Comparison of Neurocranium Between Domestic Cat (Felis catus Linneas 1758) and Wild Cat (Felis silvestris Schreber, 1777) by Means of Geometric Morphometric Techniques

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Pere M. Parés-Casanova


The objective of this study was to objectively compare the differences in the total shape (size and pure shape) of the neurocranium between a group of domestic cat skulls (Felis catus, n=81), and wildcats (Felis silvestris, n=12) by means of geometric morphometric techniques. To achieve it, we obtained digital photographs of the left side of the skulls in a standardized form, in which 8 landmarks and 9 semilandmarks were located. After a Generalized Procrustes Superimposition, a Principal Component Analysis and a Canonical Analysis one were performed to compare and detect possible differences. Neurocranial sizes showed no differences between the two groups, however, significant differences in shape did appear. Shape changes would mainly affect the squamosal-coronal suture and, to a lesser extent, caudal skull points, therefore suggesting changes in masticatory muscles. As far as this author ́s knowledge, this is the first research that characterizes and compares the skull of cats using geometric morphology methods, recommending greater use of this technique given the scarcity of publications on this subject in domestic mammals.

KEY WORDS: Domestication; Felidae; Skull.

How to cite this article

PARÉS-CASANOVA, P. M. Comparison of neurocranium between domestic cat (Felis catus Linneas 1758) and wild cat (Felis silvestris Schreber, 1777) by means of geometric morphometric techniques. Int. J. Morphol., 39(3):823-828, 2021.