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1 November 2003 SEXUAL DIMORPHISM OF PRAIRIE DOGS
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Abstract

Body mass is sexually dimorphic and varies seasonally for all 5 species of prairie dogs (Sciuridae: Cynomys), as shown by data from live individuals over a period of 28 years (1974–2001; n = 16,447 body masses). Sexual dimorphism (i.e., body mass of males as percentage of body mass of females) during the breeding season is 105% for black-tailed prairie dogs, 127% for Utah prairie dogs, 131% for Gunnison's prairie dogs, and 136% for white-tailed prairie dogs. Sexual dimorphism is minimal at the end of the breeding season, when exhausted males are thin and early-breeding females are heavy with pregnancy. Sexual dimorphism is maximal at weaning, when rested, well-fed males are heavy and females are emaciated from lactation. The most likely ultimate causation for sexual dimorphism among prairie dogs is sexual selection.

John L. Hoogland "SEXUAL DIMORPHISM OF PRAIRIE DOGS," Journal of Mammalogy 84(4), 1254-1266, (1 November 2003). https://doi.org/10.1644/BME-008
Accepted: 1 November 2002; Published: 1 November 2003
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