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Assessing human weaning practices with calcium isotopes in tooth enamel

Published on Jun 13, 2017in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America9.58
· DOI :10.1073/pnas.1704412114
Théo Tacail5
Estimated H-index: 5
(CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique),
Béatrice Thivichon-Prince4
Estimated H-index: 4
(UCBL: Claude Bernard University Lyon 1)
+ 3 AuthorsVincent Balter16
Estimated H-index: 16
(CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique)
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Abstract
Abstract Weaning practices differ among great apes and likely diverged during the course of human evolution, but behavioral inference from the fossil record is hampered by a lack of unambiguous biomarkers. Here, we show that early-life dietary transitions are recorded in human deciduous tooth enamel as marked variations in Ca isotope ratios (δ44/42Ca). Using a sequential microsampling method along the enamel growth axis, we collected more than 150 enamel microsamples from 51 deciduous teeth of 12 different modern human individuals of known dietary histories, as well as nine enamel samples from permanent third molars. We measured and reconstructed the evolution of 44Ca/42Ca ratios in enamel from in utero development to first months of postnatal development. We show that the observed variations of δ44/42Ca record a transition from placental nutrition to an adult-like diet and that Ca isotopes reflect the duration of the breastfeeding period experienced by each infant. Typically, the δ44/42Ca values of individuals briefly or not breastfed show a systematic increase during the first 5–10 mo, whereas individuals with long breastfeeding histories display no measurable variation in δ44/42Ca of enamel formed during this time. The use of Ca isotope analysis in tooth enamel allows microsampling and offers an independent approach to tackle challenging questions related to past population dynamics and evolution of weaning practices in hominins.
  • References (67)
  • Citations (6)
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References67
Newest
#1Klervia Jaouen (MPG: Max Planck Society)H-Index: 11
#2Estelle Herrscher (AMU: Aix-Marseille University)H-Index: 10
Last.Vincent Balter (École normale supérieure de Lyon)H-Index: 16
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#1Qiong Li (RHUL: Royal Holloway, University of London)H-Index: 1
#2Matthew F. Thirlwall (RHUL: Royal Holloway, University of London)H-Index: 70
Last.Wolfgang Müller (RHUL: Royal Holloway, University of London)H-Index: 27
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#1Théo Tacail (École normale supérieure de Lyon)H-Index: 5
#2Philippe Telouk (École normale supérieure de Lyon)H-Index: 31
Last.Vincent Balter (École normale supérieure de Lyon)H-Index: 16
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#1Nikolaus GussoneH-Index: 25
#2Alexander Heuser (University of Bonn)H-Index: 16
#1Anne-Désirée Schmitt (UDS: University of Strasbourg)H-Index: 10
#1Jeremy E. Martin (École normale supérieure de Lyon)H-Index: 6
#2Théo Tacail (École normale supérieure de Lyon)H-Index: 5
Last.Vincent Balter (École normale supérieure de Lyon)H-Index: 16
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#1Melanie B. Channon (ASU: Arizona State University)H-Index: 2
#2Gwyneth W. Gordon (ASU: Arizona State University)H-Index: 25
Last.Ariel D. Anbar (ASU: Arizona State University)H-Index: 56
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Cited By6
Newest
#1Théo Tacail (UoB: University of Bristol)
#2Jeremy E. Martin (École normale supérieure de Lyon)H-Index: 16
Last.Vincent Balter (École normale supérieure de Lyon)H-Index: 16
view all 7 authors...
#1Jeremy E. Martin (École normale supérieure de Lyon)H-Index: 6
#2Théo Tacail (École normale supérieure de Lyon)H-Index: 5
Last.Vincent Balter (École normale supérieure de Lyon)H-Index: 16
view all 4 authors...
#1A. Hassler (UCBL: Claude Bernard University Lyon 1)H-Index: 1
#2Jeremy E. Martin (UCBL: Claude Bernard University Lyon 1)H-Index: 16
Last.Vincent Balter (UCBL: Claude Bernard University Lyon 1)H-Index: 16
view all 7 authors...
#1Théo Tacail (École normale supérieure de Lyon)H-Index: 5
#2Lenka Kovačiková (Sewanee: The University of the South)H-Index: 3
Last.Vincent Balter (École normale supérieure de Lyon)H-Index: 16
view all 4 authors...
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