International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 631–657

A nonadaptive dental trait

  • Leonard O. Greenfield

DOI: 10.1007/BF02551257

Cite this article as:
Greenfield, L.O. International Journal of Primatology (1992) 13: 631. doi:10.1007/BF02551257


Compared to other anthropoid females, female cercopithecoids possess hypertrophied honing premolars (P3) yet lack hypertrophied maxillary canines. In addition, female cercopithecoid maxillary canines are often tip-blunted, the crown rarely extends down to the entire shearing surface on the buccal face of P3, and honing wear is usually confined to a small fraction of its hypertrophied buccal surface. The likely reason why the female P3 has an unusually long buccal face is that genes involved in the expression of this morphology are also in males, for which the hypertrophied condition is adaptive—it serves as the honing surface for their hypertrophied canines. The data suggest that the hypertrophied P3 of females is the correlated and nonadaptive response of an homologous characteristic. The possibility that this occurs in other female anthropoids and in other parts of the C/P complex is discussed, as well as the relevance of this phenomenon for understanding human canine evolution and identifying other traits which may also be examples of correlated response.

Key words

correlated response C/P complex cercopithecoids 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard O. Greenfield
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphia

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