A test for paedomorphism in domestic pig cranial morphology

Allowen Evin, Joseph Owen, Greger Larson, Mélanie Debiais-Thibaud, Thomas Cucchi, Una Strand Viðarsdóttir, Keith Dobney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Domestic animals are often described as paedomorphic, meaning that they retain juvenile characteristics into adulthood. Through a three-dimensional landmark-based geometric morphometric analysis of cranial morphology at three growth stages, we demonstrate that wild boar (n ¼ 138) and domestic pigs (n ¼ 106) (Sus scrofa) follow distinct ontogenetic trajectories. With the exception of the size ratio between facial and neurocranial regions, paedomorphism does not appear to be the primary pattern describing the observed differences between wild and domestic pig cranial morphologies. The cranial phenotype of domestic pigs instead involves developmental innovation during domestication. This result questions the long-standing assumption that domestic animal phenotypes are paedomorphic forms of their wild counterparts.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20170321
JournalBiology Letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

Other keywords

  • Domestication
  • Heterochrony
  • Paedomorphism,
  • Ontogeny
  • Sus scrofa
  • Geometric morphometrics
  • Húsdýr
  • Klaufdýr
  • Svín
  • Líffærafræði


Dive into the research topics of 'A test for paedomorphism in domestic pig cranial morphology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this