Sexual selection and genital evolution in mammals: A phylogenetic analysis of baculum length

Ramm SA (2007)
The American Naturalist 169(3): 360-369.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Abstract
Studies in invertebrate taxa suggest that postcopulatory sexual selection is an important factor in genital evolution. However, despite wide interspecific variation in genital morphology, evidence for an influence of sexual selection on mammalian genitalia is equivocal. Here I conduct phylogenetically controlled comparative analyses across four mammalian orders to assess how one aspect of this variation-male genital length-scales with (a) male body mass and (b) relative testis mass, the latter providing an index of the intensity of sperm competition. In all four orders, baculum (=os penis) length is found to scale only weakly with male body mass. Both baculum and glans penis length in rodents and baculum length in carnivores are found to vary positively with relative testis mass. In contrast, there is no evidence to support an association between baculum length and relative testis mass in either bats or primates. These results suggest that postcopulatory sexual selection influences genital length in at least some mammals, but significant questions remain both as to why selection on the baculum should differ between mammalian groups and as to the precise mechanistic basis through which males benefit from increased genital length.
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Ramm SA. Sexual selection and genital evolution in mammals: A phylogenetic analysis of baculum length. The American Naturalist. 2007;169(3):360-369.
Ramm, S. A. (2007). Sexual selection and genital evolution in mammals: A phylogenetic analysis of baculum length. The American Naturalist, 169(3), 360-369.
Ramm, S. A. (2007). Sexual selection and genital evolution in mammals: A phylogenetic analysis of baculum length. The American Naturalist 169, 360-369.
Ramm, S.A., 2007. Sexual selection and genital evolution in mammals: A phylogenetic analysis of baculum length. The American Naturalist, 169(3), p 360-369.
S.A. Ramm, “Sexual selection and genital evolution in mammals: A phylogenetic analysis of baculum length”, The American Naturalist, vol. 169, 2007, pp. 360-369.
Ramm, S.A.: Sexual selection and genital evolution in mammals: A phylogenetic analysis of baculum length. The American Naturalist. 169, 360-369 (2007).
Ramm, Steven A. “Sexual selection and genital evolution in mammals: A phylogenetic analysis of baculum length”. The American Naturalist 169.3 (2007): 360-369.
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