Postnatal Variation of Limb Bones in the Japanese Quail, Coturnix coturnix japonica

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Yaru Ren; Huan Wang & Zihui Zhang


Changes in body size over ontogeny may influence the ontogenetic development of long bones, and thus important to our understanding of variation in morphological, physiological, and life-history traits within species. In this study, we sample the entire measurements of the Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) of individual skeletons, to investigate the ontogenetic allometry of limb bone proportions by Reduced Major Axis (RMA) regression. The ulna and humerus were both positively allometric in relation to body mass, with their proximal ends growth more rapidly than other regions. Hindlimb bones exhibited more than one allometric pattern.The tarsometatarsus was negative; the femur presented positive allometry, with the width and depth of the proximal end scaled more strongly; measurements of the tibiotarsus were dominated by more rapid growth, especially the width of the proximal end. The growth patterns are suggested to be correlated with the ontogeny of behavior, and reflect the muscular requirements for different mode of locomotion.

KEY WORDS: Ontogenetic allometry; Forelimb; Hindlimb; Japanese quail; Precocial.

How to cite this article

REN, Y.; WANG, H. & ZHANG, Z. Postnatal variation of limb bones in the Japanese quail, Coturnix coturnix japonica. Int. J. Morphol., 34(2):708-712, 2016.