Croatian Natural History Museum

Zagreb, Croatia

Croatian Natural History Museum

Zagreb, Croatia

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News Article | June 28, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

A discovery of multiple toothpick grooves on teeth and signs of other manipulations by a Neanderthal of 130,000 years ago are evidence of a kind of prehistoric dentistry, according to a new study led by a University of Kansas researcher. "As a package, this fits together as a dental problem that the Neanderthal was having and was trying to presumably treat itself, with the toothpick grooves, the breaks and also with the scratches on the premolar," said David Frayer, professor emeritus of Anthropology. "It was an interesting connection or collection of phenomena that fit together in a way that we would expect a modern human to do. Everybody has had dental pain, and they know what it's like to have a problem with an impacted tooth." The Bulletin of the International Association for Paleodontology recently published the study. The researchers analyzed four isolated but associated mandibular teeth on the left side of the Neanderthal's mouth. Frayer's co-authors are Joseph Gatti, a Lawrence dentist, Janet Monge, of the University of Pennsylvania; and, Davorka Radovčić, curator at the Croatian Natural History Museum. The teeth were found at Krapina site in Croatia, and Frayer and Radovčić have made several discoveries about Neanderthal life there, including a widely recognized 2015 study published in PLOS ONE about a set of eagle talons that included cut marks and were fashioned into a piece of jewelry. The teeth and all the Krapina Neanderthal fossils were discovered more than 100 years ago from the site, which was originally excavated between 1899-1905. However, Frayer and Radovčić in recent years have reexamined many items collected from the site. In this case, they analyzed the teeth with a light microscope to document occlusal wear, toothpick groove formation, dentin scratches, and ante mortem, lingual enamel fractures. Even though the teeth were isolated, previous researchers were able to reconstruct their order and location in the male or female Neanderthal's mouth. Frayer said researchers have not recovered the mandible to look for evidence of periodontal disease, but the scratches and grooves on the teeth indicate they were likely causing irritation and discomfort for some time for this individual. They found the premolar and M3 molar were pushed out of their normal positions. Associated with that, they found six toothpick grooves among those two teeth and the two molars further behind them. "The scratches indicate this individual was pushing something into his or her mouth to get at that twisted premolar," Frayer said. The features of the premolar and third molar are associated with several kinds of dental manipulations, he said. Mostly because the chips of the teeth were on the tongue side of the teeth and at different angles, the researchers ruled out that something happened to the teeth after the Neanderthal died. Past research in the fossil record has identified toothpick grooves going back almost 2 million years, Frayer said. They did not identify what the Neanderthal would have used to produce the toothpick grooves, but it possibly could have been a bone or stem of grass. "It's maybe not surprising that a Neanderthal did this, but as far as I know, there's no specimen that combines all of this together into a pattern that would indicate he or she was trying to presumably self-treat this eruption problem," he said. The evidence from the toothpick marks and dental manipulations is also interesting in light of the discovery of the Krapina Neanderthals' ability to fashion eagle talons fashioned into jewelry because people often think of Neanderthals as having "subhuman" abilities. "It fits into a pattern of a Neanderthal being able to modify its personal environment by using tools," Frayer said, "because the toothpick grooves, whether they are made by bones or grass stems or who knows what, the scratches and chips in the teeth, they show us that Neanderthals were doing something inside their mouths to treat the dental irritation. Or at least this one was."


