Essay On Primates

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The studies of primate evolution have been developing throughout the years and now scientists are able to compare and contrast between several types of primate groups. One notable primitive characteristic that non-human primates and human primates have retained is the development and evolution of their dentition. Due to primates having long growth periods, scientists are able to research how primates have different dental characteristics and specializations in modern time (Larsen, 2008). By analyzing teeth, scientists are able to determine several factors, such as similar dental formation, growth, development, and diet preferences (Larsen, 2008). Primates have four distinct tooth types, which include incisors, canines, premolars, and molars (Larsen, 2008). Dental formulas have been developed by anthropologists with…show more content…
Despite having different jaw shapes, their tooth types share the same function, from grinding and tearing to chewing and crushing (Larsen, 2008). Primates have also gone through multiple evolutionary changes in their dentition, reflecting on the types of foods they have eaten. Premolars and molars of primates, which were often used for grinding or crushing their food, have significantly changed and influenced the functions of their teeth (Larsen, 2008). Incisors and canines were often used to pierce and rip through food, such as leaves. This helps indicate different types of food preferences and feeding specialization in primates since they have heterodont dentition, meaning that they have more than one type of tooth (Swindler, 2002). Although the diets within the population of primates have changed significantly, teeth development has not differed (Steinberg, 2003). The differences between non-human primates are quite subtle and their characteristics are relatable to humans when it comes to primate
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