Dental Variation in Central Mexican Latinx Individuals
AuthorGeorge, Rebecca L
AdvisorPilloud, Marin A.
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The objective of this dissertation was to explore the population history of a Central Mexican Latinx sample through dental morphological variables and odontometric crown and cervical measurements. Biological distance, or biodistance statistics, fuzzy c-means analyses, and linear discriminant function analysis were utilized to analyze this variation. The Latinx population has been shaped through 500 years of microevolutionary forces due to European colonization of the Americas. Genetic information shows that the Latinx population in Mexico primarily has contributions from Native American and European ancestral groups shaping its genotype, with low levels of African ancestral contributions present. Cranial analyses support the genetic information, but there is a paucity of dental studies examining these populations. Dental morphology and metric data were collected from a modern Central Mexican Latinx sample at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, in México City, México. Modern Mexican Latinx data were also utilized from identified migrants from the Operation Identification and Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner. Comparative data were also analyzed to evaluate the effect of population history on the modern Mexican Latinx dentition. These samples were from the Escuela Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, the Robert J. Terry Anatomical Collection, the Texas State University Donated Skeletal Collection, the Documented Skeletal Collection at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, Chiba University, the Christy G. Turner II Dataset, and the Tsunehiko Hanihara Dataset. The results of this study demonstrated that population history can be seen in the dentition of a Mexican Latinx samples. In many of the results of the biodistance and fuzzy c-means analyses, the Mexican Latinx samples were closest to the Native American and European/American samples. There were instances, though, where the modern odontometric data showed similarities with African/American, thereby supporting results from craniometrics and genetic data. The Modern Latinx samples could be distinguished from each other and other modern samples, indicating the complexities of Latinx population history and the resultant dental phenotype. These results can be improved with additional modern data and efforts to mitigate small sample sizes due to missing data. This dissertation lays a basis for relying on population history data to inform future work on Latinx populations within biological anthropology. Dental data have been shown here to contribute to this expanding avenue of research within the discipline.