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New approaches to examining and interpreting patterns of dental morphological variability in Miocene cricetids

AuthorsPeláez-Campomanes, Pablo ; Hernández-Ballarín, Verónica ; Oliver Pérez, Adriana
Principal component analysis
Dental morphology
Issue DateSep-2015
CitationPalaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments 95(3): 405-414 (2015)
Abstract© 2015, Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Morphometrical studies were carried out on the dental material of Democricetodon from the Calatayud-Montalbán Basin. Principal component analyses were incorporated into the analyses to reduce the number of metrical and morphological variables. Morphological variability was studied as the morphological distribution of character states, based on multivariate statistics, and plotted against time. The results of these analyses indicate that increased dental size is significantly correlated to the dental morphological value in the two Democricetodon lineages studied. We found that the rates of change in variables are not linear and that periods of higher rates can be correlated with global climatic changes. In addition, morphological variability is significantly correlated with relative abundances of the studied taxa. High morphological variability, as a proxy of niche breadth, may result from increased intraspecific interferences or from the relaxation of interspecific interactions caused by a decrease in primary productivity.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s12549-015-0198-8
issn: 1867-1608
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