift) and body size (increased obesity and at a younger age). The prevalence of overweight/obesity in Tongans and Fijians has increased rapidly over the last two decades and remains among the highest in the world (>80% in Tonga; >40% in Fiji), with more females reported to be obese than males. The few studies that investigated sociocultural influences on patterns of eating, activity and/or body size in this population have examined the impact of hierarchical organisation, rank and status (sex, seniority), values (respect, care, co-operation) and/or role expectations. It is important to examine how sociocultural factors influence eating, activity and body size in order to i) establish factors that promote or protect against obesity, ii) inform culturally-appropriate interventions to promote healthy lifestyles and body size, and iii) halt the obesity epidemic, especially in cultural groups with a high prevalence of obesity. There is an urgent need for more systematic investigations of key sociocultural factors, whilst taking into account the complex interplay between sociocultural factors, behaviours and other influences (historical; socioeconomic; policy; external global influences; physical environment).
Schaal, E. K.; Morgan, D. J.; Payne, J.
The size of an organism exercises tremendous control over its physiology, life history, and ecology, yet the factors that influence body size evolution remain poorly understood. One major limitation is the lack of appropriate datasets spanning long intervals of evolutionary time. Here, we document size trends in conodonts (tooth-like microfossils from marine chordates) because they evolved rapidly and are known to change size during intervals of environmental change. By measuring photographs from the Catalogue of Conodonts (Ziegler 1982), we compiled a database of conodont P1 element measurements for 575 species and subspecies from the Cambrian through Triassic periods. Because tooth size correlates with body size in conodont animals and their extant relatives, conodont element length can serve as a proxy for the size of the conodont animal. We find that mean and maximum size across species increased during the early Paleozoic, peaked during the Devonian-Mississippian, and then generally decreased until conodonts went extinct at the end of the Triassic. We used regression analyses to compare conodont mean size trends to potential environmental predictors, such as changing atmospheric pO2, atmospheric pCO2, and sea level. Conodont size exhibited poor correlation with these environmental factors, suggesting that conodont evolution may have been more strongly influenced by other environmental covariates or ecological variables such as predation and competition.
Tompuri, Tuomo; Lintu, Niina; Savonen, Kai; Laitinen, Tomi; Laaksonen, David; Jääskeläinen, Jarmo; Lakka, Timo A
In the exercise testing measures of cardiorespiratory fitness need to be scaled by body size or composition to enable comparison between individuals. Traditionally used weight-proportional measures are potentially confounded by body adiposity that hampers their interpretation and applicability in the clinical assessment of cardiorespiratory fitness. We aimed to find the most appropriate measure of body size or composition for scaling of measures of cardiorespiratory fitness among children. We assessed body weight and height, maximal workload (W MAX ) and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 MAX ) using cycle ergometer exercise test with respiratory gas analysis and body lean mass (LM) and fat mass (FM) by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and by bioimpedance analysis among 38 children. The data were analysed using Pearson's coefficients for correlation and stepwise linear regression models. Lean mass (r > 0.54) and height (r > 0.51) had stronger positive correlations with absolute W MAX and VO2 MAX than weight (r > 0.30) in girls and boys. None of the measures of body size or composition correlated with LM-proportional W MAX or VO2 MAX in girls or boys. Only LM correlated positively with height-proportional W MAX (r = 0.65) and VO2 MAX (r = 0.71) in boys. FM correlated negatively with weight-proportional W MAX (r VO2 MAX (r MAX (β = -0.68) and VO2 MAX (β = -0.61) than exercise performance in multivariate linear regression models. While assessing cardiorespiratory fitness, LM is the most appropriate measure of body size or composition for scaling of W MAX and VO2 MAX, because scaling by body weight introduces confounding by body adiposity. © 2014 Scandinavian Society of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
So, Shuhei; Miyahara, Kohji; Ohshima, Yasumi
The body size of an organism is governed by genetic and environmental factors. As an environmental factor, food appears to be the most important for body size control in animals. C. elegans worms are usually grown on an E. coli strain OP50. We show that the wild-type worms fed on another E. coli strain HB101 grow 1.6 times as large as those fed on OP50. The regression line representing the relationship between the sizes of worms grown on each food for over 30 mutants was drawn, indicating that small mutants tend to be more affected by the change in food. Mutants for the DAF-2 insulin/IGF-1 receptor and downstream SGK-1, a homolog of the serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase, grow less or little larger on HB101, indicating control of body size by these factors. Results on the suppression of mutations in these factors by a mutation in the DAF-16/FOXO transcription factor indicate both DAF-16-dependent and DAF-16-independent control. Furthermore, we show that the food-dependent body size change is because of a change in cell size that is closely related to the protein content per cell.
Kanaji, Y; Kishida, M; Watanabe, Y; Kawamura, T; Xie, S; Yamashita, Y; Sassa, C; Tsukamoto, Y
Variations in otolith patterns, sizes and body morphometrics of jack mackerel Trachurus japonicus juveniles were investigated. Under transmitted light, translucent (W(t)) and opaque otoliths (W(o)) were detected in juveniles collected from Wakasa Bay between July 2005 and April 2006, whereas only opaque otoliths (G(o)) were detected in Goto-nada Sea individuals between May and June 2006. Three groups of juveniles were distinguished based on differences in hatch season, otolith size and growth history, and body morphometrics. As T. japonicus has different spawning seasons according to spawning grounds, each group was estimated to hatch in different waters. Juveniles with W(t) otoliths were considered to have stayed in coastal habitat longer, as the hatch area was estimated to be near Wakasa Bay. Juveniles with W(o) and G(o) otoliths appear to recruit to coastal waters at larger size, since their hatch areas were estimated to be far from each collection area. Larger otoliths of W(t) were attributed to otolith accretion after the second growth flexion, which was observed only for W(t) . Standard length of W(t) fish at the second otolith growth flexion was estimated to correspond to recruitment size to coastal rocky reefs in Wakasa Bay. Body morphometrics were correlated with otolith size after removing body size effect, suggesting that morphological variations of T. japonicus juveniles were also associated with the timing of recruitment to coastal habitat.
Schlüns, Helge; Schlüns, Ellen; Van Praagh, Job; Moritz, Robin
International audience; The effect of drone honeybee's body size on semen production was evaluated. In the same colonies, drones were either reared in drone cells (large drones) or in worker cells (small drones). Wing lengths (size indicator) and sperm numbers of small and large drones were compared. Small drones (~13% reduced wing size) produce significantly fewer spermatozoa ($7.5 \\pm 0.5$ million) than normally sized drones ($11.9 \\pm 1.0$ million spermatozoa). There is a significant posit...
Full Text Available In Drosophila, the fat body, functionally equivalent to the mammalian liver and adipocytes, plays a central role in regulating systemic growth in response to nutrition. The fat body senses intracellular amino acids through Target of Rapamycin (TOR signaling, and produces an unidentified humoral factor(s to regulate insulin-like peptide (ILP synthesis and/or secretion in the insulin-producing cells. Here, we find that two peptides, Growth-Blocking Peptide (GBP1 and CG11395 (GBP2, are produced in the fat body in response to amino acids and TOR signaling. Reducing the expression of GBP1 and GBP2 (GBPs specifically in the fat body results in smaller body size due to reduced growth rate. In addition, we found that GBPs stimulate ILP secretion from the insulin-producing cells, either directly or indirectly, thereby increasing insulin and insulin-like growth factor signaling activity throughout the body. Our findings fill an important gap in our understanding of how the fat body transmits nutritional information to the insulin producing cells to control body size.
Yang, TienYu Owen; Cairns, Benjamin J; Kroll, Mary E; Reeves, Gillian K; Green, Jane; Beral, Valerie
Risk of adult lymphoid malignancy is associated with recent adiposity. Some have reported apparent associations with adiposity in childhood or early adulthood, but whether these associations are independent of recent adiposity is unknown. Birth weight, body size at age 10 years, clothes size at age 20 years, and recent body mass index (BMI) were recorded in 745,273 UK women, mean age 60.1 (SD 4.9) at baseline, without prior cancer. They were followed for 11 years, during which time 5,765 lymphoid malignancies occurred. Using Cox regression, a higher risk of lymphoid malignancy was strongly associated with higher recent BMI (RR=1.33, 95%CI 1.17-1.51, for BMI 35+ vs <22.5 kg/m(2)), and this association remained essentially unchanged after adjustment for birth weight and body size at 10. Higher lymphoid malignancy risk was also associated with large size at birth, at age 10, and at age 20 years, but after adjustment for recent BMI, the significance of the associations with large size at birth and at age 10 years was sufficiently reduced that residual confounding by adult BMI could not be excluded; a weak association with large size at 20 years remained (adjusted RR =1.17, 95%CI 1.10-1.24 for large size at age 20 vs. medium or small size). We found no strong evidence of histological specificity in any of these associations. In conclusion, our findings suggest a possible role of adiposity throughout adulthood in the risk of lymphoid malignancy, but the independent contribution of body size at birth and during childhood appears to be small.
Sriram, A.; Idgunji, S.; Heim, N. A.; Payne, J.
Our project encompasses an extremely specific aspect in relation to the five mass extinctions in geologic history. We asked ourselves whether larger or smaller body sizes would be better suited for surviving a mass extinction. To conduct research for our project, we used the body sizes of 17,172 marine animal genera as our primary data. These animals include echinoderms, arthropods, chordates, mollusks, and brachiopods. These creatures are perfect model organisms in terms of finding data on them because they have an excellent fossil record, and are well documented. We focused on the mean body size of these animals before and after each of the five mass extinctions (end-Ordovician, Late Devonian, end-Permian, end-Triassic, and end-Cretaceous). Our hypothesis was that the average biovolume of animals increased after each of the extinctions, with the mean size being greater after than it was before. Our size data is from the Ellis & Messina Catalogue of Ostracoda and the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology. We obtained stratigraphic range data The Treatise and Sepkoski (2002). In our analyses, we compared the mean size of the different animal genera before and after each extinction event. We further partitioned size change across mass extinction boundaries into three categories: the surviving genera, the extinct genera, and the newly originating genera that came about after the extinction. According to our analyses, the mean sizes did not change significantly from the genera living during the stages before the extinctions and after the extinctions. From our results, we can assume that there were not enough major increases in the overall volume of the organisms to warrant a definite conclusion that extinctions lead to larger body sizes. Further support for our findings came from the T-tests in our R code. Only the Cretaceous period showed true evidence for size changing because of the extinction; in this case, the mean size decreased. T-tests for the Cretaceous
Clapham, Matthew E; Karr, Jered A
Giant insects, with wingspans as large as 70 cm, ruled the Carboniferous and Permian skies. Gigantism has been linked to hyperoxic conditions because oxygen concentration is a key physiological control on body size, particularly in groups like flying insects that have high metabolic oxygen demands. Here we show, using a dataset of more than 10,500 fossil insect wing lengths, that size tracked atmospheric oxygen concentrations only for the first 150 Myr of insect evolution. The data are best explained by a model relating maximum size to atmospheric environmental oxygen concentration (pO(2)) until the end of the Jurassic, and then at constant sizes, independent of oxygen fluctuations, during the Cretaceous and, at a smaller size, the Cenozoic. Maximum insect size decreased even as atmospheric pO(2) rose in the Early Cretaceous following the evolution and radiation of early birds, particularly as birds acquired adaptations that allowed more agile flight. A further decrease in maximum size during the Cenozoic may relate to the evolution of bats, the Cretaceous mass extinction, or further specialization of flying birds. The decoupling of insect size and atmospheric pO(2) coincident with the radiation of birds suggests that biotic interactions, such as predation and competition, superseded oxygen as the most important constraint on maximum body size of the largest insects.
Kawai, Ikuma; Matsumura, Hirokazu; Fujii, Wataru; Naito, Kunihiko; Kusakabe, Ken; Kiso, Yasuo; Kano, Kiyoshi
Discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2) is a receptor tyrosine kinase that is activated by fibrillar collagens, which act as its endogenous ligand. DDR2 regulates cell proliferation, cell adhesion, migration, extracellular matrix remodeling and reproductive functions. Both DDR2 null allele mice and mice with a recessive, loss-of-function allele for Ddr2 exhibit dwarfing and a reduction in body weight. However, the detailed mechanisms by which DDR2 exerts its positive systemic regulation of whole body size, local skeletal size and fat tissue volume remain to be clarified. To investigate the systemic role of DDR2 in body size regulation, we produced transgenic mice in which the DDR2 protein is overexpressed, then screened the transgenic mice for abnormalities using systematic mouse abnormality screening. The modified-SHIPRA screen revealed that only the parameter of body size was significantly different among the genotypes. We also discovered that the body length was significantly increased, while the body weight was significantly decreased in transgenic mice compared to their littermate controls. We also found that the epididymal fat pads were significantly decreased in transgenic mice compared to normal littermate mice, which may have been the cause of the leptin decrement in the transgenic mice. The new insight that DDR2 might promote metabolism in adipocyte cells is very interesting, but more experiments will be needed to elucidate the direct relation between DDR2 and adipose-derived hormones. Taken together, our data demonstrated that DDR2 might play a systemic role in the regulation of body size thorough skeletal formation and fat metabolism.
Hamilton, K; Waller, G
Anorexic and bulimic women overestimate their body sizes substantially more than comparison women, but little is known about the factors that influence this overestimation. This study examined the influence of media portrayal of idealized female bodies in women's fashion magazines. Comparison women were not affected by the nature of the photographs that they saw, but eating-disordered women were--they overestimated more when they had seen the pictures of women than when they saw photographs of neutral objects.
Stillwell, R Craig; Moya-Laraño, Jordi; Fox, Charles W
Body size of many animals increases with increasing latitude, a phenomenon known as Bergmann's rule (Bergmann clines). Latitudinal gradients in mean temperature are frequently assumed to be the underlying cause of this pattern because temperature covaries systematically with latitude, but whether and how temperature mediates selection on body size is unclear. To test the hypothesis that the "relative" advantage of being larger is greatest at cooler temperatures we compare the fitness of replicate lines of the seed beetle, Stator limbatus, for which body size was manipulated via artificial selection ("Large,"Control," and "Small" lines), when raised at low (22 degrees C) and high (34 degrees C) temperatures. Large-bodied beetles (Large lines) took the longest to develop but had the highest lifetime fecundity, and highest fitness (r(C)), at both low and high temperatures. However, the relative difference between the Large and Small lines did not change with temperature (replicate 2) or was greatest at high temperature (replicate 1), contrary to the prediction that the fitness advantage of being large relative to being small will decline with increasing temperature. Our results are consistent with two previous studies of this seed beetle, but inconsistent with prior studies that suggest that temperature-mediated selection on body size is a major contributor to the production of Bergmann clines. We conclude that other environmental and ecological variables that covary with latitude are more likely to produce the gradient in natural selection responsible for generating Bergmann clines.
We study the adaptive dynamics of predator prey systems modeled by a dynamical system in which the characteristics are allowed to evolve by small mutations. When only the prey are allowed to evolve, and the size of the mutational change tends to 0, the system does not exhibit long term prey coexistence and the parameters of the resident prey type converges to the solution of an ODE. When only the predators are allowed to evolve, coexistence of predators occurs. In this case, depending on the parameters being varied we see (i) the number of coexisting predators remains tight and the differences of the parameters from a reference species converge in distribution to a limit, or (ii) the number of coexisting predators tends to infinity, and we conjecture that the differences converge to a deterministic limit.
Jani, T.; Heim, N. A.; Payne, J.
Body size plays a major role in determining whether or not an organism can sustain in its local environment. The ecosystem of an animal has a major effect on the fitness of organisms, and it would be interesting to note the degree to which various environmental factors alter body size. In my project, I identify three environmental factors that seem to affect body size of crinoids, marine invertebrates from phylum Echinodermata, and explore how these variables play out in the intervals between the five mass extinctions. The particular factors I study include atmospheric CO2 concentration (proxy for temperature), O2 concentration, and sea level. Although the r and p values for all of these factors were statistically insignificant to definitively make any correlation, there was a visual correlation. For O2, I noted a generally positive correlation with body size over time. CO2 trends suggested a negative correlation until the K-T boundary, but a positive correlation afterwards. Correlation with sea level was a little more complicated: correlation was positive from the start of the Phanerozoic to the Permian extinction; it turned negative until the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary; afterwards, it again became positive. However, for all three variables, statistical values are too low to say definitively mark any correlation. Out of all three factors, CO2 levels had the highest correlation and lowest p-values in the most time intervals: from the start of the Phanerozoic to Ordovician-Silurian Extinction, from the Late Devonian to the Permian Extinction, and from the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary to the present. When considering first differences, CO2 levels also had the highest correlation from the Permian Extinction to Triassic-Jurassic Extinction and from the Triassic-Jurassic Extinction to Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction. Using PaleoTS, I found that body size evolution patterns either seemed to follow either an unbiased random walk (URW) or stasis in the intervals between
Moss, David K; Ivany, Linda C; Judd, Emily J; Cummings, Patrick W; Bearden, Claire E; Kim, Woo-Jun; Artruc, Emily G; Driscoll, Jeremy R
Mean body size in marine animals has increased more than 100-fold since the Cambrian, a discovery that brings to attention the key life-history parameters of lifespan and growth rate that ultimately determine size. Variation in these parameters is not well understood on the planet today, much less in deep time. Here, we present a new global database of maximum reported lifespan and shell growth coupled with body size data for 1 148 populations of marine bivalves and show that (i) lifespan increases, and growth rate decreases, with latitude, both across the group as a whole and within well-sampled species, (ii) growth rate, and hence metabolic rate, correlates inversely with lifespan, and (iii) opposing trends in lifespan and growth combined with high variance obviate any demonstrable pattern in body size with latitude. Our observations suggest that the proposed increase in metabolic activity and demonstrated increase in body size of organisms over the Phanerozoic should be accompanied by a concomitant shift towards faster growth and/or shorter lifespan in marine bivalves. This prediction, testable from the fossil record, may help to explain one of the more fundamental patterns in the evolutionary and ecological history of animal life on this planet.
Takegaki, T; Kaneko, T; Matsumoto, Y
Field and laboratory studies were conducted to examine the effects of nest availability and body size on changes in male mating tactics from sneaking to nest-holding in the dusky frillgoby Bathygobius fuscus. In the field, the body size of nest-holding males decreased from early to mid-breeding season, suggesting the possibility of a change in the tactics of sneaker males to nest-holding. Many sneaker males did not use vacant spawning nests even when size-matched nests were available, but they continued to reproduce as sneakers. Similarly, in aquarium experiments with available vacant nests, some sneaker males became nest-holders irrespective of their body size, but some did not. These results showed that nest availability is not a limiting factor for changes in tactics by sneaker males in this species. Because tactic-unchanged sneaker males were co-housed with larger nest-holding males in the tanks, the body size of nearby nest-holding males may have affected the decision to change tactics for sneaker males. Moreover, smaller individuals among tactic-changed males tended to spend more time until spawning, probably because they had relatively larger costs and smaller benefits of reproduction as nest-holding males compared to larger males.
Demetrio, G R; Coelho, F F; Barbosa, M E A
Body size is one of the most important factors regarding herbaceous perennial plants life-histories, and several fitness components of these organisms are related to size. Clonal plants show distinct kinds of reproduction and can develop offspring by sexual or asexual ways. We aimed to understand how body size affects Comanthera nivea (Eriocaulaceae) sexual reproduction and to verify how clonal growth is related to flower head production in this species. We sampled 600 rosettes in rupestrian grasslands and performed linear regression analysis between body size and number of produced flower heads. We also compared the flower head production between isolated rosettes and rosettes within clones. Our results showed that body size was significantly related, but explained only a small part of flower head production. The flower head production was higher in rosettes within clones than in isolated ones. The clones presented a rosette or a small group of rosettes that concentrated the sexual reproduction. Clonality was positively associated with sexual reproduction. Clonality can represent an important way of allowing the persistence of plants by sexual reproduction in markedly seasonal stressful environments. The cases of clonality enhancing the sexual reproduction must be considered and put in focus on reproductive biology research.
Mammalian body mass strongly correlates with life history and population properties at the scale of mouse to elephant. Large body size is thus often associated with elevated extinction risk. I examined the North American fossil record (28-1 million years ago) of 276 terrestrial genera to uncover the relationship between body size and extinction probability above the species level. Phylogenetic comparative analysis revealed no correlation between sampling-adjusted durations and body masses ranging 7 orders of magnitude, an observation that was corroborated by survival analysis. Most of the ecological and temporal groups within the data set showed the same lack of relationship. Size-biased generic extinctions do not constitute a general feature of the Holarctic mammalian faunas in the Neogene. Rather, accelerated loss of large mammals occurred during intervals that experienced combinations of regional aridification and increased biomic heterogeneity within continents. The latter phenomenon is consistent with the macroecological prediction that large geographic ranges are critical to the survival of large mammals in evolutionary time. The frequent lack of size selectivity in generic extinctions can be reconciled with size-biased species loss if extinctions of large and small mammals at the species level are often driven by ecological perturbations of different spatial and temporal scales, while those at the genus level are more synchronized in time as a result of fundamental, multiscale environmental shifts.
