Date of Award

2010

Publication Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Stéphanie Doucet

Keywords

Biological sciences

Rights

info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Abstract

Interspecific variation in brain size is described as being an adaptive consequence of development and behaviour. Despite growing interest in sex-specific influences on the development of conspicuous traits, little research has focused on investigating sex-specific determinants of brain size. The overall goal of my thesis was to investigate the sex-specific influences on brain size evolution in birds. By measuring endocranial volume from museum specimens, I collected a large sex-specific dataset spanning 106 avian species. In Chapter 2, I found that male brain size was negatively associated with testis size, suggesting that sperm competition may be critical in determining brain size in males. In Chapter 3, I determined that brain size in females is mostly influenced by pair-bond strength and the presence of a male partner, which both ultimately increase reproductive success. Overall, different selective factors appear to influence brain size evolution in male and female birds.

Share

COinS