Evidence for maternally inherited factors favouring male homosexuality and promoting female fecundity by Dr F Corna, Dr A Camperio-Ciani and Dr C Capiluppi
Genetic causes of male homosexuality are often the argument of inflamed discussion. A strong opposition to the genetic explanation is the Darwinian paradox; in fact a genetic factor that reduces reproductive success should progressively disappear from the population. The authors here argue genetic factors could partially explain male homosexuality, and propose a paradox solution: genetic factors favouring homosexuality in males could increase fecundity in females, recovering the loss of fitness. They suggest these factors should be partly bound to the X chromosome, because male homosexuality, associated with increased female fecundity was found only in maternal line and not in paternal line of homosexuals.
Contact: Dr Francesca Corna, Department of General Psychology, University of Padova, Via Venezia 8, PADOVA, 351000, Italy
Sperm whale behaviour indicates the use of rapid echolocation click buzzes 'creaks' in prey capture by Dr PJO Miller, Dr MP Johnson and Dr PL Tyack
Sperm whales produce long series of clicks interspersed with buzzes called "creaks" while foraging at depth. Using sound, depth and orientation-recording tags attached to 23 sperm whales using suction cups, we found they consistently produced creaks preferentially at maximum dive depths, increased body manoeuvring during creaks, and remained at depth longer when creak rates were higher. These results clearly indicate that sperm whales produce click buzzes during prey capture, as do bats which are a million times smaller. As creaks indicate feeding events, acoustic tracking may be used to monitor the health of sperm whales in increasingly human-impacted oceanic ecosystems.
Contact: Dr Patrick Miller, Sea Mammal Research Unit, Uni
Contact: Tim Watson