Russian Journal of Theriology. Main page    

Russian Journal of Theriology. Main page
Free access to the published articles
Information about online submission, Articles format, Instructions for authors etc
Instructions for reviewers
Subscription and prices

Русскоязычный вариант сайта
Allometry of the skull in one autochthonous and two reintroduced populations of Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber, Castoridae, Rodentia)
Puzachenko A.Yu., Korablev N.P.
P. 28-33
Allometry is a common phenomenon that is found in animals at different levels: between sexes, species, and higher taxonomic levels. For example, an ‘allometric mechanism’ of regulation shows variation at the population level and therefore it is the source of morphological diversity at the species level, and additionally, the allometric relationship is influenced by natural selection. To better understand the constraints of ontogenetic and static allometry, we investigated 493 skulls (15 measurements per skull) from three geographically isolated populations of Eurasian beaver (populations of Voronezh Reserve, Oka Reserve, and Central Forest Reserve), all belonging to the Eastern European subspecies Castor fiber orientoeuropaeus. The allometric growth in terms of the general length of the beaver skull depends on the specific growth of its rostral part (nasal bone, intermaxillae, and diastema) in all studded populations. The pattern of static allometry in adult animals was mostly similar to the pattern of ontogenetic allometry, but in adults, isometry was predominated. The PCA results showed clear differences in the ontogenetic allometric patterns of different populations. All these results confirm our preliminary hypothesis (Puzachenko & Korablev, 2014) about the influence of ontogenetic allometry on the skull parameters in these beaver’s populations.


  • Cheverud J.M. 1996. Developmental integration and the evolution of pleiotropy // American Zoology. Vol.36. P.44–50.
  • Horn S., Prost S., Stiller M., Makowiecki D., Kuznetsova T., Benecke N., Pucher E., Hufthammer A.K., Schouwenburg Ch., Shapiro B. & Hofreiter M. 2014. Ancient mitochondrial DNA and the genetic history of Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) in Europe // Molecular Ecology. Vol.23. P.1717–1729.
  • Jolicoeur P. 1963. Note: The multivariate generalization of the allometry equation // Biometrics. Vol.9. No.3. P.497–499.
  • Kitchener A.C. & Lynch J.M. 2000. A morphometric comparison of the skulls of fossil British and extant European beavers, Castor fiber // Scottish Natural Heritage Review. Vol.127. P.1–31.
  • Klevezal G.A. 1988. [Recording Structures of Mammals in Zoological Research]. Moscow: Nauka. 142 p. [in Russian].
  • Klingenberg C.P. 1996. Multivariate allometry // Marcus L.F., Corti M., Loy A., Naylor G.J.P. & Slice D.E. (eds.). Advances in Morphometrics. New York: Plenum Press. P.23–49.
  • Klingenberg C.P. 2014. Studying morphological integration and modularity at multiple levels: concepts and analysis // Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series B. Vol.369: 20130249. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0249.
  • Klingenberg C.P. & Froese R. 1991. A multivariate comparison of allometric growth patterns // Systematic Zoology. Vol.40. No.4. P.410–419.
  • Klingenberg C.P., Leamy L.J. & Cheverud J.M. 2004. Integration and modularity of quantitative trait locus effects on geometric shape in the mouse mandible // Genetics. Vol.166. P.1909–1921.
  • Klingenberg C.P. & Zimmermann M. 1992. Static, ontogenetic, and evolutionary allometry: a multivariate comparison in nine species of water striders // The American Naturalist. Vol.140. P.601–620.
  • Korablev N., Puzachenko Y., Zavyalov N. & Zheltukhin A. 2011. Long-term dynamics and morphological peculiarities of reintroduced beaver population in the Upper Volga Basin // Baltic Forestry. Vol.17. No.1. P.136–147.
  • Korablev N.P. & Korablev P.N. 2013. Patterns of morphological variability in reintroduced populations with two beaver subspecies Castor fiber orientoeuropaeus and Castor fiber belorussicus (Castoridae, Rodentia) as an example // Biology Bulletin Reviews. Vol.3. No.1. P.84–97.
  • Korablev N.P., Saveljev A.P. & Puzachenko Yu.G. 2015. [Factors of polymorphism in autochthonous and reintroduced of Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber, Castoridae, Rodentia)] // Zoologicheskii Zhurnal. Vol.94. No.2. P.241–258 [in Russian with English summary].
  • Lavrov L.S. 1981. [Beavers of Palearctic]. Voronezh: Voronezh State University. 270 p. [in Russian].
  • Olson E. & Miller R. 1958. Morphological Integration. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 376 p.
  • Pankova N.L. & Pankov A.B. 2011. [The history of the formation and current status of beaver populations on the territory of the Oka Reserve] // Abstracts of Papers, IX Congress of Theriological Society of the RAS. Moscow: KMK Scientific Press. P.362 [in Russian].
  • Puzachenko A.Yu. & Korablev N.P. 2014. Morphological diversity in the postnatal skull development in representatives of two families of rodents (Spalacidae, Castoridae, Rodentia) // Russian Journal of Developmental Biology. Vol.45. No.3. P.149–162.
  • Romer A.S. & Parsons T.S. 1985. The Vertebrate Body. Sixth edition. Philadelphia: Saunders. 679 p.
  • Safonov V.G. 1966. [Morphological features and structure of beaver populations] // Byulleten’ Moskovskogo Obshchestva Ispytatelei Prirody, Otdel Biologicheskii. No.4. P.5–19 [in Russian with English summary].
  • Senn H., Ogden R., Frosch Ch., Syrзиkovб A., Campbell-Palmer R., Munclinger P., Durka W., Kraus R.H.S., Saveljev A.P., Nowak C., Stubbe A., Stubbe M., Michaux J., Lavrov V., Samiya R., Ulevicius A. & Rosell F. 2014. Nuclear and mitochondrial genetic structure in the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) – implications for future reintroductions // Evolutionary Applications. Vol.7. P.645–662.
  • Trainor P.A., Melton K.R. & Manzanares M. 2003. Origins and plasticity of neural crest cells and their roles in jaw and craniofacial evolution // International Journal of Developmental Biology. Vol.47. P.541–553.

Download PDF