First record of sexual size dimorphism in fossil Strombidae (Mollusca, Gastropoda) from the Miocene of Kutch, western India and its evolutionary implications
Halder, K.; Paira, S.
Royal Society Open Science 6(2): 181320
Persististrombus deperditus (Sowerby) from the Lower Miocene of Kutch, Gujarat, western India is represented by two size classes in our collection. Statistical analyses discriminate the size morphs. Large size variations generally result from either (1) sexual differences or (2) ecophenotypic causes. All the living species of the family Strombidae, wherever examined, are characterized by sexual size dimorphism (SSD). Persististrombus deperditus shares all the characters of SSD in these recent species. Size variations due to difference in ecological factors generally occur in allopatric populations. Similar variations are known to characterize sympatric sub-populations of molluscs living only in the intertidal zone, where upper and lower shorefaces differ significantly in physico-chemical and biological properties. Persististrombus deperditus comes from a stable shelf setting that received less siliciclastic input in response to transgression. Hence, its size dimorphism is considered to have sexual origin. This is the first report of SSD in a fossil strombid gastropod. It is argued that fecundity selection was the primary driving force behind the evolution of SSD in this gonochoristic gastropod species. Hence, the larger morph is the female.