Age determination of Reindeer introduced into South Georgia

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Abstract

The ages of South Georgia Reindeer collected from the introduced herds, and of carcasses from natural deaths were determined using patterns of tooth replacement and eruption, and annulations in the cementum of incisor teeth. Replacement and eruption patterns are typical of the species. The difficulties encountered with the patterns of cementum deposition on the incisors, and consequently with the assignment of age to animals with established permanent dentition, are described in detail. The overall result is the underageing of a proportion of the specimens, and the problems demonstrated are ascribed to the influence of the alien environment and oceanic climate in which the animals live.

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