Occlusal relief changes with molar wear inPan troglodytes troglodytes andGorilla gorilla gorilla
ABSTRACT Most research on primate tooth form-function relationships has focused on unworn teeth. This study presents a morphological comparison of variably worn lower second molars (M(2)s) of lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla; n=47) and common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes; n=54) using dental topographic analysis. High-resolution replicas of occlusal surfaces were prepared and scanned in 3D by laser scanning. The resulting elevation data were used to create a geographic information system (GIS) for each tooth. Occlusal relief, defined as the ratio of 3D surface area to 2D planometric area of the occlusal table, was calculated and compared between wear stages, taxa, and sexes. The results failed to show a difference in occlusal relief between males and females of a given taxon, but did evince differences between wear stages and between taxa. A lack of significant interaction between wear stage and taxon factors suggests that differences in occlusal relief between chimpanzees and gorillas are maintained throughout the wear sequence. These results add to a growing body of information on how molar teeth change with wear, and how differences between primate species are maintained at comparable points throughout the wear sequence. Such studies provide new insights into form-function relationships, which will allow us to infer certain aspects of diet in fossils with worn teeth.
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ABSTRACT: Cranial and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) form has been shown to reflect masticatory forces and mandibular range of motion, which vary in relation to feeding strategy. Similarly, the dentition, as the portion of the masticatory apparatus most directly involved in triturating food items, strongly reflects dietary profile. Fine control over condylar and mandibular movements guides the teeth into occlusion, while the topography and position of the dental arcade mediate mandibular movements. We hypothesize that masticatory, and particularly TMJ, morphology and dental form covary in predictable ways with one another and with diet. We employed three-dimensional geometric morphometric techniques to examine inter-specific variation in ten platyrrhine species. Landmarks were collected on six datasets describing the upper and lower molars, cranium, glenoid fossa, mandible, and mandibular condyle; two-block partial least squares analyses were performed to assess covariation between cranial morphology, dentition, and diet. Significant relationships were identified between the molars and the cranium, mandible, and glenoid fossa. Some of these shape complexes reflect feeding strategy; for example, higher crowned/cusped dentitions, as found in primates consuming larger quantities of structural carbohydrates (e.g., Alouatta and Saimiri), correspond to anteroposterior longer and deeper glenoid fossae. These results indicate strong covariance between dental and TMJ form, aspects of which are related to feeding behavior. However, other aspects of morphological variation display a strong phylogenetic signal; we must therefore examine further ways in which to control for phylogeny when examining covariation in interspecific masticatory form. Anat Rec, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.The Anatomical Record Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology 01/2015; 298(1). DOI:10.1002/ar.23062 · 1.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Pitheciines (Pithecia, Chiropotes, and Cacajao) are a specialized clade of Neotropical seed predators that exhibit postcanine teeth with low and rounded cusps and highly crenulated occlusal surface enamel. Data on feeding ecology show that Pithecia consumes proportionally more leaves than other pitheciine species, and comparative studies demonstrate its greater molar relief and relative shearing potential. However, data on pitheciine food mechanics show that Pithecia masticates seeds with greater crushing resistance than those preferred by Chiropotes. This variation predicts an opposing morphology characterized by low and more rounded occlusal surfaces in Pithecia. We build on previous research using new methods for molar surface shape quantification by examining pitheciine second molar shearing crest length, occlusal relief, surface complexity, and surface curvature relative to nonseed specializing platyrrhines and within the context of the observed interspecific variation in pitheciine feeding ecology. Consistent with the previous analyses, our findings demonstrate that pitheciine molars exhibit low shearing, relief, and curvature compared with nonseed predators, independent of phylogeny. Pitheciines also exhibit highly "complex" occlusal topography that promotes the efficient breakdown of tough seed tissues. Overall, Pithecia, Chiropotes, and Cacajao share a similar topographic pattern, suggesting adaptation to foods with similar structural and/or mechanical properties. However, Cacajao differs in surface complexity, which reflects some variation in its feeding ecology. Contrary to the predictions, Pithecia and Chiropotes do not differ in any of the topographic variables examined. The range of demands imposed on the postcanine teeth of Pithecia might therefore select for an average topography, one that converges on that of Chiropotes. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.American Journal of Physical Anthropology 01/2013; 150(1). DOI:10.1002/ajpa.22181 · 2.51 Impact Factor