Probit and survival analysis of tooth emergence ages in a mixed-longitudinal sample of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)



Tooth emergence data from a mixed-longitudinal sample of 58 chimpanzees of known age were analyzed using probit and survival techniques to produce median emergence ages, ranges of variability, and emergence sequences for primary and permanent teeth. Between-group comparisons were made to test for statistically significant differences in emergence ages. No such differences were found between right and left sides, or between maxilla and mandible, for any primary or permanent teeth. Male-female comparisons did demonstrate significant emergence-age differences for some teeth, although they were not always bilaterally symmetrical. More complete data are required to further clarify the nature of sex differences in tooth emergence in chimpanzees. Regression models for age prediction from the number of emerged teeth were generated and indicate that males achieve a given number of emerged teeth at a significantly later age than females. However, when fewer than five teeth have emerged, males are predicted to be younger than females. The sizable root mean square error values for these models suggest that this method of age prediction has limited usefulness owing to the amount of variability in timing of tooth emergence in chimpanzees. The implications of these data for studies on tooth emergence in early hominids are addressed. © 1992 Wiley-Liss, Inc.