Excerpt: “The teeth begin growing before birth…
If early weaning was typical of Neandertals, Humphrey says, it would be consistent with other evidence for a “faster pace of development” and raise the possibility that Neandertal mothers had shorter intervals between births and thus more kids on their hands at any given time.”
Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution of teeth and nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled neurogenic niche construction are exemplified in nematodes.
In my model of adaptive evolution, change in a single base pair results in an amino acid substitution manifested in increased apocrine glands (e.g., in mammary tissue), increased eccrine glands (e.g., important for thermoregulation), thinker hair (e.g., a likely trait for sexual selection), and changes in teeth in a human population that arose in central China during the past ~30,000 years. Because the molecular mechanisms of adaptive evolution are the same across species, change in a single base pair could result in differences in Neandertal / modern human weaning associated with the mother-infant bond and nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution of the mammalian brain and behavior. Ultimately, change in a single base pair could result in enhanced neurogenic niche construction and socio-cognitive niche construction.
Presumably, this result would exemplify less stressful nutrient-dependent ecological niche construction and less stressful pheromone-controlled social niche construction. If so, my model, which is exemplified in the honeybee model organism of socio-cognitive niche construction and embodied cognition, links the epigenetic effects of nutrients and their metabolism to species-specific pheromones to the adaptive evolution of species from microbes to man.
If not, “…it should be mentioned that another possibility is that of mutation accumulation in the strains [of nematodes] used in the different studies.” (p. 168). However, it should also be mentioned that the molecular mechanisms of adaptive evolution are unlikely to vary across species, which means adaptive evolution is probably nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled in all species. If mutations are involved in adaptive evolution there may be a model organism other than those that are known to exemplify how mutation accumulation enables selection and epistasis.