Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Y-5 Molar Pattern

Pattern present on hominoid molars in which there are five cusps separated by a Y-shaped fissure. This pattern is present on the molars of Aegyptopithecus and later hominoids including fossil humans; modern humans more commonly have a T-pattern based on four cusps. It is believed that the Y-5 pattern is primitive for catarrhines and that the cercopithecoid bilophodont condition derived from it. In the late 1980s some workers questioned whether the Y-5 pattern was actually present on most hominoid specimens. Also referred to as the dryopithecine pattern because these were the most ancient fossil hominoids when this pattern was first described.

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