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Authors: Hallmann, Konstantin
Griebeler, Eva Maria
Title: Eggshell types and their evolutionary correlation with life-history strategies in squamates
Online publication date: 13-Oct-2022
Year of first publication: 2015
Language: english
Abstract: 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.
DDC: 590 Tiere (Zoologie)
590 Zoological sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 10 Biologie
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
License: CC BY
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Journal: PLoS one
Pages or article number: e0138785
Publisher: PLoS
Publisher place: Lawrence, Kan.
Issue date: 2015
ISSN: 1932-6203
Publisher URL:
Publisher DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138785
Appears in collections:DFG-OA-Publizieren (2012 - 2017)

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