Skull morphometry and vault sutures of Myrmecophaga tridactyla and Tamandua tetradactyla

<div><p>ABSTRACT This study aimed to examine the relationship between skull size and the level of cranial vault suture closure. A total of 50 Myrmecophaga tridactyla Linnaeus, 1758 and 178 Tamandua tetradactyla Linnaeus, 1758 skulls were analyzed in relation to 18 skull dimensions. The skulls were grouped into three levels of suture closure: no sutures closed (level 0), one or all the fallowing sutures closed: interfrontalis, sagitalis and coronalis (level 1) and all sutures closed (level 2). The results indicated that among the 18 variables measured, 17 showed significant differences (p ≤ 0.01) between level 0 and level 1 skulls of T. tetradactyla; as well as between level 0 and level 1, and level 0 and level 2 skulls of M. tridactyla. M. tridactyla level 1 and level 2 had no significant difference among any of the 18 dimensions. The foramen magnum height in both species showed no significant difference (p > 0.05) among any suture categories. In principle, suture closure level and cranial dimensions are related. The specimens with larger cranial dimensions showed greater number of cranial vault sutures closed for both species of anteaters. Tamandua tetradactyla and M. tridactyla specimens with none of the cranial vault suture closed have a foramen magnum height similar to those with cranial vault suture closed.</p></div>