The aim of this project is to study various aspects of the reproductive biology (e.g. reproductive cycles of females and males, patterns of sexual maturation and dimorphism, fecundity related characters such as clutch size and size of newborns) of several species of neotropical pitvipers of the genus Bothrops. Sperm storage patterns, spermatogenic cycles and the cycles of the sexual segment of the kidneys will be evaluated using histological analyses. A comparative aproach using a phylogenetic hypothesis will be used to determine what are the ancestral and derived conditions of reproductive traits in this group. The influence of phylogentic inertia and environmental conditions on reproductive events of Bothrops species will also be discussed.
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