3 years ago

Sexual size dimorphism and Rensch's rule in Canidae

Claudio J. Bidau, Pablo A. Martinez
The size variation between males and females of a species is a phenomenon known as sexual size dimorphism (SSD). The observed patterns of variation in SSD among species has led to the formulation of Rensch's rule, which establishes that, in species showing a male size bias, SSD increases with an increase in the body size of the species. However, for species in which there is a female size bias, the SSD would decrease when the body size of the species increases. In the present study, we examined the variation in body size and SSD of 33 species of canids from estimates of body mass and body length. We studied its relationship with life-history characteristics and tested Rensch's rule using phylogenetic generalized least squares and phylogenetic reduced major axis regressions, respectively. We observed the existence of correlation between body mass and body length, although the SSDs from these estimators are uncorrelated. SSD did not show the pattern predicted by Rensch's rule. SSD also did not show any correlation with life-history traits. It is likely that the low SSD observed in canids is related to the monogamy observed in the family, which is a rare situation in mammals.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/bij.12848

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