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Current Biology
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Aug 08, 2016

Volume 26Issue 15p1935-2078, R689-R738
Open Archive
On the cover: A large number of gray reef sharks fight over a grouper. Pristine marine locations are rare and usually host a large number of sharks, raising the question of how such a high predator density can be supported by local food. In this issue, Mourier et al. (pages 2011–2016) report extremely high shark biomass in pristine Fakarava pass, French Polynesia. This study presents a new mechanism in which food subsidies directly come to predators in the form of spawning aggregations, allowing them to stay inside the reef pass. Also see the Dispatch by Simpfendorfer and Heupel (pages R708–R710). Photo credit: Laurent Ballesta....
On the cover: A large number of gray reef sharks fight over a grouper. Pristine marine locations are rare and usually host a large number of sharks, raising the question of how such a high predator density can be supported by local food. In this issue, Mourier et al. (pages 2011–2016) report extremely high shark biomass in pristine Fakarava pass, French Polynesia. This study presents a new mechanism in which food subsidies directly come to predators in the form of spawning aggregations, allowing them to stay inside the reef pass. Also see the Dispatch by Simpfendorfer and Heupel (pages R708–R710). Photo credit: Laurent Ballesta.

Magazine

Feature

  • Angry voters may turn back the clocks

    • Michael Gross
    Science, the environment, and efforts to mitigate climate change are among the likely casualties when the UK goes through with the exit from the European Union. Within a year of this vote, electoral success for populists in the US and in France could bring a U-turn for Western civilisation and make it renounce our current ideas of progress.

Book review

  • A wild life indeed

    • Jonathan B. Losos
    In a five-year span in the early 1970s, Robert Trivers published a series of five extraordinarily influential papers [1–5] that provided the theoretical underpinning for much of modern evolutionary biology. These papers cover reciprocal altruism, parent–offspring conflict, parental investment and sexual selection (a book chapter cited more than 10,000 times!), the determinants of sex ratio, and haplodiploidy and the evolution of social organization.

Q & A

Quick guide

  • Salamandra

    • Wouter Beukema,
    • Jeroen Speybroeck,
    • Guillermo Velo-Antón
    Beukema et al. Introduce the genus salamandra comprising the well-known fire salamanders.

Correspondences

  • The origin of ambling horses

    • Saskia Wutke,
    • Leif Andersson,
    • Norbert Benecke,
    • Edson Sandoval-Castellanos,
    • Javier Gonzalez,
    • Jón Hallsteinn Hallsson,
    • Lembi Lõugas,
    • Ola Magnell,
    • Arturo Morales-Muniz,
    • Ludovic Orlando,
    • Albína Hulda Pálsdóttir,
    • Monika Reissmann,
    • Mariana B. Muñoz-Rodríguez,
    • Matej Ruttkay,
    • Alexandra Trinks,
    • Michael Hofreiter,
    • Arne Ludwig
    Wutke et al. genotyped a genetic marker associated with ambling in horses in a large number of ancient samples and find that the ambling allele originally arose in medieval England from where it came to Iceland.
  • What is the association between religious affiliation and children’s altruism?

    • Azim F. Shariff,
    • Aiyana K. Willard,
    • Michael Muthukrishna,
    • Stephanie R. Kramer,
    • Joseph Henrich
    Shariff et al. find that reanalysis of data reported to show a negative relationship between religiosity and generosity lead them to different conclusions.

Dispatches

  • Neuroscience: Hunger Pangs in the Fly Brain

    • Andreas Schoofs,
    • Michael J. Pankratz
    Which neurons in the brain become engaged when the body is deprived of food? A new study addresses this question using the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster, examining a group of neurons in the brain that show alterations in neural activity when flies are satiated or starved.
  • Autophagy: Press and Push for Destruction

    • Jörg Höhfeld
    Recent publications illustrate an extensive crosstalk between the actin cytoskeleton and autophagy, a program for self-digestion. Actin polymerization provides a pushing force for organelle shaping and trafficking during autophagy, but the cytoskeleton is also targeted by autophagy under mechanical strain.
  • Retinal Physiology: Non-Bipolar-Cell Excitatory Drive in the Inner Retina

    • Tom Baden,
    • Thomas Euler
    The long-held view that bipolar cells provide the exclusive excitatory drive to the mammalian inner retina has been challenged: new studies indicate that, instead, at least two cells that lack the dendrites characteristic for bipolar cells, and therefore resemble amacrine cells, excite inner retinal circuits using glutamate.
  • Ecology: The Upside-Down World of Coral Reef Predators

    • Colin A. Simpfendorfer,
    • Michelle R. Heupel
    Examination of a large aggregation of sharks demonstrates that trophic pyramids with greater amounts of high-level predators than prey can occur on coral reefs. This is possible because the high level predators obtain food from sources outside their home location.
  • Chromatin: Polycomb Group SAMs Unite

    • Chongwoo A. Kim,
    • Nicole J. Francis
    Polycomb Group (PcG) proteins assemble a chromatin state that maintains developmental gene repression. A new study combining structure and in vivo analysis details a molecular network from DNA recognition to PcG recruitment, highlighting the essential role of Sterile Alpha Motifs.
  • Neuroscience: Peeking Under the Sombrero

    • Michael B. Manookin
    A recent study has introduced a new analytical approach to understanding neural circuits which has revealed previously hidden neural interactions in a large population of cells in the primate retina. The neural circuit described likely contributes to encoding visual motion.
  • Wound Signaling: Monkeywrenching Macrophage Migration with Microscopes, Movies, and Math

    • Michael J. Galko
    Drosophila hemocytes (blood cells) have emerged as a powerful system to image wound-induced inflammatory responses in vivo. New work reveals that layering mathematical modeling on top of imaging may be the most powerful tool yet for determining the properties of wound-induced signals.
  • Behavior: Knowing When to Walk Away, Knowing When to Run

    • Herman Pontzer
    A new model has been proposed indicating that humans and other animals weigh the metabolic cost of pursuit in deciding how fast to move toward a given reward, providing a powerful framework for understanding behavior.

Review

Articles

Reports

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