Anuran Dentition: Development and Evolution

Sergei V. Smirnov, Anna B. Vassilieva


Dentitional development was studied in 3 anuran species differing in their adult teeth morphology: in Pipa carvalhoi (Pipidae) and Pyxicephalus adspersus (Ranidae) which have non-pedicellate teeth and in Pelobates fuscus (Pelobatidae) displaying the occurrence of pedicellate teeth typical for anurans and all recent amphibians. It was revealed that generalized pattern of anuran dentitional ontogeny includes 2 main stages. Stage I is represented by the teeth of the first generation, which are non-pedicellate and calcify from the center of calcification appearing in the ventral portion of teeth and gradually spreading along the full dental length. Stage II is represented by the pedicellate teeth of the second and later generations which calcify separately in their ventral and dorsal portions. Usually a more or less pronounced noncalcified zone remains in these teeth to divide them into calcified crown and pedicel. However, this pedicellate structure of typical anuran teeth may be lost due two phenomena: 1) paedomorphosis may result in the loss of Stage II of dentitional development (pipids) and 2) acceleration of skull development accompanied by the hypercalcification may result in the complete calcification of teeth and in the elimination of a zone of division (P. adspersus). In both cases the non-pedicellate teeth appear although these non-pedicellate conditions are ontogenetically distinct.


anurans; teeth; pedicely; development

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