Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Biol Sci. 2003 May 22;270(1519):1061-8.

Lizard threat display handicaps endurance.

Author information

  • Department of Biology, Indiana University, 1001 East 3rd Street, Bloomington, IN 47405-3700, USA. ybrandt@indiana.edu

Abstract

Honest-signalling theory asserts that threat displays reliably advertise attributes that influence fighting success. Endurance, as measured by treadmill performance, predicts the outcome of agonistic interactions among lizards. If threat displays in lizards function to advertise endurance capacity then variation in threat displays should correlate with endurance. I tested this prediction for the duration of threat posturing in male side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) and examined whether threat displays act as quality handicaps, reliable signals that expend the attribute that is advertised. Individual variation in the duration of threat posturing correlated with endurance, while an experimental reduction of endurance diminished the duration of threat posturing. As expected of a quality handicap, endurance fell below baseline after display production. A restriction of aerobic metabolism can account for this effect. In threat posturing, lateral compression of the thorax may interfere with respiration or with circulation, limiting aerobic metabolism and causing a compensatory increase in anaerobic metabolism, thereby generating lactate and diminishing locomotor capacity. Concentrations of lactate measured after display production were higher than baseline, consistent with the proposed mechanism. By restricting aerobic metabolism, the threat posture can act as a quality handicap, simultaneously advertising and expending the endurance capacity of displaying lizards.

PMID:
12803896
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1691337
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk