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      Asymmetry compensation in a small vampire bat population in a cave: a case study in Brazil

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      Subterranean Biology

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Normally, the wings are assumed to be symmetrical, since radical departure from symmetry is known to hinder flight. The objective of the present paper was to investigate the symmetry of the wing structure in a population of common vampire bats, Desmodus rotundus. The bones of both wings were measured, and the area of each wing was calculated. Asymmetry was found, with males having a larger number of asymmetric bone structures than females. Moreover, both directional asymmetry and antisymmetry were identified for the males, whereas for the females only fluctuating asymmetry was found. However, although asymmetry does occur, it is generally compensated for by complementary changes in the structures of the other wing. We believe that by keeping the wing area symmetrical, potential aerodynamic problems may be minimized.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Vertebrate Flight

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            Fluctuating asymmetry analyses: a primer

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              Bilateral symmetry and sexual selection: a meta-analysis.

              A considerable body of primary research has accumulated over the last 10 yr testing the relationship between developmental instability in the form of fluctuating asymmetry and performance of individuals in mating success itself or sexual attractiveness. This research comprises 146 samples from 65 studies of 42 species of four major taxa. We present the results of a meta-analysis of these studies, which demonstrates that there is indeed an overall significant, moderate negative relationship: for studies, the overall mean Pearson's r or effect size = -.42, P <.0005; for species, the overall mean r = -.34, .01 < P < .025. Based on calculated fail-safe numbers, the effect-size estimates are highly robust against any publication or reporting bias that may exist. There is considerable evidence that the magnitude of the negative correlation between fluctuating asymmetry and success related to sexual selection is greater for males than for females, when a secondary sexual trait rather than an ordinary trait is studied, with experimentation compared with observation, and for traits not involved with mobility compared with traits affecting mobility. There is also limited evidence that higher taxa may differ in effect size and that intensity of sexual selection negatively correlates with effect size.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Subterranean Biology
                SB
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2615
                1768-1448
                May 15 2015
                May 15 2015
                : 15
                : 57-67
                Article
                10.3897/subtbiol.15.4807
                © 2015
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