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Journal of Human Evolution

M Loring Burgess, Shannon C McFarlin, Antoine Mudakikwa, Michael R Cranfield, Christopher B Ruff
While there are a number of methods available for estimation of body mass in adult nonhuman primates, very few are available for juveniles, despite the potential utility of such estimations in both analyses of fossils and in museum collection based research. Furthermore, because of possible scaling differences, adult based body mass estimation equations may not be appropriate for non-adults. In this study, we present new body mass estimation equations for both adult and immature nonhuman hominoids based on joint and metaphyseal dimensions...
August 9, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Libby Cowgill
Two attempts have been made to develop body mass prediction formulae specifically for immature remains: Ruff (Ruff, C.C., 2007, Body size prediction from juvenile skeletal remains. American Journal Physical Anthropology 133, 698-716) and Robbins et al. (Robbins, G., Sciulli, P.W., Blatt, S.H., 2010. Estimating body mass in subadult human skeletons. American Journal Physical Anthropology 143, 146-150). While both were developed from the same reference population, they differ in their independent variable selection: Ruff (2008) used measures of metaphyseal and articular surface size to predict body mass in immature remains, whereas Robbins et al...
August 9, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Ignacio de la Torre, Karol Wehr
This paper investigates the formation history of the early Acheulean site of EF-HR (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania). Our study focuses on the main site (T2-Main Trench) and adjacent trenches (T12 and T9), which constitute the bulk of the archaeological assemblage recently excavated in the EF-HR area (de la Torre et al., submitted). Site formation processes are investigated through taphonomic proxies and spatial analysis, and consider artifact features, orientation patterns, and topographic data retrieved during archaeological excavation...
August 9, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Michael C Pante, Jackson K Njau, Blaire Hensley-Marschand, Trevor L Keevil, Carmen Martín-Ramos, Renata Franco Peters, Ignacio de la Torre
The regular consumption of large mammal carcasses, as evidenced by butchery marks on fossils recovered from Early Stone Age archaeological sites, roughly coincides with the appearance of Homo habilis. However, the significance of this niche expansion cannot be appreciated without an understanding of hominin feeding behavior and their ecological interactions with mammalian carnivores. The Olduvai Geochronology and Archaeology Project (OGAP) has recovered a large and well-preserved fossil assemblage from the HWK EE site, which was deposited just prior to the first appearance of Acheulean technology at Olduvai Gorge and likely represents one of the last H...
August 7, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Ignacio de la Torre, Rosa M Albert, Richard Macphail, Lindsay J McHenry, Michael C Pante, Ágata Rodríguez-Cintas, Ian G Stanistreet, Harald Stollhofen
Renewed fieldwork at the early Acheulean site of EF-HR (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania) has included detailed stratigraphic studies of the sequence, extended excavations in the main site, and has placed eleven additional trenches within an area of nearly 1 km(2), to sample the same stratigraphic interval as in the main trench across the broader paleo-landscape. Our new stratigraphic work suggests that EF-HR is positioned higher in the Bed II sequence than previously proposed, which has implications for the age of the site and its stratigraphic correlation to other Olduvai Middle Bed II sites...
August 3, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
D B Patterson, D R Braun, A K Behrensmeyer, S B Lehmann, S R Merritt, J S Reeves, B A Wood, R Bobe
Placing the biological adaptations of Pleistocene hominins within a well-resolved ecological framework has been a longstanding goal of paleoanthropology. This effort, however, has been challenging due to the discontinuous nature of paleoecological data spanning many important periods in hominin evolution. Sediments from the Upper Burgi (1.98-1.87 Ma), KBS (1.87-1.56 Ma) and Okote (1.56-1.38 Ma) members of the Koobi Fora Formation at East Turkana in northern Kenya document an important time interval in the evolutionary history of the hominin genera Homo and Paranthropus...
