Morphological diversity of the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) in the Yucatán Peninsula

Morphological diversity of the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) in the Yucatán Peninsula Recent evidence suggests that morphological divergence of the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) occurred in Greater Antilles under conditions of prolonged isolation and hybridization with the Cuban crocodile (C. rhombifer). We investigated morphological diversity in C. acutus in the coastal zone of the Yucatán Peninsula, where isolation and hybridization have also been reported. We compared the relationships among various morphological traits between insular and coastal populations. Our results suggest morphological diversity in the region, which is possibly related to population isolation and mechanical constraints imposed by differences in diet. A broad-snouted morphotype appears typical of island populations. Hybridization could also cause morphological variation, but its importance in this case remains to be confirmed. Sexual dimorphism of the American crocodile in the region appears to be less pronounced than for other crocodilians. We also provide population-specific size estimation models for two populations (Banco Chinchorro and Cozumel) to improve future monitoring. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Zoomorphology Springer Journals

Morphological diversity of the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) in the Yucatán Peninsula

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Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Subject
Life Sciences; Animal Anatomy / Morphology / Histology; Developmental Biology; Evolutionary Biology; Animal Systematics/Taxonomy/Biogeography
ISSN
0720-213X
eISSN
1432-234X
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00435-017-0356-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that morphological divergence of the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) occurred in Greater Antilles under conditions of prolonged isolation and hybridization with the Cuban crocodile (C. rhombifer). We investigated morphological diversity in C. acutus in the coastal zone of the Yucatán Peninsula, where isolation and hybridization have also been reported. We compared the relationships among various morphological traits between insular and coastal populations. Our results suggest morphological diversity in the region, which is possibly related to population isolation and mechanical constraints imposed by differences in diet. A broad-snouted morphotype appears typical of island populations. Hybridization could also cause morphological variation, but its importance in this case remains to be confirmed. Sexual dimorphism of the American crocodile in the region appears to be less pronounced than for other crocodilians. We also provide population-specific size estimation models for two populations (Banco Chinchorro and Cozumel) to improve future monitoring.

Journal

ZoomorphologySpringer Journals

Published: May 12, 2017

References

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