Markovic, Srdjan; Dragan, Mirkov; Nedeljkovic, Aleksandar; Jaric, Slobodan
A number of studies based on maximum vertical jumps have presumed that the maximum jump height reveals the maximum power of lower limb muscles, as well as the tested muscle power output predicts the jumping performance. The objective of the study was to test the hypothesis that both the body size and countermovement depth confound the relationship between the muscle power output and performance of maximum vertical jumps. Sixty young and physically active males were tested on the maximum countermovement (CMJ) and squat jumps (SJ). The jumping performance (Hmax), peak (Ppeak) and the average power output (Pavg) during the concentric phase, countermovement depth (only in CMJ) and body mass as an index of body size were assessed. To assess the power-performance relationship, the correlations between Hmax with both Ppeak and Pavg were calculated without and with controlling for the effects of body mass, as well as for the countermovement depth. The results revealed moderate power-performance relationships (range 0.55
Anna M Taylor
Full Text Available While the perception of size-related acoustic variation in animal vocalisations is well documented, little attention has been given to how this information might be integrated with corresponding visual information. Using a cross-modal design, we tested the ability of domestic dogs to match growls resynthesized to be typical of either a large or a small dog to size-matched models. Subjects looked at the size-matched model significantly more often and for a significantly longer duration than at the incorrect model, showing that they have the ability to relate information about body size from the acoustic domain to the appropriate visual category. Our study suggests that the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms at the basis of size assessment in mammals have a multisensory nature, and calls for further investigations of the multimodal processing of size information across animal species.
Full Text Available Background & objectives: The predatory potential of the larvivorous fishes can be affected by the presence of alternative preys. In the present study the predation pattern of the sewage dwelling Poecilia reticulata (Peters 1872 on the larvae of Culex quinquefasciatus Say 1823 (Diptera: Culicidae was evaluated in the presence of alternative preys. Methods: The predation of Cx. quinquefasciatus larvae by different size groups of P. reticulata fishes was evaluated. In addition to this, the niche breadth (N and diet breadth (B were measured following Manly’s selectivity index (Si as an indicator of variation of such predation pattern in the presence of alternative prey types, like chironomid larvae and tubificid worms.Results: The consumption of IV instar Cx. quinquefasciatus larvae by individual P. reticulata ranged between 65 and 84 in a 3 h feeding period and varied with the size of fish (F2, 33 = 34.91; p<0.001. The selectivity coefficient revealed a significantly low preference for the Cx. quinquefasciatus larvae (0.16, CL: 0.05 – 0.27; p< 0.05 compared to the chironomid larvae and tubificid worms, when all the three prey types were present. The niche breadth (N and diet breadth (B ranged from 0.77 to 0.92 and 0.69 to 0.93, respectively. The total consumption of all the prey types varied with the predator density, but the selectivity index for the mosquito larvae was significantly low in all the instances.Interpretation & conclusion: P. reticulata can consume a good number of mosquito larvae, with the consumption rate varying with the body size. P. reticulata fishes exhibit low preference for mosquito larvae as prey in the presence of alternative controphic preys like chironomid larvae and tubificid worms. Though establishment and sustenance of P. reticulata in new habitats will be favoured by the presence of alternative preys, but vulnerability of mosquito larvae may be reduced with availability of multiple preys in natural conditions.
Mautz, Brian S; Wong, Bob B M; Peters, Richard A; Jennions, Michael D
Compelling evidence from many animal taxa indicates that male genitalia are often under postcopulatory sexual selection for characteristics that increase a male's relative fertilization success. There could, however, also be direct precopulatory female mate choice based on male genital traits. Before clothing, the nonretractable human penis would have been conspicuous to potential mates. This observation has generated suggestions that human penis size partly evolved because of female choice. Here we show, based upon female assessment of digitally projected life-size, computer-generated images, that penis size interacts with body shape and height to determine male sexual attractiveness. Positive linear selection was detected for penis size, but the marginal increase in attractiveness eventually declined with greater penis size (i.e., quadratic selection). Penis size had a stronger effect on attractiveness in taller men than in shorter men. There was a similar increase in the positive effect of penis size on attractiveness with a more masculine body shape (i.e., greater shoulder-to-hip ratio). Surprisingly, larger penis size and greater height had almost equivalent positive effects on male attractiveness. Our results support the hypothesis that female mate choice could have driven the evolution of larger penises in humans. More broadly, our results show that precopulatory sexual selection can play a role in the evolution of genital traits.
Mariska Esther Kret
Full Text Available We receive emotional signals from different sources, including the face, the whole body and the natural scene. Previous research has shown the importance of context provided by the whole body and the scene context on the recognition of facial expressions. This study measured physiological responses to face-body-scene combinations. Participants viewed emotionally (incongruent face-body and body-scene pairs whilst eye fixations, pupil-size and electromyography (EMG responses were recorded. Participants focused more on angry and fearful vs. happy or neutral cues, independent of the source and relatively independent from emotional incongruence. Moreover, angry faces combined with angry bodies and angry bodies viewed in an aggressive social scene context elicited greatest pupil dilation. Participants' face expressions matched the valence of the stimuli but when face-body compounds were shown, the observed facial expression influenced EMG responses more than the postures. Our results show that threatening signals from faces, bodies and scenes attract attention, induce arousal, and evoke congruent facial reactions.
Jaya Handa; K T Chandrashekara; Khushboo Kashyap; Geetanjali Sageena; Mallikarjun N Shakarad
Darwinian fitness in holometabolous insects like the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is reported to be positively correlated with body size. If large individuals in a population have higher fitness, then one would expect directional selection to operate leading to uniformly large individuals. However, size polymorphism persists in nature and needs further probing. We assessed the effect of body size on some of the fitness and fitness-related traits in replicate populations of genotypically large, genotypically small and phenotypically small D. melanogaster flies. In this study, the time taken to attain reproductive maturity and copulation duration were independent of fly size. Fecundity and longevity of large females were significantly higher when they partnered genotypically small males than when they were with genotypically larger or phenotypically small males. The increased female longevity when in association with genotypically small males was not due to selective early death of males that would release the female partner from presumed cost of persistent courtship. On the contrary, the genotypically as well as phenotypically small males had significantly higher longevity than large males. The virility of the genotypically small males was not significantly different from that of genotypically large males. Our results clearly show that selection on body size operates in the opposite direction (disruptive selection) for the two genders, thus explaining the persistence of size polymorphisms in the holometabolous insect, Drosophila melanogaster.
Krause, Lyndon M; Naughton, Geraldine A; Denny, Greg; Patton, Declan; Hartwig, Tim; Gabbett, Tim J
With adolescent sport increasingly challenged by mismatches in size, new strategies are important to maximize participation. The objectives were to (1) improve the understanding of mismatches in physical size, speed and power in adolescent rugby union players, (2) explore associations between size and performance with demographic, playing-history, and injury profiles, and (3) explore the applicability of existing criteria for age/body mass-based dispensation (playing-down) strategies. Cross-sectional study. Four hundred and eighty-five male community rugby union players were recruited from three Australian states selected to represent community-based U12, U13, U14 and U15 players. Body mass, stature, speed (10, 30, and 40 m sprints) and lower-leg power (relative peak power and relative peak force) were measured. Independent student t-tests, linear regressions and Chi square analyses were undertaken. Mean values in age groups for size, speed and power masked considerable overlap in the ranges within specific age groups of adolescent rugby players. Only a small proportion of players (approximately 5%) shared the highest and lowest tertiles for speed, relative peak power and body mass. Physical size was not related to injury. The mean body mass of current community rugby union players was above the 75th percentile on normative growth-charts. The notion that bigger, faster, and more powerful characteristics occur simultaneously in adolescent rugby players was not supported in the present study. Current practices in body mass-based criteria for playing down an age group lack a sufficient evidence for decision-making. Dispensation solely based on body mass may not address mismatch in junior rugby union. Copyright © 2014 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Schmitz, Lars; Motani, Ryosuke; Oufiero, Christopher E; Martin, Christopher H; McGee, Matthew D; Wainwright, Peter C
It has been hypothesized that sperm whale predation is the driver of eye size evolution in giant squid. Given that the eyes of giant squid have the size expected for a squid this big, it is likely that any enhanced ability of giant squid to detect whales is an exaptation tied to their body size. Future studies should target the mechanism behind the evolution of large body size, not eye size. Reconstructions of the evolutionary history of selective regime, eye size, optical performance, and body size will improve the understanding of the evolution of large eyes in large ocean animals.
Helen J. Esser
Full Text Available Identifying the factors that influence the species diversity and distribution of ticks (Acari: Ixodida across vertebrate host taxa is of fundamental ecological and medical importance. Host body size is considered one of the most important determinants of tick abundance, with larger hosts having higher tick burdens. The species diversity of tick assemblages should also be greater on larger-bodied host species, but empirical studies testing this hypothesis are lacking. Here, we evaluate this relationship using a comparative dataset of feeding associations from Panama between 45 tick species and 171 host species that range in body size by three orders of magnitude. We found that tick species diversity increased with host body size for adult ticks but not for immature ticks. We also found that closely related host species tended to have similar tick species diversity, but correcting for host phylogeny did not alter the relationships between host body size and tick species diversity. The distribution of tick species was highly aggregated, with approximately 20% of the host species harboring 80% of all tick species, following the Pareto principle or 20/80 Rule. Thus, the aggregated pattern commonly observed for tick burdens and disease transmission also holds for patterns of tick species richness. Our finding that the adult ticks in this system preferentially parasitize large-bodied host species suggests that the ongoing anthropogenic loss of large-bodied vertebrates is likely to result in host-tick coextinction events, even when immature stages feed opportunistically. As parasites play critical roles in ecological and evolutionary processes, such losses may profoundly affect ecosystem functioning and services.
Carvalho, Humberto Moreira; Coelho-e-Silva, Manuel; Valente-dos-Santos, João; Gonçalves, Rui Soles; Philippaerts, Renaat; Malina, Robert
The relationships between knee joint isokinetic strength, biological maturity status and body size were examined in 14-16-year-old basketball players, considering proportional allometric modeling. Biological maturity status was assessed with maturity offset protocol. Stature, body mass, sitting height, and estimated thigh volume were measured by anthropometry. Maximal moments of force of concentric and eccentric muscular actions for the knee extensors and flexors were assessed by isokinetic dynamometry at 60° s(-1). Regression analysis revealed a linear relation between maximal moments of force of the knee extensors in both muscular actions and knee flexors in concentric actions were moderately high (0.55 ≤ r ≤ 0.64). As for knee flexors in eccentric actions, a squared term of maturity indicator was significant indicating that the relationship with maturity offset tended to plateau approximately 2 years after PHV. Incorporating maturity indicator term with body size term (body mass or thigh volume) in the allometric models revealed that the size exponents for both body mass and thigh volume were reduced compared with simple allometric modeling. The results indicate a significant inter-individual variation in lower-limb isokinetic strength performance at 60° s(-1) in concentric and eccentric muscular actions in late adolescent basketball players. The variability in performance is related to inter-individual variation in estimated time before or after peak height velocity, as well as differences in body size. Proportional allometric models indicate that the influence of estimated time from age at peak height velocity on isokinetic strength performance is mostly mediated by corresponding changes in overall body mass.
Stürup, M.; den Boer, S. P. A.; Nash, David Richard
species. In 2008 and 2009, we revisited a Panamanian population of Atta colombica leafcutter ants to partially repeat and complement a study of more than 15 years ago. We compared within- and between-colony variation in male body size (mass and width of head, mesosoma and gaster) and sperm characteristics...
Schousboe, K; Visscher, P M; Erbas, B;
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the genetic and environmental influences on adult body size, shape, and composition in women and men, and to assess the impact of age. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this cross-sectional study of 325 female and 299 male like-sex healthy twin pairs, on average 38 y old (18-67 ...
W. Arnold Dijk; J.W. Van Dam (Jan Willem); N.H.J.J. van der Putten (Niek); A.C. Maan (Arie); M.J.J. De Jongste (Mike)
textabstractThis paper describes the incorporation of body surface mapping algorithms to detect the position and size of acute myocardial infarctions using standard 12 lead ECG recording. The results are compared with the results from cardiac MRI scan analysis. In case patient specific volume
Lindstrom, A; Kvist, A; Piersma, T; Dekinga, A; Dietz, MW; Lindström, Åke
We used ultrasonic imaging to monitor short-term changes in the pectoral muscle size of captive red knots Calidris canutus. Pectoral muscle thickness changed rapidly and consistently in parallel with body mass changes caused by flight, fasting;and fuelling. Four knots hew repeatedly for 10h periods
Ester, Wietske A.; Houghton, Lauren C.; Lumey, L. H.; Michels, Karin B.; Hoek, Hans W.; Wei, Ying; Susser, Ezra S.; Cohn, Barbara A.; Terry, Mary Beth
Observational evidence suggests that adult body size has its roots earlier in life, yet few life-course studies have data on siblings with which to control for family-level confounding. Using prospective data from the Early Determinants of Mammographic Density Study (n = 1,108; 1959-2008), we examin
The tau mutation in the golden (Syrian) hamster is a single gene mutation that drastically affects the speed of the circadian clock, in such a way that homozygous mutants have an endogenous circadian period of 20 h (compared with 24 h for wild-type hamsters). While studying the circadian system of tau-mutant hamsters during the past 25 years, several authors have noted an apparent relationship between circadian period and body size in these animals. This study, based on 181 hamsters from 24 litters, confirmed previous observations that a shorter circadian period is associated with smaller body size, documented a sex difference in this association, and evaluated several mechanisms that might explain the phenomenon (such as different organ sizes, body composition, and metabolic rate). The obtained evidence suggests that the reduced body size of short-period hamsters is likely a pleiotropic effect of the tau allele (an allele of the casein kinase 1 epsilon gene) rather than a consequence of the shortened circadian period.
Ribeiro, Flavio F; Qin, Jian G
This study quantified size-dependent cannibalism in barramundi Lates calcarifer through coupling a range of prey-predator pairs in a different range of fish sizes. Predictive models were developed using morphological traits with the alterative assumption of cannibalistic polyphenism. Predictive models were validated with the data from trials where cannibals were challenged with progressing increments of prey sizes. The experimental observations showed that cannibals of 25-131 mm total length could ingest the conspecific prey of 78-72% cannibal length. In the validation test, all predictive models underestimate the maximum ingestible prey size for cannibals of a similar size range. However, the model based on the maximal mouth width at opening closely matched the empirical observations, suggesting a certain degree of phenotypic plasticity of mouth size among cannibalistic individuals. Mouth size showed allometric growth comparing with body depth, resulting in a decreasing trend on the maximum size of ingestible prey as cannibals grow larger, which in parts explains why cannibalism in barramundi is frequently observed in the early developmental stage. Any barramundi has the potential to become a cannibal when the initial prey size was cannibal body length, but fish could never become a cannibal when prey were >58% of their size, suggesting that 50% of size difference can be the threshold to initiate intracohort cannibalism in a barramundi population. Cannibalistic polyphenism was likely to occur in barramundi that had a cannibalistic history. An experienced cannibal would have a greater ability to stretch its mouth size to capture a much larger prey than the models predict. The awareness of cannibalistic polyphenism has important application in fish farming management to reduce cannibalism.
Keizer, Anouk; Smeets, Monique A M; Postma, Albert; van Elburg, Annemarie; Dijkerman, H. Chris
Anorexia nervosa (AN) patients show disturbances in body size experience. Here, malleability of body representation was assessed by inducing the Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI). Specifically the impact of the illusion on body size estimation was investigated.Thirty AN patients and thirty healthy females
Oreffice, Sonia; Quintana-Domeque, Climent
We analyze how attractiveness rated at the start of the interview in the German General Social Survey is related to weight, height, and body mass index (BMI), separately by gender and accounting for interviewers' characteristics or fixed effects. We show that height, weight, and BMI all strongly contribute to male and female attractiveness when attractiveness is rated by opposite-sex interviewers, and that anthropometric characteristics are irrelevant to male interviewers when assessing male attractiveness. We also estimate whether, controlling for beauty, body size measures are related to hourly wages. We find that anthropometric attributes play a significant role in wage regressions in addition to attractiveness, showing that body size cannot be dismissed as a simple component of beauty. Our findings are robust to controlling for health status and accounting for selection into working.
Johnston, F E; Laughlin, W S; Harper, A B; Ensroth, A E
Growth patterns of body size, proportion, and composition were analyzed in 57 male and 56 female Eskimos from St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, ranging in age from 1.23 through 19.82 years. Age-groups means for whites and blacks of the U.S. Health Examination Survey served as reference data. Relative to HES data, the Eskimo sample were shorter with lower values for leg length, while there were no differences from the reference values for sitting height. The Eskimos also had higher values of Quetelet's Index, the sitting height/height ratio, and the upper arm muscle circumference, while there were no differences in body weight or triceps skinfold thickness. Differences from the reference data were more pronounced in males than in females. The growth patterns for size and body proportion are in conformity with known relationships between morphology and climate.
Banakou, Domna; Groten, Raphaela; Slater, Mel
An illusory sensation of ownership over a surrogate limb or whole body can be induced through specific forms of multisensory stimulation, such as synchronous visuotactile tapping on the hidden real and visible rubber hand in the rubber hand illusion. Such methods have been used to induce ownership over a manikin and a virtual body that substitute the real body, as seen from first-person perspective, through a head-mounted display. However, the perceptual and behavioral consequences of such transformed body ownership have hardly been explored. In Exp. 1, immersive virtual reality was used to embody 30 adults as a 4-y-old child (condition C), and as an adult body scaled to the same height as the child (condition A), experienced from the first-person perspective, and with virtual and real body movements synchronized. The result was a strong body-ownership illusion equally for C and A. Moreover there was an overestimation of the sizes of objects compared with a nonembodied baseline, which was significantly greater for C compared with A. An implicit association test showed that C resulted in significantly faster reaction times for the classification of self with child-like compared with adult-like attributes. Exp. 2 with an additional 16 participants extinguished the ownership illusion by using visuomotor asynchrony, with all else equal. The size-estimation and implicit association test differences between C and A were also extinguished. We conclude that there are perceptual and probably behavioral correlates of body-ownership illusions that occur as a function of the type of body in which embodiment occurs.
Mullan, Rory; Abernethy, Gavin M.; Glass, David H.; McCartney, Mark
A multiple species predator-prey model is expanded with the introduction of a coupled map lattice for the prey, allowing the prey to mutate discretely into other prey species. The model is examined in its single predator, multiple mutating prey form. Two unimodal maps are used for the underlying dynamics of the prey species, with different predation strategies being used. Conclusions are drawn on how varying the control parameters of the model governs the overall behaviour and survival of the species. It is observed that in such a complex system, with multiple mutating prey, a large range of non-linear dynamics is possible.
Lynda G Boothroyd
Full Text Available Systematic differences between populations in their preferences for body size may arise as a result of an adaptive 'prepared learning' mechanism, whereby cues to health or status in the local population are internalized and affect body preferences. Alternatively, differences between populations may reflect their 'visual diet' as a cognitive byproduct of mere exposure. Here we test the relative importance of these two explanations for variation in body preferences. Two studies were conducted where female observers were exposed to pictures of high or low BMI women which were either aspirational (healthy, attractive models in high status clothes or non-aspirational (eating disordered patients in grey leotards, or to combinations thereof, in order to manipulate their body-weight preferences which were tested at baseline and at post-test. Overall, results showed good support for visual diet effects (seeing a string of small or large bodies resulted in a change from pre- to post-test whether the bodies were aspirational or not and also some support for the associative learning explanation (exposure to aspirational images of overweight women induced a towards preferring larger bodies, even when accompanied by equal exposure to lower weight bodies in the non-aspirational category. Thus, both influences may act in parallel.
Hager, Reinmar; Lu, Lu; Rosen, Glenn D; Williams, Robert W
The mammalian brain consists of distinct parts that fulfil different functions. Finlay and Darlington have argued that evolution of the mammalian brain is constrained by developmental programs, suggesting that different brain parts are not free to respond individually to selection and evolve independent of other parts or overall brain size. However, comparisons among mammals with matched brain weights often reveal greater differences in brain part size, arguing against strong developmental constraints. Here we test these hypotheses using a quantitative genetic approach involving over 10,000 mice. We identify independent loci for size variation in seven key parts of the brain, and observe that brain parts show low or no phenotypic correlation, as is predicted by a mosaic scenario. We also demonstrate that variation in brain size is independently regulated from body size. The allometric relations seen at higher phylogenetic levels are thus unlikely to be the product of strong developmental constraints.
He, W-H; Twitchett, R J; Zhang, Y; Shi, G R; Feng, Q-L; Yu, J-X; Wu, S-B; Peng, X-F
This study examines the morphological responses of Late Permian brachiopods to environmental changes. Quantitative analysis of body size data from Permian-Triassic brachiopods has demonstrated significant, directional changes in body size before, during and after the Late Permian mass extinction event. Brachiopod size significantly reduced before and during the extinction interval, increased for a short time in more extinction-resistant taxa in the latter stages of extinction and then dramatically reduced again across the Permian/Triassic boundary. Relative abundances of trace elements and acritarchs demonstrate that the body size reductions which happened before, during and after extinction were driven by primary productivity collapse, whereas declining oxygen levels had less effect. An episode of size increase in two of the more extinction-resistant brachiopod species is unrelated to environmental change and possibly was the result of reduced interspecific competition for resources following the extinction of competitors. Based on the results of this study, predictions can be made for the possible responses of modern benthos to present-day environmental changes.
