24 December 2015 Pelvic sexual dimorphism among species monomorphic in body size: relationship to relative newborn body mass
Robert G. Tague
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Females have larger pelves than males among eutherians to mitigate obstetrical difficulty. This study addresses 3 issues concerning pelvic sexual dimorphism using 8 species that are sexually monomorphic in nonpelvic size: Aotus azarae, Castor canadensis, Dasypus novemcinctus, Hylobates lar, Saguinus geoffroyi, Sciurus carolinensis, Sylvilagus floridanus, and Urocyon cinereoargenteus. Using published data to compute the index of relative newborn body mass (RNBM = [newborn body mass/adult female body mass] 100%) for 266 eutherian species, A. azarae, H. lar, and S. geoffroyi are characterized as giving birth to relatively large newborns and the other 5 species as giving birth to relatively small newborns. The 3 issues are, compared to species giving birth to relatively small newborns, whether species that give birth to relatively large newborns have 1) higher magnitude of pelvic sexual size dimorphism (SSD), 2) lower prevalence of pelvic joint fusion, and 3) dissociation between pelvic and nonpelvic sizes. Nine measures of the pelvis were taken, and fusion of interpubic and sacroiliac joints was observed. Species grouped by high and low RNBM do not differ significantly in magnitude of SSD of pelvic inlet circumference. Species with high RNBM have significantly lower prevalence of interpubic joint fusion than those with low RNBM. Sexes do not differ in their multiple correlation coefficients between inlet circumference and nonpelvic body size in 7 of 8 species. Results suggest that 1) there are multiple anatomical pathways for pelvic obstetrical sufficiency, 2) an unfused interpubic joint is obstetrically advantageous, and 3) relative newborn size does not change the association between pelvic and nonpelvic size in females and males.

© 2015 American Society of Mammalogists, www.mammalogy.org
Robert G. Tague "Pelvic sexual dimorphism among species monomorphic in body size: relationship to relative newborn body mass," Journal of Mammalogy 97(2), 503-517, (24 December 2015). https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyv195
Received: 15 April 2015; Accepted: 20 November 2015; Published: 24 December 2015
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