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Hair structure of small rodents from central Argentina: A tool for species identification
Mammal hairs differ among species and may therefore be used for diagnoses at the species level. We characterized dorsal guard hairs of most small rodent species that may be found in central Buenos Aires province (Argentina), according to their geographic distribution: Cavia aperea, Rattus rattus, R. norvegicus, Mus musculus, Holochilus brasiliensis, Scapteromys aquaticus, Oxymycterus rufus, Oligoryzomys flavescens, Akodon azarae, Deltamys kempi, Calomys laucha and C. musculinus. We provide discriminant functions and a dichotomic key to identify hairs at the species level based on hair length and width and scale morphology observed in specific sections of dorsal guard hairs. Discriminant functions require fewer measurements and are faster than the use of the key.
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