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Data from: Parental care and the evolution of terrestriality in frogs

Cite this dataset

Vági, Balázs et al. (2019). Data from: Parental care and the evolution of terrestriality in frogs [Dataset]. Dryad.


Frogs and toads (Anura) exhibit some of the most diverse parental strategies in vertebrates. Identifying the evolutionary origins of parenting is fundamental to understanding the relationships between sexual selection, social evolution and parental care systems of contemporary Anura. Moreover, parenting has been hypothesized to allow the invasion of terrestrial habitats by the ancestors of terrestrial vertebrates. Using comprehensive phylogenetic analyses of frogs and toads based on data from over 1000 species that represent 46 out of 55 Anura families, we test whether parental care is associated with terrestrial reproduction and several life history traits. Here we show that both the duration of care and offspring protection by males and females have co-evolved with terrestrial reproduction. Sexual size dimorphism is also related to care, since large male size relative to female size is associated with increased paternal care. Furthermore, increased egg size and reduced clutch volume are associated with increased care in bivariate but not in multivariate analyses, suggesting that the relationships between care, egg size and clutch volume are mediated by terrestrial reproduction. Taken together, our results suggest that parenting by males and females has co-evolved, and complex parenting traits have evolved several times independently in Anura in response to breeding in terrestrial environments.

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