McLaughlin, T; Lamendola, C; Coghlan, N; Liu, T C; Lerner, K; Sherman, A; Cushman, S W
Metabolic heterogeneity among obese individuals may be attributable to differences in adipose cell size. We sought to clarify this by quantifying adipose cell size distribution, body fat, and insulin-mediated glucose uptake in overweight to moderately-obese individuals. A total of 148 healthy nondiabetic subjects with BMI 25-38 kg/m2 underwent subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies and quantification of insulin-mediated glucose uptake with steady-state plasma glucose (SSPG) concentrations during the modified insulin suppression test. Cell size distributions were obtained with Beckman Coulter Multisizer. Primary endpoints included % small adipose cells and diameter of large adipose cells. Cell-size and metabolic parameters were compared by regression for the whole group, according to insulin-resistant (IR) and insulin-sensitive (IS) subgroups, and by body fat quintile. Both large and small adipose cells were present in nearly equal proportions. Percent small cells was associated with SSPG (r = 0.26, P = 0.003). Compared to BMI-matched IS individuals, IR counterparts demonstrated fewer, but larger large adipose cells, and a greater proportion of small-to-large adipose cells. Diameter of the large adipose cells was associated with % body fat (r = 0.26, P = 0.014), female sex (r = 0.21, P = 0.036), and SSPG (r = 0.20, P = 0.012). In the highest versus lowest % body fat quintile, adipose cell size increased by only 7%, whereas adipose cell number increased by 74%. Recruitment of adipose cells is required for expansion of body fat mass beyond BMI of 25 kg/m2 . Insulin resistance is associated with accumulation of small adipose cells and enlargement of large adipose cells. These data support the notion that impaired adipogenesis may underlie insulin resistance. Copyright © 2012 The Obesity Society.
Body size influences nearly every aspect of organismal performance. Adult body size in holometabolous insects is determined by the size of the insect at metamorphosis. Thus, the mechanisms regulating the onset of metamorphosis have occupied insect physiologists for almost a century. Much of this res...
Sand, Håkan; Eklund, Ann; Zimmermann, Barbara; Wikenros, Camilla; Wabakken, Petter
Research on large predator-prey interactions are often limited to the predators' primary prey, with the potential for prey switching in systems with multiple ungulate species rarely investigated. We evaluated wolf (Canis lupus) prey selection at two different spatial scales, i.e., inter- and intra-territorial, using data from 409 ungulate wolf-kills in an expanding wolf population in Scandinavia. This expansion includes a change from a one-prey into a two-prey system with variable densities of one large-sized ungulate; moose (Alces alces) and one small-sized ungulate; roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). Among wolf territories, the proportion of roe deer in wolf kills was related to both pack size and roe deer density, but not to moose density. Pairs of wolves killed a higher proportion of roe deer than did packs, and wolves switched to kill more roe deer as their density increased above a 1:1 ratio in relation to the availability of the two species. At the intra-territorial level, wolves again responded to changes in roe deer density in their prey selection whereas we found no effect of snow depth, time during winter, or other predator-related factors on the wolves' choice to kill moose or roe deer. Moose population density was only weakly related to intra-territorial prey selection. Our results show that the functional response of wolves on moose, the species hitherto considered as the main prey, was strongly dependent on the density of a smaller, alternative, ungulate prey. The impact of wolf predation on the prey species community is therefore likely to change with the composition of the multi-prey species community along with the geographical expansion of the wolf population.
This paper was designed to analyze on the data,which was obtained from "National Physique Fitness Investigation Report (2000)".In order to get the typical body form and figure type of the middle age and aged people,it was focused on the body form data of this group (age 4060).After calculation and analyzing,the distinguishing feature of body form and the distribution of figure type were deduced.Finally,the re-classification of body form for Chinese middle age and aged people was suggested.It as also suggested that a new garment size series especially for the middle age and aged should be built to fit for these people.This conclusion would be useful and significant to design and production for clothing company,especially that who take the aged people as their target consumer.
Cornelissen, Katri K.; Cornelissen, Piers L.; Hancock, Peter J. B.
ABSTRACT Objective A core feature of anorexia nervosa (AN) is an over‐estimation of body size. Women with AN have a different pattern of eye‐movements when judging bodies, but it is unclear whether this is specific to their diagnosis or whether it is found in anyone over‐estimating body size. Method To address this question, we compared the eye movement patterns from three participant groups while they carried out a body size estimation task: (i) 20 women with recovering/recovered anorexia (rAN) who had concerns about body shape and weight and who over‐estimated body size, (ii) 20 healthy controls who had normative levels of concern about body shape and who estimated body size accurately (iii) 20 healthy controls who had normative levels of concern about body shape but who did over‐estimate body size. Results Comparisons between the three groups showed that: (i) accurate body size estimators tended to look more in the waist region, and this was independent of clinical diagnosis; (ii) there is a pattern of looking at images of bodies, particularly viewing the upper parts of the torso and face, which is specific to participants with rAN but which is independent of accuracy in body size estimation. Discussion Since the over‐estimating controls did not share the same body image concerns that women with rAN report, their over‐estimation cannot be explained by attitudinal concerns about body shape and weight. These results suggest that a distributed fixation pattern is associated with over‐estimation of body size and should be addressed in treatment programs. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2016; 49:507–518). PMID:26996142
Farland, L V; Missmer, S A; Bijon, A; Gusto, G; Gelot, A; Clavel-Chapelon, F; Mesrine, S; Boutron-Ruault, M C; Kvaskoff, M
Are body size across the life course and adult height associated with endometriosis? Endometriosis is associated with lean body size during childhood, adolescence and adulthood; tall total adult height; and tall sitting height. The literature suggests that both adult body size and height are associated with endometriosis risk, but few studies have investigated the role of body size across the life course. Additionally, no study has investigated the relationships between components of height and endometriosis. We used a nested case-control design within E3N (Etude Epidémiologique auprès de femmes de l'Education Nationale), a prospective cohort of French women. Data were updated every 2-3 years through self-administered questionnaires. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs were computed using logistic regression models adjusted for a priori confounding factors. A total of 2416 endometriosis cases were reported as surgically ascertained among the 61 208 included women. The odds of endometriosis were lower among women who reported having a large versus lean body size at 8 years (P for trend = 0.003), at menarche (P for trend size is based on retrospective self-report, which may be subject to recall bias. The results of this study suggest that endometriosis is positively associated with lean body size across the life course and total adult height. They also suggest that components of height are associated with endometriosis, which should be investigated further. The Mutuelle Générale de l'Education Nationale (MGEN); the European Community; the French League against Cancer (LNCC); Gustave Roussy; the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm). L.V.F. was supported by a T32 grant (#HD060454) in reproductive, perinatal and pediatric epidemiology from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Cancer Institute (3R25CA057711) National Institutes of Health. M.K. was supported by a Marie Curie Fellowship
Physical size has been critical in the evolutionary success of the genus Homo over the past 2.4 million-years. An acceleration in the expansion of savannah grasslands in Africa from 1.6Ma to 1.2Ma witnessed concomitant increases in physical stature (150-170cm), weight (50-70kg), and brain size (750-900cm(3)). With the onset of 100,000year Middle Pleistocene glacial cycles ("ice ages") some 780,000years ago, large-bodied Homo groups had reached modern size and had successfully dispersed from equatorial Africa, Central, and Southeast Asia to high-latitude localities in Atlantic Europe and North East Asia. While there is support for incursions of multiple Homo lineages to West Asia and Continental Europe at this time, data does not favour a persistence of Homo erectus beyond ∼400,000years ago in Africa, west and Central Asia, and Europe. Novel Middle Pleistocene Homo forms (780,000-400,000years) may not have been substantially taller (150-170cm) than earlier Homo (1.6Ma-800,000years), yet brain size exceeded 1000cm(3) and body mass approached 80kg in some males. Later Pleistocene Homo (400,000-138,000years) were 'massive' in their height (160-190cm) and mass (70-90kg) and consistently exceed recent humans. Relative brain size exceeds earlier Homo, yet is substantially lower than in final glacial H. sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis. A final leap in absolute and relative brain size in Homo (300,000-138,000years) occurred independent of any observed increase in body mass and implies a different selective mediator to that operating on brain size increases observed in earlier Homo. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Buse, Jörn; Fassbender, Samuel; Entling, Martin H; Pavlicek, Tomas
Large valleys with opposing slopes may act as a model system with which the effects of strong climatic gradients on biodiversity can be evaluated. The advantage of such comparisons is that the impact of a change of climate can be studied on the same species pool without the need to consider regional differences. The aim of this study was to compare the assemblage of saproxylic beetles on such opposing slopes at Lower Nahal Oren, Mt. Carmel, Israel (also known as "Evolution Canyon") with a 200-800% higher solar radiation on the south-facing (SFS) compared to the north-facing slope (NFS). We tested specific hypotheses of species richness patterns, assemblage structure, and body size resulting from interslope differences in microclimate. Fifteen flight-interception traps per slope were distributed over three elevation levels ranging from 50 to 100 m a.s.l. Richness of saproxylic beetles was on average 34% higher on the SFS compared with the NFS, with no detected influence of elevation levels. Both assemblage structure and average body size were determined by slope aspect, with more small-bodied beetles found on the SFS. Both the increase in species richness and the higher prevalence of small species on the SFS reflect ecological rules present on larger spatial grain (species-energy hypothesis and community body size shift hypothesis), and both can be explained by the metabolic theory of ecology. This is encouraging for the complementary use of micro- and macroclimatic gradients to study impacts of climate warming on biodiversity.
Crall, James D; Ravi, Sridhar; Mountcastle, Andrew M; Combes, Stacey A
Locomotion through structurally complex environments is fundamental to the life history of most flying animals, and the costs associated with movement through clutter have important consequences for the ecology and evolution of volant taxa. However, few studies have directly investigated how flying animals navigate through cluttered environments, or examined which aspects of flight performance are most critical for this challenging task. Here, we examined how body size, acceleration and obstacle orientation affect the flight of bumblebees in an artificial, cluttered environment. Non-steady flight performance is often predicted to decrease with body size, as a result of a presumed reduction in acceleration capacity, but few empirical tests of this hypothesis have been performed in flying animals. We found that increased body size is associated with impaired flight performance (specifically transit time) in cluttered environments, but not with decreased peak accelerations. In addition, previous studies have shown that flying insects can produce higher accelerations along the lateral body axis, suggesting that if maneuvering is constrained by acceleration capacity, insects should perform better when maneuvering around objects laterally rather than vertically. Our data show that bumblebees do generate higher accelerations in the lateral direction, but we found no difference in their ability to pass through obstacle courses requiring lateral versus vertical maneuvering. In sum, our results suggest that acceleration capacity is not a primary determinant of flight performance in clutter, as is often assumed. Rather than being driven by the scaling of acceleration, we show that the reduced flight performance of larger bees in cluttered environments is driven by the allometry of both path sinuosity and mean flight speed. Specifically, differences in collision-avoidance behavior underlie much of the variation in flight performance across body size, with larger bees
Fonseca-Azevedo, Karina; Herculano-Houzel, Suzana
Despite a general trend for larger mammals to have larger brains, humans are the primates with the largest brain and number of neurons, but not the largest body mass. Why are great apes, the largest primates, not also those endowed with the largest brains? Recently, we showed that the energetic cost of the brain is a linear function of its numbers of neurons. Here we show that metabolic limitations that result from the number of hours available for feeding and the low caloric yield of raw foods impose a tradeoff between body size and number of brain neurons, which explains the small brain size of great apes compared with their large body size. This limitation was probably overcome in Homo erectus with the shift to a cooked diet. Absent the requirement to spend most available hours of the day feeding, the combination of newly freed time and a large number of brain neurons affordable on a cooked diet may thus have been a major positive driving force to the rapid increased in brain size in human evolution.
Soulsby, Stacy N; Holland, Merrilee; Hudson, Judith A; Behrend, Ellen N
The accepted cut-off value for adrenal gland maximum diameter of 0.74 cm to distinguish adrenal gland enlargement in dogs regardless of body weight may not be appropriate for small to medium breed dogs. The purpose of the current retrospective study was to examine adrenal gland dimensions as a function of body weight in healthy dogs in three weight categories ( 30 kg) representing small, medium, and large breeds, respectively, to establish greater confidence in determining if adrenal gland size is abnormal. The measurements of length (sagittal plane), cranial and caudal pole thickness (sagittal and transverse planes), and caudal pole width (transverse plane) of both adrenal glands were obtained ultrasonographically in clinically healthy dogs (n = 45) with 15 dogs in each weight group. Findings support our hypothesis that adrenal gland size correlates with body weight in normal dogs, and more precise reference intervals should be created for adrenal gland size by categorizing dogs as small, medium, or large breed. The caudal pole thickness of either adrenal gland in a sagittal plane was the best dimension for evaluating adrenal gland size based on low variability, ease, and reliability in measurement.
Małek, D; Drobniak, S; Gozdek, A; Pawlik, K; Kramarz, P
Temperature has profound effects on biological functions at all levels of organization. In ectotherms, body size is usually negatively correlated with ambient temperature during development, a phenomenon known as The Temperature-Size Rule (TSR). However, a growing number of studies have indicated that temperature fluctuations have a large influence on life history traits and the implications of such fluctuations for the TSR are unknown. Our study investigated the effect of different constant and fluctuating temperatures on the body mass and development time of red flour beetles (Tribolium castaneum Herbst, 1797); we also examined whether the sexes differed in their responses to thermal conditions. We exposed the progeny of half-sib families of a T. castaneum laboratory strain to one of four temperature regimes: constant 30°C, constant 25°C, fluctuating with a daily mean of 30°C, or fluctuating with a daily mean of 25°C. Sex-specific development time and body mass at emergence were determined. Beetles developed the fastest and had the greatest body mass upon emergence when they were exposed to a constant temperature of 30°C. This pattern was reversed when beetles experienced a constant temperature of 25°C: slowest development and lowest body mass upon emergence were observed. Fluctuations changed those effects significantly - impact of temperature on development time was smaller, while differences in body mass disappeared completely. Our results do not fit TSR predictions. Furthermore, regardless of the temperature regime, females acquired more mass, while there were no differences between sexes in development time to eclosion. This finding fails to support one of the explanations for smaller male size: that selection favors the early emergence of males. We found no evidence of genotype × environment interactions for selected set of traits.
Zhao, Lu; Xu, Guangjian; Wang, Zheng; Xu, Henglong
Community-based assessment of protozoa is usually performed at a taxon-dependent resolution. As an inherent 'taxon-free' trait, however, body-size spectrum has proved to be a highly informative indicator to summarize the functional structure of a community in both community research and monitoring programs in aquatic ecosystems. To demonstrate the relationships between the taxon-free resolution of protozoan communities and water conditions, the body-size spectra of biofilm-dwelling protozoa and their seasonal shift and environmental drivers were explored based on an annual dataset collected monthly from coastal waters of the Yellow Sea, northern China. Body sizes were calculated in equivalent spherical diameter (ESD). Among a total of 8 body-size ranks, S2 (19-27μm), S3 (28-36μm), S4 (37-50μm) and S5 (53-71μm) were the top four levels in frequency of occurrence, while rank S1 (13-17μm), S2 and S4 were the dominant levels in abundance. These dominants showed a clear seasonal succession: S2/S4 (spring)→S2/S4 (summer)→S4 (autumn)→S2 (winter) in frequency of occurrence; S1 (spring)→S4 (summer)→S2 (autumn)→S1 (winter) in abundance. Bootstrapped average analysis showed a clear seasonal shift in body-size spectra of the protozoa during a 1-year cycle, and the best-matching analysis demonstrated that the temporal variations in frequency of occurrence and abundance were significantly correlated with water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), alone or in combination with chemical oxygen demand (COD) and nutrients. Thus, the body-size spectra of biofilm-dwelling protozoa were seasonally shaped and might be used as a time and cost efficient bioindicator of water quality in marine ecosystems. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Dickinson, Michael H
Detailed measurements of head and body motion have revealed previously unknown complexity in the predatory behavior of dragonflies. The new evidence suggests that the brains of these agile predators compute internal models of their own actions and those of their prey.
Eckert, Scott A; Moore, Jeffrey E; Dunn, Daniel C; van Buiten, Ricardo Sagarminaga; Eckert, Karen L; Halpin, Patrick N
Adapting state-space models (SSMs) to telemetry data has been helpful for dealing with location error and for modeling animal movements. We used a combination of two hierarchical Bayesian SSMs to estimate movement pathways from Argos satellite-tag data for 15 juvenile loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the western Mediterranean Sea, and to probabilistically assign locations to one of two behavioral movement types and relate those behaviors to environmental features. A Monte Carlo procedure helped propagate location uncertainty from the first SSM into the estimation of behavioral states and environment--behavior relationships in the second SSM. Turtles using oceanic habitats of the Balearic Sea (n = 9 turtles) within the western Mediterranean were more likely to exhibit "intensive search" behavior as might occur during foraging, but only larger turtles responded to variations in sea-surface height. This suggests that they were better able than smaller turtles to cue on environmental features that concentrate prey resources or were more dependent on high-quality feeding areas. These findings stress the importance of individual heterogeneity in the analysis of movement behavior and, taken in concert with descriptive studies of Pacific loggerheads, suggest that directed movements toward patchy ephemeral resources may be a general property of larger juvenile loggerheads in different populations. We discovered size-based variation in loggerhead distribution and documented use of the western Mediterranean Sea by turtles larger than previously thought to occur there. With one exception, only individuals > 57 cm curved carapace length used the most westerly basin in the Mediterranean (western Alborán Sea). These observations shed new light on loggerhead migration phenology.
Medan, Violeta; Josens, Roxana B
The nectivorous ant Camponotus mus shows a broad size variation within the worker caste. Large ants can ingest faster and larger loads than small ones. Differences in physiological abilities in fluid ingestion due to the insect size could be related to differences in decision-making according to ant size during nectar foraging. Sucrose solutions of different levels of sugar concentration (30% or 60%w/w), viscosity (high or low) or flow rate (ad libitum or 1microl/min) were offered in combination to analyse the behavioural responses to each of these properties separately. Differences were found depending on ant body size and the property compared. A regulated flow produced smaller crop loads for medium and large ants compared to the same solution given ad libitum. All foragers remained longer times feeding at the regulated flow source but larger ants often made longer interruptions. When sugar concentration was constant but viscosity was high, only large ants increased feeding time. Constant viscosity with different sugar concentration determined longer feeding time and bigger loads for the most concentrated solution for small but not for large ants. Small ants reached similar crop loads in a variety of conditions while large ants did not. These differences could be evidence of a possible specialization for nectar foraging based on ant body size.
Raia, Pasquale; Meiri, Shai
The tempo and mode of body size evolution on islands are believed to be well known. It is thought that body size evolves relatively quickly on islands toward the mammalian modal value, thus generating extreme cases of size evolution and the island rule. Here, we tested both theories in a phylogenetically explicit context, by using two different species-level mammalian phylogenetic hypotheses limited to sister clades dichotomizing into an exclusively insular and an exclusively mainland daughter nodes. Taken as a whole, mammals were found to show a largely punctuational mode of size evolution. We found that, accounting for this, and regardless of the phylogeny used, size evolution on islands is no faster than on the continents. We compared different selection regimes using a set of Ornstein-Uhlenbeck models to examine the effects of insularity of the mode of evolution. The models strongly supported clade-specific selection regimes. Under this regime, however, an evolutionary model allowing insular species to evolve differently from their mainland relatives performs worse than a model that ignores insularity as a factor. Thus, insular taxa do not experience statistically different selection from their mainland relatives. © 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Marchini, Marta; Sparrow, Leah M; Cosman, Miranda N; Dowhanik, Alexandra; Krueger, Carsten B; Hallgrimsson, Benedikt; Rolian, Campbell
Mammals show a predictable scaling relationship between limb bone size and body mass. This relationship has a genetic basis which likely evolved via natural selection, but it is unclear how much the genetic correlation between these traits in turn impacts their capacity to evolve independently. We selectively bred laboratory mice for increases in tibia length independent of body mass, to test the hypothesis that a genetic correlation with body mass constrains evolutionary change in tibia length. Over 14 generations, we produced mean tibia length increases of 9-13%, while mean body mass was unchanged, in selectively bred mice and random-bred controls. Using evolutionary scenarios with different selection and quantitative genetic parameters, we also found that this genetic correlation impedes the rate of evolutionary change in both traits, slowing increases in tibia length while preventing decreases in body mass, despite the latter's negative effect on fitness. Overall, results from this ongoing selection experiment suggest that parallel evolution of relatively longer hind limbs among rodents, for example in the context of strong competition for resources and niche partitioning in heterogeneous environments, may have occurred very rapidly on geological timescales, in spite of a moderately strong genetic correlation between tibia length and body mass.
Oliver, Paul M; Skipwith, Phillip; Lee, Michael S Y
The region between the Asian and Australian continental plates (Wallacea) demarcates the transition between two differentiated regional biotas. Despite this striking pattern, some terrestrial lineages have successfully traversed the marine barriers of Wallacea and subsequently diversified in newly colonized regions. The hypothesis that these dispersals between biogeographic realms are correlated with detectable shifts in evolutionary trajectory has however rarely been tested. Here, we analyse the evolution of body size in a widespread and exceptionally diverse group of gekkotan lizards (Cyrtodactylus), and show that a clade that has dispersed eastwards and radiated in the Australopapuan region appears to have significantly expanded its body size 'envelope' and repeatedly evolved gigantism. This pattern suggests that the biotic composition of the proto-Papuan Archipelago provided a permissive environment in which new colonists were released from evolutionary constraints operating to the west of Wallacea.
Lundborg, Petter; Nystedt, Paul; Rooth, Dan-Olof
We provide new evidence on the long-run labor market penalty of teenage overweight and obesity using unique and large-scale data on 150,000 male siblings from the Swedish military enlistment. Our empirical analysis provides four important results. First, we provide the first evidence of a large adult male labor market penalty for being overweight or obese as a teenager. Second, we replicate this result using data from the United States and the United Kingdom. Third, we note a strikingly strong within-family relationship between body size and cognitive skills/noncognitive skills. Fourth, a large part of the estimated body-size penalty reflects lower skill acquisition among overweight and obese teenagers. Taken together, these results reinforce the importance of policy combating early-life obesity in order to reduce healthcare expenditures as well as poverty and inequalities later in life.
