Intraspecific variation in M1 enamel development in modern humans: implications for human evolution

Mahoney, P. (2008) Intraspecific variation in M1 enamel development in modern humans: implications for human evolution. Journal of Human Evolution, 55 (1). pp. 131-147. ISSN 0047-2484 . (Full text available)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2008.02.004

Abstract

The timing and sequence of enamel development, as well as enamel thickness, was documented for individual cusps (protoconid, hypoconid,metaconid, entoconid) in 15 unworn permanent lower first molars (M1s) from a sample of modern human juveniles. These data were compared with previously published data for modern and fossil species reported in the literature. Crown formation in all teeth was initiated in the protoconid and completed in the hypoconid. These cusps had significantly longer formation times (2.91 and 2.96 yrs, respectively) than the metaconid and entoconid (2.52 and 2.38 yrs, respectively), as well as thicker enamel, and each represented between 92e95% of the total crown formation time. Rates of enamel secretion in all cusps increased significantly from 2.97 mm in the inner enamel to 4.47 mm in the outer enamel. Two cusps of one individual were studied in more detail and did not follow this typical trajectory. Rather, there was a sharp decrease in the middle of enamel formation and then a slow recovery of secretion rates from the mid to outer enamel. This anomalous trajectory of enamel formation is discussed in the context of other nondental tissue responses to illness. Neither secretion rates nor periodicity differed significantly when compared between the cusps of each molar. Differences in cusp formation times, initiation, and completion suggest a relationship between the rates of enamel formation and enamel thickness. This fits with expectations about the mechanics of the chewing cycle and general lower molar morphology. A comparison with similar data for some nonhuman primates and fossil hominoids suggests this relationship may hold true across several primate taxa. Other aspects of enamel growth differed between this human sample and certain fossil species. The lower molars formed slowly over a longer period of time, which may reflect the extended growth period of modern humans. The methodological approach adopted in this study is discussed in the context of that used in other studies.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: dental development; daily enamel secretion rates; periodicity; histology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biological Anthropology
Depositing User: Patrick Mahoney
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2011 14:53
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2011 15:45
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/28322 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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