Diversity of hypsodont teeth in mammalian dentitions

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Diversity of hypsodont teeth in mammalian dentitions – construction and

von Koenigswald, Wighart

Palaeontographica Abteilung A Band 294 Lieferung 1-3 (2011)
p. 63-94, published: 8/22/2011
9 figures 3 tables


“Hypsodonty, as used here, describes a specific type of tooth with the crown
elongated parallel to the growing axis, a condition which can occur in any
tooth position. Hypsodonty is interpreted as the elongation of specific
ontogenetic phases during tooth development at the cost of all others in a
heterochronic mode. Three parameters are used for differentiation: the
specific elongated ontogenetic phase or phases; the degree of hypsodonty
(increasing hypsodont and euhypsodont); and the kind of abrasion (balanced
wear by an antagonist or free growth). The first parameter is regarded as
the most important one. Although the separation of the four ontogenetic
phases (I – cusps, II – sidewalls, III – dentine surface, and IV –
differentiated roots) is artificial, it allows characterization of the great
diversity of hypsodont teeth in six categories: 1) multicusped hypsodonty
(extended phase I); 2) unicuspid hypsodonty (confluent phases I+II); 3)
sidewall hypsodonty (extended phase II); 4) enamel band hypsodonty (phases
II+III synchronous); 5) partial hypsodonty (phases II+III+IV synchronous);
and 6) dentine hypsodonty (phase III dominant). A synopsis with previously
defined types of hypsodonty is given. The new classification is
comprehensive, opens the view to the construction of hypsodont teeth, and
allows a comparison under evolutionary aspects.”

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