Conflict and the evolution of viviparity in vertebrates
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Viviparity has evolved from oviparity approximately 142 times among vertebrates. Different theories have been proposed to explain the evolution of each of its traits in the different taxa. None, however, is applicable to all the viviparous vertebrates, since the derived ecological advantages such as controlling incubating temperature or protecting eggs against predation differ amongst clades. Most theories have been developed under a co-adaptive perspective, whereas less attention has been paid to conflict. We developed a broad panorama of the gradual evolution, from oviparity to advanced forms of viviparity, that includes the different environmental and co-adaptive selective pressures that have been suggested to be at the root of the different instances of viviparity and of the diverse maternal–foetal adaptations for nutrient transfer seen amongst vertebrates. Furthermore, we highlight the importance of conflict as a crucial driver of the evolution of many of those traits, including the evolution of epigenetic control of maternal resources. We suggest that the different types of matrotrophic viviparity, and probably also some reversals to oviparity, have been the result of an antagonistic coevolution between mothers, fathers and offspring, and their genomes. We additionally suggest that the appearance of a trait that allowed or favoured the evolution of internal development and matrotrophy generates a new selective environment that promotes further adaptations or counteradaptations, leading to the observed diversity of forms of embryonic development, nourishment, and transfer of maternal nutrients, and ultimately to the diversity of extant viviparous taxa.
Saldívar-Lemus , Y & Macías Garcia , C 2022 , ' Conflict and the evolution of viviparity in vertebrates ' , Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology , vol. 76 , no. 5 , 68 . https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-022-03171-z
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Copyright © 2022 he Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2022. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-022-03171-z.
DescriptionFunding: CONACyT provided a PhD scholarship (No. 46568) for YS-L.
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