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Life history theory and dental development in four species of catarrhine primates

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Wendy Dirks


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Dental development was reconstructed in several individuals representing four species of catarrhine primates, Symphalangus syndactylus, Hylobates lar, Semnopithecus entellus priam, and Papio hamadryas, using the techniques of dental histology. Bar charts assumed to represent species-typical dental development were constructed from these data and estimated ages at first and third molar emergence were plotted on them along with ages at weaning, menarche and first reproduction from the literature. The estimated age at first molar emergence appears to occur at weaning in the siamang, lar gibbon, and langur, and just after weaning in the baboon. Age at menarche and first reproduction occur earlier relative to dental development in both cercopithecoids than in the hylobatids, suggesting that early reproduction may be a derived trait in cercopithecoids. The results are examined in the context of life history theory.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dirks W, Bowman JE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Human Evolution

Year: 2007

Volume: 53

Issue: 3

Pages: 309-320

Print publication date: 13/08/2007

ISSN (print): 0047-2484

ISSN (electronic): 1095-8606

Publisher: Academic Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2007.04.007


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