6. Growth, Development, and Life History in Hominin Evolution

  1. David R. Begun
  1. Jay Kelley and
  2. Debra Bolter

Published Online: 14 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118332344.ch6

A Companion to Paleoanthropology

A Companion to Paleoanthropology

How to Cite

Kelley, J. and Bolter, D. (2013) Growth, Development, and Life History in Hominin Evolution, in A Companion to Paleoanthropology (ed D. R. Begun), Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118332344.ch6

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 JAN 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 FEB 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444331165

Online ISBN: 9781118332344



  • cranial capacity;
  • dental development;
  • fossil species;
  • hominin evolution;
  • Miocene hominoids


This chapter talks about life history in hominin evolution, as discerned largely through cranial capacity and dental development, and postcranial skeletal growth. The discussion can largely be framed around key debates concerning Plio-Pleistocene hominin life history, growth, and development: 1) whether the timing of dental eruption, skeletal fusion, and stature growth in hominins is more ape-like, human-like, neither or both; and 2) when in the fossil record can a substantially human life-history pattern be discerned. The chapter also briefly discusses life-history inferences in Miocene hominoids as a prelude to the discussion of hominins.