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The role of predation in variation in body shape in guppies Poecilia reticulata: a comparison of field and common garden phenotypes

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The body shapes of both wild-caught and laboratory-reared male and female Trinidadian guppies Poecilia reticulata from two low-predation and two high-predation populations were studied, but predation regime did not seem to be the most important factor affecting body shape. Instead, complicated patterns of plasticity in body shape among populations and the sexes were found. In particular, populations differed in the depth of the caudal peduncle, which is the muscular region just anterior to the tail fin rays and from which most swimming power is generated. Strikingly, the direction of population differences in caudal peduncle depth observed in wild-caught individuals was reversed when P. reticulata were raised in a common laboratory environment.
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Keywords: caudal peduncle; geometric morphometrics; phenotypic plasticity

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, 25 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3G5, Canada

Publication date: 2009-10-01

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