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Reproductive Conflict and the Evolution of Menopause in Killer Whales

Overview of attention for article published in Current Biology, January 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Among the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#47 of 9,819)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (97th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
78 news outlets
blogs
11 blogs
twitter
352 tweeters
facebook
16 Facebook pages
wikipedia
1 Wikipedia page

Citations

dimensions_citation
24 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
201 Mendeley
Title
Reproductive Conflict and the Evolution of Menopause in Killer Whales
Published in
Current Biology, January 2017
DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2016.12.015
Pubmed ID
Authors

Darren P. Croft, Rufus A. Johnstone, Samuel Ellis, Stuart Nattrass, Daniel W. Franks, Lauren J.N. Brent, Sonia Mazzi, Kenneth C. Balcomb, John K.B. Ford, Michael A. Cant

Abstract

Why females of some species cease ovulation prior to the end of their natural lifespan is a long-standing evolutionary puzzle [1-4]. The fitness benefits of post-reproductive helping could in principle select for menopause [1, 2, 5], but the magnitude of these benefits appears insufficient to explain the timing of menopause [6-8]. Recent theory suggests that the cost of inter-generational reproductive conflict between younger and older females of the same social unit is a critical missing term in classical inclusive fitness calculations (the "reproductive conflict hypothesis" [6, 9]). Using a unique long-term dataset on wild resident killer whales, where females can live decades after their final parturition, we provide the first test of this hypothesis in a non-human animal. First, we confirm previous theoretical predictions that local relatedness increases with female age up to the end of reproduction. Second, we construct a new evolutionary model and show that given these kinship dynamics, selection will favor younger females that invest more in competition, and thus have greater reproductive success, than older females (their mothers) when breeding at the same time. Third, we test this prediction using 43 years of individual-based demographic data in resident killer whales and show that when mothers and daughters co-breed, the mortality hazard of calves from older-generation females is 1.7 times that of calves from younger-generation females. Intergenerational conflict combined with the known benefits conveyed to kin by post-reproductive females can explain why killer whales have evolved the longest post-reproductive lifespan of all non-human animals.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 352 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 201 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Germany 2 <1%
Portugal 2 <1%
United Kingdom 2 <1%
Italy 1 <1%
France 1 <1%
Japan 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Netherlands 1 <1%
Unknown 190 95%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 50 25%
Student > Master 41 20%
Student > Ph. D. Student 40 20%
Researcher 29 14%
Unspecified 9 4%
Other 32 16%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 108 54%
Environmental Science 29 14%
Unspecified 24 12%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 12 6%
Social Sciences 7 3%
Other 21 10%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 974. 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 24 February 2019.
All research outputs
#3,957
of 13,224,954 outputs
Outputs from Current Biology
#47
of 9,819 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#255
of 370,264 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Current Biology
#6
of 201 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,224,954 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 9,819 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 40.7. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% 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 370,264 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 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 201 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its contemporaries.