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An ancient child of a long-extinct human-like species from 104,000 years ago in northern China had teeth that grew in a similar way to modern-day humans.
Remains of the ancient six-year-old child, known as the Xujiayao juvenile, were first found in the 1970s and reanalysed.
Evidence - Development - Children - Today
Evidence found the dental development was very similar to what is seen in young children today.
Both the archaic hominid and modern Homo sapiens have a prolonged period of infantile dependency on others to survive.
Debbie - Guatelli-Steinberg - Co-author - Study - Professor
Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg, co-author of the study and professor of anthropology at The Ohio State University, said: 'The Xujiayao juvenile is the oldest fossil found in east Asia that has dental development comparable to modern humans,' Guatelli-Steinberg said.
'It may suggest that these archaic humans had a slow life history like modern humans, with a prolonged period of childhood dependency.'
Growth - Lines - Teeth - Record - Development
Growth lines in the teeth were well preserved and these provide a record of dental development.
Modern humans take far longer to develop their adult teeth than our primate relatives and it is believed this is due to a longer period of child dependency.
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