Complementary approaches to tooth wear analysis in Tritylodontidae (Synapsida, Mammaliamorpha) reveal a generalist diet

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Kalthoff , D C , Schulz-Kornas , E , Corfe , I , Martin , T , McLoughlin , S & Schultz , J A 2019 , ' Complementary approaches to tooth wear analysis in Tritylodontidae (Synapsida, Mammaliamorpha) reveal a generalist diet ' , PLoS One , vol. 14 , no. 7 , 0220188 , pp. e0220188 . https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0220188

Title: Complementary approaches to tooth wear analysis in Tritylodontidae (Synapsida, Mammaliamorpha) reveal a generalist diet
Author: Kalthoff, Daniela C.; Schulz-Kornas, Ellen; Corfe, Ian; Martin, Thomas; McLoughlin, Stephen; Schultz, Julia A.
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Institute of Biotechnology
Date: 2019-07-25
Language: eng
Number of pages: 24
Belongs to series: PLoS One
ISSN: 1932-6203
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/305078
Abstract: Stereoscopic microwear and 3D surface texture analyses on the cheek teeth of ten Upper Triassic to Lower Cretaceous tritylodontid (Mammaliamorpha) taxa of small/medium to large body size suggest that all were generalist feeders and none was a dietary specialist adapted to herbivory. There was no correspondence between body size and food choice. Stereomicroscopic microwear analysis revealed predominantly fine wear features with numerous small pits and less abundant fine scratches as principal components. Almost all analyzed facets bear some coarser microwear features, such as coarse scratches, large pits, puncture pits and gouges pointing to episodic feeding on harder food items or exogenous effects (contamination of food with soil grit and/or dust), or both. 3D surface texture analysis indicates predominantly fine features with large void volume, low peak densities, and various stages of roundness of the peaks. We interpret these features to indicate consumption of food items with low to moderate intrinsic abrasiveness and can exclude regular rooting, digging or caching behavior. Possible food items include plant vegetative parts, plant reproductive structures (seeds and seed-bearing organs), and invertebrates (i.e., insects). Although the tritylodontid tooth morphology and auto-occlusion suggest plants as the primary food resource, our results imply a wider dietary range including animal matter.
Subject: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
DENTAL MICROWEAR
FEEDING ECOLOGY
CYNODONT
MORPHOLOGY
TRIBOLOGY
EVOLUTION
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