Moon, Sung-Hwan; Ju, Jongil; Park, Soon-Jung; Bae, Daekyeong; Chung, Hyung-Min; Lee, Sang-Hoon
Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are generally induced to differentiate by forming spherical structures termed embryoid bodies (EBs) in the presence of soluble growth factors. hEBs are generated by suspending small clumps of hESC colonies; however, the resulting hEBs are heterogeneous because this method lacks the ability to control the number of cells in individual EBs. This heterogeneity affects factors that influence differentiation such as cell-cell contact and the diffusion of soluble factors, and consequently, the differentiation capacity of each EB varies. Here, we fabricated size-tunable concave microwells to control the physical environment, thereby regulating the size of EBs formed from single hESCs. Defined numbers of single hESCs were forced to aggregate and generate uniformly sized EBs with high fidelity, and the size of the EBs was controlled using concave microwells of different diameters. Differentiation patterns in H9- and CHA15-hESCs were affected by EB size in both the absence and presence of growth factors. By screening EB size in the presence of various BMP4 concentrations, a two-fold increase in endothelial cell differentiation was achieved. Because each hESC line has unique characteristics, the findings of this study demonstrate that concave microwells could be used to screen different EB sizes and growth factor concentrations to optimize differentiation for each hESC line.
Swami, Viren; Furnham, Adrian; Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas; Akbar, Kanwal; Gordon, Natalie; Harris, Tasha; Finch, Jo; Tovée, Martin J
This study examined the influence of personality information on perceptions of the physical attractiveness of a range of female body sizes. A sample of 2,157 male university students were randomly assigned to one of 10 groups in which they received personality information about women they were rating, or a control group in which they received no personality information. Controlling for participants' age and body mass index, results showed no significant between-group differences in the body size that participants found most attractive. However, participants provided with positive personality information perceived a wider range of body sizes as physically attractive compared with the control group, whereas participants provided with negative personality information perceived a narrower range of body sizes as attractive. Correlations showed that participants' own Extraversion was associated with their body size ratings. These results suggest that non-physical cues have an influence on the perception of physical beauty.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Small body size at birth is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Dietary habits are tightly linked with these disorders, but the association between body size at birth and adult diet has been little studied. We examined the association between body size at birth and intake of foods and macronutrients in adulthood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We studied 1797 participants, aged 56 to 70, of the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study, whose birth weight and length were recorded. Preterm births were excluded. During a clinical study, diet was assessed with a validated food-frequency questionnaire. A linear regression model adjusted for potential confounders was used to assess the associations. Intake of fruits and berries was 13.26 g (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.56, 25.96 higher per 1 kg/m(3 increase in ponderal index (PI at birth, and 83.16 g (95% CI: 17.76, 148.56 higher per 1 kg higher birth weight. One unit higher PI at birth was associated with 0.14% of energy (E% lower intake of fat (95% CI: -0.26, -0.03 and 0.18 E% higher intake of carbohydrates (95% CI: 0.04, 0.32 as well as 0.08 E% higher sucrose (95% CI: 0.00, 0.15, 0.05 E% higher fructose (95% CI: 0.01, 0.09, and 0.18 g higher fiber (95% CI: 0.02, 0.34 intake in adulthood. Similar associations were observed between birth weight and macronutrient intake. CONCLUSIONS: Prenatal growth may modify later life food and macronutrient intake. Altered dietary habits could potentially explain an increased risk of chronic disease in individuals born with small body size.
Perälä, Mia-Maria; Männistö, Satu; Kaartinen, Niina E.; Kajantie, Eero; Osmond, Clive; Barker, David J. P.; Valsta, Liisa M.; Eriksson, Johan G.
Background Small body size at birth is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Dietary habits are tightly linked with these disorders, but the association between body size at birth and adult diet has been little studied. We examined the association between body size at birth and intake of foods and macronutrients in adulthood. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied 1797 participants, aged 56 to 70, of the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study, whose birth weight and length were recorded. Preterm births were excluded. During a clinical study, diet was assessed with a validated food-frequency questionnaire. A linear regression model adjusted for potential confounders was used to assess the associations. Intake of fruits and berries was 13.26 g (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.56, 25.96) higher per 1 kg/m3 increase in ponderal index (PI) at birth, and 83.16 g (95% CI: 17.76, 148.56) higher per 1 kg higher birth weight. One unit higher PI at birth was associated with 0.14% of energy (E%) lower intake of fat (95% CI: -0.26, -0.03) and 0.18 E% higher intake of carbohydrates (95% CI: 0.04, 0.32) as well as 0.08 E% higher sucrose (95% CI: 0.00, 0.15), 0.05 E% higher fructose (95% CI: 0.01, 0.09), and 0.18 g higher fiber (95% CI: 0.02, 0.34) intake in adulthood. Similar associations were observed between birth weight and macronutrient intake. Conclusions Prenatal growth may modify later life food and macronutrient intake. Altered dietary habits could potentially explain an increased risk of chronic disease in individuals born with small body size. PMID:23049962
Horváthová, Terézia; Cooney, Christopher R.; Fitze, Patrick S; Oksanen, Tuula; Jelic, Dusan; Ghira, Ioan; Uller, Tobias; Jandzik, David
Understanding the factors that drive geographic variation in life history is an important challenge in evolutionary ecology. Here, we analyze what predicts geographic variation in life-history traits of the common lizard, Zootoca vivipara, which has the globally largest distribution range of all terrestrial reptile species. Variation in body size was predicted by differences in the length of activity season, while we found no effects of environmental temperature per se. Females experiencing r...
International audience; In this paper, we studied the potential of thermoelectric generation from human body heat. The main objective is to maximize the thermoelectric productivity while minimizing the volume of the generator incorporating or not a heat sink, with a view to charging an accumulator which itself supplies a consumer electronic device such as a communicating sensor. The sizing of such a device should be done with a system-level approach where the thermal coupling with the environ...
Marco A. Azevedo
Full Text Available In this study, I investigated the reproductive biology of fish species from the family Characidae of the order Characiformes. I also investigated the relationship between reproductive biology and body weight and interpreted this relationship in a phylogenetic context. The results of the present study contribute to the understanding of the evolution of the reproductive strategies present in the species of this family. Most larger characid species and other characiforms exhibit a reproductive pattern that is generally characterized by a short seasonal reproductive period that lasts one to three months, between September and April. This is accompanied by total spawning, an extremely high fecundity, and, in many species, a reproductive migration. Many species with lower fecundity exhibit some form of parental care. Although reduction in body size may represent an adaptive advantage, it may also require evolutionary responses to new biological problems that arise. In terms of reproduction, smaller species have a tendency to reduce the number of oocytes that they produce. Many small characids have a reproductive pattern similar to that of larger characiforms. On the other hand they may also exhibit a range of modifications that possibly relate to the decrease in body size and the consequent reduction in fecundity. Examples of changes in the general reproductive pattern include the following: reduction in the size of mature oocytes; increase in fecundity; production of several batches of oocytes; an extended reproductive period or even continuous reproduction that allows individuals to reproduce more than once a year; high growth rates; rapid recruitment of juveniles; presence of more than one reproductive cohort that increases the sexually active population; and multiple independent development of insemination as a reproductive strategy. These changes are possibly associated with adaptive pressures that are related to the reduction in body size. In
Harvey, Chris J; Tolimieri, Nick; Levin, Phillip S
Fish body size, a key driver of many aspects of fish population biology and ecology, is affected by fisheries that deplete the largest individuals. Rockfish (genus Sebastes) are a diverse group that has been heavily fished on the U.S. West Coast in recent decades. We examined trawl survey data from 1980 to 2001 to determine spatial and temporal trends in body size and density of 16 shelf rockfish species, including six that are considered overfished. Mean individual mass and maximum observed mass declined in the majority of species in one or more zoogeographic regions between central California and Washington. Density changes were far more variable in time and space, but in all regions, density declines were most often associated with large-bodied rockfish. We next estimated the impact of size and density changes on energy consumption and fecundity in a five-species rockfish assemblage that includes bocaccio (S. paucispinis), a large-bodied, overfished species. Indexes of both consumption and fecundity by the assemblage increased in the southern portion of the study area between 1980 and 2001 but decreased in the northern portion. Allocation of energy and reproductive potential within the assemblage shifted dramatically: relative to bocaccio, total energy consumption and fecundity indexes for the other four species increased by orders of magnitude from 1980 to 2001. These changes in community structure may affect the ability of bocaccio and other large rockfish species to recover from overfishing, especially in light of long-term declines in zooplankton production that may also be affecting rockfish size and production. Addressing these issues may require a regional, multispecies management approach.
Franchak, John M.; Celano, Emma C.; Adolph, Karen E.
Walkers need to modify their ongoing actions to meet the demands of everyday environments. Navigating through openings requires gait modifications if the size of the opening is too small relative to the body. Here we ask if the spatial requirements for navigating horizontal and vertical openings differ, and, if so, whether walkers are sensitive to those requirements. To test walkers’ sensitivity to demands for gait modification, we asked participants to judge whether they could walk through h...
O'Mara, M Teague; Bauer, Karla; Blank, Dominik; Baldwin, Justin W; Dechmann, Dina K N
Within the large order of bats, sexual size dimorphism measured by forearm length and body mass is often female-biased. Several studies have explained this through the effects on load carrying during pregnancy, intrasexual competition, as well as the fecundity and thermoregulation advantages of increased female body size. We hypothesized that wing shape should differ along with size and be under variable selection pressure in a species where there are large differences in flight behaviour. We tested whether load carrying, sex differential migration, or reproductive advantages of large females affect size and wing shape dimorphism in the common noctule (Nyctalus noctula), in which females are typically larger than males and only females migrate long distances each year. We tested for univariate and multivariate size and shape dimorphism using data sets derived from wing photos and biometric data collected during pre-migratory spring captures in Switzerland. Females had forearms that are on average 1% longer than males and are 1% heavier than males after emerging from hibernation, but we found no sex differences in other size, shape, or other functional characters in any wing parameters during this pre-migratory period. Female-biased size dimorphism without wing shape differences indicates that reproductive advantages of big mothers are most likely responsible for sexual dimorphism in this species, not load compensation or shape differences favouring aerodynamic efficiency during pregnancy or migration. Despite large behavioural and ecological sex differences, morphology associated with a specialized feeding niche may limit potential dimorphism in narrow-winged bats such as common noctules and the dramatic differences in migratory behaviour may then be accomplished through plasticity in wing kinematics.
Fung, Wong Yan; Fat, Ko Frankie Chi; Eng, Cheah Kathryn Song; Lau, Chow King
We have identified in Caenorhabditis elegans a homologue of the vertebrate Crim1, crm-1, which encodes a putative transmembrane protein with multiple cysteine-rich (CR) domains known to have bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) binding activity. Using the body morphology of C. elegans as an indicator, we showed that attenuation of crm-1 activity leads to a small body phenotype reminiscent of that of BMP pathway mutants. We showed that the crm-1 loss-of-function phenotype can be rescued by constitutive supply of sma-4 activity. crm-1 can enhance BMP signaling and this activity is dependent on the presence of the DBL-1 ligand and its receptors. crm-1 is expressed in neurons at the ventral nerve cord, where the DBL-1 ligand is produced. However, ectopic expression experiments reveal that crm-1 gene products act outside the DBL-1 producing cells and function non-autonomously to facilitate dbl/sma pathway signaling to control body size.
Meyle, Kathrine D; Gamborg, Michael; Sørensen, Thorkild I A
Malignant melanoma (MM) is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. Adult anthropometry influences MM development; however, associations between childhood body size and future melanomagenesis are largely unknown. We investigated whether height, body mass index (BMI; weight (kg)/height (m)2......), and body surface area (BSA) at ages 7-13 years and birth weight are associated with adult MM. Data from the Copenhagen School Health Records Register, containing annual height and weight measurements of 372,636 Danish children born in 1930-1989, were linked with the Danish Cancer Registry. Cox regression...... analyses were performed. During follow-up, 2,329 MM cases occurred. Height at ages 7-13 years was significantly associated with MM, even after BMI and BSA adjustments. No significant BMI-MM or BSA-MM associations were detected when adjusting for height. Children who were persistently tall at both age 7...
Jianping YU; Cheng CHEN; Long JIN; Li ZHAO; Wenbo LIAO
In anurans, body size and age of individuals generally affect male mating success. To test whether body size and age have effects on male mating success in the foam-nesting treefrog Polypedates megacephalus, a species widely distributed in China, we analyzed differences in body size and age between mated and unmated males for three populations using a Generalized Linear Mixed Model (GLMM). The results showed that mated males did not exhibit larger body size and older age than unmated males, suggesting that large and/or old male individuals did not have greater mating success than small and/or young males. Moreover, we also found a non-significant size-assortative mating pattern for all populations. Our findings suggest that body size and age of the foam-nesting treefrog do not affect male mating success.
Satinsky, Sonya; Dennis, Barbara; Reece, Michael; Sanders, Stephanie; Bardzell, Shaowen
Women of size who inhabit non-normative bodies may have different experiences with body image and sexual health than women of average body size. In this exploratory study, we interviewed four women of size recruited from a larger mixed-methodological study of body image and sexuality. Each woman was interviewed twice on topics of body image, sexuality and sexual health. Reconstructive Horizon Analysis was used to analyse the content of the interviews. Women who expressed that their bodies had inherent personal and social value regardless of size did not articulate connections between body size and their sexual health. However, those women who looked externally for validation of their attractiveness struggled with acceptance of their sexuality and bodies and spoke of ways in which their body size and appearance hindered them from having the sexually healthy lives that they wanted. Findings highlight two important components of women's sexual health as participants related them to body image: the right to pleasure and the right to engage only in wanted sexual activity. Participants described how negative body attitudes affected both of these aspects of their sexual health. Interventions targeting weight-based stigma may offer a means of indirectly promoting sexual health and autonomy in women.
Skipper, A. N.; Murphy, D. W.; Webster, D. R.; Yen, J.
The flow field of the freshwater crustacean Daphnia magna is quantified with time-resolved tomographic PIV. In the current work, we compare body kinematics and flow disturbance between organisms of small (body length = 1.8 mm) versus medium (2.3 mm) versus large (2.65 mm) size. These plankters are equipped with a pair of antennae that are biramous such that the protopodite splits or branches into an exopodite and an endopodite. They beat the antennae pair synchronously to impulsively propel themselves, or `hop,' through the water. The stroke cycle of Daphnia magna is roughly 80 ms in duration and this period is evenly split between the power and recovery strokes. A typical hop carries the daphniid one body length forward and is followed by a period of sinking. Unlike copepod escape motion, no body vortex is observed in front of the animal. Rather, the flow induced by each antennae consists of a viscous vortex ring that demonstrates a slow decay. The time-record of velocity (peak of 40 mm/s for the medium specimen) and hop acceleration (1.8 m/s2 for the medium specimen) are compared, as well as the strength, size, and decay of the induced viscous vortex rings. The viscous vortex ring analysis will be presented in the context of a double Stokeslet model consisting of two impulsively applied point forces separated by the animal width.
Franchak, John M; Celano, Emma C; Adolph, Karen E
Walkers need to modify their ongoing actions to meet the demands of everyday environments. Navigating through openings requires gait modifications if the size of the opening is too small relative to the body. Here we ask whether the spatial requirements for navigating horizontal and vertical openings differ, and, if so, whether walkers are sensitive to those requirements. To test walkers' sensitivity to demands for gait modification, we asked participants to judge whether they could walk through horizontal openings without shoulder rotation and through vertical openings without ducking. Afterward, participants walked through the openings, so that we could determine which opening sizes elicited gait modifications. Participants turned their shoulders with more space available than the space they left themselves for ducking. Larger buffers for horizontal openings may reflect different spatial requirements created by lateral sway of the body during walking compared to vertical bounce. In addition, greater variability of turning from trial to trial compared with ducking may lead walkers to adopt a more conservative buffer to avoid errors. Verbal judgments accurately predicted whether openings required gait modifications. For horizontal openings, participants' judgments were best predicted by the body's dynamic abilities, not static shoulder width. The differences between horizontal and vertical openings illustrate that walkers account for the dynamic properties of walking in addition to scaling decisions to body dimensions.
Stein, Koen; Csiki, Zoltan; Rogers, Kristina Curry; Weishampel, David B; Redelstorff, Ragna; Carballido, Jose L; Sander, P Martin
Sauropods were the largest terrestrial tetrapods (>10(5) kg) in Earth's history and grew at rates that rival those of extant mammals. Magyarosaurus dacus, a titanosaurian sauropod from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) of Romania, is known exclusively from small individuals (dwarfism (phyletic nanism) in dinosaurs, but a recent study suggested that the small Romanian titanosaurs actually represent juveniles of a larger-bodied taxon. Here we present strong histological evidence that M. dacus was indeed a dwarf (phyletic nanoid). Bone histological analysis of an ontogenetic series of Magyarosaurus limb bones indicates that even the smallest Magyarosaurus specimens exhibit a bone microstructure identical to fully mature or old individuals of other sauropod taxa. Comparison of histologies with large-bodied sauropods suggests that Magyarosaurus had an extremely reduced growth rate, but had retained high basal metabolic rates typical for sauropods. The uniquely decreased growth rate and diminutive body size in Magyarosaurus were adaptations to life on a Cretaceous island and show that sauropod dinosaurs were not exempt from general ecological principles limiting body size.
Gingerich, P D; Smith, B H; Rosenberg, K
Tooth size varies exponentially with body weight in primates. Logarithmic transformation of tooth crown area and body weight yields a linear model of slope 0.67 as an isometric (geometric) baseline for study of dental allometry. This model is compared with that predicted by metabolic scaling (slope = 0.75). Tarsius and other insectivores have larger teeth for their body size than generalized primates do and they are not included in this analysis. Among generalized primates, tooth size is highly correlated with body size. Correlations of upper and lower cheek teeth with body size range from 0.90-0.97, depending on tooth position. Central cheek teeth (P44 and M11) have allometric coefficients ranging from 0.57-0.65, falling well below geometric scaling. Anterior and posterior cheek teeth scale at or above metabolic scaling. Considered individually or as a group, upper cheek teeth scale allometrically with lower coefficients than corresponding lower cheek teeth; the reverse is true for incisors. The sum of crown areas for all upper cheek teeth scales significantly below geometric scaling, while the sum of crown areas for all lower cheek teeth approximates geometric scaling. Tooth size can be used to predict the body weight of generalized fossil primates. This is illustrated for Aegyptopithecus and other Eocene, Oligocene, and miocene primates. Regressions based on tooth size in generalized primates yield reasonable estimates of body weight, but much remains to be learned about tooth size and body size scaling in more restricted systematic groups and dietary guilds.
Full Text Available The composition and quality of food provided to nestling birds influence their growth and development and offers key insight into the ecological requirements of birds. One bird species whose feeding ecology is poorly understood is the Barred Warbler (Sylvia nisoria, which utilizes semi-natural shrubby vegetation in agroecosystems. Because Barred Warbler nestlings vary greatly in body mass we hypothesised that diet and prey properties (size, diversity, taxonomic composition, and chitin content and resulting body hardness and digestibility would differ as the nestlings aged. We quantified the diet based on faecal analysis, sampling faecal sacs from the nestlings pooled into three age classes: 2-3 days old, 4-6 d old, and 7-9 d old. Nestlings were provided a wide diversity of food and a strong relationship existed between food characteristics and nestling age. The youngest nestlings (2-3 d old had the lowest values of each dietary characteristic (diversity, number and total biomass of prey, and individual prey weight, that were significantly lower than the oldest nestlings (7-9 d old. Nestlings aged 4-6 d exhibited intermediate dietary characteristics. Differences in dietary composition of the six major food types showed marked differences between the individual broods and age categories. Percentages of the number and biomass of soft-bodied prey were highest in the diet of 2-3 d and 4-6 d old nestlings, and decreased with increasing age, whereas the opposite trend was observed in the percentage of intermediately and heavily chitinised prey. Parent Barred Warblers probably preferentially select soft-bodied prey for the youngest nestlings, and satisfy the greater energy demands of the older ones by providing them with a greater variety of prey containing more chitin, as well as plant food. The provisioning of less-readily digestible prey to older nestlings suggests that as the quality of food decreases the quantity increases, implying that the
Arendt, Jeffrey David
Predator-prey interactions play an important role in community dynamics and may be important for promoting genetic diversification. Diversification may be especially important when prey species have multiple anti-predator strategies available, but these strategies conflict with each other. For example, rapid sprint speed and large size are both thought to decrease vulnerability to many predators. A physiological trade-off between swimming speed and growth rate has been documented in many aquatic species and, as a result, individual genotypes may employ one strategy or the other, but not both. Although rapid sprint speed is often assumed to decrease vulnerability to predators, this has only rarely been tested. Here I provide evidence that both rapid sprint speed and large size in tadpoles of the New Mexico spadefoot toad (Spea multiplicata) decreases predation risk from carnivore morphs of its congener the Great Plains spadefoot toad (Spea bombifrons). Such conflicts, coupled with spatio-temporal variation in predation pressure, may be important in maintaining genetic variation for trade-offs.
Brian C Bock
Full Text Available Intra-specific body size variation is common and often is assumed to be adaptive. Studies of body size variation among sites should include or consider environmental and ecological variables in their designs. Additionally, reciprocal transplant or common garden studies will support which variables are really contributing to the observed body size variation. This study analyzed the microgeographic body size variation in Anolis mariarum, a small lizard endemic to Antioquia, Colombia. Parameters such as body size, shape, and lepidosis variation were quantified in 217 adult A. mariarum, belonging to six populations separated by less than 80km. Results showed that significant body size variation was not related to differences among sites in mean annual temperature, but covaried with mean annual precipitation, with the largest individuals occurring in dryer sites. Mark-recapture data obtained from 115 individuals from both the wettest and dryest sites from October 2004 to April 2005 showed that growth rates were higher at the latter. Eight males from each site were captured at the end of the mark- recapture study and reared for two months under identical conditions in a common garden study. Individuals from both sites grew faster when reared in the laboratory with food provided ad libitum. Although growth rates of males from the two populations did not differ significantly in the laboratory, males from the dryest site still maintained a significantly larger asymptotic body size in their growth trajectories. Multivariate analyses also demonstrated that both males and females from the six populations differed in terms of body shape and lepidosis. However, only female body size was found to covary significantly with an environmental gradient (precipitation. A. mariarum does not conform to Bergmann’s rule, but the relationship found between mean body size and asympotic growth with mean annual precipitation at these sites needs further analysis
Norberg, Ulla M Lindhe; Norberg, R Åke
The ability to fly opens up ecological opportunities but flight mechanics and muscle energetics impose constraints, one of which is that the maximum body size must be kept below a rather low limit. The muscle power available for flight increases in proportion to flight muscle mass and wingbeat frequency. The maximum wingbeat frequency attainable among increasingly large animals decreases faster than the minimum frequency required, so eventually they coincide, thereby defining the maximum body mass at which the available power just matches up to the power required for sustained aerobic flight. Here, we report new wingbeat frequency data for 27 morphologically diverse bat species representing nine families, and additional data from the literature for another 38 species, together spanning a range from 2.0 to 870 g. For these species, wingbeat frequency decreases with increasing body mass as M(b)(-0.26). We filmed 25 of our 27 species in free flight outdoors, and for these the wingbeat frequency varies as M(b)(-0.30). These exponents are strikingly similar to the body mass dependency M(b)(-0.27) among birds, but the wingbeat frequency is higher in birds than in bats for any given body mass. The downstroke muscle mass is also a larger proportion of the body mass in birds. We applied these empirically based scaling functions for wingbeat frequency in bats to biomechanical theories about how the power required for flight and the power available converge as animal size increases. To this end we estimated the muscle mass-specific power required for the largest flying extant bird (12-16 kg) and assumed that the largest potential bat would exert similar muscle mass-specific power. Given the observed scaling of wingbeat frequency and the proportion of the body mass that is made up by flight muscles in birds and bats, we estimated the maximum potential body mass for bats to be 1.1-2.3 kg. The largest bats, extinct or extant, weigh 1.6 kg. This is within the range expected if it
Dunic, Jillian C; Baum, Julia K
Temperate marine fish communities are often size-structured, with predators consuming increasingly larger prey and feeding at higher trophic levels as they grow. Gape limitation and ontogenetic diet shifts are key mechanisms by which size structuring arises in these communities. Little is known, however, about size structuring in coral reef fishes. Here, we aimed to advance understanding of size structuring in coral reef food webs by examining the evidence for these mechanisms in two groups of reef predators. Given the diversity of feeding modes amongst coral reef fishes, we also compared gape size-body size allometric relationships across functional groups to determine whether they are reliable indicators of size structuring. We used gut content analysis and quantile regressions of predator size-prey size relationships to test for evidence of gape limitation and ontogenetic niche shifts in reef piscivores (n = 13 species) and benthic invertivores (n = 3 species). We then estimated gape size-body size allometric scaling coefficients for 21 different species from four functional groups, including herbivores/detritivores, which are not expected to be gape-limited. We found evidence of both mechanisms for size structuring in coral reef piscivores, with maximum prey size scaling positively with predator body size, and ontogenetic diet shifts including prey type and expansion of prey size. There was, however, little evidence of size structuring in benthic invertivores. Across species and functional groups, absolute and relative gape sizes were largest in piscivores as expected, but gape size-body size scaling relationships were not indicative of size structuring. Instead, relative gape sizes and mouth morphologies may be better indicators. Our results provide evidence that coral reef piscivores are size-structured and that gape limitation and ontogenetic niche shifts are the mechanisms from which this structure arises. Although gape allometry was not indicative of
Full Text Available Janis and Carrano (1992 suggested that large dinosaurs might have faced a lower risk of extinction under ecological changes than similar-sized mammals because large dinosaurs had a higher potential reproductive output than similar-sized mammals (JC hypothesis. First, we tested the assumption underlying the JC hypothesis. We therefore analysed the potential reproductive output (reflected in clutch/litter size and annual offspring number of extant terrestrial mammals and birds (as "dinosaur analogs" and of extinct dinosaurs. With the exception of rodents, the differences in the reproductive output of similar-sized birds and mammals proposed by Janis and Carrano (1992 existed even at the level of single orders. Fossil dinosaur clutches were larger than litters of similar-sized mammals, and dinosaur clutch sizes were comparable to those of similar-sized birds. Because the extinction risk of extant species often correlates with a low reproductive output, the latter difference suggests a lower risk of population extinction in dinosaurs than in mammals. Second, we present a very simple, mathematical model that demonstrates the advantage of a high reproductive output underlying the JC hypothesis. It predicts that a species with a high reproductive output that usually faces very high juvenile mortalities will benefit more strongly in terms of population size from reduced juvenile mortalities (e.g., resulting from a stochastic reduction in population size than a species with a low reproductive output that usually comprises low juvenile mortalities. Based on our results, we suggest that reproductive strategy could have contributed to the evolution of the exceptional gigantism seen in dinosaurs that does not exist in extant terrestrial mammals. Large dinosaurs, e.g., the sauropods, may have easily sustained populations of very large-bodied species over evolutionary time.
Brooker, Rohan M; Jones, Geoffrey P; Munday, Philip L
Most animals consume a narrower range of food resources than is potentially available in the environment, but the underlying basis for these preferences is often poorly understood. Foraging theory predicts that prey selection should represent a trade-off between prey preferences based on nutritional value and prey availability. That is, species should consume preferred prey when available, but select less preferred prey when preferred prey is rare. We employed both field observation and laboratory experiments to examine the relationship between prey selection and preferences in the obligate coral-feeding filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris. To determine the drivers of prey selection, we experimentally established prey preferences in choice arenas and tested the consequences of prey preferences for key fitness-related parameters. Field studies showed that individuals fed almost exclusively on live corals from the genus Acropora. While diet was dominated by the most abundant species, Acropora nobilis, fish appeared to preferentially select rarer acroporids, such as A. millepora and A. hyacinthus. Prey choice experiments confirmed strong preferences for these corals, suggesting that field consumption is constrained by availability. In a longer-term feeding experiment, reproductive pairs fed on non-preferred corals exhibited dramatic reductions to body weight, and in hepatic and gonad condition, compared with those fed preferred corals. The majority of pairs fed preferred corals spawned frequently, while no spawning was observed for any pairs fed a non-preferred species of coral. These experiments suggest that fish distinguish between available corals based on their intrinsic value as prey, that reproductive success is dependent on the presence of particular coral species, and that differential loss of preferred corals could have serious consequences for the population success of these dietary specialists.
Low, A.; Randhawa, S.; Heim, N. A.; Payne, J.
Body size is often a useful metric in observing how a clade responds to environmental changes. Previous research has uncovered how environmental factors such as carbon dioxide and oxygen levels influence body size evolution. However, we wanted to look into how these natural factors interact and which factors seem to have a stronger relative influence on echinoderm body size. We analyzed carbon dioxide levels, a proxy for paleotemperature, oxygen levels, and sea level. Our research process involved measuring and calculating the volume of Phanerozoic echinoderm fossils recorded in the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, plotting their mean volumes over various natural factors, and using statistical tools such as correlation tests and the PaleoTS statistical analysis software to compare the relative strengths of these factors. Furthermore, we divided our data into the following three subsets to uncover more specific relationships: 1) A set that included all data of the phylum Echinodermata 2) A set that focused on the two classes with the most recorded data, Echinoidea and Crinoidea 3) A set that focused on the crinoid specimens that originated in the Paleozoic and in the post-Paleozoic. In the first subset, echinoderms had the strongest correlation with carbon dioxide, a proxy for temperature, and possessed a weaker correlation with oxygen. In the second subset, we discovered that the echinoid data also possessed a strong correlation with carbon dioxide and a weaker correlation with oxygen. For crinoids, we found that the class as a whole showed no strong correlation with any measured environmental factors. However, when we divided the crinoids based on age, we found that both Paleozoic and post-Paleozoic crinoids individually correlated strongly with sea level. However, some uncertainty with this correlation arose as the comparison of the environmental correlate models suggested that an unbiased random walk was the best fit for the data. This stands as a sharp
Full Text Available Introduction & Objective: Calcium is a micronutrient and now receiving much attention for its doubtful effects on weight and body fatness. A few mechanisms has been suggested for calcium effects on body fatness and the most emphasized one is the reducing of lipolysis and increasing lipogenesis via reducing parathyroid hormone levels. The present study is designed to evaluate the effects of nondairy dietary calcium on adipogenesis and adipocyte size in male Sprague dawley rats. Materials & Methods: This experimental study was done from November to September of 2005 at Tehran school of health, nutrition department. 48 male Spragu-Dawley rats from Damgostar Company were used in three randomly selected groups. The rats were fed low (0.2% W/W, usual (0.5% W/W and high (1.2% W/W dietary calcium based on AIN-93M purified diet. Rats were housed in 12 hours light-dark cycle, 22-25°C room temperature with free access to their respective diets. At the end of the experiment, rats were decapitated and carcass fat content, carcass ash content and mean adipocyte size in testis, peritoneal and subcutaneous fat pads were compared in three groups. The SPSS 11.5 was used as statistical software, running analysis of variance for comparing the effects. Results: weight gain, carcass fat content and adipocyte size, in groups were not significantly different, while serum parathyroid hormone concentrations in high calcium group was significantly lower than low calcium group (p<0.05 and insignificantly lower than usual calcium group [12.36, 23.57 and 42.2 pg/dl respectively]. Serum concentrations of 25-hydroxy cholecalciferol were also insignificantly lower in high calcium group. Conclusion: Our findings suggested that physiological concentration of dietary calcium is not effective on weight gain, body fatness and adipocyte size. Relatively equal fat content beside significant difference in serum parathyroid hormone levels is against the parathyroid theory of calcium
Gherardi, Marco; Mandrà, Salvatore; Bassetti, Bruno; Cosentino Lagomarsino, Marco
The development of a complex system depends on the self-coordinated action of a large number of agents, often determining unexpected global behavior. The case of software evolution has great practical importance: knowledge of what is to be considered atypical can guide developers in recognizing and reacting to abnormal behavior. Although the initial framework of a theory of software exists, the current theoretical achievements do not fully capture existing quantitative data or predict future trends. Here we show that two elementary laws describe the evolution of package sizes in a Linux-based operating system: first, relative changes in size follow a random walk with non-Gaussian jumps; second, each size change is bounded by a limit that is dependent on the starting size, an intriguing behavior that we call "soft bound." Our approach is based on data analysis and on a simple theoretical model, which is able to reproduce empirical details without relying on any adjustable parameter and generates definite predictions. The same analysis allows us to formulate and support the hypothesis that a similar mechanism is shaping the distribution of mammalian body sizes, via size-dependent constraints during cladogenesis. Whereas generally accepted approaches struggle to reproduce the large-mass shoulder displayed by the distribution of extant mammalian species, this is a natural consequence of the softly bounded nature of the process. Additionally, the hypothesis that this model is valid has the relevant implication that, contrary to a common assumption, mammalian masses are still evolving, albeit very slowly.
Steiner, Christopher F; Masse, Jordan
Heterogeneity among prey in their susceptibility to predation is a potentially important stabilizer of predator-prey interactions, reducing the magnitude of population oscillations and enhancing total prey population abundance. When microevolutionary responses of prey populations occur at time scales comparable to population dynamics, adaptive responses in prey defense can, in theory, stabilize predator-prey dynamics and reduce top-down effects on prey abundance. While experiments have tested these predictions, less explored are the consequences of the evolution of prey phenotypes that can persist in both vulnerable and invulnerable classes. We tested this experimentally using a laboratory aquatic system composed of the rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus as a predator and the prey Synura petersenii, a colony-forming alga that exhibits genetic variation in its propensity to form colonies and colony size (larger colonies are a defense against predators). Prey populations of either low initial genetic diversity and low adaptive capacity or high initial genetic diversity and high adaptive capacity were crossed with predator presence and absence. Dynamics measured over the last 127 days of the 167-day experiment revealed no effects of initial prey genetic diversity on the average abundance or temporal variability of predator populations. However, genetic diversity and predator presence/absence interactively affected prey population abundance and stability; diversity of prey had no effects in the absence of predators but stabilized dynamics and increased total prey abundance in the presence of predators. The size structure of the genetically diverse prey populations diverged from single strain populations in the presence of predators, showing increases in colony size and in the relative abundance of cells found in colonies. Our work sheds light on the adaptive value of colony formation and supports the general view that genetic diversity and intraspecific trait variation of
Full Text Available The importance of today's zoological gardens as the so-called "Noah's Ark" grows as the natural habitat of many species quickly diminishes. Their potential to shelter a large amount of individuals from many species gives us the opportunity to reintroduce a species that disappeared in nature. However, the selection of animals to be kept in zoos worldwide is highly selective and depends on human decisions driven by both ecological criteria such as population size or vulnerability and audience-driven criteria such as aesthetic preferences. Thus we focused our study on the most commonly kept and bred animal class, the mammals, and we asked which factors affect various aspects of the mammalian collection of zoos. We analyzed the presence/absence, population size, and frequency per species of each of the 123 mammalian families kept in the worldwide zoo collection. Our aim was to explain these data using the human-perceived attractiveness of mammalian families, their body weight, relative brain size and species richness of the family. In agreement with various previous studies, we found that the body size and the attractiveness of mammals significantly affect all studied components of the mammalian collection of zoos. There is a higher probability of the large and attractive families to be kept. Once kept, these animals are presented in larger numbers in more zoos. On the contrary, the relative mean brain size only affects the primary selection whether to keep the family or not. It does not affect the zoo population size or the number of zoos that keep the family.
Frynta, Daniel; Šimková, Olga; Lišková, Silvie; Landová, Eva
The importance of today's zoological gardens as the so-called "Noah's Ark" grows as the natural habitat of many species quickly diminishes. Their potential to shelter a large amount of individuals from many species gives us the opportunity to reintroduce a species that disappeared in nature. However, the selection of animals to be kept in zoos worldwide is highly selective and depends on human decisions driven by both ecological criteria such as population size or vulnerability and audience-driven criteria such as aesthetic preferences. Thus we focused our study on the most commonly kept and bred animal class, the mammals, and we asked which factors affect various aspects of the mammalian collection of zoos. We analyzed the presence/absence, population size, and frequency per species of each of the 123 mammalian families kept in the worldwide zoo collection. Our aim was to explain these data using the human-perceived attractiveness of mammalian families, their body weight, relative brain size and species richness of the family. In agreement with various previous studies, we found that the body size and the attractiveness of mammals significantly affect all studied components of the mammalian collection of zoos. There is a higher probability of the large and attractive families to be kept. Once kept, these animals are presented in larger numbers in more zoos. On the contrary, the relative mean brain size only affects the primary selection whether to keep the family or not. It does not affect the zoo population size or the number of zoos that keep the family.
Batas, B; Schiraldi, C; Chaudhuri, J B
The presence of inclusion body impurities can affect the refolding yield of recombinant proteins, thus there is a need to purify inclusion bodies prior to refolding. We have compared centrifugation and membrane filtration for the washing and recovery of inclusion bodies of recombinant hen egg white lysozyme (rHEWL). It was found that the most significant purification occurred during the removal of cell debris. Moderate improvements in purity were subsequently obtained by washing using EDTA, moderate urea solutions and Triton X-100. Centrifugation between each wash step gave a purer product with a higher rHEWL yield. With microfiltration, use of a 0.45 micron membrane gave higher solvent fluxes, purer inclusion bodies and greater protein yield as compared with a 0.1 micron membrane. Significant flux decline was observed for both membranes. Second, we studied the refolding of rHEWL. Refolding from an initial concentration of 1.5 mg ml-1, by 100-fold batch dilution gave a 43% recovery of specific activity. Purified inclusion bodies gave rise to higher refolding yields, and negligible activity was observed after refolding partially purified material. Refolding rHEWL with a size exclusion chromatography based process gave rise to a refolding yield of 35% that corresponded to a 20-fold dilution.
Cornioley, Tina; Jenouvrier, Stéphanie; Börger, Luca; Weimerskirch, Henri; Ozgul, Arpat
One of the predicted consequences of climate change is a shift in body mass distributions within animal populations. Yet body mass, an important component of the physiological state of an organism, can affect key life-history traits and consequently population dynamics. Over the past decades, the wandering albatross-a pelagic seabird providing bi-parental care with marked sexual size dimorphism-has exhibited an increase in average body mass and breeding success in parallel with experiencing increasing wind speeds. To assess the impact of these changes, we examined how body mass affects five key life-history traits at the individual level: adult survival, breeding probability, breeding success, chick mass and juvenile survival. We found that male mass impacted all traits examined except breeding probability, whereas female mass affected none. Adult male survival increased with increasing mass. Increasing adult male mass increased breeding success and mass of sons but not of daughters. Juvenile male survival increased with their chick mass. These results suggest that a higher investment in sons by fathers can increase their inclusive fitness, which is not the case for daughters. Our study highlights sex-specific differences in the effect of body mass on the life history of a monogamous species with bi-parental care. © 2017 The Authors.
Donadi, Serena; Eriksson, Britas Klemens; Lettmann, Karsten Alexander; Hodapp, Dorothee; Wolff, Joerg-Olaf; Hillebrand, Helmut
Body size is related to an extensive number of species traits and ecological processes and has therefore been suggested as an effective metric to assess community changes and ecosystem's state. However, the applicability of body size as an ecological indicator in benthic environments has been hinder
Xu, Henglong; Jiang, Yong; Xu, Guangjian
Based on a modified trait hierarchy of body-size units, the feasibility for bioassessment of water pollution using body-size distinctness of planktonic ciliates was studied in a semi-enclosed bay, northern China. An annual dataset was collected at five sampling stations within a gradient of heavy metal contaminants. Results showed that: (1) in terms of probability density, the body-size spectra of the ciliates represented significant differences among the five stations; (2) bootstrap average analysis demonstrated a spatial variation in body-size rank patterns in response to pollution stress due to heavy metals; and (3) the average body-size distinctness (Δz(+)) and variation in body-size distinctness (Λz(+)), based on the modified trait hierarchy, revealed a clear departure pattern from the expected body-size spectra in areas with pollutants. These results suggest that the body-size diversity measures based on the modified trait hierarchy of the ciliates may be used as a potential indicator of marine pollution. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Large valleys with opposing slopes may act as a model system with which the effects of strong climatic gradients on biodiversity can be evaluated. The advantage of such comparisons is that the impact of a change of climate can be studied on the same species pool without the need to consider regional differences. The aim of this study was to compare the assemblage of saproxylic beetles on such opposing slopes at Lower Nahal Oren, Mt. Carmel, Israel (also known as "Evolution Canyon" with a 200-800% higher solar radiation on the south-facing (SFS compared to the north-facing slope (NFS. We tested specific hypotheses of species richness patterns, assemblage structure, and body size resulting from interslope differences in microclimate. Fifteen flight-interception traps per slope were distributed over three elevation levels ranging from 50 to 100 m a.s.l. Richness of saproxylic beetles was on average 34% higher on the SFS compared with the NFS, with no detected influence of elevation levels. Both assemblage structure and average body size were determined by slope aspect, with more small-bodied beetles found on the SFS. Both the increase in species richness and the higher prevalence of small species on the SFS reflect ecological rules present on larger spatial grain (species-energy hypothesis and community body size shift hypothesis, and both can be explained by the metabolic theory of ecology. This is encouraging for the complementary use of micro- and macroclimatic gradients to study impacts of climate warming on biodiversity.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The association between change in weight or body mass index, and mortality is widely reported, however, both measures fail to account for fat distribution. Change in waist circumference, a measure of central adiposity, in relation to mortality has not been studied extensively. METHODS: We investigated the association between mortality and changes in directly measured waist circumference, hips circumference and weight from baseline (1990-1994 to wave 2 (2003-2007 in a prospective cohort study of people aged 40-69 years at baseline. Cox regression, with age as the time metric and follow-up starting at wave 2, adjusted for confounding variables, was used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CIs for change in body size in relation to mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. RESULTS: There were 1465 deaths (109 cancer, 242 cardiovascular disease identified during an average 7.7 years of follow-up from 21 298 participants. Compared to minimal increase in body size, loss of waist circumference (HR: 1.26; 95% CI: 1.09-1.47, weight (1.80; 1.54-2.11, or hips circumference (1.35; 1.15-1.57 were associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality, particularly for older adults. Weight loss was associated with cardiovascular disease mortality (2.40; 1.57-3.65 but change in body size was not associated with obesity-related cancer mortality. CONCLUSION: This study confirms the association between weight loss and increased mortality from all-causes for older adults. Based on evidence from observational cohort studies, weight stability may be the recommended option for most adults, especially older adults.
