Cementum layers and tooth wear as criteria for ageing Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus)


*Department of Genetics, University of Edinburgh, West Mains Road, Edinburgh, Scotland.


This study was based on a collection of 110 Roe deer jaws from Thetford Chase, Norfolk. The cementum of these deer contained broad white cellular bands rich in cementocytes, separated by thin dark layers of acellular material. These bands were clearly defined, of even thickness and appeared to be laid down each summer and autumn. Examination of nine known-age jaws suggested that the number of white bands in the cementum gave an accurate indication of an animal's age.

Tooth wear appeared to be a less reliable ageing technique owing to the variable attrition encountered between animals of the same age class.