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Title: Buccal dental microwear analyses support greater specialization in consumption of hard foodstuffs for Australopithecus anamensis
Author: Estebaranz, Ferran
Galbany i Casals, Jordi
Martinez Martinez, Laura Monica
Turbón, Daniel
Martínez Pérez-Pérez, Alejandro
Keywords: Dents fòssils
Fossil teeth
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Istituto Italiano di Antropologia
Abstract: Molar occlusal microwear texture and anisotropy analyses of 3 Australopithecus anamensis fossil specimens have shown complexity values similar to those of Au. afarensis, indicating that neither of these hominin species had a diet dominated by hard food. However, many researchers have suggested that these were some of the earliest hominins to have such diets. Here we examine buccal microwear patterns of 5 Au. anamensis, 26 Au. afarensis, 48 Hominoidea and 80 Cercopithecoidea primate specimens for independent evidence of dietary adaptations of Au. anamensis. The buccal microwear results obtained suggest that the diet of Au. anamensis relied heavily on hard, brittle food, at least seasonally. This is similar to the diet of the extant Cercopithecoidea primates, including Papio anubis and Chlorocebus aethiops, both of which live in wooded, seasonal savannah environments and have diets that include fruit and grasses, but also underground storage organs (USOs), such as corms or blades, as well as leaves and seeds, and also Mandrillus and Cercocebus, from forested environments with frugivorous-granivorous diets. Furthermore, the buccal microwear patterns of Au. anamensis and Au. afarensis clearly differed -in clear contrast to occlusal enamel texture observations-, which support previous dietary interpretations based on both anatomical and palaeocological reconstructions.
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It is part of: Journal of Anthropological Sciences, 2012, vol. 90, p. 163-185
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ISSN: 1827-4765
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Psicologia Clínica i Psicobiologia)
Articles publicats en revistes (Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals)

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