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Anthropology Lab Uses Ancient Teeth To Advance Dental Research

August 27, 2019
by Arkansas Public Media


Brush, floss and then forget. The odds are, unless teeth are causing pain, we don’t think about them much.

But for Dr. Peter Ungar, what he calls “ready-made fossils” in human mouths have a lot to tell us about the past and how to prevent pain in the future.

Ungar, an anthropologist at the University of Arkansas, and author of Evolution’s Bite: A Story of Teeth, Diet, and Human Origins, shuffles through drawers in his laboratory, pulling out bags of ancient teeth. This is the Ungar Lab, where the focus of research is on the ecology and evolution of past mammals, especially our human ancestors.

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