Age estimation of Tiger Panthera tigris (Linnaeus, 1758) and Lion Panthera leo (Linnaeus, 1758) (Mammalia: Carnivora: Felidae): applicability of cementum annuli analysis method

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Chandra Prakash Sharma
Vinita Sharma
Surendra Prakash Goyal
Heather Stevens
Sandeep Kumar Gupta


We describe the applicability of the cementum annuli analysis technique for estimating the age of Tiger Panthera tigris and Asiatic Lion Panthera leo using incisor teeth. We used I2 and I3 incisor teeth from the right mandible of Tiger and I2 and I3 from the left premaxilla of the Lion. The longitudinal sections of the teeth were prepared using an economical hand grinding technique with the help of sandpaper, followed by decalcification and staining with hematoxylin. Two cementum layers were observed under the microscope in each of the I2 and I3 incisor teeth of the Tiger and six cementum layers were observed in each of the I2 and I3 incisor teeth of the Lion. The permanent incisors in Tiger and Lion erupt between 12 and 14 months of age; hence, we added one year to the counted number of cementum layers to estimate the final age of Tiger and Lion incisors. The age of Tiger and Lion incisors were estimated to be of three years and seven years, respectively. This method may be suitable for estimating other carnivores’ age and applicable in wildlife forensic studies.

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