Title

Hominoid Dental Maturation

Publication Title

Journal of Human Evolution

Publication Date

5-1990

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1016/0047-2484(90)90070-R

Keywords

relative dental development, hominoid, hominid, somatic maturation

Disciplines

Anthropology

Abstract

Traditional analyses of dental eruption pattern and enamel attrition suggested that the South African australopithecines exhibited a human-like or delayed maturation rate. Recent work has challenged this view by proposing that early hominids matured at a rate more like extant apes. We show that relative growth rates of ape and human dental structures are essentially similar, and that pattern differences in calcification stem from hominid incisor and canine reduction with concomitant facial reorganization. Pattern of dental development alone cannot be used to infer rates of somatic maturation.