Game and Livestock Resources Unit, University of Castilla-La Mancha, IDR, IREC, Albacete, Spain
*Corresponding Author: Pérez-Barbería FJ, Game and Livestock Resources Unit, University of Castilla-La Mancha, IDR, IREC, Albacete, Spain.
Received: January 22, 2020; Published: February 10, 2020
Research on human dental science is relevant to health and life quality. This is somewhat obvious in medicine, but perhaps less obvious to researchers of this sector is that some dental traits can be used as practical indicators in ecology and evolutionary studies. The aim of this short note is to provide the reader with information on how some dental traits are used to support evolutionary hypotheses in mammalian species. The ideas presented in this note are further elaborated by the author in a recently published article in Ecological indicators journal .
One of the characteristics of teeth of many mammalian species is that once they have emerged they have achieved their final size, and do not grow any further, neither are they repaired or replaced when the tooth is damaged. This means that (i) tooth wear accumulates across life, reducing the length of time the tooth works efficiently and so reducing the span of the animal´s life, and (ii) animals that spend more time chewing or chew food that is more abrasive will have faster rates of tooth wear compared to animals that spend less time chewing or that use less abrasive diets. Therefore, tooth wear is an interesting feature, as it can be used to track changes in mastication activity across an animal´s life, which helps to compare differences between individuals, sexes, populations or related species.
Citation: Pérez-Barbería FJ. “Use of Tooth Traits in Evolutionary and Ecology Studies”.Acta Scientific Dental Sciences 4.3 (2020): 01-02.
Copyright: © 2020 Pérez-Barbería FJ. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.