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Re: A question about tooth enamel and drawing dietary conclusions

    If the physical properties of the masticated
material change significantly then this should be
reflected in changes in the dental microwear. For
example, pits vs. scratches, and the lengths, depths,
and widths of these features. 

   See below for reviews on the subject, and also the
work of F. E. Grine, O. J. Oyen, N. Solounias, and P.
S. Ungar for more studies on mammalian taxa. 

Teaford, M.F. (1988) A review of dental microwear and 

   diet in modern mammals. Scanning Microsc. 2(2):  
   1149-1166. (Reprinted in Scanning Microscopy of  
   Vertebrate Mineralized Tissues, edited by L. 
   Martin, A. Boyde, F. Grine, and S. Jones, Chicago: 
   Scanning Microscopy International, pp. 287-304.) 

Teaford, M.F. (1991) Dental microwear what can it tell

   us about diet and dental function? In Advances in 
   Dental Anthropology. M.A. Kelley and C.S. Larsen,  

   eds. New York: Alan R. Liss, pp. 341-356. 

Teaford, M.F. (1994) Dental microwear and dental 
  function. Evol. Anthropol. 3: 17-30.

Teaford, M.F. (2004). Dental microwear analysis. In 
  Bioarchaeology of the Florida Gulf Coast. D.L. 
  Hutchinson, ed. Gainesville, Florida: University 
  Press of Florida, pp. 185-191

  There are a few studies of microwear in dinosaurs,

Barrett, P. M., 2001. Tooth wear and possible jaw 
   action of Scelidosaurus harrisonii Owen and a  
   review of feeding mechanisms in other thyreophoran 
   dinosaurs. In: Carpenter, K. (ed.). The Armored 
   Dinosaurs. Indiana University Press, Bloomington. 
   526 pp.

Fiorillo, A. R., 1991. Dental microwear on the teeth 
   of Camarasaurus and Diplodocus: implications for 
   sauropod palaeoecology. In: Kielan-Jaworowska, Z., 
   Heintz, N., and Nakrem, H. A.(Eds.). Fifth 
   Symposium on Mesozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems and 
   Biota, Extended Abstracts. Contributions from the 
   Paleontological Museum, University of Oslo 364: 23-

Fiorillo, A. R., 1998. Dental microwear patterns of 
   the sauropod dinosaurs Camarasaurus and Diplodocus:
   evidence for resource partitioning in the Late 
   Jurassic of North America. Historical Biology, 13: 

Goswami, A, Flynn, J. J., Ranivoharimanana, L, and 
   Wyss A. R., 2005. Dental microwear in Triassic 
   amniotes: Implication for paleoecology ad 
   masticatory mechanics. Journal of Vertebrate 
   Paleontology, 25: 320-329. 

Norman, D. B., and Weishampel, D. B., 1985. Ornithopod
   feeding mechanisms: their bearing on the evolution 
   of herbivory. American Naturalist, 126: 151-164.

Rybczynski, N., and Vickaryous, M. K., 2001. Evidence 
   of complex jaw movement in the Late Cretaceous 
   ankylosaurid Euoplocephalus tutus (Dinosauria: 
   Thyreophora). In: Carpenter, K. (ed.).The Armored 
   Dinosaurs. Indiana University Press, Bloomington. 
   526 pp.

Schubert, B.W. and Ungar P.S., 2005. Wear facets and 
   enamel spalling in tyrannosaurid dinosaurs. Acta   
   Palaeontologica Polonica, 50: 93?99.

Weishampel, D. B., 1984. The evolution of jaw 
   mechanisms in ornithopod dinosaurs. Advances in 
   Anatomy, Embryology, and Cell Biology, 87: 1-110.

   And to toot my own premaxillary horn, I am
currently using microwear to examine the evolution of
diet and jaw mechanics in Marginocephalia for my

Varriale, F. J. 2004. Dental microwear in Triceratops 
   and Chasmosaurus and its implication for jaw 
   mechanics in Ceratopsidae. Journal of Vertebrate 
   Paleontology. 24(S3): 124A-125A.

All the best,

--- nooj <soixmoi@gmail.com> wrote:

> As I understand it, examining the thickness of the
> tooth enamel and
> the shape of the teeth tells scientists the likely
> diet of that
> animal. But what if the environment or food source
> changed so quickly
> that evolution shaping the teeth to suit the food
> source lags behind?
> Then we have a disparity between what the animal
> actually eats and
> what the teeth say they should eat.
> How do scientists work this problem out?

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