Acta Theriologica

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 41–48 | Cite as

Dental anomalies in the Japanese mole Mogera wogura from northeast China and the Primorsky region of Russia

  • Masakazu Asahara
  • Alexey Kryukov
  • Masaharu Motokawa
Original Paper


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.


Mogera wogura Talpini Teeth Oligodonty Polidonty Marginal population 



We thank V. Lebedev (MU) and T. Hiraoka (YIO) for allowing us to study specimens under their care. A part of this study was conducted during AK’s visiting professorship to the Kyoto University Museum. MA is a recipient of a scholarship from the Mishima Kaiun Memorial Foundation. This study was supported, in part, by a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (no. 21370033), JSPS AA Science Platform Program, and the Global COE Program A06 (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Japan) to Kyoto University.


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Copyright information

© Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Białowieża, Poland 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masakazu Asahara
    • 1
  • Alexey Kryukov
    • 2
  • Masaharu Motokawa
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Graduate School of ScienceKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Biology and Soil ScienceRussian Academy of SciencesVladivostokRussia
  3. 3.Kyoto University Museum, Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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