Polyandry in turtles and other reptiles: a meta-analysis (#290)
A key set of hypotheses explaining female promiscuity postulate that there are fitness benefits of such behaviour to females. However, reptiles such as turtles do not form social pairs for breeding, nor do they care for offspring beyond egg-laying. In such a simple reproductive system, it is more difficult to argue for female benefits since male care of offspring and nuptial gifts do not play any role in the mating game. The most relevant hypotheses for this system are genetic benefits and fertilization assurance. However, after more than a decade of investigation, evidence for such benefits in turtle populations remain scarce. Here we present a preliminary meta-analysis of the evidence for female benefits of polyandrous behaviour. We also plan to extend our analysis to examine population factors (e.g., heterozygosity, population size, etc.), as well as include other reptiles and amphibians.