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There is a well-established allometric relationship between brain and body mass in mammals. Deviation of relatively increased brain size from this pattern appears to coincide with enhanced cognitive abilities. To examine whether there is a phylogenetic structure to such episodes of changes in encephalization across mammals, we used phylogenetic techniques(More)
Various nucleotide substitution models have been developed to accommodate among lineage rate heterogeneity, thereby relaxing the assumptions of the strict molecular clock. Recently developed "uncorrelated relaxed clock" and "random local clock" (RLC) models allow decoupling of nucleotide substitution rates between descendant lineages and are thus predicted(More)
The flora of Macaronesia, which encompasses five Atlantic archipelagos (Azores, Canaries, Madeira, Cape Verde, and Salvage), is exceptionally rich and diverse. Spectacular radiation of numerous endemic plant groups has made the Macaronesian islands an outstanding area for studies of evolution and speciation. Despite intensive investigation in the last 15(More)
BACKGROUND Cetacea (dolphins, porpoises, and whales) is a clade of aquatic species that includes the most massive, deepest diving, and largest brained mammals. Understanding the temporal pattern of diversification in the group as well as the evolution of cetacean anatomy and behavior requires a robust and well-resolved phylogenetic hypothesis. Although a(More)
Galectins are multifunctional regulators of fundamental cellular processes. They are also involved in innate and adaptive immune responses, and play a functional role in immune-endocrine crosstalk. Some galectins have attracted attention in the reproductive sciences because they are highly expressed at the maternal-fetal interface, their functional(More)
Cetaceans rival primates in brain size relative to body size and include species with the largest brains and biggest bodies to have ever evolved. Cetaceans are remarkably diverse, varying in both phenotypes by several orders of magnitude, with notable differences between the two extant suborders, Mysticeti and Odontoceti. We analyzed the evolutionary(More)
Cetacea (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) is a model group for investigating the molecular signature of macroevolutionary transitions. Recent research has begun to reveal the molecular underpinnings of the remarkable anatomical and behavioral transformation in this clade. This shift from terrestrial to aquatic environments is arguably the best-understood(More)
BACKGROUND Representatives of Cetacea have the greatest absolute brain size among animals, and the largest relative brain size aside from humans. Despite this, genes implicated in the evolution of large brain size in primates have yet to be surveyed in cetaceans. RESULTS We sequenced ~1240 basepairs of the brain development gene microcephalin (MCPH1) in(More)
Recent studies have reported multiple cases of molecular adaptation in cetaceans related to their aquatic abilities. However, none of these has included the hippopotamus, precluding an understanding of whether molecular adaptations in cetaceans occurred before or after they split from their semi-aquatic sister taxa. Here, we obtained new transcriptomes from(More)
OBJECTIVES Human brain development follows a unique pattern characterized by a prolonged period of postnatal growth and reorganization, and a postnatal peak in glucose utilization. The molecular processes underlying these developmental changes are poorly characterized. The objectives of this study were to determine developmental trajectories of gene(More)