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Eye‐body allometry across biphasic ontogeny in anuran amphibians

Animals with biphasic lifecycles often inhabit different visual environments across ontogeny. Many frogs and toads (Amphibia: Anura) have free-living aquatic larvae (tadpoles) that metamorphose into adults that inhabit a range of aquatic and terrestrial environments. Ecological differences influence eye size across species, however, these relationships have not yet been explored across life stages in an ontogenetic allometric context. We examined eye-body size scaling in a species with aquatic larvae and terrestrial adults, the common frog Rana temporaria, using a well-sampled developmental series. We found a shift in ontogenetic allometric trajectory near metamorphosis indicating prioritized growth in tadpole eyes. To explore the effects of different tadpole and adult ecologies on eye-body scaling, we expanded our taxonomic sampling to include developmental series of eleven additional anuran species. Intraspecific eye-body scaling was variable among species, with 8/12 species exhibiting a significant change in allometric slope between tadpoles and adults. Across species, slopes of tadpoles were found to be more variable than those of their adult counterparts. Traits categorizing both tadpole (tadpole microhabitat, tadpole eye position, tadpole mouth position) and adult (adult habitat, adult activity pattern) ecology across species had significant effects on allometric slopes among tadpoles, but only tadpole eye position had a significant effect among adults. Our study suggests that relative eye growth in the preliminary stages of biphasic anuran ontogenies is somewhat decoupled and may be shaped by both immediate ecological need (i.e. tadpole visual requirements) and what will be advantageous during later adult stages.

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Cite this as

Samuel J Shrimpton; Jeffrey Streicher; David J Gower; Kate N Thomas (2021). Eye‐body allometry across biphasic ontogeny in anuran amphibians [Data set]. Natural History Museum.
Retrieved: 21:51 23 Apr 2024 (UTC) BibTeX

Additional Info

Field Value
Primary contributors
Shrimpton, Samuel J;
Streicher, Jeffrey ( 0000-0002-3738-4162);
Gower, David J;
Thomas, Kate N
Other contributors
Last updated January 26, 2021
Last resource update January 26, 2021 (R commands and analyses on GitHub)
Created January 23, 2021
License Open Data Commons Attribution License