AUTHORS’SUMMARIES Paleobiological Implications of the

Abstract

Teeth are highly resilient to degradation andtherefore are the most abundant specimens inthe primate fossil record. The size, shape, enamel thickness, and isotopic composition of teeth provide a wealth of information about phylogeny, diet, and social behavior. Ardipithecus ramidus was origi-nally defined in 1994 primarily on the basis of recov-ered teeth, but the sample size was small, limiting comparison to other primate fossils. We now have over 145 teeth, including canines from up to 21 individuals. The expanded sample now provides new information regarding Ar. ramidus and, using comparisons with teeth of other hominids, extant apes, and monkeys, new perspectives on early hominid evolution as well. In apes and monkeys, the male’s upper canine tooth usually bears a projecting, daggerlike crown that is continuously sharpened (honed) by wear against

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