[MARMAM] New paper on dental anomalies in pinnipeds

Carolina Loch carolinaloch at yahoo.com.br
Sun May 17 03:00:38 PDT 2015

Dear MARMAM subscribers,

 We are pleased to announcethe publication of the following paper in the current issue of Zoomorphology:

 Dental anomalies in pinnipeds (Carnivora: Otariidae and Phocidae):occurrence and evolutionary implications

César Drehmer,Daniela Sanfelice and Carolina Loch

Zoomorphology, Volume 134, Issue 2, Pages 325-338



Dental anomalies comprisevariations in number, shape, size, position and occlusion of teeth, mainlycaused by genetic mechanisms. This study aimed to investigate the nature and prevalenceof dental anomalies in a large sample of pinnipeds (Otariidae and Phocidae) andto discuss potential evolutionary and ecological implications. Thirty-fourspecies in twenty genera were sampled. The dentition of the specimens examinedwas compared with the normal dental formula for the species, and supernumeraryand congenitally missing teeth were identified and recorded. Agenesis wasobserved in 0.93 % of the specimens analyzed (n = 10),being more frequent in otariids. The posteriormost upper postcanines were theteeth absent most frequently. Supernumerary teeth were observed in1.8 % of the specimens (n = 19), more commonly inphocids. Supernumerary teeth can be interpreted as either atavisticmanifestations (particularly for the posteriormost postcanines in Otariidae) orcases of disturbances in dental morphogenesis leading to the formation of extrateeth when they occur in other positions of the tooth row. Morphological dentalvariants such as ectopic and geminated teeth were also recorded. Cases ofdental anomalies should have a limited effect on the functional morphology ofthe feeding apparatus in pinnipeds, with little influence on the fitness andperformance of the animals. Nevertheless, understanding patterns of dentalvariation should contribute to future studies aiming to elucidate aspects ofdental evolution and the phylogenetic relationships of pinnipeds.

Full text is available at:

  Or alternatively, a pdf canbe requested at: carolina.loch at otago.ac.nz


Best regards,

Carolina Loch Silva, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Sir John Walsh Research Institute
Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago
Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Phone: +(64) 03 479-5667
Research Collaborator
Geology Department, University of Otago
Laboratório de Mamíferos Aquáticos UFSC
Florianópolis, SC - Brasil

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