Body size of tiger snakes in southern Australia, with particular reference to Notechis ater serventyi (Elapidae) on Chappell Island

Terry Schwaner, Stephen SARRE

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    59 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Insular gigantism was studied in tiger snakes on Chappell Island, Bass Strait, to determine which of 3 hypotheses (food availability, predation and/or social-sexual interaction) best accounted for large body size. Predictions of predation and social-sexual hypotheses were not consistent with evidence. Prey availability, and the correlations of clutch size and reproductive frequency with body size, provide an explanation for the selective advantage of large body size. This allows increased fat storage and provides a low surface-to-volume ratio conferring resistance to extreme temperatures or moisture. Both features are important when resources are saturating but very highly seasonal.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages153-162
    JournalJournal of Herpetology
    Volume22
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1988

    Fingerprint

    Notechis
    Elapidae
    snake
    snakes
    body size
    predation
    prey availability
    clutch size
    bass
    food availability
    fat
    strait
    moisture
    prediction
    resource
    lipids
    temperature

    Cite this

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    title = "Body size of tiger snakes in southern Australia, with particular reference to Notechis ater serventyi (Elapidae) on Chappell Island",
    abstract = "Insular gigantism was studied in tiger snakes on Chappell Island, Bass Strait, to determine which of 3 hypotheses (food availability, predation and/or social-sexual interaction) best accounted for large body size. Predictions of predation and social-sexual hypotheses were not consistent with evidence. Prey availability, and the correlations of clutch size and reproductive frequency with body size, provide an explanation for the selective advantage of large body size. This allows increased fat storage and provides a low surface-to-volume ratio conferring resistance to extreme temperatures or moisture. Both features are important when resources are saturating but very highly seasonal.",
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    AU - SARRE, Stephen

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    AB - Insular gigantism was studied in tiger snakes on Chappell Island, Bass Strait, to determine which of 3 hypotheses (food availability, predation and/or social-sexual interaction) best accounted for large body size. Predictions of predation and social-sexual hypotheses were not consistent with evidence. Prey availability, and the correlations of clutch size and reproductive frequency with body size, provide an explanation for the selective advantage of large body size. This allows increased fat storage and provides a low surface-to-volume ratio conferring resistance to extreme temperatures or moisture. Both features are important when resources are saturating but very highly seasonal.

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