Ectopic maxillary third molar in Early Pleistocene Homo antecessor from Atapuerca‐Gran Dolina site (Burgos, Spain)



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Martín Francés, Laura and Martinón Torres, María and Martínez de Pinillos, Marina and Bayle, Priscilla and Fernández Colón, Pilar and García Campos, Cecilia and Modesto Mata, Mario and Carbonell i Roura, Eudald and Arsuaga, Juan Luis and Bermúdez de Castro, José María (2020) Ectopic maxillary third molar in Early Pleistocene Homo antecessor from Atapuerca‐Gran Dolina site (Burgos, Spain). American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 171 (4). pp. 733-741. ISSN 0002-9483, ESSN: 1096-8644

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Here we describe the case of an ectopic maxillary third molar (M3), preventing the eruption of the M2, in the individual H3 of the hominin hypodigm of level TD6.2 of the Early Pleistocene site of Gran Dolina (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).
Materials and Methods

The fossil remains from the TD6.2 level of the Gran Dolina site (about 170 specimens) are assigned to Homo antecessor. Different geochronological methods place these hominins in the oxygen isotopic stage 21, between 0.8 and 0.85 million years ago (Ma). The immature individual H3 is represented by an almost complete midface (ATD6‐69), preserving various teeth in situ. We used high‐resolution microtomograhy (mCT) to investigate the abnormal position of the left M3, virtually reconstruct M2, and M3 as well as assessing the development stage of these. Finally, we compare this case with extinct and extant populations.

Based on the identified signs, we suggest that individual H3 suffered from a unilateral impaction of the M2 as a result of the ectopic position of the developing M3.

We conclude that the most likely etiology for the ectopic position of the M3 is the lack of space in the maxilla. We discuss possible contributing factors, such as morphometric aspects of the maxilla and the early mineralization of the M3, to support the M2 impaction. Finally, due to the early age at death of this individual we did not identify any secondary lesion associated with the M2 impaction.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:dentition, early Pleistocene, ectopic molar, Homo antecessor, secondary molar impaction
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Paleontology
ID Code:60575
Deposited On:19 May 2020 10:49
Last Modified:20 May 2020 07:56

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