The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

Preliminary examination of buccal dental microtexture in primates


1Secció d’Antropologia, Departament de Biologia Animal, Universitat de Barcelona, 2Departamento de Biotecnología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Alicante

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Studies of dental microwear on enamel surface have been one of the most commonly used approaches for reconstructing diets of extant hominines. Over the years, two methodologies have been developed for analyzing both the occlusal and buccal surfaces, obtaining interesting results with both techniques. Basically, these techniques are based in the identification of features on dental enamel through Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to obtain two-dimensional images. However, in recent years the research of occlusal microwear has given way to techniques that analyze the microtexture surface in 3D, obtaining good results in several species. Here we analyze for the first time 3D microtexture data on primate buccal dental surfaces from high resolution tooth replicas belonging to extant primates: Chlorocebus aethiops (n=12), Cercopithecus sp. (n=9), Gorilla gorilla (n=13), Pan troglodytes (n=9), Papio anubis (n=22) and Colobus sp. (n=19). Genus were compared using a multivariate analysis of variance model (MANOVA) of the 6 standard variables that characterize microtexture attributes (Asfc, Smc, epLsar1.8 mm, Tfv, HAsfc9 cells, and HAsfc81 cells), and single-classification ANOVAs for each variable. Our results show that these parameters present significant differences in the analyzed primates, being similar than those obtained by 2D buccal dental microwear analyses, and suggesting that microtexture analyses on buccal dental surfaces is a good approach to determine feeding ecology and dietary differences in primates.

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