The same dietary specialization that allowed the apes to move from Africa to Eurasia may have led to their extinction, indicates a study of newly analyzed tooth samples from great apes of the Miocene, results published May 21, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Daniel DeMiguel from the Institut Catalá de Palontologia Miquel Crusafont (Spain) and colleagues. Apes expanded into Eurasia from Africa during the Miocene (14 to 7 million years ago) and evolved to survive in new habitat. Their diet closely relates to the environment in which they live and each type of diet wears the teeth differently. To better understand the apes' diet during their evolution and expansion into new habitat, scientists analyzed newly-discovered wearing in the teeth of 15 upper and lower molars belonging to apes from five extinct taxa found in Spain from the mid- to late-Miocene (which overall comprise a time span between 12.3.2 and 9.7 Ma). They combined these analyses with previously collected data for other Western Eurasian apes, categorizing the wear on the teeth into one of three ape diets: hard-object feeders (e.g., hard fruits, seeds), mixed food feeders (e.g. fruit), and leaf feeders. Previous data collected elsewhere in Europe and Turkey suggested that the great ape's diet evolved from hard-shelled fruits and seeds to leaves, but these findings only contained samples from the early-Middle and Late Miocene, while lack data from the epoch of highest diversity of hominoids in Western Europe. In their research, the scientists found that in contrast with the diet of hard-shelled fruits and seeds at the beginning of the movement of great apes to Eurasia, soft and mixed fruit-eating coexisted with hard-object feeding in the Late Miocene, and a diet specializing in leaves did not evolve. The authors suggest that a progressive dietary diversification may have occurred due to competition and changes in the environment, but that this specialization may have ultimately lead to their extinction when more drastic environmental changes took place. Source: Eurekalert << Risky Decision Making and How It Impacts the Brains of Meth... Excess Costs Associated With Surgical Site Infections at Ve... >> Recommended Reading Tooth Discoloration Tooth discoloration or staining is caused commonly due to smoking, some medicines and poor dental hygiene. READ MORE Flavored Toothbrush for a Pleasant Morning A toothbrush that freshens you up as you brush may soon be in the market! READ MORE Extraction of Tooth - Animation A simple but graphic slide animation that shows you how a tooth is extracted by a dentist under local anesthesia. READ MORE Green Smoothies Good for Health, but can Stain Teeth The best way to stay healthy is to consume green vegetables and green smoothies seem an interesting way to follow the regime, however, the smoothie may dull your smile as it stains teeth. READ MORE Dental Check-Up It is commonly recommended that you visit the dentist twice a year to clean your teeth and gums and also do the basic check–ups. READ MORE Is a Vegetarian Diet Safe During Pregnancy? Great care must be taken with diet during pregnancy for the baby’s healthy development. Being vegetarian is not a minus but dietary recommendations must be followed closely for a healthy pregnancy. READ MORE Loose Teeth Looseness of teeth is caused by a disease of the periodontium and includes the tissues surrounding the teeth. READ MORE Root Canal Treatment Root Canal Treatment or Endodontic therapy is a procedure done to remove the infected pulp and save the tooth. The root canal is finally filled with filling material called as gutta percha. READ MORE Tongue Abnormalities Tongue is the only muscle that is attached to only one end. The abnormalities of the tongue include tongue disease, tongue tie and size-related anomalies. READ MORE Tooth Decay Tooth decay in toddlers, children and adults, also called dental caries, is a bacterial infection causing demineralization and destruction of the hard tissues of the teeth. READ MORE Top Diet Foods that Make you Fat Every nutrition fad comes with its share of diet foods. While they seem healthy, many diet foods promote weight gain. This article will highlight the top diet foods that make you fat. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Blood Donation - Recipients Find a Doctor Nutam (400mg) (Piracetam) More News on: Tongue AbnormalitiesLoose TeethTooth DecayTooth DiscolorationTeeth ChartDental Check-UpRoot Canal TreatmentQuiz on Dental CareTop Diet Foods that Make you FatIs a Vegetarian Diet Safe During Pregnancy?