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The importance of function for allometry

posted Sep 9, 2018, 9:03 PM by Bruno Buzatto   [ updated Sep 10, 2018, 7:52 PM ]
The Quarterly Review of Biology has just published a paper that I am really honoured to be part of, entitled "Sexual Selection and Static Allometry: The Importance of Function". I was invited to be part of this work by the first author William Eberhard, who has had an invaluable impact on my career from the very start — I met Bill at an arachnology conference when I was still an undergrad (2003 I think), and he was extremely supportive with me in the poster session, giving me a lot of advice and insight into the work I was presenting in that poster. Not to mention Bill was incredibly influential for the fields of cryptic female choice (after Randy Thornhill 'started' it), allometry of sexually selected traits and evolution of alternative mating tactics. So you can imagine how honoured I felt when invited by him to contribute to this paper on the importance of function to predict the allometric slope of sexually selected traits — we argue that such allometries can be better predicted if we split them into courtship traits, threat signals and weapons. We expect positive allometry to be common for threat structures (which might include weapons), but less common for male courtship signals, and we provide evidence for these predictions. Some of my observations presented in that poster in 2003 were included in this work, and were the main reason to trigger my participation. If you want to know more about this paper, check it out here.
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