PATTERNS OF SEXUAL DIMORPHISM AND PHENETIC VARIETYAMONG THE POPULATIONS OF THE GOLDEN JACKAL (Canis aureus) IN BULGARIA: INSIGHTS FROM CRANIOMETRIC DATA

Georgi Georgiev Markov, Maria A. Kocheva, Milena G. Gospodinova

Abstract


Abstract

A population craniometric analysis of the golden jackal (Canis aureus) from Bulgaria was carried out using 18 linear skull and dental parameters. The analysis included 106 individuals (52 males and 54 females), originating from 3 geographic populations with different density. Age variation, sexual dimorphism and geographic variation of the size of the cranium were assessed order to resolve the phenetic similarity of the Bulgarian golden jackal populations. The obtained data confirmed the high degree of sexual dimorphism of the skull. The multivariate statistical assessment of the population skull features in the adult Bulgarian golden jackals, performed separately by gender, demonstrated that at population level in both sexes they have resolution ability and can be used for classification of the individuals to certain geographic populations of the species in Bulgaria. Moreover, the patterns of population craniological variation manifested low degree of craniological similarity among the golden jackals inhabiting the Eastern (Southern and South-western Bulgaria) and Western (Dalmatia, Croatia) Balkans, whereupon revealing their craniometric heterogeneity in the Balkan Peninsula. Thus, it is necessary to use the morphometric data in combination with other methods to establish the phenetic similarity between golden jackal populations, especially at subspecies rank in the Balkan Peninsula.


Keywords


Golden jackal, Canis aureus, Bulgaria, craniometric identity, craniological variation, phenetic similarity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15679/bjwr.v4i1.49

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ISSN: 2335-0113

Publisher: Visio Mundi Academic Media Group

Creative Commons License
This journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.