Evol Ecol Res 3: 487-505 (2001)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Bat life histories: Testing models of mammalian life-history evolution

Kate E. Jones and Ann MacLarnon

School of Life Sciences, University of Surrey Roehampton, West Hill, London SW15 3SN, UK

Address all correspondence to Kate Jones, Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4328, USA.
e-mail: kate.jones@virginia.edu


Over the last decade, important advances in mammalian life-history evolution have been made with the emergence of two theoretical life-history models by Charnov and by Kozlowski and Weiner. Here we test predictions from Charnov’s model using both phylogenetic comparative techniques and cross-species analyses in bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera). We find some support for Charnov’s life-history model in terms of the predicted values for the interrelationships of the length of the juvenile period and adult mortality, and his predicted invariants are also well supported. However, annual fecundity is not significantly correlated with body size as predicted. Overall, the evidence presented here does not offer convincing support for the applicability of Charnov’s model to bats. We propose that an explanation for these results is that bats decouple the age at which sexual maturity is reached from the age at which adult size is reached, because of the constraints of flight. This violates one of the assumptions not only of Charnov’s model, but also of the more general model of Kozlowski and Weiner.

Keywords: bats, comparative analyses, evolution, independent contrasts, life-history models.

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