Quantitative comparisons of cranial shape and size in adults of Felis silvestris, Vulpes vulpes, Mustela putorius and Mustela nivalis from the West Carpathians (Slovakia)
AbstractMorphometric analyses of cranial form were performed on samples of four species of carnivorous mammals to investigate patterns of interspecific variation, and intraspecific sexual and regional differences in the skull shape and size. Comparing the skulls of the Wild Cat and the Red Fox, there was no agreement between the patterns of variation between male and female samples. In the Wild Cat, there was significant variation in cranial size and shape between the sexes. Skulls of males and females of foxes did not differ in size. The differences in skull shape between male and female foxes may partially indicate the behavioural separation between the sexes. The regional differences in skull shape and size were studied in mustelids. The Weasels in general exhibited the greater degree of regional skull variability than the Western Polecats, both in the skull size and shape.
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