Pinnipeds generally swallow prey whole, and most have simple, homodont, nonoccluding cheek teeth. We investigated whether cheek teeth in seals are more variable and weakly integrated than in terrestrial Carnivora. We measured mandibular length and crown length of mandibular postcanines (PCs) in ringed seals (Pusa hispida; n = 912) from the Canadian Arctic, and harp seals (Pagophilus groenlandicus; n = 636) from Newfoundland and Labrador. PC size was uncorrelated or only weakly correlated with adult mandibular length. PC length and mandibular length were strongly bilaterally symmetrical (r ≥ 0.8 between left and right sides). PC size was moderately variable (coefficients of variation [CVs] ∼ 7–10%), and CV varied with position in the toothrow. Adjacent PCs were correlated more strongly in size (to r > 0.8) than PCs more distant from one another. In summary, PC size in ringed and harp seals was slightly more variable than cheek teeth in complex dentitions of fissipeds, and the 2 seals were similar to fissipeds in strong bilateral symmetry in mandibular and PC size, patterned variation along the toothrow, and correlated size between adjacent PCs.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.