The wear patterns on ungulate's teeth help to understand dietary habits during an individual's lifetime. Mesowear is a series of techniques used to detect tooth wear patterns at low magnification. While in mesowear I, and its simplified version mesowear II, the outer profile of a herbivore's molar cusps is observed to assign a diet, mesowear III (or inner-mesowear) scores the wear facets on the inner enamel band of the tooth. This approach was developed to detect finer dietary signals for shorter periods than the two former mesowear methods. We tested this method on skulls of 26 goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) fed different diets for six months, for which mesowear I and II had already been scored. Our goal was to explore the effects of diets with varying abrasiveness on the dietary signal, comparing signals recorded with both techniques. We found no differences in mesowear III signals among diets, regardless of visible tendency of more abrasive diets leading to higher mesowear scores. We also found no difference in time resolution between mesowear III and I.
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Vol. 56 • No. 1-6