Category: Extinct

All teeth all the time (for one issue only anyway)

A quick post hopefully as a prelude to a return to more regular offerings.

Last year a short symposium in honour of the Finnish palaeontologist Professor Mikael Fortelius‘ 60th birthday was held in Helsinki. As part of the celebrations, a large number of researchers were approached with the view to publishing a Festschrift volume of the Finnish journal Annales Zoologici Fennica. The expectation was a decent number would say yes and a volume could be produced. In the end, practically everyone asked produced a paper, so the volume now totals 25 papers (including the preface and a history of Finnish palaeontology) and a gargantuan 284 pages!

Because of Mikael’s great interest in teeth, alongside macroevolution and ecology (and a soft spot for rhinos), a large number of the papers feature research heavily focused on dentitions of various types. Indeed, the largest of the three subsections of the volume is titled ‘Teeth, Diet and Ecology’! I count 14 papers directly focused on some aspect of dental evolution, morphology, function and development; more than half of the research papers in the volume, with at least a few of the others more indirectly using tooth data. There should be something there for anyone with an interest in tetrapod teeth.


Mikael’s Festschrift cover – bonus Tetrapod Teeth & Tales tokens for guessing the tooth depicted!

Anyway, the volume (Annales Zoologici Fennica 51: 1-2) is now out, and thanks to a generous donation from the Helsinki EvoDevo community, the entire thing is available as open access papers! That’s right, 25 top notch articles, at least 14 on teeth, available free for everyone. I was a coauthor on one of the papers, entitled ‘Gastrointestinal and dental morphology of herbivorous mammals: where does the Laotian rock rat fit?‘, and hopefully will post a little about that paper and some of the concepts involved in the near future. But please, head over to the journal now (clicking here takes you to the index, unfortunately there is no direct link to the volume which, as above, is Annales Zoologici Fennica 51: 1-2) and read as many free papers on teeth as you fancy!