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Relationship of pelvic spur development with sexual maturation in Boa constrictor (Linnaeus, 1758)

Grant number: 20/01467-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2020
Effective date (End): September 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Physiology of Recent Groups
Principal researcher:Selma Maria de Almeida Santos
Grantee:Rafael Kenji Anzai
Home Institution: Instituto Butantan. Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The animals known as snakes or cobras belong to the order of Squamata and have the second largest number of species within the class Reptilia. They have an elongated body, which consequently resulted in a series of morphological adaptations such as the reduction or total loss of locomotor limbs and asymmetry of the paired organs, including the reproductive ones. The forelimbs and the scapular girdle were totally lost in the snake's lineage, but there are some basal groups that show vestiges of the pelvic girdle and hindlimbs that can be seen externally in the form of pelvic spurs, which have a role during courtship and mating. Studies on the reproductive biology of these animals have received more attention recently, with information on reproductive cycles and behavior, as well as sexual maturation and sexual dimorphism. The family Boidae has a basal position in the phylogeny of snakes, having the largest species in Neotropical America, which inhabit several regions and types of habitats. The species Boa constrictor is widely known, and one of the two Brazilian subspecies is the Boa constrictor. There is still few studies on the reproductive biology of this species and especially about the spurs. Thus, this work aims to further deepen the knowledge about the reproduction of the subspecies Boa constrictor, seeking to analyze animals from the zoological collection as well as captivity animals, having as main objective to analyze if there is any relationship between the development and length of the pelvic spurs with the sexual maturity of these animals. (AU)

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