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The role of facial pattern variation for species recognition in red-fronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons)

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, February 2018
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (96th percentile)

Mentioned by

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7 news outlets
blogs
1 blog
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18 tweeters
facebook
1 Facebook page

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19 Mendeley
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Title
The role of facial pattern variation for species recognition in red-fronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons)
Published in
BMC Evolutionary Biology, February 2018
DOI 10.1186/s12862-018-1126-0
Pubmed ID
Authors

Hanitriniaina Rakotonirina, Peter M. Kappeler, Claudia Fichtel

Abstract

Species recognition, i.e., the ability to distinguish conspecifics from heterospecifics, plays an essential role in reproduction. The role of facial cues for species recognition has been investigated in several non-human primate species except for lemurs. We therefore investigated the role of facial cues for species recognition in wild red-fronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons) at Kirindy Forest. We presented adult red-fronted lemurs pictures of male faces from five species including red-fronted lemurs, three closely related species, white-fronted lemurs (E. albifrons), brown lemurs (E. fulvus), rufous brown lemurs (E. rufus), and genetically more distant red-bellied lemurs (E. rubriventer), occurring in allopatry with the study population. We predicted that red-fronted lemurs respond stronger to conspecific than to heterospecific pictures and that females show stronger responses than males. In addition, if genetic drift has played a role in the evolution of facial color patterns in the members of this genus, we predicted that responses of red-fronted lemurs correlate negatively with the genetic distance to the different species stimuli. Red-fronted lemurs looked significantly longer at pictures of their own species than at those of heterospecifics. Females spent less time looking at pictures of white-fronted, brown and red-bellied lemurs than males did, but not to pictures of red-bellied lemurs and a control stimulus. Individuals also exhibited sniffing behavior while looking at visual stimuli, and the time spent sniffing was significantly longer for pictures of conspecifics compared to those of heterospecifics. Moreover, the time spent looking and sniffing towards the pictures correlated negatively with the genetic distance between their own species and the species presented as stimulus. We conclude that red-fronted lemurs have the ability for species recognition using visual facial cues, which may allow them to avoid costly interbreeding. If so, sexual selection might have influenced the evolution of facial patterns in eulemurs. Since responses also correlated with genetic distance, our findings suggest a potential role of genetic drift as well as sexual selection in influencing the evolution of facial variation in eulemurs. Because study subjects looked and sniffed towards the presented pictures, red-fronted lemurs might have the ability for multi-modal species recognition.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 18 tweeters 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 19 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 19 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 4 21%
Student > Bachelor 4 21%
Student > Ph. D. Student 3 16%
Student > Master 3 16%
Other 1 5%
Other 3 16%
Unknown 1 5%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 9 47%
Environmental Science 3 16%
Arts and Humanities 2 11%
Business, Management and Accounting 1 5%
Veterinary Science and Veterinary Medicine 1 5%
Other 0 0%
Unknown 3 16%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 70. 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 14 October 2018.
All research outputs
#322,030
of 15,922,193 outputs
Outputs from BMC Evolutionary Biology
#69
of 2,732 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#12,251
of 371,477 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Evolutionary Biology
#1
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 15,922,193 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 2,732 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 10.5. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% 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 371,477 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 96% 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