Primeira pesquisa dos únicos fósseis de dentes do Homem de Pequim

sexta-feira, fevereiro 02, 2018

The fossil teeth of the Peking Man

Song Xing, María Martinón-Torres & José María Bermúdez de Castro

Scientific Reports volume 8, Article number: 2066 (2018)

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Anthropology Palaeontology

Received: 15 May 2017 Accepted: 18 January 2018

Published online: 01 February 2018


This study provides new original data, including the endostructure of most Zhoukoudian H. erectus teeth preserved to date, since the publication of Black in 1927 and Weidenreich in 1937. The new evidence ratifies the similarities of Zhoukoudian with other East Asian mid-Middle Pleistocene hominins such as Hexian and Yiyuan, and allows defining a dental pattern potentially characteristic of this population commonly referred to as classic H. erectus. Given the possible chronological overlaps of classic H. erectus with other archaic Homo, the characterization of this group becomes a key issue when deciphering the taxonomy and evolutionary scenario of the Middle Pleistocene hominins in East Asia. Internally, the most remarkable feature of Zhoukoudian teeth is the highly crenulated enamel-dentine junction (EDJ) and its imprint on the roof of the pulp cavity. So far, this “dendrite-like” EDJ has been found only in East Asia Middle Pleistocene hominins although a large group of samples were assessed, and it could be useful to dentally define classic H. erectus in China. The crenulated EDJ surface, together with the stout roots and the taurodontism could be a mechanism to withstand high biomechanical demand despite a general dentognathic reduction, particularly of the crowns, in these populations.


The authors thank all the colleagues and institutions that have helped us to accomplish this study. The authors would like to thank all the colleagues that have helped us to accomplish this study. Prof. Juan Luis Arsuaga and Prof. Eudald Carbonell allow the access to the Atapuerca fossils. We also express our gratitude to several people for providing access to the studied materials and their helpful assistance during observations: R. Clarke (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa), J. Svoboda (Institute of Archaeology, Paleolithic and Paleoethnology Research Center, Dolní Vestonice, Czech Republic), I. Tattersall, K. Mowbray, and G. Sawyer (American Museum of Natural History, New York), John de Vos (Naturallis Museum, Leiden, The Netherlands), H. de Lumley, M.-A. de Lumley, and A. Vialet (Institut de Paléontologie Humaine, Paris, France), P. Tassy (Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France), Dr. Yousuke Kaifu (National Science Museum, Tokyo), and Dr. Mi Zhou (Institute of Archeology and Cultural Relics of Hubei Province, Wuhan). Prof. Wolpoff provided the valuable data of dental metrics of fossil hominins from around the world. Thanks to Mark Sier from Oxford University for his valuable suggestions. Thanks to Dr. Lei Pan for her great help with the observation of EDJ surfaces of Australopithecus and African early Homo. This work was supported by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDPB05, 132311KYSB20160004), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41630102, 41672020), Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad of Spain MINECO/FEDER (CGL2015-65387-C3-3-P), Acción Integrada España Francia (HF2007-0115), British Academy (International Partnership and Mobility Scheme PM160019) and the Leakey Foundation through the personal support of Dub Crook (2014, 2015, 2016) and Gordon Getty (2012) to one of the authors (M.M.-T.).

Author information


Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100044, China

Song Xing

National Research Center on Human Evolution (CENIEH), Paseo de la Sierra de Atapuerca 3, 09002, Burgos, Spain

María Martinón-Torres & José María Bermúdez de Castro

University College London (UCL) Anthropology, 14 Taviton Street, London, WC1H 0BW, UK

María Martinón-Torres & José María Bermúdez de Castro


S.X. and M.M.T. contributed to the data collection and analysis. S.X., M.M.T., J.M.B.C. wrote the paper.

Competing Interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Song Xing.

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