News Article | June 28, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A discovery of multiple toothpick grooves on teeth and signs of other manipulations by a Neanderthal of 130,000 years ago are evidence of a kind of prehistoric dentistry, according to a new study led by a University of Kansas researcher. "As a package, this fits together as a dental problem that the Neanderthal was having and was trying to presumably treat itself, with the toothpick grooves, the breaks and also with the scratches on the premolar," said David Frayer, professor emeritus of Anthropology. "It was an interesting connection or collection of phenomena that fit together in a way that we would expect a modern human to do. Everybody has had dental pain, and they know what it's like to have a problem with an impacted tooth." The Bulletin of the International Association for Paleodontology recently published the study. The researchers analyzed four isolated but associated mandibular teeth on the left side of the Neanderthal's mouth. Frayer's co-authors are Joseph Gatti, a Lawrence dentist, Janet Monge, of the University of Pennsylvania; and, Davorka Radovčić, curator at the Croatian Natural History Museum. The teeth were found at Krapina site in Croatia, and Frayer and Radovčić have made several discoveries about Neanderthal life there, including a widely recognized 2015 study published in PLOS ONE about a set of eagle talons that included cut marks and were fashioned into a piece of jewelry. The teeth and all the Krapina Neanderthal fossils were discovered more than 100 years ago from the site, which was originally excavated between 1899-1905. However, Frayer and Radovčić in recent years have reexamined many items collected from the site. In this case, they analyzed the teeth with a light microscope to document occlusal wear, toothpick groove formation, dentin scratches, and ante mortem, lingual enamel fractures. Even though the teeth were isolated, previous researchers were able to reconstruct their order and location in the male or female Neanderthal's mouth. Frayer said researchers have not recovered the mandible to look for evidence of periodontal disease, but the scratches and grooves on the teeth indicate they were likely causing irritation and discomfort for some time for this individual. They found the premolar and M3 molar were pushed out of their normal positions. Associated with that, they found six toothpick grooves among those two teeth and the two molars further behind them. "The scratches indicate this individual was pushing something into his or her mouth to get at that twisted premolar," Frayer said. The features of the premolar and third molar are associated with several kinds of dental manipulations, he said. Mostly because the chips of the teeth were on the tongue side of the teeth and at different angles, the researchers ruled out that something happened to the teeth after the Neanderthal died. Past research in the fossil record has identified toothpick grooves going back almost 2 million years, Frayer said. They did not identify what the Neanderthal would have used to produce the toothpick grooves, but it possibly could have been a bone or stem of grass. "It's maybe not surprising that a Neanderthal did this, but as far as I know, there's no specimen that combines all of this together into a pattern that would indicate he or she was trying to presumably self-treat this eruption problem," he said. The evidence from the toothpick marks and dental manipulations is also interesting in light of the discovery of the Krapina Neanderthals' ability to fashion eagle talons fashioned into jewelry because people often think of Neanderthals as having "subhuman" abilities. "It fits into a pattern of a Neanderthal being able to modify its personal environment by using tools," Frayer said, "because the toothpick grooves, whether they are made by bones or grass stems or who knows what, the scratches and chips in the teeth, they show us that Neanderthals were doing something inside their mouths to treat the dental irritation. Or at least this one was."


News Article | June 29, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

A discovery of multiple toothpick grooves on teeth and signs of other manipulations by a Neanderthal of 130,000 years ago are evidence of a kind of prehistoric dentistry, according to a new study led by a University of Kansas researcher. "As a package, this fits together as a dental problem that the Neanderthal was having and was trying to presumably treat itself, with the toothpick grooves, the breaks and also with the scratches on the premolar," said David Frayer, professor emeritus of anthropology. "It was an interesting connection or collection of phenomena that fit together in a way that we would expect a modern human to do. Everybody has had dental pain, and they know what it's like to have a problem with an impacted tooth." The Bulletin of the International Association for Paleodontology recently published the study. The researchers analyzed four isolated but associated mandibular teeth on the left side of the Neanderthal's mouth. Frayer's co-authors are Joseph Gatti, a Lawrence dentist, Janet Monge, of the University of Pennsylvania; and, Davorka Radovčić, curator at the Croatian Natural History Museum. The teeth were found at Krapina site in Croatia, and Frayer and Radovčić have made several discoveries about Neanderthal life there, including a widely recognized 2015 study published in PLOS ONE about a set of eagle talons that included cut marks and were fashioned into a piece of jewelry. The teeth and all the Krapina Neanderthal fossils were discovered more than 100 years ago from the site, which was originally excavated between 1899-1905. However, Frayer and Radovčić in recent years have reexamined many items collected from the site. In this case, they analyzed the teeth with a light microscope to document occlusal wear, toothpick groove formation, dentin scratches, and ante mortem, lingual enamel fractures. Even though the teeth were isolated, previous researchers were able to reconstruct their order and location in the male or female Neanderthal's mouth. Frayer said researchers have not recovered the mandible to look for evidence of periodontal disease, but the scratches and grooves on the teeth indicate they were likely causing irritation and discomfort for some time for this individual. They found the premolar and M3 molar were pushed out of their normal positions. Associated with that, they found six toothpick grooves among those two teeth and the two molars further behind them. "The scratches indicate this individual was pushing something into his or her mouth to get at that twisted premolar," Frayer said. The features of the premolar and third molar are associated with several kinds of dental manipulations, he said. Mostly because the chips of the teeth were on the tongue side of the teeth and at different angles, the researchers ruled out that something happened to the teeth after the Neanderthal died. Past research in the fossil record has identified toothpick grooves going back almost 2 million years, Frayer said. They did not identify what the Neanderthal would have used to produce the toothpick grooves, but it possibly could have been a bone or stem of grass. "It's maybe not surprising that a Neanderthal did this, but as far as I know, there's no specimen that combines all of this together into a pattern that would indicate he or she was trying to presumably self-treat this eruption problem," he said. The evidence from the toothpick marks and dental manipulations is also interesting in light of the discovery of the Krapina Neanderthals' ability to fashion eagle talons fashioned into jewelry because people often think of Neanderthals as having "subhuman" abilities. "It fits into a pattern of a Neanderthal being able to modify its personal environment by using tools," Frayer said, "because the toothpick grooves, whether they are made by bones or grass stems or who knows what, the scratches and chips in the teeth, they show us that Neanderthals were doing something inside their mouths to treat the dental irritation. Or at least this one was."


