Title
Bergmann's rule and the terrestrial caecilian Schistometopum thomense (Amphibia : Gymnophiona : Caeciiiidae) Bergmann's rule and the terrestrial caecilian Schistometopum thomense (Amphibia : Gymnophiona : Caeciiiidae)
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Subject
Chemistry
Biology
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Evolutionary ecology research
Volume/pages
8(2006) :6 , p. 1049-1059
ISSN
1522-0613
ISI
000240906600007
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Question: Do caecilians follow Bergmann's rule? Hypothesis: Bergmann's rule explains the wide variation in body sizes found among populations of the terrestrial caecilian Schistometopum thomense. Field site: This is a range-wide study incorporating most terrestrial habitats throughout the island of Sao Tome in the Gulf of Guinea. Methods: We performed morphological measurements on 95 museum specimens and 187 field-collected individuals and compared them with site data from 13 separate localities on the island. Conclusions: This is the first example of a caecilian amphibian that follows Bergmann's rule. Total body mass doubles and length increases by nearly 50% up to 1050 in of altitude. This result is surprising as it occurs virtually on the equator, over a very small spatial scale (< 16 km horizontal), and within a relatively small temperature range (< 10 degrees C).
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