Publication details

Specimen identification from time-series photographs using plastron morphometry in Testudo graeca ibera


TICHÝ Lubomír KINTROVÁ Kateřina

Year of publication 2010
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Zoology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Zoology
Keywords captivity; pet trade; tortoise breeding; morphometrics; pet chipping
Description The spur-thighed tortoise Testudo graeca ibera Pallas, 1814 is a good example of a vulnerable long-lived CITES species, which is widely bred as a pet and can be easily reproduced in captivity. However, the high number of bred tortoises makes it difficult to monitor the international pet trade. Despite microchipping being widely recommended as an identification method, it is unsuitable for hatchlings and young tortoises because implanting the chip in chelonians can sometimes cause health problems. We believe that these disadvantages can be resolved by plastron photo documentation but this method is still not considered a valid alternative. The objective of this study was to find a method for identifying a specimen from a photograph database using morphometrics, an approach potentially more reliable than other fingerprinting methods currently used for tortoises. We propose a combined dissimilarity measure calculated from the relative differences in seam distances between two plastron photographs.
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