Male and female animals often exhibit differences in body size; this difference is known as sexual size dimorphism (SSD). Hummingbirds are an excellent model system to test functional hypotheses of SSD because they exhibit a wide range of body sizes and reproductive behaviour between the sexes. Here, using phylogenetic comparative methods, we tested whether mating system, male territoriality and agility predicted the evolution of SSD in this avian family. Our results first suggest that evolutionary increases in male-biased SSD are related to increases in lekking behaviour. Second, we found that male agility is positively related to increases in male biased-SSD albeit this is only likely to occur in males of territorial species. Finally, we found an allometric pattern for SSD consistent with Rensch’s rule that was not explained by our estimates of male competition and agility.
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Dec 31, 2017
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