Data on primate dental health primarily come from anthropoids (e.g., Lovell, 1990; Schultz, 1935; Smith et al., 1977), and only recently have data been published for lemurs. Lemur dental health (e.g., wear, pathology, and antemortem tooth loss) reflects many variables, including age, diet, habitat, life history, and even human impact (e.g., Cuozzo and Sauther, 2004a, 2006, in press; Sauther et al., 2006). L. catta at Beza Mahafaly often display excessive damage to the toothcomb, with a number of individuals having toothcombs worn more than 50% (Figure 5) (Cuozzo and Sauther, 2006; Cuozzo et al., unpublished data; Sauther et al., 2002).
In addition, the teeth of ring-tailed lemur toothcombs are often broken, chipped, and even missing (Cuozzo and Sauther, 2004a, in press; Sauther et al., 2002), with the majority of dental damage in L. catta occurring in the anterior teeth (e.g., Cuozzo & Sauther, 2006; Cuozzo et al., 2004; Sauther et al., 2002). It is likely that the excessive damage seen in ring-tailed lemur anterior teeth results from the use of the toothcomb in both feeding and grooming (e.g., Sauther et al., 2002; Yamashita, 2003). The frequency of severe wear and antemortem loss of the maxillary incisors in ring-tailed lemurs is also a result of the dual function of anterior tooth use (e.g., Cuozzo and Sauther, 2006, in press). It is important to note that individuals can and do survive for a number of years with anterior tooth
damage, and even missing teeth in the toothcomb (e.g., Cuozzo and Sauther, 2004a, in press; Sauther et al., 2002). Also among ring-tailed lemurs, abscessed maxillary canines, which present as open wounds on the muzzle in living individuals, are a regular occurrence at Beza Mahafaly (Cuozzo et al., 2004; Sauther et al., 2006). Their presence corresponds to areas of human impact, and may reflect an increased consumption of nonnative foods in these areas (Cuozzo et al., 2004; Sauther et al., 2006). Decayed and possibly abscessed canines have also been noted among ring-tailed lemurs at Berenty Reserve in southeastern Madagascar (Crawford, personal communication; see Cuozzo and Sauther, in press), an area also impacted by human activity.
Was this article helpful?
All Natural Immune Boosters Proven To Fight Infection, Disease And More. Discover A Natural, Safe Effective Way To Boost Your Immune System Using Ingredients From Your Kitchen Cupboard. The only common sense, no holds barred guide to hit the market today no gimmicks, no pills, just old fashioned common sense remedies to cure colds, influenza, viral infections and more.