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Evolution's Bite: A Story of Teeth, Diet, and Human Origins

Evolution's Bite: A Story of Teeth, Diet, and Human Origins

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  • Peter Ungar
  • Princeton University Press
  • Paperback
  • 9780691182834
  • 9 X 5.7 X 0.9 inches
  • 0.85 pounds
  • Science > Life Sciences - Evolution
  • English
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Book Description

Whether we realize it or not, we carry in our mouths the legacy of our evolution. Our teeth are like living fossils that can be studied and compared to those of our ancestors to teach us how we became human. In Evolution's Bite, noted paleoanthropologist Peter Ungar brings together for the first time cutting-edge advances in understanding human evolution with new approaches to uncovering dietary clues from fossil teeth. The result is a remarkable investigation into the ways that teeth--their shape, chemistry, and wear--reveal how we came to be. Traveling the four corners of the globe and combining scientific breakthroughs with vivid narrative, Evolution's Bite presents a unique dental perspective on our astonishing human development.
Evolution's Bite: A Story of Teeth, Diet, and Human Origins

Author Bio

Peter Ungar serves as Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Environmental Dynamics PhD Program at the University of Arkansas. He received his PhD in Anthropological Sciences from Stony Brook University and taught Gross Anatomy in the medical schools at Johns Hopkins and Duke before joining the University of Arkansas faculty in 1995. 

He is an Honorary Professorial Research Fellow of the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has served as visiting faculty at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, the University of Helsinki in Finland, and Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, China.

Research Interests 

Ungar is known primarily for his work reconstructing diet and environments from fossil teeth. He has spent thousands of hours observing wild apes and other primates in the forests of Latin America and Indonesia, studied fossils from tyrannosaurids to Neandertals, and developed new techniques for using surface analysis technologies to tease information about ecology and evolution from tooth shape and patterns of use wear. He has also conducted research on oral health of the Hadza peoples of Tanzania, the last remaining hunter-gatherers in Africa.  

His current work focuses on using tools developed for analyzing fossil teeth to 1) study impacts of climate change on the ecology of Arctic mammals and 2) document and monitor dental pathologies in a clinical setting.  

 

Education 

  • B.A., Anthropology, State University of New York at Binghamton
  • M.A. and Ph.D., Anthropological Sciences, State University of New York at Stony Brook

 

Source: University of Arkansas 

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