Navigation Links
The pain of evolution: A big toothache for reptiles
Date:4/18/2011

Our susceptibility to oral infection has some parallels to those of ancient reptiles that evolved to eat a diet incorporating plants in addition to meat. That's according to Robert Reisz from the University of Toronto and his colleagues who found evidence of bone damage due to oral infec-tion in Paleozoic reptiles as they adapted to living on land. Their findings, published online in Springer's journal Naturwissenschaften The Nature of Science, predate the previous record for oral and dental disease in a terrestrial vertebrate by nearly 200 million years.

The researchers investigated the jaws of several well-preserved specimens of Labidosaurus hama-tus, a 275-million-year-old terrestrial reptile from North America. One specimen stood out because of missing teeth and associated erosion of the jaw bone. With the aid of CT-scanning, Reisz and colleagues found evidence of a massive infection. This resulted in the loss of several teeth, as well as bone destruction in the jaw in the form of an abscess and internal loss of bone tissue.

As the ancestors of advanced reptiles diversified to life on land, many evolved dental and cranial specializations to feed more efficiently on other animals and to incorporate high-fiber plant leaves and stems into their diet. The primitive dental pattern in which teeth were loosely attached to the jaws and continuously replaced, changed in some lineages to be strongly attached to the jaw, with little or no tooth replacement. This was clearly advantageous to some early reptiles, allowing them to chew their food and thus improve nutrient absorption. The abundance and global distribution of Labidosauris and its kin attest to the evolutionary success of this strategy.

However, Reisz and his colleagues suggest that as this reptile lost the ability to replace teeth, the likelihood of infections of the jaw, resulting from damage to the teeth, increased substantially. This is because prolonged exposure of the dental pulp cavity of heavily worn or damaged teeth to oral bacteria was much greater than in other animals that quickly replaced their teeth.

The authors conclude: "Our findings allow us to speculate that our own human system of having just two sets of teeth, baby and permanent, although of obvious advantage because of its ability to chew and process many different foodstuffs, is more susceptible to infection than that of our distant ancestors that had a continuous cycle of tooth replacement."


'/>"/>

Contact: Renate Bayaz
renate.bayaz@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Evolution: A Developmental Approach
2. Inventions of evolution: What gives frogs a face
3. UH: Insular evolution: Large and big-footed voles in an outer archipelago
4. Evolution: Crabs go deep to avoid hot water
5. Forced evolution: Can we mutate viruses to death?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/13/2016)... 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in ... clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a new partnership ... platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key health measurements, ... index, and, when they opt in, share them with ... a local retail location at no cost. By leveraging ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has ... CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to ... the original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, ... Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software ... the company. Dr. Bready served as CEO ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... WAKEFIELD, Massachusetts , March 23, 2016 ... kombiniert im Interesse erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und ... Xura, Inc. (NASDAQ: MESG ... heute bekannt, dass das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro ... insbesondere aus der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , ... compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced ... granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food ... gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin ... to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new ... prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... In a new case report published today in STEM CELLS ... developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection of stem ... with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , Lymphedema refers ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only free validated ... will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June 30, 2016 ... on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. DIA (Drug ...
Breaking Biology Technology: