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|Morphometric analysis of cervical vertebrae in some marine and land mammals
|Bones or skeletal remains can be used to answer a number of questions related to species, sex, age or cause of death. However, studies involving vertebrae have been limited as most were performed on skulls or long bones. Here, we have stated the hypothesis that the morphometry of cervical vertebrae can be used for species identification and body size estimation among marine and land mammals. The cervical vertebrae from eight and 14 species of marine and land mammals were used to collect morphometric data. Cluster dendrogram, principal component analysis, discriminant analysis and linear regression were used to analyse the data. The results indicate that, based on an index of C4 to C7, there were 13 out of 22 species for which identity could be correctly predicted in 100% of the cases. The correlations between cervical vertebrae parameters (height, width and length of centrum) in marine (average R2 = 0.87, p <.01) and land (average R2 = 0.51, p <.01) mammals were observed. These results indicate that vertebral morphometrics could be used for species prediction and verification of body weight in both marine and land mammals.
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|CMUL: Journal Articles
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