Estudio comparativo de diferentes poblaciones equinas, basado en la morfometría craneal
Leite, J. V.
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Geometric morphometrics were used to study a sample of 53 skulls belonging to 7 equine groups of different origin (Kazakhstan n=7, Arauca n=4, 'Cavall Pirinenc Català' (CPC) n=9, 'Garrano' n=22, Greece n=7, Lusitanian n=1, Majorcan n=1, ass n=2). A photograph of each skull, at its dorsal aspect, was
obtained using a digital camera. Seven anatomical landmarks were then located in each skull, distributed both at the neuro and the splachnocranium. Average landmarks coordinates were then analysed by Ward's method. From the resulting dendrogram, which presented a high robustness, it can be concluded that the horse population that grazes on Arauca plains is highly similar to the elipometrical horse that exists in the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula. In addition, the elipometrical septentrional Iberian horses are similar to Eastern Mediterranean horses (belonging to the Balkan group) and Central Asian horses (belonging to the Scythian group), which indicates a huge elipometrical group which we define as 'elipometrical euro-asiatic'. This group excludes ponies with paedomorphic traits. The Iberian eumetrical horses (Majorcan and Lusitano) appear in a separate cluster, as well as, in the more distant position, CPC, a hypermetrical breed. These results highlight the need to incorporate extensive osteological reference collection in research and universitary centres, focused on local breeds, and with complete information associated with each specimen. Skull and mandible with teeth complete, but also skeleton cingulums, metapodiums and hooves seem to be the minimum material that should be included in these collections. This is clearly the case for horse breeds, and it is much more important for donkeys and, above all, equine hybrids, for which little osteological information is available.