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Polish Polar Research

The Journal of Committee on Polar Research of Polish Academy of Sciences

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Volume 34, Issue 3


Distinguishing between two Antarctic species of Eocene Palaeeudyptes penguins: a statistical approach using tarsometatarsi

Piotr Jadwiszczak
  • Corresponding author
  • Instytut Biologii, Uniwersytet w Białymstoku, ul. Świerkowa 20B, 15−950 Białystok, Poland
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Carolina Acosta Hospitaleche
  • Corresponding author
  • División Paleontología Vertebrados, Museo de La Plata, Paseo del Bosque s/n, B1900FWA, La Plata, Argentina
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Published Online: 2013-10-03 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/popore-2013-0020


Defining species boundaries, due to morphological variation, often represents a significant challenge in paleozoology. In this paper we report results from multi− and univariate data analyses, such as enhanced clustering techniques, principal coordinates or− dination method, kernel density estimations and finite mixture model analyses, revealing some morphometric patterns within the Eocene Antarctic representatives of Palaeeudyptes penguins. These large−sized birds were represented by two species, P. gunnari and P. klekowskii, known mainly from numerous isolated bones. Investigations focused on tarso− metatarsi, crucial bones in paleontology of early penguins, resulted in a probability−based framework allowing for the “fuzzy” partitioning the studied specimens into two taxa with partly overlapping size distributions. Such a number of species was supported by outcomes from both multi− and univariate studies. In our opinion, more reliance should be placed on the quantitative analysis of form when distinguishing between species within the Antarctic Palaeeudyptes.

Keywords: Antarctic; La Meseta Formation; Paleogene; Sphenisciformes; statistics; systematics

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About the article

Published Online: 2013-10-03

Published in Print: 2013-06-01

Citation Information: Polish Polar Research, Volume 34, Issue 3, Pages 237–252, ISSN (Online) 2081-8262, ISSN (Print) 0138-0338, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/popore-2013-0020.

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