Further evidence on relative dental maturation and somatic developmental rate in hominoids



New data on hominoid dental development are presented. Individual bivariate pairings of all mandibular teeth were made for African apes and humans. Data were analyzed with a full linear regression model. No statistically significant differences were found among apes, although a consistent pattern of earlier incisal development was observed in Pan relative to Gorilla. This is concordant with an earlier fusion of the premaxillary:maxillary suture in Pan. Only one tooth pair differed significantly by sex among apes. Two biologically distinct human samples (Libben and Hamann—Todd), although assessed differently (extraction and radiography) yielded virtually identical results. Humans differ from apes only by earlier relative calcification of their anterior teeth. This can be viewed as a consequence of reduced facial prognathism and a shift in hominid canine function.