2015 Spring Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Community... has ended
Wednesday, April 22 • 8:00am - 8:20am
Sexual Dimorphism in Nectar-feeding bats (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae)

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This study examined sexual dimorphism in 19 species of nectar feeding bats of the family Phyllostomidae, representing four subfamiles Glossophaginae, Brachyphyllinae, Phyllonycterinae and Lonchophyllinae subfamilies. Most nectar feeding bats have elongated muzzles and tongues, and reduced post-canine teeth, which are specializations for this diet. However, many have large canine teeth, despite the lack of hard food items in their diet. Across mammals, sexually dimorphic traits are often related to various mating strategies. This study used measurements of forearm length, skull size, and canine tooth size, taken from 892 individuals in museums to determine patterns of sexual dimorphism in these bats. Of the 19 species, only three were monomorphic in all three variables (skull size, canine size, and forearm length). The remaining 15 species exhibited some degree of sexual dimorphism in one or two of the measurements, but no species showed dimorphism across all three traits. There were three instances where the forearms of females were significantly longer than those of the males, and two different instances, where females had significantly larger skulls than males. In all 13 species with significant size differences in canines, the larger canines were found on the males. Only 3 species had males that were significantly larger in both skull size and canine tooth size. The smaller of the species generally did not show dimorphism in the size of their canines, while canine dimorphism was common in larger bats. These results will be analyzed in a phylogenetic and behavioral context.

Wednesday April 22, 2015 8:00am - 8:20am
014 Zeis Hall

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