MS (Master of Science)
Date of Award
Committee Chair or Co-Chairs
James I. Mead
Blaine W. Schubert, Steven C. Wallace
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.
Thesis - Open Access
Schaaf, Lisa Nicole, "Comparative Morphometrics of the Sacral Vertebra in Aneides (Caudata: Plethodontidae)." (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 1703. http://dc.etsu.edu/etd/1703
Copyright by the authors.