Morphological diversity of female camel (Camelus dromedarius) populations in Morocco
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Fourteen body measurements of 132 adult female camels belonging to three populations Guerzni (60), Khouari (28), and Marmouri (44) reared in 38 herds of 8 provinces of Southern Morocco were studied to identify homogeneous groups according to their conformation. The measurements were chest girth (CG), hump girth (HG), height at withers (HW), body length (BL), fore limb length (FLL), chest width (CW), chest depth (CD), fore hoof circumference (FHC), head length (HL), distance between eyes (DE), ear length (EL), neck length (NL), neck circumference (NC), and tail length (TL). The three populations were compared according to their mean body measurements and through multivariate analyses. The results revealed that only HG, HW, BL, and FLL were significantly influenced by the population. Moreover, the MANOVA showed that Guerzni and Marmouri populations were significantly different, whereas Khouari was not significantly different either from Guerzni or Marmouri populations. Discriminant analysis showed that out of 14 variables, BL and FLL were the most discriminant and resulted into two significant canonical variables (CAN1 and CNA2). Khouari population could be best discriminated from Guerzni and Marmouri by CAN1, and Guerzni could be best distinguished from Marmouri by CAN2. The discriminant analysis revealed that 46.7%, 60.7%, and 40.9% of Guerzni, Khouari, and Marmouri animals, respectively, were correctly classified in their original population. The clustering of the three populations highlighted two Moroccan camel groups: Guerzni and Marmouri in the first group and Khouari in the second one.
KeywordsDromedary Morphometric characterization Body measurement Multivariate analyses
This study has been achieved within the CARAVAN project (ARIMNET2).
We thank all staff of DRA of Laâyoune - Sakia El Hamra, DRA of Guemim - Oued Noun and ONSSA of South regions of Morocco for their support and assistance during data collection. We thank all camel owners and shepherds who allowed us to measure their animals.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflict of interests regarding the research reported in this manuscript.
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