A Morphometric Survey among Three Iranian Horse Breeds with Multivariate Analysis

  • M. Hosseini Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran
  • H. M. Shahrbabak Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran
  • M. B. Zandi Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran,
  • M. Fallahi Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran
Keywords: morphometric, Iran, horse, breed, PCA


Three Iranian horse breeds, Turkoman, Caspian, and Kurdish, are the most important Iranian horse breeds which are well known in all around of the world because of their beauty, versatility, great stamina, and  intelligence. Phenotypic characterization was used to identify and document the diversity within and between distinct breeds, based on their observable attributes. Phenotypic characterization and body biometric in 23 traits were measured in 191 purebred horses belonging to three breeds, i.e. Turkoman (70 horses), Kurdish (77 horses), and Caspian (44 horses).  Caspian breed was  sampled from the Provinces of Alborz and Gilan. Kurdish breed was sampled from the Provinces of Kurdistan, Kermanshah, and Hamadan. Turkoman breed was sampled from the Provinces of Golestan, Markazi, and Isfahan. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was implemented. In addition, Canonical Discriminate Analysis (CDA), Principal Component Analysis (PCA), and Custer analysis were executed for assessing the relationship among the breeds. All statistical analysis was executed by SAS statistical program. The results of our investigation represented the breeds classification into 3 different classes (Caspian, Turkoman, and Kurdish) based on different morphometrical traits. Caspian breed with smaller size in most variables was detached clearly from the others with more distance than Kurdish and Turkoman breeds. The result showed that the most variably trait for classification was Hind Hoof Length. Adaptation with different environments causes difference in morphology and difference among breeds. We can identify and classify domestic population using PCA, CDA, and cluster analysis.


Download data is not yet available.


Brooks, S. A., S. Makvandi‐Nejad, E. Chu, J. J. Streeter, C. Allen, E. Gu, B. McCleery, B. A. Murphy, R. Bellone, & N. B. Sutter. 2010. Morphological variation in the horse: defining complex traits of body size and shape. Anim. Genet. 41: 159-165. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2052.2010.02127.x

Baggot, D. G. & A. M. Russel. 2007. Lameness in dairy cattle. Brit. Vet. J. 137: 114-132.

Carter, R. A., G. Raymond, J. Staniar, W. B. Cubitt, T. A. Harris, & A. Pat. 2009. Apparent adiposity assessed by standardised scoring systems and morphometric measurements in horses and ponies. Vet. J. 179: 204-210. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2008.02.029

Cervantes, I., R. Baumung, A. Molina, T. Druml, J. P. Gutiérrez, J. Sölkner, & M. Valera. 2009. Size and shape analysis of morphofunctional traits in the Spanish Arab horse. Livest. Sci. 125: 43-49. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2009.03.006

Gabriel, A., S. Jolly, J. Detilleux, C. Dessy-Doizé, B. Collin, & J. Reginster. 1998. Morphometric study of the equine navicular bone: variations with breeds and types of horse and influence of exercise. J. Anat. 193: 535-549. http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1469-7580.1998.19340535.x

Hendricks, B. L. 2007. International encyclopedia of horse breeds. 1st ed. Oklahoma, USA, University of Oklahoma Press Publisher.

Ruggiero, L. F., K. B. Aubry, S. W. Buskirk, G. M. Koehler, C. J. Krebs, K. S. McKelvey, & J. R. Squires. 1999. Ecology and conservation of lynx in the United States. Rocky Mountain Mesearch Station. 1: 351-371.

SAS Institute. 2013. SAS software. Version 9.3. SAS Inc. Cary NC.

Slice, D. E. 2007. Geometric morphometrics. Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 36:261-281. http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.anthro.34.081804.120613

Sobczuk, D. & M. Komosa. 2012. Morphological differentiation of Polish Arabian horses-multivariate analysis. B. Vet. I. Pulawy. 56: 623-629. http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/v10213-012-0110-5

Weller, R., T. Pfau, S. A. May, & A. M. Wilson. 2006. Variation in conformation in a cohort of National Hunt racehorses. Equine Vet. J. 38: 616-621. http://dx.doi.org/10.2746/042516406X150394