Publication
Title
Fast and furious: effects of body size on strike performance in an arboreal viper **Trimeresurus (Cryptelytrops) albolabris**
Author
Abstract
Body size has a pervasive effect on animal functioning and life history with size dependent changes in performance and physiology throughout ontogeny being common in many ectothermic vertebrates. However, as selection on juvenile life history stages is strong, juveniles often offset the disadvantages of small body size by disproportionate levels of performance. Here, we investigate size-related changes in defensive strike performance in an arboreal pit viper, Trimerusurus (Cryptelytrops) albolabris. Our data show a significant negative allometry in the scaling of head dimensions and head mass to body mass. However, strike velocity and strike distance are independent of body mass, with juveniles in our sample striking as fast and as far as adults. In contrast to model predictions suggesting that acceleration capacity should decrease with increasing body mass, acceleration capacity increases with snake body mass. Our results suggest that this is the result of a negative allometric scaling of head mass combined with an isometric scaling of the dorsal epaxial musculature. Finally, our data show a significant sexual dimorphism in body size and strike velocity with females being heavier and striking faster independent of the dimorphism in body size.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Journal of experimental zoology: part A: comparative experimental biology. - Bognor Regis
Publication
Bognor Regis : 2011
ISSN
1548-8969
Volume/pages
315:1(2011), p. 22-29
Full text (Publishers DOI)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Record
Identification
Creation 18.01.2011
Last edited 22.11.2016
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