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Complementary approaches to tooth wear analysisin Tritylodontidae (Synapsida, Mammaliamorpha)reveal a generalist diet.
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2439-5484
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1657-8256
University of Helsinki.
Universität Bonn.
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2019 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 14, no 7, p. 1-24, article id e0220188Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, 2019. Vol. 14, no 7, p. 1-24, article id e0220188
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Ecosystems and species history; The changing Earth; Diversity of life
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-3428DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220188OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-3428DiVA, id: diva2:1372962
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2014–5234
Note

This research was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG, Award ID KA 1556/6-1 and 7-1 to DCK and MA 1643/16-1 to TM) (www.dfg.de); by the Swedish Research Council (VR, Award ID 2014–5234) (www.vr.se) and by the National Science Foundation (NSF, Award ID 1636625) (www.nsf.gov) to SM

Available from: 2019-10-31 Created: 2019-11-25Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0220188

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