Functional Significance of the Therian Molar Pattern


THE molar morphology of therian mammals has interested zoologists for nearly a century. Its basic functional significance has been demonstrated by cinefluorographic studies of molar occlusion and jaw movements during mastication in the American opossum (Didelphis marsupialis)1,2, together with a comprehensive study of the molar teeth of Mesozoic mammals.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Crompton, A. W., and Hiiemae, K. M., Nature, 222, 678 (1969).

  2. 2

    Crompton, A. W., and Hiiemae, K. M., J. Linn. Soc. (in the press).

  3. 3

    Lillegraven, J. A., Paleont. Contrib. Univ. Kans., 50, 1 (1969).

  4. 4

    Parrington, F. R., Adv. Sci., 24, 1 (1967).

  5. 5

    Crompton, A. W., and Jenkins, F. A., Biol. Rev., 43, 427 (1968).

  6. 6

    Mills, J. R. E., Arch. Oral Biol., 12, 645 (1967).

  7. 7

    Szalay, F. S., Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 140, 233 (1969).

  8. 8

    Mills, J. R. E., Proc. Linn. Soc., 175, 117 (1964).

Download references

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

CROMPTON, A., SITA-LUMSDEN, A. Functional Significance of the Therian Molar Pattern. Nature 227, 197–199 (1970).

Download citation

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.