Eggshell Types and Their Evolutionary Correlation with Life-History Strategies in SquamatesReport as inadecuate




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The eggshell is an important physiological structure for the embryo. It enables gas exchange, physical protection and is a calcium reserve. Most squamates lizards, snakes, worm lizards lay parchment-shelled eggs, whereas only some gekkotan species, a subgroup of lizards, have strongly calcified eggshells. In viviparous live-bearing squamates the eggshell is reduced or completely missing hereafter -shell-less-. Recent studies showed that life-history strategies of gekkotan species differ between species with parchment- and rigid-shelled eggshells. Here we test if the three different eggshell types found in the squamates are also associated with different life-history strategies. We first investigated the influence of the phylogeny on the trait -eggshell type- and on six life-history traits of 32 squamate species. Phylogenetic principal component analysis pPCA was then conducted to identify an association between life-history strategies and eggshell types. Finally, we also considered adult weight in the pPCA to examine its potential effect on this association. Eggshell types in squamates show a strong phylogenetic signal at a low taxonomical level. Four out of the six life-history traits showed also a phylogenetic signal birth size, clutch size, clutches per year and age at female maturity, while two had none incubation time, maximum longevity. The pPCA suggested an association of life-history strategies and eggshell types, which disappeared when adult weight was included in the analysis. We conclude that the variability seen in eggshell types of squamates is weakly influenced by phylogeny. Eggshell types correlate with different life-history strategies, and mainly reflect differences in adult weights of species.



Author: Konstantin Hallmann , Eva Maria Griebeler

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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