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Journal of Human Evolution

Asier Gómez-Olivencia, Trenton Holliday, Stéphane Madelaine, Christine Couture-Veschambre, Bruno Maureille
The morphology and size of the Neandertal thorax is a subject of growing interest due to its link to general aspects of body size and shape, including physiological aspects related to bioenergetics and activity budgets. However, the number of well-preserved adult Neandertal costal remains is still low. The recent finding of new additional costal remains from the Regourdou 1 (R1) skeleton has rendered this skeleton as one of the most complete Neandertal costal skeletons with a minimum of 18 ribs represented, five of which are complete or virtually complete...
February 26, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Kari A Prassack, Michael C Pante, Jackson K Njau, Ignacio de la Torre
Fossil bird data (community composition and taphonomic profiles) are used here to infer the environmental context of the Oldowan-Acheulean transitional period at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. This is the first comprehensive report on the Middle Bed II avifauna and includes fossils excavated by the Olduvai Geochronology and Archaeology Project (OGAP) and recently rediscovered fossils collected by Mary Leakey. Crane, ibis, darter, owl, raptor, crow, and vulture are reported from Bed II for the first time. The presence of these taxa, absent earlier in this Bed, point to a general opening and drying of the landscape with grassland and open woodland expansion...
February 16, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Mariska E Kret, Larissa M Straffon
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 12, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Christopher B Ruff, M Loring Burgess, Nicole Squyres, Juho-Antti Junno, Erik Trinkaus
Previous attempts to estimate body mass in pre-Holocene hominins have relied on prediction equations derived from relatively limited extant samples. Here we derive new equations to predict body mass from femoral head breadth and proximal tibial plateau breadth based on a large and diverse sample of modern humans (avoiding the problems associated with using diaphyseal dimensions and/or cadaveric reference samples). In addition, an adjustment for the relatively small femoral heads of non-Homo taxa is developed based on observed differences in hip to knee joint scaling...
January 10, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Lindsay J McHenry, Ignacio de la Torre
The lithic assemblages at the Oldowan-Acheulean transition in Bed II of Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, represent a wide variety of raw materials reflecting both the diversity of volcanic, metamorphic, and sedimentary source materials available in the Olduvai basin and surroundings and the preferences of the tool-makers. A geochemical and petrographic systematic analysis of lava-derived archaeological stone tools, combined with textural and mineralogical characterization of quartzite, chert, and other metamorphic and sedimentary raw materials from two Middle and Upper Bed II sites, has enabled us to produce a comprehensive dataset and characterization of the rocks employed by Olduvai hominins, which is used here to establish a referential framework for future studies on Early Stone Age raw material provenancing...
January 10, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Oliver C C Paine, Abigale Koppa, Amanda G Henry, Jennifer N Leichliter, Daryl Codron, Jacqueline Codron, Joanna E Lambert, Matt Sponheimer
Discussions about early hominin diets have generally excluded grass leaves as a staple food resource, despite their ubiquity in most early hominin habitats. In particular, stable carbon isotope studies have shown a prevalent C4 component in the diets of most taxa, and grass leaves are the single most abundant C4 resource in African savannas. Grass leaves are typically portrayed as having little nutritional value (e.g., low in protein and high in fiber) for hominins lacking specialized digestive systems. It has also been argued that they present mechanical challenges (i...
April 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Andrew Best, Jason M Kamilar
Sweating is an unusual thermoregulatory strategy for most mammals, yet is critical for humans. This trait is commonly hypothesized to result from human ancestors moving from a forest to a warmer and drier open environment. As soft tissue traits do not typically fossilize, this idea has been difficult to test. Therefore, we used a comparative approach to examine 15 eccrine gland traits from 35 primate species. For each trait we measured phylogenetic signal, tested three evolutionary models to explain trait variation, and used phylogenetic models to examine how traits varied in response to climate variables...
April 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Asier Gómez-Olivencia, Rolf Quam, Nohemi Sala, Morgane Bardey, James C Ohman, Antoine Balzeau
The La Ferrassie 1 (LF1) skeleton, discovered over a century ago, is one of the most important Neandertal individuals both for its completeness and due to the role it has played historically in the interpretation of Neandertal anatomy and lifeways. Here we present new skeletal remains from this individual, which include a complete right middle ear ossicular chain (malleus, incus, and stapes), three vertebral fragments, and two costal remains. Additionally, the study of the skeleton has allowed us to identify new pathological lesions, including a congenital variant in the atlas, a greenstick fracture of the left clavicle, and a lesion in a mid-thoracic rib of unknown etiology...
April 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Laura Rodríguez, José Miguel Carretero, Rebeca García-González, Juan Luis Arsuaga
The recovery to date of three complete and five partial femora, seven complete tibiae, and four complete fibulae from the Atapuerca Sima de los Huesos site provides an opportunity to analyze the biomechanical cross-sectional properties in this Middle Pleistocene population and to compare them with those of other fossil hominins and recent modern humans. We have performed direct comparisons of the cross-sectional geometric parameters and reduced major axis (RMA) regression lines among different samples. We have determined that Atapuerca Sima de los Huesos (SH) fossils have significantly thicker cortices than those of recent modern humans for the three leg bones at all diaphyseal levels, except that of the femur at 35% of biomechanical length...
April 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Susanne Cote, John Kingston, Alan Deino, Alisa Winkler, Robert Kityo, Laura MacLatchy
Field expeditions to Bukwa in the late 1960s and early 1970s established that the site had a small but diverse early Miocene fauna, including the catarrhine primate Limnopithecus legetet. Initial potassium-argon radiometric dating indicated that Bukwa was 22 Ma, making it the oldest of the East African early Miocene fossil localities known at the time. In contrast, the fauna collected from Bukwa was similar to other fossil localities in the region that were several million years younger. This discrepancy was never resolved, and due to the paucity of primate remains at the site, little subsequent research took place...
