The aim of this study was to examine contemporary human skull material for possible differences between Caucasians and African-Americans in respect to size and form of the temporomadibular condyles. The material consisted of a total of 129 Caucasian skulls (94 males and 35 females) and 76 African-American skulls (40 males and 36 females). Their mean age at death was 46 years for the Caucasians (range: 19-89 years) and 37 years for the African-Americans (range: 18-70 years). The mediolateral and anteroposterior dimensions of the 410 condyles were measured, and the condylar form was estimated using both anterior and superior views. No statistically significant differences could be found between Caucasians and African-Americans for any of the recorded variables. In conclusion, the present results lend no support for the existence of ethnic differences between the two groups examined in respect of temporomandibular joint size and form. It is likely that other factors such as evolution, overall cranial size, dietary differences, and genetic factors, irrespective of ethnicity, can explain the differences found in different skull samples.
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