This study examines discrete features in the northern fur seal Callorhinus ursinus related to the shape of the posterior edge of the front flipper, which is characterized by a varying degree of manifestation of quantitative (number of festoons) and qualitative (shape, size, and arrangement of lobes) features of each digit. Analysis of frequencies of the investigated morphological features in 12 northern fur seals showed their high chronological variability and the significance of between-sample differences both within the Tyuleniy Island population and between the different breeding groups. Thus, the usefulness of the above features as criteria for separating populations of northern fur seal appears to be doubtful.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 14, 2010
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