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Journal of Mammalian Evolution

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 99–115 | Cite as

Dental Ontogeny in Macroscelides proboscideus (Afrotheria) and Erinaceus europaeus (Lipotyphla)

Original Paper

Abstract

We investigated the state of dental eruption in specimens of Macroscelides proboscideus and Erinaceus europaeus of known age. When M. proboscideus reaches adult size and sexual maturity, few or none of its replaced permanent cheek teeth have erupted. The approximate sequence of upper tooth eruption is P1, [I3, C, M1], [I1–2], M2, P4, [P2, P3]. Chronologically, E. europaeus erupts its molars and most premolars prior to M. proboscideus; but its first two upper incisors erupt after those of M. proboscideus, and its canines erupt around the same time. The approximate sequence of upper tooth eruption in E. europaeus is [M1, M2, P2, I3], C, M3, P4, P3, I2, I1. Unlike M. proboscideus, E. europaeus does not reach adult size until all permanent teeth except for the anterior incisors have erupted. While not unique among mammals, the attainment of adult body size prior to complete eruption of the permanent cheek teeth is particularly common among macroscelidids and other afrotherians.

Keywords

Sengi Hedgehog Teeth Dentition Growth Ontogeny Replacement 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank U. Schürer, A. Sliwa, and the staff of the Wuppertal Zoo for access to specimens and data files of M. proboscideus. We also thank P.A. Morris for access to his E. europaeus collection and comments on assignment of ages in that taxon; L. Tomsett for access to the NHM London; C. Denys and J. Cuisin for access to the MNHN Paris; O. Grönwall, P. Eriksson, and the European Commission’s Research Infrastructure Action via the SYNTHESYS Project (SE-TAF 4069) for access to the NRM Stockholm; F. Mayer and H. Turni for access to the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin; A. Heaver, A. Goswami, and S. Sawiak for access to noninvasive imaging facilities in the departments of Engineering, Earth Sciences, and the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre (respectively) at the University of Cambridge. We are grateful to T. Lehmann for data on ZMB specimens, and to T. Lehmann, A. Evans, and G. Rathbun for comments on the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Museum of ZoologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Department of General ZoologyUniversity of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany

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