Numerical variations in the dentition of some pinnipeds


  • To the memory of late Dr. Tsunetaro Fujita, Emeritus Professor of University of Tokyo.

  • This paper was read at the 27th Anatomical Meeting of Kanto-district, October, 1963, Tokyo and at the 5th General Meeting of Oral Biologist, October, 1963, Osaka.


The numerical variations observed in the dentition of the northern sea lions, fur seals and seals are summarized as follows: (1) There is a reappearance of the right maxillary second molar in the northern sea lion dentition and of the first deciduous premolar in the fur seal dentition, which may be interpreted as examples of evolutionary recession towards the full mammalian dentition. (2) There is a complete tooth reduction of the molars in the sea lion dentition. (3) There is the presence of a “Dentes geminati” of the second premolar and the supernumerary tooth in the right upper jaw and of the supernumerary tooth between the second and third premolars in the left upper jaw of an adult fur seal, which may be associated with the division of the second premolar tooth germ. (4) There is an appearance of a pair of supernumerary teeth lying lingually to the root of lower permanent central (second) incisors, being of interest in suggesting that they are either the appearance of the successors of the recent central incisors or the reappearance of the permanent first incisors, in the fur seal dentition. (5) There is a tooth reduction in the permanent dental formula from equation image in the seal, which was associated with a “Dentes confusi” in the same category of the dentition.