Various methods exist for measuring and analyzing dental wear patterns in mam-mals, and these patterns have been extensively studied in ungulates. Mesowear has proven useful as a method to compare large numbers of individuals, particularly fossil individuals, observe trends through time or between groups, and estimate paleoenvi-ronmental conditions. Levels of attrition (tooth-on-tooth wear) and abrasion (tooth-on-food wear) can be readily compared by observing the shape of the cusp and relative crown height of the tooth. This study uses a modified method of mesowear analysis, examining actual cusp angles of the population of Tapirus polkensis from the Gray Fossil Site, a densely canopied, hickory and oak dominated forest located in Gray, Tennes-see. Crown height and cusp angle were measured for 38 specimens arranged into eruption series from young juveniles to old adults. Results found a strong correlation between eruption series and cusp angle with a steady increase in mean angle as the individuals increase in age. A strong correlation between cusp angle and crown height was also found. Overall, the population showed relatively low wear rates, as would be expected of a forest-dwelling browser. As a mesowear analysis across all age groups for a population has not been conducted before, this study could be useful for measuring relative wear rates at different life stages and could be applied across other com-munities.
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Schap, Julia A.; and Samuels, Joshua X.. 2020. Mesowear Analysis of the Tapirus Pplkensis Population From the Gray Fossil Site, Tennessee, USA. Palaeontologia Electronica. Vol.23(2). https://doi.org/10.26879/875