Sexual dimorphism in the skeleton of Bobtail lizards

Many species of vertebrates exhibit differences in morphology between the sexes (sexual dimorphism) that can be related to various aspects of reproductive biology. In species that give birth to relatively large young, the skeleton and most obviously the pelvis of the female is often modified (e.g. humans, chimpanzee and horses). Sexual dimorphism in relative snout-vent length has been report in a range of reptile species. The bobtail lizard, however, is not known to exhibit obvious sexual dimorphism and determining the sex of individuals in the field is challenging. This project will utilise linear and 3D measurements of the pelvis digitised from ct scans to investigate if sexual dimorphism is present in the pelvis of bobtails and whether such measurements can be extrapolated to help in the identification of sex in animals in the field.

Please contact Natalie Warburton for more information on this project via email