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Annular bone growth in phalanges of five Neotropical Harlequin Frogs (Anura: Bufonidae: Atelopus)

Keywords: age estimation , demographic constituency , lines of arrested growth , skeletochronology

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Abstract:

Skeletochronological studies were conducted on museum specimensrepresenting five species of the highly threatened Neotropical genus Atelopus (Bufonidae). We detected annular bone growth (expressed as lines of arrested growth [LAGs]) patterns in each species, and this might provide insight to understand demographic constituency infuture studies. In four of the five species under consideration, LAG counts in fore and hind limb bone occurred in a 1:1 ratio, indicating that bone growth was consistent within each individual. The use of skeletochronology in understanding historic and existing populations of Atelopus might assist in situ and ex situ population managers in making informed strategic conservation plans.

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