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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.

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