Tag Archives: Teeth

Kurtén Club 26.4.

Dear All,

At next week’s Kurtén club meeting, Tuesday 26.4., Elodie Renvoise will talk about her new results in a presentation titled:

“Does climate shape tooth morphology in voles?”

Time & Loc.:
16.00, 26.4.2011, C108 Physicum


Toothache in Permian reptile

In popular news:


The actual paper:

Osteomyelitis in a Paleozoic reptile: ancient evidence for bacterial infection and its evolutionary significance

Robert R. Reisz & Diane M. Scott & Bruce R. Pynn & Sean P. Modesto, Naturwissenschaften DOI 10.1007/s00114-011-0792-1

We report on dental and mandibular pathology in Labidosaurus hamatus, a 275 million-year-old terrestrial reptile from North America and associate it with bacterial infection in an organism that is characterized by reduced tooth replacement. Analysis of the surface and internal mandibular structure using mechanical and CT-scanning techniques permits the reconstruction of events that led to the pathology and the possible death of the individual. The infection probably occurred as a result of prolonged exposure of the dental pulp cavity to oral bacteria, and this exposure was caused by injury to the tooth in an animal that is characterized by reduced tooth replacement cycles. In these early reptiles, the reduction in tooth replacement is an evolutionary innovation associated with strong implantation and increased oral processing. The dental abscess observed in L. hamatus, the oldest known infection in a terrestrial vertebrate, provides clear evidence of the ancient associa- tion between terrestrial vertebrates and their oral bacteria.


Kurtén Club 16.11.

Dear all,

next tuesday, Jonathan Bunn will give a talk about

Dirichlet normal energy as a tool for quantifying molar tooth shape.

Time & Loc.:
16.00, 16.11.2010, C108 Physicum


Special lecture in Paleontology on 10.6.

Björn Kurtén – club is proud to host yet another special lecture!

We have the pleasure to have Dr. Philip Anderson from University of Bristol, UK present his work on:

Early vertebrate teeth, jaw mechanics and feeding diversity

The talk will take place on the 10th June (10.6.) at 15.30, in the Kumpula Campus, the Department of Geosciences and Geography, Physicum building, room C108.

after the talk there is some time for discussions and questions.

Everybody warmly Welcome!


Philip Anderson is an evolutionary palaeobiologist focusing on the biomechanics and
functional morphology of fossil gnathostomes.  He uses a multidisciplinary approach to
explore the relationship between morphology and mechanical function and how this
relationship affects measures of diversity through the fossil record.   At the organismal
level, he has created models of jaw function for a group of basal fishes (placoderms)
developed using basic engineering theory.  These models have illustrated functional
convergence across clades and illustrate the potential for biomechanical analyses to give
insights into early jaw evolution.  He also uses physical experiments to explore how
aspects of dental shape affect fracture in food items.  This work has illustrated how
basic tooth characters, identifiable across gnathostomes, can greatly influence the
ability to break down food at a lower energy cost.  Finally, building off of the
experimental and modeling work, he has explored functional diversity amongst Devonian
gnathostomes utilizing biomechanical jaw characters. These analyses present different
results from standard morphological shape data, and give new insights into the disparity
of early gnathstomes at both the faunal and stage level.  He is currently at the
University of Bristol as a Marie-Curie research fellow.

Key references:

Anderson, P. S. L., 2010. “Using linkage models to explore skull kinematic diversity and
functional convergence in arthrodire placoderms.” Journal of Morphology (Early View

Anderson, P. S. L., 2009b. “The effects of trapping and blade angle on how notched
dentitions fracture biological tissues.” Journal of Experimental Biology 212: 3627-3632.

Anderson, P. S. L., 2009a. “Biomechanics, functional patterns, and disparity in Late
Devonian arthrodires.” Paleobiology 35(3): 321-342.

Anderson, P. S. L., and LaBarbera, M., 2008. “Functional consequences of tooth design:
effects of blade shape on energetics of cutting.” Journal of Experimental Biology 211:

Anderson, P. S. L., 2008.  “Shape variation between arthrodire morphotypes indicates
possible feeding niches.”  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 28(4): 961-969.

Jussi Eronen

Kurtén club special presentation on tue 25.5

Dear all,
Kes Schroer is visiting researcher in the Jernvall lab for a few weeks, and would be happy to present her own and the research group’s current research.
As there is no planned schedule for next tuesday, we decided to grab the opportunity. So Kes will present her current research and view from other side of the big ocean on next Tuesday, 25.5., at 16.00 in the C108 (the normal place).
Kes is working in The Center for the Advanced Study of Hominid Paleobiology (CASHP) which is a research center at The George Washington University, USA. Her primary research interest is the development of teeth, particularly enamel. Currently, she is investigating the molarization process in Paranthropus and developmental differences between deciduous and permanent enamel. On the side, Kes is analyzing the pedagogical effectiveness of evolution exhibits in American museums.