Křivan, Vlastimil; Priyadarshi, Anupam
Predator and prey isoclines are estimated from data on yeast-protist population dynamics (Gause et al., 1936). Regression analysis shows that the prey isocline is best fitted by an L-shaped function that has a vertical and a horizontal part. The predator isocline is vertical. This shape of isoclines corresponds with the Lotka-Volterra and the Rosenzweig-MacArthur predator-prey models that assume a prey refuge. These results further support the idea that a prey refuge changes the prey isocline of predator-prey models from a horizontal to an L-shaped curve. Such a shape of the prey isocline effectively bounds amplitude of predator-prey oscillations, thus promotes species coexistence.
Peng, Yu; Zhang, Fan; Gui, Shaolan; Qiao, Huping; Hose, Grant C
Scavenging (feeding on dead prey) has been demonstrated across a number of spider families, yet the implications of feeding on dead prey for the growth and development of individuals and population is unknown. In this study we compare the growth, development, and predatory activity of two species of spiders that were fed on live and dead prey. Pardosa astrigera (Lycosidae) and Hylyphantes graminicola (Lyniphiidae) were fed live or dead fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster. The survival of P. astrigera and H. graminicola was not affected by prey type. The duration of late instars of P. astrigera fed dead prey were longer and mature spiders had less protein content than those fed live prey, whereas there were no differences in the rate of H. graminicola development, but the mass of mature spiders fed dead prey was greater than those fed live prey. Predation rates by P. astrigera did not differ between the two prey types, but H. graminicola had a higher rate of predation on dead than alive prey, presumably because the dead flies were easier to catch and handle. Overall, the growth, development and reproduction of H. graminicola reared with dead flies was better than those reared on live flies, yet for the larger P. astrigera, dead prey may suit smaller instars but mature spiders may be best maintained with live prey. We have clearly demonstrated that dead prey may be suitable for rearing spiders, although the success of the spiders fed such prey appears size- and species specific.
Caroline L Relton
Full Text Available Epigenetic markings acquired in early life may have phenotypic consequences later in development through their role in transcriptional regulation with relevance to the developmental origins of diseases including obesity. The goal of this study was to investigate whether DNA methylation levels at birth are associated with body size later in childhood.A study design involving two birth cohorts was used to conduct transcription profiling followed by DNA methylation analysis in peripheral blood. Gene expression analysis was undertaken in 24 individuals whose biological samples and clinical data were collected at a mean ± standard deviation (SD age of 12.35 (0.95 years, the upper and lower tertiles of body mass index (BMI were compared with a mean (SD BMI difference of 9.86 (2.37 kg/m(2. This generated a panel of differentially expressed genes for DNA methylation analysis which was then undertaken in cord blood DNA in 178 individuals with body composition data prospectively collected at a mean (SD age of 9.83 (0.23 years. Twenty-nine differentially expressed genes (>1.2-fold and p<10(-4 were analysed to determine DNA methylation levels at 1-3 sites per gene. Five genes were unmethylated and DNA methylation in the remaining 24 genes was analysed using linear regression with bootstrapping. Methylation in 9 of the 24 (37.5% genes studied was associated with at least one index of body composition (BMI, fat mass, lean mass, height at age 9 years, although only one of these associations remained after correction for multiple testing (ALPL with height, p(Corrected = 0.017.DNA methylation patterns in cord blood show some association with altered gene expression, body size and composition in childhood. The observed relationship is correlative and despite suggestion of a mechanistic epigenetic link between in utero life and later phenotype, further investigation is required to establish causality.
Shields, Nora; Hussey, Juliette; Murphy, Joan; Gormley, John; Hoey, Hilary
To explore the association between physical activity, cardiovascular fitness and body size among children with Down syndrome. Physical activity, cardiovascular fitness and body size were measured by accelerometry, maximal fitness test and anthropometric measurements (BMI, waist circumference), respectively. Fourteen children with Down syndrome (8 boys, 6 girls; mean age 12.9 years) participated. There was no significant correlation between physical activity and cardiovascular fitness or physical activity and body size. Children with Down syndrome who were fitter, had lower BMIs (r = -0.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.41 to -0.93) and smaller waist circumference (r = -0.75, 95% CI -0.36 to -0.92). Preliminary evidence suggests physical activity may not be associated with either body size or fitness in children with Down syndrome. Body size appears to be inversely related to fitness in children with Down syndrome.
Caldwell, J P; Thorp, J H; Jervey, T O
Tadpoles of the barking tree frog, Hyla gratiosa, are abundant in spring and summer in some ponds and Carolina bays on the Savannah River Plant near Aiken, South Carolina. To determine how these tadpoles survive in the presence of predaceous salamander larvae, Ambystoma talpoideum, and larvae of an aeshnid dragonfly, Anax junius, we determined fields densities and sizes of the predators and the prey and conducted predation experiments in the laboratory. Tadpoles rapidly grow to a size not captured by Ambystoma, although Anax larvae can capture slightly larger tadpoles. Differing habitat preferences among the tadpoles and the two predator species probably aid in reducing predation pressure. Preliminary work indicates that the tadpoles may have an immobility response to an attack by a predator. In addition, the smallest, most vulnerable tadpoles have a distinctive color pattern which may function to disrupt the body outline and make them indiscernable to predators.
Halstead, B.J.; Mushinsky, H.R.; McCoy, E.D.
Masticophis flagellum (Coachwhip) and Coluber constrictor (Eastern Racer) are widespread North American snakes with similar foraging modes and habits. Little is known about the selection of prey by either species, and despite their apparently similar foraging habits, comparative studies of the foraging ecology of sympatric M. flagellum and C. constrictor are lacking. We examined the foraging ecology and prey selection of these actively foraging snakes in xeric, open-canopied Florida scrub habitat by defining prey availability separately for each snake to elucidate mechanisms underlying geographic, temporal, and interspecific variation in predator diets. Nineteen percent of M. flagellum and 28% of C. constrictor contained stomach contents, and most snakes contained only one prey item. Mean relative prey mass for both species was less than 10%. Larger C. constrictor consumed larger prey than small individuals, but this relationship disappeared when prey size was scaled to snake size. Masticophis flagellum was selective at the prey category level, and positively selected lizards and mammals; however, within these categories it consumed prey species in proportion to their availability. In contrast, C. constrictor preyed upon prey categories opportunistically, but was selective with regard to species. Specifically, C. constrictor positively selected Hyla femoralis (Pine Woods Treefrog) and negatively selected Bufo querclcus (Oak Toad), B. terrestris (Southern Toad), and Gastrophryne carolinensis (Eastern Narrowmouth Toad). Thus, despite their similar foraging habits, M. flagellum and C. constrictor select different prey and are selective of prey at different levels of taxonomy. ?? 2008 by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.
Wallace, W.G.; Hoexum Brouwer, T.M.; Brouwer, M.; Lopez, G.R.
The aquatic oligochaete Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri from a Cd-contaminated cove on the Hudson River, Foundry Cove, New York, USA, has evolved Cd resistance. Past studies have focused on how the mode of detoxification of Cd by these Cd-resistant worms influences Cd trophic transfer to the grass shrimp Palaemonetes pugio. In the present study, the authors investigate reductions in prey capture in grass shrimp fed Cd-contaminated prey. They also investigate the induction of metal-binding proteins, metallothioneins, in these Cd-exposed shrimp. Grass shrimp were fed field-exposed Cd-contaminated Foundry Cove oligochaetes or laboratory-exposed Cd-contaminated Artemia salina. Following these exposures, the ability of Cd- dosed and control shrimp to capture live A. salina was compared. Results show that shrimp fed laboratory-exposed Cd-contaminated A. salina for 2 weeks exhibit significant reductions in their ability to successfully capture prey (live A. salina). Reductions in prey capture were also apparent, though not as dramatic in shrimp fed for 1 week on field-exposed Cd-contained Foundry Cove oligochaetes. Shrimp were further investigated for their subcellular distribution of Cd to examine if alterations in prey capture could be linked to saturation of Cd-metallothionein. Cd-dosed shrimp produced a low molecular weight CD-binding metallothionein protein in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Most importantly, successful prey capture decreased with increased Cd body burdens and increased Cd concentration bound to high molecular weight proteins.
Ciciurkaite, Gabriele; Brady, Christy Freadreacea; Garcia, Justin
Previous research has documented social contagion in obesity and related health behaviors, but less is known about the social processes underlying these patterns. Focusing on married or cohabitating couples, we simultaneously explore three potential social mechanisms influencing obesity: normative body size, social control, and behavior modeling. We analyze the association between partner characteristics and the obesity-related health behaviors of focal respondents, comparing the effects of partners’ body type, partners’ attempts to manage respondents’ eating behaviors, and partners’ own health behaviors on respondents’ health behaviors (physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, and fast food consumption). Data on 215 partners are extracted from a larger study of social mechanisms of obesity in family and community contexts conducted in 2011 in the United States. Negative binomial regression models indicate that partner behavior is significantly related to respondent behavior (p obesity-related patterns of consumption and physical activity. In contrast, we find little support for the influence of normative body size or partner social control in this sample, though generalizations about the relevance of these processes may be inappropriate. These results underscore the importance of policies and interventions that target dyads and social groups, suggesting that adoption of exercise or diet modifications in one individual is likely to spread to others, creating a social environment characterized by mutual reinforcement of healthy behavior. PMID:28033428
Hemmert, Heather M; Baltzley, Michael J
Across various modes of locomotion, body size and speed are often correlated both between and within species. Among the gastropods, however, current data are minimal for interspecific and intraspecific scaling relationships. In this study, we tested the relationships between various measurements of body size and crawling speed in the terrestrial snail Cornu aspersum. We also investigated the relationships between crawling speed, muscular wave frequency, and muscular wavelength, because--while these relationships within individuals are well studied--the relationships among individuals are unknown. We recorded snails crawling on both a horizontal and a vertical surface. We found that when they crawled on a horizontal surface, foot length was positively correlated with pedal wavelength and crawling speed, but was not correlated with wave frequency. In comparison, when they crawled on a vertical surface, foot length was positively correlated with wavelength, negatively correlated with wave frequency, and not correlated with crawling speed. Body mass had no correlation with crawling speed when snails were crawling on a horizontal surface, but was negatively correlated with speed when snails crawled on a vertical surface.
Perry, Brea; Ciciurkaite, Gabriele; Brady, Christy Freadreacea; Garcia, Justin
Previous research has documented social contagion in obesity and related health behaviors, but less is known about the social processes underlying these patterns. Focusing on married or cohabitating couples, we simultaneously explore three potential social mechanisms influencing obesity: normative body size, social control, and behavior modeling. We analyze the association between partner characteristics and the obesity-related health behaviors of focal respondents, comparing the effects of partners' body type, partners' attempts to manage respondents' eating behaviors, and partners' own health behaviors on respondents' health behaviors (physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, and fast food consumption). Data on 215 partners are extracted from a larger study of social mechanisms of obesity in family and community contexts conducted in 2011 in the United States. Negative binomial regression models indicate that partner behavior is significantly related to respondent behavior (p behavior modeling mechanism in obesity-related patterns of consumption and physical activity. In contrast, we find little support for the influence of normative body size or partner social control in this sample, though generalizations about the relevance of these processes may be inappropriate. These results underscore the importance of policies and interventions that target dyads and social groups, suggesting that adoption of exercise or diet modifications in one individual is likely to spread to others, creating a social environment characterized by mutual reinforcement of healthy behavior.
Franchak, John M.; Celano, Emma C.; Adolph, Karen E.
Walkers need to modify their ongoing actions to meet the demands of everyday environments. Navigating through openings requires gait modifications if the size of the opening is too small relative to the body. Here we ask if the spatial requirements for navigating horizontal and vertical openings differ, and, if so, whether walkers are sensitive to those requirements. To test walkers’ sensitivity to demands for gait modification, we asked participants to judge whether they could walk through horizontal openings without shoulder rotation and through vertical openings without ducking. Afterward, participants walked through the openings so that we could determine which opening sizes elicited gait modifications. Participants turned their shoulders with more space available than the space they left themselves for ducking. Larger buffers for horizontal openings may reflect different spatial requirements created by lateral sway of the body during walking compared to vertical bounce. In addition, greater variability of turning from trial to trial compared with ducking may lead walkers to adopt a more conservative buffer to avoid errors. Verbal judgments accurately predicted whether openings required gait modifications. For horizontal openings, participants’ judgments were best predicted by the body’s dynamic abilities, not static shoulder width. The differences between horizontal and vertical openings illustrate that walkers account for the dynamic properties of walking in addition to scaling decisions to body dimensions. PMID:22990292
Kawazu, Isao; Kino, Masakatsu; Maeda, Konomi; Teruya, Hideshi
The aim of this study was to record the age and body size of 23 captive female hawksbill turtles at the onset of follicular development. The age, straight carapace length (SCL), and body mass (BM) of the turtles were recorded between 2006 and 2014 at follicular development (determined via ultrasonography) these parameters were 17.7 ± 1.7 years (range: 13-20 years), 77.7 ± 3.3 cm (73.3-83.5 cm), and 61.1 ± 8.0 kg (48.2-76.1 kg), respectively. When the year of the onset of follicular development was designated year 0, the increase in SCL in years -7-0 and 0-3 averaged 2.2 cm and 1.0 cm, respectively. Correspondingly, the increase in BM in years -7-0 and 0-3 averaged 5.0 kg and 2.2 kg, respectively. This is the first study to report the age and body size of captive female hawksbill turtles at the onset of follicular development, which indicates the beginning of sexual maturation. The reduction in growth after follicular development suggests that at the onset of sexual maturation, female hawksbills may utilize energy for follicular development rather than growth.
Maggi, Matías; Peralta, Luciano; Ruffinengo, Sergio; Fuselli, S; Eguaras, Martín
Phenotypic plasticity has been defined as the ability of a genotype to produce different phenotypes when exposed to distinct environments throughout its ontogeny. Morphological variability of individuals is an example of this plasticity. Taking into account that several studies have reported a wide morphological variability in Varroa destructor populations, we evaluated if the body size plasticity of the parasite constituted a key factor able to modulate mites survival when they were exposed to a drug bioassays. Drug bioassays against mites were conducted using three different Syzygium aromaticum essential oil concentrations (0.5, 1, and 5 μl/capsule) and controls. After 4 h of exposition, mite mortality was registered. The width (WS) and length (LS) of the dorsal shield were measured in dead mites. General lineal models were carried to determine if V. destructor survival to acaricides was related to the explanatory variables. Data modelling confirmed that WS and LS variables, together with time interaction, were significantly related to V. destructor survival when the parasites were exposed to acaricides. The models proposed demonstrated that for the smaller S. aromaticum essential oil concentration, the larger the parasite body, the greater the probability that it remains alive at the end of the bioassay. Such relationship was inverse for the other two concentrations tested. Possible causes explaining the body size variability in V. destructor individuals were discussed.
Mathias, Delphine; Thode, Aaron; Straley, Jan; Folkert, Kendall
Sperm whales have learned to depredate black cod (Anoplopoma fimbria) from longline deployments in the Gulf of Alaska. On May 31, 2006, simultaneous acoustic and visual recordings were made of a depredation attempt by a sperm whale at 108 m depth. Because the whale was oriented perpendicularly to the camera as it contacted the longline at a known distance from the camera, the distance from the nose to the hinge of the jaw could be estimated. Allometric relationships obtained from whaling data and skeleton measurements could then be used to estimate both the spermaceti organ length and total length of the animal. An acoustic estimate of animal length was obtained by measuring the inter-pulse interval (IPI) of clicks detected from the animal and using empirical formulas to convert this interval into a length estimate. Two distinct IPIs were extracted from the clicks, one yielding a length estimate that matches the visually-derived length to within experimental error. However, acoustic estimates of spermaceti organ size, derived from standard sound production theories, are inconsistent with the visual estimates, and the derived size of the junk is smaller than that of the spermaceti organ, in contradiction with known anatomical relationships.
Bruno, Eleonora; Borg, Marc Andersen; Kiørboe, Thomas
current that pulls in the prey from behind towards the mouth. The feeding-current feeding nauplius detects prey arriving in the feeding current but only when the prey is intercepted by the setae on the feeding appendages. This elicits an altered motion pattern of the feeding appendages that draws...
A predator-prey model in presence of alternative prey is proposed. Existence and local stability conditions for interior equilibrium points are derived. Global stability conditions for interior equilibrium points are also found. Bifurcation analysis is done with respect to predator's searching rate and handling time. Bifurcation analysis confirms the existence of global stability in presence of alternative prey.
Full Text Available Copepod nauplii are either ambush feeders that feed on motile prey or they produce a feeding current that entrains prey cells. It is unclear how ambush and feeding-current feeding nauplii perceive and capture prey. Attack jumps in ambush feeding nauplii should not be feasible at low Reynolds numbers due to the thick viscous boundary layer surrounding the attacking nauplius. We use high-speed video to describe the detection and capture of phytoplankton prey by the nauplii of two ambush feeding species (Acartia tonsa and Oithona davisae and by the nauplii of one feeding-current feeding species (Temora longicornis. We demonstrate that the ambush feeders both detect motile prey remotely. Prey detection elicits an attack jump, but the jump is not directly towards the prey, such as has been described for adult copepods. Rather, the nauplius jumps past the prey and sets up an intermittent feeding current that pulls in the prey from behind towards the mouth. The feeding-current feeding nauplius detects prey arriving in the feeding current but only when the prey is intercepted by the setae on the feeding appendages. This elicits an altered motion pattern of the feeding appendages that draws in the prey.
Henry, Joanna Randyl; Harrison, Jon Fewell
One hypothesis for the small size of insects relative to vertebrates, and the existence of giant fossil insects, is that atmospheric oxygen levels constrain insect body sizes because oxygen delivery is more challenging in larger insects. This study tested this hypothesis in dragonflies by measuring the oxygen sensitivity of flight metabolic rates and behavior during hovering for 11 species of dragonflies that ranged in mass by an order of magnitude. We measured flight times and flight metabolic rates in seven oxygen concentrations ranging from 30% to 2.5% to assess the sensitivity of their flight to atmospheric oxygen. We also assessed the oxygen sensitivity of flight in low-density air (nitrogen replaced with helium) in order to increase the metabolic demands of hovering flight. Lowered atmospheric densities did induce higher flight metabolic rates. Flight behavior was more sensitive to decreasing oxygen levels than flight metabolic rate. The oxygen sensitivity of flight metabolic rates and behaviors were not correlated with body size, indicating that larger insects are able to maintain an oxygen supply-to-demand balance even during flight.
Siomava, Natalia; Wimmer, Ernst A; Posnien, Nico
Body size is an integral feature of an organism that influences many aspects of life such as fecundity, life span and mating success. Size of individual organs and the entire body size represent quantitative traits with a large reaction norm, which are influenced by various environmental factors. In the model system Drosophila melanogaster, pupal size and adult traits, such as tibia and thorax length or wing size, accurately estimate the overall body size. However, it is unclear whether these traits can be used in other flies. Therefore, we studied changes in size of pupae and adult organs in response to different rearing temperatures and densities for D. melanogaster, Ceratitis capitata and Musca domestica. We confirm a clear sexual size dimorphism (SSD) for Drosophila and show that the SSD is less uniform in the other species. Moreover, the size response to changing growth conditions is sex dependent. Comparison of static and evolutionary allometries of the studied traits revealed that response to the same environmental variable is genotype specific but has similarities between species of the same order. We conclude that the value of adult traits as estimators of the absolute body size may differ among species and the use of a single trait may result in wrong assumptions. Therefore, we suggest using a body size coefficient computed from several individual measurements. Our data is of special importance for monitoring activities of natural populations of the three dipteran flies, since they are harmful species causing economical damage (Drosophila, Ceratitis) or transferring diseases (Musca).
Angielczyk, Kenneth D; Burroughs, Robert W; Feldman, Chris R
Understanding how and why biodiversity is structured across the globe has been central to ecology, evolution, and biogeography even before those disciplines took their modern forms. Three global-scale patterns in particular have been the focus of research and debate for decades: latitudinal gradients in species richness (richness decreases with increasing latitude), body size (body size increases with increasing latitude in endotherms; Bergmann's rule), and geographic range size (range size increases with increasing latitude; Rapoport's rule). Despite decades of study, the generality and robustness of these trends have been debated, as have their underlying causes. Here we investigate latitudinal gradients in species richness, body size, and range size in the world's turtles (Testudines), and add more evidence that these rules do not seem to apply across all taxa. We show that turtle diversity actually peaks at 25° north, a highly unusual global pattern. Turtles also fail to follow Bergmann's Rule, and may show the converse (larger at lower latitudes), though trends are weak. Turtles also show a complex relationship between latitude and range size that does not directly follow Rapoport's rule. Body size and geographic range size are significantly correlated, and multiple abiotic and biotic variables help explain the relationships between latitude and species diversity, body size, and range size. Although we show that turtles do not strictly follow some classic biogeographical rules, we also call for further in-depth research to investigate potential causal mechanisms for these atypical patterns.
Chiari, Ylenia; Glaberman, Scott; Tarroso, Pedro; Caccone, Adalgisa; Claude, Julien
Oceanic islands are often inhabited by endemic species that have undergone substantial morphological evolutionary change due to processes of multiple colonizations from various source populations, dispersal, and local adaptation. Galápagos marine iguanas are an example of an island endemic exhibiting high morphological diversity, including substantial body size variation among populations and sexes, but the causes and magnitude of this variation are not well understood. We obtained morphological measurements from marine iguanas throughout their distribution range. These data were combined with genetic and local environmental data from each population to investigate the effects of evolutionary history and environmental conditions on body size and shape variation and sexual dimorphism. Our results indicate that body size and shape are highly variable among populations. Sea surface temperature and island perimeter, but not evolutionary history as depicted by phylogeographic patterns in this species, explain variation in body size among populations. Conversely, evolutionary history, but not environmental parameters or island size, was found to influence variation in body shape among populations. Finally, in all populations except one, we found strong sexual dimorphism in body size and shape in which males are larger, with higher heads than females, while females have longer heads than males. Differences among populations suggest that plasticity and/or genetic adaptation may shape body size and shape variation in marine iguanas. This study will help target future investigations to address the contribution of plasticity versus genetic adaptation on size and shape variation in marine iguanas.
