Naturwissenschaften (Naturwissenschaften )

Publisher: Springer Verlag


In 1913 Arnold Berliner the founder of Naturwissenschaften formulated the following goal for the journal: " it should inform all those working in scientific fields (either as researchers or teachers) about what interests them outside their own fields." Authors such as Albert Einstein Werner Heisenberg Max von der Laue Karl von Frisch Konrad Lorenz Manfred Eigen etc. have in the past worked to bring this about. In the future too top researchers worldwide will continue to report on the status of their subject areas in 'Review articles' in 'Short original articles' they will introduce new results and in 'Book reviews' they will give critical evaluations of important new literature.

Impact factor 1.97

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    Naturwissenschaften website
  • Other titles
    Naturwissenschaften (Online)
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  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

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Springer Verlag

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    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Lateralisation (i.e. different functional and/or structural specialisations of the left and right sides of the brain) of aggression has been examined in several vertebrate species, while evidence for invertebrates is scarce. In this study, we investigated lateralisation of aggressive displays (boxing with forelegs and wing strikes) in the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata. We attempted to answer the following questions: (1) do medflies show lateralisation of aggressive displays at the population-level; (2) are there sex differences in lateralisation of aggressive displays; and (3) does lateralisation of aggression enhance fighting success? Results showed left-biased population-level lateralisation of aggressive displays, with no consistent differences among sexes. In both male-male and female-female conflicts, aggressive behaviours performed with left body parts led to greater fighting success than those performed with right body parts. As we found left-biased preferential use of body parts for both wing strikes and boxing, we predicted that the left foreleg/wing is quicker in exploring/striking than the right one. We characterised wing strike and boxing using high-speed videos, calculating mean velocity of aggressive displays. For both sexes, aggressive displays that led to success were faster than unsuccessful ones. However, left wing/legs were not faster than right ones while performing aggressive acts. Further research is needed on proximate causes allowing enhanced fighting success of lateralised aggressive behaviour. This is the first report supporting the adaptive role of lateralisation of aggressive displays in insects.
    Naturwissenschaften 02/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: Mesozoic marine reptiles went through a severe turnover near the end of the Triassic. Notably, an important extinction event affected ichthyosaurs, sweeping a large part of the group. This crisis is, however, obscured by an extremely poor fossil record and is regarded as protracted over the entire Norian-earliest Jurassic interval, for the lack of a more precise scenario. The iconic whale-sized shastasaurid ichthyosaurs are regarded as early victims of this turnover, disappearing by the middle Norian. Here we evaluate the pattern of this turnover among ichthyosaurs by analysing the faunal record of two Rhaetian localities. One locality is Autun, eastern France; we rediscovered in this material the holotypes or partial 'type' series of Rachitrema pellati, Actiosaurus gaudryi, Ichthyosaurus rheticus, Ichthyosaurus carinatus and Plesiosaurus bibractensis; a revised taxonomic scheme is proposed. The second assemblage comes from a new locality: Cuers, southeastern France. Both these assemblages provide several lines of evidence for the presence of shastasaurid-like ichthyosaurs in the Rhaetian of Europe. These occurrences suggest that both the demise of shastasaurids and the sudden radiation of neoichthyosaurians occurred within a short time window; this turnover appears not only more abrupt but also more complex than previously postulated and adds a new facet of the end-Triassic mass extinction.
    Naturwissenschaften 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Recent histological studies have revealed a diversity of dental features in Permo-Carboniferous tetrapods. Here, we report on the occurrence of plicidentine (infolded dentine around the base of the tooth root) in Sphenacodontia, the first such documentation in Synapsida, the clade that includes mammals. Five taxa were examined histologically, Ianthodon schultzei, Sphenacodon ferocior, Dimetrodon limbatus, Dimetrodon grandis, and Secodontosaurus obtusidens. The tooth roots of Ianthodon possess multiple folds, which is generally viewed as the primitive condition for amniotes. Sphenacodon and D. limbatus have distinctive “four-leaf clover”-shaped roots in cross section, whereas Secodontosaurus has an elongate square shape with only subtle folding. The most derived and largest taxon examined in this study, D. grandis, has rounded roots in cross section and therefore no plicidentine. This pattern of a loss of plicidentine in sphenacodontids supports previous functional hypotheses of plicidentine, where teeth with shallow roots require folds to increase the area of attachment to the toothbearing element, whereas teeth with long roots do not. This pattern may also reflect differences in diet between cooccurring sphenacodontids as well as changes in feeding niche through time, specifically in the apex predator Dimetrodon.
