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  • 1.
    Corral-López, Alberto
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. University College of London, UK.
    Romensky, Maksym
    Kotrschal, Alexander
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Wageningen University, The Netherlands.
    Buechel, Severine D.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Kolm, Niclas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Brain size affects responsiveness in mating behaviour to variation in predation pressure and sex ratio2020In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1010-061X, E-ISSN 1420-9101, Vol. 33, no 2, p. 165-177Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite ongoing advances in sexual selection theory, the evolution of mating decisions remains enigmatic. Cognitive processes often require simultaneous processing of multiple sources of information from environmental and social cues. However, little experimental data exist on how cognitive ability affects such fitness-associated aspects of behaviour. Using advanced tracking techniques, we studied mating behaviours of guppies artificially selected for divergence in relative brain size, with known differences in cognitive ability, when predation threat and sex ratio was varied. In females, we found a general increase in copulation behaviour in when the sex ratio was female biased, but only large-brained females responded with greater willingness to copulate under a low predation threat. In males, we found that small-brained individuals courted more intensively and displayed more aggressive behaviours than large-brained individuals. However, there were no differences in female response to males with different brain size. These results provide further evidence of a role for female brain size in optimal decision-making in a mating context. In addition, our results indicate that brain size may affect mating display skill in male guppies. We suggest that it is important to consider the association between brain size, cognitive ability and sexual behaviour when studying how morphological and behavioural traits evolve in wild populations.

  • 2. Szorkovszky, Alex
    et al.
    Kotrschal, Alexander
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Stockholm Univ, Zool Dept, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Herbert-Read, James E.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. University of Bristol, U.K..
    Buechel, Severine D.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Romenskyy, Maksym
    Rosen, Emil
    van der Bijl, Wouter
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Pelckmans, Kristiaan
    Kolm, Niclas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Sumpter, David J. T.
    Assortative interactions revealed by sorting of animal groups2018In: Animal Behaviour, ISSN 0003-3472, E-ISSN 1095-8282, Vol. 142, p. 165-179Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Animals living in groups can show substantial variation in social traits and this affects their social organization. However, as the specific mechanisms driving this organization are difficult to identify in already organized groups typically found in the wild, the contribution of interindividual variation to group level behaviour remains enigmatic. Here, we present results of an experiment to create and compare groups that vary in social organization, and study how individual behaviour varies between these groups. We iteratively sorted individuals between groups of guppies, Poecilia reticulata, by ranking the groups according to their directional alignment and then mixing similar groups. Over the rounds of sorting the consistency of the group rankings increased, producing groups that varied significantly in key social behaviours such as collective activity and group cohesion. The repeatability of the underlying individual behaviour was then estimated by comparing the experimental data to simulations. At the level of basic locomotion, individuals in more coordinated groups displayed stronger interactions with the centre of the group, and weaker interactions with their nearest neighbours. We propose that this provides the basis for a passive phenotypic assortment mechanism that may explain the structures of social networks in the wild.

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