Appendix 1 calibration points for phylogeny

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Chemical defence and niche space - figure legends



Age (mya)




Marmi et al, 2004; Eizirik et al, 2010



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999; Marmi et al, 2004



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999; Eizirik et al, 2010; Nyakatura and Bininda-Emonds, 2012



Eizirik et al, 2010



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999; Nyakatura and Bininda-Emonds, 2012



Eizirik et al, 2010; Nyakatura and Bininda-Emonds, 2012



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999; Nyakatura and Bininda-Emonds, 2012



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999; Nyakatura and Bininda-Emonds, 2012



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999; Marmi et al, 2004; Eizirik et al, 2010



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999

Mustela+Martes+[other genera contained between these two]


Marmi et al, 2004



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999; Marmi et al, 2004



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999; Marmi et al, 2004; Eizirik et al, 2010

Martes (except M.pennanti)


Marmi et al, 2004



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999

Martes (except M.pennanti, M.flavigula,M.gwatkinsii)


Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999; Marmi et al, 2004



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999; Nyakatura and Bininda-Emonds, 2012

Mustela+Lontra+[other genera contained between these two]


Marmi et al, 2004

Lontra+(Enhydra+(Hydrictis+(Lutra+ (Aonyx+Lutrogale))))


Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999; Marmi et al, 2004



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999; Nyakatura and Bininda-Emonds, 2012



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999; Marmi et al, 2004; Nyakatura and Bininda-Emonds, 2012



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999; Nyakatura and Bininda-Emonds, 2012

Enhydra+(Hydrictis+(Lutra+ (Aonyx+Lutrogale)))


Marmi et al, 2004; Nyakatura and Bininda-Emonds, 2012

Hydrictis+(Lutra+ (Aonyx+Lutrogale))


Marmi et al, 2004

Lutra+ (Aonyx+Lutrogale)


Marmi et al, 2004



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999; Marmi et al, 2004; Nyakatura and Bininda-Emonds, 2012



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999; Nyakatura and Bininda-Emonds, 2012



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999; Marmi et al, 2004



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999

M.erminea+M.lutreola+[other species contained between these two]


Marmi et al, 2004

M.lutreola+(M.altaica+M.nivalis)+[other species contained between these two]


Marmi et al, 2004

M.itatsi+M.lutreola+[other species contained between these two]


Marmi et al, 2004



Bininda-Emonds et al, 1999; Marmi et al, 2004


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Conspicuousness of colouration was evaluated by examination of images for conspicuous markings that may function as a warning signal. These images were obtained from internet searches and the literature. This meant that images were not standardised with regard to lighting, positioning, posture, or background, but the use of as many sources as possible for each species enabled us to get a complete picture of the colour patterns. We inspected the images for contrasting markings that appeared conspicuous and noted whether they were present or not. It should be noted that in musteloids the patterns are most often either shades of brown or contrasting black and white markings, therefore there were few if any cases where substantial uncertainty exists on whether or not a species was conspicuous. We have included some representative images in this appendix to illustrate the difference between conspicuous and cryptic musteloids (Fig. A3.1). While this is somewhat subjective it seems to provide a reasonable measure and has been used regularly in a variety of studies looking at conspicuousness (Sillen-Tullberg 1988; Götmark and Unger 1994; Tullberg and Hunter 1996; Burns 1998; Schaefer et al 2002; Nilsson and Forsman 1993; Santos et al 2003; Vences et al 2003; Chiari et al 2004; Caro 2005b; Inbar and Lev-Yadun 2005; Sagegami-Oba et al 2007; Bonacci et al 2008; Przeczek et al 2008; Pomini et al 2010). Nevertheless, in order to assess the consistency of this approach where a species was included in Stankowich et al (2011) we ensured that our judgment was independently consistent with their measure of conspicuousness (salience). In all cases this was true and thus we are confident that our classification of conspicuousness is a reliable indication of the appearance of the patterns. Although strictly speaking it was conspicuousness that was noted, we tested whether aposematism was present by looking at the association of this trait and chemical defence. This was coded simply as presence or absence.

Chemical defence was recorded as presence or absence based on whether anal gland secretions were used in defence. We did not subdivide this trait into categories based on how the secretions are used, as in Stankowich et al (2011), because we were interested in whether chemical defence as a whole influences other traits, not the specific form of the defence. As such those species coded here as defended range from being able to spray the secretion over a distance and control the direction to those who simply dribbled the substance when threatened.

Sociality was recorded as whether the species is typically social or solitary. Mention of occasional groups forming in an otherwise solitary species were attributed to some unusual factor such as a rare feeding aggregation or chance encounters while moving around and were coded as solitary. Similarly where mothers with young pups where the only groups documented in an otherwise solitary species it was regarded as solitary. In other words, this variable represents the typical situation in the species ignoring any short-term contradictions since it is the common scenario that would be expected to drive any selection acting on sociality.

Activity patterns were coded in three ways: diurnality, nocturnality, and circadianism. This was done because (in circadian species) being diurnal and being nocturnal are not mutually exclusive, and so each measure captures a different facet of activity that may be under different selection pressure. Each of these traits were coded as 'yes' or 'no', diurnal if normally active during the day, nocturnal if normally active at night, and circadian if normally active during both periods. Note that for the sake of interpretation, strict nocturnality is the case when diurnality is absent (coded as 'no') and vice versa - being coded as diurnal or nocturnal does not in itself imply that they are strictly of that type due to circadian species. Since activity patterns will almost always present some exceptions from time to time, species were recorded as circadian if they spent a large amount of time active during both periods and not if they mostly limited their activity to either day or night. For our purposes, we have considered 'night' and 'nocturnal' to include crepuscular activity because diminishing light levels should present a selective environment more similar to night than day hours.

Similarly we used two measures of the dietary habits of a species. Firstly, we recorded diet as 'mostly invertebrate feeding', 'mostly vertebrate feeding', 'strongly omnivorous', or 'herbivorous' (the latter includes all plant material including fruits). Because most species were found to consume small amounts of one category but mostly another, e.g. a few invertebrates but mostly mammals, we concentrated on the food category that comprised the majority of the diet. Where a species was truly generalist and included a large proportion of more than one category (e.g. both vertebrates and invertebrates) it was coded as strongly omnivorous. We then simplified this classification to form our variable 'omnivory', which was simply coded as yes or no depending on whether the species was strongly omnivorous in the above scheme or whether it concentrated more on one category of food. Finally, to include all recorded dietary items including rare components we created the variable 'diet diversity'. This consisted of breaking up recorded diet items into nine categories: reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals, fish, crustaceans, insects, other invertebrates, and plant material. We then recorded how many categories have been recorded in the diet of a given species, regardless of how important they are to the diet as a whole. This resulted in a relatively independent measure of diet breadth compared to our 'omnivory' variable. Firstly, a species coded with a diet of 'mostly vertebrates' can be inspected at a finer level, for example does it feed only on mammals or does it also prey on reptiles, amphibians, birds and perhaps rarely on some insects? Similarly, even those species coded as not omnivorous above maybe in fact consume a wide variety of foods, though most of them only rarely and so not be considered strongly omnivorous. Thus, our two measures of food habits capture different aspects of the biology: omnivory concerns whether the diet is highly variable as a whole whilst diet diversity concerns what foods the animal will take at least in small amounts rarely.

Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) was coded as presence or absence for each species. SSD in musteloids takes the form of bigger males, and where possible this was based on the distribution of adult body mass. If the distributions of male and female body mass showed little overlap then SSD was recorded as present, if the distributions of the sexes greatly overlapped then it was taken to be absent. In many cases such size distribution data were not available and so coding had to be based on reported sizes of males and females. Where this applied, we regarded males that were consistently 10% larger than females to be dimorphic.

Mating system was coded as monogamous or polygamous. Rarely has genetic monogamy been tested for in musteloids and so monogamy as used here must be considered to be social monogamy.

Territoriality was considered to be present when there was evidence of active defence of territories, and absent when there was evidence of tolerating intruders in the home range of an individual. We conservatively excluded cases where a species simply produces scent marks at the boundary of its home range but no fending off intruders has been noted.

Body size was recorded as the mean adult body mass of the species, or the midpoint of a given range if the mean was not presented. Where more than one source was available we extracted the value from each source and took the mean of these. Where more than one value or range was given for a species (e.g. geographic variation or SSD was present) we effectively treated each variant as another source and extracted the final value as above.

Longevity was recorded as the maximum lifespan in the wild where data on wild individuals existed. In some cases only captive longevity was provided and so to avoid upwardly biasing the data (captive lifespans are typically longer than wild lifespans for a given species) we took the mean captive longevity. We note here that in the few cases where only captive longevity was available the mean value of this was in the range of what might be expected for maximum wild longevity of the species in question. Furthermore when analyses were rerun excluding species for which captive longevities were used the results were qualitatively similar in that significant results remained significant except in one case (pGLS regression of longevity on chemical defence) where the significant result became marginally non-significant (likely as a sole result of the slightly reduced sample size). As such, the full dataset was used in the analyses presented herein.

Litter size was recorded as the mean litter size. Where different sources were available we treated the data as for body size, taking the mean value from the different sources to obtain a typical litter size for the species.

The minimum age at maturation for males and females in months was recorded where data was provided separately for each sex. If a maturation age was only available for the species as a whole then the same value was assigned to both males and females.

Birth weight was recorded in grams and where different sources were available we treated the data as for body size, taking the mean value from the different sources to obtain a typical birth weight for the species.

Figure A3.1 - Examples of musteloid coloration to illustrate differences between cryptic and conspicuous species. a) Lutra lutra - cryptic; b) Spilogale putorius - conspicuous; c) Martes gwatkinsii - cryptic but less clear cut end of range; d) Meles meles - conspicuous but less clear cut end of range.

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