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Barthes J.,Montpellier University | Crochet P.-A.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | Raymond M.,Montpellier University | Raymond M.,CNRS Montpellier Institute of Evolutionary Sciences
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Male homosexual preference (MHP) has long been of interest to scholars studying the evolution of human sexuality. Indeed, MHP is partially heritable, induces a reproductive cost and is common. MHP has thus been considered a Darwinian paradox. Several questions arise when MHP is considered in an evolutionary context. At what point did MHP appear in the human evolutionary history? Is MHP present in all human groups? How has MHP evolved, given that MHP is a reproductively costly trait? These questions were addressed here, using data from the anthropological and archaeological literature. Our detailed analysis of the available data challenges the common view of MHP being a "virtually universal" trait present in humans since prehistory. The conditions under which it is possible to affirm that MHP was present in past societies are discussed. Furthermore, using anthropological reports, the presence or absence of MHP was documented for 107 societies, allowing us to conclude that evidence of the absence of MHP is available for some societies. A recent evolutionary hypothesis has argued that social stratification together with hypergyny (the hypergyny hypothesis) are necessary conditions for the evolution of MHP. Here, the link between the level of stratification and the probability of observing MHP was tested using an unprecedented large dataset. Furthermore, the test was performed for the first time by controlling for the phylogenetic non-independence between societies. A positive relationship was observed between the level of social stratification and the probability of observing MHP, supporting the hypergyny hypothesis. © 2015 Barthes et al.


Derex M.,Montpellier University | Godelle B.,Montpellier University | Raymond M.,Montpellier University | Raymond M.,CNRS Montpellier Institute of Evolutionary Sciences
Evolution | Year: 2013

Humans exhibit a rich and complex material culture with no equivalent in animals. Also, social learning, a crucial requirement for culture, is particularly developed in humans and provides a means to accumulate knowledge over time and to develop advanced technologies. However, the type of social learning required for the evolution of this complex material culture is still debated. Here, using a complex and opaque virtual task, the efficiency of individual learning and two types of social learning (product-copying and process-copying) were compared. We found that (1) individuals from process-copying groups outperformed individuals from product-copying groups or individual learners, whereas access to product information was not a sufficient condition for providing an advantage to social learners compared to individual learners; (2) social learning did not seem to affect the exploration of the fitness landscape; (3) social learning led to strong within-group convergence and also to between-group convergence, and (4) individuals used widely variable social learning strategies. The implications of these results for cumulative culture evolution are discussed. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution © 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.


Derex M.,Montpellier University | Godelle B.,Montpellier University | Raymond M.,Montpellier University | Raymond M.,CNRS Montpellier Institute of Evolutionary Sciences
Evolution and Human Behavior | Year: 2014

The use of social information is a prerequisite to the evolution of culture. In humans, social learning allows individuals to aggregate adaptive information and increase the complexity of technology at a level unparalleled in the animal kingdom. However, the potential to use social information is related to the availability of this type of information. Although most cultural evolution experiments assume that social learners are free to use social information, there are many examples of information withholding, particularly in ethnographic studies. In this experiment, we used a computer-based cultural game in which players were faced with a complex task and had the possibility to trade a specific part of their knowledge within their groups. The dynamics of information transmission were studied when competition was within- or exclusively between-groups. Our results show that between-group competition improved the transmission of information, increasing the amount and the quality of information. Further, informational access costs did not prevent social learners from performing better than individual learners, even when between-group competition was absent. Interestingly, between-group competition did not entirely eliminate access costs and did not improve the performance of players as compared with within-group competition. These results suggest that the field of cultural evolution would benefit from a better understanding of the factors that underlie the production and the sharing of information. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Barthes J.,Montpellier University | Godelle B.,Montpellier University | Raymond M.,CNRS Montpellier Institute of Evolutionary Sciences
Evolution and Human Behavior | Year: 2013

