The dentition and dental tissues of the agamid lizard, Uromastyx

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Abstract

The dentition of Uromastyx hardwicki was examined in a series of carefully prepared dry skulls and was found to be very different from that of other agamid lizards. The anatomy of the dentition undergoes great changes from the time of hatching to advanced age, but no evidence of tooth replacement could be found. Extension of the tooth rows by addition of larger teeth posteriorly, together with elongation of the premaxilla, and a characteristic pattern of wear are responsible for the condition seen in aged specimens.

The structure of the dental tissues was investigated by means of a variety of histological techniques including scanning electron microscopy and it is established that the enamel has prismatic structure like that of mammalian enamel. The mode of formation of enamel with and without prisms is described and the occurrence and significance of prismatic structure in reptilian dental enamel discussed.

Ancillary