Why study diet
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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?

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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?

  • Indicate foods consumed

  • Indicate size & behavior

  • Well preserved in the fossil record

  • Growth & development patterns

  • Sexual dimorphism characteristics

  • Non-dietary indicators


Tooth Types


Tooth Types

Human Dentition


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

Data collection from the living primates


Diagnostic features

Features of the skull used to determine dietary category

  • Incisors & canines

  • Molars & premolars

  • Cusps & crests

  • Enamel thickness

  • Massiter & temporalis muscles

  • Body size


  • Large incisors indicate

  • frugivore

  • Small incisors = carnivore

  • or insectivore

Incisors & Canines

Anterior Dentition

  • Get food in the mouth

  • Grooming

  • Scraping

  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Incisors


Canines


Premolars & Molars

Posterior Dentition

  • Folivores = low or high

  • Insectivores = tall, pointed

  • Carnivores = tall, pointed

  • Frugivores = low, rounded

  • Omnivore = low, rounded


Premolars & Molars

Premolars& Molars


Premolars & Molars


Cusps & Crests

Molar & premolar morphology

cusp

crest


Enamel thickness

Thickness of the hard mineral surface covering the teeth


Dental Attrition

Enamel wear


Muscles of mastication


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

Categories of Diet for the Primates

  • Folivore - plants

  • Frugivore - fruit

  • Carnivore - meat

  • Insectivore - insects

  • Omnivore - mixed


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.


Folivores


Folivores

Consumes plant products; stems, leaves, shoots, roots


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


Frugivores

Consumes fruit, seeds, nuts


Frugivores

Consumes fruit, seeds, nuts


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


Carnivores

Consumes animal protein, requires little supplementation


Insectivores

Consumes insects

  • Small sized primates

  • High protein, but in small packets

  • Large canines

  • Sharp cusps & crests

  • Diet needs supplementation


Insectivores

Consumes insects


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


Omnivores

Consumes a variety of food resources


Quiz

Name the Dietary category for each skull


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