Canine Use in Hominins

Team Members: Lucas Delezene, Peter S. Ungar, J. Michael Plavcan, Mark Teaford

Funding Source: Leakey Foundation

Using dental microtexture analysis, we are examining the hypothesis that early hominins used their canines in ingestive behaviors. To do so, we will compare microwear in five hominin species to that of a range of anthropoid primates that use their canines in a variety of preparatory and nonmasticatory contexts.

Rising Star Collaboration: Diet and Tooth Morphology

Team Members: Lucas Delezene, Sarah V. Livengood, Alia Gurtov, Lee R. Berger, and Peter S. Ungar

Funding Source National Geographic; University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

We are examining the microwear textures on the occlusal and buccal surfaces of the Homo naledi material to understand dietary behaviors. Their microwear signals will be compared to modern hunter-gatherers, currently published hominin material, and non human primates.

Kanapoi Paleoecology

Team Members:
Michael Plavcan, Lucas Delezene, Jessica Scott, Elicia Abella, Jenny Burgman, Rachel Walton, and Peter S. Ungar

Funding Source National Science Foundation

The Ungar lab is participating in the paleoecological reconstruction of the hominin site of Kanapoi in Kenya. By analyzing the dental textural analysis of rodents, suids, primates and hominins from the site to understand the dietary patterns of these animals.