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:3/30/2017)... The research team of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) ... ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery and matching technology, pushing contactless ... use in identification, crime investigation, immigration control, security of access and ... ... A research team led by Dr Ajay Kumar ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... -- higi, the health IT company that operates the largest ... , today announced a Series B investment from BlueCross ... new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to create ... health activities through the collection and workflow integration of ... and secures data today on behalf of over 36 ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... CENTRE, N.Y. , March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics ... Outpatient EMR Adoption Model sm . In addition, ... 12% of U.S. hospitals using an electronic medical ... CHS for its high level of EMR usage ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... USDM Life Sciences , the leading ... healthcare industries, is pleased to announce Holger Braemer as Vice President of ... GmbH” based in Germany. , Braemer is an integral part of USDM’s expansion ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - Prometic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: ... results at the International Liver Congress ("ILC") 2017 of the ... Amsterdam on the positive effects of ... model of obesity and metabolic syndrome. ... According to Dr. Lyne Gagnon, Vice-President of R&D ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Minneapolis, MN and Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) , ... ... ... for Advancing Innovation announce the formation of a unique intellectual property (IP) sharing ... commercialization potential of their most promising inventions. A main component of this effort ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... -- For today, Stock-Callers.com redirects investors, attention to ... clinical research aimed at treating diseases and medical conditions. Under ... Inc. (NASDAQ: KERX), Kite Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: KITE), and ZIOPHARM ... our complimentary research reports on these stocks now at: ... http://stock-callers.com/registration ...
Breaking Biology Technology: