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Quantitative Comparisons of Skull Form in the Colubrid Snake Genera Farancia and pseudoeryx

David Cundall and Douglas A. Rossman
Herpetologica
Vol. 40, No. 4 (Dec., 1984), pp. 388-405
Published by: Allen Press on behalf of the Herpetologists' League
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3892091
Page Count: 18
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Quantitative Comparisons of Skull Form in the Colubrid Snake Genera Farancia and pseudoeryx
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Abstract

Measurements or counts were made of 97 different features of the skulls of Farancia a. abacura, F. a. reinwardtii, F. e. erytrogramma and Pseudoeryx plicatilis. One-way analysis of variance of raw data, logarithmic transformations of the raw data, and ratios derived from all linear measurements demonstrated significant differences between two or more taxa for 72 raw variables, 56 log variables, and 30 ratio variables. Principal component and stepwise discriminant analyses revealed that optimal discrimination between taxa is achieved by much smaller subsets of variables that emphasize features of the toothed bones of the skull for raw and log variables and aspects of the braincase for ratio variables. All three data sets produce similar patterns of separation of taxa and indicate that Pseudoeryx is distinct from all Farancia taxa. Furthermore, the skulls of the Farancia taxa, including both subspecies of F. abacura, are significantly separated in multivariate space and separation of the two subspecies from each other requires little more information than does the separation of F. erytrogramma from both taxa of F. abacura.

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