Title
Head morphological variation in **Podarcis muralis** and **Podarcis sicula** : a landmark-based approach
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Amphibia-reptilia
Volume/pages
28(2007) :4 , p. 566-573
ISSN
0173-5373
Carrier
E
Target language
Dutch (dut)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Abstract
The geometry of the cephalic scales in lizards is easily represented by using landmark based approaches. The cephalic scales may prove useful structures in the investigation of the evolution and morphogenesis of lizards because of their biomechanical relationships with the underlying bones and muscular anatomy. In the present paper the head morphology in Podarcis muralis and Podarcis sicula is compared by using geometric morphometrics and Euclidean distance matrix analysis. The head shape in these two species is largely influenced by a shared allometric pattern, with P. sicula displaying a reduced range of variation. This pattern is probably influenced by the cranial morphogenesis at the fronto-parietal suture, and by the parieto-occipital musculature involved in diet and social behaviours. Minor species-specific differences are evidenced, and should be further investigated.