Program No.18-049

Data collection for morphological study of the dentino-enamel junction and the enamel prism in Nacholapithecus

Daisuke Shimizu

16th Augst,2006 - 20th September,2006

 Although detailed morphological studies of dentino-enamel junction (DEJ) or enamel microstructure studies of East African Miocene hominoids have not done yet, the DEJ morphology and enamel microstructure are very important characters for phylogenetical and functional study of fossils. Nacholapithecus is one of the Middle Miocene hominoid from East Africa, and they had unique characters of mixture between apes and monkeys. Investigation DEJ morphology and enamel microstructure of Nacholapithecus might be very important for discussion of adaptive radiation of African Miocene hominoids.

Successive cross-section images of East African Miocene hominoids' molars stored at National Museum of Kenya were taken by pQCT (peripheral quantitative computed tomography). Fifty-two specimens from 11 genuses, 17 species (i.e. Proconsul africanus [2], P. heseloni [3], P. major [3], P. nyanzae [1], Afropithecus turkanensis [2], Nacholapithecus kerioi [16], Equatorius africanus [2], Nyanzapithecus harrisoni [3], N. pickfordi [1], Ranguwapithecus gordoni [2], Dendropithecus macinnesi [3], Micropithecus clarki [1], M. leakeyorum [3], Simiolus enjiessi [3], Limnopithecus evansi [4], L. legetet [2], Kalepithecus songhorensis [1]) were used. All of the specimens were upper second molar without any dentine patches. Three-dimensional reconstruction of DEJ of these specimens will be created in the Primate Research Institute.

Sixteen detailed moulds of molar broken surface of Nacholapithecus kerioi were taken by extra-light viscosity dental silicon (PROVIL Novo Light) to investigate enamel microstructure. And 21 detailed moulds of wear facet of Nacholapithecus kerioi molars were taken as well to investigate microwear. The casts will be made of these moulds and analyzed in the Primate Research Institute.

National Museum of Kenya
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