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Teeth may be an important new resource for understanding the lives of our extinct relatives, said Daniel Green, a postdoctoral fellow at the Forsyth Institute, an affiliate of Harvard Dental School of Medicine.

Reading teeth

Study uses rings in teeth to understand the environment Neanderthals faced



Scientists Paul Tafforeau (left), Tanya Smith, and Jean-Jacques Hublin position the upper jaw (maxilla) of the Le Moustier 1 juvenile Neanderthal before passing powerful X-rays through the fossil to see inside its teeth. Modern human developmental models suggested that this individual would have been 15 to 16 years of age, while the current study demonstrates that this 11- to 12-year-old individual matured more rapidly than modern humans. Fossil courtesy of the Museum fur Vorund Frühgeschichte, Berlin; photo by Chantal Argoud (ESRF)

Teeth marks

Examination illuminates developmental differences between Neanderthals, modern humans