Publication details

Geographic phenetic variation of two eastern-Mediterranean non-commensal



Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Zoologischer Anzeiger
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Zoology
Keywords Mus macedonicus; Mus cypriacus; Phenotypic variation; Multivariate analysis; Geometric morphometrics; Thin-plate
Description We tested the hypothesis that skull shape within the genus Mus may vary with geographic location by assessing the extent and spatial distribution of phenotypic skull variation within and among two wild mouse species, M. macedonicus and M. cypriacus, using traditional and geometric morphometrics including a rather novel application of sliding semilandmarks. Shape was shown to be significantly correlated both with longitude and latitude in M. macedonicus, yet the correlation between morphometric and geographic distances was not significant, and morphometric differences between Asian and European populations were not higher than those within the particular continents. The phylogenetic signal was found to be stronger in dental characters than in cranial ones, however, overall concordance between the pattern of morphometric variation and the presumed history of M. macedonicus was rather weak. In both species, the dorsal and ventral sides of the skull were shown to covary in many aspects though there were also some differences between them, making the functional interpretation of these differences difficult. Discrimination between M. cypriacus and M. macedonicus as well as discrimination between two M. macedonicus subspecies was highly reliable using both traditional and geometric morphometric tools to analyze skull measurements.