Yuval Itescu

Learn More
Human activities, especially conversion and degradation of habitats, are causing global biodiversity declines. How local ecological assemblages are responding is less clear--a concern given their importance for many ecosystem functions and services. We analysed a terrestrial assemblage database of unprecedented geographic and taxonomic coverage to quantify(More)
Home range is the area traversed by an animal in its normal activities. The size of home ranges is thought to be tightly linked to body size, through size effect on metabolic requirements. Due to the structure of Eltonian food pyramids, home range sizes of carnivores are expected to exceed those of herbivorous species. The habitat may also affect home range(More)
Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) can allow males and females of the same species to specialize on different sized food items and therefore minimize intraspecific competition. Interspecific competition, however, is thought to limit sexual dimorphism, as larger competitors in the community will prevent the larger sex from evolving larger size, and smaller species(More)
Luxuriant, bushy antlers, bizarre crests, and huge, twisting horns and tusks are conventionally understood as products of sexual selection. This view stems from both direct observation and from the empirical finding that the size of these structures grows faster than body size (i.e., ornament size shows positive allometry). We contend that the familiar(More)
Vertebrate sex-determining mechanisms (SDMs) are triggered by the genotype (GSD), by temperature (TSD), or occasionally, by both. The causes and consequences of SDM diversity remain enigmatic. Theory predicts SDM effects on species diversification, and life-span effects on SDM evolutionary turnover. Yet, evidence is conflicting in clades with labile SDMs,(More)
Tail autotomy is mainly considered an antipredator mechanism. Theory suggests that predation pressure relaxes on islands, subsequently reducing autotomy rates. Intraspecific aggression, which may also cause tail loss, probably intensifies on islands due to the higher abundance. We studied whether tail autotomy is mostly affected by predation pressure or by(More)
The island syndrome describes the evolution of slow life history traits in insular environments. Animals are thought to evolve smaller clutches of larger offspring on islands in response to release from predation pressure and interspecific competition, and the resulting increases in population density and intraspecific competition. These forces become more(More)
The distributions of amphibians, birds and mammals have underpinned global and local conservation priorities, and have been fundamental to our understanding of the determinants of global biodiversity. In contrast, the global distributions of reptiles, representing a third of terrestrial vertebrate diversity, have been unavailable. This prevented the(More)
  • 1