Morphometric discrimination between age groups of Martes foina (Mustelidae, Carnivora) by using baculum in Turkey
Martes foina has a wide range in Turkey. Identification of age groups in Stone Marten requires considerably hard procedures as well as in other carnivorous species. The present study is based on eight characteristic measurements from bacula of 41 samples obtained from all geographical regions of Turkey between 1995 and 2016. The goal is to discriminate young, juvenile, and adult individuals of Stone Marten using measured characteristics of the bacula. Analyzes revealed significant differences between young and adult samples. The characteristic, with the closest and lowest variability between age groups, is the total length of the baculum. The variation coefficient of this feature in young, juvenile, and adult individuals is 4.92%, 6.73%, and 3.90%, respectively. By using Linear Discriminant Analysis, juveniles were discriminated by 94.1% and adults by 95.5%. The samples which were ordered by describing with respect to the morphology of skull and shape and size of baculum at the beginning were grouped as 2 youngs, 17 juvenile individuals, and 22 adult individuals as a result of the analysis. Two baculum index, BI and BInew, were calculated for age groups. The indices were coherent. BI values of the adults were <6.65;7.78> and within the standards of the Italian population.
Copyright (c) 2019 Ahmet Selçuk Özen
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