DOI: 10.3390/ani14030369 ISSN: 2076-2615

3D Morphological Scanning and Environmental Correlates of Bufo gargarizans in the Yellow River Basin

Zihan Li, Xuecheng Guo, Zeguang Guo, Xiaoqin Shi, Jin Zhou, Zhidong Liu, Qi Xiao, Youhua Chen
  • General Veterinary
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Morphology plays a crucial role in understanding the intricacies of biological forms. Traditional morphometric methods, focusing on one- or two-dimensional geometric levels, often fall short of accurately capturing the three-dimensional (3D) structure of organisms. The advent of 3D scanning techniques has revolutionized the study of organismal morphology, enabling comprehensive and accurate measurements. This study employs a 3D structured light scanning system to analyze the morphological variations in the Chinese toad (Bufo gargarizans Cantor, 1842) along the Yellow River Basin. The 3D digital model obtained from the scan was used to calculate various morphological parameters including body surface area, volume, fractal dimensions, and limb size. The research explores geographic variability patterns and identifies environmental drivers affecting the 3D phenotypic variation of B. gargarizans. Results reveal a bimodal pattern of variation in the toad population, with higher elevations exhibiting smaller body sizes, greater appendage proportions, and more complex body structures. Linear regression analyses highlight the influence of elevation and annual mean temperature on the morphological variation of B. gargarizans, with elevation playing a significant role. This study underscores the significance of 3D morphometric analysis in unraveling the intricacies of organismal morphology and understanding the adaptive strategies of species in diverse environments.

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