Evidence for a single loss of mineralized teeth in the common avian ancestor

  title={Evidence for a single loss of mineralized teeth in the common avian ancestor},
  author={Robert W. Meredith and Guojie Zhang and M. Thomas P. Gilbert and Erich D. Jarvis and Mark S. Springer},
Edentulism, the absence of teeth, has evolved convergently among vertebrates, including birds, turtles, and several lineages of mammals. Instead of teeth, modern birds (Neornithes) use a horny beak (rhamphotheca) and a muscular gizzard to acquire and process food. We performed comparative genomic analyses representing lineages of nearly all extant bird orders and recovered shared, inactivating mutations within genes expressed in both the enamel and dentin of teeth of other vertebrate species… CONTINUE READING
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