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Paleontological and anthropological perspectives on teeth

prof. dr. peter s. ungar, universiteit van arkansas

vrijdag 15 december 2023

Morning session This session would focus on my area of research expertise – namely how teeth work and how they are used for the reconstruction of diet in fossil species. The first lecture will review how teeth break food in a broad sense. It will cover fracture mechanics and the physical properties of foods (and teeth). The focus will be on dental adaptations to diet in mammals, to illustrate general principles underlying dental functional morphology and the biomechanics of chewing. Tooth size, shape, and structure will be considered. This will provide insights into how different types of teeth have evolved the potential to break down foods with specific fracture properties. The second lecture will consider how paleontologists reconstruct diets of individuals (how teeth were used) from fossil remains. This is what I call, foodprints, which, like footprints in the sand, are traces of actual behavior of an animal or human that died up to millions of years ago. There will be two areas of focus: 1) dental microwear, the patterns of microscopic scratches and pits that form on a tooth’s surface as the result of its use, and 2) stable isotope ratios in enamel, such as the proportions of C13:C12, which can tell us about the chemistry of the foods eaten that provided the raw materials to make the teeth.

Afternoon session The afternoon session will focus on anthropological/evolutionary biological perspectives to putour teeth today – and your patients teeth -- into their proper context. The first lecture will review the origin and evolution of teeth. There are tens of thousands of species with “teeth”, or hardened structures in the mouth used in food acquisition and processing. We are just one of those species. This lecture will focus on vertebrate teeth, and consider the appearance and evolution of enamel, tooth attachments, numbers, distribution and replacement of teeth, crown differentiation, occlusion and chewing. We will consider especially the evolution of teeth in the mammals and the myriad dental forms that nature has given us. The second lecture will consider changes over time in oral health among humans. We will metaphorically look into the mouths of traditional peoples of the past and present – those without our modern diets or our modern dental care. This is the domain of bioarchaeology, and researchers document caries disease, periodontal and orthodontic disorders as well as nutrition- related developmental defects. This lecture will highlight my own work with the Hadza peoples of Tanzania, the last remaining hunter-gatherers in Africa.

bijkomende info omtrent spreker en onderwerp klik [hier](https://www.datocms-assets.com/73840/1696856110-artikel-ungar.pages

Meer info in dit artikel: Why we have so many problems with our teeth (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-we-have-so-many-problems-with-our-teeth/)


Prof. Dr. Peter S. Ungar is hoofd van het “Department of Antropology” aan de Universiteit van Arkasas. Hij is auteur van verscheidene boeken (6) waarvan enkele vertaald zijn Koreaans, Chinees en Japans en peer-reviewed publicaties (183). Hij werd ook onderscheiden met verscheidene prijzen met oa. American Publisher Award in 2010 in Biological Science categorie. (uitgebreid CV op website)


9:00 am – 10:30 am Dental functional morphology (a mammalian perspective)
10:30 – 11:00 am Coffee break
11:00 – 12:30 pm Foodprints: Tooth wear and isotope analyses of teeth for diet reconstruction
12:30 – 2:00 pm Lunch
14:00 – 15:30 pm The evolution of Teeth: A half-billion year odyssey
15:30 – 16:00 pm Coffee break
16:00 – 17:30 pm Dental bioarchaeology