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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Wendy Dirks
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Strontium and calcium are incorporated into developing teeth in a manner that reflects changing physiological concentrations in the body. A new model predicts changes in strontium/calcium (Sr/Ca) ratios in response to dietary transitions experienced at birth and during the weaning period. Microsampling of longitudinal thin sections of tooth enamel using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry provides a basis for the systematic evaluation of variation in Sr/Ca ratios within the tooth crown. Incremental growth markers in enamel are used to determine the age of onset of enamel mineralization at each sampling point. Thin sections of 5 teeth from 2 wild-caught baboons (Papio hamadryas anubis) were systematically analysed using this technique. Intra- and intertooth analyses of Sr/Ca ratios reveal a pattern of dietary development during the period of enamel formation that is consistent with observational data on the timing of weaning behaviour in anubis baboons. Copyright © 2008 S. Karger AG.
Author(s): Humphrey L, Dirks W, Dean M, Jeffries T
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Folia Primatologica
Print publication date: 01/06/2008
ISSN (print): 0015-5713
ISSN (electronic): 1421-9980
PubMed id: 18204264
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