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Repeated evolution of exaggerated dewlaps and other throat morphology in lizards.
University of New South Wales, Kensington, Australia.
2015 (English)In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1010-061X, E-ISSN 1420-9101, Vol. 28, 1948-1964 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The existence of elaborate ornamental structures in males is often assumed to reflect the outcome of female mate choice for showy males. However, female mate choice appears weak in many iguanian lizards, but males still exhibit an array of ornament-like structures around the throat. We performed a phylogenetic comparative study to assess whether these structures have originated in response to male–male competition or the need for improved signal efficiency in visually difficult environments. We found little evidence for the influence of male–male competition. Instead, forest species were more likely to exhibit colourful throat appendages than species living in open habitats, suggesting selection for signal efficiency. On at least three independent occasions, throat ornamentation has become further elaborated into a large, conspicuously coloured moving dewlap. Although the function of the dewlap is convergent, the underlying hyoid apparatus has evolved very differently, revealing the same adaptive outcome has been achieved through multiple evolutionary trajectories. More generally, our findings highlight that extravagant, ornament-like morphology can evolve in males without the direct influence of female mate choice and that failure to consider alternative hypotheses for the evolution of these structures can obscure the true origins of signal diversity among closely related taxa.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 28, 1948-1964 p.
Keyword [en]
aggressive competition, animal communication, morphological cues, sexually selected, signal detection
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124506DOI: 10.1111/jeb.12709OAI: diva2:889525

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Available from: 2015-12-26 Created: 2015-12-26 Last updated: 2015-12-28Bibliographically approved

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Hagman, Mattias
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