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  • 1.
    Acerbi, Alberto
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Centrum för evolutionär kulturforskning.
    Jacquet, Pierre O.
    Tennie, Claudio
    Behavioral constraints and the evolution of faithful social learning2012Ingår i: Current Zoology, ISSN 1674-5507, Vol. 58, nr 2, s. 307-318Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Behavioral “traditions”, i.e. behavioral patterns that are acquired with the aid of social learning and that are relativelystable in a group, have been observed in several species. Recently, however, it has been questioned whether non-human sociallearning is faithful enough to stabilize those patterns. The observed stability could be interpreted as a result of various constraintsthat limit the number of possible alternative behaviors, rather than of the fidelity of transmission mechanisms. Those constraints canbe roughly described as “internal”, such as mechanical (bodily) properties or cognitive limitations and predispositions, and “external”, such as ecological availability or pressures. Here we present an evolutionary individual-based model that explores the relationships between the evolution of faithful social learning and behavioral constraints, represented both by the size of the behavioral repertoire and by the “shape” of the search space of a given task. We show that the evolution of high-fidelity transmission mechanisms, when associated with costs (e.g. cognitive, biomechanical, energetic, etc.), is only likely if the potential behavioral repertoire of a species is large and if the search space does not provide information that can be exploited by individual learning. Moreover we show how stable behavioral patterns (“traditions”) can be achieved at the population level as an outcome of both high-fidelity and low-fidelity transmission mechanisms, given that the latter are coupled with a small behavioral repertoire or with a search space that provide substantial feedback. Finally, by introducing the possibility of environmental change, we show that intermediaterates of change favor the evolution of faithful social learning.

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  • 2. Cimarelli, Giulia
    et al.
    Juskaite, Magdelena
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för biologisk grundutbildning (BIG). University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Austria.
    Range, Friederike
    Marshall-Pescini, Sarah
    Free-ranging dogs match a human's preference in a foraging task2023Ingår i: Current Zoology, ISSN 1674-5507Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Social learning is a mechanism used by many species to efficiently gain information about their environment. Although many animals live in an environment where members of other species are present, little is known about interspecific social learning. Domesticated and urbanized species provide the opportunity to investigate whether nonhuman animals can learn from heterospecifics such as humans, who are integral parts of their social landscape. Although domestic dogs Canis familiaris have been intensively researched for their ability to learn from humans, most studies have focused on dogs living as pets. However, free-ranging dogs represent the majority of the world’s dog population, they live alongside humans, scavenge on human refuse, and are subject to natural and sexual selection. Thus, free-ranging dogs with extensive exposure to humans and their artifacts provide the opportunity to investigate interspecific social learning in a naturalistic setting, where learning from humans might be a benefit for them. Here we tested individual free-ranging dogs in a between-subject design: Dogs in the control group could spontaneously choose between two novel and differently patterned food-delivering boxes. In the experimental group, instead, dogs could first observe an unfamiliar human approaching and eating from 1 of the 2 boxes. We provide the first evidence that free-ranging dogs match the choice of an unfamiliar human. These results show that at least simple forms of interspecific social learning might be involved in dogs’ success in living alongside humans in a complex urbanized environment. 

  • 3.
    Corral-López, Alberto
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Zoologiska institutionen.
    Eckerström-Liedholm, Simon
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Zoologiska institutionen.
    Van der Bijl, Wouter
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Zoologiska institutionen.
    Kotrschal, Alexander
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Zoologiska institutionen.
    Kolm, Niclas
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Zoologiska institutionen.
    No association between brain size and male sexual behavior in the guppy2015Ingår i: Current Zoology, ISSN 1674-5507, Vol. 61, nr 2, s. 265-273Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Animal behavior is remarkably variable at all taxonomic levels. Over the last decades, research on animal behavior has focused on understanding ultimate processes. Yet, it has progressively become more evident that to fully understand behavioral variation, ultimate explanations need to be complemented with proximate ones. In particular, the mechanisms generating variation in sexual behavior remain an open question. Variation in aspects of brain morphology has been suggested as a plausible mechanism underlying this variation. However, our knowledge of this potential association is based almost exclusively on comparative analyses. Experimental studies are needed to establish causality and bridge the gap between micro-and macroevolutionary mechanisms concerning the link between brain and sexual behavior. We used male guppies that had been artificially selected for large or small relative brain size to study this association. We paired males with females and scored the full known set of male and female sexual behaviors described in guppies. We found several previously demonstrated associations between male traits, male behavior and female behavior. Females responded more strongly towards males that courted more and males with more orange coloration. Also, larger males and males with less conspicuous coloration attempted more coerced copulations. However, courting, frequency of coerced copulation attempts, total intensity of sexual behavior, and female response did not differ between large-and small-brained males. Our data suggest that relative brain size is an unlikely mechanism underlying variation in sexual behavior of the male guppy. We discuss these findings in the context of the conditions under which relative brain size might affect male sexual behavior

