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Intraspecific correlations among morphology, performance and habitat use within a green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) population

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Abstract:

We examined habitat use, morphology, jumping and clinging ability for 403 juvenile, female and male green anole lizards, Anolis carolinensis, in a population in south-eastern Louisiana. We sought to answer three questions: (1) Do age/sex classes differ in habitat use, morphology and performance ability? (2) Do habitat use, morphology and performance correlate among all individuals across three age/sex classes (juveniles, females and males)? (3) Do juveniles compensate for their poor absolute performance capacities by being better performers on a relative scale? The three age/sex classes were found to differ significantly in size-adjusted morphology, habitat use and size-adjusted performance capacity. Juveniles tended to occupy perches which were closer together than those of adult males and females. The distal elements of the hindlimb (femur, tibia) were significantly longer in males than in females and juveniles, while females were more stocky than males and juveniles. The only significant overall ecomorphological relationship detected was between the lengths of the distal hindlimb elements and maximum jump acceleration. Our hypothesis that juveniles should be better performers (relative to size) compared to adults was disproved, as adult females were always the best performers relative to size. Our analysis of a mainland anole population presents a different view of population structure compared to similar studies involving Caribbean Anolis lizards, which show more ecological differentiation among age/sex classes, and also show that juveniles are relatively good performers. © 2005 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2005, 85, 211–221.

Keywords: capacity; ecology; evolution; locomotion; reptile

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8312.2005.00486.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA 2: Laboratory for Functional Morphology, University of Antwerp (UIA), Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Antwerp, Belgium 3: Department of Biology, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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