Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Body-Size Evolution on Islands: Are Adult Size Variations in Tiger Snakes a Nonadaptive Consequence of Selection on Birth Size?

Fabien Aubret
The American Naturalist
Vol. 179, No. 6 (June 2012), pp. 756-767
DOI: 10.1086/665653
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/665653
Page Count: 12
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($19.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Body-Size Evolution on Islands: Are Adult Size Variations in Tiger Snakes a Nonadaptive Consequence of Selection on Birth Size?
Preview not available

Abstract

AbstractMean adult size has been used as the traditional measure of body size to explain trends of insular gigantism and dwarfism in a wide array of taxa. However, patterns of variation in body size at birth have received surprisingly little attention, leaving open the possibility that adult body-size differences are nonadaptive consequences of selection acting on neonate body size. Here I used an empirical and correlative approach to test this hypothesis in a mosaic of 12 island and mainland snake populations in Australia. Data collected on 597 adult and 1,084 neonate tiger snakes showed that (1) both adult and neonate mean body sizes varied strongly across populations; (2) prey diversity and size convincingly explained birth-size variations: birth size—notably, gape size—correlated with prey size; (3) neonate snout-vent length was significantly correlated with neonate gape size; and (4) neonate snout-vent length was significantly correlated with adult snout-vent length. Postnatal growth rates recorded under common-garden conditions differed across populations and were correlated with mean prey size. These data collectively suggest that (1) prey size is the main driver for the evolution of body size at birth in gape-limited predators, (2) adult size variations may reflect selective forces acting on earlier life stages, and (3) adult size variations may also reflect resource availability during ontogeny (notably, prey diversity).

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
1
    1
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2
    2
  • Thumbnail: Page 
3
    3
  • Thumbnail: Page 
4
    4
  • Thumbnail: Page 
5
    5
  • Thumbnail: Page 
6
    6
  • Thumbnail: Page 
7
    7
  • Thumbnail: Page 
8
    8
  • Thumbnail: Page 
9
    9
  • Thumbnail: Page 
10
    10
  • Thumbnail: Page 
11
    11
  • Thumbnail: Page 
12
    12