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The growth pattern of Neandertals, reconstructed from a juvenile skeleton from El Sidrón (Spain)

Abstract: Ontogenetic studies help us understand the processes of evolutionary change. Previous studies on Neandertals have focused mainly on dental development and inferred an accelerated pace of general growth. We report on a juvenile partial skeleton (El Sidrón J1) preserving cranio-dental and postcranial remains. We used dental histology to estimate the age at death to be 7.7 years. Maturation of most elements fell within the expected range of modern humans at this age. The exceptions were the atlas and mid-thoracic vertebrae, which remained at the 5- to 6-year stage of development. Furthermore, endocranial features suggest that brain growth was not yet completed. The vertebral maturation pattern and extended brain growth most likely reflect Neandertal physiology and ontogenetic energy constraints rather than any fundamental difference in the overall pace of growth in this extinct human.

 Autoría: Antonio Rosas González; Luis Ríos; Almudena Estalrrich

 Fuente: Science, (2017), 357, 1282-1287

Editorial: American Association for the Advancement of Science

 Año de publicación: 2017

Nº de páginas: 6

Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1126/science.aan6463

ISSN: 0036-8075,1095-9203

Autores/as

ROSAS GONZÁLEZ, ANTONIO

RÍOS, LUIS

LIVERSIDGE, HELEN

GARCÍA TABERNERO, ANTONIO

HUGUET, ROSA

CARDOSO, HUGO

BASTIR, MARKUS

LALUEZA FOX, CARLES

MARCO DE LA RASILLA VIVES

DEAN, CHRISTOPER