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Avian host life history traits have been hypothesized to predict rates of infection by haemosporidian parasites. Using molecular techniques, we tested this hypothesis for parasites from three haemosporidian genera (Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon) collected from a diverse sampling of birds in northern Malawi. We found that host life history(More)
A total of 641 birds representing 135 species of 25 families from Noel Kempff Mercado National Park in west-central Bolivia was examined for hematozoa; only 33 (5.1%) harbored blood parasites. Microfilariae were the most commonly encountered hematozoans, followed, in numerical sequence, by species of Haemoproteus and Plasmodium; Trypanosoma, Atoxoplasma,(More)
Geographic isolation is considered essential to most speciation events, but our understanding of what controls the pace and degree of phenotypic divergence among allopatric populations remains poor. Why do some taxa exhibit phenotypic differentiation across barriers to dispersal, whereas others do not? To test factors controlling phenotypic divergence in(More)
The louse genera Brueelia (Ischnocera) and Myrsidea (Amblycera) are broadly codistributed on songbirds (Passeriformes), but differ in a variety of life history characteristics. We used mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences to assess levels of genetic divergence and reconstruct phylogenies of these 2 genera, focusing especially on Catharus thrushes in(More)
Although many studies have documented the effect of glaciation on the evolutionary history of Northern Hemisphere flora and fauna, this study is the first to investigate how the indirect aridification of Africa caused by global cooling in response to glacial cycles at higher latitudes has influenced the evolutionary history of an African montane bird.(More)
The hero shrew's (Scutisorex somereni) massive interlocking lumbar vertebrae represent the most extreme modification of the vertebral column known in mammals. No intermediate form of this remarkable morphology is known, nor is there any convincing theory to explain its functional significance. We document a new species in the heretofore monotypic genus(More)
The glacial refugia paradigm has been broadly applied to patterns of species dynamics and population diversification. However, recent geological studies have demonstrated striking Pleistocene climate changes in currently semiarid northeastern Brazil at time intervals much more frequent than the climatic oscillations associated with glacial and interglacial(More)
Weir and Schluter (Reports, 16 March 2007, p. 1574) used variation in the age distribution of sister species to estimate that recent rates of speciation decline toward the tropics. However, this conclusion may be undermined by taxonomic biases, sampling artifacts, and the sister-species method, all of which tend to underestimate diversification rates at low(More)
We document the first records for Guyana of Roraiman Antbird (Percnostola [Schistocichla] ''leucostigma'' saturata), an endemic of the tepui highlands of southeastern Venezuela, northern Brazil and western Guyana. This form is well differentiated from nominate leucostigma (Spot-winged Antbird) of the Guianan lowlands in morphology, vocali-zations, and(More)