Dental anomalies in the Japanese mole Mogera wogura from northeast China and the Primorsky region of Russia
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Asahara, M., Kryukov, A. & Motokawa, M. Acta Theriol (2012) 57: 41. doi:10.1007/s13364-011-0050-0
- 75 Views
Dental anomalies in the Japanese mole, Mogera wogura Temminck, 1842, from northeast China and the Primorsky region of Russia were examined based on 241 specimens. The most frequent dental anomaly was oligodonty, i.e., missing P2 (18 cases) or P3 (one case). Supernumerary teeth were observed in three cases, two of which were characterized by abnormal shapes. Morphological abnormalities in teeth (six cases) and an asymmetrically curved rostrum (one case) were also observed. Dental anomalies were found at higher frequencies in populations near the northern range limit of the species. This was not caused by size effects. We suggest that the high incidence of dental anomalies was the result of genetic drift, which increases in marginal populations. Considering the nature of subterranean mammals, our results suggest that the high frequency of dental anomalies in a marginal population could have initiated the evolution of dental formulae if parapatric or peripatric speciation occurs in such populations.