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Dental wear at macro- and microscopic scale in rabbits fed diets of different abrasiveness: a pilot investigation


Martin, Louise F; Krause, Lisa; Ulbricht, Arlett; Winkler, Daniela E; Codron, Daryl; Kaiser, Thomas M; Müller, Jacqueline; Hummel, Jürgen; Clauss, Marcus; Hatt, Jean-Michel; Schulz-Kornas, Ellen (2020). Dental wear at macro- and microscopic scale in rabbits fed diets of different abrasiveness: a pilot investigation. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 556:109886.

Abstract

To differentiate the effects of internal and external abrasives on tooth wear, we performed a controlled feeding experiment in rabbits fed diets of varying phytolith content as an internal abrasive and with addition of sand as an external abrasive. 13 rabbits were each fed one of the following four pelleted diets with different abrasive characteristics (no phytoliths: lucerne L; phytoliths: grass G; more phytoliths: grass and rice hulls GR; phytoliths plus external abrasives: grass, rice hulls and sand GRS) for two weeks. At the end the feeding period, three tooth wear proxies were applied to quantify wear on the cheek teeth at macroscopic and microscopic wear scales: CT scans were obtained to quantify tooth height. Mesowear was scored adapted to this species, and 3D dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA) was performed on four antagonistic teeth. Both external and internal abrasives resulted in increased wear in all proxies compared to the phytolith and sand-free diet (L). The wear effect was more prominent on the maxillary than on the mandibular teeth. On the GRS diet, the upper third premolar had the largest decline in relative tooth height compared to others in the same tooth row. The impact of diet abrasiveness on the mesowear signal was only clearly visible for the most abrasive diet, most likely due to the limited sample size. DMTA was especially sensitive to phytolith changes in the diet, and surface roughness generally increased with increasing amounts of abrasive agents (L < G < GR < GRS) as expressed in an increase of most height and volume parameters. The fast pace of dental wear in this species led to some expected correlations between tooth height, mesowear and DMTA parameters, creating a distinct wear pattern for each diet. Animal models with high wear rates may be particularly suitable for investigations on functional interrelationships of different wear proxies.

Abstract

To differentiate the effects of internal and external abrasives on tooth wear, we performed a controlled feeding experiment in rabbits fed diets of varying phytolith content as an internal abrasive and with addition of sand as an external abrasive. 13 rabbits were each fed one of the following four pelleted diets with different abrasive characteristics (no phytoliths: lucerne L; phytoliths: grass G; more phytoliths: grass and rice hulls GR; phytoliths plus external abrasives: grass, rice hulls and sand GRS) for two weeks. At the end the feeding period, three tooth wear proxies were applied to quantify wear on the cheek teeth at macroscopic and microscopic wear scales: CT scans were obtained to quantify tooth height. Mesowear was scored adapted to this species, and 3D dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA) was performed on four antagonistic teeth. Both external and internal abrasives resulted in increased wear in all proxies compared to the phytolith and sand-free diet (L). The wear effect was more prominent on the maxillary than on the mandibular teeth. On the GRS diet, the upper third premolar had the largest decline in relative tooth height compared to others in the same tooth row. The impact of diet abrasiveness on the mesowear signal was only clearly visible for the most abrasive diet, most likely due to the limited sample size. DMTA was especially sensitive to phytolith changes in the diet, and surface roughness generally increased with increasing amounts of abrasive agents (L < G < GR < GRS) as expressed in an increase of most height and volume parameters. The fast pace of dental wear in this species led to some expected correlations between tooth height, mesowear and DMTA parameters, creating a distinct wear pattern for each diet. Animal models with high wear rates may be particularly suitable for investigations on functional interrelationships of different wear proxies.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Uncontrolled Keywords:Earth-Surface Processes, Palaeontology, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Oceanography
Language:English
Date:1 October 2020
Deposited On:03 Jul 2020 16:53
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 15:22
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0031-0182
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2020.109886
Project Information:
  • : FunderH2020
  • : Grant ID681450
  • : Project TitleVERTEBRATE HERBIVORY - Evolution of herbivory in vertebrates: developing combined isotope (Ca, Sr) and dental surface texture analysis as deep time diet proxies
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID31003A_163300/1
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderUZH Candoc
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title

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