News Article | June 30, 2017
Site: www.futurity.org

Researchers have found signs of dental manipulations and multiple toothpick grooves on the teeth of a 130,000-year-old Neanderthal, evidence of a kind of “prehistoric dentistry.” “As a package, this fits together as a dental problem that the Neanderthal was having and was trying to presumably treat itself, with the toothpick grooves, the breaks, and also with the scratches on the premolar,” says David Frayer, a professor of anthropology at the University of Kansas. “It was an interesting connection or collection of phenomena that fit together in a way that we would expect a modern human to do. Everybody has had dental pain, and they know what it’s like to have a problem with an impacted tooth,” he says. The researchers analyzed four isolated but associated mandibular teeth on the left side of the Neanderthal’s mouth. The teeth were found at Krapina site in Croatia, and Frayer and Davorka Radovčić, curator at the Croatian Natural History Museum, have made several discoveries about Neanderthal life there, including a widely recognized 2015 study about a set of eagle talons that included cut marks and were fashioned into a piece of jewelry. The teeth and all the Krapina Neanderthal fossils were discovered more than 100 years ago from the site, which was originally excavated between 1899-1905. However, Frayer and Radovčić in recent years have re-examined many items collected from the site. In this case, they analyzed the teeth with a light microscope to document occlusal wear, toothpick groove formation, dentin scratches, and antemortem, lingual enamel fractures. Even though the teeth were isolated, previous researchers were able to reconstruct their order and location in the male or female Neanderthal’s mouth. Frayer says researchers have not recovered the mandible to look for evidence of periodontal disease, but the scratches and grooves on the teeth indicate they were likely causing irritation and discomfort for some time for this individual. They found the premolar and M3 molar were pushed out of their normal positions. Associated with that, they found six toothpick grooves among those two teeth and the two molars farther behind them. “The scratches indicate this individual was pushing something into his or her mouth to get at that twisted premolar,” Frayer says. The features of the premolar and third molar are associated with several kinds of dental manipulations, he says. Mostly because the chips of the teeth were on the tongue side of the teeth and at different angles, the researchers ruled out that something happened to the teeth after the Neanderthal died. Past research in the fossil record has identified toothpick grooves going back almost 2 million years, Frayer says. They did not identify what the Neanderthal would have used to produce the toothpick grooves, but it possibly could have been a bone or stem of grass. “It’s maybe not surprising that a Neanderthal did this, but as far as I know, there’s no specimen that combines all of this together into a pattern that would indicate he or she was trying to presumably self-treat this eruption problem,” he says. The evidence from the toothpick marks and dental manipulations is also interesting in light of the discovery of the Krapina Neanderthals’ ability to fashion eagle talons into jewelry because people often think of Neanderthals as having “subhuman” abilities. “It fits into a pattern of a Neanderthal being able to modify its personal environment by using tools,” Frayer says, “because the toothpick grooves, whether they are made by bones or grass stems or who knows what, the scratches and chips in the teeth, they show us that Neanderthals were doing something inside their mouths to treat the dental irritation. Or at least this one was.” Additional coauthors are dentist Joseph Gatti and Janet Monge of the University of Pennsylvania. The study appears in the Bulletin of the International Association for Paleodontology.


Pavlinic I.,Croatian Natural History Museum | Lojkic I.,Croatian Veterinary Institute
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2015

This article is the first confirmed report of the species Pseudogymnoascus destructans in Croatia. In April 2013, 18 bats were found dead in the winter hibernaculum of the Uviraljka swallow hole. All the dead bats were of the species Myotis myotis, and thus a possible Pd infection was suspected. DNA analysis of wing samples was conducted and sequence and phylogenetic analysis confirmed that samples of all carcasses were positive for P. destructans. These results are the first known record of this fungus in Croatia. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Hill C.A.,University of Arizona | Radovcic J.,Croatian Natural History Museum | Frayer D.W.,University of Kansas
American Journal of Physical Anthropology | Year: 2014

