Dental Perspectives on Human Evolution: State of the Art Research in Dental Paleoanthropology


Eric Delson, Vertebrate Paleontology, Ross D.E. MacPhee, Vertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA

Book Description

Full name: Dental Perspectives on Human Evolution: State of the Art Research in Dental Paleoanthropology

Series: Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology

The objective of the volume is to bring together, in one collection, the most innovative dental anthropological research as it pertains to the study of hominid evolution. In the past few decades both the numbers of hominid dental fossils and the sophistication of the techniques used to analyze them have increased substantially. The book’s contributions focus on dental morphometrics, growth and development, diet and dental evolution.

Editorial Reviews


From the reviews: “The edited volume is based on the Dental Paleoanthropology symposium which was held in 2005 … . The volume provides invaluable new results, discussions, and synthetic approaches which demonstrate how the study of dentitions can greatly contribute to our knowledge on past human variability and evolution. … Overall it is an excellent volume which contains high quality contributions and is therefore essential to paleoanthropologist, anthropologists, and scholars from various related disciplines. … an invaluable and timely comprehensive account of state-of-the-art research in dental paleoanthropology.” Ron Pinhasi, PaleoAnthropology, 2008. “The resulting edited volume is a significant contribution to the fields of dental anthropology and paleoanthropology … . Much of the work presented here is new and should be significant interest to both students and seasoned researchers in dental anthropology and paleoanthropology. In addition, this is an attractive volume, put together with excellent production values, lovely photographs … and well executed and informative line drawings. … will be of great interest and utility to biological anthropologists, paleoanthropologists, and vertebrate paleontologists.” Robert L. Anemone, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 2009. ” This edited book explores new avenues of research in dental studies of human and non-human primates. The volume focuses on three broad themes – dental morphology, dental development and methodological approaches – and is divided into four sections. In the first section, the chapters focus on the use of new techniques in the study of dental morphological variation and evolution (e.g. direct observation of new traits and two- and three-dimensional techniques). The second section is concerned with dental microstructural morphology and how it can benefit our understanding of a population’s life history. The third section presents new methods for analysing dental growth and development, and chapters here offer varied approaches to examining the ontogeny of teeth including quantitative genetic analysis, radiographic analysis of dental events, and the computerised reconstruction of dental ontogeny. The final section comprises chapters focussing on the most up to date techniques used in evaluating dental attrition and diet. These papers shed light on the diets of our ancestors through investigations of functional morphology, isotopic analysis and microwear studies. As a whole, this book gives a good overview of the diversity of techniques currently being used to understand the dentition, with the ultimate goal of answering questions about hominin evolution.” Journal of Human Evolution, 2009.

About the Author

Shara Bailey: Shara Bailey is an Assistant Professor at New York University and a member of the Center for the study of Human Origins.  Her past appointments include Research Scientist at the Max Planck Insitutue for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig (Germany) and Post-Doctoral Researcher at The George Washington University, Washington DC.  She completed her PhD in Biolgoical Anthropology at Arizona State University, Tempe in 2002. Dr. Bailey’s primary reserach interest is in addressing paleoanthropological questions from a dental perspective.  The major focus of her research has been Middle to Late Pleistocene hominns and modern human origins, but her research interests include early hominin and primate evolution as well. Jean-Jacques Hublin: Jean-Jacques Hublin, Ph.D., is currently a Professor at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig (Germany), where he also serves as the Director of the Department of Human Evolution. Initially his research focuses on the origin and evolution of Neanderthals and he has proposed an accretion model for the emergence of the Neandertal lineage that roots it in time in the middle of the middle Pleistocene. He also worked on the processes associated with the emergence of Homo sapiens and on the interactions between Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans in Europe. He developed the use of medical and virtual imaging in the reconstruction and study of fossil hominids and paid attention to the growth and development issues. He has led field operations in North Africa, Spain and France. In addition to his scientific papers, he has regularly published popular books (with translations in English, Italian, Spanish and Chinese) and articles on the subjects of Neanderthal and early modern human evolution. Significant past research and teaching appointments include: Researcher, Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (1981-2000), Visiting Professor, University of California at Berkeley (1992), Harvard University (1997) and Stanford University (1999), Elected member of the French National Committee of Scientific Research (1991-2000), Professor at the University of Bordeaux (2000-2004), and Deputy Director for Anthropology, Prehistory and Paleo-environmental Sciences, Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (2000-2003).

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 437 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 1 edition (October 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402058446
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402058448
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds


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