Geometric Morphometrics for the Study of Hemicoxae Sexual Dimorphism in a Local Domestic Equine Breed

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Pere M. Parés-Casanova & Sara Martínez


Twenty-eight skeletonized hemicoxae from young animals (yearlings, 13 males and 15 females) belonging to the “Cavall Pirinenc Català” horse (Catalan Pyrenean Horse) breed were studied by means of geometric morphometric (GM) methods. Morphometric analysis was based on coordinates of 16 landmarks of the ilium and ischiopubic regions that were digitized on 2D photographic images. Sexes did not appear separated either by size or shape, the latter being independent of the former. K-means clustering of shape variables were used in order to classify individuals by sex and an average accuracy of 57.1% was achieved. Males were misclassified more frequently than females. For the iliac landmarks, which contributed to the total variance of shape with the higher degree, the value obtained increased to 60.7% for k-means. The ischiopubic complex contributed less to sex differentiation according to shape. It is concluded that the use of GM and multivariate statistics is not a reliable method to quantify pelvic shape and size differences between the sexes for equine yearlings. This is the first known study to apply GM to the hip of an equine breed.

KEY WORDS: Animal ethnology; “Cavall Pirinenc Català”; Catalan Pyrenean Horse; Hipbones.

How to cite this article

PARÉS-CASANOVA, P. M. & MARTÍNEZ, S. Geometric morphometrics for the study of hemicoxae sexual dimorphism in a local domestic equine breed. Int. J. Morphol., 31(2):623-628, 2013.