Fluctuating asymmetry in fetuses of diabetic rhesus macaques

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Abstract

This study examines dental fluctuating asymmetry (FA) in two samples of fetal rhesus monkeys, one composed of 19 fetuses from diabetic mothers (FDM) and the other of 20 fetuses from nondiabetic mothers. Seventeen measurements were taken on the deciduous dentition of right and left mandibles. The degree of FA was assessed by comparing FDM to fetuses of normal mothers by (a) correlation between right and left sides, and (b) analysis of variation differences between right and left sides. Significant FA was found for three traits based on the correlation between right and left sides and for seven traits by the between-treatment ratio of variance between sides. Distal teeth, both within and outside of a morphologic field, exhibit significantly greater FA than mesial teeth. Our results support the hypothesis that developmental instability is detectable by dental FA.

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