Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Anthropology (MA)

Degree Level





J. Michael Plavcan

Committee Member

Delezene, Lucas

Second Committee Member

Terhune, Claire


Anatomy, Biology, Biomechanics, Dental, Evolution, Teeth


It is generally appreciated that there is a relationship between the relative size of the incisors, mandible length, and diet in primates. More specifically, the differences in relative incisor size among primate species are believed to be evolutionary adaptations to their use during food processing and acquisition. While this satisfactorily explains relatively large incisors, it fails to address the relatively small incisor size seen in many taxa. One hypothesis is that there is a trade-off between molar size and incisor size in species with relatively short mandibles. The following study uses two-way ANOVA to evaluate the possibility that spatial constraint limits incisor size as a function of mandible length and molar size to better understand the evolutionary pressures that might drive anterior tooth size variation. I hypothesize folivores will demonstrate dental and mandibular proportions consistent with incisor size that is partly impacted by spatial constraint. Results from the analyses show an association between mandibular length and mesiodistal tooth lengths, which may reflect crowding in the dental arcade. Future research into this topic will contribute to our understanding of the development of megadontia and subsequent anterior tooth reduction seen among early hominins.