Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …


Editor-in-Chief: Denys, Christiane

6 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.805
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.000

CiteScore 2016: 0.89

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.469
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.711

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 75, Issue 4


A test of Allen’s rule in subterranean mammals: the genus Ctenomys (Caviomorpha, Ctenomyidae)

Claudio J. Bidau
  • Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro, Laboratório de Biologia e Parasitologia de Mamíferos Silvestres Reservatórios, Av. Brasil 4365, Pav. Arthur Neiva, sala 14, Manguinhos, Rio de Janeiro, RJ-21045-900, Brazil
  • Present address: Universidad Nacional de Río Negro, Sede Alto Valle, Subsede Villa Regina, Tacuarí 669, 8336 Villa Regina, Río Negro, Argentina.
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Dardo A. Martí
  • Laboratorio de Genética Evolutiva, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Químicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Misiones, 3300 Posadas, Argentina
  • Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Alonso I. Medina
  • Instituto de Biología Marina y Pesquera “Almirante Storni”, 8520 San Antonio Oeste, Rio Negro, Argentina
  • Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2011-10-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/MAMM.2011.044


We tested the applicability of Allen’s rule in 47 species and 32 unnamed forms (populations that are probably good species or undefined taxa within a superspecies or species group) of the South American subterranean Hystricomorph rodents of the genus Ctenomys (tuco-tucos) (Rodentia: Ctenomyidae) by analyzing tail length in relation with head and body length, and body mass. Tail length allometry was analyzed by Reduced Major Axis regression while the possible correlation of relative tail length with temperature, precipitation and evapotranspiration variables was explored through Simultaneous Autoregression to account for spatial autocorrelations. Our results indicate that tuco-tucos do not follow Allen’s rule but its converse, tail proportion relative to body mass increasing with latitude while body size decreases in the same direction (the trend is similar for tail length relative to head and body length but not statistically significant). Regarding climatic variables, the main predictors of relative tail length were temperature and evapotranspiration variables with trends confirming the positive (non-Allenian) correlation of relative tail length with latitude. We conclude that tuco-tucos, being almost fully subterranean, thermoregulate behaviorally by maintaining constant temperatures within their burrows independent of geographic location. The former confirms previous results that indicated that Ctenomys follows the converse to Bergmann’s rule. Relative tail length variation would be a result of simple allometric growth.

Keywords: allometry; body proportions; climate; geographic cline; subterranean rodent

About the article

Corresponding author

Published Online: 2011-10-20

Published in Print: 2011-11-01

Citation Information: mammalia, Volume 75, Issue 4, Pages 311–320, ISSN (Online) 1864-1547, ISSN (Print) 0025-1461, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/MAMM.2011.044.

Export Citation

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Bader H. Alhajeri and Scott J. Steppan
Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, 2016, Volume 81, Number 2, Page 219

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in