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Further morphological evidence on South African earliest Homo lower postcanine dentition: Enamel thickness and enamel dentine junction

Pan, Lei and Dumoncel, Jean and De Beer, Frikkie and Hoffman, Jakobus and Thackeray, John Francis and Duployer, Benjamin and Tenailleau, Christophe and Braga, José Further morphological evidence on South African earliest Homo lower postcanine dentition: Enamel thickness and enamel dentine junction. (2016) Journal of Human Evolution, 96. 82-96. ISSN 0047-2484

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.05.003


The appearance of the earliest members of the genus Homo in South Africa represents a key event in human evolution. Although enamel thickness and enamel dentine junction (EDJ) morphology preserve important information about hominin systematics and dietary adaptation, these features have not been sufficiently studied with regard to early Homo. We used micro-CT to compare enamel thickness and EDJ morphology among the mandibular postcanine dentitions of South African early hominins (N = 30) and extant Homo sapiens (N = 26), with special reference to early members of the genus Homo. We found that South African early Homo shows a similar enamel thickness distribution pattern to modern humans, although three-dimensional average and relative enamel thicknesses do not distinguish australopiths, early Homo, and modern humans particularly well. Based on enamel thickness distributions, our study suggests that a dietary shift occurred between australopiths and the origin of the Homo lineage. We also observed that South African early Homo postcanine EDJ combined primitive traits seen in australopith molars with derived features observed in modern human premolars. Our results confirm that some dental morphological patterns in later Homo actually occurred early in the Homo lineage, and highlight the taxonomic value of premolar EDJ morphology in hominin species.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Elsevier editor. The definitive version is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com The original PDF of the article can be found at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047248416300240
HAL Id:hal-01565968
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Other partners > Chinese Academy of Sciences (CHINA)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > South African Nuclear Energy Corporation - NECSA (SOUTH AFRICA)
Other partners > University of the Witwatersrand - WITS (SOUTH AFRICA)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:20 Jul 2017 12:45

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