First Molar Eruption, Weaning, and Life History in Living Wild Chimpanzees
Bernard, Andrew B.
Donovan, Ronan M.
Papakyrikos, Amanda M.
Muller, Martin N.
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CitationSmith, Tanya M., Zarin Machanda, Amanda B. Bernard, Ronan M. Donovan, Amanda M. Papakyrikos, Martin N. Muller, and Richard Wrangham. 2013. First Molar Eruption, Weaning, and Life History in Living Wild Chimpanzees. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110, no. 8: 2787–2791.
AbstractUnderstanding dental development in chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, is of fundamental importance for reconstructing the evolution of human development. Most early hominin species are believed to show rapid ape-like patterns of development, implying that a prolonged modern human childhood evolved quite recently. However, chimpanzee developmental standards are uncertain because they have never been based on living wild individuals. Furthermore, although it is well established that first molar tooth emergence (movement into the mouth) is correlated with the scheduling of growth and reproduction across primates broadly, its precise relation to solid food consumption, nursing behavior, or maternal life history is unknown. To address these concerns we conducted a photographic study of subadult chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in Kanyawara, Kibale National Park, Uganda. Five healthy infants emerged their lower first molars (M1s) by or before 3.3 y of age, nearly identical to captive chimpanzee mean ages (∼3.2 y, n = 53). First molar emergence in these chimpanzees does not directly or consistently predict the introduction of solid foods, resumption of maternal estrous cycling, cessation of nursing, or maternal interbirth intervals. Kanyawara chimpanzees showed adult patterns of solid food consumption by the time M1 reached functional occlusion, spent a greater amount of time on the nipple while M1 was erupting than in the preceding year, and continued to suckle during the following year. Estimates of M1 emergence age in australopiths are remarkably similar to the Kanyawara chimpanzees, and recent reconstructions of their life histories should be reconsidered in light of these findings.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:13065013
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