The interaction between canids and humans is not free of conflicts. In Europe, wolf and dog attacks on domestic animals cause social and financial damages. Governments spend significant sums in compensation payments. Some of the allegations of wolf attacks on livestock may be false or difficult to prove. The insufficient expertise and unreliable methods used during the investigations often make it difficult to achieve a successful perpetrator identification, which leads to the stigmatization of this species and wrongly paid compensations. Despite notable advances in bite mark analysis, most studies were carried out comparing bite marks from wolves and/or dogs and taxa belonging to other families. Comparative studies of wolf and dog bite marks and tooth marks to identify a potential aggressor agent are very limited. These studies are commonly used in archaeological, paleontological and taphonomic contexts, but not in forensics. In our study, 12,120 records were reviewed and only 16 of them fulfilled the search criteria set by the authors. Only one article carried out, exclusively, a comparison of wolf and dog bite mark patterns. The aim of the present work is to review and evaluate the studies on the identification of tooth marks on bone remains caused by two subspecies belonging to the same genus, wolves and domestic dogs. Currently, in a forensic context, there is inconclusive evidence to distinguish with certainty whether death was caused by wolves or domestic dogs using the forensic analysis of tooth/bite mark patterns from both canids (beyond any reasonable doubt). New and complementary forensic tools must be developed to differentiate between these two subspecies with a higher degree of certainty. Forensic veterinary odontology could play an important role in fulfilling this goal.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
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