RELATIONSHIP OF MANDIBULAR TOOTH WEAR TO GENDER, AGE AND PERIODONTAL DISEASE OF ISLE ROYALE MOOSE
We reviewed the literature for current age determination techniques, and for differences in foraging habits that may affect tooth wear and periodontal disease. We analyzed the relationship between wear-class and age determined by cementum annuli in over one thousand moose older than one year which died in Isla Royale National Park, MI. In our large sample, we found that age determination by wear-class correlated well with cementum annuli counts, however, variance in age increased as wear-class increased. We compared the distribution of age and wear-class by gender to determine if dimorphism exited in rates of wear on occlusal surfaces. In the higher wear-classes, the mean age of bulls was significantly younger than the mean age of cows, indicating that males experienced greater wear on their teeth at an earlier age. We also found high correlations between age comma periodontal disease, and mandibular tooth wear suggesting that mandibular and periodontal dynamics are important physiological processes that influence longevity in moose.
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