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Sexual dimorphism in lizard body shape: the roles of sexual selection and fecundity selection


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Olsson, M, Shine, R, Wapstra, E, Ujvari, B and Madsen, T 2002 , 'Sexual dimorphism in lizard body shape: the roles of sexual selection and fecundity selection' , Evolution, vol. 56, no. 7 , pp. 1538-1542 , doi: 10.1111/j.0014-3820.2002.tb01464.x.

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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 Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Olsson, M and Shine, R and Wapstra, E and Ujvari, B and Madsen, T
Keywords: Fecundity selection, lizards, sexual dimorphism, sexual selection
Journal or Publication Title: Evolution
ISSN: 0014-3820
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/j.0014-3820.2002.tb01464.x
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