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Combat Bouts with Spur Use in the Madagascan Boa (Sanzinia madagascariensis)

Charles C. Carpenter, James B. Murphy and Lyndon A. Mitchell
Herpetologica
Vol. 34, No. 2 (Jun., 1978), pp. 207-212
Published by: Allen Press on behalf of the Herpetologists' League
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3891678
Page Count: 6
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Combat Bouts with Spur Use in the Madagascan Boa (Sanzinia madagascariensis)
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Abstract

Sanzinia madagascariensis (Madagascan boa) ♂ ♂ engage in combat bouts by entwining their tails and posterior trunk regions, with their anterior regions usually remaining widely separated and their heads often being out-of-sight of one another. The entwined regions may tighten vigorously, loosen, and shift position by sliding along the opponent. They often tug and pull against each other with the purchases of the anterior region. The pelvic spurs are active during a bout, erecting perpendicular to the body wall and flexing vigorously against the scales of the opponent. These combat actions appear to be adapted to the arboreal existence of this species and demonstrate a behavioral function for the vestigial spurs which are proportionately larger in ♂ ♂.

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