Paleobiological implications of the ardipithecus ramidus dentition

Gen Suwa, Reiko Kono, Scott W. Simpson, Berhane Asfaw, C. Owen Lovejoy, Tim D. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

131 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Middle Awash Ardipithecus ramidus sample comprises over 145 teeth, including associated maxillary and mandibular sets. These help reveal the earliest stages of human evolution. Ar. ramidus lacks the postcanine megadontia of Australopithecus. Its molars have thinner enamel and are functionally less durable than those of Australopithecus but lack the derived Pan pattern of thin occlusal enamel associated with ripe-fruit frugivory. The Ar. ramidus dental morphology and wear pattern are consistent with a partially terrestrial, omnivorous/frugivorous niche. Analyses show that the ARA-VP-6/500 skeleton is female and that Ar. ramidus was nearly monomorphic in canine size and shape. The canine/lower third premolar complex indicates a reduction of canine size and honing capacity early in hominid evolution, possibly driven by selection targeted on the male upper canine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-99
Number of pages6
JournalScience
Volume326
Issue number5949
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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Dentition
Canidae
Dental Enamel
Tooth Wear
Viral Structural Proteins
Bicuspid
Hominidae
Skeleton
Fruit
Tooth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Suwa, G., Kono, R., Simpson, S. W., Asfaw, B., Owen Lovejoy, C., & White, T. D. (2009). Paleobiological implications of the ardipithecus ramidus dentition. Science, 326(5949), 94-99. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1175824

Paleobiological implications of the ardipithecus ramidus dentition. / Suwa, Gen; Kono, Reiko; Simpson, Scott W.; Asfaw, Berhane; Owen Lovejoy, C.; White, Tim D.

In: Science, Vol. 326, No. 5949, 2009, p. 94-99.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Suwa, G, Kono, R, Simpson, SW, Asfaw, B, Owen Lovejoy, C & White, TD 2009, 'Paleobiological implications of the ardipithecus ramidus dentition', Science, vol. 326, no. 5949, pp. 94-99. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1175824
Suwa G, Kono R, Simpson SW, Asfaw B, Owen Lovejoy C, White TD. Paleobiological implications of the ardipithecus ramidus dentition. Science. 2009;326(5949):94-99. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1175824
Suwa, Gen ; Kono, Reiko ; Simpson, Scott W. ; Asfaw, Berhane ; Owen Lovejoy, C. ; White, Tim D. / Paleobiological implications of the ardipithecus ramidus dentition. In: Science. 2009 ; Vol. 326, No. 5949. pp. 94-99.
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