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Knee-clicks and visual traits indicate fighting ability in eland antelopes: multiple messages and back-up signals

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Biology, November 2008
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (97th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
6 news outlets
blogs
1 blog
twitter
1 tweeter
facebook
1 Facebook page
wikipedia
1 Wikipedia page
video
2 video uploaders

Citations

dimensions_citation
32 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
72 Mendeley
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Title
Knee-clicks and visual traits indicate fighting ability in eland antelopes: multiple messages and back-up signals
Published in
BMC Biology, November 2008
DOI 10.1186/1741-7007-6-47
Pubmed ID
Authors

Jakob Bro-Jørgensen, Torben Dabelsteen

Abstract

Given the costs of signalling, why do males often advertise their fighting ability to rivals using several signals rather than just one? Multiple signalling theories have developed largely in studies of sexual signals, and less is known about their applicability to intra-sexual communication. We here investigate the evolutionary basis for the intricate agonistic signalling system in eland antelopes, paying particular attention to the evolutionary phenomenon of loud knee-clicking. A principal components analysis separated seven male traits into three groups. The dominant frequency of the knee-clicking sound honestly indicated body size, a main determinant of fighting ability. In contrast, the dewlap size increased with estimated age rather than body size, suggesting that, by magnifying the silhouette of older bulls disproportionately, the dewlap acts as an indicator of age-related traits such as fighting experience. Facemask darkness, frontal hairbrush size and body greyness aligned with a third underlying variable, presumed to be androgen-related aggression. A longitudinal study provided independent support of these findings. The results show that the multiple agonistic signals in eland reflect three separate components of fighting ability: (1) body size, (2) age and (3) presumably androgen-related aggression, which is reflected in three backup signals. The study highlights how complex agonistic signalling systems can evolve through the simultaneous action of several selective forces, each of which favours multiple signals. Specifically, loud knee-clicking is discovered to be an honest signal of body size, providing an exceptional example of the potential for non-vocal acoustic communication in mammals.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profile of 1 tweeter who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 72 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 3 4%
Denmark 2 3%
United Kingdom 2 3%
Japan 1 1%
Unknown 64 89%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 18 25%
Researcher 15 21%
Student > Master 12 17%
Student > Bachelor 6 8%
Student > Doctoral Student 5 7%
Other 11 15%
Unknown 5 7%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 51 71%
Environmental Science 6 8%
Medicine and Dentistry 3 4%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 2 3%
Veterinary Science and Veterinary Medicine 1 1%
Other 4 6%
Unknown 5 7%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 61. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 06 April 2021.
All research outputs
#465,703
of 19,003,560 outputs
Outputs from BMC Biology
#117
of 1,651 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#3,578
of 168,328 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Biology
#1
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 19,003,560 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 97th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,651 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 20.1. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 92% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 168,328 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them