The Functional tooth wear inclinations in great ape molars

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Primate dietary diversity is reflected in their dental morphology, with differences in size and shape of teeth. In particular, the tooth wear angle can provide insight into a species’ ability to breakdown certain foods. To examine dietary and masticatory information, digitized polygon models of dental casts provide a basis for quantitative analysis of wear associated with tooth attrition.
In this study we analyze and compare the wear patterns of Pongo pygmaeus (N = 10), Gorilla gorilla gorilla (N = 10) and Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii (N = 10) lower second molars, focusing on the degree of inclination of specific wear facets. The variation in wear angles appears to be indicative of jaw movements and the specific stresses imposed on food during mastication, reflecting thus the ecology of these species. Orangutans exhibit flatter wear angles, more typical of a diet consisting of hard and brittle foods, while gorillas show a wear pattern with a high degree of inclination, reflecting thus, their more leafy diet. Chimpanzees, on the other hand, show intermediate inclinations, a pattern that could be related to their highly variable diet. This method is demonstrated to be a powerful tool for better understanding the relationship between food, mastication and tooth wear processes in living primates, and can be potentially used to reconstruct the diet of fossil species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages108
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventInternational Symposium on Dental Morphology (ISDM) & 2nd congress of International Association for Paleodontology (IAPO) - Bordeaux, France
Duration: 4 Oct 20177 Oct 2017
Conference number: 17th
https://isdm-iapo-2017.sciencesconf.org/

Conference

ConferenceInternational Symposium on Dental Morphology (ISDM) & 2nd congress of International Association for Paleodontology (IAPO)
Abbreviated titleISDM-IAPO-2017
CountryFrance
CityBordeaux
Period4/10/177/10/17
Internet address

Keywords

  • tooth macrowear, ecology, diet, mastication, living primates

Cite this

Fiorenza, L. (2017). The Functional tooth wear inclinations in great ape molars. 108. Abstract from International Symposium on Dental Morphology (ISDM) & 2nd congress of International Association for Paleodontology (IAPO), Bordeaux, France.