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Fractal geometry for animal biometrics


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Fractal geometry for animal biometrics

In a recent paper published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Kuhl and Burghardt discussed the applications of “animal biometrics”, an emerging field that develops approaches for representing and detecting the phenotypic appearance of species, individuals, behaviors, and morphological traits. At the intersection between pattern recognition, ecology, and information sciences, this field produces computerized systems for phenotypic measurement and interpretation that benefit a wide range of disciplines, including biogeography, population ecology, and behavioral research. In a comment on that paper we discuss the potential applications of fractal geometry for animal biometrics. Fractal fractal geometry offers new and valuable opportunities to describe and compare complex individual- or species-specific patterns. Fractal dimension may be useful to describe and quantifying animal colour patterns, sometimes uncovering unexpected relationships with individual quality, as found in our recent study (Pérez-Rodríguez et al. 2013). In addition, fractal geometry can also be applied to describe behavioral phenomena, such as song patterns, movement tracks and spatial distributions. Measuring fractal dimension of an object or pattern is relatively straightforward and it is a scale-independent parameter, but at the same time summarizes the way the pattern ‘behaves’ across scales. For these reasons, we suggest that the field of animal biometrics would benefit greatly from incorporating fractal geometry analyses

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  • Fractal geometry for animal biometrics