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Maternal basking behaviour determines offspring sex in a viviparous reptile


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Wapstra, E, Olsson, M, Shine, R, Edwards, A, 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.), vol. 271 , s230 , doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2003.0152.

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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.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Wapstra, E and Olsson, M and Shine, R and Edwards, A and Swain, R and Joss, JMP
Keywords: environmental sex determination; sex ratio; squamate; viviparity
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B (Suppl.)
ISSN: 0962-8452
DOI / ID Number: 10.1098/rsbl.2003.0152
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