• Dimorphism;
  • heterochrony;
  • ontogeny;
  • morphology;
  • Ammonoidea;
  • Jurassic

Ontogenetic and then heterochronic approaches are used here to analyze sexual differentiation within two well-known Jurassic dimorphic species. This analysis compares two ways of determining the relative biological age of ammonites, one using size (diameter) and the other the number of septa as a proxy of age. The shape standard is established from factor analysis of morphological and growth parameters. Size-age-shape relationships are analyzed on the basis of a new heterochronic representation. When diameter is used as a proxy of age, microconch morphs are globally considered to be progenetic compared with macroconch morphs. When size and age are determined separately and shape is included, (1) Ebrayiceras jactatum (microconch morph) has a shorter period of growth (progenesis) with acceleration of shape compared with its macroconch morph (Morphoceras macrescens), (2)(Cardioceras cordatum (microconch morph) has a shorter period of growth (progenesis) coupled with a slower rhythm of growth (dwarfism) compared with its macroconch morph. These findings emphasize the complex relationship between supposed sexual dimorphs in ammonites when size and age standards can be separated, as well as the need for an ontogenetic approach.