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Size and shape of the semicircular canal of the inner ear: A new marker of pig domestication?

Abstract : Domestication has led to many changes in domestic animal biology, including their anatomy. The shape of the inner ear, part of the mammalian ear, has been found particularly relevant for discriminating domesticated species, their hybrids or differentiating the wild and domestic populations of a single species. Here we assessed the use of the size and shape of the semicircular canals (SCC) of the inner ear as a marker of pig domestication. We studied a total of 63 petrosal bones belonging to wild boar (Sus scrofa, two populations) and domestic pigs (extensively and intensively reared specimens) that were µCT-scanned and from which the size and the shape of the inner ear were quantified through geometric morphometrics, analyzing the 3D coordinates of 6 landmarks and 60 sliding semilandmarks localized on the SCC and the common crus. The domestic pigs have larger SCC than the wild boar from which they also strongly differ in shape (correct cross validation of 95.5%, confidence interval: 92.3%-98.1%). Strong shape differences were detected between the two populations of wild boar, as well as a sexual size dimorphism. All together the results highlight the taxonomic discriminant power of the SCC of the inner ear shape, and its relevance for domestication studies.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 16, 2022 - 11:17:58 AM
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Evin et al._2022_Journal of Ex...
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Allowen Evin, Loïc David, Antoine Souron, Bastien Mennecart, Maeva Orliac, et al.. Size and shape of the semicircular canal of the inner ear: A new marker of pig domestication?. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution, Wiley, In press, ⟨10.1002/jez.b.23127⟩. ⟨hal-03752056⟩



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