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Keywords:

  • macrowear;
  • tooth use;
  • feeding behavior;
  • profile analysis;
  • enamel-dentine junction

ABSTRACT

Studies of dental macrowear can be useful for understanding masticatory and ingestive behavior, life history, and for inferring dietary information from the skeletal material of extinct and extant primates. Such studies to date have tended to focus on one or two teeth, potentially missing information that can be garnered through examination of wear patterns across the tooth row. Our study measured macrowear in the postcanine teeth of three sympatric cercopithecid species from the Taï Forest, Côte d'Ivoire (Cercocebus atys, Procolobus badius, and Colobus polykomos), whose diets have been well-described. Inter-specific analyses suggest that different diets and ingestive behaviors are characterized by different patterns of wear across the molar row, with Cercocebus atys emphasizing tooth use near P4-M1, P. badius emphasizing a large amount of tooth use near M2-M3, and Colobus polykomos exhibiting wear more evenly across the postcanine teeth. Information regarding differential tooth use across the molar row may be more informative than macrowear analysis of isolated teeth for making inferences about primate feeding behavior. Am J Phys Anthropol 150:655–665, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.