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Morphological variation across space in large mammal species can provide insights into their overall ecology and evolutionary history. However, these analyses are frequently limited by the availability of high-resolution morphological data from a large number of individuals over a wide spatial scale. In this study, we compiled morphological data (>700,000 individuals; >600 localities) spanning two decades collected from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginiana) across Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. We use these data to investigate spatial heterogeneity in the morphological characteristics (e.g., body weight, total antler spread, antler diameter) of this species across southeastern North America. Preliminary analysis indicates 1) significant variation in body size across the space considered here, and 2) the potential of this large data set to provide unprecedented insights into the ecology and biogeography of this important species. Finally, the patterns identified here could serve as a model for evaluating extinct mammal herbivores in the paleontological record of this region. Future analysis will incorporate morphological data from additional localities outside of southeastern North America.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
19 Jul 2022
62.3 MB



  • Subject
    • Biology

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event date
    • 17 April 2020

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dr. David Patterson and Mrs. Jessica Patterson