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Eastern Garter Snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) with proportionally larger heads are in better condition

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We investigated sexual size dimorphism and trophic morphology dimorphism in Eastern Garter Snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) to test predictions derived from the reproductive role hypothesis. Our first objective was to examine whether structures involved in feeding (head and jaws) are more divergent than body size. Female T. sirtalis were larger than males and had proportionally larger heads. Our second objective was to look for an advantage of large head size by examining the relationship between body condition and head size. Body condition was positively correlated with relative head size in T. sirtalis for both sexes, in agreement with the reproductive role hypothesis.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, 30 MarieCurie, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5, Canada; 2: Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, 30 MarieCurie, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5, Canada;, Email:


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