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PeerJ January 1, 2014; 2 e661.

Jumping performance in the highly aquatic frog, Xenopus tropicalis: sex-specific relationships between morphology and performance.

Herrel A , Vasilopoulou-Kampitsi M , Bonneaud C .

Frogs are characterized by a morphology that has been suggested to be related to their unique jumping specialization. Yet, the functional demands associated with jumping and swimming may not be that different as suggested by studies with semi-aquatic frogs. Here, we explore whether features previously identified as indicative of good burst swimming performance also predict jumping performance in a highly aquatic frog, Xenopus tropicalis. Moreover, we test whether the morphological determinants of jumping performance are similar in the two sexes and whether jumping performance differs in the two sexes. Finally we test whether jumping capacity is positively associated with burst swimming and terrestrial endurance capacity in both sexes. Our results show sex-specific differences in jumping performance when correcting for differences in body size. Moreover, the features determining jumping performance are different in the two sexes. Finally, the relationships between different performance traits are sex-dependent as well with females, but not males, showing a trade-off between peak jumping force and the time jumped to exhaustion. This suggests that different selective pressures operate on the two sexes, with females being subjected to constraints on locomotion due to their greater body mass and investment in reproductive capacity. In contrast, males appear to invest more in locomotor capacity giving them higher performance for a given body size compared to females.

PubMed ID: 25392760
PMC ID: PMC4226644
Article link: PeerJ

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Astley, 2012, Pubmed [+]

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