We observed 9268 individuals; median group size was 6.5 (se = 1.7; range = 1–121), and groups of 1–5 animals were most common. Seasonality exerted strong effects with the smallest groups in June
and largest in December. The largest mixed and nursery groups formed during pre-rutting and summer seasons, respectively, but no seasonal differences were detected for bachelor groups. The best fitting model, including Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, predation rate and season as covariates, explained ∼76% of the variation in monthly ‘typical’ group size. Our results are concordant with studies of other arid-adapted ungulates and suggest vegetation productivity, predation rate and biological cycles are responsible
for saiga grouping patterns in Mongolia. “
“Evolutionary Biology Center, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Poznan, Poland Both genome-wide heterozygosity selleck chemicals and heterozygosity at major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are often associated with higher fitness. Recent theoretical work indicates that sexual ornaments may reveal information about individual heterozygosity, and that preference for such ornaments may benefit females via the increased heterozygosity of their progeny. Here, we used path analysis to investigate the direct and indirect Trichostatin A chemical structure (via body size used as an index of condition) effects of heterozygosity at six microsatellite loci and the MHC class II DAB gene on the size of a sexual ornament, the crest, in the crested newt Triturus cristatus. We found that microsatellite heterozygosity, but not MHC heterozygosity, significantly predicted male body size, and that male body size significantly predicted crest height. However, there was no direct effect of MHC or microsatellite heterozygosity on crest height. Furthermore, microsatellite heterozygosity significantly increased with age, indicating that it had a positive effect on survival. Overall, our results are consistent with the hypothesis Cyclin-dependent kinase 3 that heterozygosity determines condition, and that variation in condition is expressed as variation in sexual ornamentation. “
the level of fluctuating asymmetry (FA) in head shape, head scalation and femoral pores in two lizard species (Podarcis bocagei and Podarcis hispanica) from 13 islands and 15 mainland localities in the Ria de Arosa archipelago of north-western Spain. Given the recent geological history of the region, the degree of isolation to which lizard populations have been subjected can be ordered along a spatio-temporal gradient, yielding the following hypotheses to be tested: FA will be higher (1) in island populations than in mainland populations; (2) on remote islands than on islands close to the mainland; (3) on small islands than on large islands. Molecular genetic data suggest that P. hispanica is autochthonous in the Ria de Arosa, whereas P. bocagei is a more recent arrival.