Dental data: What teeth can tell us about how Montana mammals age |

Carolyn Nistler demonstrates with a digital microscope how to identify and count growth rings in a tooth at Matson’s Laboratory in Manhattan recently.

When we talk about wildlife data, age is one of the first things biologists look to for understanding the health of animal populations and how management actions may impact trends. Age is also often the subject of debate among hunters, who look at things like body size, antler growth or teeth wear to estimate how many winters a harvested animal has been on the mountain.

This week, we’re going to do things a little differently and talk about a story Tom Kuglin worked on back in the spring. In March we went down to Manhattan and spent some time at Matson’s Laboratory. Not only did we learn some new science, but with hunting season around the corner those heading to the field might be interested in what the lab has to offer.

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Montana's Matson's Laboratory on forefront of wildlife dental data


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