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The evolution of human weaning | VDH Hunt Valley

Did you know that humans wean their offspring much sooner than our closest evolutionary cousins? A recent study published in Nature and discussed on NPR’s Morning Edition explores how one scientist used a human Neanderthal tooth to determine when the previous owner of the tooth was weaned from his/her mother. He did this by measuring levels of the element barium that were deposited in the layers of the developing tooth.

So next time you tooth fairies snatch up a tooth from under the pillow of one of your growing babies, take a look and see what mysteries might be solved by the pearly little white in the palm of your hand.