In most animal species, it is expected that females should exhibit a greater abdominal volume than males to hold the progeny, when compared with females, males should exhibit more developed attributes that enhance mobility. We tested this hypothesis in the Greek tortoise. In chelonians, a reduction of the openings in the shell improves protection against predation but also constrains the abdominal volume and limits the space available to move the limbs. As expected, our data show that the shell provides a larger abdominal volume relative to tortoise size in females than in males. In males, deep notches in the shell and a reduction of several plastron plates offer more freedom to the limbs and to the tail; these characteristics presumably enhance mating success. Further studies are necessary to assess the applicability of these results in other chelonians, notably freshwater and marine turtles.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.