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Brain size evolution in pipefishes and seahorses: the role of feeding ecology, life history and sexual selection
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.
Univ Malaya, Inst Biol Sci, Fac Sci, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.; Save Our Seahorses Malaysia, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia..
Univ Malaya, Inst Biol Sci, Fac Sci, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.; Save Our Seahorses Malaysia, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia..
Univ Malaya, Inst Biol Sci, Fac Sci, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.; Save Our Seahorses Malaysia, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia..
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2017 (English)In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1010-061X, E-ISSN 1420-9101, Vol. 30, no 1, 150-160 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Brain size varies greatly at all taxonomic levels. Feeding ecology, life history and sexual selection have been proposed as key components in generating contemporary diversity in brain size across vertebrates. Analyses of brain size evolution have, however, been limited to lineages where males predominantly compete for mating and females choose mates. Here, we present the first original data set of brain sizes in pipefishes and seahorses (Syngnathidae) a group in which intense female mating competition occurs in many species. After controlling for the effect of shared ancestry and overall body size, brain size was positively correlated with relative snout length. Moreover, we found that females, on average, had 4.3% heavier brains than males and that polyandrous species demonstrated more pronounced (11.7%) female-biased brain size dimorphism. Our results suggest that adaptations for feeding on mobile prey items and sexual selection in females are important factors in brain size evolution of pipefishes and seahorses. Most importantly, our study supports the idea that sexual selection plays a major role in brain size evolution, regardless of on which sex sexual selection acts stronger.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 30, no 1, 150-160 p.
Keyword [en]
brain evolution, phylogenetic comparative analysis, pipefishes & seahorses, sexual selection & conflicts
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-320072DOI: 10.1111/jeb.12995ISI: 000394852200012PubMedID: 27748990OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-320072DiVA: diva2:1088658
Funder
Helge Ax:son Johnsons stiftelse Swedish Research Council, 621-2012-3624
Available from: 2017-04-13 Created: 2017-04-13 Last updated: 2017-05-03Bibliographically approved

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