Iheringia. Série Zoologia
Print version ISSN 0073-4721
DANERI, Gustavo A.; ESPONDA, César M. García; DE SANTIS, Luciano J. M. and PLA, Laura. Skull morphometrics of adult male Antartic fur seal, Arctocephalus gazella, and South American fur seal A. australis. Iheringia, Sér. Zool. [online]. 2005, vol.95, n.3, pp. 261-267. ISSN 0073-4721. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0073-47212005000300006.
The skull morphometrics of adult male Antarctic fur seal, Arctocephalus gazella (Peters, 1875) and South American fur seal, A. australis (Zimmermann, 1783) were investigated using a collection of 45 and 38 skulls, respectively. Eighteen measurements were taken for each specimen. Comparative univariate and multivariate statistical analyses included standard statistics, one-way analysis of variance, principal component analysis and discriminant analysis. Individual variation was relatively high for some variables, as expressed by the coefficient of variation. Skulls of A. gazella were larger than those of A. australis for all but two variables: squamosal jugal suture and rostral length. Both species differed significantly as shown by both univariate and multivariate analyses. The discriminant function correctly classified all specimens. The standardized canonical coefficients showed that the variables which most contribute to the differentiation between species were, in decreasing order, the rostral length, palatal length, palatal width at postcanine 5 and braincase width. The present study corroborates that A. gazella and A. australis are phenotipically distinct species.
Keywords : Arctocephalus; Otariidae; cranial characteristics.