Tooth replacement patterns in young Caiman sclerops

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Although there are many reports of tooth replacement patterns in lower vertebrates, few show the range of pattern to be found in a number of similar aged specimens of one species. Fifteen specimens of Caiman sclerops, head length 4–5 cms, were examined by a radiographic technique and their tooth replacement patterns analysed. Whole head radiography and dissected head radiographs were compared and the resulting tooth replacement waves were found to be comparable. Wave replacement (sensu Edmund, '60) in odd and even tooth positions in the tooth row was observed in all the specimens examined. Whereas most waves passed in a cephalad direction, wave reversal (caudad) was also observed, particularly in the anterior parts of the jaws. In some specimens simple alternation in tooth replacement was observed, particularly in the mid-portion of each quadrant. The smooth, age-related change-over from cephalad to caudad demonstrated by Edmund ('62) in captive Alligator mississippiensis was not observed in wild specimens of Caiman sclerops.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-509
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Morphology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1970


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