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Keywords:

  • Dental anthropology;
  • Molar size;
  • Asymmetry;
  • Australian aboriginals

Abstract

Percentage frequencies for molar size sequence of first and second molars were calculated in a group of contemporary Australian Aboriginals using mesiodistal and buccolingual dimensions, as well as crown areas. Comparisons were made between sexes, arches, and dimensions within the Aboriginal groups and also between Aboriginal data and those published for other populations. The frequencies of the M2 > M1 molar size sequence in the Aboriginals fell within the range of frequencies reported for other contemporary populations. Differences in the frequencies of the M2 > M1 sequence between the sexes and between arches, together with the relatively high frequency of asymmetry in molar size sequence within Aboriginals, supported the notion that local environmental conditions acting during odontogenesis, together with differential responses to other environmental influences, play an important role in determining observed patterns of molar tooth size.