Shape, not only size, differentiate wild and domestic ovis
MetadataShow full item record
The skulls of 74 specimens of different species and domestic breeds of Ovis were analysed by means of geometric morphometric methods in a two-dimensional view of their lateral aspect. Specimens were grouped a priori into three groups: domestic, feral and wild. Wild specimens were not differentiated for subspecies. With respect to size, there only appeared to be differences between the domestic and wild specimens, and feral specimens showed no differences with either wild or domestic specimens. Shape differences were significative for all groups. No specific landmarks differentiated the groups, thus the general shape seems to differentiate the groups. As a result it is quite easy to distinguish the wild and domestic specimens, although the morphological differences are not limited to a concrete part of the skull. This fact could be related to different feeding strategies, but we believe that there are other possible interpretations related to the phenotypic features linked to the domestication process.