Age determination and growth in the hyrax Procavia capensis (Mammalia: Procaviidae)

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Abstract

The use of eye lens weight, tooth eruption and tooth attrition has been investigated as a method for age determination in the hyrax. Illustrations are presented on the stages of eruption to reduce subjectivity of eruption criteria and to aid age determination. All teeth are fully erupted and in wear by five years of age, from which point age determination can be based on attrition of M3. Growth with age is described by means of the von Bertalanffy equation. Asymptotic weight is reached by 60 months, asymptotic body length and body girth by 40 months, and hindfoot length by 35 months. The asymptotes and the coefficient of catabolism (K) are compared with values obtained in other studies.

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