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Live bearing promotes the evolution of sociality in reptiles


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Halliwell, B, Uller, T, Holland, BR ORCID: 0000-0002-4628-7938 and While, GM ORCID: 0000-0001-8122-9322 2017 , 'Live bearing promotes the evolution of sociality in reptiles' , Nature Communications, vol. 8 , pp. 1-8 , doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-02220-w.

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Identifying factors responsible for the emergence and evolution of social complexity is an outstanding challenge in evolutionary biology. Here we report results from a phylogenetic comparative analysis of over 1000 species of squamate reptile, nearly 100 of which exhibit facultative forms of group living, including prolonged parent–offspring associations. We show that the evolution of social groupings among adults and juveniles is overwhelmingly preceded by the evolution of live birth across multiple independent origins of both traits. Furthermore, the results suggest that live bearing has facilitated the emergence of social groups that remain stable across years, similar to forms of sociality observed in other vertebrates. These results suggest that live bearing has been a fundamentally important precursor in the evolutionary origins of group living in the squamates.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Halliwell, B and Uller, T and Holland, BR and While, GM
Keywords: family, live bearing, sociality, parental care, lizards, snakes
Journal or Publication Title: Nature Communications
Publisher: Nature publishing group
ISSN: 2041-1723
DOI / ID Number: 10.1038/s41467-017-02220-w
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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