Maternal secrets of our earliest ancestors unlocked

Dr Justin W. Adams and Dr Luca Fiorenza.
Dr Justin W. Adams and Dr Luca Fiorenza.

New research, published this week in Nature, brings to light for the first time the evolution of maternal roles and parenting responsibilities in one of our oldest evolutionary ancestors. Led by Monash BDI's Dr Luca Fiorenza and Dr Justin W. Adams, and their collaborator at Southern Cross University, the team used tooth chemistry analysis to ‘read’ more than two-million-year-old teeth of the Australopithecus africanus fossil. Their findings demonstrate why early human ancestors had fewer offspring and an extended parenting role. Read more.

This research appeared in Lens and The Conversation, and received significant national and international media coverage, including an ABC Radio Melbourne interview, ABC News, The Herald Sun, the Daily Telegraph, CNN, The Daily Mail, la Repubblica, Discover Magazine and more than 20 other sources.