Mandibular Premolar Orientation

This character helps define the general shape of the mandible by the orientation of the premolar tooth row. The primitive condition is defined by a U-shaped post canine tooth row (= 0), as a result of a near-parallel orientation of each premolar tooth row that is observed only in Kenyapithecus, Dryopithecus, Pongo, Gorilla, Pan, Sahelanthropus, and Praeanthropus (Begun, 2002; Brunet et al., 2002). Next is the dental arcade being V-shaped as the post canine tooth rows diverge laterally (= 1), as observed in Graecopithecus (see Begun, 2002). The mandibular dental arcade is more parabolic (= 2) due to a more laterally diverging tooth row, which characterizes all other hominins examined here, preserving this morphology (Strait & Grine, 2001).

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