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Arthropods were the first animals to conquer land and air. They encompass more than three quarters of all described living species. This extraordinary evolutionary success is based on an astoundingly wide array of highly adaptive body organizations. A lack of robustly resolved phylogenetic relationships, however, currently impedes the reliable(More)
Insects are the most speciose group of animals, but the phylogenetic relationships of many major lineages remain unresolved. We inferred the phylogeny of insects from 1478 protein-coding genes. Phylogenomic analyses of nucleotide and amino acid sequences, with site-specific nucleotide or domain-specific amino acid substitution models, produced statistically(More)
Males of all reed frog species (Anura: Hyperoliidae) have a prominent, often colourful, gular patch on their vocal sac, which is particularly conspicuous once the vocal sac is inflated. Although the presence, shape, and form of the gular patch are well-known diagnostic characters for these frogs, its function remains unknown. By integrating biochemical and(More)
Phylogenetic relationships of the primarily wingless insects are still considered unresolved. Even the most comprehensive phylogenomic studies that addressed this question did not yield congruent results. To get a grip on these problems, we here analyzed the sources of incongruence in these phylogenomic studies by using an extended transcriptome data set.(More)
Nematostella vectensis, a member of the cnidarian class Anthozoa, has been established as a promising model system in developmental biology, but while information about the genetic regulation of embryonic development is rapidly increasing, little is known about the cellular organization of the various cell types in the adult. Here, we studied the anatomy(More)
Matrotrophy or extraembryonic nutrition – transfer of nutrients from mother to embryo during gestation – is well known and thoroughly studied among vertebrates, but still poorly understood in invertebrates. The current paper focuses on the anatomy and ultrastructure of the oogenesis and placentotrophy as well as formation of the brood chamber (ovicell) in(More)
In seasonally breeding mammals, in particular hibernators, reproduction underlies severe energetic and temporal constraints to enable the allocation of sufficient body fat reserves before winter. Thus, the timing of conception in spring can be crucial in terms of reproductive success. This study investigates follicular development in European ground(More)
The phylogenetic position of bryozoans has been disputed for decades, and molecular phylogenetic analyzes have not unequivocally clarified their position within the Bilateria. As probably the most basal bryozoans, Phylactolaemata is the most promising taxon for large-scale phylogenetic comparisons. These comparisons require extending the morphological and(More)
Most hibernating animals are thought to be monoestrous because reproductive activity is subject to strong time constraints. In previous studies, female European ground squirrels (Spermophilus citellus) turned out to have elevated oestradiol levels during late lactation and after weaning, indicating ovarian activity during summer. Therefore, we monitored(More)
Reproductive effort, factors affecting reproductive output and costs of reproduction were studied in primiparous yearling compared to multiparous older female European ground squirrels (Spermophilus citellus). Yearling females weaned smaller litters than older ones. Litter size increased with posthibernation body mass at the expense of slightly lighter(More)