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Fossil Analysis of Teeth Reveals Human Diets

Posted in: Dentistry, by thecourtyardclinic, on 28th October 2016 | 0 comments
Fossil Teeth 1140x450

Fossil Teeth 300x200Comparison of different teeth can helps show differences in diet across periods in the lifetime on an individual. Wisdom teeth that appear much later will have different information to the canines.

Key takeaways:

  • Teeth are preserved very well when fossilized and hold lots of information in the form of isotopes. Newer and more advanced techniques have helped to study teeth.
  • Thick enamel on the molars indicates that they were used for crushing foods such as grinding seeds or crushing the marrow out of bones.
  • Dental microwear refers to the marks left behind by food on teeth that result from food particles being dragged across and pressed into our teeth.

Teeth from more recent fossils reveal more because they have more isotopes preserved in them. For example, the nitrogen in the teeth of Neanderthals can reveal whether the protein they ate came from plants or animals.

Read the full story here


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