I have a multivariate dataset of linear measurements. Where I measured several characters (e.g. skull length, skull width, skull height, ...) for several different species. My questions is, if the variation in one species is higher than in the others. How can I claculate that in R? Since a MANOVA claculates the differences of the means, I think that this is not the right approach and with an ANOVA I can see, if cariation between the different groups for each character is significant, but not which is higher and also not for the whole dataset together.
To avoid the heteroscedasticity problem (unequal variances), you could transform your data into ranks and then copy to a "rank" dataset, and rerun MANOVA. A problem, however, with ranks is that they are rectangularly-distributed, thus, you could transform your original values into van Der Waerden scores -- then rerun. van Der Waerden scores are used a lot in genetics.