Master's Theses

Date of Award

Spring 1965

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

Advisor

Dr. Eugene Flaherty

Abstract

A total of 126 mink carcasses was collected in northwestern Kansas during two successive trapping seasons. The eyes of each animal were immediately preserved in 10 percent formalin and the carcasses cooked and cleaned for preservation as partial skeletons. The dry-lens-weight aging method was attempted and selected weights and measurements were taken on the skeletal material. The dry-lens-weight method indicated continuous lens growth. However, deterioration of the lenses and overlap between the age groups rendered the method unsuccessful. The specimens were then placed into two age classes utilizing a combination of age indicators for females and baculum morphology for males. Other aging methods mentioned in recent literature were investigated with varying degrees of success. Four sex-age groups “juvenile females, adult females, juvenile males, and adult males “are used throughout the study. Comparisons were made between the four sex-age groups. It was found that size overlap exists between the sexes, that juvenile mink of both sexes are statistically smaller than adults, and that mink bones tend to gain weight after elongation has ceased. Sex and age rations of the research sample were noted and compared to ration of other researchers. On this basis it appears that age composition and population density are not stable from year to year. Fluctuations may be related to summer weather conditions affecting reproductive success.

Rights

Copyright 1965 Elmer C. Birney

Comments

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).

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