Using canine teeth for sex determination of the South American fur seal, <i>Arctocephalus australis</i>


  • D. Molina-Schiller
  • M. C. Pinedo



Upper and lower canine teeth of 221 Arctocephalus australis (104 males, 66 females and 51 unknown sex) were extracted from dead animals stranded on the Rio Grande do Sul coast from 1977 to 1997. These teeth were measured and used as a tool in sex estimation. Measurements of the angle of the crown on canine teeth (method 1) and measurements of the crown and root on canines (method 2) were compared with the purpose of evaluating which method is more reliable in sex estimation. Stepwise discriminant analysis showed that method 2 was the most reliable. Discriminant functions for upper and lower canines were obtained for males and females where sex was known. Discriminant functions were also obtained for all canines according to the physical maturity of skull (physically immature and physically mature).