Buccal dental microtexture discriminates between dietary groups in a sample of African cercopithecoidea.
The study applies, for the first time, the ISO/FDIS 25178 3D roughness parameters to buccal surfaces, to assess their effectiveness in detecting dietary variability among extant Cercopithecoidea species with diverse feeding ecologies.
This study compares ISO (ISO/FDIS 25178) roughness parameters, calculated from three-dimensional (3D) molar buccal microtexture surfaces, among African Cercopithecoidea primates with different diets.
Materials and Methods
We examined 98 lower second molars from seven African Cercopithecoidea species with diverse dietary regimes and habitat exploitation. Firstly, Buccal dental surfaces were analyzed using a Sensofar Plu Neox laser scanning confocal microscope. Secondly, thirty-eight, areal surface texture parameters were extracted (Mountain 7® software). Finally, uni- and multivariate statistics were used to obtain diet-related patterns of buccal-microwear textures and feeding ecology to differentiate between species.
Buccal-dental 3D texture parameters discriminate between Cercopithecoidea diets. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed significant variation in microwear texture between forest-adapted Mandrillus sphinx, which showed coarse flat features, and grassland forager Theropithecus gelada, whose buccal surfaces were characterized by a high density of thin features. Buccal-microwear textures of folivorous species (Colobus polykomos) were related to a lower density of thicker surface indentations in comparison to Papio anubis and Cercocebus atys which are adapted to the consumption of tough and hard foods. The limited interspecific variation in the buccal-microwear textures of savanna dwellers (Chlorocebus pygerythrus and Chlorocebus aethiops) probably reflects similarities in their foraging diets.
Significant variations between-species demonstrate that 3D microwear ISO roughness parameters applied to buccal enamel surfaces can distinguish between the diets of Cercopithecoidea.