Updated study of adult and subadult pectoral girdle bones from Sima de los Huesos site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain). Anatomical and age estimation keys

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Here we present an updated inventory and study of pectoral girdle remains recovered from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) site. Here, we describe the key morphological traits of adults and, for the first time, subadult specimens. Because morphological traits can change with age, we also discuss some shortcomings related to age estimation in postcranial fossil specimens. Adult clavicles from the SH are long with a low robusticity index and marked curvatures in the superior view. Among these traits, only extreme clavicular length seems to characterize subadult individuals. Neandertals share all these traits. In the case of the scapula, the SH specimens share a relatively long and narrow glenoid fossa with Neandertals. This trait is also present in subadult individuals. Additionally, most specimens from SH, adults, and subadults showed a dorsal axillary sulcus on the scapular lateral border, a trait also present in most adult and subadult Neandertals. These traits in adult and subadult specimens supports substantial genetic control for many of them in both human species.
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