DIRECTIONAL ASYMMETRY IN MOOSE
The structural asymmetry of 1,772 European moose (Alces alces alces) and 5 of Shiras moose (Alces alces shirasi) skulls was studied by checking the deviation of rostral bones from the midline of the skull roof. A significant directional asymmetry was found. The lingual cusp height of corresponding teeth on the left and right cheek tooth rows different significantly in the skulls with different rostral orientation. The antlers of the 689 best Finnish trophies on record and antlers of all the bulls (n = 239) shot in the Kuhmo Game Management Unit of Finland during the 1995 hunting season (ages 1.5-14.5 years) were tested for left/right differences. No significant differences were found. The fluctuating asymmetry of left/right differences decreased from young to old age classes in antler base circumference, palm/beam length, and tine number. Tine length and circumference did not show significant changes. Obstacle avoidance and feeding laterality was studied along 433.27 km of moose tracks in winter by counting all the trees and bushes on the right and left side of the tracks within reach of the animal. A selection of forest road lane was studied with 769 observed sections of moose tracks in summer. Functional right side preference was observed in both cases.
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