  • 4.
    Olofsson, Martin
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Zoologiska institutionen. Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Thiruvananthapuram, India.
    Wiklund, Christer
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Zoologiska institutionen.
    Favati, Anna
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Zoologiska institutionen.
    On the deterring effect of a butterfly's eyespot in juvenile and sub-adult chickens2015Ingår i: Current Zoology, ISSN 1674-5507, Vol. 61, nr 4, s. 749-757Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Circular patterns, or eyespots, are common anti-predator features in a variety of animals. Two defensive functions have been documented: large eyespots may intimidate predators, whereas smaller marginal eyespots may divert attacks. However, a given eyespot potentially serves both functions, possibly depending on the predator's size and/or experience. Naive predators are potentially more likely to misdirect their attacks towards eyespots; alternatively, their typically smaller size would make them more intimidated by the same eyespots. Here we test how juvenile and sub-adult naive chickens respond to a single eyespot on a butterfly's wing. We presented the birds with dead wall brown butterflies, Lasiommata megera, that had their apical eyespot visible or painted over. We assessed the birds' responses' by (i) scoring their intimidation reaction, (ii) whether they uttered alarm calls and, (iii) if they attacked the butterfly and where they targeted their attacks. Results show that both age categories received higher intimidation scores when offered a butterfly with a visible eyespot. Juveniles were more intimidated by the butterfly than the sub-adults: they received higher intimidation scores and were more prone to utter alarm calls. Moreover, only sub-adults attacked and did so by preferentially attacking the butterfly's anterior. We demonstrate an intimidating effect of the type of eyespot that has previously been shown only to divert attacks. We suggest that one and the same eyespot may serve two functions relative to different predators; however, further experiments are needed to disentangle the role of predator identity and its link to size, ontogeny and experience.

  • 5.
    Reuland, Charel
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Zoologiska institutionen.
    Culbert, Brett M.
    Devigili, Alessandro
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Zoologiska institutionen.
    Kahrl, Ariel F.
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Zoologiska institutionen.
    Fitzpatrick, John L.
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Zoologiska institutionen.
    Contrasting female mate preferences for red coloration in a fish2020Ingår i: Current Zoology, ISSN 1674-5507, Vol. 66, nr 4, s. 425-433Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Understanding how animals select their mates requires knowing the factors that shape mate preferences. Recent theoretical and empirical considerations suggest that female mating status can influence the degree to which a female engages in mate choice, with virgin females predicted to be less choosy than mated females. In this study, we investigated mate choice in both virgin and mated females in the pygmy halfbeak Dermogenys collettei. Halfbeaks are small, live-bearing, internally fertilizing freshwater fish that live in mixed-sex groups where females have ample opportunity to engage in mate choice. Using a dichotomous choice assay, we quantified and contrasted in virgin and mated females mate preferences for differences in male body size, beak size, and area of yellow and red coloration. We also examined how mating status influenced the amount of time a female associated with the first male encountered and the relative amount of time a female associated with each male. We demonstrate that mate preferences of female halfbeaks are driven primarily by the size of red coloration present on males. Females showed contrasting preferences based on mating status, with virgin females preferentially associating with drab males whereas mated females preferentially associate with males possessing large areas of red. Contrary to expectations, female mating status did not influence how females associate with the first males encountered or how females biased their association time among males. Although the precise drivers of these effects need further studying, our finding highlights a possible explanation for how variation in male ornamentation can be maintained.

  • 6.
    Temrin, Hans
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Zoologiska institutionen.
    Nordlund, Johanna
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Zoologiska institutionen.
    Rying, Mikael
    Tullberg, Birgitta S.
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Zoologiska institutionen.
    Is the higher rate of parental child homicide in stepfamilies an effect of non-genetic relatedness?2011Ingår i: Current Zoology, ISSN 1674-5507, Vol. 57, nr 3, s. 253-259Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    In an evolutionary perspective individuals are expected to vary the degree of parental love and care in relation to the fitness value that a child represents. Hence, stepparents are expected to show less solicitude than genetically related parents, and this lack of genetic relatedness has been used to explain the higher frequencies of child abuse and homicide found in stepfamilies. However, other factors than non-genetic relatedness may cause this over-representation in stepfamilies. Here we use a 45-year data set of parental child homicides in Sweden to test two hypotheses related to the higher incidence in stepfamilies: 1) adults in different types of family differ in their general disposition to use violence, and 2) parents are more likely to kill stepchildren than genetically related children. Of the 152 perpetrators in biparental families there was an overrepresentation of perpetrators in stepfamilies (n=27) compared with the general population. We found support for the first hypothesis in that both general and violent crime rates were higher in stepfamilies, both in the general population and among perpetrators of child homicide. However, we found no support for the second hypothesis because of the 27 perpetrators in stepfamilies the perpetrator killed a genetically related child in 13 cases, a stepchild in 13 cases and both types of children in one case. Moreover, out of the 12 families where the perpetrator lived with both stepchildren and genetic children, there was no bias towards killing stepchildren. Thus, we found no evidence for an effect of non-genetic relatedness per se.

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