March 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Chad L Yost, Lily J Jackson, Jeffery R Stone, Andrew S Cohen
The temporal proximity of the ∼74 ka Toba supereruption to a putative 100-50 ka human population bottleneck is the basis for the volcanic winter/weak Garden of Eden hypothesis, which states that the eruption caused a 6-year-long global volcanic winter and reduced the effective population of anatomically modern humans (AMH) to fewer than 10,000 individuals. To test this hypothesis, we sampled two cores collected from Lake Malawi with cryptotephra previously fingerprinted to the Toba supereruption. Phytolith and charcoal samples were continuously collected at ∼3-4 mm (∼8-9 yr) intervals above and below the Toba cryptotephra position, with no stratigraphic breaks...
March 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Kerryn A Warren, Terrence B Ritzman, Robyn A Humphreys, Christopher J Percival, Benedikt Hallgrímsson, Rebecca Rogers Ackermann
Hybridization occurs in a number of mammalian lineages, including among primate taxa. Analyses of ancient genomes have shown that hybridization between our lineage and other archaic hominins in Eurasia occurred numerous times in the past. However, we still have limited empirical data on what a hybrid skeleton looks like, or how to spot patterns of hybridization among fossils for which there are no genetic data. Here we use experimental mouse models to supplement previous studies of primates. We characterize size and shape variation in the cranium and mandible of three wild-derived inbred mouse strains and their first generation (F1 ) hybrids...
March 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Ovi Chris Rouly
This article describes simulation research based on the Hamiltonian theory of gene-based altruism. It investigates the origin of semipermanent breeding bonds during hominin evolution. The research framework is based on a biologically detailed, ecologically situated, multi-agent microsimulation of emergent sociality. The research question tested is whether semipermanent breeding bonds (an emergent homoplastic social construct) might emerge among primate-like agents as the consequence of a mutation capable of supporting involuntary prosocial behavior...
March 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
I G Stanistreet, H Stollhofen, J K Njau, P Farrugia, M C Pante, F T Masao, R M Albert, M K Bamford
Archaeological excavations at the DK site in the eastern Olduvai Basin, Tanzania, age-bracketed between ∼1.88 Ma (Bed I Basalt) and ∼1.85 Ma (Tuff IB), record the oldest lahar inundation, modification, and preservation of a hominin "occupation" site yet identified. Our landscape approach reconstructs environments and processes at high resolution to explain the distribution and final preservation of archaeological materials at the DK site, where an early hominin (likely Homo habilis) assemblage of stone tools and bones, found close to hominin specimens OH24 and OH56, developed on an uneven heterogeneous surface that was rapidly inundated by a lahar and buried to a depth of 0...
March 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Daniel DeMiguel, Lorenzo Rook
Despite its long history of scientific study, the causes underlying the extinction of the insular hominoid Oreopithecus bambolii are still a matter of ongoing debate. While some authors consider intense tectonism and invading species the cause of its extinction ca. 6.7 Ma, others propose climatic change as the main contributing factor. We rely on long-term patterns of tooth wear and hypsodonty of the Baccinello and Fiume Santo herbivore-faunas to reconstruct changes in habitat prior to, during and after the extinction...
March 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Clément Zanolli, Lei Pan, Jean Dumoncel, Ottmar Kullmer, Martin Kundrát, Wu Liu, Roberto Macchiarelli, Lucia Mancini, Friedemann Schrenk, Claudio Tuniz
Locality 1, in the Lower Cave of the Zhoukoudian cave complex, China, is one of the most important Middle Pleistocene paleoanthropological and archaeological sites worldwide, with the remains of c. 45 Homo erectus individuals, 98 mammalian taxa, and thousands of lithic tools recovered. Most of the material collected before World War II was lost. However, besides two postcranial elements rediscovered in China in 1951, four human permanent teeth from the 'Dragon Bone Hill,' collected by O. Zdansky between 1921 and 1923, were at the time brought to the Paleontological Institute of Uppsala University, Sweden, where they are still stored...
March 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Markku Niskanen, Juho-Antti Junno, Heli Maijanen, Brigitte Holt, Vladimir Sladék, Margit Berner
Femoral head breadth is widely used in body mass estimation in biological anthropology. Earlier research has demonstrated that reduced major axis (RMA) equations perform better than least squares (LS) equations. Although a simple RMA equation to estimate body size from femoral head breadth is sufficient in most cases, our experiments with male skeletons from European data (including late Pleistocene and Holocene skeletal samples) and the Forensic Anthropology Data Bank data (including the W. M. Bass Donated Skeletal Collection sample) show that including femoral length or anatomically estimated stature in an equation with femoral head breadth improves body mass estimation precision...
February 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Christopher B Ruff, Markku Niskanen
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Mariel Young, Fjola Johannesdottir, Ken Poole, Colin Shaw, J T Stock
Femoral head diameter is commonly used to estimate body mass from the skeleton. The three most frequently employed methods, designed by Ruff, Grine, and McHenry, were developed using different populations to address different research questions. They were not specifically designed for application to female remains, and their accuracy for this purpose has rarely been assessed or compared in living populations. This study analyzes the accuracy of these methods using a sample of modern British women through the use of pelvic CT scans (n = 97) and corresponding information about the individuals' known height and weight...
February 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Laurent Bruxelles, Richard Maire, Amélie Beaudet, Raymond Couzens, Francis Duranthon, Jean-Baptiste Fourvel, Dominic Stratford, Francis Thackeray, José Braga
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
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