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Journal Article

Tooth Replacement and Skull Growth in Smilodon from Rancho La Brea

Antonia E. Tejada-Flores and Christopher A. Shaw
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Vol. 4, No. 1 (Sep., 1984), pp. 114-121
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4522970
Page Count: 8

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Topics: Canines, Teeth, Maxilla, Mandible, Dentition, Juveniles, Tooth eruption, Tooth enamel, Cheek, Skull
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Tooth Replacement and Skull Growth in Smilodon from Rancho La Brea
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Abstract

An extensive growth series of Smilodon skulls and mandibles from Rancho La Brea is divided into ontogenetic stages based on tooth-eruption pattern and occlusal wear. Eruption sequence is compared between Smilodon and Felis leo and an attempt is made to assess behavioral implications. A full description of all deciduous upper incisors and the DI₃ is given. Skull growth and suture fusion are influenced by the formation and eruption of the dentition, and perhaps by the developing masticatory and neck musculature. Compared with Felis leo, the distinctive tooth-eruption sequence of Smilodon reflects differences in function. The lack of specimens with erupting deciduous dentitions indicates that Rancho La Brea was not preferred for denning by Smilodon.

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