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Morphometric investigation of dental variation to examine genetic relationships between pig populations

Warman, Sylvia Mary; (2000) Morphometric investigation of dental variation to examine genetic relationships between pig populations. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis investigates the metric and morphological variation in the mandibular cheek teeth of breeding groups of Sus scrofa, by addressing two main questions. 1, How much does tooth form vary within a breeding group. 2, Can an examination of such variation in tooth form be used to identify or distinguish breeding groups in modem and archaeological assemblages. Teeth are known to show high heritability in size and morphology which has implications for the study of intra- and inter-population variation in mammalian species. However sex, age and asymmetry can also affect dental variation so the detection of variation due to these factors is reviewed. Methods for recording metric and morphological details of molariform mandibular teeth were developed using modem material from known breeding groups. They included: measurements of tooth crown dimensions, records of the tooth occlusal outlines and occlusal area within, scores of minor morphological crown variants. Variation within the modem groups was consistent with that expected for a sample drawn from a single biological population. Variation within the Hakel sample resulting from tooth wear was statistically significant for crown lengths, and cervical lengths are proposed as a wear-resistant alternative. Sexual dimorphism and asymmetry were not found to be statistically significant for tooth crown dimensions. Metric and morphological variation between breeding groups was examined, by comparing the modem domestic rare breeds (AML) sample and the Hakel sample (wild boar). Between-group variation m measurements, when subjected to multivariate methods of analysis, revealed significance differences between the groups. The best dimensions for separating Hakel and AML were lengths of dp₄ and dp₃. In separating the breeds the widths of dp₄ were the most useful. Differences between Hakel and AML and between the various AML breeds were also seen in the occlusal outline and scores for minor morphological variants. The Durrington Walls (DWS) archaeological sample was examined to see how the methods performed on an unknown sample. This sample showed a level of intra-group variation consistent with that expected of material derived from a single breeding group (population). The DWS teeth were intermediate in size between AML and Hakel, and discriminant analysis of DWS revealed similarities to both AML and Hakel, depending on the measurements selected. For outline shape and minor morphological variants DWS showed similarities with both AML and Hakel. From this pilot study it seems that using measurements and minor morphological variants are most promising for investigating dental variation in Sus scrofa archaeological assemblages. The conclusion is that these methods provide the possibility for recognising potential populations within archaeological samples of Sus scrofa dentitions.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Morphometric investigation of dental variation to examine genetic relationships between pig populations
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Biological sciences; Pig morphology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10106921
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