Latitudinal clines in sex ratio, bill, and wing lengthin Least Sandpipers

Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla) Science Article 1


Differential distribution of nonbreeding Least Sandpipers (Calidris minutilla) according to sex,bill, and wing length was documented using capture data from six locations between California and Ecuador. Thedistribution of age classes did not vary with latitude. Females, which are slightly larger than males, migrated furthersouth. Wing length increased toward the south for both males and females, which is consistent with the notionthat longer wings are adaptive for longer migrations. Bill length also increased in both sexes from north to south. Alatitudinal cline in prey burying depth may underlie the clines in bill length as well as in sex ratio.

Silke Nebel, J. Field Ornithol. 77(1):39-45, 2006

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