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Terrestrial mammal feces: a morphometric summary and description

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Author(s): Chame Marcia

Journal: Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
ISSN 0074-0276

Volume: 98;
Issue: suppl.1;
Start page: 71;
Date: 2003;
Original page

Keywords: feces | coprolites | terrestrial mammals | fauna

ABSTRACT
The study of feces of terrestrial mammals brings out biological and ecological data such as the species presence, diet, behaviour, territory, parasitic fauna, and home-range use, which can be applied for conservation projects and support paleoecological research that use coprolites as the main source of study. Although the new biotechnological techniques allow more accurate data, the diagnosis based on morphometric analyses permits the primary identification of the taxonomic group origin to support the best choice of subsequent analyses. We present the compilation list of fecal shape and measurements available in the literature published in North America, Eastern and Southern Africa, Europe, and new data from Brazil. Shape and diameters are the best characteristics for taxonomic identification. Feces were assembled in 9 groups that reflect the Order, sometimes the Family, and even their common origin.
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