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Swift Fox Symposium

Ageing of Swift Foxes Using Tooth Sectioning Techniques

Melissa Richholt, Ludwig N. Carbyn and Elaine Street. Canadian Wildlife Service 4999 - 98 Ave Edmonton, AB T6B 2X3.

Thirty-eight swift fox skulls were used in this study. Of these, nine were of known age. The lower left canine tooth was used whenever possible. The teeth were preserved in neutral 10% formalin, decalcified by first soaking in 5% nitric acid and then buffered in formic acid. The teeth were frozen at -16C and cut into 10-micron longitudinal sections. Staining was done using toluidine blue.

All readings were made with a wet mounted cover slip. To test accuracies, 3 readers were given the same slide. In 87% of the time all 3 readers were in agreement. With known aged teeth, accuracy was achieved 89% of the time.

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