16, 17 and 18 Few previous
studies mention the occurrence of dental wear in odontocete cetaceans,19, PR-171 supplier 20 and 21 and in those studies inferences of causes and patterns were limited and simplistic. Detailed studies on the relationship of wear facets, diet and functional morphology were pursued for early ancestors of cetaceans,22 but there are few investigations focused in understanding trends and implications of tooth wear in modern dolphins. Caldwell and Brown23 described patterns of dental wear in the killer whale (Orcinus orca) and related its occurrence with masticatory movements and feeding behaviour. On the other hand, Ramos et al. 24 related dental morphology and tooth wear to parameters such as sex, age and body length in the Franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei) and Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis). More recently, Foote et al. 25 observed distinct dental wear rates in different haplotypes of killer whales from the North Atlantic, suggesting that genetic and ecological divergence of
populations may be reflected in dietary specializations and dental wear. The same idea was corroborated by Ford et al., 26 relating the extreme wear of offshore killer whales with a diet based on sharks, prey that can be extremely abrasive on teeth. This paper aims to evaluate the occurrence, location and intensity of macroscopic dental wear facets in dolphins (family Delphinidae) from the southern coast of Brazil, comparing and contrasting patterns of wear with Cobimetinib datasheet sex and body length of the specimens. Potential causes and implications of dental GSK J4 cell line wear to fitness of animals were also investigated. Teeth of 350 specimens representing 10 species of dolphins were analysed (Table 1). Specimens were accessed in five scientific collections from southern Brazil: Instituto de Pesquisas Cananéia (acronym IPeC); Museu de Ciências Naturais UFPR (MCN); Departamento de Ecologia e Zoologia UFSC (UFSC); Fundação Oceanográfica
de Rio Grande (FURG) and Grupo de Estudos de Mamíferos Aquáticos do Rio Grande do Sul (GEMARS). Osteological material deposited in these collections came from stranded or accidentally entangled animals, normally processed by water maceration or buried in sand. Teeth were visually inspected under a stereoscopic microscope in order to highlight the wear facets. According to Thewissen et al.22 and Butler,27 these facets are seen as smooth and flat surfaces evidenced by light reflection. Wear facets were categorized according to their location, anatomical extent and intensity, using dental anatomical terminology.28 a) Location: Apical, lateral or apical/lateral wear facets combined ( Fig. 1a). Fig. 1. (a) Simultaneous apical and lateral wear facets in the false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens, UFSC 1048) and (b) severe dental wear extending to the root level in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus, UFSC 1011). Worn teeth were evaluated and placed in each category (location, anatomical extent and intensity).