Article: article from journal or magazin.
Verteilung des roten Zahnschmelzes im Gebiss der Soricidae (Mammalia, Insectivora)
Revue Suisse de Zoologie
The distribution of red, iron-containing enamel in the teeth of shrews (Soricidae) was investigated by optical and scanning electron microscopy in order to determine its function. Transverse and longitudinal sections of crania with mandibles in occlusion demonstrate that the red enamel in molars is restricted to corresponding wear facets (lingual side of upper molars, buccal side of lower molars). The projecting, scissor-like cutting edges produced by wear are composed of iron-containing enamel which wears away more slowly than adjacent white enamel. Therefore, this red enamel must be more resistant to abrasion and serves to prolong the usefullness of cutting edges. Finally, two alternative hypotheses are proposed to explain the secondary loss of the red, iron-bearing enamel in members of the Soricidae which lack this material.
Web of science
Last modification date