Data from: Validating methods for estimating endocranial volume in individual red deer (Cervus elaphus)
Logan, Corina J.; Clutton-Brock, Tim H. (2012), Data from: Validating methods for estimating endocranial volume in individual red deer (Cervus elaphus), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4t7h2
Comparing brain sizes is a key method in comparative cognition and evolution. Brain sizes are commonly validated by interspecific comparisons involving animals of varying size, which does not provide a realistic index of their accuracy for intraspecific comparisons. Intraspecific validation of methods for measuring brain size should include animals of the same age and sex to ensure that individual differences can be detected in animals of similar size. In this study we compare three methods of measuring the endocranial volume of 33 red deer skulls to investigate the accuracy of each method. Methods for estimating endocranial volume included scanning each skull using computerised tomography (CT) and quantifying the volume with OsiriX software, filling the cranium with glass beads and measuring the bead volume, and linear measurements (length, width, and height) of the cranium using calipers. CT scan volumes were highly correlated with results from the bead method, but only moderately correlated with the linear method. This study illustrates the importance of validating intraspecies measurement methods, which allows for the accurate interpretation of results.