Patterns of growth and development in the mixed dentition of macaques, chimpanzees, and humans
Hammerl, Emily Elizabeth
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Reconstruction of fossil hominid life courses is a recurrent theme in paleoanthropological research. Both rate and pattern of permanent dental development have been shown to be useful proxies for overall maturation in primates. Although the number of juvenile fossil hominid dental remains provide a unique opportunity to study growth and development in our lineage, our understanding of the mixed deciduous and permanent dentition of juveniles is lacking. This research has two main objectives: 1. Identification of common and unique patterns in the development of the transitional dentition within and between chimpanzees, pigtailed macaques, and humans. 2. To determine the extent to which dental development patterns vary between wild and captive primates. In this manner, the project speaks to the suitability of current interpretations of dental growth. To this end, the mixed dentition of 94 laboratory-reared Macaca nemestrina , 110 wild caught Pan troglodytes , and 66 laboratory-reared P. troglodytes were scored using a stage-based methodology. Pattern differences in deciduous tooth development, resorption, and exfoliation were noted between both species and humans, and also between the laboratory-reared and wild caught P. troglodytes . Specifically, both the sequence and clustering of deciduous tooth exfoliation differs between species and deciduous canine root development occurs earlier in the pattern in M. nemestrina than the other species. Secondly, polymorphic exfoliation sequences differentiate the three species in accord with emergence of the permanent dentition. Finally, laboratory-reared P. troglodytes appear to initiate deciduous root resorption earlier in the sequence than do wild-caught specimens.