You are currently viewing the abstract.View Full Text
This Podcast features an interview with Douglas Emlen, author of a paper that was released in Science Express on 26 July 2012 and will appear in the 17 August 2012 issue of Science. Emlen discusses his group’s discovery that insulin signaling is involved in regulating the growth of the male rhinoceros beetle’s horn. Male rhinoceros beetles use their horns to fight for access to females, and males with larger horns generally win more fights and produce more offspring. In this study, Emlen and colleagues found that insulin signaling, which couples nutrition to growth and metabolism in many contexts, is important for determining the size of the horn. They found that the horn is more sensitive to insulin signaling than are other body parts, and they hypothesize that similarly heightened sensitivity to insulin signaling might also be important for regulating the growth of sexually selected male ornaments and weapons in other species.