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Female-biased sexual size dimorphism in tinamous: a comparative test fails to support Rensch's rule

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Rensch's rule states that degree of sexual dimorphism increases with body size in species with larger males, and decreases with body size in those with larger females. To test this rule, we assessed the pattern of sexual size dimorphism in tinamous using a comparative analysis of independent contrasts. Tinamous are a monophyletic group of primitive birds comprising at least 47 ground dwelling species with prominent or exclusive paternal care of eggs and offspring. Although the size of females exceeded that of males in most considered species, we found an isometric relationship between males and females, instead of the negative allometric one predicted by Rensch's rule. Previous studies in Strigiformes and Falconiformes found positive allometric and isometric relationships respectively, and, considering these findings with our results, we conclude that Rensch's rule is not supported by birds with exclusively female-biased sexual dimorphism in size. © 2003 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2003, 80, 519–527
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Keywords: Tinamidae; allometric relationship; comparative method

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: División Ornitología, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales ‘Bernardino Rivadavia’. Angel Gallardo 470—C1405DJR Buenos Aires, Argentina 2: PIDBA-Cátedra de Vertebrados, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales e Instituto Miguel Lillo, Miguel Lillo 205, 4000 San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina

Publication date: 01 November 2003

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