A test for paedomorphism in domestic pig cranial morphology

Allowen Evin, Joseph Owen, Greger Larson, Mélanie Debiais-Thibaud, Thomas Cucchi, Una Strand Vidarsdottir, Keith Dobney

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12 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20170321
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalBiology Letters
Volume13
Issue number8
Early online date9 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

Keywords

  • domestication
  • heterochrony
  • paedomorphism
  • ontogeny
  • Sus scrofa
  • geometric morphometrics

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    Evin, A., Owen, J., Larson, G., Debiais-Thibaud, M., Cucchi, T., Vidarsdottir, U. S., & Dobney, K. (2017). A test for paedomorphism in domestic pig cranial morphology. Biology Letters, 13(8), 1-5. [20170321]. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2017.0321