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Posts from the ‘Featured Research’ Category

Fundamental traits influence salamander regeneration

We have tackled a classic question in the field of regeneration: how do life-stage and body size affect limb regeneration?  Our findings show that in salamanders, metamorphosis suppresses the speed of regeneration and results in more frequent malformation of limbs. We also discovered that the early phases of regeneration are independent of body size.  .pdf

Use of debris by burrowing owls

Some of our previous research showed that nesting burrowing owls line their burrows with mammal manure to attract insect prey.  But burrowing owls also commonly use other materials such as paper and plastic.  These other materials seemingly contradict the prey-attraction hypothesis.   We have just published a paper that explores the use of these other materials, and if burrowing owls prefer manure to other materials?   .pdf

Costs of alternative mating tactics

We have uncovered a novel cost imposed by one of the two alternative reproductive tactics of male horseshoe crabs.  Younger males in good condition find a female and attach to her out at sea, then come ashore to spawn.  In contrast, older males in poor condition come ashore alone, join mating pairs, and engage in sperm competition with other males.  When in the attached position males get more paternity, however we discovered that these attached males have a restricted ability to feed and that this causes a period of nutritional stress during the breeding season.  Unattached males might father fewer of the offspring, but they can eat during the breeding season.  So, it looks like younger males are willing and able to forego eating in favor of mating, yet older males may not be able to pay this cost.  .pdf