Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Program

Geosciences

Date of Award

5-2013

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Blaine W. Schubert

Committee Members

Steven C. Wallace, Jim I. Mead

Abstract

Dentaries of the 6 species of Myotis that occur in the eastern United States were analyzed using landmark-based geometric morphometrics. The species could be distinguished with a high degree of accuracy. Evidence was found of a phylogenetic signal in the morphology of the Neotropical and Nearctic Myotis sub-clades. There is also evidence of convergence in the morphology of the dentary among Myotis species that feed primarily by gleaning. When analyzed together there was no evidence of sexual dimorphism among the 6 eastern U.S. Myotis, but when analyzed individually some dimorphism may be present. A sample of fossil Myotis of unknown species from Bat Cave, Kentucky, was analyzed in an attempt to identify the specimens to species. Results indicate that Myotis austroriparius and M. sodalis predominate the sample, possibly with smaller numbers of M. grisescens and M. leibii. This study demonstrates the ability to differentiate Myotis taxa from historic and prehistoric sites and provides a tool for researchers to better understand and potentially conserve these species.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Paleontology Commons

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