New insight into the way our ancestors raised their young

New insight into the way our ancestors raised their young


Teeth grow like tree rings. Every day you
get a new layer and they record the chemical signal around you. By accessing
this chemical signal using our machines, we are able to retrace what those early
hominids did at the time. So we had two individuals that lived around 2.5
2.1 million years ago and we were able to extract the daily signal from basically
birth to about five years of age and what we could see is that they are
actually a very short breastfeeding time or what we call a kind of exclusive
breastfeeding time until about 12 months which is about
similar to what we see with modern humans. And then we see this cyclical pattern in
the teeth that shows a strong seasonality with some period of harsh
environments where the food would would be in shortage. We see with those early
groups 2.5 million years ago that they had to have these strong bonds with their
kids for a very long time. This discovery raises more questions now
we try to understand how the group is getting much more complex on the
social structure, but basically already we see that this is a very important
dynamic that probably has shaped our evolution.

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