DESOJO Julia Brenda
congresos y reuniones científicas
Ontogenetic cranial variation in C. latirostris (Crocodylia: Alligatoridae): a quantitative approach
FERNARNDEZ BLANCO,V; BONA, P; DESOJO, J. B.
Congreso; XI Congreso Argentino de Herpetología; 2010
Caiman latirostris Daudin is the widest snouted Caiman extant species of Caimaninae alligatorids, characterized taxonomically only by external morphological features. Although its skull differs osteologically from that of other caimans, intraspeciphic variation was never analyzed. In this contribution we present a quantitative analysis that was carried out on the skull of 37 specimens of different sizes of C. latirostris and C. yacare. The relationship between several cranial measurements (i.e. total cranial length, snout length, anterior and posterior snout width, and interorbital minimum width) and the overall size, in the postnatal ontogeny in both species, was analyzed through the allometric equation. As a result we obtained a high positive correlation between skull traits and the overall skull size. In both Caiman species the snout length increases with positive allometry through ontogeny. Contrary to C. yacare, in C. latirostris the interorbital space increases isometrically while increasing the skull length. In C. yacare the anterior snout width increases isometrically with the skull length (probably establishing the final snout shape in young specimens), but in C latirostris this growth shows positive allometry, determining a change of the snout shape during ontogeny. These hypothesis would be tested in future morphometric analysis in a bigger sample of specimens of these two Caiman species in order to discriminate potential diagnostic characters of C. latirostris.