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The mark of captivity: plastic responses in the ankle bone of a wild ungulate (Sus scrofa) Natural History Museum of Geneva

Abstract : Deciphering the plastic (non-heritable) changes induced by human control over wild animals in the archaeological record is challenging. We hypothesized that changes in locomotor behaviour in a wild ungulate due to mobility control could be quantified in the bone anatomy. To test this, we experimented with the effect of mobility reduction on the skeleton of wild boar (Sus scrofa), using the calcaneus shape as a possible © 2020 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited. phenotypic marker. We first assessed differences in shape variation and covariation in captive-reared and wild-caught wild boars, taking into account differences in sex, body mass, available space for movement and muscle force. This plastic signal was then contrasted with the phenotypic changes induced by selective breeding in domestic pigs. We found that mobility reduction induces a plastic response beyond the shape variation of wild boars in their natural habitat, associated with a reduction in the range of locomotor behaviours and muscle loads. This plastic signal of captivity in the calcaneus shape differs from the main changes induced by selective breeding for larger muscle and earlier development that impacted the pigs' calcaneus shape in a much greater extent than the mobility reduction during the domestication process of their wild ancestors.
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Hugo Harbers, Dimitri Neaux, Katia Ortiz, Barbara Blanc, Flavie Laurens, et al.. The mark of captivity: plastic responses in the ankle bone of a wild ungulate (Sus scrofa) Natural History Museum of Geneva. Royal Society Open Science, The Royal Society, 2020, 7 (3), pp.192039. ⟨10.1098/rsos.192039⟩. ⟨hal-02956007⟩

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