Developmental defects of the dental crown in chimpanzees from the Taï National Park, Côte D'ivoire: Coronal waisting

Authors

  • Mark F. Skinner,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., V5A 1S6, Canada
    • Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, B.C., V5A 1S6, Canada
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  • Matthew M. Skinner,

    1. Department of Anthropology, University College London, London, WC1H 0BW, UK
    2. Department of Human Evolution, Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany
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  • Christopher Boesch

    1. Department of Primatology, Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany
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Abstract

We describe a developmental defect that manifests as a mild constricted “waist” in anterior teeth from seven of nine chimpanzee individuals from Taï National Park, Côte D'Ivoire. The sample consists of 21 canine teeth and one incisor, imaged in profile with a digital microscope. Twelve teeth are affected. The waist develops during tooth formation as an external, encircling depression in the contour of the outer enamel surface, more easily seen labially. It is not a thinning of enamel per se, but rather a slight decrement in dentinal crown volume, shown in microCT scans as a change in contour of the enamel-dentin junction, spanning between 3 and 6 years of age, varying among individuals, with maximum expression at about age 4.3 years. The timing and duration of coronal waisting are consistent with descriptions of the weaning process at Taï and other chimpanzee study sites. We propose that coronal waisting records variation in the individual infant chimpanzee's physiological experiences during the process of attaining independence, increased foraging efficiency, and lactational weaning. Am J Phys Anthropol 149:272–282, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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