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1 June 2013 Age and Gender Affect Epiphyseal Closure in White-tailed Deer
Emily B. Flinn, Bronson K. Strickland, Stephen Demarais, David Christiansen
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Abstract

Timing of epiphyseal closure determines length of long bones and thus body size, but factors affecting epiphyseal closure in Odocoileus virginianus (White-tailed Deer) have not been conclusively quantified. We collected morphometric data and radiographic images of the distal humerus, proximal radius, distal radius, and metacarpus on approximately 0.5-, 1.5-, 2.5-, and 3.5-year-old optimally nourished captive deer. Age affected closure of distal radial and metacarpal epiphyseal plates (P < 0.001), with all individuals exhibiting epiphyseal closure by 3.5 years of age. Gender affected closure of the distal radial epiphyseal plates (P = 0.036), with females closing prior to males. Differential bone growth rate prior to epiphyseal closure may be one mechanism by which individual and cohort phenotypic effects are manifested in cervids.

Emily B. Flinn, Bronson K. Strickland, Stephen Demarais, and David Christiansen "Age and Gender Affect Epiphyseal Closure in White-tailed Deer," Southeastern Naturalist 12(2), 297-306, (1 June 2013). https://doi.org/10.1656/058.012.0205
Published: 1 June 2013
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