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Mosaic dental morphology in a terminal Pleistocene hominin from Dushan Cave in southern China

Liao, W; Xing, S; Li, D; Martinon-Torres, M; Wu, X; Soligo, C; Bermudez de Castro, JM; ... Liu, W; + view all (2019) Mosaic dental morphology in a terminal Pleistocene hominin from Dushan Cave in southern China. Scientific Reports , 9 , Article 2347. 10.1038/s41598-019-38818-x. Green open access

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Abstract

Recent studies reveal high degrees of morphological diversity in Late Pleistocene humans from East Asia. This variability was interpreted as complex demographic patterns with several migrations and possible survival of archaic groups. However, lack of well-described, reliably classified and accurately dated sites has seriously limited understanding of human evolution in terminal Pleistocene. Here we report a 15,000 years-old H. sapiens (Dushan 1) in South China with unusual mosaic features, such as large dental dimensions, cingulum-like structures at the dentine level in the posterior dentition and expression of a “crown buccal vertical groove complex”, all of which are uncommon in modern humans and more typically found in Middle Pleistocene archaic humans. They could represent the late survival of one of the earliest modern humans to settle in an isolated region of southern China and, hence, the retention of primitive-like traits. They could also represent a particularity of this group and, hence, reflect a high degree of regional variation. Alternatively, these features may be the result of introgression from some late-surviving archaic population in the region. Our study demonstrates the extreme variability of terminal Pleistocene populations in China and the possibility of a complex demographic story in the region.

Type: Article
Title: Mosaic dental morphology in a terminal Pleistocene hominin from Dushan Cave in southern China
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-38818-x
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-38818-x
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © the author(s). Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creative commons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/.
Keywords: Biological anthropology, Palaeontology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10069319
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