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From the forests to teeth: visual crossdating to refine age estimates in marine mammals

Hamilton, VS ORCID: 0000-0002-4397-6711, Evans, K and Hindell, M ORCID: 0000-0002-7823-7185 2017 , 'From the forests to teeth: visual crossdating to refine age estimates in marine mammals' , Marine Mammal Science, vol. 33, no. 3 , pp. 880-888 , doi: 10.1111/mms.12392.

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Estimation of the age of individuals is a fundamental parameter for understanding the biology of individuals and ecology of populations. Incremental growth deposits in tooth dentine or cementum, known as growth layer groups (GLGs), have been used to estimate the age of toothed marine mammals (odontocetes, pinnipeds) since the 1950s (Scheffer and Myrick 1980). In most species, it is assumed that GLGs are deposited annually (Hohn 2009). Validation of this assumption has only been possible in a small number of marine mammal species (e.g., Bowen et al. 1983, Myrick et al. 1984, Hohn et al. 1989, Lockyer 1993, Oosthuizen 1997), due to impracticalities in obtaining validated ages (Evans et al. 2002, Hohn 2009). For species in which validation of age is not possible, absolute age or the accuracy of age estimates cannot be confirmed (Campana 2001). Further, the precision of estimates (i.e., the closeness of repeat counts from an individual tooth) may not necessarily reflect the best estimate of age and, at present, an objective method to assist with identification of GLGs for age estimation purposes has not been established (Evans et al. 2002, Campana and Stewart 2014).

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hamilton, VS and Evans, K and Hindell, M
Keywords: growth layer group (GLG), accessory layer, sperm whale, crossdating
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Mammal Science
Publisher: Soc Marine Mammalogy
ISSN: 0824-0469
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/mms.12392
Copyright Information:

© 2017 Society for Marine Mammalogy

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