Application of outline analysis on fossil and modern specimens of Apodemus

Document Type : Research articles


1 Biology Department, Faculty of Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 UMR 7209 CNRS- National Museum of Natural History, Paris, France


Wood mice of the genus Apodemus are widespread in temperate areas of the Palaearctic region. Four species A. hyrcanicus, A. flavicollis, A. witherbyi, A. avicennicus and A. uralensis were reported for Iran. The shape variation among three species of the genus Apodemus (A. witherbyi, A. hyrcanicus, A. uralensis) and a subfossil specimens from Kordestan (Kani Mikaiil cave) dated to 6000-4800 cal. BC, were investigated using outline-based geometric morphometrics of the second lower molar. In a second step, morphological differences among four populations of Iranian wood mice belonging to A. witherbyi were studied by the same method. The results indicated that subfossil specimens from Kani Mikaiil belong to A. witherbyi. The discriminant analysis also shows that A. witherbyi of East Azerbaijan was separated from populations of Tehran, Khorasan and Gorgan, based on variations in the shapes of the second lower molar. Moreover, results of clustering analysis show that those fossil specimens which belong to A. witherbyi are ancestral and close to the population of East Azerbaijan.