The 88th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2019)

Dental developmental patterns and tissue volume variation along the arcade in Neandertals and Upper Paleolithic humans


1PACEA UMR5199, University of Bordeaux, France, 2PMOI EA4490, University of Lille, France, 3School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent, UK

March 29, 2019 , CC Room 23 Add to calendar

Differences have been reported between Neandertals and extant humans in their pattern of dental development and tooth tissue proportions along the dental arcade. In this context, the Gravettian child from Lagar Velho, Portugal, has been shown to have a developmental pattern and metameric variation currently only documented in Neandertals. However, the relationship between these parameters is not fully understood as a larger survey in Late Pleistocene and Holocene humans has not yet been realized. Here we use microCT-based data to finely quantify these variables and test the link between them in the deciduous and/or permanent dentitions of 13 Neandertal and 5 Upper Paleolithic modern human children of different chrono-cultural contexts from Western Europe. We also incorporate more than 2000 radiographs, 146 CT-scans, and 40 microCT-scans of Holocene children from worldwide origins. When compared to Holocene individuals, Neandertals and Lagar Velho show a delay in incisor relative to molar development that is associated with differences in dentine volume variation along the arcade. Indeed, Neandertals and Lagar Velho show high metameric variation, with particularly large incisor dentine volumes and values closer to Holocene individuals for molars. In contrast, the other Upper Paleolithic individuals, including a Gravettian one, display both comparable developmental pattern and dentine volume variation along the arcade to the Holocene children. Even if future investigations are needed to unlock the genetically- and/or functionally-related factors sustaining this correlation, these results provide insights into developmental processes that are relevant to our knowledge of macro- and microevolution in Late Pleistocene and Holocene populations.

Funding from University of Bordeaux, IdEx Bordeaux, French CNRS, and RĂ©gion Nouvelle Aquitaine.