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





Fig. A Neanderthal upper central deciduous incisor
Luka Mjeda/Croatian Natural History Museum
Modern humans have a slow and extended period of childhood growth, but to what extent this ontogenetic pathway was present in Neanderthals is debated. Dental development, linked to the duration of somatic growth across modern primates, is the main source for information about growth and development in a variety of fossil primates, including humans. Studies of Neanderthal permanent teeth report a pace of development either similar to recent humans or relatively accelerated. Neanderthal milk teeth, which form and emerge before permanent teeth, provide an opportunity to determine which pattern was present at birth. Here we present a comparative study of the prenatal and early postnatal growth of five milk teeth from three Neanderthals (120.000–130.000 years ago) using virtual histology. Results reveal regions of their milk teeth formed quickly before birth and over a relatively short period of time after birth. Tooth emergence commenced towards the earliest end of the eruption schedules displayed by extant human children. Advanced dental development is consistent with expectations for Neanderthal infant feeding.

The study involved the SYnchrotron Radiation for MEdical Physics beamline (SYRMEP) and FAITH laboratory at Elettra - Sincrotrone Trieste in Italy.

Original Article'Growth of Neanderthal infants from Krapina (120–130 ka), Croatia'.
Patrick Mahoney, Gina McFarlane, B. Holly Smith, Justyna J. Miszkiewicz, Paola Cerrito, Helen Liversidge, Lucia Mancini, Diego Dreossi, Alessio Veneziano, Federico Bernardini, Emanuela Cristiani, Alison Behie, Alfredo Coppa, Luca Bondioli, David W. Frayer, Davorka Radovčić and Alessia Nava.
The Royal Society Publishing, 24 November 2021.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.2079 ,supplementary material: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5705238.

Press Review

NewScientist.com 24.11.2021: "Neanderthals may have grown their baby teeth faster than we do"
inverse.com  24.11.2021 : "Look, ancient teeth hints at a similarity between Neanderthal and human brains"
phys.org 24.11.2021: "Preserved baby Neanderthal milk tooth shows earlier emergence than in humans"
skynews.com 24 24.11.2021: "Neanderthal children may have cut their teeth earlier than modern humans"
sciencetimes.com 24.11.2021: "Neanderthal Teeth May Have Grown Faster, Four Months Earlier Than In Modern Humans as Evident in a 120,000-Year Old Milk Tooth"
nhm.ac.uk  24.11.2021: "Neanderthals grew up faster than humans to power brain growth"
dailyadvent.com 24.11.2021: "Neanderthal milk tooth from a baby who lived 120,000 years ago shows primary teeth appeared four months sooner in the extinct species than what is seen in human infants"
newsbeezer.com 24.11.2021: "Neanderthal milk tooth shows milk teeth four months earlier than visible in humans"
brisbanetimes.com.au 24.11.2021: "How Australian children’s teeth helped solve an ancient mystery"
new.italia-24.com 24.11.2021: "Il dente da latte di Neanderthal mostra che i denti primari sono comparsi quattro mesi prima di quanto si vede negli esseri umani"
news-fr24.com 24.11.2021: "Une dent de lait de Néandertal montre que les dents primaires sont apparues quatre mois plus tôt que chez l’homme"
dailymail.co.uk 24.11.2021: "Neanderthal milk tooth from a baby who lived 120,000 years ago shows primary teeth appeared four months sooner in the extinct species than what is seen in human infants"
expressdigest.com 24.11.2021: "Neanderthal milk tooth shows primary teeth appeared four months sooner than what is seen in humans"
noticiasdelmundo.news 24.11.2021: "El diente de leche de neandertal muestra que los dientes primarios aparecieron cuatro meses antes de lo que se ve en humanos"

Last Updated on Friday, 26 November 2021 12:05