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Dimorphism in the Skull Form of Golden Jackals (Canis aureus Linnaeus, 1758) in the Western Balkans: A Geometric Morphometric Approach

Dimorphism in the Skull Form of Golden Jackals (Canis aureus Linnaeus, 1758) in the Western Balkans: A Geometric Morphometric Approach

Andrea Rezic1, Ivica Boskovic2, Piera Lubinu3, Marina Piria1, Tihomir Florijancic2, Massimo Scandura3 and Nikica Sprem1*

1Department of Fisheries, Beekeeping, Game Management and special Zoology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Svetošimunska cesta 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
2Department of Game Management, Fisheries and Beekeeping, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Josip Juraj Strossmayer in Osijek, Ulica kralja Petra Svačića 1d, 31000 Osijek, Croatia
3Department of Science for Nature and Environmental Resources, University of Sassari, Via Muroni 25, 07100 Sassari, Italy

*           Corresponding author: nsprem@agr.hr 

ABSTRACT

Geometric morphometrics analyses are now often used to examine morphological variation in carnivore skull. Differences in golden jackal skull shape and size due to sexual dimorphism were examined using two dimensional geometric morphometrics approach. A total of 21 landmarks described the dorsal side of the skull and lateral side of the mandible. Individual variation in skull and mandible morphology was statistically significant for the shape (p<0.01). Sexual dimorphism as main effect was highly significant for the dorsal skull shape and the mandible shape and size (p<0.01). The comparison of mandible mean shapes using discriminant function analysis and parametric test did not reveal significant differences between the sexes, while dorsal mean skull shape was statistically significant (p<0.05). The shape comparison between males and females using permutation tests with procrustes distance yielded with significant results for both skull and mandible shape. Further studies are required with increased sample size and number of landmarks so as to obtain a more accurate expression of form and better differentiation between the sexes.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology (Associated Journals)

April

Vol. 49, Iss. 2, Pages 425-759

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