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Morpho-Geometric Analysis of Eight Grass Mouse Species of the Genus Lemniscomys (Rodentia: Muridae)

Morpho-Geometric Analysis of Eight Grass Mouse Species of the Genus Lemniscomys (Rodentia: Muridae)

Imed Ben Salem*, Aymen Ben Ibrahim, M’barek Chetoui and Said Nouira

Research Unit “Biodiversité et Biologie des Populations”, Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, University of Tunis El Manar, 2092 Tunis

 

*         Corresponding author: imedbensalem.fst@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

Lemniscomys are exclusively African rodents. This study deals with morphs-genetic analysis of eight species viz. Lemniscomys barbarus, L. bellieri, L. griselda, L. limulus, L. macculus, L. rosalia, L. striatus and L. zebra; which have practically similar external morphologies although they spread in completely different geographical areas. The approach adopted was to identify landmarks on the skulls of all specimens using the tpsDig software, and then analyzing them through the program MorphoJ. Our results show that L. griselda has the largest skull, whereas L. zebra has the smallest. L. griselda and L. rosalia have greater breadth of the braincase, length of the nasals and length of the tympanic bulla, than the other species. This is probably related to a phenotypic evolution due to selective pressure, as is also the case in the genus Gerbillus.

 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

August

Vol. 51, Iss. 4, Pages 1203-1598

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