Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Variation in the ontogenetic allometry of horn length in bovids along a body mass continuum

Citation

Tidière, Morgane et al. (2020), Variation in the ontogenetic allometry of horn length in bovids along a body mass continuum, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.qz612jmb4

Abstract

Allometric relationships describe the proportional covariation between morphological, physiological, or life history traits and the size of the organisms. Evolutionary allometries estimated among species are expected to result from species differences in ontogenetic allometry, but it remains uncertain whether ontogenetic allometric parameters and particularly the ontogenetic slope can evolve. In bovids, the non-linear evolutionary allometry between horn length and body mass in males suggests systematic changes in ontogenetic allometry with increasing species body mass. To test this hypothesis, we estimated ontogenetic allometry between horn length and body mass in males and females of 19 bovid species ranging from ca. 5 to 700 kg. Ontogenetic allometry changed systematically with species body mass from steep ontogenetic allometries over a short period of horn growth in small species to shallow allometry with the growth period of horns matching the period of body mass increase in the largest species. Intermediate species displayed steep allometry over long period of horn growth. Females tended to display shallower ontogenetic allometry with longer horn growth compared to males, but these differences were weak and highly variable. These findings show that ontogenetic allometric slope evolved across species possibly as a response to size-related changes in the selection pressures acting on horn length and body mass.

Funding

Research Council of Norway, Award: 223257