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A tooth crown morphology framework for interpreting the diversity of primate dentitions

Chapple, Simon, Skinner, Matthew M. (2023) A tooth crown morphology framework for interpreting the diversity of primate dentitions. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews, 32 (5). pp. 240-255. ISSN 1060-1538. E-ISSN 1520-6505. (doi:10.1002/evan.21994) (KAR id:102200)


Variation in tooth crown morphology plays a crucial role in species diagnoses, phylogenetic inference, and the reconstruction of the evolutionary history of the primate clade. While a growing number of studies have identified developmental mechanisms linked to tooth size and cusp patterning in mammalian crown morphology, it is unclear (1) to what degree these are applicable across primates and (2) which additional developmental mechanisms should be recognized as playing important roles in odontogenesis. From detailed observations of lower molar enamel–dentine junction morphology from taxa representing the major primate clades, we outline multiple phylogenetic and developmental components responsible for crown patterning, and formulate a tooth crown morphology framework for the holistic interpretation of primate crown morphology. We suggest that adopting this framework is crucial for the characterization of tooth morphology in studies of dental development, discrete trait analysis, and systematics.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1002/evan.21994
Uncontrolled keywords: amelogenesis, dental anthropology, odontogenesis, tooth crown, cusp patterning
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Funders: European Research Council (
Depositing User: Matthew Skinner
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2023 05:57 UTC
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2024 14:47 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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