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Cane toads (Bufo marinus) are large anurans (weighing up to 2 kg) that were introduced to Australia 70 years ago to control insect pests in sugar-cane fields. But the result has been disastrous because the toads are toxic and highly invasive. Here we show that the annual rate of progress of the toad invasion front has increased about fivefold since the(More)
Increasing concern about the impacts of global warming on biodiversity has stimulated extensive discussion, but methods to translate broad-scale shifts in climate into direct impacts on living animals remain simplistic. A key missing element from models of climatic change impacts on animals is the buffering influence of behavioral thermoregulation. Here, we(More)
Understanding the mechanisms that determine an individual's sex remains a primary challenge for evolutionary biology. Chromosome-based systems (genotypic sex determination) that generate roughly equal numbers of sons and daughters accord with theory, but the adaptive significance of environmental sex determination (that is, when embryonic environmental(More)
Research on live vertebrates is regulated by ethics committees, who prohibit ;excessively stressful' procedures. That judgment is based on intuition - a notoriously unreliable criterion when dealing with animals phylogenetically distant from humans. To objectively evaluate the stress imposed by research practices, we measured plasma corticosterone levels in(More)
Current approaches to modeling range advance assume that the distribution describing dispersal distances in the population (the "dispersal kernel") is a static entity. We argue here that dispersal kernels are in fact highly dynamic during periods of range advance because density effects and spatial assortment by dispersal ability ("spatial selection") drive(More)
Survival rates of juvenile reptiles are critical population parameters but are difficult to obtain through mark-recapture programs because these small, secretive animals are rarely caught. This scarcity has encouraged speculation that survival rates of juveniles are very low, and we test this prediction by estimating juvenile survival rates indirectly. A(More)
A few species of squamate reptiles contain both oviparous (egg-laying) and viviparous (live-bearing) populations, and thus offer exceptional opportunities to test adaptationist hypotheses on the determinants of reproductive output. We focus on the hypothesis that maternal body-volume constrains reproductive output in squamate reptiles. If females are "full"(More)
The challenges posed by parasites and pathogens evoke behavioral as well as physiological responses. Such behavioral responses are poorly understood for most ectothermic species, including anuran amphibians. We quantified effects of simulated infection (via injection of bacterial lipopolysaccharide [LPS]) on feeding, activity, and thermoregulation of cane(More)
Pregnant females modify their thermoregulatory behaviour in many species of viviparous (live-bearing) reptiles, typically maintaining higher and more stable body temperatures at this time. Such modifications often have been interpreted as adaptations to viviparity, functioning to accelerate embryonic development and/or modify phenotypic traits of(More)
In classical evolutionary theory, traits evolve because they facilitate organismal survival and/or reproduction. We discuss a different type of evolutionary mechanism that relies upon differential dispersal. Traits that enhance rates of dispersal inevitably accumulate at expanding range edges, and assortative mating between fast-dispersing individuals at(More)