MicroWeaR : A new R package for dental microwear analysis

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Strani , F , Profico , A , Manzi , G , Pushkina , D , Raia , P , Sardella , R & DeMiguel , D 2018 , ' MicroWeaR : A new R package for dental microwear analysis ' , Ecology and Evolution , vol. 8 , no. 14 , pp. 7022-7030 . https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4222

Title: MicroWeaR : A new R package for dental microwear analysis
Author: Strani, Flavia; Profico, Antonio; Manzi, Giorgio; Pushkina, Diana; Raia, Pasquale; Sardella, Raffaele; DeMiguel, Daniel
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Geosciences and Geography
Date: 2018-07
Language: eng
Number of pages: 9
Belongs to series: Ecology and Evolution
ISSN: 2045-7758
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/243244
Abstract: Mastication of dietary items with different mechanical properties leaves distinctive microscopic marks on the surface of tooth enamel. The inspection of such marks (dental microwear analysis) is informative about the dietary habitus in fossil as well as in modern species. Dental microwear analysis relies on the morphology, abundance, direction, and distribution of these microscopic marks. We present a new freely available software implementation, MicroWeaR, that, compared to traditional dental microwear tools, allows more rapid, observer error free, and inexpensive quantification and classification of all the microscopic marks (also including for the first time different subtypes of scars). Classification parameters and graphical rendering of the output are fully settable by the user. MicroWeaR includes functions to (a) sample the marks, (b) classify features into categories as pits or scratches and then into their respective subcategories (large pits, coarse scratches, etc.), (c) generate an output table with summary information, and (d) obtain a visual surface-map where marks are highlighted. We provide a tutorial to reproduce the steps required to perform microwear analysis and to test tool functionalities. Then, we present two case studies to illustrate how MicroWeaR works. The first regards a Miocene great ape obtained from through environmental scanning electron microscope, and other a Pleistocene cervid acquired by a stereomicroscope.
Subject: diet reconstruction
open-source software
paleoecology
R package
tooth microwear
SCANNING-ELECTRON-MICROSCOPY
DIETARY ADAPTATIONS
MOLAR MICROWEAR
ERROR RATES
QUANTIFICATION
MAMMALIA
TEXTURE
TEETH
VARIABILITY
WEAR
1171 Geosciences
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
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