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ABSTRACT: The craniometric variation and non-metric skull divergence between populations of the otter Lutra lutra (Linné, 1758) were studied using more than 430 skulls from different regions of Eastern Germany. No direct regional differences in skull measurements could be established for this area. The comparison of the morphological variation by non-metric skull characters adduces not or unimportant differentiations for most regions. Otter populations with greater geographic distances have partly higher measures of divergence. But only the population from the Baltic coast stand out against each other with a relative important epigenetic distance. Until now there does not exist a general reproductive and genetic insulation between the otter populations of Eastern Germany.
Martin Luther University of Halle-WittenbergHalle-on-the-Saale, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany