Geometric morphometric on dorsal aspect of skull does not differences between horned and polled domestic goats
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Few previous studies have explored caprine skulls using geometric morphometric (GM) methods, which enable the quantitative analysis and visualisation of shape changes in skeletal elements and provide an important compliment to traditional lineal analyses. The aim of this research is to determine whether GM techniques can provide insights into how the shape of the goat skull differs between horned and polled animals, focusing on the differences between the dorsal aspects of the neurocranium. Fourteen skulls (4 polled and 10 horned) skulls from adult goats belonging to different breeds were studied. From the obtained results, neither the size nor shape showed statistically significant differences between polled and horned skulls. As animal"s functional capabilities are influenced by the presence of horns (if horns must function as shock absorbers, protecting the brain from blows during intraspecific combat, it would seem that some differences in shape and/or size should be detected), it seems plausible to assume that landmarks located on the dorsal aspect of the neurocranium are not useful to detect those differences between horned and polled goats.