Male homosexual preference (MHP) challenges evolutionary thinking because the preference for male-male relationships is heritable, implies a fertility cost (lower offspring number), and is relatively frequent in some societies (2%-6% in Western countries) for a costly trait. Proximate explanations include the hypothesis of a "sexually antagonistic factor" in which a trait that increases fertility in females also promotes the emergence of MHP. Because no animal species is known to display consistent MHP in the wild (only transient and contextual homosexual behavior has been described), additional human-specific features must contribute to the maintenance of MHP in human populations. We built a theoretical model that revealed that, in a stratified society, a relatively high frequency of MHP could be maintained as a result of the social ascension of females signaling high fertility (hypergyny). Additional computer simulations confirmed that this result applies to populations with various numbers of classes, conditions of demographic regulation, and mating systems. The prediction that MHP is more prevalent in stratified societies was significantly supported in a sample of 48 societies for which the presence or absence of MHP has been anthropologically documented. More generally, any traits associated with up-migration are likely to be selected for in a stratified society and will be maintained by frequency dependence even if they induce a pleiotropic cost, such as MHP. These results offer a new perspective for understanding seemingly paradoxical traits in human populations. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Laporte M.,Laval University | Rogers S.M.,University of Calgary | Dion-Cote A.-M.,Laval University | Normandeau E.,Laval University | And 4 more authors.
G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics | Year: 2015

Parallel changes in body shape may evolve in response to similar environmental conditions, but whether such parallel phenotypic changes share a common genetic basis is still debated. The goal of this study was to assess whether parallel phenotypic changes could be explained by genetic parallelism, multiple genetic routes, or both. We first provide evidence for parallelism in fish shape by using geometric morphometrics among 300 fish representing five species pairs of Lake Whitefish. Using a genetic map comprising 3438 restriction site-associated DNA sequencing single-nucleotide polymorphisms, we then identified quantitative trait loci underlying body shape traits in a backcross family reared in the laboratory. A total of 138 body shape quantitative trait loci were identified in this cross, thus revealing a highly polygenic architecture of body shape in Lake Whitefish. Third, we tested for evidence of genetic parallelism among independent wild populations using both a single-locus method (outlier analysis) and a polygenic approach (analysis of covariation among markers). The single-locus approach provided limited evidence for genetic parallelism. However, the polygenic analysis revealed genetic parallelism for three of the five lakes, which differed from the two other lakes. These results provide evidence for both genetic parallelism and multiple genetic routes underlying parallel phenotypic evolution in fish shape among populations occupying similar ecological niches. © 2015 Laporte et al.


Aouacheria A.,Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon | Aouacheria A.,CNRS Montpellier Institute of Evolutionary Sciences
Biologie Aujourd'hui | Year: 2015

The concept of cell death has many links to the concept of death itself, defined as the opposite of life. Achievements obtained through research on apoptosis have apparently allowed us to transcend this Manichean view. Death is no longer outside, but rather inside living systems, as a constitutive force at work within the living matter. Whereas the death of cells can be positive and breed "creation" (e.g. during morphogenesis), its dysregulation can also cause or contribute to fatal diseases including cancer. It is tempting to apply this biological discourse to illuminate the relations between life and death, taken in general terms, but does this generalization actually hold? Is this discourse not essentially a metaphor? If cell death is considered as a vital aspect of various biological processes, then are we not faced with some vitalistic conception of death? Are there one or more meanings to the word "death"? Does the power to self-destruct act in opposition to other key features of living entities, or rather in juxtaposition to them? In this article, we first describe how the field of cell death has been developed on the basis of perceived and built dichotomies, mirroring the original opposition between life and death. We detail the limitations of the current paradigm of apoptosis regulation by BCL-2 family proteins, which nicely illustrate the problem of binary thinking in biology. Last, we try to show a way out of this dualistic matrix, by drawing on the notions of multiplicity, complexity, diversity, evolution and contingency. ©Socíeté de Biologie, 2016.


