Microscopic characterization of teeth of pacas bred in captivity (Agouti paca, Linnaeus, 1766)
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The microscopic description of the teeth of pacas (Agouti paca) bred in captivity was developed for providing biological data on one of the largest American wild rodents, as not many references exist in the literature about this species. Two newborn males, two adult males (9 and 72 months old), one newborn female and two adult females (30 and 54 months old) were used after death due to fights, neonatal cannibalism or unknown causes. Animals were radiographed, and their teeth were extracted and put on an acrylic resin block, cut on a diamond-like disc microtome and diaphanized. It was noted that enamel surrounds the coronary dentine and projects to the root region, besides being present as internal laminae, arranged in a parallel way and in the vestibulolingual direction. The dentine is located between the enamel laminae and surrounds the pulp horns. The cementum is located internal to the enamel laminae. From scanning electronic microscopy, we find that the enamel is the outer element on the vestibular surface, and it is in direct contact with the dentine. on the lingual surface, the cementum and dentine are the outer elements.