Irhoud 3

Longer childhood and adolescence

As teeth develop, new enamel layers form daily. Scientists used CT-scanning to count the enamel layers on the 160,000 year old teeth of a 7-8 year old Homo sapiens child found at Jebel Irhoud, Morocco. The layers show that the teeth were growing and erupting at the same rate as those of seven- to eight-year-old children today, telling us that this fossil human child was growing at the same rate as living humans.

Jebel tooth fragment with photomicrograph inset
Irhoud 3
Exhibit item
Site: 
Jebel Irhoud, Morocco
Date of discovery: 
1961
Discovered by: 
Mohammed Ben Fatmi
Age: 
About 160,000 years old
Species: 
Homo sapiens
Text: 
<bold>Longer childhood and adolescence</bold> As teeth develop, new enamel layers form daily. Scientists used CT-scanning to count the enamel layers on the 160,000 year old teeth of a 7-8 year old <italic>Homo sapiens</italic> child found at Jebel Irhoud, Morocco. The layers show that the teeth were growing and erupting at the same rate as those of seven- to eight-year-old children today, telling us that this fossil human child was growing at the same rate as living humans.