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Morphological variation of the deciduous second molars in the Baka Pygmies


Šimková, Petra G; Weber, Gerhard W; Ramirez Rozzi, Fernando V; Slimani, Lotfi; Sadoine, Jérémy; Fornai, Cinzia (2021). Morphological variation of the deciduous second molars in the Baka Pygmies. Scientific Reports, 11:16480.

Abstract

The Baka Pygmies are known for their short stature resulting from a reduced growth rate during infancy. They are peculiar also for their teeth erupt earlier than in any other African population, and their posterior dentition is larger than in non-Pygmy populations. However, the Baka’s dental morphology, like several other aspects of their biology, is still understudied. Here, we explore the variation of the Baka’s deciduous upper and lower second molars (dm2s) in comparison to a geographically heterogeneous human sample by means of 3D geometric morphometrics and analysis of dental traits. Our results show that the different populations largely overlap based on the shape of their dm2s, especially the lower ones. Their distal region and the height of the dentinal crown differ the most, with the Baka showing the most extreme range of variation. Upper and lower dm2s covary to a great extent (RV = 0.82). The Baka’s and South Americans’ dm2s were confirmed among the largest in our sample. Despite the Baka’s unique growth pattern, long-lasting isolation, and extreme dental variation, it is not possible to distinguish them from other populations based on their dm2s’ morphology only.

Abstract

The Baka Pygmies are known for their short stature resulting from a reduced growth rate during infancy. They are peculiar also for their teeth erupt earlier than in any other African population, and their posterior dentition is larger than in non-Pygmy populations. However, the Baka’s dental morphology, like several other aspects of their biology, is still understudied. Here, we explore the variation of the Baka’s deciduous upper and lower second molars (dm2s) in comparison to a geographically heterogeneous human sample by means of 3D geometric morphometrics and analysis of dental traits. Our results show that the different populations largely overlap based on the shape of their dm2s, especially the lower ones. Their distal region and the height of the dentinal crown differ the most, with the Baka showing the most extreme range of variation. Upper and lower dm2s covary to a great extent (RV = 0.82). The Baka’s and South Americans’ dm2s were confirmed among the largest in our sample. Despite the Baka’s unique growth pattern, long-lasting isolation, and extreme dental variation, it is not possible to distinguish them from other populations based on their dm2s’ morphology only.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Multidisciplinary
Uncontrolled Keywords:Multidisciplinary
Language:English
Date:1 December 2021
Deposited On:18 Oct 2021 14:04
Last Modified:25 Jun 2024 01:45
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-95524-3
PubMed ID:34389746
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID31003A_176319
  • : Project TitleBirth and human evolution - implications from computer-assisted reconstructions
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)