Research Publication Title

Natural Skeletal Pathologies in a Population of Gray Squirrels

Major

Biology

Faculty Mentor(s)

Alfred J. Mead

Abstract

Within wild mammalian species, there exists a certain amount of injury due to birth related events, nonfatal attacks from predators, and accidents due to everyday lifestyle. For a group of Eastern Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) from Putnam County, Georgia, pathologic bone regrowth was analyzed. The antemortemproliferativephysiologicalprocess that repairs injured bone involves laying down many layers of tissues that lead to a disfigurement (roughness) that may be easily seen. Ninety-one Gray Squirrel skeletons (54 female, 37 male) in the Georgia College Recent Mammal Collection were examined. The position and frequency of skeletal pathologies were recorded and compared to other terrestrial and semi-arboreal mammalian species. By furthering the understanding of the physical aspect of the bone pathologies within extant species like Sciurus carolinensis, we may strengthen our interpretation of bone pathologies that have been described in extinct species.

Start Date

10-4-2015 11:30 AM

End Date

10-4-2015 12:15 PM

Location

HSB 3rd Floor Student Commons

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Apr 10th, 11:30 AM Apr 10th, 12:15 PM

Natural Skeletal Pathologies in a Population of Gray Squirrels

HSB 3rd Floor Student Commons

Within wild mammalian species, there exists a certain amount of injury due to birth related events, nonfatal attacks from predators, and accidents due to everyday lifestyle. For a group of Eastern Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) from Putnam County, Georgia, pathologic bone regrowth was analyzed. The antemortemproliferativephysiologicalprocess that repairs injured bone involves laying down many layers of tissues that lead to a disfigurement (roughness) that may be easily seen. Ninety-one Gray Squirrel skeletons (54 female, 37 male) in the Georgia College Recent Mammal Collection were examined. The position and frequency of skeletal pathologies were recorded and compared to other terrestrial and semi-arboreal mammalian species. By furthering the understanding of the physical aspect of the bone pathologies within extant species like Sciurus carolinensis, we may strengthen our interpretation of bone pathologies that have been described in extinct species.