Dental macrowear, diet and anterior tooth use in Piliocolobus badius and Colobus polykomos
MetadataShow full item record
Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Anthropology Undergraduate Research Theses; 2019
Inferences about diet and feeding behavior from macrowear in extinct taxa hinge on the strength of associations between diet and dental wear patterns in extant taxa. Two similarly-sized colobine species living sympatrically in Ivory Coast’s Tai Forest and that differ significantly in both diet and oral processing behavior provide an opportunity to explore the reliability of such associations. I tested the hypothesis that Colobus polykomos’ aggressive processing of tough, hard Pentaclethra macrophylla pods manifests in greater anterior tooth wear relative to that observed in Piliocolobus badius, which does not exploit this resource. I assessed rates of anterior tooth wear in a sample of ten adult C. polykomos and nineteen adult P. badius naturally deceased specimens collected from the Tai Forest. I compared differences in ratios of dentin exposure to total occlusal area between anterior and posterior teeth of these species. Mann-Whitney U tests reveal that the ratios of averaged first and second incisor wear to first molar, second molar, and third molar wear in C. polykomos are significantly greater than those of P. badius for each interspecific comparison (p-values for Mann-Whitney U tests range from 0.036 to <0.001). These results indicate that known differences in diet, food material properties, and oral processing behaviors are reflected by increased incisal wear compared to molar wear in C. polykomos relative to that of P. badius. These results demonstrate the utility of incorporating multiple teeth and multiple tooth types for inferring diet and oral processing behavior in fossil primates.
Academic Major: Anthropological Sciences