Variation in morphological assessment of the equine distal phalanx solar surface
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Area and shape variations on the solar surface of the equine distal phalange were explored through the decomposition of coordinate data into elliptic Fourier coefficients. For this purpose, 10 equine distal phalanges belonging to the"Cavall Pirinenc Català" breed were studied. This is a local equine breed raised for meat whose range is NE Spain. Elliptic Fourier descriptors of the first principal component successfully captured most of the distal phalange morphology, whereas a larger number of harmonics did not increase the information but did produce noise. As repeatability was an unimportant factor contributing to the variation, this method seems to be sufficiently sensitive to detect morphologic background (area and shape). It could be extended to other breeds as well as to horses affected by foot problems and could also be proposed for longitudinal evaluations if obtention of images in vivo (i.e. ecography) were standardized.