Bovet J.,Montpellier University | Barthes J.,Montpellier University | Durand V.,Montpellier University | Durand V.,CNRS Montpellier Institute of Evolutionary Sciences | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Male mate choice might be based on both absolute and relative strategies. Cues of female attractiveness are thus likely to reflect both fitness and reproductive potential, as well as compatibility with particular male phenotypes. In humans, absolute clues of fertility and indices of favorable developmental stability are generally associated with increased women's attractiveness. However, why men exhibit variable preferences remains less studied. Male mate choice might be influenced by uncertainty of paternity, a selective factor in species where the survival of the offspring depends on postnatal paternal care. For instance, in humans, a man might prefer a woman with recessive traits, thereby increasing the probability that his paternal traits will be visible in the child and ensuring paternity. Alternatively, attractiveness is hypothesized to be driven by self-resembling features (homogamy), which would reduce outbreeding depression. These hypotheses have been simultaneously evaluated for various facial traits using both real and artificial facial stimuli. The predicted preferences were then compared to realized mate choices using facial pictures from couples with at least 1 child. No evidence was found to support the paternity uncertainty hypothesis, as recessive features were not preferred by male raters. Conversely, preferences for self-resembling mates were found for several facial traits (hair and eye color, chin dimple, and thickness of lips and eyebrows). Moreover, realized homogamy for facial traits was also found in a sample of long-term mates. The advantages of homogamy in evolutionary terms are discussed. © 2012 Bovet et al.


Tognetti A.,Montpellier University | Tognetti A.,CNRS Montpellier Institute of Evolutionary Sciences | Berticat C.,Montpellier University | Berticat C.,CNRS Montpellier Institute of Evolutionary Sciences | And 4 more authors.
Evolution and Human Behavior | Year: 2013

There is evidence in the literature that non-verbal physical features are used as cues for a propensity to cooperate. However, further studies of the human ability to visually detect cooperativeness are required. In particular, the existence of static facial cues of altruism remains questionable. Moreover, an investigation of both sex differences and cross-cultural applicability with respect to altruism detection skills is crucial in the context of the evolution of human cooperation. In this study, we used both a public good game and a charitable contribution to assess the cooperativeness of 156 men and 172 women in rural Senegal and took facial photographs of these individuals. The second portion of the study was conducted in France. In total, 194 men and 171 women were asked to distinguish the most and least selfish individual from a series of 80 pairs of Senegalese facial photographs, each pair consisting of the highest and the lowest contributor from a group in the public good game. Using mixed modeling techniques, we controlled for facial masculinity, age and socio-economic status. For male pairs, both male and female French raters were able to identify more often than by chance which individual made the smallest contribution to the public good in each group; however, detection was not successful with female faces. These results suggest that sex-specific traits are involved and that only male facial traits indicating cooperative skills are, at least inter-culturally, readable. The specific facial traits involved are investigated. However, the charitable contribution was not correlated with the contribution to the public good, and further work is necessary to identify which specific altruistic traits are detectable and to assess the generality of these results. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | CNRS Montpellier Institute of Evolutionary Sciences and Institute of Marine SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaSanta Cruz
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Evolutionary applications | Year: 2016

The streams draining of into San Francisco Bay, California, have been impacted by habitat alteration for over 150years, and roads, dams, water diversions, and other impediments now block the paths of many aquatic migratory species. These changes can affect the genetic structure of fish populations, as well as driving adaptive evolution to novel environmental conditions. Here, we determine the evolutionary relationships of San Francisco Bay Area steelhead/rainbow trout (


PubMed | CNRS Montpellier Institute of Evolutionary Sciences and University of Lisbon
Type: | Journal: Experimental & applied acarology | Year: 2017

The choice of the partner an individual will mate with is expected to strongly impact its fitness. Hence, natural selection has favoured the evolution of cues to distinguish among mates that will provide different fitness benefits to the individual that is choosing. In species with first-malesperm precedence, this is particularly important for males, as mating with mated females will result in no offspring. In the spider mite Tetranychus urticae only the first mating is effective, except if the interval between first and second copulations is shorter than 24h. In line with this, males prefer to mate with virgin over mated females. They do not, however, choose between females that have mated at different time intervals. Here, we tested which type of cues males use to distinguish between females with different mating status (virgin versus mated). To do so, we firstly confirmed that males prefer virgins over mated females and that they do not select females on the basis of their age or mating interval. Next, we tested whether contact and volatile compounds or chemical trails affected male discrimination between mated and virgin females, by systematically varying the exposure of males to these cues. We found that volatile compounds and chemical trails were sufficient to induce discrimination between virgin and mated females in males. Direct contact with females, however, does not seem to play a role in this discrimination. The composition of such chemical cues (trails and volatiles) remains to be identified.

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