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J Hum Evol. 2011 Dec;61(6):688-702. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2011.09.004. Epub 2011 Nov 1.

A geometric morphometric analysis of hominin upper premolars. Shape variation and morphological integration.

Author information

1
Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Adolf Lorenz Gasse 2, A-3422 Altenberg, Austria. aida.gomez-robles@kli.ac.a

Abstract

This paper continues the series of articles initiated in 2006 that analyse hominin dental crown morphology by means of geometric morphometric techniques. The detailed study of both upper premolar occlusal morphologies in a comprehensive sample of hominin fossils, including those coming from the Gran Dolina-TD6 and Sima de los Huesos sites from Atapuerca, Spain, complement previous works on lower first and second premolars and upper first molars. A morphological gradient consisting of the change from asymmetric to symmetric upper premolars and a marked reduction of the lingual cusp in recent Homo species has been observed in both premolars. Although percentages of correct classification based on upper premolar morphologies are not very high, significant morphological differences between Neanderthals (and European middle Pleistocene fossils) and modern humans have been identified, especially in upper second premolars. The study of morphological integration between premolar morphologies reveals significant correlations that are weaker between upper premolars than between lower ones and significant correlations between antagonists. These results have important implications for understanding the genetic and functional factors underlying dental phenotypic variation and covariation.

PMID:
22047673
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhevol.2011.09.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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