Previous studies comparing bony labyrinth morphology in geographically-dispersed samples of Neandertals and modern Homo sapiens (H. sapiens) showed that Neandertals generally have smaller semicircular canals than modern H. sapiens (Hublin et al.,; Spoor et al.,; Glantz et al.,). Here we analyze the morphology of a single group of Neandertal specimens from one locale, the Krapina site, to determine the intraspecific variation in Neandertal semicircular canal sizes. Dimensions of the semicircular canals were collected from computed tomography scans of nine temporal bones. With the rare exception, the dimensions of the semicircular canals in the Krapina sample are similar to those previously reported across a geographically-dispersed sample of Neandertals, further supporting previous studies that suggest low levels of variation in the semicircular canals for Neandertals. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Stamol V.,Croatian Natural History Museum
Natura Croatica | Year: 2010

By examination of extensive literature data, a list of the terrestrial snails of Croatia has been compiled. A list of Croatian names for each taxon is also provided for the first time. Croatian endemic species and subspecies are indicated.


Bilandzija H.,Ruder Boskovic Institute | Morton B.,Natural History Museum in London | Podnar M.,Croatian Natural History Museum | Cetkovic H.,Ruder Boskovic Institute
Frontiers in Zoology | Year: 2013

Background: Patterns of biodiversity in the subterranean realm are typically different from those encountered on the Earth's surface. The Dinaric karst of Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina is a global hotspot of subterranean biodiversity. How this was achieved and why this is so remain largely unresolved despite a long tradition of research. To obtain insights into the colonisation of the Dinaric Karst and the effects of the subterranean realm on its inhabitants, we studied the tertiary relict Congeria, a unique cave-dwelling bivalve (Dreissenidae), using a combination of biogeographical, molecular, morphological, and paleontological information. Results: Phylogenetic and molecular clock analyses using both nuclear and mitochondrial markers have shown that the surviving Congeria lineage has actually split into three distinct species, i.e., C. kusceri, C. jalzici sp. nov. and C. mulaomerovici sp. nov., by vicariant processes in the late Miocene and Pliocene. Despite millions of years of independent evolution, analyses have demonstrated a great deal of shell similarity between modern Congeria species, although slight differences in hinge plate structure have enabled the description of the two new species. Ancestral plesiomorphic shell forms seem to have been conserved during the processes of cave colonisation and subsequent lineage isolation. In contrast, shell morphology is divergent within one of the lineages, probably due to microhabitat differences. Conclusions: Following the turbulent evolution of the Dreissenidae during the Tertiary and major radiations in Lake Pannon, species of Congeria went extinct. One lineage survived, however, by adopting a unique life history strategy that suited it to the underground environment. In light of our new data, an alternative scenario for its colonisation of the karst is proposed. The extant Congeria comprises three sister species that, to date, have only been found to live in 15 caves in the Dinaric karst. Inter-specific morphological stasis and intra-specific ecophenotypic plasticity of the congerid shell demonstrate the contrasting ways in which evolution in the underground environments shapes its inhabitants. © 2013 Bilandžija et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


This paper discusses the reliability of data on finding localities of the land snail Lindholmiola corcyrensis (Rossmässler, 1838) in Croatia and concludes that this species has probably never inhabited and probably does not inhabit Croatia. © 2016, Croatian Natural History Museum. All rights reserved.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: H2020-TWINN-2015 | Award Amount: 989.73K | Year: 2016

This project is an innovative opportunity to mend several gaps in the research capacity in Croatia in Archaeology, Genetics, and other Sciences of the Past by twinning a consortium of Croatian researchers (CrEAMA Initiative) with archaeological scientists from the University of Cambridge (UCAM) and the University of Pisa (UP). The project exploits location-specific advantages that arise from two crucial facts. Firstly, there is large number of archaeological sites and remains in Croatia that are relatively understudied. Secondly there is a group of researchers (CrEAMA Initiative) whose research capacity, impact, and grant success at the European level has not realised full potential owing to a relative lack of resources, coordination, and strategic planning. This project will unlock this latent scientific potential by developing multi-inter-trans- disciplinary (MIT disciplinary) expertise. Our ultimate vision is to develop a research group capable of using an MIT disciplinary approach to Sciences of the Past; this will be a powerful force for innovation and will contribute to resolving contemporary issues. This vision will be realised through support from our partners: the UCAM and the UP. Both institutions display success in Archaeology, Genetics and other Sciences of the Past, and have proven track records in applying for and completing EU-funded research projects. The first goal is to establish and integrate the existing MIT disciplinary scientific research community in Croatia. The second goal is to upgrade and intensify scientific research of CrEAMA Initiative by utilising recent methodological achievements in genetics (NGS) and other biological disciplines (GMM). The third goal is to foster integration of the CrEAMA Initiative into ERA. Our last goal is to commercialise and integrate the CrEAMA Initiative research with the needs of society (local community) at the local (Korula Island), regional (Dalmatia), national, European (web) and global (web) level.

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