Comparative Osteometric Study of Long Bones in Yankasa Sheep and Red Sokoto Goat

  • SO Salami
  • CS Ibe
  • AD Umosen
  • IE Ajayi
  • SM Maidawa
Keywords: Yankasa sheep, Red Sokoto goat, Long bones, Osteometry


A morphometric study was undertaken on the long bones in two predominant breeds of small ruminant in Northern Guinea Savanna zone of Nigeria, to determine their anatomical differences, and thus, provide a means of differentiating the remains of these two species during
zooarchaeological studies and gross anatomy practical session. The pelvic and pectoral limbs from 15 Yankasa sheep and 15 Red Sokoto goats of both sexes were used for this study. The long bones of the pectoral limbs considered were the humerus, radius, ulna and metacarpal III while
those of the pelvic limbs were the femur, tibia and metatarsal III. Parameters considered were the mean weights, lengths and diameters of the proximal extremity, mid-shaft and distal extremities of these bones. There was a significant difference (p < 0.001) in the length of the long
bones between the two species, with that of the Yankasa sheep being significantly longer than the Red Sokoto goat. Also, the differences in weights and diameters of the proximal, middle and distal shafts of the tibia between the two species were statistically different (p < 0.001).
Conversely, the differences in the proximal and distal diameters of the femur between the two species were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Factors that may be responsible for these differences were discussed. It was concluded that the bones of the Yankasa sheep and Red Sokoto goat can be differentiated by the disparity in the length of the long bones or the disparity in the entire morphometry of the tibia bones.

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