Submit or Track your Manuscript LOG-IN

Divergence in Morphology, Clinging Ability and Self-Righting Ability of Two Sympatric Box Turtles (Cuora)

Divergence in Morphology, Clinging Ability and Self-Righting Ability of Two Sympatric Box Turtles (Cuora)

Fanrong Xiao, Jichao Wang and Haitao Shi*

Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Ecology of Tropical Islands, College of Life Sciences, Hainan Normal University, Haikou 571158, People’s Republic of China

*      Corresponding author: haitao-shi@263.net

ABSTRACT

Elucidating the relationships between morphology, performance and ecology is central to understand how morphology influences fitness. Previous work has already shown that two sympatric turtles, the Keeled box turtle Cuora mouhotii and the Flowerback box turtle C. galbinifrons, have divergent morphologies and occupy different microhabitats (steep, rocky hillslopes vs gentle, less rocky hillslopes). However, it is unclear how these differences are related to performance. In this study, we test the relationship between morphology and functional performance in these two species. The Keeled box turtle has a flatter shell, larger head, longer toes, better clinging ability, and better self-righting ability, whereas the Flowerback box turtle has a more domed shell, smaller head, shorter toes, decreased clinging ability, and decreased self-righting ability. Together, these results provide evidence that these two species are specialized to use different microhabitats. These differences likely allow the two species to exist in sympatry by reducing interspecific competition.
 

To share on other social networks, click on P-share. What are these?

Pakistan Journal of Zoology

February

Vol. 53, Iss. 1, Pages 1-400

Featuring

Click here for more

Subscribe Today

Receive free updates on new articles, opportunities and benefits


Subscribe Unsubscribe