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12 July 2019 Dental Variation in a Collection of Lemmiscus curtatus from the Northern Plains of Southern Saskatchewan: Implications for Morphological Evolution
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Abstract

We provide the first documentation of morphological variation in the lower first molar (m1) of Lemmiscus curtatus from southern Canada. A total of 370 specimens were obtained from owl pellets taken from 4 localities in southern Saskatchewan. The 4 most common morphotypes are, in order of descending relative abundance, molars with 5 closed triangles and a well-developed but widely open sixth triangle, molars with 5 closed triangles and a sixth triangle that is pinched at the confluence of the anterior cap, molars with 5 closed triangles and incipient closure of the sixth triangle from the anterior cap, and specimens with 6 closed triangles. As is true of other modern populations of L. curtatus, the samples from Saskatchewan include no morphotypes with only 4 closed triangles. This collection is notable for the relatively high proportion of specimens with pinched, incipient, or full closure of a sixth triangle on the m1, and it also highlights the complex dynamics of dental evolution in arvicoline rodents.

© 2019
Christopher J. Bell, Christopher N. Jass, and Robert W. Burroughs "Dental Variation in a Collection of Lemmiscus curtatus from the Northern Plains of Southern Saskatchewan: Implications for Morphological Evolution," Western North American Naturalist 79(2), 219-232, (12 July 2019). https://doi.org/10.3398/064.079.0208
Received: 11 July 2018; Accepted: 7 February 2019; Published: 12 July 2019
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