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|Title:||Down a rabbit hole: Burrowing behaviour and larger home ranges are related to larger brains in Leporids|
de Sousa, A.
|Citation:||Journal of Mammalian Evolution, 2022; 29(4):957-967|
|Orlin S. Todorov, Coen Hird, Brian Kraatz, Emma Sherratt, Narelle Hill, Alexandra A. de Sousa, Simone Blomberg, Vera Weisbecker|
|Abstract:||Studies on the evolution of brain size variation usually focus on large clades encompassing broad phylogenetic groups. This risks the introduction of ‘noise’ in the results, often obscuring effects that might be detected in less inclusive clades. In the current study we focus on a sample of 18 species of leporids from 60 individuals, and test five different hypotheses related to brain size (approximating it from endocranial volume) evolution in mammals. This includes the evolution of the whole brain, as well as the olfactory bulb. We also address a pervasive issue in comparative phylogenetic studies by dealing with missing data via multiple phylogenetic imputations as to conserve the full sample size for all subsequent analyses. Using leporids as a sample allows for the coverage of good body size diversity while avoiding the issue of too wide taxonomic sampling. Our analyses show that home range and burrowing behaviour are the only predictors of leporid brain size variation in this clade. Additionally, the evolutionary increase in litter size (often found as a constraint in brain size evolution) is related to increased temperature seasonality therefore tentatively masking the constraining effect of litter size on brain size in leporids. Unreasonable estimations of phylogenetic signal (Pagel’s lamba) additionally warrant caution when using small sample sizes in comparative studies.|
|Keywords:||Brain evolution; Leporids; Comparative methods; Multiple imputation|
|Description:||Published 9 September 2022|
|Rights:||© The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by/4.0/.|
|Appears in Collections:||Zoology publications|
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