[MARMAM] New paper on mechanical properties of enamel and dentine in dolphins

Carolina Loch carolinaloch at yahoo.com.br
Sun May 26 16:19:47 PDT 2013

    Dear MARMAM subscribers,
    We are pleased to announce the publication of the following paper in
    the current issue of the Archives of Oral Biology:
    Mechanical properties of dental tissues in dolphins (Cetacea: Delphinoidea and Inioidea)
    Carolina Loch,  Michael V. Swain, Ludwig Jansen van Vuuren, Jules A. Kieser and R. Ewan Fordyce 
    Volume 58, Issue 7, July 2013, Pages 773–779
    (1) Mammalian teeth play a major role in food acquisition and 
processing. While most mammals are heterodont and masticate their food, 
dolphins are homodont with simplified tooth morphology and negligible 
mastication. Understanding mechanical properties of dental tissues in 
dolphins is fundamental to elucidate the functional morphology and 
biomechanics of their feeding apparatus. This paper aims to study the 
hardness and elastic modulus of enamel and dentine in dolphins. (2) 
Teeth of 10 extant species (Inioidea and Delphinoidea) were 
longitudinally sectioned, polished and mounted in a UMIS nanoindenter. 
Indentations were performed from dentine to outer enamel. Hardness and 
elastic modulus were calculated using the Oliver–Pharr method. (3) Mean 
values of hardness and elastic modulus were similar on buccal and 
lingual surfaces. While dentine hardness was statistically similar among
 species, enamel hardness varied from 3.86 GPa (±0.4) in Steno bredanensis (rough-toothed dolphin) to 2.36 GPa (±0.38) in Pontoporia blainvillei
 (franciscana). For most species, there was a gradational increase in 
hardness values from inner to outer enamel. Enamel and dentine elastic 
modulus values clearly differed among species. In enamel, it ranged from
 69.32 GPa (±4.08) in the rough-toothed dolphin to 13.51 GPa (±2.80) in Stenella coeruleoalba
 (striped dolphin). For most species, elastic modulus values were 
highest at inner and outer enamel. (4) Differences in mechanical 
properties between species, and within the enamel of each species, 
suggest functional implications and influence of ultrastructural 
arrangement and chemical composition.


    text is available at:

    Or alternatively, a pdf can be requested at: carolina.loch at otago.ac.nz
    Best regards,

MSc. Carolina Loch Silva 
PhD Candidate
Geology Department, University of Otago
Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Laboratório de Mamíferos Aquáticos UFSCFlorianópolis, SC - Brasil 
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