Evol Ecol Res 10: 229-250 (2008) Full PDF if your library subscribes.
Causes of sexual dimorphism in performance traits: a comparative approach
R. Van Damme,1* P. Entin,2 B. Vanhooydonck1 and A. Herrel1
1Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Wilrijk, Belgium and 2Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, PO Box 5640, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA
Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
Questions: Are there differences in whole-animal performance between the sexes, and what are the causes of this sexual dimorphism?
Organisms: Humans, horses, greyhound dogs, pigeons, and lizards.
Methods: We analysed performance records of human athletes, racehorses, greyhound dogs, racing pigeons, and lizards with respect to sexual dimorphism. Using the lizard data set, we correlated sexual dimorphism in running performance with sexual size dimorphism, reproductive effort, and territoriality.
Results: The athletic abilities of male organisms are generally greater than those of females. The difference is much more pronounced in humans than in horses, greyhound dogs, and pigeons. Within lizards, males are generally faster than females, but do not differ consistently in endurance. Among lizard species, body size dimorphism, territoriality, and reproductive effort do not predict the degree of sexual dimorphism in performance.
Keywords: fecundity, natural selection, sexual selection, territoriality, whole-animal performance.
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