Tooth wear, body mass index and management options for edentulous black flying-foxes (Pteropus alecto Gould) in the Townsville district, north Queensland, Australia

Luly, J., Buettner, P., Parsons, J., Thiriet, D., and Gyuris, Emma (2015) Tooth wear, body mass index and management options for edentulous black flying-foxes (Pteropus alecto Gould) in the Townsville district, north Queensland, Australia. Australian Veterinary Journal, 93 (3). pp. 84-88.

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View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/avj.12296
 
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Abstract

Objective: We investigated the relationship between a body mass index and tooth conditions in the black flying-fox to provide guidance on management of edentulous flying-foxes by bat carers and veterinarians.

Methods: Flying-foxes brought into care through injury were weighed, their forearms measured and the state of their teeth evaluated. Measurements were subjected to Chi-square, ANOVA, t-tests and regressions to tease out any relationship between body mass index and condition of canines and molar teeth, as well as in relation to gender and season.

Results: There is no statistically significant relationship between the state of a bats dentition and its body mass index.

Conclusions: The black flying fox (Pteropus alecto) in Townsville appears to experience a rapid decline in dental condition through time. Despite this, there is little indication that loss of teeth results in a decline in body mass index. We attribute the lack of effect of tooth loss on body condition to the dominance of floral foods in the diet of P. alecto in Townsville and a lesser importance of hard fruit that require an intact dentition for consumption. Edentulousness on its own is not sufficient reason to euthanise black flying foxes in Townsville and similar relatively dry localities where blossom dominates flying fox diet.

Item ID: 34368
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1751-0813
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2015 04:44
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070703 Veterinary Diagnosis and Diagnostics @ 20%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070799 Veterinary Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 20%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060809 Vertebrate Biology @ 60%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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