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Patterns of biodiversity are often explained by ecological processes, where traits that promote novel ways of interacting with the environment (key innovations) play a fundamental role in promoting diversification. However, sexual selection and social competition can also promote diversification through rapid evolution of ornamental traits. Because(More)
Scan behavior in 10 captive predator-naive adult black tufted-ear marmosets (Callithrix penicillata) was investigated prior, during and following brief predator encounters (taxidermized oncilla cat -- Leopardus tigrinus) versus neutral stimulus exposures (stuffed toy). For each stimulus, three 9 min home-cage trials were conducted > or = 72 h apart. Each(More)
Iridescent coloration plays an important role in the visual communication system of many animal taxa. It is known that iridescent structural colours result from layers of materials with different refractive indexes, which in feathers usually are keratin, melanin and air. However, the role of these materials in the production of structural iridescent(More)
Relative to other metazoans, the mammalian integument is thought to be limited in colour. In particular, while iridescence is widespread among birds and arthropods, it has only rarely been reported in mammals. Here, we examine the colour, morphology and optical mechanisms in hairs from four species of golden mole (Mammalia: Chrysochloridae) that are(More)
The challenge hypothesis proposes that testosterone (T) elevation above what is needed for breeding is associated with social factors, and males possibly modulate their hormonal response to variations in population density and sex ratio. We investigated the role of social environment in altering testosterone levels and aggression in a tropical, seasonally(More)
Conspicuousness of courtship signals in animals likely evolved to maximize mate attraction while minimizing predator detection. It is assumed, though largely unknown, that environmental and luminosity conditions affect the detectability of ornaments and motor displays and could thus strongly influence behavior. We combined visual models and behavioral(More)
The way in which a complex trait varies, and thus evolves, is critically affected by the independence, or modularity, of its subunits. How modular designs facilitate phenotypic diversification is well studied in nonornamental (e.g., cichlid jaws), but not ornamental traits. Diverse feather colors in birds are produced by light absorption by pigments and/or(More)
Avian plumage colours are model traits in understanding the evolution of sexually selected ornamental traits. Paradoxically, iridescent structural colours, probably the most dazzling of these traits, remain the most poorly understood. Though some data suggest that expression of bright iridescent plumage colours produced by highly ordered arrays of(More)
Colours in feathers are produced by pigments or by nanostructurally organized tissues that interact with light. One of the simplest nanostructures is a single layer of keratin overlying a linearly organized layer of melanosomes that create iridescent colours of feather barbules through thin-film interference. Recently, it has been hypothesized that glossy(More)