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Wolf body mass cline across Minnesota related to taxonomy?

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Recent genetic studies suggest that in northern Minnesota two species of wolves (Canis lupus L., 1758 or western wolf and Canis lycaon Schreber, 1775 (= Canis rufus Audubon and Bachman, 1851) or eastern wolf) meet and hybridize. However, little morphological information is available about these two types of wolves in Minnesota. We analyzed the mass of 950 female wolves and 1006 males older than 1 year from across northern Minnesota and found that it increased from 26.30 ± 0.56 kg (mean ± SE) for females and 30.60 ± 0.72 kg for males in northeastern Minnesota to 30.01 ± 0.43 kg for females and 35.94 ± 0.45 kg for males in northwestern Minnesota (females: r2 = 0.79, P < 0.02; males: r2 = 0.63, P = 0.06). These mass differences add morphological information to the identities of eastern and western wolves and support the view that ranges of the two species meet in Minnesota.

Des études génétiques récentes indiquent que, dans le nord du Minnesota, deux espèces de loups (Canis lupus L., 1758, le loup de l’ouest, et Canis lycaon Schreber, 1775 (= Canis rufus Audubon et Bachman, 1851), le loup de l’est) se rencontrent et font de l’hybridation. Il existe, cependant, peu d’information morphologique sur ces deux types de loups au Minnesota. Nous avons mesuré la masse de 950 louves et 1006 loups de plus de 1 an dans tout le nord du Minnesota et trouvé que la masse augmente de 26,30 ± 0,56 kg (moyenne ± ET) chez les femelles et de 30,60 ± 0,72 kg chez les mâles dans le nord-est du Minnesota à 30,01 ± 0,43 kg chez les femelles et à 35,94 ± 0,45 kg chez les mâles dans le nord-ouest du Minnesota (females : r2 = 0,79, P < 0,02; mâles : r2 = 0,63, P = 0,06). Ces différences de masse constituent des renseignements morphologiques additionnels sur l’identité des loups de l’est et de l’ouest et elles appuient le point de vue selon lequel les aires de répartition des deux espèces se recoupent au Minnesota.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-08-01

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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