July 28, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Michael C Pante, Ignacio de la Torre
HWK EE is a little-known archaeological site from the top of Lower Bed II and the basal part of Middle Bed II, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. The site was originally excavated in the early 1970s by Mary Leakey, but the excavations and resulting lithic and fossil assemblages were never described. Here we report for the first time on the lithic and fossil assemblages that were recovered by Mary Leakey from the site. The lithic assemblage is one of the largest of any Oldowan site and is characterized by a core-and-flake technology with simple flaking techniques and minimal reduction of cores...
July 26, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Massimo Delfino
Isolated amphibian bones from the early Pliocene of Kanapoi (West Turkana, Kenya) help to improve the scarce fossil record of the late Neogene and Quaternary amphibians from East Africa. All currently available 579 bones are referable exclusively to the Anura (frogs and toads). More than half of the remains (366) are identified as Hemisus cf. Hemisus marmoratus, an extant species that still inhabits Kenya, but apparently not the northwest of the country and the Turkana area in particular. The rest of the remains are identified simply as Anura indet...
July 13, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Lars Werdelin, Margaret E Lewis
The Early Pliocene is a crucial time period in carnivoran evolution. Holarctic carnivoran faunas suffered a turnover event at the Miocene-Pliocene boundary. This event is also observed in Africa but its onset is later and the process more drawn-out. Kanapoi is one of the earliest faunas in Africa to show evidence of a fauna that is more typical Pliocene than Miocene in character. The taxa recovered from Kanapoi are: Torolutra sp., Enhydriodon (2 species), Genetta sp., Helogale sp., Homotherium sp., Dinofelis petteri, Felis sp...
June 15, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Tamsin C O'Connell, Matthew J Collins
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 8, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Ashley S Hammond, Danielle F Royer, John G Fleagle
Omo-Kibish I (Omo I) from southern Ethiopia is the oldest anatomically modern Homo sapiens skeleton currently known (196 ± 5 ka). A partial hipbone (os coxae) of Omo I was recovered more than 30 years after the first portion of the skeleton was recovered, a find which is significant because human pelves can be informative about an individual's sex, age-at-death, body size, obstetrics and parturition, and trunk morphology. Recent human pelves are distinct from earlier Pleistocene Homo spp. pelves because they are mediolaterally narrower in bispinous breadth, have more vertically oriented ilia, lack a well-developed iliac pillar, and have distinct pubic morphology...
May 25, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Ian C Gilby, Zarin P Machanda, Robert C O'Malley, Carson M Murray, Elizabeth V Lonsdorf, Kara Walker, Deus C Mjungu, Emily Otali, Martin N Muller, Melissa Emery Thompson, Anne E Pusey, Richard W Wrangham
Among modern foraging societies, men hunt more than women, who mostly target relatively low-quality, reliable resources (i.e., plants). This difference has long been assumed to reflect human female reproductive constraints, particularly caring for and provisioning mates and offspring. Long-term studies of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) enable tests of hypotheses about the possible origins of human sex differences in hunting, prior to pair-bonding and regular provisioning. We studied two eastern chimpanzee communities (Kasekela, Mitumba) in Gombe, Tanzania and one (Kanyawara) in Kibale, Uganda...
September 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Jacob A Harris, Curtis W Marean, Kiona Ogle, Jessica Thompson
A critical issue in human evolution is how to determine when hominins began incorporating significant amounts of meat into their diets. This fueled evolution of a larger brain and other adaptations widely considered unique to modern humans. Determination of the spatiotemporal context of this shift rests on accurate identification of fossil bone surface modifications (BSM), such as stone tool butchery marks. Multidecade-long debates over the agents responsible for individual BSM are indicative of systemic flaws in current approaches to identification...
