Determining the age of adult wild dogs (Canis lupus dingo, C. l. domesticus and their hybrids): I. Pulp cavity/tooth width ratios

Kershaw, K. and Allen, L. and Lisle, A. and Withers, K. (2005) Determining the age of adult wild dogs (Canis lupus dingo, C. l. domesticus and their hybrids): I. Pulp cavity/tooth width ratios. Wildlife Research, 32 (6). pp. 581-585. ISSN 1035-3712


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In order to determine the age of adult wild dogs, we compared two methods (that of Thomson and Rose (TR method) and that of Knowlton and Whittemore (KW method)) of measuring and calculating pulp cavity:tooth width ratios on upper and lower canine teeth from 68 mixed-sex, known-age wild dogs of 9 months to 13 years of age reared at two localities. Although significant relationships (P = 0.0001) were found between age and pulp cavity ratios by both methods, the TR ratio calculation and measurement showed heteroscedasity in error variance whereas the KW ratios had a more stable error variance and were normally distributed. The KW method also found significant differences between pulp cavity ratios between teeth of the upper and lower jaws (P < 0.0001) and sex (P = 0.01) but not geographic origin (P = 0.1). Regressions and formulae for fitted curves are presented separately for male and female wild dogs. Males show greater variability in pulp cavity decrements with age than do females, suggesting a physiological difference between the sexes. We conclude that the KW method of using pulp cavity as a proportion of tooth width, measured 15 mm from the root tip and averaged over both upper canines, is the more accurate method of estimating the age of adult wild dogs.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 01:20
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2016 02:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: dingos, age determination, canine teeth
Fields of Research : 06 Biological Sciences > 0608 Zoology > 060899 Zoology not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: doi:1035-3712/05/060581

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