• Tooth size;
  • Australian Aboriginals;
  • Inheritance;
  • Sex chromosomes


The purpose of this study was to clarify the question of inheritance of tooth size, with particular reference to the role of the sex chromosomes. Data were obtained from the dental casts of Aboriginals living at Yuendumu in the Northern Territory of Australia, who had participated in a longitudinal growth study extending over 20 years. The compilation and verification of comprehensive genealogical records gathered over a number of years enabled the analysis of family data.

Product-moment correlation coefficients between different full-sibling and half-sibling pairs were calculated for permanent tooth size. Values of individual and average correlations for both mesiodistal and buccolingual tooth diameters conformed with the theoretical correlations expected assuming polygenic inheritance. However, no evidence of sex chromosomal involvement was found.