The tales teeth tell : development, evolution, behavior / Tanya M. Smith.
- Cambridge, MA : The MIT Press, 
xviii, 277 pages : color illustrations ; 23 cm
- Dental anthropology.
Dental calculus -- Study and teaching.
Teeth -- History.
- "Why do anthropologists study teeth? Teeth contain detailed records of growth, health, and diet, as well as our evolutionary history. So what are the tales teeth tell? The French naturalist George Cuvier famously remarked, "Show me your teeth and I will tell you who you are." In this book, we will explore the intimate precision, striking beauty, and integrative power of incremental growth rhythms in teeth. We will also consider the surprising records of behavior that remain on their surfaces for millennia. For example, the plaque our hygienists carefully remove traps food particles, bacteria, and DNA from our own cells in a sticky layer that can fossilize over time into dental calculus. While calculus doesn't show the same faithful records as enamel and dentine, it captures human activity after our teeth finish growing, continuing the story of our behavior and health into adulthood and old age. We'll learn how complementary clues such as microscopic scratches and pits formed during chewing have spawned serious debates about the evolution of the human diet. And we'll see how evidence from teeth may point to the uniqueness of our own species, Homo sapiens, with our long childhoods, remarkably diverse diets, and complex behaviors"-- Provided by publisher.
- Microscopes, cells, and biological rhythms
The big picture : birth, death, and everything in between
Things that can go wrong : stress, pathology, and dysevolution
Adaptive shifts from fish to mammals
From humble beginnings : primate and human origins
The evolution of human growth and development
are you what you eat?
Teeth as tools, status symbols, and signposts
Tooth manipulation through the ages.
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
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