A comprehensive procedure to measure the body dimensions of large African predators with comments on the repeatability of measurements taken from an immobilized African lion (Panthera leo)

  • De Waal H
  • Combrinck W
  • Borstlap D
  • 159

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Abstract

Specific procedures are described to measure the body dimensions of large African predators; these include measurements of body and tail length, head, canines, inane, limbs, paws and testes. Data on body mass and dimensions were collected from an immobilized sub-adult male African lion Panthera leo. He was 40 months old and weighed 190 kg. After being immobilized, data on body mass and dimensions were collected by a team comprising a scribe. two operators and assistants. The procedures of measuring the 43 variables on body dimensions were then repeated three times in quick succession, each session lasting about 10 min. The four sessions were handled as if a different individual was measured each time. Except for reports oil body mass of lions, there is. paucity of comparable data in the literature for most of the variables presented in this paper. The small dispersior. measures of the 43 variables Suggest that the specific procedures to measure the body dimensions of a large African predator Such as the lion have a high degree of repeatability and can be applied with confidence. The procedure ha, been used to obtain data on body dimensions of a large number of lions as well as dead specimens of black-backed. jackal Canis mesomelas, caracal Caracal caracal and Cape fox Vulpes chama. The data form part of a database or. body dimensions of large African predators created by ALPRU. The objective is to develop on-invasive techniques. to determine whether wild predator populations might have been subjected to abnormal growth and development as a result of negative impacts oil their habitat and thus food base.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Body measurements
  • Large African predators
  • Morphometric analysis
  • Repeated measurements

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Authors

  • H. O. De Waal

  • W. J. Combrinck

  • D. G. Borstlap

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