Presented by: Dr. Peter Ungar, Professor of Anthropology



Presented by: Dr. Peter Ungar, Professor of Anthropology

Course Description:
This presentation is a celebration of teeth and what they can teach us about the lives of our distant ancestors and, more specifically, their diets. There are two basic categories we consider: adaptive lines (e.g., tooth size, shape and structure), and “foodprints”, or traces of actual feeding behaviors (e.g., isotopic evidence and dental microwear). Adaptive evidence and foodprints teach us something about what our ancestors were capable of eating and what specific individuals ate on a daily basis in the past. Combining adaptive evidence and foodprints provides the clearest picture to date of food choice millions of years ago, and how this relates to our evolution. Specific examples will be offered, focusing on new technologies used to characterize and compare tooth shape and patterns of microscopic use wear. Finally, implications of lessons learned from fossil teeth about the “natural” human diet will be considered.

1) Understand the relationships between tooth form and function.
2) Get a better appreciation for tooth wear on a microscopic level and how patterns reflect chewing mechanics and diet.
3) Appreciate the role of teeth

Course Details

CE Hours

1.5 Hours

Subject Code

130 Electives


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