Ancient Slow Growth: Fossil teeth show roots of human development | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

MISSION CRITICAL

Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


News

Ancient Slow Growth: Fossil teeth show roots of human development

By
8:37am, March 14, 2007

An extended period of childhood evolved in people at least 160,000 years ago, according to a new analysis of a fossil child's teeth. That's the earliest evidence to date of a modern-human life history requiring intensive parental care and a wide range of early-life learning opportunities, the researchers say.

A lower jaw holding several teeth of a nearly 8-year-old early Homo sapiens child displayed tooth development comparable to that of same-age European kids today, report anthropologist Tanya M. Smith of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and her colleagues. They employed a new X-ray technique to peer inside teeth

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News

[title_1]
From the Nature Index Paid Content