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Thread: Ageing a Red Fox

  1. #1

    Ageing a Red Fox

    Gents, does anyone have any solid evidence/literature on accurately calculating the age of our old mate Charlie in the FIELD?

    I've shot quite a few and to be honest had a good guesstimate but being a little OCD I'm interested in being a little more scientific and accurate.

    Ive done the Google thing and found loads if you can x-ray their teeth but nothing a bloke in a muddy field with a head torch can do!

    This is purely me being a little odd but we've had a few Charlie's bagged around some of the permissions I shoot that I (and several farmers) think are Urban's that have been released by some 'kindly' organisation and I'd like to investigate a bit.

    All the best!


  2. #2
    not a clue on ageing exept usual worn teeth sometimes a bit

    rough looking like an old dog,but the ones we suspected where being dropped off! all act stranger than the norm and so get picked off easy,

  3. #3
    If you extract one of the canines you can easily polish it lengthways on a sheet of emery. That will reveal the dental layers which you can then count just like you'd do with tree rings.

  4. #4
    Have a word with PaddySP on here.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  5. #5
    .... it's age is encoded on its driving licence.

  6. #6
    I'm afraid I can't help on it's age.......but I know it's not going to get any older.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not using it in a fruit salad.

    Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they never get it wrong.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by finnbear270 View Post
    Have a word with PaddySP on here.
    Is he a dentist as well? ... ��

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by sparko View Post
    Is he a dentist as well? ... ��
    Depends on whether the person concerned is polite or not.

  10. #10
    In the first couple of years of life the upper canines have some rough serrations which wear off by the time they are about three. After that it is possible to age them by the cementum rings within the tooth but it isn't quite as easy as ring counting on a tree! I believe the technical way is to examine a cut section under a microscope after staining the sample with dye.
    As not too many foxes make old bones it all seems a bit academic. The overall condition will give a clue, probably easiest to break it down to this years cub, a couple of years old, getting on a bit and old and in most, if not all cases, dead.

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