A geometric morphometric analysis of hominin upper first molar shape



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Gómez Robles, Aida and Martinón Torres, María and Bermúdez de Castro, José María and Margvelashvili, A. and Bastir, Markus and Arsuaga, Juan Luis and Pérez Pérez, Alejandro and Estebaranz, Ferran and Martínez, Laura M. (2007) A geometric morphometric analysis of hominin upper first molar shape. Journal of Human Evolution, 53 . pp. 272-285. ISSN 0047-2484

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Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00472484


Recent studies have revealed interesting differences in upper first molar morphology across the hominin fossil record, particularly significant
between H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis. Usually these analyses have been performed by means of classic morphometric methods, including
the measurement of relative cusp areas or the angles defined between cusps. Although these studies have provided valuable information for the
morphological characterization of some hominin species, we believe that the analysis of this particular tooth could be more conclusive for taxonomic
assignment. In this study, we have applied geometric morphometric methods to explore the morphological variability of the upper first
molar (M1) across the human fossil record. Our emphasis focuses on the study of the phenetic relationships among the European middle Pleistocene
populations (designated as H. heidelbergensis) with H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens, but the inclusion of Australopithecus and early
Homo specimens has helped us to assess the polarity of the observed traits. H. neanderthalensis presents a unique morphology characterized by
a relatively distal displacement of the lingual cusps and protrusion in the external outline of a large and bulging hypocone. This morphology can
be found in a less pronounced degree in the European early and middle Pleistocene populations, and reaches its maximum expression with the
H. neanderthalensis lineage. In contrast, modern humans retain the primitive morphology with a square occlusal polygon associated with a round
external outline.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Neandertals; Dental anthropology; Geometric morphometrics; Maxillary molars
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Paleontology
ID Code:26869
Deposited On:30 Sep 2014 11:17
Last Modified:11 Dec 2018 08:42

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