Environmental perturbations can be detected through microwear texture analysis in two platyrrhine species from Brazilian Amazonia

Almudena Estalrrich, Mariel B. Young, Mark F. Teaford, Peter S. Ungar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recent dental microwear studies have shown that fossil species differ from one another in texture attributes-both in terms of central tendency and dispersion. Most comparative studies used to interpret these results have relied on poorly provenienced museum samples that are not well-suited to consideration of within species variation in diet. Here we present a study of two species of platyrrhine monkeys, Alouatta belzebul (n = 60) and Sapajus apella (n = 28) from Pará State in the Brazilian Amazon in order to assess effects of habitat variation on microwear (each species was sampled from forests that differ in the degree of disturbance from highly disturbed to minimally disturbed). Results indicate that microwear texture values vary between habitats-more for the capuchins than the howler monkeys. This is consistent with the notion that diets of the more folivorous A. belzebul are less affected by habitat disturbance than those of the more frugivorous S. apella. It also suggests that microwear holds the potential to reflect comparatively subtle differences in within-species variation in fossil taxa if sample size and control over paleohabitat allow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1230-1237
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of primatology
Volume77
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2015

Keywords

  • Alouatta belzebul
  • Fazenda taperinha
  • Occlusal dental wear
  • Sapajus apella
  • UHE-Tucuruí

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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