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Cavities in 54-Million-Year-Old Fossils Suggest a Sweet Tooth

The cavities were discovered in fossils of Microsyops latidens, a pointy-snouted animal – no bigger than a racoon – that was part of a group of mammals known as stem primates. While they were first dug up in the 1970s and have been studied extensively since, Selig is the first to identify little holes in the fossilized teeth as being cavities. “Eating fruit is considered one of the hallmarks of what makes early primates unique,” says Selig, whose research looks on reconstructing the diets of fossil mammals.

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