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Morphologic Variation of the Bobcat (Felis rufus) in the Eastern United States and Its Association with Selected Environmental Variables

Robert S. Sikes and Michael L. Kennedy
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 128, No. 2 (Oct., 1992), pp. 313-324
DOI: 10.2307/2426465
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2426465
Page Count: 12
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Morphologic Variation of the Bobcat (Felis rufus) in the Eastern United States and Its Association with Selected Environmental Variables
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Abstract

Cranial characters of bobcats (Felis rufus) from the eastern United States were examined using univariate and multivariate techniques to assess morphologic variation and to identify relationships among morphologic features and selected environmental variables. The patterns of variation produced using principal component analysis indicated that larger males occurred in northern and eastern localities, whereas N-central localities produced the largest females. The smallest individuals of both sexes occurred in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Comparisons of matrices for overall environmental variation and variation of individual environmental variables with matrices of morphologic variation showed a higher degree of correlation for females than for males. These results suggest that variation in female morphology may be under somewhat different selective constraints than corresponding variation in males.

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