Molar Enamel Thickness

This character is of developmental and functional (dietary) interest. The character state definitions and taxa allocation are taken directly from Strait et al. (1997) and Strait and Grine (2001), with some modifications for the Miocene hominoids as defined by Andrews and Martin (1991). Thin to intermediate thin molar enamel (= 0) is observed in Dryopithecus, Ardipithecus, Gorilla, and Pan (see T.D. White et al., 1994; Strait & Grine, 2001). Intermediate-thick to thick enamel (= 1) is observed in Pongo. The condition in Sahelanthropus is said to lie between the thinner condition observed in Pan and the thicker condition observed in Australopithecus (Brunet et al., 2002). Thus, it is allocated here as having intermediate to thick molar enamel. Thick molar enamel (= 2) is observed in members of the "anamensis group," Praeanthropus, Australopithecus, both species of Kenyanthropus, and all species of Homo. While no data are available for Kenyapithecus, Pickford (1985, 1986) states that the enamel is thick. Hyper-thick molar enamel (= 3) is observed in Graecopithecus, P. boisei, and P. robustus.

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