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Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. David Patterson and Dr. Erin Barding

Campus

Dahlonega

Proposal Type

Poster

Subject Area

Biology

Location

Poster Session

Start Date

26-3-2021 12:00 PM

End Date

26-3-2021 1:00 PM

Description/Abstract

Assessing sexual dimorphism is one method for understanding how species determine mating rights. In this study, we measured the skeletons of Didelphis virginiana (Virginia opossum) to determine the degree of sexual dimorphism present in our sample (N=68). Each specimen is collected as roadkill from northern Georgia, sexed, given an identification number, and skeletonized using a dermestid beetle colony on the UNG Dahlonega campus. When possible based on skeletal damage, we collected 11 cranial and 8 post-cranial measurements from each skeleton. This dataset will be compared to a large dataset from central Georgia to determine potential differences across habitat scales in Georgia. In addition, our study investigates size relationships within the skeleton of Dideliphis virginiana. Understanding this correlation can help infer the overall size of an individual when only some bones are present, which will prove valuable for understanding body size estimates in fossil marsupials. These analyses will provide an interpretive framework for elucidating the neo- and paleoecology of this important taxon.

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Mar 26th, 12:00 PM Mar 26th, 1:00 PM

03. Skeletal variation in Didelphis virginiana (Runner up - Best Overall Presentation)

Poster Session

Assessing sexual dimorphism is one method for understanding how species determine mating rights. In this study, we measured the skeletons of Didelphis virginiana (Virginia opossum) to determine the degree of sexual dimorphism present in our sample (N=68). Each specimen is collected as roadkill from northern Georgia, sexed, given an identification number, and skeletonized using a dermestid beetle colony on the UNG Dahlonega campus. When possible based on skeletal damage, we collected 11 cranial and 8 post-cranial measurements from each skeleton. This dataset will be compared to a large dataset from central Georgia to determine potential differences across habitat scales in Georgia. In addition, our study investigates size relationships within the skeleton of Dideliphis virginiana. Understanding this correlation can help infer the overall size of an individual when only some bones are present, which will prove valuable for understanding body size estimates in fossil marsupials. These analyses will provide an interpretive framework for elucidating the neo- and paleoecology of this important taxon.

 
 

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