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Morphogenetic studies of the rabbit. XXXIX. Ponderal correlation coefficients of the bones form two races of rabbits

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Morphogenetic Studies of the Rabbit
XXXIX. PONDERAL CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS OF THE
BONES FROM TWO RACES OF RABBITS
HOMER B. LATIMER AND PAUL B. SAWIN
Department of Anatomy, Uniaersity of Kansas, Lawrence, and
The Jackson Lahoratoq, Bar Harbor, Maine
ABSTRACT
Thirty-five male a n 30 female rabbits of large race 111 derived from
the New Zealand White race and the same numbers of small race X, from Castle's
small race, were used i n this study.
Earlier studies on these two races have shown that the males are more variable in
body weight and body length; and that the individual bones are likewise more variable
in weight and in length in the males.
In this study, body weight and the weight of the entire skeleton were correlated on
the basis of the null hypothesis with the individual bone weights and the individual
bone weights were intcrcorrelated. The correlations are, for the most part, higher in
the males than in the females of both races. The males of small race X have higher
correlations than the males of large race 111.
Thus, although the entire body size varies more in the males. the weights of the
bones are, €or the most part, more closely correlated with body weight and total skeletal weight and with the other bones in the males than in the females.
Some of the lowest correlations are with bones having large proportions of cancellous bone.
Earlier studies of large race 111 and small
race X rabbits from The Jackson Laboratory at Bar Harbor, Maine, have shown
that the males are more variable than the
females in bvdy weight, body length, and
also in the weights and linear measurements of most of the bones (Latimer and
Sawin, '57, '59, '62, '63). With this in
mind, in the present study, coefficients of
correlation between net body weight, the
weight of the entire skeleton, and the separate bones have been determined.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The 35 male and 30 female adult rabbits of race 111, derived from the New
Zealand White race, and the 35 male and
30 female animals of normal race X (age
about 5 months to 2 years), derived from
Castle's small race, are the same as reported by Latimer and Sawin ('55, '63).
These were all raised under similar conditions at The Jackson Laboratory. They
were shipped to Kansas where they were
sacrificed and studied by one person (H.B.
L.), who is also responsible for the preparation of these data.
The methds used in studying these skeletons are described in detail in an earlier
publication (Latimer and Sawin, '62).
ANAT. REC., 159: 29-32.
RESULTS
Correlations of weights of indiuidual
hones with net body weight. The coefficients of correlation between net body
weight and the weight of the entire skeleton and ten bones or pairs of bones in both
sexes of both races are shown in table 1.
The net body weight is the gross body
weight minus the contents of the digestive
TABLE 1
Coefticients of correlation hetzceen net body weight
and the entire skeleton and the weicrhts of
individual bones, cr pairs o f hones
Race 111
LMales Females
Skeleton
Mandible
Sacrum
Clavicle
Scapula
Humerus
Radius
and ulna
0s coxae
Femur
Tibia and
fibula
Calcaneus
Race X
Malcs Females
0.888
0.633
0.888
0.854
0.816
0.702
0.867
0.864
0.852
0.662
0.796
0.572
0.781
0.807
0.697
0.634
0.712
0.529
0.631
0.542
0.793
0.800
0.805
0.726
0.820
0.824
0.744
0.746
0.502
0.455
0.802
0.767
0.742
0.720
0.847
0.699
0.741
0.609
0.775
0.808
0.654
0.498
0.201
0.264
All weights are in grams. Correlations in
of 0.325 and above arc significant at the
and 0.418 and above are significant at the
The corresponding values for the fqmales
and 0.449. All correlations are positive.
the
5%
1%
are
malcs
level,
level.
0.349
29
30
HOMER B. LATIMER AND PAUL R . SAWIN
tube and all dissectable fat (Latimer and
Sawin, '55). The radius and ulna are usually ankylosed and the tibia and fibula are
firmly ankylosed in the rabbit and hence
these pairs of bones were weighed together.
The weights of all paired bones are the
sums of the weights of right and left bones
of a pair. All of the correlations are positive and hence the signs are omitted in all
of these tables.
On the basis of the null hypothesis, all
of the correlations in table 1 are significant
at the 1% level except two, namely, those
with the weights of sacrum and clavicle in
the females of race 111. The correlations
are somewhat higher in all cases in the
males compared with the females, except
for the scapula in race 111and the 0s coxae
and femur in race X rabbits. The coefficients of variation of the clavicle, scapula,
and 0s coxae are the three highest coeficients of variation in both sexes of race I11
and they are also very high in race X (Latimer and Sawin, '62, '63). This may account, in part at least, for the low correlations in this table.
