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What Teeth Reveal about Human Evolution


  • Date Published: September 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107082106

$ 122.00

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About the Authors
  • Over millions of years in the fossil record, hominin teeth preserve a high-fidelity record of their own growth, development, wear, chemistry and pathology. They yield insights into human evolution that are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve through other sources of fossil or archaeological data. Integrating dental findings with current debates and issues in palaeoanthropology, this book shows how fossil hominin teeth shed light on the origins and evolution of our dietary diversity, extended childhoods, long lifespans, and other fundamental features of human biology. It assesses methods to interpret different lines of dental evidence, providing a critical, practical approach that will appeal to students and researchers in biological anthropology and related fields such as dental science, oral biology, evolutionary biology, and palaeontology.

    • Shows how fossil hominin teeth shed light on the evolution of key elements of human biology
    • Each chapter emphasises the latest research on particular species or lineages, integrating research findings with current debates and trends in palaeoanthropology
    • Provides a critical assessment of the different methods that researchers can use to evaluate dental evidence
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is an extensively researched and well-written - not to mention much-needed - book on the unsung heroes of human paleontology: teeth. … The author obviously has done her homework and the references in the book are as up to date as they can be in a constantly changing field. I even found some references that I had not yet read and so I learned something, too. This is an informative read for anyone interested in teeth and/or human evolution. The fact that it is clearly written will make it accessible to general readers. But it also provides enough detail, not to mention an extensive literature review, to make it useful for students entering the field of paleoanthropology.' Shara E. Bailey, The Quarterly Review of Biology

    'The book is designed for undergraduates and non-professionals, but I think that it provides sufficient detail across the breadth of hominin dental studies that it would also offer a good reference piece for professionals and academics that focus on related research topics. …This book would work well in undergraduate courses on human evolution and as a supplementary companion to graduate seminars in related topics.' James T. Watson, Dental Anthropology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107082106
    • length: 294 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 41 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Teeth and Australopiths:
    1. March of the bipeds: the early years
    2. Dentally derived dietary inferences: the australopiths
    3. Curious canines
    4. Incisive insights into childhood
    Part II. Teeth and the Genus Homo:
    5. March of the bipeds: the later years
    6. Dentally derived dietary inferences: the genus Homo and its diminishing dentition
    7. Long in the tooth: life history changes in Homo
    8. Knowing Neanderthals through their teeth
    9. Insights into the origins of modern humans and their dental diseases
    10. Every tooth a diamond.

  • Author

    Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg, Ohio State University
    Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg is Professor of Anthropology and Courtesy Professor of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology at Ohio State University. She has conducted extensive research on fossil hominin teeth across Africa, Europe and Asia, and has published widely in the fields of dental palaeoanthropology and dental primatology.

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