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Leaf mechanical properties strongly influence leaf lifespan, plant-herbivore interactions, litter decomposition and nutrient cycling, but global patterns in their interspecific variation and underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. We synthesize data across the three major measurement methods, permitting the first global analyses of leaf mechanics(More)
Survival and reproductive success hinge on the perception of environmental stimuli. In this regard, foraging efficiency depends on discerning predictive signals in food. A widespread occurrence of ethanol in fruits indicates a sustained historical exposure of frugivores to this compound. Accordingly, Dudley (2000, Quart. Rev. Biol. 75:3-15) proposed that(More)
The diets of Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus are hypothesized to have included C4 plants, such as tropical grasses and sedges, or the tissues of animals which themselves consumed C4 plants. Yet inferences based on the craniodental morphology of A. africanus and P. robustus indicate a seasonal diet governed by hard, brittle foods. Such(More)
Colour vision varies within the family Atelidae (Primates, Platyrrhini), which consists of four genera with the following cladistic relationship: {Alouatta[Ateles (Lagothrix and Brachyteles)]}. Spider monkeys (Ateles) and woolly monkeys (Lagothrix) are characteristic of platyrrhine monkeys in possessing a colour vision polymorphism. The polymorphism results(More)
Paleoanthropologists have long argued--often contentiously--about the climbing abilities of early hominins and whether a foot adapted to terrestrial bipedalism constrained regular access to trees. However, some modern humans climb tall trees routinely in pursuit of honey, fruit, and game, often without the aid of tools or support systems. Mortality and(More)
Tarsiers are small nocturnal primates with a long history of fuelling debate on the origin and evolution of anthropoid primates. Recently, the discovery of M and L opsin genes in two sister species, Tarsius bancanus (Bornean tarsier) and Tarsius syrichta (Philippine tarsier), respectively, was interpreted as evidence of an ancestral long-to-middle (L/M)(More)
A nocturnal activity pattern is central to almost all hypotheses on the adaptive origins of primates. This enduring view has been challenged in recent years on the basis of variation in the opsin genes of nocturnal primates. A correspondence between the opsin genes and activity patterns of species in Euarchonta—the superordinal group that includes the(More)
The structure and function of primate communication have attracted much attention, and vocal signals, in particular, have been studied in detail. As a general rule, larger social groups emit more types of vocal signals, including those conveying the presence of specific types of predators. The adaptive advantages of receiving and responding to alarm calls(More)
A nocturnal bottleneck during mammalian evolution left a majority of species with two cone opsins, or dichromatic color vision. Primate trichromatic vision arose from the duplication and divergence of an X-linked opsin gene, and is long attributed to tandem shifts from nocturnality to diurnality and from insectivory to frugivory. Opsin gene variation and at(More)