Incisor size and diet in anthropoids with special reference to Cercopithecidae

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Science  26 Sep 1975:
Vol. 189, Issue 4208, pp. 1095-1098
DOI: 10.1126/science.808855


In 57 species of anthropoids relative size of incisors in highly correlated with diet. Anthropoids that feed primarily on large food objects (large fruits) have larger incisors than those that feed on smaller food objects (berries or leaves). This difference reflects a need for more extensive incisal preparation of larger food objects before mastication. Extensive incisal preparation causes increased tooth wear, therefore, enlarged incisors are probably an adaptive response to increase their wear potential.