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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 6, 2014

Postnatal ontogenetic scaling of pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus celer: Cervidae) cranial morphology

  • Guillermo H. Cassini EMAIL logo , David A. Flores and Sergio F. Vizcaíno
From the journal Mammalia


The pampas deer Ozotoceros bezoarticus is a medium-sized, elegant, and lightly built cervid that was once a characteristic inhabitant of open grasslands across a wide geographical distribution in South America. In Argentina, the subspecies Ozotocerosbezoarticusceler is the most southern and abundant populations and relatively well represented in osteological collections permitting a morphometric study of cranial ontogeny. We measured 17 cranial variables on an ontogenetic series in order to evaluate the multivariate allometry of neurocranial and splanchnocranial components through developmental stages. The cranial ontogenetic pattern in O. b. celer exhibits a conservative plan in which both sexes share most of the allometric trends except in three variables related to the rostrum. Isometry was detected in 9 out of 17 variables, whereas four grows with negative allometry, and only nasal length showed positive allometry. As for most mammals, those variables related to the neurocranial components and sensorial capsules exhibit negative allometry. The growth of the rostrum indicates that both sexes have longer face than younger. However, the lack of allometry in most of the variables seems to be supporting the idea of a younger with the general appearance of an adult but smaller size.

Corresponding author: Guillermo H. Cassini, División Mastozoología, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”, CONICET, Av. Angel Gallardo 470, C1405DJR, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Departamento de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad Nacional de Luján, Ruta 5 y Av. Constitución s/n, Luján (6700), Buenos Aires, Argentina, e-mail:


We thank the following persons and institutions: D. Verzi and I. Olivares (MLP), M. Beade (CDT), M. Merino (MLM) for access to mammalogy collections; J.M. Muñoz for the illustrations of Figure 2. This is a contribution to the Projects PICT 0143 to SFV and 1798 to N. Giannini of the Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (ANPCyT) and PIP 1054 to SFV of CONICET.


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Received: 2013-3-27
Accepted: 2014-1-10
Published Online: 2014-2-6
Published in Print: 2015-2-1

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