    Naturwissenschaften 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Staining and histochemistry of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) were performed at different inflorescence developmental stages on nine aroid species; one temperate, Arum italicum and eight tropical from the genera Caladium, Dieffenbachia and Philodendron. Moreover, a qualitative and quantitative analysis of VOCs constituting the scent of A. italicum, depending on the stage of development of inflorescences was also conducted. In all nine species, vesicles were observed in the conical cells of either the appendix or the stamens and the staminodes. VOCs were localised in intracellular vesicles from the early stages of inflorescence development until their release during receptivity of gynoecium. This localisation was observed by the increase of both number and diameter of the vesicles during one week before receptivity. Afterward, vesicles were fewer and smaller but rarely absent. In A. italicum, staining and gas chromatography analyses confirmed that the vesicles contained terpenes. The quantitatively most important ones were the sesquiterpenes but monoterpenes were not negligible. Indeed, the quantities of terpenes matched the vesicles’ size evolution during one week. Furthermore, VOCs from different biosynthetic pathways (sesquiterpenes and alkanes) were at their maximum quantity two days before gynoecium receptivity (sesquiterpenes and alkanes) or during receptivity (isobutylamine, monoterpenes, skatole and p-cresol). VOCs seemed to be emitted during gynoecium receptivity and/or during thermogenesis. FADs, accumulated after pollination in the spadix. These complex dynamics of the different VOCs could indicate specialisation of some VOCs and cell machinery to attract pollinators on the one hand and to repulse/protect against phytophagous organisms and pathogens after pollination on the other hand.
    Naturwissenschaften 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: From a life history perspective, glucocorticoids secreted by the neuroendocrine system, integrating different sources of stress through an adaptive feedback mechanism, may have important consequences on individual fitness. Although stress responses have been the object of several investigations, few studies have explored the role of proximate mechanisms responsible for the potential trade-offs between physiological stress and life history traits integrating social and environmental stressors. In 2011 and 2012 we collected data on faecal cortisol metabolites (FCM) in a marked male population of Alpine chamois, within the Gran Paradiso National Park (Italy). Using a model selection approach we analysed the effect of potential etho-ecological stressors such as age, social status (territorial vs. non-territorial males), minimum temperature, snow depth and precipitation on FCM variation. To correctly interpret environmentally- and socially-induced stress responses, we conducted model selections over multiple temporal scales defined a priori: year, cold months, spring, warm months, mating season. Over the year, FCM levels showed a negative relationship with minimum temperature, but altogether climatic stressors had negligible effects on glucocorticoid secretion, possibly owing to good adaptations of chamois to severe weather conditions. Age was negatively related to FCM during the rut, possibly due to greater experience of older males in agonistic contests. Social status was an important determinant of FCM excretion: while both the ‘stress of subordination’ and the ‘stress of domination’ hypotheses received some support in spring and during the mating season, respectively, previous data suggest that only the latter may have detrimental fitness consequences on male chamois.
    Naturwissenschaften 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Several extinct sperm whales (stem Physeteroidea) were recently proposed to differ markedly in their feeding ecology from the suction-feeding modern sperm whales Kogia and Physeter. Based on cranial, mandibular, and dental morphology, these Miocene forms were tentatively identified as macroraptorial feeders, able to consume proportionally large prey using their massive teeth and robust jaws. However, until now, no corroborating evidence for the use of teeth during predation was available. We report on a new specimen of the stem physeteroid Acrophyseter, from the late middle to early late Miocene of Peru, displaying unusual bony outgrowths along some of the upper alveoli. Considering their position and outer shape, these are identified as buccal maxillary exostoses. More developed along posterior teeth and in tight contact with the high portion of the dental root outside the bony alveoli, the exostoses are hypothesized to have developed during powerful bites; they may have worked as buttresses, strengthening the teeth when facing intense occlusal forces. These buccal exostoses further support a raptorial feeding technique for Acrophyseter and, indirectly, for other extinct sperm whales with a similar oral apparatus (Brygmophyseter, Livyatan, Zygophyseter). With a wide size range, these Miocene stem physeteroids were major marine macropredators, occupying ecological niches nowadays mostly taken by killer whales.
    Naturwissenschaften 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the ecological factors that affect dispersal distances allows us to predict the consequences of dispersal. Although predator avoidance is an important cause of prey dispersal, its effects on dispersal distance have not been investigated. We used simple experimental setups to test dispersal distances of the ambulatory dispersing spider mite (Tetranychus kanzawai) in the presence or absence of a predator (Neoseiulus womersleyi). In the absence of predators, most spider mites settled in adjacent patches, whereas the majority of those dispersing in the presence of predators passed through adjacent patches and settled in distant ones. This is the first study to experimentally demonstrate that predators induce greater dispersal distance in prey.
    Naturwissenschaften 05/2014;