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Dietary inference from upper and lower molar morphology in platyrrhine primates.

dc.contributor.author Allen, KL
dc.contributor.author Cooke, SB
dc.contributor.author Gonzales, LA
dc.contributor.author Kay, Richard Frederick
dc.coverage.spatial United States
dc.date.accessioned 2015-10-26T15:07:58Z
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.identifier http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25738266
dc.identifier PONE-D-14-20690
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10161/10781
dc.description.abstract The correlation between diet and dental topography is of importance to paleontologists seeking to diagnose ecological adaptations in extinct taxa. Although the subject is well represented in the literature, few studies directly compare methods or evaluate dietary signals conveyed by both upper and lower molars. Here, we address this gap in our knowledge by comparing the efficacy of three measures of functional morphology for classifying an ecologically diverse sample of thirteen medium- to large-bodied platyrrhines by diet category (e.g., folivore, frugivore, hard object feeder). We used Shearing Quotient (SQ), an index derived from linear measurements of molar cutting edges and two indices of crown surface topography, Occlusal Relief (OR) and Relief Index (RFI). Using SQ, OR, and RFI, individuals were then classified by dietary category using Discriminate Function Analysis. Both upper and lower molar variables produce high classification rates in assigning individuals to diet categories, but lower molars are consistently more successful. SQs yield the highest classification rates. RFI and OR generally perform above chance. Upper molar RFI has a success rate below the level of chance. Adding molar length enhances the discriminatory power for all variables. We conclude that upper molar SQs are useful for dietary reconstruction, especially when combined with body size information. Additionally, we find that among our sample of platyrrhines, SQ remains the strongest predictor of diet, while RFI is less useful at signaling dietary differences in absence of body size information. The study demonstrates new ways for inferring the diets of extinct platyrrhine primates when both upper and lower molars are available, or, for taxa known only from upper molars. The techniques are useful in reconstructing diet in stem representatives of anthropoid clade, who share key aspects of molar morphology with extant platyrrhines.
dc.language eng
dc.relation.ispartof PLoS One
dc.relation.isversionof 10.1371/journal.pone.0118732
dc.subject Animals
dc.subject Biological Evolution
dc.subject Biomechanical Phenomena
dc.subject Diet
dc.subject Imaging, Three-Dimensional
dc.subject Molar
dc.subject Paleontology
dc.subject Phylogeny
dc.subject Platyrrhini
dc.title Dietary inference from upper and lower molar morphology in platyrrhine primates.
dc.type Journal article
pubs.author-url http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25738266
pubs.begin-page e0118732
pubs.issue 3
pubs.organisational-group Duke
pubs.organisational-group Earth and Ocean Sciences
pubs.organisational-group Evolutionary Anthropology
pubs.organisational-group Nicholas School of the Environment
pubs.organisational-group Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
pubs.publication-status Published online
pubs.volume 10
dc.identifier.eissn 1932-6203


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