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Journal Article

Body Size and Age in Amphibians and Reptiles

T. R. Halliday and P. A. Verrell
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 22, No. 3 (Sep., 1988), pp. 253-265
DOI: 10.2307/1564148
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1564148
Page Count: 13
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Body Size and Age in Amphibians and Reptiles
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Abstract

We question the widespread assumption that body size and age are strongly correlated in adult amphibians and reptiles. Data for the smooth newt (Triturus vulgaris) suggest that growth rate prior to the age of first breeding is a much more significant source of variance in body size than age. A review of the data available for amphibians and reptiles suggests that this is true for the majority of species. Four methods for determining age are discussed and we conclude that only two of them, skeletochronology and mark-recapture, are reliable. We argue that female choice in anurans that favours larger males may not, as has frequently been suggested, mean that females mate with older males, but with males that have shown rapid juvenile growth.

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