Domestic animals are often described as paedomorphic, meaning that they retain juvenile characteristics into adulthood. Through a three-dimensional landmark-based geometric morphometric analysis of cranial morphology at three growth stages, we demonstrate that wild boar (n = 138) and domestic pigs (n = 106) (Sus scrofa) follow distinct ontogenetic trajectories. With the exception of the size ratio between facial and neurocranial regions, paedomorphism does not appear to be the primary pattern describing the observed differences between wild and domestic pig cranial morphologies. The cranial phenotype of domestic pigs instead involves developmental innovation during domestication. This result questions the long-standing assumption that domestic animal phenotypes are paedomorphic forms of their wild counterparts.
All data used in the article: List of the specimens used in the study with reference to the museum collection, specimen ID, wild or domestic status, country of origin or breed, group of age and raw 3D coordinates
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- Sus scrofa