Development and Eruption of the Premolar Region of Prosimians and Its Bearing on Their Evolution

  • Jeffrey H. Schwartz


Among the complexes most frequently called on in the establishment of relationships within and between various mammal groups, dentition stands out as perhaps the most important traditional avenue of comparative investigation. That dental morphology has been so greatly relied on in paleontological studies is not surprising, as teeth survive the processes of fossilization far better and much more frequently than do other parts of the skeleton. The application to paleontology (and neontology as well) most commonly undertaken is the comparative study of occlusal morphology, whereby identifications of taxa are based on such criteria as the number of cusps, their disposition within the tooth, the presence of cingula, and the presence or absence of such structures as conules, stylids, and lophs. However, when one is dealing with such final stages of development, one is faced solely with static morphologies which may on the surface appear to be similar but which in fact may only represent secondary and convergent modifications of the final stages of processes which are different on a more fundamental level. This is equally the case with other morphologies such as the ear region. In other words, crown and root morphology represent only one, the last, of many levels of dental organization.


Permanent Dentition Occlusal View Dental Lamina Dental Morphology Lemur Species 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey H. Schwartz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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