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Upper third molar internal structural organization and semicircular canal morphology in Plio-Pleistocene South African cercopithecoids

Beaudet, Amélie and Dumoncel, Jean and Thackeray, John Francis and Bruxelles, Laurent and Duployer, Benjamin and Tenailleau, Christophe and Bam, Lunga and Hoffman, Jakobus and De Beer, Frikkie and Braga, José Upper third molar internal structural organization and semicircular canal morphology in Plio-Pleistocene South African cercopithecoids. (2016) Journal of Human Evolution, 95. 104-120. ISSN 0047-2484

(Document in English)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.04.004


Despite the abundance of cercopithecoids in the fossil record, especially in South Africa, and the recent development of morphometric approaches, uncertainties regarding the taxonomic identification of isolated cranio-dental specimens remain. Because cercopithecoids, nearly always found in stratigraphic association with hominin remains in Plio-Pleistocene deposits, are considered as sensitive ecological and chronological biomarkers, a significant effort should be made to clarify their palaeobiodiversity by assessing additional reliable morphological diagnostic criteria. Here we test the relevance of both molar crown internal structure and bony labyrinth morphology for discrimination of fossil cercopithecoid species. We use microtomographic-based 3D virtual imaging and quantitative analyses to investigate tooth endostructural organization and inner ear shape in 29 craniodental specimens from the South African sites of Kromdraai, Makapansgat, Sterkfontein and Swartkrans and provide the first detailed description of the internal structural condition characterizing this Plio-Pleistocene primate assemblage. Our preliminary results show that enamel-dentine junction morphology could be informative for discriminating highly autapomorphic taxa such as Theropithecus, while semicircular canal shape is tentatively proposed as an efficient criterion for diagnosing Dinopithecus ingens. Further research in virtual paleoprimatology may contribute to the identification of unassigned isolated fossil remains and shed new light on the internal craniodental morphology of extinct primate taxa.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Elsevier editor. The original PDF of the article can be found at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047248416300069?via%3Dihub
HAL Id:hal-01564748
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès - UT2J (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - UT1 (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut National de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives - INRAP (FRANCE)
Other partners > South African Nuclear Energy Corporation - NECSA (SOUTH AFRICA)
Other partners > University of Pretoria (SOUTH AFRICA)
Other partners > University of the Witwatersrand - WITS (SOUTH AFRICA)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:19 Jul 2017 08:39

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