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Cranial morphology of wild cat felis silvestris in south of iberian peninsula importance of introgression by domestic cat felis catus

Cranial morphology of wild cat felis silvestris in south of iberian peninsula importance of introgression by domestic cat felis catus

Mammalia 56(2): 255-264

This work tries to find out, by using three different methods on quantitative and qualitative characters, the extent of F. silvestris morphotype starting from 70 skulls of F. silverstris x F. catus (37 males and 33 females) coming from the South of Iberian Peninsula [Spain]: Taking into account Suminski (1962) criteria, the specific purity obtained is 63.99%, when quantitative cranial characters are considered, and 90,36% by using qualitative characters; if we take into account the difference of size between Iberian cats' skulls and Central European ones, the percentage of silvestris morphotype raises to 71%, considering the quantitative characters. By using Schauenberg (1969) criteria, all the specimen except one are considered pure F. silvestris. Finally, following French et al. (1988), 81.43% of the examined skulls are classified as silvestris morphotype. These results suggest that Iberian wild cats present a specific purity greater than the one measured to other parts of Europe, possibly due to the wild conditions of the country and the lesser hunting pressure they have suffer.

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