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Concept: Tylopoda

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Dromedary camels are large even-toed ungulates which are well adapted to life in large deserts. Examinations of their feet have revealed many structural peculiarities. We have measured the digital bones of the dromedary in order to determine whether there are morphometric variations in the digital bones between the lateral and medial sides in individual limbs and/or in the right and left thoracic and pelvic limbs, with the aim to clarify whether there are anatomical differences in the digital bones of dromedary as a suborder of the order Artiodactyla. Measurements were made of 240 lateral and medial proximal, middle, and distal phalanges in the left and right thoracic and pelvic limbs of ten healthy adult male dromedaries, ranging in age from 6 to 10 years. A total of 17 linear dimensions were measured using a caliper. The results indicate that there are no significant differences between corresponding measurements of digital bones of the lateral and medial in the same limb, nor between measurements of the right and left sides. The lengths and widths of the proximal and middle, and distal phalanges in the thoracic limb were found to be greater than those of the pelvic limb. The sum of the total lengths of the three phalanges of the thoracic limbs was 15 mm greater than that of the phalanges of the pelvic limbs due to a longer proximal phalanx (76 %) and middle phalanx of the former (24 %). The perspectives obtained by our morphometric study of dromedary digital bones not only provide a tool to distinguish the osteological remains of the dromedary from those of the Bactrian camel or other artiodactyls in archaeological sites, but they also suggest a possible influence of digital structure on digit functions and digital disorders.

Concepts: Deer, Camel, Odd-toed ungulate, French Revolution, Dromedary, Even-toed ungulate, Camelid, Tylopoda