Dental Detectives

October 25, 2016
Be the first to like.

Share

The first two can tell us a lot, but they’re hard to come by in the fossil record. Thankfully, there are a lot of teeth to fill in the gaps.

“They preserve really well,” explains Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg, a dental anthropologist at Ohio State University. “It’s kind of convenient because teeth hold so much information.”

The structure of a tooth and even the amount of enamel, for example, hint at what the teeth are adapted to eat.

Look at molars: Thick enamel on a molar is good for crushing foods. It suggests an animal used their teeth to grind seeds or crush the marrow out of bones. Thin enamel on a molar, while delicate, causes sharp edges – perfect for slicing and tearing foods like leaves and fruits.

… Read More

Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/94/Fossil_Qesem_teeth.jpg/1280px-Fossil_Qesem_teeth.jpg

Be the first to like.

Share
NPR The Salt

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply