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.
e-mail: raoul.vandamme@ua.ac.be


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.

IF you are connected using the IP of a subscribing institution (library, laboratory, etc.)
or through its VPN.


        © 2008 Raoul Van Damme. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.

       Subscribing institutions/libraries may grant individuals the privilege of making a single copy of an EER article for non-commercial educational or non-commercial research purposes. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also use articles for non-commercial educational purposes by making any number of copies for course packs or course reserve collections. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also loan single copies of articles to non-commercial libraries for educational purposes.

       All copies of abstracts and articles must preserve their copyright notice without modification.