[18jan13J lab mikropal]
Skeletal age, dental age, and the maturation of KNM-WT 15000
Smith SL (2004)
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas 76019, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
The skeleton of the Homo erectus boy from West Lake Turkana, Kenya (KNM-WT 15000), is remarkably complete, and this individual has thus provided a case study for several researchers examining Homo erectus growth. Using data from a longitudinal study of Montreal French-Canadian children, it is shown that while dental and skeletal ages match reasonably well at the level of a sample of children, individuals can display differences between skeletal and dental ages of 2 years or more. Furthermore, the relationship between these two markers may change over time in individual children. It is also possible to find children with patterns of dental maturation similar to KNM-WT 15000’s pattern in the Montreal sample. Therefore, neither the discrepancy between skeletal age and dental age alone nor the pattern of dental maturation as assessed by dental stages precludes a human-like pattern of growth, including an adolescent growth spurt, for this individual. Some indicators (e.g., estimated body size for predicted age, and enamel formation) do suggest possible growth-patterning differences from modern humans, and therefore earlier maturation is a reasonable hypothesis, but caution is warranted, given the large degree of modern human variation in developmental markers and the inherent uncertainty in precise estimation of KNM-WT 15000’s maturational parameters.
Am J Phys Anthropol. 2004 Oct;125(2):105-20