Dai nostri denti si può risalire alle nostre origini – Our Teeth Gave Us the Edge Over Our Primitive Relatives

his shows the skulls of a human, a gorilla and a macaque — three of the species in which researchers looked at the genomics of enamel evolution. Image: Les ToddAlong with our big brains and upright posture, thick tooth enamel is one of the features that distinguishes our genus, Homo, from our primate relatives and forebears. A new study, published in the Journal of Human Evolution, offers insight into how evolution shaped our teeth, one gene at a time.

By comparing the human genome with those of five other primate species, a team of geneticists and evolutionary anthropologists at Duke Univ. has identified two segments of DNA where natural selection may have acted to give modern humans their thick enamel.Teeth have been an invaluable resource for scientists who study evolution, the authors says.”The fossil record is always the most complete for teeth,” says coauthor Christine Wall, associate research professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke. “And enamel thickness has long been a key trait used to diagnose fossil hominins and reconstruct their diets and life histories.”

Fonte: Laboratory Equipment