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Surprisingly rapid growth in Neanderthals

Life-history traits correlate closely with dental growth, so differences in dental growth within Homo can enable us to determine how somatic development has evolved and to identify developmental shifts that warrant species-level distinctions. Dental growth can be determined from the speed of enamel... Full description

Journal Title: Nature 2004, Vol.428 (6986), p.936-939
Main Author: Ramirez Rozzi, Fernando V
Other Authors: Bermudez de Castro, José Maria
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
Publisher: London: Nature Publishing
ID: ISSN: 0028-0836
Zum Text:
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recordid: cdi_proquest_miscellaneous_743469644
title: Surprisingly rapid growth in Neanderthals
format: Article
creator:
  • Ramirez Rozzi, Fernando V
  • Bermudez de Castro, José Maria
subjects:
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Brain - anatomy & histology
  • Cuspid - anatomy & histology
  • Cuspid - growth & development
  • Dental Enamel - anatomy & histology
  • Dental Enamel - growth & development
  • Earth sciences
  • Earth, ocean, space
  • Exact sciences and technology
  • Fossils
  • History, Ancient
  • Hominidae - anatomy & histology
  • Hominidae - classification
  • Hominidae - growth & development
  • Homo neanderthalensis
  • Humans
  • Paleontology
  • Sample Size
  • Time Factors
  • Vertebrate paleontology
ispartof: Nature, 2004, Vol.428 (6986), p.936-939
description: Life-history traits correlate closely with dental growth, so differences in dental growth within Homo can enable us to determine how somatic development has evolved and to identify developmental shifts that warrant species-level distinctions. Dental growth can be determined from the speed of enamel formation (or extension rate). We analysed the enamel extension rate in Homo antecessor (8 teeth analysed), Homo heidelbergensis (106), Homo neanderthalensis ('Neanderthals'; 146) and Upper Palaeolithic-Mesolithic Homo sapiens (100). Here we report that Upper Palaeolithic-Mesolithic H. sapiens shared an identical dental development pattern with modern humans, but that H. antecessor and H. heidelbergensis had shorter periods of dental growth. Surprisingly, Neanderthals were characterized by having the shortest period of dental growth. Because dental growth is an excellent indicator of somatic development, our results suggest that Neanderthals developed faster even than their immediate ancestor, H. heidelbergensis. Dental growth became longer and brain size increased from the Plio-Pleistocene in hominid evolution. Neanderthals, despite having a large brain, were characterized by a short period of development. This autapomorphy in growth is an evolutionary reversal, and points strongly to a specific distinction between H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0028-0836
fulltext: no_fulltext
issn:
  • 0028-0836
  • 1476-4687
url: Link


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descriptionLife-history traits correlate closely with dental growth, so differences in dental growth within Homo can enable us to determine how somatic development has evolved and to identify developmental shifts that warrant species-level distinctions. Dental growth can be determined from the speed of enamel formation (or extension rate). We analysed the enamel extension rate in Homo antecessor (8 teeth analysed), Homo heidelbergensis (106), Homo neanderthalensis ('Neanderthals'; 146) and Upper Palaeolithic-Mesolithic Homo sapiens (100). Here we report that Upper Palaeolithic-Mesolithic H. sapiens shared an identical dental development pattern with modern humans, but that H. antecessor and H. heidelbergensis had shorter periods of dental growth. Surprisingly, Neanderthals were characterized by having the shortest period of dental growth. Because dental growth is an excellent indicator of somatic development, our results suggest that Neanderthals developed faster even than their immediate ancestor, H. heidelbergensis. Dental growth became longer and brain size increased from the Plio-Pleistocene in hominid evolution. Neanderthals, despite having a large brain, were characterized by a short period of development. This autapomorphy in growth is an evolutionary reversal, and points strongly to a specific distinction between H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis.
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abstractLife-history traits correlate closely with dental growth, so differences in dental growth within Homo can enable us to determine how somatic development has evolved and to identify developmental shifts that warrant species-level distinctions. Dental growth can be determined from the speed of enamel formation (or extension rate). We analysed the enamel extension rate in Homo antecessor (8 teeth analysed), Homo heidelbergensis (106), Homo neanderthalensis ('Neanderthals'; 146) and Upper Palaeolithic-Mesolithic Homo sapiens (100). Here we report that Upper Palaeolithic-Mesolithic H. sapiens shared an identical dental development pattern with modern humans, but that H. antecessor and H. heidelbergensis had shorter periods of dental growth. Surprisingly, Neanderthals were characterized by having the shortest period of dental growth. Because dental growth is an excellent indicator of somatic development, our results suggest that Neanderthals developed faster even than their immediate ancestor, H. heidelbergensis. Dental growth became longer and brain size increased from the Plio-Pleistocene in hominid evolution. Neanderthals, despite having a large brain, were characterized by a short period of development. This autapomorphy in growth is an evolutionary reversal, and points strongly to a specific distinction between H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis.
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