Scanning Microscopy


Studies of microwear on fossil hominid teeth have become an important approach in paleoanthropology. Since there are very few samples of early hominids from East Africa with suitable teeth, this paper presents a review of the occurrence of some dental wear characteristics to provide a data base for reconstructing the diet of the early hominids.

Distinctive microwear features such as furrows, crenulations, stress lines and deep grooves, are interpretive tools that can be used in a biomechanical approach. Occurrence of the same dental microwear patterns in extant species with known dietary differences is indicative of foods that have probably been exploited in fossils.

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