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Investigating the impact of captivity and domestication on limb bone cortical morphology: an experimental approach using a wild boar model

Harbers, Hugo, Zanolli, Clément, Cazenave, Marine, Theil, Jean-Christophe, Ortiz, Katia, Blanc, Barbara, Locatelli, Yann, Schafberg, Renate, Lecompte, Francois, Baly, Isabelle, and others. (2020) Investigating the impact of captivity and domestication on limb bone cortical morphology: an experimental approach using a wild boar model. Scientific Reports, 10 . Article Number 19070. E-ISSN 2045-2322. (doi:10.1038/s41598-020-75496-6) (KAR id:84132)

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The lack of bone morphological markers associated with the human control of wild animals has prevented the documentation of incipient animal domestication in archaeology. Here, we assess whether direct environmental changes (i.e. mobility reduction) could immediately affect ontogenetic changes in long bone structure, providing a skeletal marker of early domestication. We relied on a wild boar experimental model, analysing 24 wild-born specimens raised in captivity from 6 months to 2 years old. The shaft cortical thickness of their humerus was measured using a 3D morphometric mapping approach and compared with 23 free-ranging wild boars and 22 pigs from different breeds, taking into account sex, mass and muscle force differences. In wild boars we found that captivity induced an increase in cortical bone volume and muscle force, and a topographic change of cortical thickness associated with muscular expression along a phenotypic trajectory that differed from the divergence induced by selective breeding. These results provide an experimental proof of concept that changes in locomotor behaviour and selective breeding might be inferred from long bones morphology in the fossil and archaeological record. These trends need to be explored in the archaeological record and further studies are required to explore the developmental changes behind these plastic responses.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1038/s41598-020-75496-6
Uncontrolled keywords: cortical morphology, limb bones, animal domestication, animal captivity
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Marine Cazenave
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2020 10:57 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:16 UTC
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