Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Dental Eruption Sequence

Order in which the different teeth emerge through the gums. Rapidly developing anthropoid primates such as macaques, chimpanzees, and australopithecines exhibit an adult eruption sequence of M1 I1 I2 M2 P3 P4 C M3, whereas AMHs have the sequence M1 I1 I2 C P3 P4 M2 M3. The later that tooth emergence begins, the earlier the anterior teeth (I1-P4) appear in the sequence. It has been suggested that the shift of M2 to a later position, as well as the overall slowing of the rate of development, greatly enhanced the ability of later hominids to distribute tooth wear over a longer period of the life cycle, thus decreasing mortality secondary to dental wear and attrition in juveniles and young adults.

See pedomorphosis, and dental formula.

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