Occlusal relief changes with molar wear in Pan troglodytes troglodytes and Gorilla 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: Mammalian molars have undergone heavy scrutiny to determine correlates between morphology and diet. Here, the relationship between one aspect of occlusal morphology, tooth cusp radius of curvature (RoC), and two broad dietary categories, folivory and frugivory, is analyzed in apes. The author hypothesizes that there is a relationship between tooth cusp RoC and diet, and that folivores have sharper teeth than frugivores, and further test the correlation between tooth cusp RoC and tooth cusp size. Eight measures of tooth cusp RoC (two RoCs per cusp) were taken from 53 M(2) s from four species and subspecies of frugivorous apes (Pongo pygmaeus, Pan troglodytes troglodytes, Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii, and Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and two subspecies of folivorous apes (Gorilla beringei beringei, and Gorilla beringei graueri). Phylogenetically corrected ANOVAs were run on the full dataset and several subsets of the full dataset, revealing that, when buccolingual RoCs are taken into account, tooth cusp RoCs can successfully differentiate folivores and frugivores. PCAs revealed that folivores consistently had duller teeth than frugivores. In addition, a weak, statistically significant positive correlation exists between tooth cusp size and tooth cusp RoC. The author hypothesizes differences in tooth cusp RoC are correlated with wear rates, where, per vertical unit of wear, duller cusps will have a longer length of exposed enamel ridge than sharper cusps. More data need to be gathered to determine if the correlation between tooth cusp RoC and tooth cusp size holds true when small primates are considered. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.American Journal of Physical Anthropology 11/2013; · 2.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Dental topographic analysis is the quantitative assessment of shape of three-dimensional models of tooth crowns and component features. Molar topographic curvature, relief, and complexity correlate with aspects of feeding behavior in certain living primates, and have been employed to investigate dietary ecology in extant and extinct primate species. This study investigates whether dental topography correlates with diet among a diverse sample of living platyrrhines, and compares platyrrhine topography with that of prosimians. We sampled 111 lower second molars of 11 platyrrhine genera and 121 of 20 prosimian genera. For each tooth we calculated Dirichlet normal energy (DNE), relief index (RFI), and orientation patch count (OPCR), quantifying surface curvature, relief, and complexity respectively. Shearing ratios and quotients were also measured. Statistical analyses partitioned effects of diet and taxon on topography in platyrrhines alone and relative to prosimians. Discriminant function analyses assessed predictive diet models. Results indicate that platyrrhine dental topography correlates to dietary preference, and platyrrhine-only predictive models yield high rates of accuracy. The same is true for prosimians. Topographic variance is broadly similar among platyrrhines and prosimians. One exception is that platyrrhines display higher average relief and lower relief variance, possibly related to lower relative molar size and functional links between relief and tooth longevity distinct from curvature or complexity. Explicitly incorporating phylogenetic distance matrices into statistical analyses of the combined platyrrhine-prosimian sample results in loss of significance of dietary effects for OPCR and SQ, while greatly increasing dietary significance of RFI. Am J Phys Anthropol 153:29-44, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.American Journal of Physical Anthropology 01/2014; 153(1):29-44. · 2.48 Impact Factor