Martin J Whiting

Learn More
Progress in developing animal communication theory is frequently constrained by a poor understanding of sensory systems. For example, while lizards have been the focus of numerous studies in visual signalling, we only have data on the spectral sensitivities of a few species clustered in two major clades (Iguania and Gekkota). Using electroretinography and(More)
Differences between sexes in physiological performance have received little attention in animals. We tested for sex differences in maximum sprint speed and maximal exertion over a range of temperatures in a population of Platysaurus intermedius wilhelmi lizards. We also examined sex-based differences in selected temperature range, mean field body(More)
Traditionally, studies of intrasexual selection have focused on single traits that are more exaggerated in males. Relatively little is known about systems in which traits are larger in females or the role of multiple traits in male contests. We used a tournament design in which each male encounters a series of different opponents, in conjunction with the(More)
Whether general patterns of signal evolution can be explained by selection for signal efficacy (detectability) has yet to be established. To establish the importance of signal efficacy requires evidence that both signals and their detectability to receivers have evolved in response to habitat shifts in a predictable fashion. Here, we test whether habitat(More)
Conflict between the sexes has traditionally been studied in terms of costs of mating to females and female resistance. However, courting can also be costly to males, especially when females are larger and aggressively resist copulation attempts. We examined male display intensity towards females in the Cape dwarf chameleon, Bradypodion pumilum, in which(More)
A crucial problem for most animals is how to deal with multiple types of predator, which differ in their sensory capabilities and methods of prey detection. For animals capable of rapid colour change, one potential strategy is to change their appearance in relation to the threat posed by different predators. Here, we show that the dwarf chameleon,(More)
Understanding individual differences in cognitive performance is a major challenge to animal behaviour and cognition studies. We used the Eastern water skink (Eulamprus quoyii) to examine associations between exploration, boldness and individual variability in spatial learning, a dimension of lizard cognition with important bearing on fitness. We show that(More)
Understanding what constrains signalling and maintains signal honesty is a central theme in animal communication. Clear cases of dishonest signalling, and the conditions under which they are used, represent an important avenue for improved understanding of animal communication systems. Female mimicry, when certain males take on the appearance of females, is(More)
The African flat lizard genus Platysaurus is widely distributed on rock outcrops in southern Africa and is found both east and west of the Kalahari Desert and between major river drainage systems. We assembled a molecular phylogeny for the genus in order to test several biogeographic hypotheses. Sequence data were obtained from 29 specimens representing 14(More)