Name: Mateus Cruz Loss
Type: MSc dissertation
Publication date: 08/06/2020

Namesort descending Role
Roberta Paresque Advisor *

Examining board:

Namesort descending Role
Ana Paula Aprígio Assis External Alternate *
Fabio Oliveira do Nascimento External Examiner *
Leonora Pires Costa Internal Examiner *
Roberta Paresque Advisor *

Summary: The cranial morphology of carnivores presents a high
variation among their species in response to different factors,
such as geographic gradients, genetic differences expressed by
the phenotype throughout development, niche divergences, among
others. In the order Carnivora, Mustelidae is the family that has
the greatest morphological disparity, occupying different
habitats, presenting different eating habits and having the
largest number of extant species. Corroborating these factors
stands out Eira barbara, a medium-sized mustelid distributed
throughout the Neotropical Region, with forestry habits and a
generalist-omnivorous diet. Considering the known sources of
variation for the carnivore skull and the diversity found in
mustelids, E. barbara is characterized as a species that has
little investigated cranial morphology, when considering the
previous items and the existing knowledge in the literature.
Based on these facts, this research aimed to investigate cranial
morphology with a focus on three sources of variations: ontogeny,
sexual dimorphism and geography. In order to know the behavior of
the skull morphology against these sources of variation, skulls
of specimens of E. barbara deposited in Brazilian scientific
collections were photographed in the dorsal, lateral and ventral
views and subjected to analyzes of geometrics morphometrics. As a
result, it was identified that changes in shape throughout
development follow the pattern already known to other carnivores,
sexual dimorphism was identified with males more larger and with
more conspicuous structures in relation to females and,
geographical differences, were identified between specimens from
the extremes of the distribution; the intermediate specimens in
the distribution were also intermediate in shape and size. The
results are presented as important findings for the knowledge of
the specie and the group, given the methodology used, the sources
of investigated variations and the inferences that from this, can
be better investigated and deduced.

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