Evolution

Multiple Sensory Modalities in Diurnal Geckos Is Associated with the Signaling Environment and Evolutionary Constraints

Gecko

Being conspicuous in the environment allows males to attract mates and warn other males of their presence. Males of a species often use signal traits in different sensory modalities to achieve this. However, as elaboration of several signal-traits is demanding, trade-offs in investment in signal-traits in different modalities is expected, especially since not all traits are equally conspicuous in all environments. In Kabir et al. 2020, we show that signal traits in the chemical and visual modalities in the diurnal gecko, Cnemaspis are well associated with the local environment.

Topic: 
CES In-House Symposium
Speaker: 
Students and Faculties of CES
Date & Time: 
20 Jan 2020 - 9:00am to 22 Jan 2020 - 12:45pm
Event Type: 
Symposium
Venue: 
CES Seminar Hall, 3rd Floor, Biological Sciences Building
Abstract:

CES IHS 2020
Talks, Posters, Short documentaries, Panel discussion, Science and Creativity stalls

Unravelling the venomous bite of an endangered mammal

Solenodon

Highly similar venom toxins found in shrews and endangered Caribbean mammals, despite common ancestor over 70 million years ago

Researchers from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) and ZSL (Zoological Society of London) have worked with scientists from institutions across the globe, including the Evolutionary Venomics Lab at IISc, to uncover the truth behind the origin of venom in some very unusual mammals.

New publication: Past climate change and the diversification of geckos from Peninsular India.

geckos

Around 33.5 million years ago, during the Eocene–Oligocene period, there was an abrupt shift towards a cooler drier climate. This resulted in a corresponding shift in biological diversity globally. In Peninsular India, the study of fossil pollens suggests a shift from wet rainforest vegetation to dry and seasonal species during this period. However, the grassland and open habitats that dominate the region today expanded relatively recently as a result of the Late Miocene aridification ~ 11 million years ago.

New publication: Morphological diversification of geckos from Peninsular India

Morphology

Studying adaptive radiations, such as Darwin's finches from the Galápagos Islands, can give us key insights into generalities of ecomorphological diversification. This paper from the Karanth lab examines morphological diversification in Hemidactylus geckos from Peninsular India that occur in a wide range of microhabitats. 

Fan-throated lizards of India are a highly diverse group with at least 15 species, possibly caused by climatic shifts around 8–5 million years ago.

Image credit: Deepak Veerappan

Deepak. V (a postdoc) and Praveen Karanth show that fan-throated lizards consist of at least 15 species, with much of the diversification dating back to 8–5 million years and possibly caused by climatic shifts in India in that period. This is one of the few studies that establishes a link between climate change and adaptation in the Indian subcontinent. The study also highlights the importance of the dry zone as centers of biodiversity.

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