Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences

Degree Level



Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences


Paul, Kathleen

Committee Member/Reader

Wood, Lisa

Committee Member/Second Reader

Ungar, Peter


This thesis presents a study of heritability of maxillary dental arch dimensions in a captive baboon colony. Arch dimensions are important subject because they influence the entirety of the craniofacial and masticatory complex. The goal of this study was to quantify the relative genetic influence on arch dimensions and the nature of this influence at different points along the maxillary arcade. Referencing virtual, three-dimensional dental cast scans, widths were measured at different points between the a) maxillary left and right canines, and b) maxillary left and right first molars (M1). Specifically, measurements were taken at the inner (lingual) gingival margin, cusp tips, and outer (buccal) gingival margin for these teeth. Quantitative genetic models were generated to estimate narrow-sense heritability and genetic correlation among paired maxillary arch dimensions. Heritability results for the inter-M1 arch widths indicated a greater influence of genes as opposed to environment on these dimensions. Heritability estimates were lower for the inter-canine arch dimensions, but there was fairly strong genetic correlation between paired inter-canine and inter-M1 arch measurements. The results may signify that eruption time is a more important influence than palatal fusion time/trajectory in variation of maxillary arch dimensions and suggest that maxillary form is genetically coordinated across the entire arcade.


Heritability, Baboons, Quantitative Analysis, Pedigree

Available for download on Sunday, April 06, 2025