First evidence for a latitudinal body mass effect in extant Crocodylia and the relationships of their reproductive characters

Rebecca Lakin, Paul M Barrett, Colin Stevenson, Robert J Thomas, Matthew Wills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Relationships between distribution patterns and body size have been documented in many endothermic taxa. However, the evidence for these trends in ectotherms generally is equivocal, and there have been no studies of effects in crocodylians specifically. Here, we examine the relationship between latitudinal distribution and body mass in 20 extant species of crocodylians, as well as the relationships between seven important reproductive variables. Using phylogenetically independent contrasts to inform generalized linear models, we provide the first evidence of a latitudinal effect on adult female body mass in crocodylians. In addition, we explore the relationships between reproductive variables including egg mass, hatchling mass and clutch size. We report no correlation between egg mass and clutch size, upholding previously reported within-species trends. We also find no evidence of a correlation between measures of latitudinal range and incubation temperature, contrasting with the trends found in turtles.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberblz208
JournalBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
Early online date21 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jan 2020

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