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Analyse structurale à haute résolution des dents de Oreopithecus bambolii

Author(s): Clément ZANOLLI | Lorenzo ROOK | Roberto MACCHIARELLI

Journal: Museologia Scientifica e Naturalistica
ISSN 1824-2707

Volume: 6;
Start page: 69;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Oreopithecus bambolii | teeth | inner structure | microtomography

Firstly described by P. Gervais in 1872, Oreopithecus bambolii is a hominoid having populated the Tusco-Sardinian archipelago during the late Miocene, until 7-6,5 million years ago (Ma). Thus, this primate is the only European member of its clade having survived the Vallesian climatic crisis, about 9 Ma ago. The Oreopithecus' phylogenetic history has been a matter of debate all along the 20th century, the central question concerning its taxonomic attribution to the cercopithecoids or to the hominoids. It is currently considered a member of the hominoids, likely related to the Dryopithecinae. Nonetheless, its evolution in an insular context was responsible for the development of a number of morphological peculiarities affecting the cranial and locomotor skeleton as well as its dentition. An isolated second deciduous molar crown of Oreopithecus from the site of Fiume Santo, in Sardinia and one permanent molar from a mandibular fragment from Casteani, in Tuscany, have been detailed by means of synchrotron microtomography (SR-μCT) at the ESRF of Grenoble, allowing the first 2-3D high-resolution characterization of its inner structural morphology.
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