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Proc Biol Sci. 2007 May 7;274(1614):1125-32.

Facial ontogeny in Neanderthals and modern humans.

Author information

1
Department of Paleobiology, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC, C/José Gutiérrez Abascal, 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain. mbastir@mncn.csic.es

Abstract

One hundred and fifty years after the discovery of Neanderthals, it is held that this morphologically and genetically distinct human species does not differ from modern Homo sapiens in its craniofacial ontogenetic trajectory after the early post-natal period. This is striking given the evident morphological differences between these species, since it implies that all of the major differences are established by the early post-natal period and carried into adulthood through identical trajectories, despite the extent to which mechanical and spatial factors are thought to influence craniofacial ontogeny. Here, we present statistical and morphological analyses demonstrating that the spatio-temporal processes responsible for craniofacial ontogenetic transformations differ. The findings emphasize that pre-natal as well as post-natal ontogeny are both important in establishing the cranial morphological differences between adult Neanderthals and modern humans.

PMID:
17311777
PMCID:
PMC2189570
DOI:
10.1098/rspb.2006.0448
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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