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Dental microwear and diet in Griphopithecus alpani

King, Tania Christine; (1997) Dental microwear and diet in Griphopithecus alpani. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Examination of microscopic wear marks on the surface of teeth (dental microwear) provides information about the main components of an animal's diet. Inferences can be made about the diet of extinct species by comparing the dental microwear patterns of fossil samples with those of present-day groups whose diet is known. This thesis examines the dental microwear of Griphopithecus alpani, a 15 Ma fossil hominoid from the Miocene site of Pasalar in north-western Turkey. The micro wear patterns of G. alpani are compared to three extant hominoid taxa—Gorilla gorilla gorilla. Pan troglodytes verus, and Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus. Results indicate that there is no close dietary analogue to the fossil hominoids among the extant groups. However, the analysis suggests that the diet of Griphopithecus alpani was more similar to that of Pongo, which consumes mainly fruit and the occasionally hard and unripe fruits and nuts, than to the other living hominoids examined in this study. The high percentages of pits displayed by G. alpani indicate that it was ingesting harder fruits and/or objects than the extant hominoids, and it is similar in this respect to Graecopithecus freyhergi, a Miocene hominoid from Greece. There were consistent variations in microwear patterns between the different facets examined in this study. The results of this study do not indicate variation in dental micro wear according to sex or age.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Dental microwear and diet in Griphopithecus alpani
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Earth sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104675
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