Testing the effectiveness of 2D morphometric data for identifying species in Galliformes

Author(s): Sarah Ledogar; Jessica Watson

Year: 2017


Galliformes, or game birds, are one group of birds commonly utilized by prehistoric people that are particularly difficult to classify beyond family. In addition, bird bone assemblages are often fragmentary and poorly preserved, making avifauna notoriously difficult to identify to species, even by trained specialists. Non-identified bones lead to a decrease in information available about taxa present at the site, hunting preferences of the site inhabitants, environmental conditions, and other issues commonly studied by archaeologists. In this paper, we examine a series of skeletal morphometric traits in 12 gallinaceous species from North America and Europe to determine the range of shape and size variation among these species using principal component analyses. We also test whether the use of morphometrics can enhance the classification of Galliformes using discriminant function analyses. We ask: How can we differentiate between species with bones alone? Can bone measurements discriminate beyond family to species or genus in Galliformes? How effective are morphometrics for zooarchaeologists?

Cite this Record

Testing the effectiveness of 2D morphometric data for identifying species in Galliformes. Sarah Ledogar, Jessica Watson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429026)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -80.815; min lat: 39.3 ; max long: -66.753; max lat: 47.398 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15036