The variability of cranial features of Atlantic and Mediterranean samples of Stenella coeruleoalba was examined using a three-dimensional geometric morpho- metric approach. Data were collected on 79 skulls from the upper and middle Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic French coasts, and Scotland. Three-dimensional x, y,and z coordinates of 27 landmarks were recorded on each left half skull using a Microscribe 3-D digitizer. All conﬁgurations were rotated, centered, and scaled, and residuals fromthemean conﬁguration were analyzed throughmultivariate anal- yses of variance. Mahalanobis distances among populations were used to evaluate phenetic relationships. Consensus conﬁgurations were compared to visualize shape differences among samples. Analyses revealed signiﬁcant differences among popula- tions, a clear distinction of the Scottish coasts dolphins from the other samples, and a closer relationship of the dolphins from the French coasts to the Mediterranean populations than to the Scottish one. Shape differences are mainly concentrated in the rostral and in the occipital regions of the skull. Phylogenetic and adaptive factors were invoked as possible causes of the variation patterns.
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1111/j.1748-7692.2010.00431.x|
|Codice identificativo ISI:||WOS:000289465900005|
|Codice identificativo Scopus:||2-s2.0-79954563634|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|