Right upper molar showing the four main upper molars cusps
The hypocone is the name for a main cusp found on the molars of the upper dentition of hominids and other therian Mammals. It is found on the distal lingual side of the tooth. It fits into the grooves of the lower dentition and is an adaptation for the overall grinding and tearing of foods using the occlusal (chewing side) of the tooth surface during occlusion or mastication (chewing). Its strength is due to the thickness of the enamel which differs among species of hominids. The hypocone appears to have evolved independently in more than twenty mammal species during the Cenozoic period.