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In the Preface to Mammal Teeth, Peter Ungar likens his obsession with writing this book to that of Captain Ahab’s single-minded pursuit of the white whale. Like Moby Dick, Mammal Teeth is a long work that sometimes digresses, occasionally revels in details, but ultimately rewards the reader with a satisfying Conclusion. Unlike Ahab, Ungar fortunately survived the ordeal with his whale, and so we can look forward to more from him in the future.
Mammal Teeth, like Caesar’s Gaul, est divisa in partes tres. “Part I: Key Terms and Concepts”, presents the basics for understanding mammalian teeth, their literature, and rest of the book. This part covers the structure, form, and nomenclature of teeth (Chapter 1), tooth microstructure and ontogeny (Chapter 2), nutrition and the physical properties of food (Chapter 3), feeding behavior and mechanics (Chapter 4), and elementary principles of biological classification (Chapter 5). “Part II: The Evolution of Mammalian Teeth” takes a vertical...
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