About This Project
Are there viable alternatives to the third molar for reconstructing ancient environments using analysis of mammal teeth?
While doing chemical analysis of tooth enamel to reconstruct ancient environments, paleontologists have become over-reliant on the mammalian third molar (M3 or wisdom tooth). The problem with this is that the third-molar is rarely found in younger mammals' jaws, whereas young animals constitute much of the fossil record. Here, we seek to test the viability of using incisors (which are much more common) instead of the M3 as a new, more abundant resource to reconstruct the Earth's past.