Wondering if someone would know where to send jaw with teeth for aging purposes?
Return to Deer Taxidermy Category Menu
Here is a post to a website that might be able to help you estimate age without sending it off some where. They discuss jaw aging towards the end of the article...
Tooth wear estimates are far from accurate, but its a ballpark start. Theres a company out west that does tooth layer aging which is as close to exact as we know. Ill try to find the info and post it. Incidently, tooth wear aging originated right here in NY state with Bill Severinghaus of the DEC many moons ago.
Has color photos of jawbones and ages and what to look for. Your local Natural Resources personal can help, at least here in Wisconsin they will. Also, just last year an issue of Quality Whitetails the QDMA magazine, had an article that was quite thorough on aging. But, like Bill said, beyond age 2.5 its an educated guess based on tooth wear, unless you cross section the tooth. I was told but never tried, to cut a slice of the tooth with a ban saw as narrow as possible, and then sand this down to get it as thin as possible, using a fine sand paper, and then by examining the thinned slice you can count the rings. You may want to embed the tooth in resin or some similar substance befor cutting it to prevent chipping. Any experts out there, Raven, Glen?
Fish have annual rings to count on their scales, and a x section of their fin rays can also be taken and the rings counted. Also the have bones in the head called otoliths,(oto=ear, lith=stone)or earstones that can be broken and the layers can be counted. I believe I read something about freshwater drum making sound with their enlarged ear stones? Also bear teeth are commonly pulled here for aging much the same way, and the local DNR verifies its aging data of deer with tooth samples that are x sectioned each year.
We spent some time on this in my classes in high school, and one of the funniest answers I got to a quiz was this:
1. List three ways fish can be aged?
High school student Answer: "Count the annual rings on the scales, use a fin ray cross section or crack open the gonads which are located behind the brain, and count the rings."
My comment: Ouch! what kind of rings, rings of pain?
Later I found out from another student that the boy she studied with had put her up to the gonad anser, since she couldn't remember otoliths.
What you meant was the otoliths. These are the boney parts of the ear drum in a fish...not the gonads...and then, as you said, you cross-section them and check the annuli (growth rings) under a microscope.