Similarities and differences in dental tissue proportions of deciduous and permanent canines of early and middle Pleistocene human populations.
Two- and three-dimensional evaluation of dental tissues has become routine in human taxonomic studies over the years. However, most of our knowledge of the variability of enamel and dentin dimensions of the human evolutionary lineage comes from the study of the permanent dentition, and in particular the molars. This leads to a biased view of the variability of these traits. Because of their early formation and rapid development, deciduous teeth allow for more simplified inferences regarding the processes involved in the development of the dental tissue of each group. Therefore, their study could be very valuable in dental paleohistory. In this research, we have explored the proportions of the dental tissue of deciduous canines belonging to some early and middle Pleistocene human samples. The objective was to discuss the significance of the similarities and differences observed in their histological pattern, as well as to evaluate the degree of covariance with that observed in the permanent dentition of these populations. Our results show that, although there are some similarities in the proportions of dental tissue between the deciduous and permanent canines of the samples studied, the two dental classes do not provide a similar or comparable picture of the dental tissue pattern present in the dentition of fossil hominids. Future work on the dental tissue patterns of the anterior and posterior dentition, including deciduous teeth, of the fossil samples may help shed light on this hypothesis.