The morphology and wear of the lingual notch in macaques and langurs

M. F. Teaford

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Abstract

Although interspecific differences in the relative development of molar occlusal features have been documented for most primate species, wear-related changes in these features are only beginning to be understood. In the present study, the notch between the metaconid and entoconid of M2 was examined in a skeletal sample of Macaca fascicularis, Presbytis cristatus, and Presbytis rubicunda from the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. Photogrammetric analyses yielded X, Y, and Z coordinates that were used to compute three angular measurements and two length measurements at the lingual notch. Statistical analyses of measurements from unworn dentitions indicated that the mesial slope of the entoconid is steeper than the distal slope of the metaconid in all three species. In addition, interspecific comparisons demonstrated that P. cristatus has the steepest lingual notch bordered by the largest molar shearing creasts, while P. rubicunda and M. fascicularis have molar shearing crests of similar size, with P. rubicunda merely having higher cusps that are closer together than those of M. fascicularis. Finally, P. cristatus shows a smaller decrease in lingual cusp relief with wear than M. fascicularis, while P. cristatus and P. rubicunda probably show similar decreases in lingual cusp relief with wear. The differences in wear-related changes in lingual cusp relief between M. fascicularis and P. cristatus may well be related to the frugivorous/folivorous dietary differences between these species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-14
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume60
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1983

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Anthropology

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