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      Continuity and Discontinuity in the Peopling of Europe 

      Facts and Ideas in Paleolithic Growth Studies (Paleoauxology)

      Springer Netherlands

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          Most cited references 43

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          The Sima de los Huesos crania (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain). A comparative study.

          The Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca) cranial remains found up to and including the 1995 field season are described and compared with other fossils in order to assess their evolutionary relationships. The phenetic affinities of the Sima de los Huesos crania and a large sample of Homo fossils are investigated through principal component analyses. Metrical comparisons of the Sima de los Huesos and other European and African Middle Pleistocene fossils with Neandertals are performed using Z-scores relative to the Neandertal sample statistics. The most relevant cranial traits are metrically and morphologically analyzed and cladistically evaluated. The Sima de los Huesos crania exhibit a number of primitive traits lost in Upper Pleistocene Neandertals (especially in the braincase, but also in the facial skeleton), as well as other traits that are transitional to the Neandertal morphology (particularly in the occipital bone), and features close to what is found in Neandertals (as the supraorbital morphology and midfacial prognathism). Different combinations of primitive and derived traits (shared with Neandertals) are also displayed by the other European Middle Pleistocene fossils. In conclusion, the Sima de los Huesos sample is evolutionarily related to Neandertals as well as to the other European Middle Pleistocene fossils. In our opinion, all the European Middle Pleistocene fossils belong to the Neandertal lineage, and none can be included in an Afroeuropean common ancestor of Neandertals and modern humans.
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            A late Neanderthal associated with Upper Palaeolithic artefacts.

            The French site of Arcy-sur-Cure is a key locality in documenting the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic transition in Europe. Reliable attribution of the fragmentary hominid fossils associated with its early Upper Palaeolithic Châtelperronian industry has not been possible. Here we report the first conclusive identification of one of these fossils as Neanderthal on the basis of newly discovered derived features of the bony labyrinth. Dated at about thirty-four thousand years (34 kyr) ago, the fossil is representative of the youngest known Neanderthal populations, and its archaeological context indicates that these hominids used a rich bone industry as well as personal ornaments. The evidence supports the hypothesis of a long term coexistence with technocultural interactions between the first modern humans and the last Neanderthals in Europe. However, the complete absence of the derived Neanderthal traits in labyrinths of modern Upper Palaeolithic specimens from western Europe argues against phylogenetic continuity between the two populations in this region.
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              Surprisingly rapid growth in Neanderthals.

              Life-history traits correlate closely with dental growth, so differences in dental growth within Homo can enable us to determine how somatic development has evolved and to identify developmental shifts that warrant species-level distinctions. Dental growth can be determined from the speed of enamel formation (or extension rate). We analysed the enamel extension rate in Homo antecessor (8 teeth analysed), Homo heidelbergensis (106), Homo neanderthalensis ('Neanderthals'; 146) and Upper Palaeolithic-Mesolithic Homo sapiens (100). Here we report that Upper Palaeolithic-Mesolithic H. sapiens shared an identical dental development pattern with modern humans, but that H. antecessor and H. heidelbergensis had shorter periods of dental growth. Surprisingly, Neanderthals were characterized by having the shortest period of dental growth. Because dental growth is an excellent indicator of somatic development, our results suggest that Neanderthals developed faster even than their immediate ancestor, H. heidelbergensis. Dental growth became longer and brain size increased from the Plio-Pleistocene in hominid evolution. Neanderthals, despite having a large brain, were characterized by a short period of development. This autapomorphy in growth is an evolutionary reversal, and points strongly to a specific distinction between H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis.
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                Author and book information

                Book
                978-94-007-0491-6
                978-94-007-0492-3
                2011
                10.1007/978-94-007-0492-3
                Book Chapter
                2011
                February 26 2011
                : 139-153
                10.1007/978-94-007-0492-3_12

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