van Heteren et al. GPA removes all the information unrelated to shape and superimposes the objects in a common coordinate system (Rohlf & Slice, 1990): The new set of coordinates are named Procrustes and they define the multivariate shape space, while the centroid size values are stored as a measure of size (Zelditch, Swiderski, Sheets, & Fink, 2004).  Male bears are not considered to be territorial, but they do have large home ranges that may overlap with female home ranges, giving them access to a range of three-15 females.  Overall, dominance hierarchies have lower adaptive strategies in solitary species and dominance is established based on encounters during the breeding season. A significant degree of mandibular morphological distinctiveness is recorded for U. a. arctos and U. a. dalli, while specimens of U. a. alascensis can be correctly classified only with a 50% of accuracy (Table 3). To what extent then phylogenetic relatedness is reflected in bear mandibular morphology? Due to the broad geographic distribution of many bear species, it is likely that mandibular morphology might change across geographical areas even within the same species. Ursus is a genus in the family Ursidae (bears) that includes the widely distributed brown bear, the polar bear, the American black bear, and the This is confirmed by a nonparametric MANOVA based on 28 Procrustes coordinates (Tot SS = 0.3369, Within‐group SS = 0.25, F = 6.134, p < .001). Here, we aim to focus on mandibular size and shape of extant bears to inform species taxonomy and ecogeography with a particular focus on the brown bear. The DFA run on U. arctos extracted two DFs that could separate subspecies (Figure 5b). To test for the impact of species and subspecies (for the brown bear only) differences, the sample of Ursus specimens was reduced from 119 (as showed in the RWA) to 114 because subspecies classification was not available for five specimens of U. arctos. Ursus is a genus in the family Ursidae that includes the widely distributed brown bear, the polar bear, the American black bear, and the Asian black bear.The name is derived from the Latin ursus, meaning bear. Deformation grids at the onset of each axes show relative shape changes from the mean described by each RW vector; (b) the first two discriminant function vectors obtained from a combination of shape coordinates and size. Share. More work is needed to clarify bear taxonomy, but our analyses strongly support the validity of Apennine and Isabelline brown bear subspecies thus challenging future conservation efforts. Omissions? Discriminant function analyses support this assertion due to the very high degree of classification accuracy recorded for these taxa and for the Asiatic black bear (U. thibetanus, Table 3). On DF2 (17.4% var. The insectivore Melursus ursinus shows a smaller ramus, lower coronoid and a more curved mandibular profile (van Heteren et al., 2016), while the majority of omnivorous bears have a more developed diastema and their mandibular body is homogeneously thick at the front and posterior areas (Meloro, 2011). Mandibular shape profiles always show the corpus region to evolve shorter and thicker in bears that occupy regions with relatively higher precipitation (Bio12, 16, and 18), while slender mandibular profiles characterize species from highly seasonal environments (Bio4 and 7). Use the link below to share a full-text version of this article with your friends and colleagues. Label colors according to, Scatterplot of: (a) the first two relative warp axes obtained from shape variables. Now the largest populations are limited to North America (Alaska and Canada), Russia, and to the Carpathian and Dinaric Mountains, while in South Asia and Western Europe, populations are small and isolated. It is also useful to provide visualization of shape differences and classify specimens with unknown categorization (this being the case for some brown bear specimens in our sample whose subspecies and geographic location were unknown). vs RW2 (19.87% var.) This species shows an extremely seasonal and opportunistic diet that varies significantly throughout its range according to climatic and biotic conditions, that is, productivity and type of biome (Bojarska & Selva, 2012). By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Previous studies have reported sexual dimorphism in skulls of brown bear (Ohdachi, Toshiki, & Tsubota, 1992; Yoneda & Abe, 1976), polar bear (Bechshøft, Sonne, Rigét, Wiig, & Dietz, 2008), and American black bear (Gordon & Morejohn, 1975); however, its degree of interaction with taxonomy and climatic variation was never reported before. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The mandibular morphology of bears distinguishes extant species with a high degree of accuracy and both size and shape data are useful taxonomic characters.  Observations of broken canines, cuts, wounds and scars demonstrate the costs associated with contests and the importance of physical intra-sexual conflict within polygamous mating systems. Changes in skull morphometry have been reported for the brown (Ursus arctos Linnaeus, 1758) and the American black bear (Ursus americanus Pallas, 1780) in relation to their geographical range (Byun, Koop, & Reimchen, 1997; Kennedy, Kennedy, Bogan, & Waits, 2002; Rausch, 1963) and the same applies to the Malayan bear (Helarctos malayanus Raffles, 1821) (Meijaard, 2004). The Apennine bear and the subspecies U. arctos dalli Merriam, 1896, also had more negative PC2 scores when compared to the other specimens.  Since bears are sexually dimorphic, sexual conflict is a primary driving force behind sexual selection influencing intra-sexual and inter-sexual competition. and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. This does not correspond to a mandible capable of producing relatively high bite force as in other specialized predatory carnivores (Christiansen, 2007), but we note a more slender profile indicative of soft food consumption being this species a specialized hunter of marine mammals, characterized by high percentage of fat in their body tissues (Stirling & Archibald, 1977; van Heteren et al., 2016). One of the unlabeled specimens was classified as U. thibetanus.
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