Procrustes analysis: a tool to understand shape changes of the humerus in turtles (Chelonii)

Marion DEPECKER, Sabine RENOUS, Xavier PENIN & Christine BERGE

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 5 (3-4) - Pages 509-518

Published on 30 April 2006

This article is a part of the thematic issue One hundred years after Marey: some aspects of Functional Morphology today

The aim of this paper is to study the effects of locomotor adaptations to a particular environment on the structure of an important element of the appendicular system, the humerus. The variation of the humerus shape pattern is quantified and statistically studied using geometric morphometry, from a sample of 122 humeri belonging to 69 species of extant and extinct turtles. The calculation of a multivariate regression reveals that the shape is strongly correlated with a specialization to aquatic habitat. A parallelism between shape patterns of the humerus, types of limbs coordination and aquatic strategies of life is discussed for groups of highly aquatic freshwater turtles and sea turtles.


Chelonians, Limb morphology, Shape pattern, Geometric morphometry, Locomotion, Habitat

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