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Acta Theriologica

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 361–369 | Cite as

Morphometric variations of the skull in the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) in Iran

  • R. Khosravi
  • M. Kaboli
  • J. Imani
  • E. Nourani
Original paper

Abstract

The Gray Wolf is a wide ranging carnivore in Iran, absent only in the central deserts and Dasht-e Lut. This study was carried out to verify whether, despite their high mobility, individual wolves belonging to different populations show morphological variations in the skull. We collected 48 skulls from various regions of Iran and measured 24 variables on the cranium. These primary variables were then used to generate six indices to examine any variations in the shape of the skulls collected in different regions of the country. Although the largest skulls collected for this study originated in the mountainous regions of the northwest, northeast, and west, principle component analysis (PCA) did not result in a meaningful difference in the size and shape of wolf skulls in different regions of Iran. Our results confirm that the minor morphological variations of the skull in wolves of Iran are not an evidence for the separation of wolf populations in different regions or the existence of various subspecies in the country. This uniformity can be explained by the strong gene flow among populations as well as high mobility of the wolf that facilitates movement of individuals between populations.

Keywords

Canis lupus Cranium Principal component analysis Iran Morphometry 

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Copyright information

© Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Białowieża, Poland 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural ResourcesUniversity of TehranKarajIran

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