Behavioral inferences from the high levels of dental chipping in Homo naledi.

  title={Behavioral inferences from the high levels of dental chipping in Homo naledi.},
  author={Ian Towle and Joel D. Irish and Isabelle De Groote},
  journal={American journal of physical anthropology},
  volume={164 1},
OBJECTIVES A variety of mechanical processes can result in antemortem dental chipping. In this study, chipping data in the teeth of Homo naledi are compared with those of other pertinent dental samples to give insight into their etiology. MATERIALS AND METHODS Permanent teeth with complete crowns evidencing occlusal wear were examined macroscopically. The location, number, and severity of fractures were recorded and compared to those found in samples of two other South African fossil hominin… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Dietary and behavioral inferences from dental pathology and non-masticatory wear on dentitions from a British medieval town

Remains from the same area, but the earlier Roman period, also shows high rates of both caries and calculus, suggesting a continuation of consuming certain cariogenic foods is likely.

Brief communication: Dental microwear and diet of Homo naledi.

The dental microwear textures of H. naledi are examined to reconstruct aspects of diet of these hominins and to assess the possibility that hard foods (gritty or otherwise) are the culprits for the unusually high antemortem chip incidence reported.

Tooth chipping patterns in Paranthropus do not support regular hard food mastication

Comparative chipping analysis suggests that both Paranthropus species were unlikely habitual hard object eaters, at least compared to living durophage analogues.

Tertiary Dentine Frequencies in Extant Great Apes and Fossil Hominins

  • I. Towle
  • Environmental Science
    Open Quaternary
  • 2018
Tertiary dentine forms when an odontoblast is directly affected by stimuli, commonly through occlusal wear. In this study the presence of tertiary dentine is recorded in three South African fossil

Dental topography and the diet of Homo naledi.

Dental caries in human evolution: frequency of carious lesions in South African fossil hominins

Caries frequency typically ranges between 1-5% of teeth in non-agricultural human samples, and this pattern seemingly holds true for at least the past two million years in the hominin lineage.

Dental caries in South African fossil hominins

The results suggest cariogenic biofilms and foods may have been present in the oral environment of a wide variety of hominins, including five Paranthropus robustus, one early Homo, and one Homo naledi.

Periapical lesions in hominids: Abscesses on the maxilla of a 2 million‐year‐old early Homo specimen

These lesions in an early Homo specimen highlight that this individual used their anterior dentition extensively, to the point that the pulp chambers were exposed on multiple teeth, and suggests that other hominin genera may have been less susceptible to dental abscesses, potentially relating to dietary or behavioural differences.



On the chipping and splitting of teeth.

  • H. ChaiJ. LeeB. Lawn
  • Materials Science
    Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials
  • 2011

Dental chipping: Contrasting patterns of microtrauma in inuit and European populations

Observations on dental chipping in populations from the Arctic and Europe reveal patterns of microtrauma that provide insights into the dietary and tooth-tool use behaviour of earlier populations.

Form and patterning of anterior tooth wear among aboriginal human groups.

  • R. Hinton
  • Medicine
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 1981
Different differences in form of anterior wear were attributed to nonmasticatory utilization of the front teeth in hunter-gatherers and to employment of the anterior teeth in masticatory (grinding) activities necessitated by large-scale molar loss in food producers.

Dental chipping in Aleuts, Eskimos and Indians.

Analysis of dentitions belonging to 324 prehistoric and protohistoric Aleuts, Eskimos and northern Indians, all of whom were regularly meat-eaters, reveals a significant difference between Eskimos

Non-dietary Marks in the Anterior Dentition of the Krapina Neanderthals

A sample of 82 anterior teeth from Krapina (Croatia) was studied using a light binocular microscope and a scanning electron microscope to document the presence of non-dietary dental scratches. The

Tooth Chipping as a Tool to Reconstruct Diets of Great Apes (Pongo, Gorilla, Pan)

A method in which dietary information can be reconstructed from chips in the tooth enamel of both living and fossil primates is applied and discussed, allowing an estimate of maximum bite force to be obtained from a simple measurement of tooth size.

Short report: Evidence of non-masticatory dental use in Bronze Age individuals exhumed from the Necropolis of Casas Velhas (Portugal)

The obtained results were discussed in terms of a more vegetarian diet proposed for these individuals, as well as, the use of vegetable products, as the treatment of vegetable fibres in daily activities.

Predicting failure in mammalian enamel.

Tooth Wear and Culture: A Survey of Tooth Functions Among Some Prehistoric Populations [and Comments and Reply]

Studies of hominid fossils have frequently reported that one of their outstanding characteristics is their heavily worn teeth. Many skeletal remains of modern man also show this condition of dental