Lindström, A; Kvist, A; Piersma, T; Dekinga, A; Dietz, M W
We used ultrasonic imaging to monitor short-term changes in the pectoral muscle size of captive red knots Calidris canutus. Pectoral muscle thickness changed rapidly and consistently in parallel with body mass changes caused by flight, fasting and fuelling. Four knots flew repeatedly for 10 h periods in a wind tunnel. Over this period, pectoral muscle thickness decreased in parallel with the decrease in body mass. The change in pectoral muscle thickness during flight was indistinguishable from that during periods of natural and experimental fasting and fuelling. The body-mass-related variation in pectoral muscle thickness between and within individuals was not related to the amount of flight, indicating that changes in avian muscle do not require power-training as in mammals. Our study suggests that it is possible for birds to consume and replace their flight muscles on a time scale short enough to allow these muscles to be used as part of the energy supply for migratory flight. The adaptive significance of the changes in pectoral muscle mass cannot be explained by reproductive needs since our knots were in the early winter phase of their annual cycle. Instead, pectoral muscle mass changes may reflect (i) the breakdown of protein during heavy exercise and its subsequent restoration, (ii) the regulation of flight capacity to maintain optimal flight performance when body mass varies, or (iii) the need for a particular protein:fat ratio in winter survival stores.
Lombardo, Caterina; Battagliese, Gemma; Pezzuti, Lina; Lucidi, Fabio
This study aimed to provide data concerning the validity of a short sequence of face valid pictorial stimuli assessing the perception of body size in school-age children. A sequence of gender and age-appropriate silhouettes was administered to 314 boys and girls aged 6-14 years. The self-evaluations provided by the children correlated significantly with their actual BMI corrected for age. Furthermore, the children's self-evaluations always significantly correlated with the evaluations provided by the three external observers; i.e., both parents and the interviewers. The results indicate that this sequence of pictorial stimuli, depicting realistic human forms appropriate for children, is a valid measure of children's body image. Relevant differences across age groups were also found, indicating that before the age of eight, the correlations between the children's self-evaluations and their BMI or the judgments of the three observers are lower than in the other age groups.
with similar hunting habits, prey detection range represents a unifying constraint on the emitted intensity largely independent of call shape, body size, and close phylogenetic relationships.
KANG Bin; XIAN Weiwei; WU Yunfei
A 21-d laboratory experiment was conducted to study,the phosphorus (P) utilization of two different diets by redlip mullet Liza haematocheila T.& S.Sand-filtered water in salinity 30 and temperature 25℃ was used.Twenty-nine fish individuals were divided into three groups:11 to group 1 (G1) fed on diet l,11 to group 2 (G2) fed on diet 2,and 7 to contrast group.Diet 1 was a commercial feed,more valuable in nutrition than diet 2 that similar to natural detritus.The results show the intake phosphorus (IP) of G1 was significantly higher than that of G2,and both increased linearly with body size at a certain amount of diet.The retention phosphorus (RP) in fish of G1 was lower than G2.The relationship between retention phosphorus and body size was positive and stronger in G2.Significant difference in faecal phosphorus (FP) was found between G1 and G2.Body size significantly impacted the excretion phosphorus (EP) in G1 but G2.The loss of intake phosphorus in G1 was 10.83-20.27mg per g fish weight gain,higher than that in G2 for 6.63-9.56.Of the phosphorus,about 10% was allocated into growth,50% in faeces,and the rest lost in excretion.The main part of phosphorus was lost in faeces but excretion.The phosphorus budget of the fish could be described as 100IP=7.40RP+47.39FP+36.63EP (Diet 1) or 100IP=11.93RP+56.64FP+21.76EP (Diet 2).
Ester, Wietske A; Houghton, Lauren C; Lumey, L H; Michels, Karin B; Hoek, Hans W; Wei, Ying; Susser, Ezra S; Cohn, Barbara A; Terry, Mary Beth
Observational evidence suggests that adult body size has its roots earlier in life, yet few life-course studies have data on siblings with which to control for family-level confounding. Using prospective data from the Early Determinants of Mammographic Density Study (n = 1,108; 1959-2008), we examined the association of maternal prepregnancy body mass index (BMI; weight (kg)/height (m)2), gestational weight gain (GWG), birth size, and childhood growth factors with adult BMI in daughters at midlife using quantile, linear, and logistic regression models. We compared overall cohort findings (n = 1,108) with sibling differences (n = 246 sibling sets). Results derived by all 3 regression methods supported positive and independent associations of prepregnancy BMI, GWG, and percentile change in early childhood growth with BMI in daughters at midlife. Sibling analyses demonstrated that higher GWG was independently related to a higher adult BMI in daughters, particularly for the highest 90th quantile of adult BMI (β = 0.64 (standard error, 0.26) BMI units). Greater increases in weight percentiles between 1 and 4 years of age within siblings were also associated with higher adult BMI in the 75th quantile (β = 0.06 (standard error, 0.03) kg). Thus, even after consideration of the role of family-level fixed effects, maternal GWG and childhood weight gain are associated with adult body size in midlife. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
F. B. Oliveira
Full Text Available Ectotherm locomotion is restricted by low temperatures, and many species, such as some flying insects, need to achieve thermal thresholds before taking off. Body size influences heat exchange between an animal and the environment. Therefore, larger animals have higher thermal inertia, and necessarily spend more time in pre-flight warming up, a critical period when they remain exposed and more susceptible to predators. Thus, one could expect larger animals, along their evolutionary history, to have developed a more diversified repertoire of defensive behaviors when compared to their smaller counterparts. Moths are an interesting model for testing this hypothesis, as they exhibit considerable variation in body size and many species present pre-flight warming up by muscle shivering, an evidence of thermal restriction on locomotion. I registered the responses of 76 moths immediately after simulating the attack of a predator and then associated behavioral response to body size. I conducted the experiments at 20 and 25ºC to check for possible thermal restrictions on behavior, and identified animals to the family level to check for the effects of a common phylogenetic history. When disturbed at 25ºC, smaller moths tend to fly, while larger ones tend to run. At 20ºC almost all moths ran, including the smaller ones, indicating a possible thermal restriction on flight. Corroborating the proposed hypothesis, a more diversified repertoire of defensive behaviors was registered among larger moths. An alternative interpretation would be that common behaviors among related moths could be explained by common phylogenetic histories. However, two facts support the physiological restriction hypothesis: (1 the analysis within Sphingidae and Geometridae (not closely related families showed similar results to those of the overall analysis, and (2 a more diverse repertoire of defensive behaviors was associated to the lower, and therefore more restrictive to
Romano, Carlo; Koot, Martha B; Kogan, Ilja; Brayard, Arnaud; Minikh, Alla V; Brinkmann, Winand; Bucher, Hugo; Kriwet, Jürgen
The Permian and Triassic were key time intervals in the history of life on Earth. Both periods are marked by a series of biotic crises including the most catastrophic of such events, the end-Permian mass extinction, which eventually led to a major turnover from typical Palaeozoic faunas and floras to those that are emblematic for the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. Here we review patterns in Permian-Triassic bony fishes, a group whose evolutionary dynamics are understudied. Based on data from primary literature, we analyse changes in their taxonomic diversity and body size (as a proxy for trophic position) and explore their response to Permian-Triassic events. Diversity and body size are investigated separately for different groups of Osteichthyes (Dipnoi, Actinistia, 'Palaeopterygii', 'Subholostei', Holostei, Teleosteomorpha), within the marine and freshwater realms and on a global scale (total diversity) as well as across palaeolatitudinal belts. Diversity is also measured for different palaeogeographical provinces. Our results suggest a general trend from low osteichthyan diversity in the Permian to higher levels in the Triassic. Diversity dynamics in the Permian are marked by a decline in freshwater taxa during the Cisuralian. An extinction event during the end-Guadalupian crisis is not evident from our data, but 'palaeopterygians' experienced a significant body size increase across the Guadalupian-Lopingian boundary and these fishes upheld their position as large, top predators from the Late Permian to the Late Triassic. Elevated turnover rates are documented at the Permian-Triassic boundary, and two distinct diversification events are noted in the wake of this biotic crisis, a first one during the Early Triassic (dipnoans, actinistians, 'palaeopterygians', 'subholosteans') and a second one during the Middle Triassic ('subholosteans', neopterygians). The origination of new, small taxa predominantly among these groups during the Middle Triassic event caused a
Fisher, Matthew Lyle
Colloidal processing has been demonstrated as an effective technique for increasing the reliability of ceramic components by reducing the flaw populations in sintered bodies. The formation of long-range repulsive potentials produces a dispersed slurry which can be filtered to remove heterogeneities and truncate the flaw size distribution. When the pair potentials are changed from repulsive to weakly attractive, a short-range repulsive potential can be developed in the slurry state which prevents mass segregation, allows particles to consolidate to high volume fractions, and produces plastic consolidated bodies. Plastic behavior in saturated ceramic compacts would allow plastic shape forming technologies to be implemented on advanced ceramic powders. Two networks of different interparticle potential have been mixed to control the rheological properties of slurries and develop clay-like plasticity in consolidated bodies. The elastic modulus and yield stress of slurries were found to increase with volume fraction in a power law fashion. Consolidated bodies containing mixtures of alkylated and non-alkylated powder pack to high volume fraction and exhibit similar flow properties to clay. The mixing of aqueous networks of different pair potential can also be effective in tailoring the flow properties. The flow stress of saturated compacts has been adjusted by the addition of a second network of uncoated particles which is stabilized electrostatically. The influence of the addition of silica of various sizes on the viscosity and zeta potentials of alumina suspensions has been investigated. The adsorption of nano-silica to the surface of alumina shifts the iep. The amount of silica at which the maximum shift in zeta potential occurs is consistent with the silica required to produce the minimum viscosity. This level of silica on the surface is consistent with calculations of the amount necessary for dense random parking of silica spheres around alumina. The influence of
Full Text Available Purpose: Malnutrition, presenting as obesity in women and under-nutrition in children, is a prevalent problem in the squatter communities of Cape Town. Food habits are determined by a complex matrix of economic, social and cultural factors which need to be understood by health professionals prior to the implementation of strategies to improve the nutritional status of this community. This qualitative study is designed to explore the perceptions of overweight black women in Cape Town, with underweight infants, about the culturally acceptable body size for women and children.
Zakharchenko, V D; Pak, O V
Radiolocation methods of probing minor celestial bodies (asteroids) by the nanosecond pulses can be used for monitoring of near-Earth space with the purpose of identification of hazardous cosmic objects able to impact the Earth. Development of the methods that allow to improve accuracy of determining the asteroids size (i.e. whether it measures tens or hundreds meters in diameter) is important for correctly estimating the degree of damage which they can cause (either regional or global catastrophes, respectively). In this paper we suggest a novel method of estimating the sizes of the passive cosmic objects using the radiolocation probing by ultra-high-resolution nanosecond signals to obtain radar signatures. The modulation envelope of the reflected signal, which is a radar portrait of the cosmic object, is subjected to time scale transformation to carrier Doppler frequency by means of radioimpulse strobing. The shift of a strobe within the probing period will be performed by radial motion of the object which ...
Faerch, K.; Pacini, G.; Nolan, J. J.;
OBJECTIVEWe studied whether patterns of glucose absorption during oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) were abnormal in individuals with impaired glucose regulation and whether they were related to sex and body size (height and fat-free mass). We also examined how well differences in insulin......), isolated impaired fasting glucose (i-IFG), or isolated impaired glucose tolerance (i-IGT). Insulin sensitivity and -cell function were measured with the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp and intravenous glucose tolerance tests, respectively. Surrogate markers of both conditions were calculated from OGTTs...... size were taken into account (P > 0.28). Faster glucose absorption was related to higher fasting (P = 0.001) and lower 2-h (P = 0.001) glucose levels and to greater height and fat-free mass (P
Farafidy ANDRIANTAHINA; LIU Xiaolin; HUANG Hao; XIANG Jianhai
The original version of the title of this article unfortunately contained a mistake.The spelling of the [ZResponese]was incorrect.The title should read:Response to selection,heritability and genetic correlations between body weight and body size in Pacific white shrimp,Litopenaeus vannamei.The publishing companies apologize to the authors.
Hin, Vincent; Schellekens, Tim; Persson, Lennart; de Roos, André M
In basic intraguild predation (IGP) systems, predators and prey also compete for a shared resource. Theory predicts that persistence of these systems is possible when intraguild prey is superior in competition and productivity is not too high. IGP often results from ontogenetic niche shifts, in which the diet of intraguild predators changes as a result of growth in body size (life-history omnivory). As a juvenile, a life-history omnivore competes with the species that becomes its prey later in life. Competition can hence limit growth of young predators, while adult predators can suppress consumers and therewith neutralize negative effects of competition. We formulate and analyze a stage-structured model that captures both basic IGP and life-history omnivory. The model predicts increasing coexistence of predators and consumers when resource use of stage-structured predators becomes more stage specific. This coexistence depends on adult predators requiring consumer biomass for reproduction and is less likely when consumers outcompete juvenile predators, in contrast to basic IGP. Therefore, coexistence occurs when predation structures the community and competition is negligible. Consequently, equilibrium patterns over productivity resemble those of three-species food chains. Life-history omnivory thus provides a mechanism that allows intraguild predators and prey to coexist over a wide range of resource productivity.
Jalal, Marwa; Andersen, Tom; Hessen, Dag O
Increased adult body size in Drosophila raised at lower temperatures could be attributed both to an increase in the cell volume and cell number. It is not clear, however, whether increased cell size is related to (or even caused by) increased nuclear volume and genome size (or configuration). Experiments with Drosophila melanogaster stocks (Oregon-R and w1118) raised at 16, 22, 24, and 28°C resulted in larger adult body and wing size with lower temperature, while eye size was less affected. The increase in wing size reflected an increase in cell size in both males and females of both stocks. The nucleus size, genome size, and DNA condensation of adult flies, embryos, and Schneider 2 cells (S2 cells, of larval origin) were estimated by flow cytometry. In both adult flies and S2 cells, both nucleus size and DNA condensation varied with temperature, while DNA content appears to be constant. From 12% to 18% of the somatic cells were tetraploid (4C) and 2-5% were octoploid (8C), and for the Oregon strain we observed an increase in the fraction of polyploid cells with decreasing temperature. The observed increase in body size (and wing size) at low temperatures could partly be linked with the cell size and DNA condensation, while corresponding changes in the haploid genome size were not observed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Deluycker, Anneke M
Titi monkeys (genus Callicebus) are small-bodied platyrrhines that supplement their predominantly frugivorous diet with variable amounts of leaves, seeds, and/or arthropod prey. Notable interspecific variation in the amount of insect prey in the diet has been observed in Callicebus, ranging from 0% to 20%. In this study, I investigate the degree and type of prey foraging in a little-known species, Callicebus oenanthe inhabiting a fragmented, secondary forest on the foothills of the Andes in northern Peru. I present data on prey type, prey search and capture techniques, substrate/vegetation use, foraging height, prey capture efficiency, and seasonal variation of insect prey foraging in one group of C. oenanthe observed from January to August 2005. Insect prey accounted for 22% of the diet, the highest amount reported for any Callicebus species to date, and insects from at least six different orders were included. C. oenanthe was mainly an investigative forager of hidden prey, manipulating easy-to-open substrates such as rolled up leaves, and hunted ant swarms and larger insects opportunistically. Insect foraging was predominant during the dry season (26%) and decreased during the wet season (13%). The study group foraged mostly in the understory (2-6 m) within vine-laden shrubs and trees, which may conform to an anti-predator strategy of crypticity. Overall the group had an 83% insect capture success rate. These data suggest that insect prey is an important part of the diet of C. oenanthe and may be especially notable during periods of resource scarcity. This study adds to the knowledge concerning insect prey foraging in Callicebus, which can have an important role in defining ecological strategies in the selection of secondary protein food resources within a given ecosystem.
Full Text Available Bumblebees such as Bombus terrestris are essential pollinators in natural and managed ecosystems. In addition, this species is intensively used in agriculture for its pollination services, for instance in tomato and pepper greenhouses. Here we performed a quantitative trait loci (QTL analysis on B. terrestris using 136 microsatellite DNA markers to identify genes linked with 20 traits including light sensitivity, body size and mass, and eye and hind leg measures. By composite interval mapping (IM, we found 83 and 34 suggestive QTLs for 19 of the 20 traits at the linkage group wide significance levels of p = 0.05 and 0.01, respectively. Furthermore, we also found five significant QTLs at the genome wide significant level of p = 0.05. Individual QTLs accounted for 7.5-53.3% of the phenotypic variation. For 15 traits, at least one QTL was confirmed with multiple QTL model mapping. Multivariate principal components analysis confirmed 11 univariate suggestive QTLs but revealed three suggestive QTLs not identified by the individual traits. We also identified several candidate genes linked with light sensitivity, in particular the Phosrestin-1-like gene is a primary candidate for its phototransduction function. In conclusion, we believe that the suggestive and significant QTLs, and markers identified here, can be of use in marker-assisted breeding to improve selection towards light sensitive bumblebees, and thus also the pollination service of bumblebees.
Maebe, Kevin; Meeus, Ivan; De Riek, Jan; Smagghe, Guy
Bumblebees such as Bombus terrestris are essential pollinators in natural and managed ecosystems. In addition, this species is intensively used in agriculture for its pollination services, for instance in tomato and pepper greenhouses. Here we performed a quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis on B. terrestris using 136 microsatellite DNA markers to identify genes linked with 20 traits including light sensitivity, body size and mass, and eye and hind leg measures. By composite interval mapping (IM), we found 83 and 34 suggestive QTLs for 19 of the 20 traits at the linkage group wide significance levels of p = 0.05 and 0.01, respectively. Furthermore, we also found five significant QTLs at the genome wide significant level of p = 0.05. Individual QTLs accounted for 7.5-53.3% of the phenotypic variation. For 15 traits, at least one QTL was confirmed with multiple QTL model mapping. Multivariate principal components analysis confirmed 11 univariate suggestive QTLs but revealed three suggestive QTLs not identified by the individual traits. We also identified several candidate genes linked with light sensitivity, in particular the Phosrestin-1-like gene is a primary candidate for its phototransduction function. In conclusion, we believe that the suggestive and significant QTLs, and markers identified here, can be of use in marker-assisted breeding to improve selection towards light sensitive bumblebees, and thus also the pollination service of bumblebees.
Bartolini, Tiziana; Mwaffo, Violet; Showler, Ashleigh; Macrì, Simone; Butail, Sachit; Porfiri, Maurizio
Recent progress in three-dimensional (3D) printing technology has enabled rapid prototyping of complex models at a limited cost. Virtually every research laboratory has access to a 3D printer, which can assist in the design and implementation of hypothesis-driven studies on animal behavior. In this study, we explore the possibility of using 3D printing technology to understand the role of body size in the social behavior of the zebrafish model organism. In a dichotomous preference test, we study the behavioral response of zebrafish to shoals of 3D printed replicas of varying size. We systematically vary the size of each replica without altering the coloration, aspect ratio, and stripe patterns, which are all selected to closely mimic zebrafish morphophysiology. The replicas are actuated through a robotic manipulator, mimicking the natural motion of live subjects. Zebrafish preference is assessed by scoring the time spent in the vicinity of the shoal of replicas, and the information theoretic construct of transfer entropy is used to further elucidate the influence of the replicas on zebrafish motion. Our results demonstrate that zebrafish adjust their behavior in response to variations in the size of the replicas. Subjects exhibit an avoidance reaction for larger replicas, and they are attracted toward and influenced by smaller replicas. The approach presented in this study, integrating 3D printing technology, robotics, and information theory, is expected to significantly aid preclinical research on zebrafish behavior.
Spitz, Jérôme; Trites, Andrew W.; Becquet, Vanessa; Brind'Amour, Anik; Cherel, Yves; Galois, Robert; Ridoux, Vincent
Understanding the mechanisms that drive prey selection is a major challenge in foraging ecology. Most studies of foraging strategies have focused on behavioural costs, and have generally failed to recognize that differences in the quality of prey may be as important to predators as the costs of acquisition. Here, we tested whether there is a relationship between the quality of diets (kJ·g−1) consumed by cetaceans in the North Atlantic and their metabolic costs of living as estimated by indicators of muscle performance (mitochondrial density, n = 60, and lipid content, n = 37). We found that the cost of living of 11 cetacean species is tightly coupled with the quality of prey they consume. This relationship between diet quality and cost of living appears to be independent of phylogeny and body size, and runs counter to predictions that stem from the well-known scaling relationships between mass and metabolic rates. Our finding suggests that the quality of prey rather than the sheer quantity of food is a major determinant of foraging strategies employed by predators to meet their specific energy requirements. This predator-specific dependence on food quality appears to reflect the evolution of ecological strategies at a species level, and has implications for risk assessment associated with the consequences of changing the quality and quantities of prey available to top predators in marine ecosystems. PMID:23185542
Spitz, Jérôme; Trites, Andrew W; Becquet, Vanessa; Brind'Amour, Anik; Cherel, Yves; Galois, Robert; Ridoux, Vincent
Understanding the mechanisms that drive prey selection is a major challenge in foraging ecology. Most studies of foraging strategies have focused on behavioural costs, and have generally failed to recognize that differences in the quality of prey may be as important to predators as the costs of acquisition. Here, we tested whether there is a relationship between the quality of diets (kJ · g(-1)) consumed by cetaceans in the North Atlantic and their metabolic costs of living as estimated by indicators of muscle performance (mitochondrial density, n = 60, and lipid content, n = 37). We found that the cost of living of 11 cetacean species is tightly coupled with the quality of prey they consume. This relationship between diet quality and cost of living appears to be independent of phylogeny and body size, and runs counter to predictions that stem from the well-known scaling relationships between mass and metabolic rates. Our finding suggests that the quality of prey rather than the sheer quantity of food is a major determinant of foraging strategies employed by predators to meet their specific energy requirements. This predator-specific dependence on food quality appears to reflect the evolution of ecological strategies at a species level, and has implications for risk assessment associated with the consequences of changing the quality and quantities of prey available to top predators in marine ecosystems.
