Age criteria, based on 61 skulls and eye lenses from 103 known-age captives, are described for separating raccoons (Procyon lotor) into eight age-classes as follows: young-of-the-year, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6-7, > 7 years. Criteria studied were eye lens nitrogen, cranial suture closure, tooth wear and incisor cementum layers. Lens nitrogen increased rapidly up to 12 months of age, but at much reduced rate thereafter. Total lens nitrogen was useful only in separating young-of-the-year from adults. The closure sequence for five cranial sutures accurately divided the total known-age sample of males into seven groups, and the adults into five groups. The tooth wear criteria divided the known-age sample into five relative age groups, but aging of individuals by this method was inaccurate. Histological sectioning of known-age teeth was the best method of observing layering in the cementum tissue. The technique of basing estimation of age on cementum ring counts, although subjective, was accurate for aging individuals through their fourth year but tended to underestimate the age of animals over 4 years old. However, suture closure or tooth wear can be used to identify males over 4 years old. In field studies, technical difficulties limit the utility of age estimation by cementum layers. Maximum root thickness of the lower canine was accurate in determining the sex of individuals from 5 months to ,at least 48 months of age.
|Title||Age determination of raccoons|
|Authors||G.A. Grau, G.C. Sanderson, J.P. Rogers|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Journal of Wildlife Management|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Patuxent Wildlife Research Center|