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Publication Detail
Patterns of permanent incisor, canine and molar development in modern humans, great apes and early fossil hominins.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
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  • Authors:
    Dean MC, Lim S-Y, Liversidge HM
  • Publisher:
    Elsevier BV
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  • Journal:
    Arch Oral Biol
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  • Keywords:
    Dental development, Eruption pattern, Fossil hominin, Great apes
OBJECTIVE: The objectives of this study were to quantify the variation in coincident stages of incisor, canine and molar eruption and tooth formation in modern humans and great apes and then to ask if any early fossil hominins showed a dental development pattern beyond the human range and/or clearly typical of great apes. DESIGN: Four stages of eruption and 18 stages of tooth development were defined and then scored for each developing tooth on radiographs of 159 once-free-living subadult great apes and on orthopantomographs of 4091 dental patients aged 1-23 years. From original observations, and from published images of eleven early fossil hominins, we then scored formation stages of permanent incisors when M1 was at root formation stage R¼-R½ and R¾-RC. RESULTS: Incisor and canine eruption/development was delayed in great apes relative to molar development when compared with humans but there was overlap in almost all anterior tooth stages observed. Molar crown initiation was generally advanced in great apes and delayed in humans but again, we observed overlap in all stages in both samples. Only two fossil hominin specimens (L.H.-3 from Laetoli, Tanzania and KNM-KP 34725 from Kanapoi, Kenya) showed delayed incisor development relative to M1 beyond any individuals observed in the human sample. CONCLUSIONS: For certain tooth types, the distribution of formation stages in our samples showed evidence of generally advanced or delayed development between taxa. However, it would rarely if ever be possible to allocate an individual to one taxon or another on this basis.
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