Patterning of variation morphology in equine navicular bone
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Size and shape variation in the equine navicular bone is explored through the decomposition of coordinate data into elliptic Fourier coefficients. For this purpose, 10 bony pieces belonging to"Cavall Pirinenc Català" breed were studied. This is a local equine breed for meat purposes whose range is in
northeast Spain. The Fourier procedure used appeared well repeatable. Elliptic Fourier descriptors of one harmonic successfully captured most of the navicular morphology, whereas a larger number of harmonics would not have increased the information, but would have produced noise. The method described in the present study allows a sensible analysis of the morphology characteristics of the equine navicular bone. It could be extended to other breeds, as well as to horses affected by foot problems; and also it could be proposed for longitudinal evaluations if obtaining images in vivo (i.e. ecography) were standardised.