Diastema

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Related to diastemata: gap-toothed

diastema

[‚dī·ə′stē·mə]
(anatomy)
A space between two types of teeth, as between an incisor and premolar.
(cell and molecular biology)
Modified cytoplasm of the equatorial plane prior to cell division.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Diastema

 

an excessive interval or space between teeth in mammals, usually caused by reduction of part of the teeth. In most herbivorous animals the cuspids and sometimes the incisors are reduced. Similar diastemata occur in the upper and lower jaws of rodents, horses, kangaroos, and other animals. In ruminants, diastema occurs only in the lower jaw. In carnivores it takes place without reduction of teeth. One diastema occurs in front of the fangs of the upper jaw (providing space for the lower fangs), and another is behind the lower fangs (allowing room for the upper fangs during biting). In closing the jaws the fangs nest and form a solid closure, preventing lateral motion of the jaw and aiding in the holding of prey.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The anterior premolars (p1-p3) are reduced and separated from each other by diastemata. The large dimensions of the second molars (M2 and m2) with respect to the first ones (M1 and m1) is similar in the two forms (Fig.
Differs from Anthracokeryx, North American Bothriodon, Aepinacodon and Arretotherium, and Euro-American Elomeryx and African Bothriogenys in possessing a strong postprotocristid, tooth rows without significant diastemata between canine and P/1 and/or P/1-P/2, relatively simple P/2-P/3 with posterior cingulid slight, P/4 only slightly elaborated by a strong protocristid and lacking posterior cingulid, premolar lingual cingula absent, molar paracristid ending near base of metaconid and unconnected to anterior cingulum, and molar postentocristid weak ( H.
All the teeth were smaller and did not show diastemata, or gaps between the teeth.