Periodicity of Retzius lines in fossil Pongo from South China
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Periodicity of Retzius lines is a key factor in dental development. In this study, we examined the periodicity of Retzius lines in fossil Pongo from South China using polarized light microscope observation of dental ground sections. The periodicities all of the 15 teeth were 9 d. Comparisons of periodicity were made with extant primates, fossil apes and hominins. Periodicity of fossil Pongo from South China was relatively long but fell within the variation of extant Pongo, Gorilla and modern human, and longer than periodicity of Pan and other extant primates. Fossil Pongo from South China was similar to Lufengpithecus and Sivapithecus, shorter than Gigantopithecus and longer than European and African fossil apes and most early hominins in periodicity. Generally, the periodicities of Asian large-body fossil apes were longer than the periodicities of European and African large-body fossil apes in Miocene. Difference among species and trend of evolution in periodicity were analyzed and discussed. We found that periodicity might gradually increase from Proconsul in early Miocene to several fossil apes in Miocene and then Gigantopithecus in Pleistocene. In addition, this study made correlate analysis between periodicity and body mass respectively in males and females of six extant apes and five fossil apes, and found that periodicity positively correlated with body mass.
KeywordsPongo South China periodicity of Retzius lines extant apes fossil apes
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