Michael Anthony Berthaume

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Recent biomechanical analyses examining the feeding adaptations of early hominins have yielded results consistent with the hypothesis that hard foods exerted a selection pressure that influenced the evolution of australopith morphology. However, this hypothesis appears inconsistent with recent reconstructions of early hominin diet based on dental microwear(More)
We employed a probabilistic finite element analysis (FEA) method to determine how variability in material property values affects stress and strain values in a finite model of a Macaca fascicularis cranium. The material behavior of cortical bone varied in three ways: isotropic homogeneous, isotropic non-homogeneous, and orthotropic non-homogeneous. The(More)
Hypotheses regarding patterns of stress, strain and deformation in the craniofacial skeleton are central to adaptive explanations for the evolution of primate craniofacial form. The complexity of craniofacial skeletal morphology makes it difficult to evaluate these hypotheses with in vivo bone strain data. In this paper, new in vivo bone strain data from(More)
Tooth profile plays an important role in interpretations of the functional morphology of extinct species. We tested hypotheses that australopith occlusal morphology influences the fracture force required to crack large, hard food items using a combination of physical testing and finite element analysis (FEA). We performed mechanical experiments simulating(More)
The African Plio-Pleistocene hominins known as australopiths evolved derived craniodental features frequently interpreted as adaptations for feeding on either hard, or compliant/tough foods. Among australopiths, Paranthropus boisei is the most robust form, exhibiting traits traditionally hypothesized to produce high bite forces efficiently and strengthen(More)
Tooth cusp sharpness, measured by radius of curvature (RoC), has been predicted to play a significant role in brittle/hard food item fracture. Here, we set out to test three existing hypotheses about this relationship: namely, the Blunt and Strong Cusp hypotheses, which predict that dull cusps will be most efficient at brittle food item fracture, and the(More)
Teeth are often assumed to be optimal for their function, which allows researchers to derive dietary signatures from tooth shape. Most tooth shape analyses normalize for tooth size, potentially masking the relationship between relative food item size and tooth shape. Here, we model how relative food item size may affect optimal tooth cusp radius of(More)
Australopithecus sediba has been hypothesized to be a close relative of the genus Homo. Here we show that MH1, the type specimen of A. sediba, was not optimized to produce high molar bite force and appears to have been limited in its ability to consume foods that were mechanically challenging to eat. Dental microwear data have previously been interpreted as(More)
Mammalian molars have undergone heavy scrutiny to determine correlates between morphology and diet. Here, the relationship between one aspect of occlusal morphology, tooth cusp radius of curvature (RoC), and two broad dietary categories, folivory and frugivory, is analyzed in apes. The author hypothesizes that there is a relationship between tooth cusp RoC(More)
Over 40 years ago, Clifford Jolly noted different ways in which Hadropithecus stenognathus converged in its craniodental anatomy with basal hominins and with geladas. The Malagasy subfossil lemur Hadropithecus departs from its sister taxon, Archaeolemur, in that it displays comparatively large molars, reduced incisors and canines, a shortened rostrum, and(More)