Platyrrhine dental eruption sequences



To determine dental eruption sequences of extant platyrrhines, 367 mandibles and maxillae of informative juvenile specimens from all 16 genera were scored for presence of permanent teeth including three intermediate eruption stages following Harvati (Am J Phys Anthropol 112 (2000) 69–85). The timing of molar eruption relative to that of the anterior dentition is variable in platyrrhines. Aotus is precocious, with all molars erupting in succession before replacement of any deciduous teeth, while Cebus is delayed in M2-3 eruption relative to I1-2. Callitrichines have a distinct tendency toward delayed canine and premolar development. Platyrrhine eruption sequences presented here show some evidence of conformity to Schultz's Rule, with relatively early replacement of deciduous dentition in “slower”-growing animals. The relationship of dental eruption sequences to degree of folivory, body mass, brain mass, and dietary quality is also examined. The early eruption of molars relative to anterior teeth in Pithecia, Chiropotes, and Cacajao, in comparison to genera such as Ateles, Lagothrix, and Alouatta, showing relatively later eruption of the molars, appears to be consistent with current phylogenetic hypotheses. Schultz (Am J Phys Anthropol 19 (1935) 489–581) postulated early relative molar eruption as the primitive dental eruption schedule for primates. The extremely early molar eruption of Aotus versus Callicebus (where both incisors erupt before M2 and M3, with M3 usually last) may lend support to the status of Aotus as a basal taxon. The early relative molar eruption of the fossil platyrrhine species Branisella boliviana is also consistent with this hypothesis (Takai et al.: Am J Phys Anthropol 111 (2000) 263–281). Am J Phys Anthropol, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.