Morphological variation in the distal phalanges of the springbok, Antidorcas marsupialis (Zimmermann, 1780) (Mammalia: Bovidae)
Keywords:southern Africa, Antidorcas marsupialis, osteometry, osteomorphology
A comparative study of distal phalanges belonging to adult springbok individuals shows distinctive morphological differences between the subspecies Antidorcas marsupialis marsupialis and Antidorcas marsupialis hofmeyri, most notably reflected by significant lengthening of the sole of the latter. Results were derived from comparative osteomorphological techniques, using standard anatomical nomenclature for descriptions and parametric statistics for measurements and dimensions. The configuration in A. m. hofmeyri proved useful for distinguishing between the two subspecies. The findings suggest that the osteometrical differences observed in the distal phalanges relate to different habitats occupied by the species.
Infraspecific morphological variation exhibited by distal phalanges in Antidorcas marsupialis is significant. The results lay the groundwork for further testing of relationships between functional morphology of foot bones and substrate in bovids.
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