Dental evidence for ontogenetic differences between modern humans and Neanderthals

@article{Smith2010DentalEF,
  title={Dental evidence for ontogenetic differences between modern humans and Neanderthals},
  author={Tanya M. Smith and Paul Tafforeau and Donald J. Reid and Joane Pouech and Vincent Lazzari and John Paul Zermeno and Debbie Guatelli‐Steinberg and Anthony J. Olejniczak and Almut Hoffman and Jakov Radov{\vc}i{\'c} and Masrour Makaremi and Michel Toussaint and Chris B Stringer and Jean‐Jacques Hublin},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
  year={2010},
  volume={107},
  pages={20923 - 20928}
}
Humans have an unusual life history, with an early weaning age, long childhood, late first reproduction, short interbirth intervals, and long lifespan. In contrast, great apes wean later, reproduce earlier, and have longer intervals between births. Despite 80 y of speculation, the origins of these developmental patterns in Homo sapiens remain unknown. Because they record daily growth during formation, teeth provide important insights, revealing that australopithecines and early Homo had more… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Dental Ontogeny in Pliocene and Early Pleistocene Hominins

Until recently, our understanding of the evolution of human growth and development derived from studies of fossil juveniles that employed extant populations for both age determination and comparison.

Teeth and Human Life-History Evolution*

TLDR
It is shown that caution is warranted when inferring hominin weaning ages or interbirth intervals from first molar eruption, tooth wear, or growth disturbances, and that additional studies are needed to relate these novel calcification patterns to specific changes in life-history variables.

Early life of Neanderthals

TLDR
This study shows that these Neanderthals started to wean children at 5 to 6 months, akin to modern humans, implying similar energy demands during early infancy and suggests that differences in weaning age did not contribute to Neanderthal’ demise.

Life-History Inference in the Early Hominins Australopithecus and Paranthropus

TLDR
Estimating ages at M1 emergence in several infant/juvenile individuals of Australopithecus and Paranthropus based on previous estimates of ages at death, determined through dental histology suggests that the life histories of the early hominins were faster than those of all extant great apes.

First molar eruption, weaning, and life history in living wild chimpanzees

TLDR
Kanyawara chimpanzees showed adult patterns of solid food consumption by the time M1 reached functional occlusion, spent a greater amount of time on the nipple while M1 was erupting than in the preceding year, and continued to suckle during the following year.

Short and long period growth markers of enamel formation distinguish European Pleistocene hominins

TLDR
Some components of dental growth in the Atapuerca fossils resembled more recent H. sapiens, particularly around the TE9 level of Sima del Elefante and Sima de los Huesos.

New infant cranium from the African Miocene sheds light on ape evolution

TLDR
The combined evidence suggests that nyanzapithecines were stem hominoids close to the origin of extant apes, and that hylobatid-like facial features evolved multiple times during catarrhine evolution.

Growth of Neanderthal infants from Krapina (120–130 ka), Croatia

TLDR
A comparative study of the prenatal and early postnatal growth of five milk teeth from three Neanderthals using virtual histology reveals regions of their milk teeth formed quickly before birth and over a relatively short period of time after birth.

Growth, Development, and Life History throughout the Evolution of Homo

TLDR
Evidence of the pace of growth and maturation in fossil australopiths and early members of Homo is detailed to evaluate the merits of each of these scenarios and new data on the relationship between dental development and life history in extant apes are synthesized.

First systematic assessment of dental growth and development in an archaic hominin (genus, Homo) from East Asia

TLDR
Using x-ray multiresolution synchrotron phase-contrast microtomography, dental growth and development in an archaic Homo juvenile from the Xujiayao site in northern China is quantified to suggest that several facets of modern human dental development evolved in East Asia before the appearance of fully modern human morphology.
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 67 REFERENCES

Earliest evidence of modern human life history in North African early Homo sapiens

TLDR
An application of x-ray synchrotron microtomography reveals that an early Homo sapiens juvenile from Morocco dated at 160,000 years before present displays an equivalent degree of tooth development to modern European children at the same age.

Rapid dental development in a Middle Paleolithic Belgian Neanderthal

TLDR
By measuring tooth formation in the entire dentition of a juvenile Neanderthal from Scladina, Belgium, it is shown that most teeth formed over a shorter time than in modern humans and that dental initiation and eruption were relatively advanced.

Growth processes in teeth distinguish modern humans from Homo erectus and earlier hominins

TLDR
Differences in enamel growth are reported that show the earliest fossils attributed to Homo do not resemble modern humans in their development, and it seems likely that truly modern dental development emerged relatively late in human evolution.

Dental and skeletal growth in early fossil hominins

  • M. DeanV. Lucas
  • Geography, Environmental Science
    Annals of human biology
  • 2009
TLDR
The combined skeleto-dental evidence provides the basis for a hypothesis that the earliest hominins grew more like modern great apes, but that Homo erectus had a slightly more prolonged period of growth, and which was still not totally modern human-like in its pattern or timing.

New immature hominin fossil from European Lower Pleistocene shows the earliest evidence of a modern human dental development pattern

TLDR
These data confirm the previous results that nearly 1 million years ago at least one European hominin species had a fully modern pattern of dental development with a clear slowdown in the development of the molar field regarding the anterior dental field and suggest that these hominins had a prolonged childhood in the range of the variation of modern humans.

How Neanderthal molar teeth grew

TLDR
The timing of molar crown and root completion in Neanderthals matches those known for modern humans but that a more complex enamel–dentine junction morphology and a late peak in root extension rate sets them apart.

The place of Neandertals in the evolution of hominid patterns of growth and development.

TLDR
It is demonstrated that Upper Paleolithic early modern Homo sapiens display a growth trajectory indistinguishable from that of recent modern humans.

Molar crown thickness, volume, and development in South African Middle Stone Age humans

TLDR
Using high-resolution micro-computed tomography, similarities in enamel thickness and crown volumes between fossil and modern populations are demonstrated, suggesting that tooth structure and growth have remained constant for more than 60 000 years, despite the known geographical, technological, and ecological diversity that characterizes later stages of human evolution.

Neanderthal brain size at birth provides insights into the evolution of human life history

TLDR
Virtual reconstructions of a Neanderthal neonate from Mezmaiskaya Cave (Russia) and of two Neanderthal infant skeletons from Dederiyeh Cave (Syria) now provide new comparative insights: Neanderthal brain size at birth was similar to that in recent Homo sapiens and most likely subject to similar obstetric constraints.
...