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Keywords:

  • character;
  • dental;
  • elephant;
  • mammoth;
  • morphology;
  • morphometrics;
  • systematics;
  • taxonomy

ABSTRACT

1. Dental features frequently have provided data for producing and deducing mammal taxonomies and phylogeny, yet quantitative or statistical analyses for describing intricacies that characterize tooth form are wanting.

2. A method for determining fractal dimensions D that characterize enamel ridges constituting occlusal surfaces for teeth in some mammal species is presented; D quantify complexity (i.e. convolution). The method is exemplified with an analysis that was conducted on teeth from the Family Elephantidae.