Making spherical-harmonics-based Geometric Morphometrics (SPHARM) approachable for 3D images containing large cavity openings using Ambient Occlusion - a study using hermit crab claw shape variability

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  • An advantageous property of mesh-based geometric morphometrics (GM) towards landmark-based approaches, is the possibility of precisely examining highly irregular shapes and highly topographic surfaces. In case of spherical-harmonics-based GM the main requirement is a completely closed mesh surface, which often is not given, especially when dealing with natural objects. Here we present a methodological workflow to prepare 3D segmentations containing large cavity openings for the conduction of spherical-harmonics-based GM. This will be exemplified with a case study on claws of hermit crabs (Paguroidea, Decapoda, Crustacea), whereby joint openings – between manus and “movable finger” – typify the large-cavity-opening problem. We found a methodology including an ambient-occlusion-based segmentation algorithm leading to results precise and suitable to study the inter- and intraspecific differences in shape of hermit crab claws. Statistical analyses showed a significant separation between all examined diogenid and pagurid claws, whereas the separation between all left and right claws did not show significance. Additionally, the procedure offers other benefits. It is easy to reproduce and creates sparse variance in the data, closures integrate smoothly into the total structures and the algorithm saves a significant amount of time.

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Metadaten
Author:Yannic Ege, Christian Foth, Daniel BaumORCiD, Christian S. Wirkner, Stefan Richter
Document Type:Article
Parent Title (English):Zoomorphology
Year of first publication:2020