Maternal basking behaviour determines offspring sex in a viviparous reptile
Wapstra, E and Olsson, M and Shine, R and Edwards, A and Swain, R and Joss, JMP (2004) Maternal basking behaviour determines offspring sex in a viviparous reptile. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B (Suppl.), 271 . s230. ISSN 0962-8452
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2003.0152
Two primary dichotomies within vertebrate life histories
involve reproductive mode (oviparity versus
viviparity) and sex determination (genotypic sex
determination versus environmental sex determination).
Although reptiles show multiple evolutionary
transitions in both parameters, the co-occurrence of
viviparity and environmental-dependent sex determination
have heretofore been regarded as incompatible.
Our studies on the viviparous lizard
Niveoscincus ocellatus show that the extent of basking
by a female influences the sex of her offspring.
Critically, our data reveal this effect both in the field
(via correlations between date of birth and litter sex
ratio) and in a laboratory experiment (females with
reduced basking opportunities produced more male
offspring). Changes in thermoregulatory behaviour
thus allow pregnant female lizards to modify the sex
of their offspring.
|Keywords:||environmental sex determination; sex ratio;
|Deposited By:||Dr Erik Wapstra|
|Deposited On:||15 Oct 2007 12:04|
|Last Modified:||18 Jul 2008 20:14|
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