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See detailRensch’s rule and sexual dimorphism in salamanders: patterns and potential processes
Colleoni, E.; Denoël, Mathieu ULg; Padoa-Schioppa, E. et al

in Journal of Zoology (2014), 293(3), 143-151

Body size is influenced by the interaction of multiple forces, whose effects can determine the occurrence of sexual size dimorphism (SSD). Rensch's rule is the increase of SSD with body size in taxa where ... [more ▼]

Body size is influenced by the interaction of multiple forces, whose effects can determine the occurrence of sexual size dimorphism (SSD). Rensch's rule is the increase of SSD with body size in taxa where males are the largest sex, and the opposite pattern in female-biased SSD taxa. This pattern was detected in many animal groups, but contrasting results were also highlighted. This study evaluated the existence of Rensch's patterns for body size and for the number of caudal vertebrae in salamandrid caudate amphibians. Furthermore, we tested the support of alternative hypotheses on processes that may determine allometric patterns: sexual selection, fecundity selection and constraining selection by performing separate analyses on species with male- and female-biased SSD. We used the literature and original data to gather information on body size and number of caudal vertebrae in 52 species of salamandrids over four continents. We then tested the support of the three hypotheses using a phylogenetic approach. Rensch's rule was valid for body size in salamanders only for species with male-biased dimorphism. No allometric relationships were detected by analyses on all the species, or by analyses on female-biased SSD species. Analyses performed on the number of caudal vertebrae showed no significant patterns. Our study supports the role of sexual selection in promoting positive allometry for body size in male-biased SSD species, whereas the alternative hypotheses were not supported by our data. These results highlight the importance of distinguishing male- and female-biased species as different evolutionary pressures and constraints may be at the basis of evolution of SSD in these groups. [less ▲]

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See detailNew karyotypic data for Asian rodents (Rodentia, Muridae) with the first report of B-chromosomes in the genus Mus
Badenhorst, Daleen; Herbreteau, Vincent; Chaval, Yannick et al

in Journal of Zoology (2009), 279(1), 44-56

Karyotypes of 18 rodent species collected in various localities in Thailand were analysed as part of an epidemiological survey of the region using conventional cytogenetic techniques. The aim was to re ... [more ▼]

Karyotypes of 18 rodent species collected in various localities in Thailand were analysed as part of an epidemiological survey of the region using conventional cytogenetic techniques. The aim was to re-assess the reliability of karyotype-based diagnoses of Thai rodents using an updated taxonomic framework. The species examined include Menetes berdmorei (Sciuridae), Mus caroli, Mus cervicolor and Mus cookii, Hapalomys delacouri, Chiropodomys gliroides, as well as several representatives of most of the lineages of the Rattini tribe, that is Rattus exulans, Rattus losea, Rattus tanezumi, Leopoldamys edwardsi, Leopoldamys neilli, Maxomys surifer, Niviventer fulvescens, Berylmys berdmorei, Berylmys bowersi, Bandicota indica and Bandicota savilei (Muridae). The first descriptions of G- and/or C-banding karyotypes are provided for several of these, that is, B. savilei, L. edwardsi, M. surifer, B. berdmorei, B. bowersi, N. fulvescens and H. delacouri. Although largely in agreement with available data, our findings on chromosome morphology differ slightly from those published for L. edwardsi, M. surifer, B. savilei and the two Berylmys species, B. berdmorei and B. bowersi. In addition, we document the novel finding of B-chromosomes in the genera Berylmys, Bandicota and the emblematic Mus. Importantly, few species-specific chromosomal characteristic could be identified within most of the genera investigated in our study and, in contrast to previous claims, the usefulness of karyotypes for diagnosing these Asian murid species appears to be limited. [less ▲]

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See detailVariations in the sound producing mechanism in the pearlfish Carapini (Carapidae)
Parmentier, Eric ULg; Lagardère, Jean-Paul; Chancerelle, Yannick et al

in Journal of Zoology (2008), 276

Sound production in Carapus boraborensis results from the action of different sonic muscles terminating in complex tendons, which have hooks that fit over a tubercle on the swimbladder wall. The primary ... [more ▼]

Sound production in Carapus boraborensis results from the action of different sonic muscles terminating in complex tendons, which have hooks that fit over a tubercle on the swimbladder wall. The primary sonic muscles (PSM) draw progressively the forepart of the swimbladder until the hook releases the tubercle. This allows the swimbladder to snap back to its resting position, which initiates the onset of the sound. In the present study, the morphology of the C. boraborensis sound-producing apparatus and the resulting sounds were compared with Encheliophis gracilis and Carapus homei. The main difference concerns the direct insertion of the PSM on the swimbladder in C. homei and E. gracilis and, concurrent sonic characteristics. These morphological features also allow both fish to produce an additional kind of sound with more compact pulses, each being clearly composed of two parts and each having a different frequency. The sound producing system could be compared with a guitarist who makes a sound in releasing a guitar string and modulates it by moving his/her finger along the string. However, E. gracilis possess more filtered sounds than C. boraborensis and C. homei, probably because of the unusual shape of its swimbladder. This study highlights the diversity and plasticity of sonic mechanisms and their implication in the development of sonic repertoire in evolving species. [less ▲]

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See detailInnate sound production in the cichlid Oreochromis niloticus
Longrie, Nicolas ULg; Fine, M. L.; Parmentier, Eric ULg

in Journal of Zoology (2008), 275

The mouthbrooding cichlid Oreochromis niloticus is one of the world’s best-studied fish and is raised extensively for aquaculture. Although it is a common behavioural model, its acoustic communication has ... [more ▼]

The mouthbrooding cichlid Oreochromis niloticus is one of the world’s best-studied fish and is raised extensively for aquaculture. Although it is a common behavioural model, its acoustic communication has been neglected. Because of extensive parental care, the species is a good candidate for vocal learning. In male O. niloticus, we investigated for the first time sound production in agonistic interactions during nest construction. Males produce short-duration (250– 400 ms), often double-pulse sounds. Most energy is below 200 Hz and includes three main low-frequency peaks although energy extends beyond 1 kHz. Males (separated as eggs and raised in isolation) produce similar sounds in the same context as parental fish, indicating that the ability to produce sounds and the basic properties of the sounds are innate. [less ▲]

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