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Chorus participation by male bullfrogs, Rana catesbeiana: a test of the energetic constraint hypothesis

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Chorus tenure is the number of nights that a male anuran spends attending choruses, and dominant tenure is the number of nights that a male adopts a dominant (i.e. territorial) mating tactic. While male bullfrogs that have longer tenure (chorus tenure and dominant tenure) acquire more mates, tenure is believed to be energetically costly. During the summer of 1998, we tested the hypothesis that tenure of bullfrogs is energy constrained, by conducting a feeding experiment to manipulate energetic condition, and by measuring each male's body condition on every night of his chorus tenure. The energetic constraint hypothesis did not adequately predict variation in male chorus tenure. However, male bullfrogs with longer dominant tenures, other things being equal, were in better initial condition, poorer final condition and lost condition more slowly than males with shorter dominant tenures. Feeding had no significant effect on either chorus tenure or dominant tenure. We found evidence that direct selection through endurance rivalry favoured traits in male bullfrogs that increased tenure.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Zoology, University of Guelph

Publication date: November 1, 2001

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