Evolution and development of dental complexity

Acanthodian

Vidi project ‘Deep-time evolution of vertebrate jaws and teeth’.

In evolutionary and developmental biology, an increasing complexity of morphology of organs, tissue types and genomes during evolutionary time is postulated. In dental morphology and development the main focus has been on mammals, which have been studied in detail as models for dental development.

The main focus of our project is on the condition in basal crown gnathostomes. We are using a geographical information system (GIS) approach on isolated teeth and dentitions that quantifies morphological complexity. Another approach is theoretical, using computational modeling to understand dental development and main factors. This project is mainly investigated by Aidan Couzens and in an internship Louk Seton runs trials on dental complexity.

Figure: Acanthodian