Not only are the correlations generally
somewhat higher in the males than in the
females, but the correlations in both sexes
in race X are variably higher than in race
111, with one exception, namely, the scapula, which has a higher correlation in race
I11 than in race X females. Thus the males
of both races have higher correlations than
the females, and the rabbits of the same
sex generally have higher correlations in
the smaller and more active race X rabbits.
Correlutions of weights of individual
bones with total skeletal weight. The
correlation coefficients between skeletal
weight and the weights of individual
bones, or pairs of bones, are shown in
table 2. All of these correlations are significant at the 1% level except that of the
female clavicle in race X. In race 111, the
correlations are higher in the males with
two exceptions, namely, scapula and combined radius and ulna. In race X, however,
there are only three bones with higher
correlations in the males. These higher
correlations in the females of race X compared with the males are unexpected and
no explanation for this is immediately apparent, unless it is due to the lesser vari-
TABLE 2
Coefficients of correlation between total skeletal
weight and t h e weights o f t h e individual
bones, or pairs of bones
Race 111
Mandible
Sacrum
Clavicle
Scapula
Humerus
Radius and
ulda
0 s coxae
Femur
Tibia and
fibula
Calcaneus
Race X
Males FemaIes
Male4 Females
0.897
0.838
0.711
0.695
0.962
0.793
0.479
0.601
0.850
0.950
0.966
0.911
0.592
0.791
0.939
0.928
0.937
0.408
0.662
0.954
0.866
0,906
0.911
0.897
0.890
0.878
0.932
0.902
0.918
0.972
0.967
0.981
0.913
0.883
0.853
0.840
0.921
0.892
0.948
0.930
1\11 weights are in grams. All of the corrclations arc
positive and the significances of these are the same
as i n table 1.
ability in total skeletal weight in these
race X females (Latimer and Sawin, '63).
The correlations in race X compared
with the same sex of race I11 rabbits are
higher, except in the male clavicle, humerus, and os eoxae and the female clavicle and scapula. Thus, with certain
exceptions. the parts of the skeleton are
generally better correlated with total skeletal weight, as well as with net body
weight, in the smaller race X rabbits.
AS one might expect, these correlations
with skeletal weight are higher than with
body weight, except that of the scapula in
both sexes of both races and the clavicles
in male and female race X rabbits. The
higher correlations between the weight of
the scapula and body weight in all of these
populations is rather puz7ling. One would
expect that all of the bones of the skeleton
would be more closely related to the total
skeletal weight than to net body weight.
Correlations between weights of indivitlual bones. The correlation coefficients
between the weights of the individual
bones and body and skeletal weight have
been shown in tables 1 and 2, and now
the coefficients of correlation between the
weights of these bones, or pairs of bones,
are presented in table 3 for the males and
females of race 111. On the basis of the
null hypothesis, all of the correlations for
the males are significant at 1%, while in
the females one correlation is not significant and four are significant only at the
5% level. All of these correlations below
31
CORRELATIONS OF RABBIT BONES
TABLE 3
Coefzients of correlation between the weights of some of the individual bones of race III rabbits
Mandible
Mandible
Sacrum
Sacpula
Humerus
Radius and
ulna
0 s coxae
Femur
Tibia and
fibula
Calcaneus
Sacrum
Scapula
Humerus
0.658
0.393
0.948
Radius
and
I_._-~
i l n-i
0.660
0.442
0.852
0.842
cgacFemur
Tibia
and
fibula
Calcaneus
0.502
0.433
0.777
0.835
0.498
0.557
0.749
0.869
0.465
0.613
0.728
0.820
0.551
0.477
0.572
0.629
0.699
0.752
0.954
0.822
0.806
0.942
0.721
0.764
0.892
0.351
0.730
0.725
0.767
0.672
0.341
0,660
0.884
0.878
0.622
0.853
0.700
0.755
0.530
0.927
0.732
0.965
0.723
0.899
0.912
0.903
0.744
0.862
0.914
0.677
0.696
0.920
0.947
0.707
0.716
0.882
0.882
0.885
0.866
0.799
0.811
0.929
0.797
0.838
0.916
Correlations for the fcmales are in the upper right half, and for the males $ the lower Ieft half of the
table. All correlations are positive and the slgnificances of these are the same as m table 1.
