Journal of Zoology

Cover image for Vol. 298 Issue 2

Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)

Edited By: Nigel Bennett (Editor-in-Chief), Matt Hayward, Andrew Kitchener, Rob Knell, Mark-Oliver Roedel, Jean-Nicolas Volff, Jane Waterman. Reviews Editor: Steven Le Comber

Impact Factor: 1.883

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 37/154 (Zoology)

Online ISSN: 1469-7998

Associated Title(s): Animal Conservation, International Zoo Yearbook, Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation


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  1. Original Articles

    1. Sexual and parent–offspring dietary segregation in a colonial raptor as revealed by stable isotopes

      I. Catry, T. Catry, M. Alho, A. M. A. Franco and F. Moreira

      Article first published online: 4 FEB 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12324

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      Although countless studies have investigated the diet of birds, comparatively few have described intra-specific sources of dietary variation. Here, we used SIA to investigate sex- and age-related dietary segregation in the lesser kestrel Falco naumanni. Females showed a narrower isotopic niche width and significantly more depleted δ13C signatures than males during the courtship period, likely due to a higher consumption of energetically rich mole crickets driven by selective mate-feeding behaviour before egg laying. δ15N signatures differed significantly between adults and chicks suggesting a parent–offspring dietary segregation during chick rearing. Compared to adults, chicks showed narrower isotopic niches, dominated by grasshoppers. Parents may optimize their investment in offspring by provisioning themselves with different prey than they feed their chicks, as growing chicks usually demand more energy than adult subsistence. Overall agreement between pellet analysis and SIA methods highlight the potential of SIA for assessing intra-specific variation in dietary regimes.

  2. Reviews

    1. Revisiting the consequences of cooperative breeding

      J. M. Burkart and C. P. van Schaik

      Article first published online: 3 FEB 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12322

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      Thornton & McAuliffe (2015) recently questioned the cooperative breeding hypothesis (CBH), i.e. that cooperative breeding has a variety of socio-cognitive consequences. However, the CBH is not merely a modified version of the social brain hypothesis as implied by Thornton & McAuliffe, since it does not claim that a species would have to be particularly smart to engage in cooperative breeding. Rather, the CBH posits that the immediate tasks associated with extensive allomaternal care require motivational proximate mechanisms, such as increased social tolerance and proactive prosociality, which, as a side effect also can facilitate performance in socio-cognitive tasks. Eventually, over evolutionary times this constellation may also, under specific conditions, facilitate increases in brain size. We first clarify these conceptual issues and then address the criticism of the empirical evidence. We conclude that the evidence for the CBH is strong for primates, and future work on other lineages will reveal its generality.

  3. Original Articles

    1. Hatching plasticity in response to salinity levels in a rhacophorid frog inhabiting a coastal area

      T. Haramura

      Article first published online: 25 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12323

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      Buergeria japonica is a ground-dwelling rhacophorid frog, and is known to breed in coastal areas. Salinity is a major mortality risk for amphibian eggs, and eggs of this frog are exposed to unexpected salinity fluctuation. To examine whether embryos are able to detect the risk level of egg mortality (salinity) and adjust hatching timing accordingly, embryos are exposed within egg capsules of B. japonica to different salinity levels. When exposed to high salinity, embryos of B. japonica hatched earlier than those exposed to low salinity. Especially, when transferred to salinity levels of 5‰ or more, embryos hatched almost immediately. The present study demonstrated that salinity is one of triggers that induce early hatching in amphibians, and embryos of B. japonica adjust hatching timing based on salinity differences accordingly.

    2. Biotic and abiotic determinants of appendage length evolution in a cave amphipod

      T. Delić, P. Trontelj, V. Zakšek and C. Fišer

      Article first published online: 25 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12318

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      We critically address the question of antenna and leg length in cave arthropods, an important trait in the study of convergent evolution. This classical cave-related trait is almost unanimously considered as adaptation to the lightless and energy-low cave environment. However, we demonstrate that variation in appendage length can be explained by selective factors that are not peculiar to the subterranean environment, such as water flow velocity and presence of competing species.

    3. Behavioural responses of pine weevils to non-consumptive interactions with red wood ants

      V. Maňák, N. Björklund, L. Lenoir, J. Knape and G. Nordlander

      Article first published online: 22 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12321

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      Non-consumptive effects are increasingly recognised as important in predator–herbivore interactions. We investigated how red wood ants influence the behaviour of pine weevils around ant-attended conifer seedlings infested with myrmecophilous aphids. The ants attacked pine weevils more frequently and for longer periods around ant-attended seedlings than around control seedlings without aphids. Weevils' locomotion behaviour also increased markedly when attacked by ants. These results suggest that aggressive ant behaviour may be an important factor for behavioural change in pine weevils that approach ant-attended seedlings which may explain the previously reported reduction in feeding damage on ant-attended seedlings.

    4. Prescribed fire alters surface activity and movement behavior of a terrestrial salamander

      K. M. O'Donnell, F. R. Thompson and R. D. Semlitsch

      Article first published online: 18 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12316

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      We used radio-frequency identification (RFID) to investigate individual-level responses of western slimy salamanders Plethodon albagula to prescribed fire. Following prescribed fire, the surface-active proportion of recaptures was nearly seven times greater in control versus burned areas, which indicates that the salamanders responded to post-prescribed fire conditions by spending more time belowground. We did not find evidence of direct mortality of salamanders from fires, but found some evidence of increased salamander movement following prescribed fire, which may indicate that salamanders were attempting to find more hospitable microenvironments or other resources. These individual-level observations contribute to our understanding of the behavioral mechanisms underlying population-level responses to prescribed fire.

    5. Comparative jumping mechanics in plethodontid salamanders

      W. G. Ryerson, A. L. Hessel and L. B. Whitenack

      Article first published online: 14 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12319

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      Plethodontid salamanders jump by laterally bending the body and rapidly unbending it. The momentum generated by this movement propels the salamander into the air. We found that the mechanics of this behavior are largely unaffected across species of various sizes.

    6. Long-legged caracaras: terrestrial habitat and hindlimb morphology

      M. C. Mosto, M. B. J. Picasso and L. M. Biondi

      Article first published online: 8 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12313

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      The objective of this work was to study the myology and osteology of the Caracara's hindlimb (Polyborinae, Falconiformes) in order to search for a morphological pattern in these birds with a predominant terrestrial locomotion. For this purpose, we compared this subfamily with the other two subfamilies of the order, Falconinae and Herpethoterinae, that have differential habits (aerial locomotion). We found differences both in their osteological and myological pattern: Polyborinae had a significantly longer tarsometatarsus, the presence of the musculus flexor crurislateralis and a well-developed musculusfibularis longuscompared to Falconinae and Herpethoterinae. Allthese featuresimprove walking ability. To conclude whether this pattern has an adaptive origin or is due to the phylogenetic history of the group, the myology of the Herpetotherinae should be studied, as their osteology patterns resemble both Falconinae and Polyborinae.

    7. Paternal sex allocation: how variable is the sperm sex ratio?

      A. M. Edwards, E. Z. Cameron, J. C. Pereira and M. A. Ferguson-Smith

      Article first published online: 5 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12317

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      Research on mammalian sex allocation has focused almost exclusively on mothers under the assumption that the male contribution is neutral, as it is determined during meiosis. Although early studies on sperm traits suggested that sex ratios were at parity, technological advances have made analysis more reliable and cheaper. Subsequently, more studies have shown variation in the X-/Y-CBS ratio, usually in relation to unusual circumstances, like environmental contamination. Nonetheless, these are assumed to be abnormal, and studies on sex allocation still assume that biases arise maternally. We investigated sperm sex ratios in a mammalian model species, and found that sperm sex ratios at both the individual and population level show significant variation. We discuss the possibility for adaptive paternal control and its interaction with maternal sex allocation. Sex allocation theories applied to mothers may equally pertain to fathers, and in some cases may be more parsimoniously explained through paternal contributions.

    8. Is isolation by distance the cause of the genetic structure of the Iberian white-throated dipper populations?

      M. A. Hernández, F. Campos, T. Santamaría, M. A. Rojo and S. Dias

      Article first published online: 5 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12315

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      Using microsatellites, we analysed the genetic structure of the white-throated dipper Cinclus cinclus populations from Iberian Peninsula. Three populations groups were identified: (1) Sierra Cazorla and Sierra Nevada in the south, (2) Pyrenees and Cantabrian Mountains in the north and (3) Central System, Galician Mountains and North Iberian System. Southern populations revealed high levels of genetic isolation when evaluated by both historic and recent gene flow across groups. The lack of suitable dipper's stepping stone habitats in the lowlands of the Iberian Meseta may be limiting bird dispersion and the spread of their genetic characteristics. Isolation by distance is thus influencing the genetic structure of Iberian dippers. Furthermore, the significant biometrical divergence found between the southern group and the remaining populations is highly consistent with trends in genetic structure and in the geographic distance between population clusters.

    9. Ungulate behavioral responses to the heterogeneous road-network of a touristic protected area in Africa

      M. Mulero-Pázmány, M. D'Amico and M. González-Suárez

      Article first published online: 30 DEC 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12310

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      Road ecology is a rising discipline, but there is a gap of knowledge concerning the traffic impact on wildlife within the large iconic African National Parks, where tourism is based on sightings from vehicles. We studied behavioral response and spatial distribution of impala Aepyceros melampus along the heterogeneous road-network (with variation in road surface and traffic) of Kruger National Park (South Africa). We surveyed: (1) flight responses among sighted impala; (2) impala spatial distribution in relation to paved and unpaved roads. We observed few flight responses (19.5% of 118 observations) suggesting habituation to vehicles. Nevertheless, impala tend to avoid the proximity of paved roads. Our results suggest a negative, albeit small, effect of traffic on the behavior of impala. This result has ecological and management implications for protected areas where touristic activities are largely based on driving.

