Postcanines Premolars And Molars

The cheek teeth are the primary chewing teeth, and as such, are more subject to selection by the physical properties of the foods they masticate. Molar tooth form approximates designs that are best suited for inducing and continuing fragmentation in the foods they contact, especially in more specialized forms such as folivo-rous Propithecus or insectivorous Daubentonia. However, in more generalized taxa, especially those with a wide geographic range that inhabit a variety of environments (e.g., L. catta), the relationship between tooth morphology and diet becomes less distinct. In this section, we review the basic morphology of postcanine teeth and then discuss correlates between individual tooth features and the mechanical properties of the diets the lemurs eat. Finally, we discuss patterns of postcanine dental health with respect to their ecological and environmental contexts.

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