Osteological Associations With Unique Tooth Development in Manatees (Trichechidae, Sirenia): A Detailed Look at Modern Trichechus and a Review of the Fossil Record
Article first published online: 7 JUL 2012
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The Anatomical Record
Volume 295, Issue 9, pages 1504–1512, September 2012
How to Cite
Beatty, B. L., Vitkovski, T., Lambert, O. and Macrini, T. E. (2012), Osteological Associations With Unique Tooth Development in Manatees (Trichechidae, Sirenia): A Detailed Look at Modern Trichechus and a Review of the Fossil Record. Anat Rec, 295: 1504–1512. doi: 10.1002/ar.22525
- Issue published online: 16 AUG 2012
- Article first published online: 7 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Received: 10 FEB 2012
- National Science Foundation. Grant Number: DEB 0309369
- tooth development;
Modern manatees have a unique type of tooth development, continually forming identical new molars in the posterior end of each quadrant of their mouths, and then progressively moving teeth anteriorly, only to reabsorb roots and spit out worn crowns. This process is not only developmentally complex, but requires space in the oral cavity that imposes its own limitations on other uses of that space. To gain a clearer understanding of the anatomical constraints on the evolution of this unique developmental process, we identified the specialized craniodental features in modern Trichechus that permit this specialization using visual observation and CT. Furthermore, to better understand the evolution of these traits, we review the fossil record of trichechids for these traits, including CT analysis of the skull of Miosiren kocki, a possible early member of the family from the Early Miocene of Belgium. Anat Rec, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.