Dental microwear in live, wild-trapped Alouatta palliata from Costa Rica

M. F. Teaford, K. E. Glander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

One problem with dental microwear analyses of museum material is that investigators can never be sure of the diets of the animals in question. An obvious solution to this problem is to work with live animals. Recent work with laboratory primates has shown that high resolution dental impressions can be obtained from live animals. The purpose of this study was to use similar methods to begin to document rates and patterns of dental microwear for primates in the wild. Thirty-three Alouatta palliata were captured during the wet season at Hacienda La Pacifica near Canas, Costa Rica. Dental impressions were taken and epoxy casts of the teeth were prepared using the methods of Teaford and Oyen (1989a). Scanning electron micrographs were taken of the left mandibular second molars at magnifications of 200x and 500x. Lower magnification images were used to calculate rates of wear, and higher magnification images were used to measure the size and shape of microwear features. Results indicate that, while basic patterns of dental microwear are similar in museum samples and samples of live, wild-trapped animals of the same species, ecological differences between collection locales may lead to significant intraspecific differences in dental microwear. More importantly, rates of microwear provide the first direct evidence of differences in molar use between monkeys and humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-319
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume85
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991

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Alouatta
Costa Rica
Tooth
teeth
animal
museum
Museums
Primates
animals
Wild Animals
wild animals
Alouatta palliata
epoxides
Haplorhini
monkeys
wet season
evidence
Research Personnel
electrons
Electrons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Anthropology

Cite this

Dental microwear in live, wild-trapped Alouatta palliata from Costa Rica. / Teaford, M. F.; Glander, K. E.

In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 85, No. 3, 1991, p. 313-319.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Teaford, M. F. ; Glander, K. E. / Dental microwear in live, wild-trapped Alouatta palliata from Costa Rica. In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 1991 ; Vol. 85, No. 3. pp. 313-319.
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