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Sexual dimorphism in lizard body shape: The role of sexual selection and fecundity selection


Olsson, M and Shine, R and Wapstra, E and Ujvari, B and Madsen, T, Sexual dimorphism in lizard body shape: The role of sexual selection and fecundity selection, Evolution, 56, (7) pp. 1538-1542. ISSN 0014-3820 (2002) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.0014-3820.2002.tb01464.x


Sexual dimorphism is widespread in lizards, with the most consistently dimorphic traits being head size (males have larger heads) and trunk length (the distance between the front and hind legs is greater in females). These dimorphisms have generally been interpreted as follows: (1) large heads in males evolve through male-male rivalry (sexual selection); and (2) larger interlimb lengths in females provide space for more eggs (fecundity selection). In an Australian lizard (the snow skink, Niveoscincus microlepidotus), we found no evidence for ongoing selection on head size. Trunk length, however, was under positive fecundity selection in females and under negative sexual selection in males. Thus, fecundity selection and sexual selection work in concert to drive the evolution of sexual dimorphism in trunk length in snow skinks.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Biochemistry and cell biology
Research Field:Enzymes
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Wapstra, E (Associate Professor Erik Wapstra)
ID Code:32734
Year Published:2002
Web of Science® Times Cited:190
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2007-11-06
Last Modified:2007-11-06

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