WCS 3-Sentence Science
October 31, 2019
Each year, Wildlife Conservation Society scientists publish more than 300 peer-reviewed studies and papers. “WCS 3-Sentence Science” is a regular tip-sheet — in bite sized helpings — of some of this published work.
Here we present work by WCS’s Steven Platt contrasting characteristics of male and female crocodiles during puberty.
- Little is known of its timing or process of puberty in crocodylians.
- Researchers measured phallus size, snout-vent length, and body condition index of Morelet’s crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) and found distinct differences between males and females, thus marking a sexual dimorphism that begins to present with the onset of puberty.
- This bodily manifestation of puberty is a novel observation for crocodylians and lays a foundation for further study among species of how changing endocrine signaling within sexually maturing males may also influence a broader range of secondary sex characteristics.
Study and Journal: “Correlation between increased postpubertal phallic growth and the initiation of cranial sexual dimorphisms in male Morelet’s crocodile” from Journal of Experimental Zoology
WCS Co-Author(s): Steven Platt, WCS Myanmar Program
For more information, contact: Stephen Sautner, 718–220–3682, firstname.lastname@example.org.