September 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Andrew W Kandel, Boris Gasparyan, Ethel Allué, Gerlinde Bigga, Angela A Bruch, Victoria L Cullen, Ellery Frahm, Robert Ghukasyan, Ben Gruwier, Firas Jabbour, Christopher E Miller, Andreas Taller, Varduhi Vardazaryan, Davit Vasilyan, Lior Weissbrod
With its well-preserved archaeological and environmental records, Aghitu-3 Cave permits us to examine the settlement patterns of the Upper Paleolithic (UP) people who inhabited the Armenian Highlands. We also test whether settlement of the region between ∼39-24,000 cal BP relates to environmental variability. The earliest evidence occurs in archaeological horizon (AH) VII from ∼39-36,000 cal BP during a mild, moist climatic phase. AH VI shows periodic occupation as warm, humid conditions prevailed from ∼36-32,000 cal BP...
September 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Nathan E Thompson, Sergio Almécija
Primate vertebral formulae have long been investigated because of their link to locomotor behavior and overall body plan. Knowledge of the ancestral vertebral formulae in the hominoid tree of life is necessary to interpret the pattern of evolution among apes, and to critically evaluate the morphological adaptations involved in the transition to hominin bipedalism. Though many evolutionary hypotheses have been proposed based on living and fossil species, the application of quantitative phylogenetic methods for thoroughly reconstructing ancestral vertebral formulae and formally testing patterns of vertebral evolution is lacking...
September 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Maxime Pelletier, Aurélien Royer, Trenton W Holliday, Emmanuel Discamps, Stéphane Madelaine, Bruno Maureille
The understanding of Neanderthal societies, both with regard to their funerary behaviors and their subsistence activities, is hotly debated. Old excavations and a lack of taphonomic context are often factors that limit our ability to address these questions. To better appreciate the exact nature of what is potentially the oldest burial in Western Europe, Regourdou (Montignac-sur-Vézère, Dordogne), and to better understand the taphonomy of this site excavated more than 50 years ago, we report in this contribution a study of the most abundant animals throughout its stratigraphy: the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)...
September 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Frederick E Grine, Curtis W Marean, J Tyler Faith, Wendy Black, Carrie S Mongle, Erik Trinkaus, Stephan G le Roux, Anton du Plessis
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Lorena Becerra-Valdivia, Katerina Douka, Daniel Comeskey, Behrouz Bazgir, Nicholas J Conard, Curtis W Marean, Andreu Ollé, Marcel Otte, Laxmi Tumung, Mohsen Zeidi, Thomas F G Higham
The Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition is often linked with a bio-cultural shift involving the dispersal of modern humans outside of Africa, the concomitant replacement of Neanderthals across Eurasia, and the emergence of new technological traditions. The Zagros Mountains region assumes importance in discussions concerning this period as its geographic location is central to all pertinent hominin migration areas, pointing to both east and west. As such, establishing a reliable chronology in the Zagros Mountains is crucial to our understanding of these biological and cultural developments...
August 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Stephen R Frost, Charles Saanane, Britt M Starkovich, Hilde Schwartz, Friedemann Schrenk, Katerina Harvati
The Pleistocene hominin site of Makuyuni, near Lake Manyara, Tanzania, is known for fossils attributable to Homo and Acheulean artifacts (Ring et al., 2005; Kaiser et al., 2010; Frost et al., 2012). Here we describe the fossil primate material from the Manyara Beds, which includes the first nearly complete female cranium of Theropithecus oswaldi leakeyi and a proximal tibia from the same taxon. The cranium is dated to between 633 and 780 Ka and the tibia to the Pleistocene. The T. oswaldi lineage is one of the most important among Neogene mammals of Africa: it is both widespread and abundant...
August 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Marine Frouin, Christelle Lahaye, Hélène Valladas, Thomas Higham, André Debénath, Anne Delagnes, Norbert Mercier
The site of La Quina Amont, located in the Charente region, is one of the most important sites in southwestern France for studying major changes in human behaviors from the Middle Paleolithic (MP) to the Early Upper Paleolithic (EUP). Extensively excavated over the past 50 years, numerous dating studies have been focused on the Upper Paleolithic deposits using radiocarbon on bone collagen and thermoluminescence (TL) on heated flints; however, the Mousterian levels remain undated due to the scarcity of suitable materials...
August 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
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