Why are animals, such as these White-fronted bee-eaters, Merops bullockoides, which live in hot and unpredictable environments more likely to breed cooperatively? Research shows that cooperative breeding in birds has enabled the invasion of ecological niches inhospitable to independent breeders.
Jamaican fruit-eating bat (Artibeus jamaicensis), a recent colonist to the Caribbean islands, in flight. In this issue, Valente and colleagues show the long-term diversity of the noctilionoid bat fauna of the Greater Antilles asymptotes toward an equilibrium defined by extinction rates higher than colonization and speciation rates. Recent extinctions, many of them anthropogenic, have shifted diversity away from equilibrium, requiring at least eight million years for the system to recover the diversity lost. Photograph by M. Brock Fenton.
Whale shark at Al Shaheen, Arabian Gulf, offshore Qatar. During the summer months, whale sharks gather here in large aggregations. The whale sharks release environmental DNA to the ocean water, which is a source to important population genetic insights. Credit: David Philip Robinson