Chapter

Environmental Scaling of Body Size in Island Populations of Galápagos Marine Iguanas

Martin Wikelski and Chris Carbone

in Iguanas

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780520238541
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930117 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520238541.003.0013
Environmental Scaling of Body Size in Island Populations of Galápagos Marine Iguanas

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This chapter examines the environmental determinants of body size in Galápagos marine iguanas. It presents a mechanistic model to describe the feeding performance of male iguanas in Santa Fé and Genovesa and three other island populations. It examines the variations in average temperatures and algae pasture height to predict maximum body mass. Three predictions can be drawn from the analysis: small animals can survive over a larger range of environmental conditions than large animals; algae pasture height is the only model parameter that affected maximum permissible body size in marine iguanas; and the digestion of large iguanas is much more constrained than that of small iguanas.

Keywords: body size; marine iguanas; feeding performance; body mass; algae pasture height

Chapter.  5114 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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