TABLE 4
Coefficients of correlation between the weights of some of the bones of race X rabbits
Mandible
Mandible
Sacrum
Scapula
Humerus
Radius and
ulna
0 s coxae
Femur
Tibia and
fibula
Calcaneus
Sacrum
Scapula
Radius
and
ulna
,Zae
Femur
Tibia
and
fibula
calcaneus
0.780
0.407
0.821
0.849
0.793
0.890
0.868
0.810
0.911
0.927
0,894
0.795
0.868
0.854
0.933
0.813
0.594
0.844
0.903
0.762
0.753
0.799
0.867
0.907
0.867
0.937
0.935
0.921
0.956
0.908
0.860
0.925
0.976
0.934
0.918
Humerus
0.751
0.789
0.900
0.880
0.772
0.886
0,826
0.866
0.939
0.864
0.866
0.823
0.813
0.788
0.865
0.937
0.888
0.882
0.952
0.884
0.962
0.908
0.939
0.896
0.815
0.764
0.699
0.872
0.893
0.893*
0.941
0.918
0.944
0.932
0.909
0.857
0.949
The Correlations for. the females are in the upper right half, and for the males in the lower left half of
the table. All correlabons are positive and the significances of these are the same as in table 1.
the 1% level of significance are correlations with the sacrum. Table 1 shows that
the female sacrum is not significantly correlated with body weight, and, although it
is significantly correlated with total skeletal weight (table 2 ) , it is the lowest correlation of all of the bones in the female.
The only bones significantly correlated at
the 1% level with the female sacrum are
femur, tibia plus fibula and calcaneus, or
the bones of the hind limb.
Table 4 presents the coefficients of correlation for the male and female bones of
race X rabbits. AII of the correlations for
the males of race X are significant at 1%
as they were for the race I11 males. In
race X females, all of the correlations are
significant at 1% except one, that between
sacrum and humerus, which is significant
only at the 5% level.
Thirty of the 36 correlations are somewhat higher in the males of race X com-
pared with race 111 males. Three of the
six correlations which are lower in race X
males than in race 111 males are correlations with the sacrum and three are with
the 0 s coxae. In the females of the two
races there are only three correlations
higher in race TI1 than in race X. Two of
these correlations are with the sacrum and
one is with the 0s coxae.
The sacrum has some low correlations
with the other bones in tables 3 and 4, and
this may be due to its very high variability
in weight. In race X it is the most variable
in weight of all of the bones, and in race
I11 it is one of the most variable bones
(Latimer and Sawin, '63). Ingalls ('31)
found that the human sacrum has the
highest variability; and second in variability is the sternum. He suggested that the
high variability of these bones may be due
to their very large proportion of cancellous
bone. Our observations on these rabbit
32
HOMER B. LATIMER AND PAUL B. SAWIN
bones seem in accord with this suggested
explanation. Shape of the sacrum may be
a factor also. We need further study to
learn if there are other factors operating
to cause this high variability and these
low coefficients of correlation.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This investigation was supported by Public Health Service Research Grants CA00281 from the National Cancer Institute,
HD-01496 from the National Institute of
Child Health and Human Development,
and FR-00251 from the Division of Research Facilities and Resources, and in part
by Research Grant E-40 from the American Cancer Society.
The final draft of this manuscript was
made possible through the efforts of Mrs.
Homer Latimer and Dr. E. W. Lowrance.
LITERATURE CITED
Ingalls, N. W. 1931 Observations on bone
weights. Am. J. Anat., 48: 45-98.
L a t h e r , H. B., and P. B. Sawin 1955 Morphogenetic studies of the rabbit. XII. Organ size
in relation to body weights in adults of small
sized race X. Anat. Rec., 123: 81-102.
1957 Morphogenetic studies of the rabbit. XIX. Organ size in relation to body size in
large race 111 and in small race X. Anat. Rec.,
129: 457-472.
1959 Morphogenetic studies of the rabbit. XXII. Linear measurements of large race
I11 and small race X. Anat. Rec., 134: 69-86.
1962 Morphogenetic studies of the rabbit. XXXI. Weights and linear measurements
of some of the bones of 65 race I11 rabbits.
Am. J. Anat., 110: 259-268.
1963 Morphogenetic studies of the rabbit. XXXIV. Weights and linear measurements
of the bones of small race X rabbits compared
with large race 111. Am, J. Anat., 113: 235-243.
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