Neanderthal-like features in 450,000-year-old fossil teeth from the Italian Peninsula

Jovialis

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Fossil teeth from Italy, among the oldest human remains on the Italian Peninsula, show that Neanderthal dental features had evolved by around 450,000 years ago, according to a study published October 3, 2018 in the open-access journal LOS ONEby Clément Zanolli of the Université Toulouse III Paul Sabatier in France and colleagues. These teeth also add to a growing picture of a period of complex human evolution that we are only beginning to understand

Zanolli and colleagues examined dental remains from the sites of Fontana Fanuccio, located 50km southeast of Rome, and Visogliano, located 18km northwest of Trieste. At around 450,000 years old, these teeth join a very short list of fossil human remains from Middle Pleistocene Europe. Using micro-CT scanning and detailed morphological analyses, the authors examined the shape and arrangement of tooth tissues and compared them with teeth of other human species. They found that the teeth of both sites share similarities with Neanderthals and are distinct from modern humans.There has been much debate over the identities and relationships of Middle Pleistocene ancient humans in Eurasia. The discovery of Neanderthal-like teeth so early in the record adds support to the suggestion of an early divergence of the Neanderthal lineage from our own, around the Early-Middle Pleistocene transition. The teeth are also notably different from other teeth known from this time in Eurasia, suggesting that there may have been multiple human lineages populating the region at this time, adding to a growing list of evidence that the Middle Pleistocene was a time of more complex human evolution than previously recognized.Zanolli adds: "The remains from Fontana Ranuccio and Visogliano represent among the oldest human fossil remains testifying to a peopling phase of the Italian Peninsula. Our analyses of the tooth internal structural organization reveal a Neanderthal-like signature, also resembling the condition shown by the contemporary assemblage from Atapuerca Sima de los Huesos, indicating that an overall Neanderthal morphological dental template was preconfigured in Western Europe at least 430 to 450 ka ago."

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-10-neanderthal-like-features-year-old-fossil-teeth.html#jCp


Abstract

The penecontemporaneous Middle Pleistocene sites of Fontana Ranuccio (Latium) and Visogliano (Friuli-Venezia Giulia), set c. 450 km apart in central and northeastern Italy, respectively, have yielded some among the oldest human fossil remains testifying to a peopling phase of the Italian Peninsula broadly during the glacial MIS 12, a stage associated with one among the harshest climatic conditions in the Northern hemisphere during the entire Quaternary period. Together with the large samples from Atapuerca Sima de los Huesos, Spain, and Caune de l’Arago at Tautavel, France, the remains from Fontana Ranuccio and Visogliano are among the few mid-Middle Pleistocene dental assemblages from Western Europe available for investigating the presence of an early Neanderthal signature in their inner structure. We applied two- three-dimensional techniques of virtual imaging and geometric morphometrics to the high-resolution X-ray microtomography record of the dental remains from these two Italian sites and compared the results to the evidence from a selected number of Pleistocene and extant human specimens/samples from Europe and North Africa. Depending on their preservation quality and on the degree of occlusal wear, we comparatively assessed: (i) the crown enamel and radicular dentine thickness topographic variation of a uniquely represented lower incisor; (ii) the lateral crown tissue proportions of premolars and molars; (iii) the enamel-dentine junction, and (iv) the pulp cavity morphology of all available specimens. Our analyses reveal in both samples a Neanderthal-like inner structural signal, for some aspects also resembling the condition shown by the contemporary assemblage from Atapuerca SH, and clearly distinct from the recent human figures. This study provides additional evidence indicating that an overall Neanderthal morphological dental template was preconfigured in Western Europe at least 430 to 450 ka ago.

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0189773
 
the Neanderthals split from the Denisovans 450-500 ka and from modern humans 800-1000 ka
there must have been a bottleneck in the Neanderthal line, from which only humans with the specific Neanderthal morphology survived
appearantly they can recognize Neanderthals from their teeth
don't they have Denisovan teeth too?
if I understand well, the Denisovans had a different morphology
then , according to this paper Neanderthal morphology must have formed quite short after the split from Denisovans
 
the Neanderthals split from the Denisovans 450-500 ka and from modern humans 800-1000 ka
there must have been a bottleneck in the Neanderthal line, from which only humans with the specific Neanderthal morphology survived
appearantly they can recognize Neanderthals from their teeth
don't they have Denisovan teeth too?
if I understand well, the Denisovans had a different morphology
then , according to this paper Neanderthal morphology must have formed quite short after the split from Denisovans

You said that Neanderthals split from the Denisovans and Modern Humans .... (Unless you mean something else):

They all descend from Homo Hidelbergensis.

..... Between 300,000 to 400,000 years ago, an ancestral group of H. heidelbergensis left Africa and then split shortly after. One branch ventured northwestward into West Asia and Europe and became the Neanderthals. The other branch moved east, becoming Denisovans. By 130,000 years ago, H. heidelbergensis in Africa had become Homo sapiens—our ancestors—who did not begin their own exodus from Africa until about 60,000 years ago. ...

https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/denisovan/
 
You said that Neanderthals split from the Denisovans and Modern Humans .... (Unless you mean something else):

They all descend from Homo Hidelbergensis.

..... Between 300,000 to 400,000 years ago, an ancestral group of H. heidelbergensis left Africa and then split shortly after. One branch ventured northwestward into West Asia and Europe and became the Neanderthals. The other branch moved east, becoming Denisovans. By 130,000 years ago, H. heidelbergensis in Africa had become Homo sapiens—our ancestors—who did not begin their own exodus from Africa until about 60,000 years ago. ...

https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/denisovan/

the tree based on mtDNA is outdated and different from the tree based on autosomal DNA

Phylogenetic-relationships-of-the-Altai-Neanderthal-a-Bayesian-tree-of-mitochondrial.png


A-possible-model-of-gene-flow-events-in-the-Late-Pleistocene-The-direction-and-estimated.png
 

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