The application of microtomography (mCT) to dental morphological studies has unveiled a new source of palaeobiological information, particularly in the analysis of the internal structures of teeth. In this study, we assess the expression of talonid crests at the enamel and dentine surfaces in lower permanent and second deciduous molars (M2 and dm2 ) of H. sapiens, H. neanderthalensis and Atapuerca-Sima de los Huesos (SH) hominins. In modern humans, talonid crests are described exclusively in the deciduous teeth (Korenhof, 1982) and interpreted as a primitive mammalian remnant of the talonid attachment to the trigonid. Here we report for the first time the expression of talonid crests of deciduous and permanent molars in H. sapiens, H. neanderthalensis and Middle Pleistocene hominins. We discuss possible evolutionary interpretations and suggest the importance of recording this feature in future studies.
Microcomputed tomography, Enamel–dentine junction, Sima de los Huesos, Atapuerca, Spain