On the variability of alligator sex ratios

American Naturalist
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Samples of alligators from wild and 'farm' populations exhibited disproportionate sex ratios. Males predominated among young alligators from wild populations, whereas females were much more abundant than males in the farm population, where resources were superabundant. These results and other considerations lead us to hypothesize that environmental factors influence sex determination in alligators. During favorable environmental conditions natural selection is expected to favor a preponderance of the sex whose individuals exhibit the greater environmentally associated variation in relative fitness. We hypothesize that environmentally associated variation in age at sexual maturity of females produces sufficient variation in relative fitness of females to result in selection for low sex ratios during periods of resource abundance.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title On the variability of alligator sex ratios
Series title American Naturalist
Volume 116
Issue 1
Year Published 1980
Language English
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 125-137
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title American Naturalist
First page 125
Last page 137
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