Dental Ontogeny inMacroscelides proboscideus(Afrotheria) andErinaceus europaeus(Lipotyphla)

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Abstract

We investigated the state of dental eruption in specimens of Macroscelides proboscideus and Erinaceus europaeus of known age. When M. proboscideus reaches adult size and sexual maturity, few or none of its replaced permanent cheek teeth have erupted. The approximate sequence of upper tooth eruption is P1, [I3, C, M1], [I1-2], M2, P4, [P2, P3]. Chronologically, E. europaeus erupts its molars and most premolars prior to M. proboscideus; but its first two upper incisors erupt after those of M. proboscideus, and its canines erupt around the same time. The approximate sequence of upper tooth eruption in E. europaeus is [M1, M2, P2, I3], C, M3, P4, P3, I2, I1. Unlike M. proboscideus, E. europaeus does not reach adult size until all permanent teeth except for the anterior incisors have erupted. While not unique among mammals, the attainment of adult body size prior to complete eruption of the permanent cheek teeth is particularly common among macroscelidids and other afrotherians.

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