Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Program

Biology

Date of Award

5-2010

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

James I. Mead

Committee Members

Blaine W. Schubert, Steven C. Wallace

Abstract

The genus Aneides (Caudata: Plethodontidae) is an arboreal salamander with a prehensile tail and a distribution that spans North America. It is hypothesized that adaptations for arboreality will be visible in the osteology of the sacral vertebra either by qualitative analysis or linear and morphometric analysis in comparison with other plethodontid salamanders. This study demonstrates that while qualitative and quantitative analyses are successful at making genus-level distinctions between taxa, identification to lower taxonomic levels remains inconclusive. Linear morphometrics and dorsal Procrustes landmarks were the most successful metrics to identify known taxa. Two unidentified fossil salamander sacral vertebrae from Oregon Caves National Monument are examined with the same techniques and are tentatively identified as Hydromantes based on qualitative similarities to modern Hydromantes specimens, as the quantitative analyses were unable to confidently diagnose the unknown specimens.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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