Life-History Correlates of Enamel Microstructure in Cebidae (Platyrrhini, Primates)


  • Russell T. Hogg,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physical Therapy and Human Performance, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida
    • Department of Physical Therapy and Human Performance, Florida Gulf Coast University, 10501 FGCU Blvd S, Fort Myers, FL 33965
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Tel.: (239) 590-7530. Fax: (239) 590-7474

  • Robert S. Walker

    1. Department of Anthropology, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
    Search for more papers by this author


Previous studies have examined tooth eruption as it relates intrinsically to body mass, brain mass, and other life history variables, and extrinsically to ecological factors (e.g., age at foraging independence, environmental risk aversion, and maternal investment). Different models have been explored wherein each of these variables impacts ontogeny. However, anthropoid and strepsirhine primates exhibit interesting differences in the relationships of these ecological and life history variables with tooth eruption. Moreover, interactions between ecological variables and dental tissue growth have only been explored in the lemurs. This study examines dental microstructure of the New World monkey family, Cebidae, to provide further insight into forces influencing the evolution of primate dental ontogeny. The Cebidae were chosen because they are a diverse group which is distinct in ecology and phylogeny from the better known catarrhines of the Old World. Using phylogenetic generalized least squares analyses (PGLS), we test whether brain mass, body mass, or the three above-mentioned ecological variables have stronger correlations with enamel growth. Results show that ecological factors have stronger relationships with cebid dental growth rates than brain or body mass. Foraging independence has the most impact on overall enamel growth as it has the strongest correlation with enamel extension rates. However, another estimate of enamel growth, rate of secretion, has the highest correlation with maternal investment. Our results suggest that an overarching ecological model encompassing the three current ecological hypotheses is needed to further understand the evolution of dental ontogeny within primates. Anat Rec,, 2011. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.