Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira
Print version ISSN 0100-736X
PIERI, Naira C.G et al. Teeth morphofunctional classification of coati, Nasua nasua. Pesq. Vet. Bras. [online]. 2011, vol.31, n.5, pp. 447-451. ISSN 0100-736X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-736X2011000500013.
Nasua nasua, also known as coati, is an omnivorous mammal with wide distribution in South America and found all over Brazil. The evolution adapted the teeth of the multiple mammals for most different diets. Through these variations it is possible to classify the vertebrates´ teeth of vertebrates in classes, genera and families. The objective of this paper is to describe and classify morphologically the teeth of Nasua nasua, comparing them with the teeth of Canis familiaris described in the literature. Five adult male and female Nasua nasua were studied. Photographs of the oral cavity of two macerated skulls were taken for documentation of teeth position. From other three animals, teeth were processed for decalcification and embedded in paraffin for histology. It was possible to reveal macroscopically male and female differences in N. nasua, due to a sexual dimorphism. Female have smaller round canine teeth, and male canine teeth are larger than the female ones. The animals presented the dental formula 2x (I3/3, C1/1, P4/4, M2/2) (I=incisive, C=canine, P=premolar, M=molar), with a total of 40 teeth. Microscopically, the teeth were classified as brachyodont with enamel in the most external region, covering the dentine. This type of teeth does not erupt constantly as the hypsodonts, because the enamel stays intact until the time of eruption. Teeth were also classified as anelodont, with a limited period of growth characteristics.
Keywords : Dental formula; Nasua nasua; teeth; morphology; Procyonidae.