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View Full Version : Teeth and Diet in Asian Colubines (Leaf-Eating Monkeys)



morfrain_encilgar
Thursday, December 2nd, 2004, 08:30 PM
Here teeth from Asian leaf-eating moneys are studied to see if the differences between the species reflect their phylogeny, or similar diets. The phylogeny of these monkeys is uncertain, and although these are mostly folivorous monkeys some of them are more specialised to eating leaves than the others are. The second and third molar size shows a positive correlation with the cranial length, with most other teeth being negatively correlated.

Because grasping, cutting, and biting fruit is done with the incisors in fruit eaters, these teeth are large in generalised or specialist monkeys that eat fruit, while in leaf eaters the molars are larger for chewing leaves. The small incisors and large molars of Asian Colubines reflect their leaf-eating specialisations.

The results from all the dental deviations when they are considered together suggests that the most specialised leaf eaters (Presbytis langurs, proboscis monkeys, and douc langur) form a group together while the other three genera are seperated. The snub-nosed monkeys and common langur have the largest molars, a feature which is suggested here to reflect their diet in temperate and coniferous forest habitats.

Dr. Solar Wolff
Friday, December 3rd, 2004, 05:26 AM
Monkeys all look surprisingly alike in skeletal form. To determine what species you have, you must look at a classification book for primates. The most common method of distinguishing one species from another is the teeth. You can begin looking at a skull or a skeleton with an opinion but little differences often bounce a skull into a different classification.

My question is does the classification, the Latin names involved, actually reflect biologic relationships. Now we have DNA and everything deserves a second look.

morfrain_encilgar
Friday, December 3rd, 2004, 05:54 AM
Monkeys all look surprisingly alike in skeletal form. To determine what species you have, you must look at a classification book for primates. The most common method of distinguishing one species from another is the teeth. You can begin looking at a skull or a skeleton with an opinion but little differences often bounce a skull into a different classification.

My question is does the classification, the Latin names involved, actually reflect biologic relationships. Now we have DNA and everything deserves a second look.

At the genus level, this study suggests the affinities found are anatomical, and related to feeding, and arent associated with the relationships suggested between Colubines by other studies.