Skull asymmetries in wild boar (<i>Sus scrofa</i> LINNAEUS, 1758)
Keywords:Environmental stress, Geometric morphometric techniques, Mastication, Lateralization, Ontogeny, Symmetry
Organisms can develop different kinds of asymmetry when deviations from expected perfect symmetry occur. Among others are fluctuating asymmetry (FA) and directional asymmetry (DA). FA represents small random differences between corresponding parts on the left and right sides of an individual in bilaterally paired structures. It is thought that FA reflects an organism’s ability to cope with genetic and environmental stress during growth. DA occurs whenever one side on the plane of symmetry develops more than the other side, and has a genetic component. In this research, we examined the expression of morphological symmetry in 38 skulls of different age groups of wild boar (Sus scrofa), on their ventral aspect, using two-dimensional coordinates of 27 landmarks. Analyses showed the presence of significant FA and DA in the entire sample, detecting also distinctive differences between age groups. The obtained results show that the shape differences in different age groups could reasonably be a consequence of a response to environmental factors for FA and a masticatory lateralization for DA.
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