Full Text Available Understanding the mechanisms that drive prey selection is a major challenge in foraging ecology. Most studies of foraging strategies have focused on behavioural costs, and have generally failed to recognize that differences in the quality of prey may be as important to predators as the costs of acquisition. Here, we tested whether there is a relationship between the quality of diets (kJ · g(-1 consumed by cetaceans in the North Atlantic and their metabolic costs of living as estimated by indicators of muscle performance (mitochondrial density, n = 60, and lipid content, n = 37. We found that the cost of living of 11 cetacean species is tightly coupled with the quality of prey they consume. This relationship between diet quality and cost of living appears to be independent of phylogeny and body size, and runs counter to predictions that stem from the well-known scaling relationships between mass and metabolic rates. Our finding suggests that the quality of prey rather than the sheer quantity of food is a major determinant of foraging strategies employed by predators to meet their specific energy requirements. This predator-specific dependence on food quality appears to reflect the evolution of ecological strategies at a species level, and has implications for risk assessment associated with the consequences of changing the quality and quantities of prey available to top predators in marine ecosystems.
Simon N Chapman
Full Text Available Information on an organism's body size is pivotal in understanding its life history and fitness, as well as helping inform conservation measures. However, for many species, particularly large-bodied wild animals, taking accurate body size measurements can be a challenge. Various means to estimate body size have been employed, from more direct methods such as using photogrammetry to obtain height or length measurements, to indirect prediction of weight using other body morphometrics or even the size of dung boli. It is often unclear how accurate these measures are because they cannot be compared to objective measures. Here, we investigate how well existing estimation equations predict the actual body weight of Asian elephants Elephas maximus, using body measurements (height, chest girth, length, foot circumference and neck circumference taken directly from a large population of semi-captive animals in Myanmar (n = 404. We then define new and better fitting formulas to predict body weight in Myanmar elephants from these readily available measures. We also investigate whether the important parameters height and chest girth can be estimated from photographs (n = 151. Our results show considerable variation in the ability of existing estimation equations to predict weight, and that the equations proposed in this paper predict weight better in almost all circumstances. We also find that measurements from standardised photographs reflect body height and chest girth after applying minor adjustments. Our results have implications for size estimation of large wild animals in the field, as well as for management in captive settings.
Chapman, Simon N; Mumby, Hannah S; Crawley, Jennie A H; Mar, Khyne U; Htut, Win; Thura Soe, Aung; Aung, Htoo Htoo; Lummaa, Virpi
Information on an organism's body size is pivotal in understanding its life history and fitness, as well as helping inform conservation measures. However, for many species, particularly large-bodied wild animals, taking accurate body size measurements can be a challenge. Various means to estimate body size have been employed, from more direct methods such as using photogrammetry to obtain height or length measurements, to indirect prediction of weight using other body morphometrics or even the size of dung boli. It is often unclear how accurate these measures are because they cannot be compared to objective measures. Here, we investigate how well existing estimation equations predict the actual body weight of Asian elephants Elephas maximus, using body measurements (height, chest girth, length, foot circumference and neck circumference) taken directly from a large population of semi-captive animals in Myanmar (n = 404). We then define new and better fitting formulas to predict body weight in Myanmar elephants from these readily available measures. We also investigate whether the important parameters height and chest girth can be estimated from photographs (n = 151). Our results show considerable variation in the ability of existing estimation equations to predict weight, and that the equations proposed in this paper predict weight better in almost all circumstances. We also find that measurements from standardised photographs reflect body height and chest girth after applying minor adjustments. Our results have implications for size estimation of large wild animals in the field, as well as for management in captive settings.
Kilbourne, Brandon M; Hoffman, Louwrens C
Recently the metabolic cost of swinging the limbs has been found to be much greater than previously thought, raising the possibility that limb rotational inertia influences the energetics of locomotion. Larger mammals have a lower mass-specific cost of transport than smaller mammals. The scaling of the mass-specific cost of transport is partly explained by decreasing stride frequency with increasing body size; however, it is unknown if limb rotational inertia also influences the mass-specific cost of transport. Limb length and inertial properties--limb mass, center of mass (COM) position, moment of inertia, radius of gyration, and natural frequency--were measured in 44 species of terrestrial mammals, spanning eight taxonomic orders. Limb length increases disproportionately with body mass via positive allometry (length ∝ body mass(0.40)); the positive allometry of limb length may help explain the scaling of the metabolic cost of transport. When scaled against body mass, forelimb inertial properties, apart from mass, scale with positive allometry. Fore- and hindlimb mass scale according to geometric similarity (limb mass ∝ body mass(1.0)), as do the remaining hindlimb inertial properties. The positive allometry of limb length is largely the result of absolute differences in limb inertial properties between mammalian subgroups. Though likely detrimental to locomotor costs in large mammals, scale effects in limb inertial properties appear to be concomitant with scale effects in sensorimotor control and locomotor ability in terrestrial mammals. Across mammals, the forelimb's potential for angular acceleration scales according to geometric similarity, whereas the hindlimb's potential for angular acceleration scales with positive allometry.
Sookias, Roland B; Butler, Richard J; Benson, Roger B J
A major macroevolutionary question concerns how long-term patterns of body-size evolution are underpinned by smaller scale processes along lineages. One outstanding long-term transition is the replacement of basal therapsids (stem-group mammals) by archosauromorphs, including dinosaurs, as the dominant large-bodied terrestrial fauna during the Triassic (approx. 252-201 million years ago). This landmark event preceded more than 150 million years of archosauromorph dominance. We analyse a new body-size dataset of more than 400 therapsid and archosauromorph species spanning the Late Permian-Middle Jurassic. Maximum-likelihood analyses indicate that Cope's rule (an active within-lineage trend of body-size increase) is extremely rare, despite conspicuous patterns of body-size turnover, and contrary to proposals that Cope's rule is central to vertebrate evolution. Instead, passive processes predominate in taxonomically and ecomorphologically more inclusive clades, with stasis common in less inclusive clades. Body-size limits are clade-dependent, suggesting intrinsic, biological factors are more important than the external environment. This clade-dependence is exemplified by maximum size of Middle-early Late Triassic archosauromorph predators exceeding that of contemporary herbivores, breaking a widely-accepted 'rule' that herbivore maximum size greatly exceeds carnivore maximum size. Archosauromorph and dinosaur dominance occurred via opportunistic replacement of therapsids following extinction, but were facilitated by higher archosauromorph growth rates.
Fujiwara, Manabi; Hino, Takahiro; Miyamoto, Ryuta; Inada, Hitoshi; Mori, Ikue; Koga, Makoto; Miyahara, Koji; Ohshima, Yasumi; Ishihara, Takeshi
The body size of Caenorhabditis elegans is thought to be controlled by sensory inputs because many mutants with sensory cilium structure defects exhibit small body size. The EGL-4 cGMP-dependent protein kinase acts in sensory neurons to reduce body size when animals fail to perceive sensory signals. In addition to body size control, EGL-4 regulates various other behavioral and developmental pathways, including those involved in the regulation of egg laying and chemotaxis behavior. Here we have identified gcy-12, which encodes a receptor-type guanylyl cyclase, as a gene involved in the sensory regulation of body size. Analyses with GFP fusion constructs showed that gcy-12 is expressed in several sensory neurons and localizes to sensory cilia. Genetic analyses indicated that GCY-12 acts upstream of EGL-4 in body size control but does not affect other EGL-4 functions. Our studies indicate that the function of the GCY-12 guanylyl cyclase is to provide cGMP to the EGL-4 cGMP-dependent kinase only for limited tasks including body size regulation. We also found that the PDE-2 cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase negatively regulates EGL-4 in controlling body size. Thus, the cGMP level is precisely controlled by GCY-12 and PDE-2 to determine body size through EGL-4, and the defects in the sensory cilium structure may disturb the balanced control of the cGMP level. The large number of guanylyl cyclases encoded in the C. elegans genome suggests that EGL-4 exerts pleiotropic effects by partnering with different guanylyl cyclases for different downstream functions.
Blamires, Sean J
A spider orb web is an extended phenotype; it modifies and interacts with the environment, influencing spider physiology. Orb webs are plastic, responding to variations in prey parameters. Studies attempting to understand how nutrients influence spider orb-web plasticity have been hampered by the inability to decouple prey nutrients from other, highly correlated, prey factors and the intrinsic link between prey protein and prey energy concentration. I analyzed the nutrient concentrations of cockroaches, and adult and juvenile crickets to devise experiments that controlled prey protein concentration while varying prey size, ingested mass, energy concentration and feeding frequency of the orb web spider Argiope keyserlingi. I found that A. keyserlingi alters overall architecture according to feeding frequency. Decoration length was inversely related to ingested prey mass and/or energy density in one experiment but directly related to ingested prey mass in another. These contradictory results suggest that factors not examined in this study have a confounding influence on decoration plasticity. As decorations attract prey as well as predators decreasing decoration investment may, in some instances, be attributable to benefits no longer outweighing the risks. Web area was altered according to feeding frequency, and mesh size altered according to feeding frequency and prey length. The number of radii in orb webs was unaffected by prey parameters. A finite amount of silk can be invested in the orb web, so spiders trade-off smaller mesh size with larger web capture area, explaining why feeding frequency influenced both web area and mesh size. Mesh size is additionally responsive to prey size via sensory cues, with spiders constructing webs suitable for catching the most common or most profitable prey.
Mougi, Akihiko; Iwasa, Yoh
In this paper, we study the predator-prey coevolutionary dynamics when a prey's defense and a predator's offense change in an adaptive manner, either by genetic evolution or phenotypic plasticity, or by behavioral choice. Results are: (1) The coevolutionary dynamics are more likely to be stable if the predator adapts faster than the prey. (2) The prey population size can be nearly constant but the predator population can show very large amplitude fluctuations. (3) Both populations may oscillate in antiphase. All of these are not observed when the handling time is short and the prey's density dependence is weak. (4) The population dynamics and the trait dynamics show resonance: the amplitude of the population fluctuation is the largest when the speed of adaptation is intermediate. These results may explain experimental studies with microorganisms.
Full Text Available In butterflies, life span often increases only at the expense of fecundity. Prolonged life span, on the other hand, provides more opportunities for oviposition. Here, we studied the association between life span and summer dormancy in two closely related species of Palearctic Meadow Brown butterflies, the endemic Maniola nurag and the widespread M. jurtina, from two climatic provenances, a Mediterranean and a Central European site, and tested the relationships between longevity, body size and fecundity. We experimentally induced summer dormancy and hence prolonged the butterflies' life in order to study the effects of such a prolonged life. We were able to modulate longevity only in Mediterranean females by rearing them under summer photoperiodic conditions (light 16 h : dark 8 h, thereby more than doubling their natural life span, to up to 246 days. Central European individuals kept their natural average live span under all treatments, as did Mediterranean individuals under autumn treatment (light 11: dark 13. Body size only had a significant effect in the smaller species, M. nurag, where it affected the duration of dormancy and lifetime fecundity. In the larger species, M. jurtina, a prolonged adult life span did, surprisingly, not convey any fecundity loss. In M. nurag, which generally deposited fewer eggs, extended life had a fecundity cost. We conclude that Mediterranen M. jurtina butterflies have an extraordinary plasticity in aging which allows them to extend life span in response to adverse environmental conditions and relieve the time limitation on egg-laying while maintaining egg production at equal levels.
McFarlane, Donald A.; MacPhee, Ross D. E.; Ford, Derek C.
The megafaunal rodent Amblyrhiza inundatafrom Anguilla and St. Martin is often cited in lists of late Quaternary human-induced extinctions, but its date of disappearance has never been established. Here, we present a suite of uranium-series disequilibrium dates from three independent Amblyrhizasites in Anguilla, all of which cluster in marine isotope Stage 5. Thus, there is no indication that Amblyrhizasurvived into the late Holocene, when islands of the northern Lesser Antilles were first invaded by humans. We argue that the most probable cause of the extinction of Amblyrhizawas a failure of island populations to adjust to catastrophic reductions in available range which accompanied last interglacial sea-level maxima. We support this argument with quantitative extinction probability estimates drawn from persistence time models. Amblyrhizaexhibits body-size hypervariability, a common but underemphasized feature of island megafaunal species. We argue that hypervariability is a record of morphological response to oscillating natural selection, which in turn is driven by asymmetries in the relationship of population size, body mass, and persistence time. The fate of Amblyrhizastands in marked contrast to that of most other West Indian land mammals, whose losses increasingly appear to have been anthropogenically mediated.
Figueiredo Filho, Luiz Antonio Silva; Do Ó, Alan Oliveira; Sarmento, José Lindenberg Rocha; Santos, Natanael Pereira Da Silva; Torres, Tatiana Saraiva
The aim was to estimate the covariance components and genetic parameters of carcass traits and body size of meat sheep by employing animal models for single and multi-trait analyses. Data were collected from herds of adult Santa Ines sheep. The ribeye area, subcutaneous fat thickness, and rump fat thickness, evaluated in vivo by ultrasound images of the carcass; and morphometric traits: fat depth, rump height, chest circumference, chest depth, body length, and rump length were measured. The covariance components and genetic parameters for these traits were estimated by restricted maximum likelihood methodology, considering the random additive direct-genetic effects of the animal and errors associated with each observation, and the fixed effects of the contemporary group, the type of birth, and the age of the animal classes. Heritability estimates for carcass traits and animal size were higher in the three-trait analyses than in the single-trait analyses. The magnitudes of the values obtained indicate that genetic progress can be achieved by selection based on the traits studied.
Marcus, Sarah R; Fiumera, Anthony C
Atrazine is the one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States and non-target organisms may encounter it in the environment. Atrazine is known to affect male reproduction in both vertebrates and invertebrates but less is known about its effects on other fitness traits. Here we assessed the effects of five different chronic exposure levels on a variety of fitness traits in Drosophila melanogaster. We measured male and female longevity, development time, proportion pupated, proportion emerged, body size, female mating rate, fertility and fecundity. Atrazine exposure decreased the proportion pupated, the proportion emerged and adult survival. Development time was also affected by atrazine and exposed flies pupated and emerged earlier than controls. Although development time was accelerated, body size was actually larger in some of the exposures. Atrazine exposure had no effect on female mating rate and the effects on female fertility and fecundity were only observed in one of the two independent experimental blocks. Many of the traits showed non-monotonic dose response curves, where the intermediate concentrations showed the largest effects. Overall this study shows that atrazine influences a variety of life history traits in the model genetic system, D. melanogaster, and future studies should aim to identify the molecular mechanisms of toxicity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Trofaier, Anna Maria; Bartsch, Annett; Rees, William Gareth
The significant role Arctic freshwater ecosystems play in the carbon cycle leads to a necessity to quantify these remote inland waters on the landscape-scale. A new approach to analysing size-frequency distributions of open surface water bodies is presented in this study. Geospatial data of water bodies over the Yamal peninsula (NW Siberia) in the form of binary (two classes: water and land) temporal composite classifications are analysed over the two summer months July and August in 2007, 2008 and 2009. The source of the temporal composite dataset is the European Space Agency's Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) operating in Wide Swath Mode (WSM). These data are medium/low spatial resolution data with a pixel spacing of 75 m. However, their high temporal frequencies enable a seasonal analysis of water body abundance and size distributions. The emphasis is not only on quantifying Arctic lakes, but also on evaluating the distribution of spring floods throughout the active season. Size-frequency distributions are fit to a power-law model, conforming to be linear on a base 10 log-log scale. However, extrapolation of the myriad of smaller water bodies has in the past proven to be more complex than the current model would suggest. The apparent scale issues are investigated by additionally analysing active microwave data from the high spatial resolution TerraSAR-X satellite, and comparing the results to co-temporal ASAR WS data. With a total surface water area of around 606±50 km2 over the first two weeks of July in 2007, 2008 and 2009, a continuous decrease in water surface extent is determined over the course of the following six weeks. In 2009, high fragmentation of the early season classification is determined (1.6 and 1.4 times more polygons are found compared to the same period in 2007 and 2008). This is an artefact from weather affected data, resulting from high wind speeds over larger lakes and therefore showing a distinct wind bias in the
Haley BOWCOCK, Gregory P. BROWN, Richard SHINE
Full Text Available Male body size can play an important role in the mating systems of anuran amphibians. We conducted laboratory-based trials with cane toads Rhinella (Bufo marina from an invasive population in the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia, to clarify the effects of a male's body size on his reproductive success and behavior (mate choice. Males were stimulated with a synthetic hormone to induce reproductive readiness. Larger body size enhanced a male toad's ability to displace a smaller rival from amplexus, apparently because of physical strength: more force was required to dislodge a larger than a smaller amplectant male. A male’s body size also affected his mate-choice criteria. Males of all body sizes were as likely to attempt amplexus with another male as with a female of the same size, and preferred larger rather than smaller sexual targets. However, this size preference was stronger in larger males and hence, amplexus was size-assortative. This pattern broke down when males were given access to already-amplectant male-female pairs: males of all body sizes readily attempted amplexus with the pair, with no size discrimination. An amplectant pair provides a larger visual stimulus, and prolonged amplexus provides a strong cue for sex identification (one of the individuals involved is almost certainly a female. Thus, a male cane toad’s body size affects both his ability to defeat rivals in physical struggles over females, and the criteria he uses when selecting potential mates, but the impacts of that selectivity depend upon the context in which mating occurs [Current Zoology 59 (6: 747–753, 2013].
Furey, Nathan B.; Hinch, Scott G.; Mesa, Matthew G.; Beauchamp, David A.
Understanding the limits of consumption is important for determining trophic influences on ecosystems and predator adaptations to inconsistent prey availability. Fishes have been observed to consume beyond what is sustainable (i.e. digested on a daily basis), but this phenomenon of hyperphagia (or binge-feeding) is largely overlooked. We expect hyperphagia to be a short-term (1-day) event that is facilitated by gut volume providing capacity to store consumed food during periods of high prey availability to be later digested.We define how temperature, body size and food availability influence the degree of binge-feeding by comparing field observations with laboratory experiments of bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), a large freshwater piscivore that experiences highly variable prey pulses. We also simulated bull trout consumption and growth during salmon smolt outmigrations under two scenarios: 1) daily consumption being dependent upon bioenergetically sustainable rates and 2) daily consumption being dependent upon available gut volume (i.e. consumption is equal to gut volume when empty and otherwise ‘topping off’ based on sustainable digestion rates).One-day consumption by laboratory-held bull trout during the first day of feeding experiments after fasting exceeded bioenergetically sustainable rates by 12- to 87-fold at low temperatures (3 °C) and by ˜1·3-fold at 20 °C. The degree of binge-feeding by bull trout in the field was slightly reduced but largely in agreement with laboratory estimates, especially when prey availability was extremely high [during a sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) smolt outmigration and at a counting fence where smolts are funnelled into high densities]. Consumption by bull trout at other settings were lower and more variable, but still regularly hyperphagic.Simulations demonstrated the ability to binge-feed increased cumulative consumption (16–32%) and cumulative growth (19–110%) relative to only feeding at
Basilevsky, A. T.; Head, J. W.; Horz, F.; Ramsley, K.
This study considers the survival times of meter-sized rock boulders on the surfaces of several airless bodies. As the starting point, we employ estimates of the survival times of such boulders on the surface of the Moon by, then discuss the role of destruction due to day-night temperature cycling, consider the meteorite bombardment environment on the considered bodies in terms of projectile flux and velocities and finally estimate the survival times. Survival times of meter-sized rocks on lunar surface: The survival times of hand specimen-sized rocks exposed to the lunar surface environment were estimated based on experiments modeling the destruction of rocks by meteorite impacts, combined with measurements of the lunar surface meteorite flux, (e.g.,). For estimations of the survival times of meter-sized lunar boulders,  suggested a different approach based on analysis of the spatial density of boulders on the rims of small lunar craters of known absolute age. It was found that for a few million years, only a small fraction of the boulders ejected by cratering process are destroyed, for several tens of million years approx.50% are destroyed, and for 200-300 Ma, 90 to 99% are destroyed. Following  and other works,  considered that the rocks are mostly destroyed by meteorite impacts. Destruction of rocks by thermal-stress. However, high diurnal temperature variations on the surface of the Moon and other airless bodies imply that thermal stresses may also be a cause of surface rock destruction. Delbo et al.  interpreted the observed presence of fine debris on the surface of small asteroids as due to thermal surface cycling. They stated that because of the very low gravity on the surface of these bodies, ejecta from meteorite impacts should leave the body, so formation there of fine debris has to be due to thermal cycling. Based on experiments on heating-cooling of cm-scale pieces of ordinary and carbonaceous chondrites and theoretical modeling of