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Gorillas are humans' closest living relatives after chimpanzees, and are of comparable importance for the study of human origins and evolution. Here we present the assembly and analysis of a genome sequence for the western lowland gorilla, and compare the whole genomes of all extant great ape genera. We propose a synthesis of genetic and fossil evidence(More)
BACKGROUND Evolution depends on natural selection acting on phenotypic variation, but the genes responsible for phenotypic variation in natural populations of vertebrates are rarely known. The molecular genetic basis for plumage color variation has not been described in any wild bird. Bananaquits (Coereba flaveola) are small passerine birds that occur as(More)
The anatomical basis and adaptive function of the expansion in primate brain size have long been studied; however, we are only beginning to understand the genetic basis of these evolutionary changes. Genes linked to human primary microcephaly have received much attention as they have accelerated evolutionary rates along lineages leading to humans. However,(More)
Trichromatic colour vision is of considerable importance to primates but is absent in other eutherian mammals. Primate colour vision is traditionally believed to have evolved for finding food in the forest. Recent work has tested the ecological importance of trichromacy to primates, both by measuring the spectral and chemical properties of food eaten in the(More)
A key question in evolutionary genetics is whether shared genetic mechanisms underlie the independent evolution of similar phenotypes across phylogenetically divergent lineages. Here we show that in two classic examples of melanic plumage polymorphisms in birds, lesser snow geese (Anser c. caerulescens) and arctic skuas (Stercorarius parasiticus), melanism(More)
BACKGROUND Brain size is a key adaptive trait. It is often assumed that increasing brain size was a general evolutionary trend in primates, yet recent fossil discoveries have documented brain size decreases in some lineages, raising the question of how general a trend there was for brains to increase in mass over evolutionary time. We present the first(More)
Vomeronasal receptors are the major receptors for pheromones in vertebrates, and five putative type 1 vomeronasal receptors (V1RL) have been identified in humans. The evolution of the V1RL1 gene in non-human primates, and patterns of selection on V1RL genes, were investigated. The presumed ortholog of V1RL1 was sequenced from 13 species of nonhuman primate,(More)
In spite of its evolutionary significance and conservation importance, the population structure of the common chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes, is still poorly understood. An issue of particular controversy is whether the proposed fourth subspecies of chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes ellioti, from parts of Nigeria and Cameroon, is genetically distinct. Although(More)
Chemosensory genes are frequently the target of positive selection and are often present in large gene families, but little is known about heterogeneity of selection in these cases and its relation to function. Here, we use the vomeronasal-1 receptor (V1R) repertoire of mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.) as a model system to study patterns of selection of(More)
It has been suggested that the major advantage of trichromatic over dichromatic colour vision in primates is enhanced detection of red/yellow food items such as fruit against the dappled foliage of the forest. This hypothesis was tested by comparing the foraging ability of dichromatic and trichromatic Geoffroy's marmosets (Callithrix geoffroyi) for orange-(More)