HOPE Report No.29, 1st, December 2004.

Program No.29 (Joint research)

Title: "Growth and development in Plio-Pleistocene hominids"

Associate Professor,
Dept. Biological Sciences,
Graduate School of Science,
The University of Tokyo

Place of visit: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology during Nov 22 to 26, 2004

Period of visit: 22th-26th November 2004.

"Growth and development in Plio-Pleistocene hominids"

During my visit to Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Human Evolution, one short meeting was settled to start a new project, "Growth and development in Plio-Pleistocene hominids". It deals with issues of evolution of human-like growth and developmental patterns. The project team consists of four separate groups each of which has a concrete objective. One is for study on cranial development. It focuses on the brain growth and the estimation of age at death for the fossil hominids. It interests the first appearance of secondary altriciality. The second is based on the dental microstructure. It includes the perikymata increment on the enamel surface and also the observation of thin cross-sections. The third is on the postcranial bones, which is almost untouched part in the whole skeletal remains. It focuses on the body proportion and the robusticity. The fourth concerns the development of the genus Australopithecus. These four groups cooperate with each other and develop their own discussions into wider points of view.

The second day held my talk on "Postcranial growth and development of the Dederiyeh Neandertal children". It announced the contribution of the Japanese team in exploitation of Paleoanthropology in the Levant, especially for the excavation of the team Dederiyeh in Syria, and introduced my study of the postcranial growth on the Dederiyeh children. After several questions and comments, further prospects were discussed.