    10. Further insights into the metamorphosis process in a carapid fish

      E. Parmentier

      Article first published online: 29 DEC 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12314

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      In Carapus homei, settlement corresponds to a metamorphosis during which the length of the fish is reduced by 60%. The shortening of the body axis can be compared to an ‘excision-splicing’ process. Excision causes the spacing of adjacent vertebrae because of the degeneration of their extremities. Splicing allows the shortening of the body. The mechanism implies a compressive force whose source seems mainly to involve the notochord.

    11. Refined assessment of the geographic distribution of Geoffroy's cat (Leopardus geoffroyi) (Mammalia: Felidae) in the Neotropics

      G. A. E. Cuyckens, J. A. Pereira, T. C. Trigo, M. Da Silva, L. Gonçalves, J. C. Huaranca, N. Bou Pérez, J. L. Cartes and E. Eizirik

      Article first published online: 29 DEC 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12312

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      Geoffroy's cat (Leopardus geoffroyi) is a small, widely distributed species of Least Concern in the south of South-America. Based on an international effort, we evaluated the fine-scale distribution of Geoffroy's cat at the sub-continental level. Based on 1502 presence records and large-scale environmental data we developed two species distribution models (SDM); an environmental model, based on climatic and topographic data and a land-cover model adding land-cover information. The comparison of those models suggests that this habitat-generalist felid is expanding its distribution range by taking advantage of changes in human land-use.

    12. Evaluating the functional importance of secretive species: A case study of aquatic snake predators in isolated wetlands

      J. D. Willson and C. T. Winne

      Article first published online: 29 DEC 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12311

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      Due to secretive behavior, snakes are infrequently observed and are often written off as being unimportant as ecosystem components. We combined intensive mark-recapture, field analysis of diet and growth and laboratory feeding studies to estimate density and annual prey consumption of two species of aquatic snakes inhabiting an isolated 5.4-ha wetland in South Carolina, USA. We found a peak density of 171 snakes ha−1 of wetland habitat and estimated that these snakes consume over 200 kg (>55 000 individuals) of amphibian prey annually, demonstrating that snakes can be important predators in aquatic food webs.

    13. Correlations between estrogen and testosterone concentrations, pairing status and acanthocephalan infection in an amphipod

      S. E. Lewis, J. G. Freund, J. L. Wankowski and M. G. Baldridge

      Article first published online: 29 DEC 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12309

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      We investigated how estrogen (17β-estradiol) and testosterone concentrations vary between unparasitized male and female amphipods Gammarus pseudolimnaeus that were and were not in precopulatory pairs, and whether infection with the acanthocephalan Corynosoma sp. is correlated with differences in estrogen or testosterone concentrations when compared to unparasitized conspecifics. Estrogen and testosterone differ significantly between male and female amphipods, whether paired or unpaired, suggesting they may have sex-specific functions. Encysted acanthocephalan parasites are correlated with elevated concentrations of estrogen and depressed concentrations of testosterone in male, but not female amphipods. This correlation suggests the need for a broader investigation of the mechanisms underlying phenotypic alterations of amphipod behavior and physiology by acanthocephalan parasites.

    14. Use of tri-axial accelerometers to assess terrestrial mammal behaviour in the wild

      L. Lush, S. Ellwood, A. Markham, A. I. Ward and P. Wheeler

      Article first published online: 20 DEC 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12308

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      Tri-axial accelerometer tags provide quantitative data on body movement that can be used to characterize behaviour and understand species ecology in ways that would otherwise be impossible. We fitted brown hares with accelerometer tags to evaluate their use in collecting detailed behaviour data and activity levels. Collared hares were filmed to help classify observed behaviour with the tag data. Random Forest models accurately classified the tag data with 11% error rate. Individual behaviours varied in classification accuracy. The tags allowed 24 h monitoring of hare behaviour, when visibility was difficult. This method could be used on a range of animals to learn more about their behaviour and answer many ecological questions.

    15. Seasonal variation of flight initiation distance in Eurasian red squirrels in urban versus rural habitat

      K. Uchida, K. Suzuki, T. Shimamoto, H. Yanagawa and I. Koizumi

      Article first published online: 1 DEC 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12306

    16. Diet and prey selectivity of the specialist myrmecophage, Temminck's ground pangolin

      D. W. Pietersen, C. T. Symes, S. Woodborne, A. E. McKechnie and R. Jansen

      Article first published online: 8 NOV 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12302

    17. Determinants of dry season habitat use by Asian elephants in the Western Ghats of India

      N. Lakshminarayanan, K. K. Karanth, V. R. Goswami, S. Vaidyanathan and K. Ullas Karanth

      Article first published online: 3 NOV 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12298

    18. Population structure of edible dormouse in Poland: the role of habitat fragmentation and implications for conservation

      M. Herdegen, J. Radwan, U. Sobczynska, M. Dabert, D. Konjević, J. Schlichter and M. Jurczyszyn

      Article first published online: 3 NOV 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12304

    19. Pattern of repeatability in the movement behaviour of a long-lived territorial species, the eagle owl

      L. Campioni, M. M. Delgado and V. Penteriani

      Article first published online: 26 OCT 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12301

    20. Factors affecting the overwintering of tadpoles in a temperate amphibian

      P. T. Walsh, J. R. Downie and P. Monaghan

      Article first published online: 18 OCT 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12296


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