Nandini, R. ., Department of Biological Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, USA, nandinirajamani@yahoo.co.in

SIZE AND COLOR DIMORPHISM IN HUMMINGBIRDS - AN ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE.

Sexual dimorphism in body size and morphology are widespread in the animal kingdom, and size differences can be either male or female-biased. Such dimorphism is usually explained by sexual selection with males and females differing in attributes with the way they maximize reproductive success. I explore the effect of ecological factors on the evolution of size and color dimorphism in hummingbirds (Family Trochilidae) - a large avian family occurring across a wide variety of habitats, altitudes, and latitudes in the New World. Hummingbirds display mixed patterns of size dimorphism, with males being both larger and smaller than females across species. Dimorphism in color patterns (head, neck, wing, tail and overall) also vary across species. I investigate the effect of natural selection on the evolution of these diverse dimorphism patterns in hummingbirds, and determine the effects of habitat types occupied, latitude, climate and diet within a phylogenetic framework.

Oral presentation

Session #:G14
Date: Tuesday, 8/5/08
Time: 11:15 AM

Presentation is given by student: Yes