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November 21

Until I finish my book, Darwinian Agriculture, I am cutting back detailed posts to once or twice a month, but here are some links to papers that looked interesting this week.

Sustaining biodiversity in ancient tropical countryside
"arecanut palm (Areca catechu) production systems retain 90% of the bird species associated with regional native forest"

Selfish Genetic Elements Promote Polyandry in a Fly

[This "selfish gene" on the X chromosome refuses to share sperm with a Y chromosome. Female fruitflies mate with more males when more of them have this gene.]

Frequency-dependent selection maintains clonal diversity in an asexual organism

Reproductive constraint is a developmental mechanism that maintains social harmony in advanced ant societies

Finally, someone left a comment on an earlier post that used an out-of-context quote to claim evolutionary biologists are hiding from the fossil record. The truth is that fossils are less important to evolutionary biology today only because their contribution is diluted by new sources of information, especially comparisons of DNA sequences among species. But fossils are still a valued source of information. Here are two papers on fossils published this week in major journals. (How many papers did the "intelligent design" folks publish in major journals this week? This year? None?)

A new stem turtle from the Middle Jurassic of Scotland: new insights into the evolution and palaeoecology of basal turtles

Variation in Evolutionary Patterns Across the Geographic Range of a Fossil Bivalve

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