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A Method for Dating Tetracycline Biomarkers in Black Bear Cementum

Gary M. Matson and Ken D. Kerr
Ursus
Vol. 10, A Selection of Papers from the Tenth International Conference on Bear Research and Management, Fairbanks, Alaska, July 1995, and Mora, Sweden, September 1995 (1998), pp. 455-458
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3873157
Page Count: 4
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A Method for Dating Tetracycline Biomarkers in Black Bear Cementum
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Abstract

Dating of the tetracycline biomarker in a tooth section of a black bear (Ursus americanus) can be accomplished by noting its position relative to that of the cementum annuli which indicate age. However, annuli and biomarkers are best demonstrated by different laboratory techniques. The technique used for the biomarker, calcified sections examined using epi-fluorescence microscopy, does not clearly demonstrate annuli. Conversely, the histological staining technique that is best for viewing annuli must be preceded by decalcification, which destroys the tetracycline biomarker. We combined the methods by first using epi-fluorescent photomicrography to record the biomarker's position in a calcified section. Next, the section was decalcified and stained to demonstrate cementum annuli and photographed using bright-field illumination. The resulting 2 photographs were compared to date the biomarker to the nearest year by determining its exact position relative to annuli.

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