Comparative Perspectives on Bimaturism, Ontogeny, and Dimorphism in Lemurid Primates

Leigh, Steven R.; Terranova, Carl J.
August 1998
International Journal of Primatology;Aug98, Vol. 19 Issue 4, p723
Academic Journal
We address questions regarding the general absence of dimorphism in lemurid primates ( Hapalemur, Eulemur, and Varecia) through comparative analyses of ontogeny. We described and analyzed body mass growth data for 9 lemurid taxa and compared them to similar data for anthropoid primates. Lemurids tend to grow rapidly over a short period of time when compared to anthropoid primates of similar body sizes. Size variation among lemurid taxa arises primarily as a consequence of differences in rates of growth. Comparative analyses of body mass growth data suggest that natural selection has produced ontogenetic adaptations in lemurids that center on relatively short periods of growth. Reduced growth periods preclude the evolution of sexual dimorphism through bimaturism—a sex difference in the length of the growth period—despite high levels of intermale competition. Selective factors related to seasonal variability of lemurid habitats play important roles in limiting the potential for the evolution of bimaturism. Other selective factors that limit bimaturism are related to female reproductive synchrony. In combination, they favor relatively early male maturation, precluding sexual selection that would otherwise promote the evolution of dimorphism through bimaturism. Natural selection on growth rates may preclude somatic responses to sexual selection that involve elevated male growth rates. In general, existing ontogenetic or life history adaptations appear to restrict responses to sexual selection in male lemurids.


Related Articles

  • Quantitative genetics of ontogeny of sexual dimorphism in red junglefowl (Gallus gallus). Parker, T. H.; Garant, D. // Heredity;Nov2005, Vol. 95 Issue 5, p401 

    We studied phenotypic patterns and underlying quantitative genetics of development of sexual size dimorphism in red junglefowl (Gallus gallus). Using a multigenerational pedigree and the ‘animal model’ technique, we found significant heritability for many of the size and...

  • Social System ofMicrocebus berthae, the World’s Smallest Primate. Dammhahn, Melanie; Kappeler, Peter M. // International Journal of Primatology;Apr2005, Vol. 26 Issue 2, p407 

    Our goal was to provide a first characterization of the social system of pygmy mouse lemurs (Microcebus berthae), the world’s smallest primate species. During a 4-mo field study of 12 females and 27 males, we combined capture-recapture and morphometric data with detailed behavioral...

  • Life History Aspects of Oxyrhopus trigeminus (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) from Two Sites in Southeastern Brazil. Alencar, Laura R. V.; Galdino, Conrado A. B.; Nascimento, Luciana B. // Journal of Herpetology;Mar2012, Vol. 46 Issue 1, p9 

    We studied the reproduction, sexual dimorphism, and diet of Oxyrhopus trigeminus from two sites in southeastern Brazil. Oxyrhopus trigeminus from Irapé Power Plant (IPP) contained vitellogenic follicles and eggs in both rainy and dry seasons and clutch size was not correlated with female...

  • Effect of sex and age on structural features of nasal calls and body size in fawns of the goitered gazelle, Gazella subgutturosa (Artiodactyla, Bovidae). Efremova, K.; Volodin, I.; Volodina, E.; Frey, R.; Soldatova, N.; Lapshina, E.; Makarov, I.; Gorbunov, K. // Biology Bulletin;Dec2011, Vol. 38 Issue 7, p735 

    Male goitered gazelles differ from conspecific females in having a highly prominent larynx. However, the development of sex dimorphism in the vocal apparatus and the structure of calls has not yet been studied in this species. This study deals with structural changes in the acoustic parameters...

  • Shell shape and size variation in the Egyptian tortoise Testudo kleinmanni (Testudinidae, Testudines). MACALE, Daniele; VENCHI, Alberto; SCALICI, Massimiliano // Folia Zoologica;Jun2011, Vol. 60 Issue 2, p167 

    The article discusses the size and shape of the shell of Egyptian tortoise Testudo along with its changes due to ontogenesis and sexual dimorphism. It explores the ontogenetic patterns between male and female using the geometric morphometrics of the carapace narrows. It discusses the impact of...

  • Allometry of head size and shape dimorphism in the grass snake (Natrix natrix L.). BORCZYK, Bartosz // Turkish Journal of Zoology;2015, Vol. 39 Issue 2, p340 

    This study was conducted to investigate allometry of head growth patterns in the grass snake (Natrix natrix (Linnaeus, 1758)). Although male and female grass snakes differ in relative head size, their head growth patterns follow similar trajectories. The sexual differences are roughly constant...

  • Sexual Size Dimorphism, Canine Dimorphism, and Male-Male Competition in Primates. Plavcan, J. // Human Nature;Mar2012, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p45 

    Sexual size dimorphism is generally associated with sexual selection via agonistic male competition in nonhuman primates. These primate models play an important role in understanding the origins and evolution of human behavior. Human size dimorphism is often hypothesized to be associated with...

  • Growth and Investment in Hominin Life History Evolution: Patterns, Processes, and Outcomes. Lee, Phyllis // International Journal of Primatology;Dec2012, Vol. 33 Issue 6, p1309 

    The transitions from apes to lineages allied to humans are marked by shifts in the allocation of parental effort, associated with discontinuous changes in rates of infant and juvenile growth both prenatally and postnatally. Here, I assess growth and life history characteristics of apes within a...

  • Sexual Dimorphism and Facial Growth Beyond Dental Maturity in Great Apes and Gibbons. Balolia, Katharine; Soligo, Christophe; Lockwood, Charles // International Journal of Primatology;Apr2013, Vol. 34 Issue 2, p361 

    The great apes and gibbons are characterized by extensive variation in degree of body size and cranial dimorphism, but although some studies have investigated how sexual dimorphism in body mass is attained in these species, for the majority of taxa concerned, no corresponding work has explored...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics