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Why study Diet?. Utility for model building?. Food provides energy necessary to sustain life and allow for reproduction. Main activity of most animals’ lives. Major component of natural selection: “obtain food and keep from becoming food”. Why study teeth?. Utility for model building?.

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Why study diet
Why study Diet?

Utility for model building?

  • Food provides energy necessary to sustain life and allow for reproduction

  • Main activity of most animals’ lives

  • Major component of natural selection: “obtain food and keep from becoming food”


Why study teeth
Why study teeth?

Utility for model building?

  • Indicate foods consumed

  • Indicate size & behavior

  • Well preserved in the fossil record

  • Growth & development patterns

  • Sexual dimorphism characteristics

  • Non-dietary indicators



Tooth Types

Human Dentition


Roles of the teeth
Roles of the teeth

Differential use in heterodont dentition

Incisors & canines --

  • ingestion, get the food into the mouth

  • seizing, stripping, squashing, puncturing

Premolars & molars --

  • preparation of food for digestion

  • food is chopped up to increase surface area

  • molars are a series of cutting blades and crushing basin


Extant vs extinct
Extant vs Extinct

Data collection from the living primates


Diagnostic features
Diagnostic features

Features of the skull used to determine dietary category

  • Incisors & canines

  • Molars & premolars

  • Cusps & crests

  • Enamel thickness

  • Massiter & temporalis muscles

  • Body size


Incisors & Canines

Anterior Dentition

  • Get food in the mouth

  • Grooming

  • Scraping

  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Premolars molars
Premolars & Molars

Posterior Dentition

  • Folivores = low or high

  • Insectivores = tall, pointed

  • Carnivores = tall, pointed

  • Frugivores = low, rounded

  • Omnivore = low, rounded


Premolars molars1

Premolars & Molars

Premolars& Molars



Cusps crests
Cusps & Crests

Molar & premolar morphology

cusp

crest


Enamel thickness
Enamel thickness

Thickness of the hard mineral surface covering the teeth


Dental attrition
Dental Attrition

Enamel wear



Body size
Body size

Diet dictates primate body size

  • Body-size tends to

  • correlate w/ dietary

  • regime

  • Folivore = largest

  • Insectivore = smallest

  • Frugivore = medium to large


Dietary strategies
Dietary strategies

Categories of Diet for the Primates

  • Folivore - plants

  • Frugivore - fruit

  • Carnivore - meat

  • Insectivore - insects

  • Omnivore - mixed


Folivores
Folivores

Consumes plant products; stems, leaves, shoots, roots

  • Low rounded cusps and crests

  • Comparably sized incisors & canines

  • Thin enamel

  • Strong massiter muscles

  • Larger body size

  • Special adaptations -- multi-chamber stomach

  • Requires supplementation -- dirt, feces, etc.



Folivores2
Folivores

Consumes plant products; stems, leaves, shoots, roots


Frugivores
Frugivores

Consumes fruit, seeds, nuts

  • High percentage of fruit; rich carbs, low protein

  • Large incisors

  • Thin enamel

  • Diet needs supplementation, leaves, soil, etc.

  • Larger body size

  • Canine size usually results from dimorphism


Frugivores1
Frugivores

Consumes fruit, seeds, nuts


Frugivores2
Frugivores

Consumes fruit, seeds, nuts


Carnivores
Carnivores

Consumes animal protein, requires little supplementation

  • Very high in protein

  • Consumes little else to aide in digestion

  • Plants/grasses

  • Long canines; small incisors

  • Sharp cusps & crests

  • Thin enamel

  • Large temporalis, small massiter


Carnivores1
Carnivores

Consumes animal protein, requires little supplementation


Insectivores
Insectivores

Consumes insects

  • Small sized primates

  • High protein, but in small packets

  • Large canines

  • Sharp cusps & crests

  • Diet needs supplementation


Insectivores1
Insectivores

Consumes insects


Omnivores
Omnivores

Consumes a variety of food resources

  • All teeth of similar size

  • Moderate enamel thickness

  • Low cusps, dull crests

  • Comparably-sized temporalis & massiter

  • Dental reduction

  • Facial reduction


Omnivores1
Omnivores

Consumes a variety of food resources


Quiz

Name the Dietary category for each skull


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