To test this, we studied the monophyletic Liolaemus goetschi grou

To test this, we studied the monophyletic Liolaemus goetschi group of lizard species across its 2200 km (32–48° S latitude) range. We used phylogenetically informed analyses to study geographic RO4929097 mw variation of BS and melanism (dorsal, ventral and total) in relation to temperatures, thermal amplitude, cloudiness and net solar radiation. Our results show that lizards’ BS increases latitudinally in relation to thermal amplitude and temperature. Only ventral melanism varied latitudinally, but all melanism variables varied in response to cloudiness and net radiation. The relationship between BS and melanism was significant and positive

in all cases. We suggest thermal inertia may be a fair candidate mechanism explaining geographic variation in BS (heat balance hypothesis), while melanism may influence BMN 673 mw heat gain according

to the thermal melanism hypothesis. However, it remains unclear why latitudinal variation is related to ventral instead of dorsal melanism, and further investigation is needed to clarify the relationship between BS and melanism in light of cold climates. “
“Animals must overcome the physical properties protecting foods to obtain nutrition. While animals can experience selection for traits that facilitate resource exploitation, specific feeding behaviors may entail multiple, different mechanical challenges with each potentially eliciting distinct selection pressures. Tree gouging by common marmosets (Primates: Callithrix jacchus) provides an illustrative case for studying these distinct MCE mechanical challenges and their correlated behaviors and morphologies. We test the hypothesis that marmosets respond differently to three sequential mechanical stages of bark removal: (1) indentation; (2) crack initiation; (3) crack propagation. By surveying trees gouged by free-ranging marmosets in Pernambuco, Brazil, we found that mechanical variables related to crack initiation (fracture toughness, critical strain energy release rate and elastic modulus) were inversely correlated with measures

of gouging intensity, with less mechanically challenging trees being gouged more intensely. Because crack initiation is likely the most mechanically challenging aspect of tree gouging, behavioral preference for less challenging resources likely allows marmosets to reduce costs and potential risks associated with accessing exudates. Variables related to bark indentation (hardness and friction) showed no relationship to the intensity of gouging behavior. Contrary to our prediction, trees with greater mechanical challenges for crack propagation (work to peel) were gouged more intensely. We attribute this pattern of gouging trees requiring greater effort in crack propagation to an inverse correlation between work to peel and fracture toughness in our tree sample.

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