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Diversity 2018, 10(3), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/d10030085

High Duty Cycle Echolocation May Constrain the Evolution of Diversity within Horseshoe Bats (Family: Rhinolophidae)

1
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town 7701, Western Cape, South Africa
2
School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4001, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 June 2018 / Revised: 31 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Conservation of Bats)
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Abstract

The phenotype of organisms is the net result of various evolutionary forces acting upon their lineages over time. When an innovative trait arises that confers a substantial advantage in terms of survival and reproduction, the evolution of adaptive complexes between such an innovation and other traits may constrain diversification of that lineage. The specialized echolocation system of the Rhinolophidae may represent such an innovation which affects other parts of the phenotype. We investigated a potential constraint on the diversity of phenotypes of several species of horseshoe bats within a phylogenetic framework. If phenotypic convergence stems from stasis as a result of the specialized echolocation system, phenotypes should converge not only among members of the same species and between sexes but also among species. We analyzed the phenotypic diversity of >800 individuals of 13–16 species. The phenotypes in the horseshoe bats did indeed converge. There was no sexual size dimorphism in mass, forearm length and wingspan within species and there was marked interspecific similarity in both wing and echolocation variables but marked variability in body mass. Furthermore, correlations of wing and echolocation variables with mass suggest that variability within horseshoe bats was largely the result of selection on body size with allometric responses in wing and echolocation parameters, a potential consequence of constraints imposed by their specialized echolocation. View Full-Text
Keywords: body size; phylogenetic comparative method; PGLS; Rensch’s rule; sexual dimorphism; wing morphology body size; phylogenetic comparative method; PGLS; Rensch’s rule; sexual dimorphism; wing morphology
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Jacobs, D.S.; Bastian, A. High Duty Cycle Echolocation May Constrain the Evolution of Diversity within Horseshoe Bats (Family: Rhinolophidae). Diversity 2018, 10, 85.

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