Multivariate Characterisation of Oulmes-Zaer and Tidili Cattle Using the Morphological Traits

Document Type: Research Article


Department of Animal Production and Biotechnology,Hassan II Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine Institute, Madinate Al Irfane, 10 101, Rabat, Morocco


Fourteen different morphological traits in 169 and 131 cattle of Oulmes-Zaer and Tidili, respectively were recorded and analyzed using a multivariate approach. The characters measured included heart girth, wither height, rump height, rump length, rump width, chest depth, body length, neck length, cannon circumference, ear length, ear width, head length, horn length and tail length. Breed significantly influenced all the traits investigated. Correlation coefficients among the body measurements ranged from 0.12 to 0.85 in Oulmes-Zaer and from -0.14 to 0.81 in Tidili cattle.In the varimax rotated principal component factor analysis, three factors were extracted, which explained about 65.1% and 55.4% of the total variation in Oulmes-Zaer and Tidili cattle, respectively. The communality ranged from 0.28 (horn length) to 0.82 (heart girth) in Oulmes-Zaer cattle and from 0.25 (horn length) to 0.79 (rump height) in Tidili cattle. Stepwise discriminant analysis showed that 9 out of 14 body measurements were found to have a potential discriminatory power. The canonical discriminant analysis showed that the squared Mahalanobis distance between breed means was significant, indicating that significant differences exist between Oulmes-Zaer and Tidili breeds. The raw canonical coefficients for the first canonical variable provided the greatest difference between the breed means (1.498 vs. -1.933). The second canonical variable did not provide any difference between means. The discriminant analysis showed that 98.2% and 100% of Oulmes-Zaer and Tidili animals, respectively were correctly classified. It was concluded that clear morphological differences existed between Oulmes-Zaer and Tidili cattle indicating that there were two distinct populations.


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