Skip to main content

Thick enamel, thin bone: a common link in human juvenile hard tissue growth?

Pitfield, Rosie, Deter, Chris, Mahoney, Patrick (2018) Thick enamel, thin bone: a common link in human juvenile hard tissue growth? In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Program of the 87th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. 165 (S66). p. 209. Wiley (Unpublished) (doi:10.1002/ajpa.23489) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:76156)

XML Word Processing Document (DOCX) Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only
Contact us about this Publication
[thumbnail of Pitfield et al 2018.docx]
Official URL


The Havers-Halberg oscillation hypothesis (HHO) proposes that an underlying biorhythm may have a role in hard tissue growth, in relation to body size and life history, when compared between some mammalian species. Recent studies explored this hypothesis within adult humans, revealing attained stature and final permanent molar enamel thickness related to the biorhythm. This study searches for evidence of a link between cortical bone width and enamel thickness, in a sample of human juvenile skeletons (n=45) aged between three to 13 years of age. Histological thin sections were removed from the anterior mid-shaft region of the humerus, and from the permanent first maxillary molar of each skeleton. Cortical width and 2D average enamel thickness were measured from thin sections using Cell Sens image analysis software. Analyses revealed a significant and negative correlation (p=0.008) between enamel thickness and cortical width when the sample was subdivided into age groups. Thus, children with thicker molar enamel generally had thinner cortical bone, though this correlation was much stronger in the older children. These preliminary findings demonstrate a potential age-related link between enamel and bone growth in human children. Ongoing PhD research will examine these measures of enamel and bone thickness against evidence of a biorhythm retained in tooth enamel, and the underlying cellular mechanisms responsible for the morphology of hard tissue in these children.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
DOI/Identification number: 10.1002/ajpa.23489
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Patrick Mahoney
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2019 13:50 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:07 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Mahoney, Patrick:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year