Hybridizing toads with different sex chromosomes

A new study published in Evolution Letters shows that species with different sex chromosomes can interbreed. Lead author Prof Christophe Dufresnes tells us more. How do organisms become male or female? It varies between vertebrates. Humans, like all mammals, do it with a Y chromosome – a chromosome that carries a “male determining” gene that … Continue reading Hybridizing toads with different sex chromosomes

An ancient association? Crickets disperse seeds of an early-diverging orchid

A new study published in Evolution Letters presents evidence of the apparently unusual seed dispersal system by crickets and camel crickets in Apostasia nipponica (Apostasioideae), acknowledged as an early-diverging lineage of Orchidaceae. Lead author Dr. Kenji Suetsugu tells us more.  Seed dispersal is a key evolutionary process and a central theme in terrestrial plant ecology. Animal-mediated seed … Continue reading An ancient association? Crickets disperse seeds of an early-diverging orchid

How does competition shape variation in metabolic rates?

A new study published in Evolution Letters investigates why metabolic rates are so variable between organisms. Here, lead author Dr Amanda Pettersen tell us what she found. Metabolic rate - the rate at which organisms take up, transform, and expend energy, is linked with the “pace-of-life”. Individuals with high metabolic rates often grow faster, reproduce … Continue reading How does competition shape variation in metabolic rates?

The architecture of adaptation: a master mutation or a mass of mutations?

A new study published in Evolution Letters demonstrates that rapid adaptation in natural populations of sticklebacks results from both genetic linkage (where multiple mutations located close together in the genome are inherited together) and pleiotropy (where the same mutation leads to changes in many traits). Lead author Dr Sophie Archambeault tells us more. When organisms … Continue reading The architecture of adaptation: a master mutation or a mass of mutations?

Are my enemies my future friends? They could be for this tiny fly

A new experimental study, published in Evolution Letters, reveals that the loss of predators from communities can make it more difficult for prey species to adapt to uncertain future environments. Lead author Dr Matt Barbour tells us more. We are in the midst of the Earth’s sixth mass extinction. As an ecologist, I find this troubling … Continue reading Are my enemies my future friends? They could be for this tiny fly

Publishing with Evolution Letters during the coronavirus pandemic

Here at Evolution Letters, we are committed to publishing the best new evolutionary biology research in a timely fashion, and will continue to do so as best we can throughout the coronavirus pandemic. We strongly encourage the evolutionary biology community to continue submitting manuscripts and writing reviews during this time. We know that our authors, … Continue reading Publishing with Evolution Letters during the coronavirus pandemic

Sexual selection intensity promotes the evolution of delayed maturation by sex in birds

A new study published in Evolution Letters reveals that sex differences in maturation times arise in bird species where one sex is rarer and competes more strongly for mates than the other, supporting the prediction that sexual selection selects for delayed maturation. Here, lead author Dr. Sergio Ancona explains his findings. The age at sexual … Continue reading Sexual selection intensity promotes the evolution of delayed maturation by sex in birds

Revealing the trade-off between resistance and maintenance under sexual conflict

New research published in Evolution Letters demonstrates that in fruit flies, female resistance to sexual conflict is dependent on food availability. Lead author of the study, Dr Wayne Rostant, tells us more. In species which reproduce sexually, i.e. either with separate sexes (or sex functions in the case of hermaphrodites) it is common to find … Continue reading Revealing the trade-off between resistance and maintenance under sexual conflict

Louder or longer? Optimizing information transmission in animals and the evolution of language

A new study published in Evolution Letters suggests vocal repertoire efficiency in rock hyraxes is driven by call amplitude rather than duration, challenging predictions of the Law of Brevity. Authors Dr Vlad Demartsev and Dr. Amyiaal Ilany tell us more. Social living in nature is tightly bound with the ability to communicate with others. Maintaining social ties and … Continue reading Louder or longer? Optimizing information transmission in animals and the evolution of language