Inference of Diets of Early Hominins from Primate Molar Form and Microwear
Journal of Dental Research, 2019
A trend in occlusal morphology suggests decreased dietary specialization from Australopithecus to early Homo, and increasing dispersion in microwear complexity values is consistent with this. On the other hand, occlusal morphology may suggest dietary specialization in Paranthropus, although different species of this genus have different microwear texture patterns despite similar craniodental adaptation
Dental Evidence for the Reconstruction of Diet in African Early Homo
Current anthropology, 2012
These and other lines ofevidence suggest a probable shift in diet in earlyHomo, and especiallyH. erectus, compared with their australopithforebears, with a broadened subsistence base to include foods with a wider range of fracture properties. Studies todate also make clear that while much remains to be done, early hominin teeth hold the potential to provide moredetail about diet and confidence in our reconstructions as samples increase, our understanding of functional mor-phology improves, and other methods of analysis are applied to the fossils we have.
Evidence for dietary change but not landscape use in South African early hominins
The diet of P. robustus seems to have been less variable than that of
A. africanus and was mainly based on woody plant foodstuffs. This is
consistent with themeasured average Sr/Ca and Ba/Ca ratios, which are
indistinguishable from browsers, the reduced intra-tooth Sr/Ca and
Ba/Ca ratio variability, and with dental microwear and tooth morphology
data2,23. Similar to P. robustus, the diet of early Homo was less
variable than that of A. africanus, but contrary to the diet of P. robustus,
it was based more on meat products. Our results support the idea that
the degree by which woody plants and underground storage organs21
were consumed by A. africanus was reduced in the Homo lineage,
whereas the more specialized masticatory apparatus of the robust
australopithecines enabled them to have subsisted mostly on this type
Dental Microwear Texture and Anthropoid Diets
Robert S. Scott et al.
American journal of physical anthropology, 2012
species that consume moretough foods, such as leaves, tended to have high levels ofanisotropy and low texture complexity. The converse wastrue for species including hard and brittle items in theirdiets either as staples or as fallback foods. These resultsreaffirm the utility of dental microwear texture analysisas an important tool in making dietary inferences basedon fossil primate samples
The Diets of Early Hominins
Peter S. Ungar & Matt Sponheimer
Diet changes are considered key events in human evolution. Most studies of early hominin diets focused on tooth size, shape, and craniomandibular morphology, as well as stone toolsand butchered animal bones. However, in recent years, dental microwear and stable isotope analyses have hinted at unexpected diversity and complexity in early hominin diets.
Dental topography and diets of Australopithecus afarensis and early Homo
Journal of human evolution, 2004
Early Homo shows steeper slopes and more relief than chimpanzees, whereas A. afarensis shows less slope and relief than any of the other groups.
[…] meat seems more likely to have been a key tough-food for early Homo than would have USOs