Peking Man tooth reveals details of ancient humans

( ) Updated: 2015-05-11 09:30:26

Peking Man tooth reveals details of ancient humans

[Photo from Internet]

Fossils of Peking Man are very rare, as most disappeared during World War II, so it is no surprise that scientists are excited by analysis published on a tooth from a 600,000 year old ancestor of modern man.

The latest issue of "Acta Anthropologica Sinica", featured the findings of Swedish and Chinese scientists.

According to Liu Wu from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, the tooth in question is an upper right canine from a Peking Man.

The tooth was fully developed, indicating the individual was between 20 to 40 years old.

Age is revealed by counting dentine incremental layers, Martin Kundrat from the Evolutionary Biology Centre at Uppsala University, Sweden, said.

The tooth has two large chips, extending from the biting edge down toward the base of the crown.

"One of these chips has been partly smoothed by wear, showing that it was formed long before the death of the individual," he added. "It is possible that they were using their teeth as tools or they could bite some solid objects, such as nuts or animal bones."

Liu revealed that future research will see the extraction of residue from the tooth to identify the food the Peking Man ate.

The crown and root are smaller than other teeth found, Kundrat says, indicating Peking man could actually be a woman.

However, Liu said the tooth alone could not prove the gender of the individual.

Previous Page 1 2 3 Next Page

Editor's Picks
Hot words

Most Popular