Fat In The Mandibular Cavity as an Indicator of Condition in Deer

Fat from the marrow tissue of the femuf (FMl) of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) was found to be a poor standard with which to verify that the fat in the tissue of the mandibular cavity (Men was an indicator of condition. Fat from the tissue of the mandibular cavity (MCT) was found to separate into more distinguishable condition classes than was fat from the femur marrow tissue (FMT). MCT fat appeared to be utilized prior to the utilization of FMT fat. Percent MCT fat was found to vary between the right and left mandibles of the same animal. Animals 2.5 years or older had much less variation between the MCT fat levels of the right and left mandible than did animals 1,5 years or less. Fat from the tissue of the mandibular cavity was shown to be a fat reserve and it is therefore postulated that this reserve can be used as an indicator of condition, provided MeT fat's position in the fat utilization and replacement order is known, and provided that MCT fat is not completely utilized or replaced by an animal.

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