Ecological and Geographical Reasons for the Variation of Digestive Tract Length in Anurans
Changes of environmental conditions can shape organs size evolution in animal kingdoms. In particular, environmental changes lead to difference in food resources between different habitats, thereby affecting individual’s energy intake and allocation. The digestive theory states that animals consuming food with low contents of digestible materials should result in increasing gut length. In this study, to test the hypothesis of digestive theory, we studied ecological and geographical reasons for variation in digestive tract length among 35 species of anurans distributing in different altitude and latitude. The results showed that ecological type significantly affected digestive tract length among species, with aquatic and terrestrial species having longer digestive tract than arboreal ones. Latitude was positively correlated with digestive tract length. However, altitude, as well as monthly mean temperature and precipitation, did not correlate with digestive tract length among species. Our findings suggest that aquatic and terrestrial species might forage less digestible materials than arboreal species, thereby displaying relatively longer digestive tract than arboreal species.
funded by the National Natural Sciences Foundation of China (31772451； 31970393)； the Science and Technology Youth Innovation Team of Sichuan Province (19CXTD0022)； the Key Cultivation Foundation of China West Normal University (17A006)； Talent Project of China West Normal University (17YC335)；