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Fractal dimensions characterizing mammal teeth: a case study involving Elephantidae

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ABSTRACT

1. Dental features frequently have provided data for producing and deducing mammal taxonomies and phylogeny, yet quantitative or statistical analyses for describing intricacies that characterize tooth form are wanting.

2. A method for determining fractal dimensions D that characterize enamel ridges constituting occlusal surfaces for teeth in some mammal species is presented; D quantify complexity (i.e. convolution). The method is exemplified with an analysis that was conducted on teeth from the Family Elephantidae.
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Keywords: character; dental; elephant; mammoth; morphology; morphometrics; systematics; taxonomy

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G5, Canada

Publication date: 01 January 2005

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