Relationship Between Body Size and Island Area in an Insular Rattlesnake Species

16 03 2010
The speckled rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchellii)

The speckled rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchellii)

Size definitely matters to the speckled rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchellii), which inhabits a number of islands off the coast of Baja California, Mexico.  A recent article in the online journal PLoS One, provides “the first example of a clear relationship between body size and island area in a squamate reptile species”.  The authors examined populations on 12 islands and the mainland, looking at the relationships between body size and various physical variables for each island.  They also examined “relative head size among giant, dwarfed, and mainland speckled rattlesnakes to determine whether allometric differences conformed to predictions of gape size (and indirectly body size) evolving in response to shifts in prey size.”

To read the entire article, please follow the link:
http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0009524.

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