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Cranial Geometric Morphometric Analysis of the Genus Tapirus (Mammalia, Perissodactyla)

  • Larissa C. C. S. Dumbá
  • Rodrigo Parisi Dutra
  • Mario A. Cozzuol
Original Paper

Abstract

Tapirs are perissodactyl ungulates of the genus Tapirus. The family Tapiridae was more diverse in the past. Genus Tapirus include five living species: T. indicus, T. pinchaque, T. bairdii, T. terrestris, and T. kabomani. Despite all the information available about tapirs, evolutionary relationships among species within the genus are still uncertain. Recent works suggest that T. terrestris may be a species complex. A better understanding of the evolutionary history of this clade is essential to better support conservation strategies for the species of this genus, which are keys in the dynamics of tropical forests in Southeast Asia and Central and South America. Geometric morphometry has been proved to be a useful tool for the study of morphological evolution in mammals, but studies involving cranial geometric morphometry of tapiroids have never been done. We hereby propose landmarks for the study of tapir cranial shape through 2D geometric morphometric technique, including 20 in lateral cranial view (n = 71), 14 in dorsal cranial view (n = 51), and 21 in ventral cranial view (n = 44), followed by PCA multivariate statistical analysis that ordinated specimens from each of the three data groups along the major axis of shape variation. Lateral and dorsal view landmarks proved to be the most diagnostic for the species studied, providing interesting insights and trends on tapiroid cranial evolution. Ventrally, the species analyzed do not differentiate significantly. In this paper, we add new information to the current cranial morphometric database of tapirs, which can help elucidate questions about their evolutionary history.

Keywords

Tapirus Skull Shape Evolution Geometric morphometry 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work received grants from FAPEMIG and CAPES from Brazil. We thank C. Cartelle (Museu de Ciências Naturais PUC Minas, Belo Horizonte, Brazil), L. F. B. Flamarion (Coleção de Mastozoologia do Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), and F. A. Perini (Coleção de Mastozoologia da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil) for the access to tapir collections.

Supplementary material

10914_2018_9432_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 1.04 MB)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larissa C. C. S. Dumbá
    • 1
  • Rodrigo Parisi Dutra
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mario A. Cozzuol
    • 3
  1. 1.PPG – Programa de Pós-Graduação em Zoologia/Departamento de Zoologia – Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto de Engenharia e TecnologiaCentro Universitário de Belo HorizonteBelo HorizonteBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de Zoologia – Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

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