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Geometric Morphometrics and its use in ostracod research: a short guide

Author(s): Baltanás Angel | Danielopol Dan L.

Journal: Joannea Geologie und Paläontologie
ISSN 1562-9449

Volume: 11;
Start page: 235;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Geometric Morphometrics | Ostracods | Landmarks | Outlines | Shape analysis.

Three decades ago, geometric morphometrics transformed the way biometry was done. There was a revolution in concepts and techniques that, nevertheless, was deeply rooted in historical grounds. The traditional multivariate approach merged with methods that enhance visualization of changes in the biological form inspired in theproposals of D’ARCY THOMPSON. Meanwhile a growing body of shape theory lent support to the new methodology. RICHARD BENSON, ROGER KAESLER and RICHARD REYMENT, wellknown ostracodologists, soon realised the significance of, and made relevant contributionsto, the new approach. Geometric morphometrics, however, never became a standard for daily ostracodologist’s work. And that even when ostracods exhibit plenty of features (hard carapace, high diversity, worldwide distribution, rich fossil record, etc) that makes them ideal organisms for geometric morphometric analysis. This paper,which has been prepared within the framework of the course “Methods in Ostracodology-2” (Graz, 2011), aims to present a practical sketch, a short walk through the mainissues in Geometric Morphometrics. But, beyond introducing some widely used methods (e.g., Procrustes analysis, relative warps, outline-based methods), we provide thereader with many general references that might help anyone to go deep into this methodology, and a nearly exhaustive list of references specifically dealing with ostracods from a geometric morphometrics perspective.

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