Publication
Title
Sexual dimorphism in the dermal armour of cordyline lizards (Squamata: Cordylinae)
Author
Abstract
While sexual dimorphism in offensive weaponry is a well-established phenomenon, few studies have looked at sexual differences in defensive body armour. In this study, we investigate sexual dimorphism in the expression of osteoderms - bony elements embedded in the skin - in four species of cordyline lizards by using high-resolution micro-computed tomography. Our results unambiguously show that only in the species with an intermediate phenotype characterized by isolated osteoderms without any clear ecological function do males have a higher degree of osteoderm expression than females. By contrast, no significant sexual differences are present in the species with an armoured phenotype consisting of a continuous layer of imbricating osteoderms. These findings suggest that sexual selection acting on dermal armour might be ubiquitous, but that in the armoured phenotype, its effect is weak because of a stronger selection pressure towards improved defence or physiological function.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Biological journal of the Linnean Society. - London
Publication
London : 2018
ISSN
0024-4066 [print]
1095-8312 [online]
Volume/pages
125 :1 (2018) , p. 30-36
ISI
000442937000003
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 08.10.2018
Last edited 19.09.2021
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