Effects of parity on pelvic size and shape dimorphism in Mus

  • Schutz H
  • Donovan E
  • Hayes J
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Abstract

The pelvis is a sexually dimorphic structure and although the causes of that dimorphism have long been studied, relatively little is known regarding the effects of partuitive events on the magnitude of that dimorphism. Here, we use a sample of Mus musculus domesticus to contrast dimorphism in body length and os coxae size and shape between males and parous and nulliparous females. We also test for correlations between relative litter size (L/M) and relative offspring size (O/M) with body length and os coxae size and shape in parous females. Males had greater body length than nulliparous females but were not different from parous females. Females as a whole had the largest os coxae, with parous females having the largest and males the smallest. Os coxae shape was also significantly different between groups and was most divergent between parous females and males than between nulliparous females and males. Os coxae shape differences between females are associated with differences in body length between females and O/M is correlated with os coxae shape in parous females such that females with the largest offspring have the most divergent shapes along the relative warp one axis. Pelvic shape differences between males and females were consistent with previous findings in other taxa which identify the pubo-ischial complex as the primary region of dimorphism.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Dimorphism
  • Geometric morphometrics
  • Parturition
  • Pelvis

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Authors

  • Heidi Schutz

  • Edward Robert Donovan

  • Jack P. Hayes

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