Revisiting West and King 1988

In a paper published in Nature in 1988, Meredith West and Andrew King demonstrated  that that a wing stroke visual display by female cowbirds, which don't sing, plays a role in song learning of male cowbirds. The findings of the study provided evidence for the role of visual stimulation in song development, a process that … Continue reading Revisiting West and King 1988

Revisiting Gillespie 2004

In a paper published in Science in 2004, Rosemary Gillespie demonstrated that both dispersal and in situ speciation contribute to accumulation of species numbers of Tetragnathid spiders on Hawaiian islands. Moreover, accumulation, whether through dispersal or speciation, happens in a way that no island contains more than one species of a particular ecomorph, i.e. in … Continue reading Revisiting Gillespie 2004

Revisiting Eldredge and Gould 1972

In a landmark chapter published in 1972 in a book called Models in Paleobiology, Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould proposed, based on their observations of the fossil record, that evolution proceeds in short bursts of change separated by long periods of stasis, a theory they called "Punctuated Equilbria." In 2016, 44 years after the … Continue reading Revisiting Eldredge and Gould 1972

Revisiting Komdeur et al. 1997

In a paper published in Nature in 1997, Jan Komdeur, Serge Daan, Joost Tinbergen and Christa Mateman showed, through a combination of observation, experiment and genetic analysis, that, in the endemic and endangered Seychelles warbler, parents can manipulate sex ratio adaptively to improve their future reproductive success. Nineteen years after the paper was published, I … Continue reading Revisiting Komdeur et al. 1997

Revisiting Bolnick et al. 2003

In a paper published in The American Naturalist in 2003, Daniel Bolnick, Richard Svanbäck, James A. Fordyce, Louie Yang, Jeremy Davis, Darrin Hulsey and Matthew Forister reviewed studies that examined individual specialization on resource use and quantified how much inter-individual variation contributes to a species' niche width. Based on their review, they discuss the ecological, … Continue reading Revisiting Bolnick et al. 2003

Revisiting Hamilton and Zuk 1982

In a paper published in Science in 1982, William Hamilton and Marlene Zuk showed positive associations between the level of chronic blood infections and  display characteristics across North American Passerines. Based on these results they proposed a "good genes" model of sexual selection (Hamilton-Zuk Hypothesis): display characteristics used in mate selection are indicators of parasite … Continue reading Revisiting Hamilton and Zuk 1982

Revisiting Lande and Arnold 1983

In 1983, following up on a little-known paper published by Karl Pearson eighty years earlier, Russell Lande and Stevan Arnold, developed statistical methods to measure selection based only on changes in population phenotypic traits within a generation. Thirty-six years after the paper was published, I asked Stevan Arnold about the making of this paper, his … Continue reading Revisiting Lande and Arnold 1983