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Zoological Research
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 2095-8137
Vol. 33, No. 2, 2012, pp. 119-126
Bioline Code: zr12019
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Zoological Research, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2012, pp. 119-126

 en Cranial morphometric study of four giant flying squirrels (Petaurista) (Rodentia: Sciuridae) from China
LI Song; YU Fa-Hong & LÜ Xue-Fei


The present study revisited the controversial taxonomic status of Petaurista yunanensis check for this species in other resources , P. philippensis check for this species in other resources , P. hainana check for this species in other resources , and P. petaurista check for this species in other resources by using a considerably extended set of morphometrical characters (26 cranial variables from 60 adult specimen skulls). The results revealed no sexual dimorphism in any of the four species but confirmed significant craniometric differences among the four species in both the principal components analysis (PCA) and discriminant function analysis (DFA), with the greatest distinction observed between P. petaurista and other Petaurista species. Both univariate and multivariate analysis indicated that the morphological differences between P. yunanensis and P. philippensis were less than that between P. philippensis and P. hainana. The morphometric results were concordant in geographic patterns with mtDNA data from previous studies and indicated that P. petaurista, P. hainana, P. philippensis, and P. yunanensis could be recognized as valid species.

Petaurista; Cranial variables; Statistical analysis; Species

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