Re: Last Supper Hypothesis ("")
22 Aug 1995 21:24:38 GMT

So, in response Gerrit Hanenburg who wrote:
>The last meal will obliterate some of the wear patterns caused by >previous
>ones.The result will be overprojection leading to a complex mixture of
>patterns caused by several consecutive meals.
>I don't think the information of previous meals is completely lost (up >to a certain limit of course) but it maybe more difficult t=
o interpret.
>If the species had a rather stable diet the different patterns will >resemble each other and so some loss of information of part of=
the >previous patterns will be less of a problem. But if it had a rather >variable diet the problem will be a bias towards wear cau=
sed by tough >gritty material,leading to the
>conclusion the it ate tough gritty food while in fact it also may have >used
>large quantities of softer material,as might have been the case in
>Paranthropus.I think part of the solution is to compare the wear pattern >on
>the teeth of different individuals of the same species.This should give you a
>reasonably accurate image of the overall diet of the species.(Assuming that
>the chances of the last meal being the same in all individuals is rather

I think these SEMs are still simply showing neat grooves and pits from
ages ago. I still cannot agree with you that dental microwear will "give
a resonably accurate image of the overall diet." Especially, when, as
you put it, teeth exhibiting a "tough gritty surface, will lead to a
conclusion that the diet was tough and gritty." What about
parafunctional habits, sand incorporated into foodstuffs, etc.? Don't
you think there is more to it?