Asymmetry, developmental instability and natural selection in bats
Unversidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense, Campos dos Goytacazes, Brésil firstname.lastname@example.org
(Seminar in English)
The asymmetry of bilateral structures is an index of developmental instability (DI), measuring the inability of an organism to buffer their development against environmental or genetic disturbance. In organisms with bilateral symmetry, small differences in growth between sides are buffered during stable development, leading to a symmetric phenotype. The link of developmental instability and fitness is somewhat controversial, particularly whether it can be used as a signal of “good genes” in sexual selection. I will present new results from a long term project in my research group with a bat model species Carollia pespicillata, showing that asymmetry is a useful proxy for fitness (survival and reproductive potential) and discuss potential implications of this finding for the study of evolution and natural selection.
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Nogueira, M. R., A. L. Peracchi, and L. R. Monteiro. (2009) Morphological correlates of bite force and diet in the skull and mandible of phyllostomid bats. Functional Ecology 23, 715-723.