Recent studies of dental development in Neandertals: Implications for Neandertal life histories

  title={Recent studies of dental development in Neandertals: Implications for Neandertal life histories},
  author={Debbie Guatelli‐Steinberg},
  journal={Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues},
Did Neandertals share with modern humans their prolonged periods of growth and delayed ages of maturation? During the past five years, renewed interest in this question has produced dental studies with seemingly contradictory results. Some suggest fast dental growth, 1 , 2 while others appear to suggest a slower, modern‐human dental growth pattern. 3 , 4 Although some apparent contradictions can be reconciled, there remain questions that can be resolved only with additional data and cross… 
Dental evidence for ontogenetic differences between modern humans and Neanderthals
It is found that most Neanderthal tooth crowns grew more rapidly than modern human teeth, resulting in significantly faster dental maturation, consistent with recent cranial and molecular evidence for subtle developmental differences between Neanderthals and H. sapiens.
Teeth and Human Life-History Evolution*
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.
The Spy VI child: a newly discovered Neandertal infant.
First molar eruption, weaning, and life history in living wild chimpanzees
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.
Brains, teeth and life histories in hominins: a review.
It is suggested that extremely slow brain maturation could be a very recent acquisition of the last H. sapiens populations and the review of the literature suggests caution in drawing conclusions about aspects of the life history of the hominins from the information the authors can obtain from dental development in fossil specimens.
Growth, Development, and Life History throughout the Evolution of Homo
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.
Relationship between dental development and skeletal growth in modern humans and its implications for interpreting ontogeny in fossil hominins.
  • Maja Šešelj
  • Geography, Environmental Science
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 2013
The results suggest that dental development and skeletal growth are moderately correlated and thus not conditionally independent given age, and suggest that the proposed accelerated dental development in Pleistocene hominins was not necessarily accompanied by faster skeletal growth.
New visions of dental tissue research: Tooth development, chemistry, and structure
New areas of research centered on incremental tooth development, chemical composition, and internal structure have the potential to increase the understanding of developmental biology, including not only changes in the pace of growth and reproduction, but also assessments of diets, migration patterns, environments, and taxonomy.
Brief communication: The distribution of perikymata on Qafzeh anterior teeth.
Qafzeh teeth appear to differ from those of modern humans in the same direction that Neandertals do: with generally lower percentages of perikymata in their cervical regions.
Neandertal growth: what are the costs?


Anterior tooth growth periods in Neandertals were comparable to those of modern humans.
Neandertal imbricational enamel formation times are not likely to have been faster than those of the Inuit and for some teeth are clearly slower than Those of the southern African sample, indicating that Neandertals appears to be encompassed within the modern human range of interpopulation variation.
Rapid dental development in a Middle Paleolithic Belgian Neanderthal
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.
Incidence and patterning of dental enamel hypoplasia among the Neandertals.
The paucity of deciduous tooth DEH and M1 DEH, combined with generally increasing levels of DEH through later calcifying teeth, suggests that the stress was primarily nutritional, beginning at weaning and continuing through adolescence, implying significantly lower effectiveness for Neandertal foraging compared to that of modern humans.
Brief communication: dental development and enamel thickness in the Lakonis Neanderthal molar.
The results of this and other studies suggest that Neanderthal molars formed in shorter periods of time than modern humans, due in part to thinner enamel and faster crown extension rates.
How Neanderthal molar teeth grew
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.
Dental development and the evolution of life history in hominidae
Three lines of evidence agree that the unique rate and pattern of human life history did not exist at the australopithecine stage of human evolution, and that growth and aging evolved substantially in the Hominidae during the last 2 million years.
A modern human pattern of dental development in lower pleistocene hominids from Atapuerca-TD6 (Spain).
Evidence derived from Lower Pleistocene human fossil remains recovered from the TD6 level (Aurora stratum) of the Gran Dolina site in the Sierra de Atapuerca, northern Spain supports the view that as early as 0.8 Ma at least one Homo species shared with modern humans a prolonged pattern of maturation.
Age at death of the Neanderthal child from Devil's Tower, Gibraltar and the implications for studies of general growth and development in Neanderthals.
If the cranial bones from Devil's Tower are associated with the dental material, as the authors believe, they indicate a remarkably precocious brain growth in this individual, which is consistent with what is known about general growth and development in Neanderthals.
Endocranial volume and brain growth in immature Neandertals
The analysis of the enamel apposition rate established that an enlarged period of growth was absent in representatives of Australopithecus and early Homo, and specifically Homo erectus, and these species more closely align with extant apes than with recent humans.