Orangutan teeth hold key to nursing habits and conservation

A Griffith University researcher hopes a new discovery on orangutan weaning could help conservation efforts for the highly endangered primate.

Associate Professor Tanya Smith, from the Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution (ARCHE) team, based in Griffith’s Environmental Futures Research Institute, aged museum specimens using growth lines in their molar teeth and mapped barium, an element found in mothers’ milk, to determine how long they suckle for.

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