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Journal of Human Evolution

Christopher A Brochu
Three crocodylid species are known from the Pliocene Kanapoi locality in the western Turkana Basin. One of these, Crocodylus thorbjarnarsoni, includes material previously referred to Crocodylus niloticus (the modern Nile crocodile currently living in Lake Turkana) and Rimasuchus lloydi. C. thorbjarnarsoni was a gigantic horned crocodile similar in overall shape to most other generalized crocodylids, but its closest known relative is another extinct species, Crocodylus anthropophagus from the Pleistocene of Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania...
November 10, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Fredrick K Manthi, Thure E Cerling, Kendra L Chritz, Scott A Blumenthal
Carbon isotope ratios of mammalian teeth from the Kanapoi site in northern Kenya are interpreted in the context of C3 and C4 derived resources to investigate the paleoecology of Australopithecus anamensis. δ(13)C values of large mammals, when compared at the taxon level, show an ecosystem that is strongly biased towards mixed feeders and browsers. However, sufficient C4 resources were present such that some C4 dominated grazers were also present in the large mammal fauna. Analyses of micromammals shows that their diets were C3 dominated or C3-C4 mixed...
October 12, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Denis Geraads, René Bobe
The whole collection of Suidae from Kanapoi is revised in the context of the systematics and evolution of Nyanzachoerus in the Pliocene of Eastern Africa. It contains only two species, Nyanzachoerus kanamensis and Notochoerus jaegeri. The size and morphology of their premolars overlap, but not those of their m3s. No transitional form between them is known in Kenya, but some populations from Uganda and Ethiopia display intermediate characters, suggesting that No. jaegeri could be descended from a kanamensis-like ancestor...
October 11, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Yuichi I Naito, Yoshito Chikaraishi, Dorothée G Drucker, Naohiko Ohkouchi, Patrick Semal, Christoph Wißing, Hervé Bocherens
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 10, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Denis Geraads, René Bobe
We update here our recent revision of the Kanapoi ruminants and describe recently collected material. We now regard the occurrence of reduncins as doubtful, we revise the identification of a large raphicerin as being more probably Gazella, and we add Gazella cf. janenschi and the Cephalophini to the faunal list. New material of Tragelaphus kyaloi suggests that this species held its head unlike other tragelaphins, and was not an exclusive dedicated browser, but Kanapoi pre-dates the Pliocene change of Sivatherium, Aepyceros, Alcelaphini, and even Tragelaphini toward more grazing diets...
October 6, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Denis Geraads
The Kanapoi collection of Rhinocerotidae, first studied by Hooijer and Patterson (1972), now consists of 25 specimens and substantial reinterpretation of their affinities is made here. Kanapoi post-dates the extinction of Brachypotherium and the whole collection belongs to the Dicerotini. It is important because it includes the type-specimen of Diceros praecox, a species that remains poorly known, but looks slightly larger and more primitive than the modern 'black' rhino, Diceros bicornis. A second species is probably ancestral to the modern 'white' rhino, Ceratotherium simum; it looks identical to the Pleistocene North African Ceratotherium mauritanicum, of which Ceratotherium efficax is probably a synonym...
September 28, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Daniel J Field
Fossil bird remains from the Pliocene hominin-bearing locality of Kanapoi comprise >100 elements representing at least 10 avian families, including previously undescribed elements referred to the 'giant' Pliocene marabou stork Leptoptilos cf. falconeri. The taxonomic composition of the Kanapoi fossil avifauna reveals an assemblage with a substantial aquatic component, corroborating geological evidence of this locality's close proximity to a large, slow-moving body of water. Both the taxonomic composition and relative abundance of avian higher-level clades at Kanapoi stand in stark contrast to the avifauna from the slightly older (∼4...
September 28, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Jean-Renaud Boisserie
New hippopotamid specimens recently collected at Kanapoi (ca. 4 Ma) are similar to the taxon previously recognized in this site and referred to aff. Hippopotamus protamphibius. Their examination provided the opportunity to reassess the taxonomic status of this taxon. It appears different from the late Miocene hippopotamids from the Turkana Basin (prominently Archaeopotamus harvardi), but also differs from the late Pliocene-early Pleistocene aff. Hip. protamphibius, which is smaller and displays more advanced features (notably canine expansion and orbit elevation)...
September 28, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Bert Van Bocxlaer
The Early Pliocene Kanapoi Formation of the Omo-Turkana Basin consists of two fluvial/deltaic sedimentary sequences with an intermediate lacustrine sequence that was deposited in Paleolake Lonyumun, the earliest large lake in the basin. Overall, the geology and vertebrate paleontology of the Kanapoi Formation are well studied, but its freshwater mollusks, despite being a major component of the benthic ecosystem, have not been subjected to in-depth study. Here I present the first treatment of these mollusks, which have been retrieved mainly from the lacustrine but also from the upper fluvial sediments, with a focus on paleoecological implications...
September 13, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Florent Rivals, Kevin T Uno, Faysal Bibi, Michael C Pante, Jackson Njau, Ignacio de la Torre
The Oldowan site HWK EE (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania) has yielded a large fossil and stone tool assemblage at the transition from Lower to Middle Bed II, ∼1.7 Ma. Integrated tooth wear and stable isotope analyses were performed on the three most abundant ungulate taxa from HWK EE, namely Alcelaphini, cf. Antidorcas recki (Antilopini) and Equus oldowayensis (Equini), to infer dietary traits in each taxon. Some paleodietary changes were observed for cf. A. recki and E. oldowayensis based on tooth wear at the transition from the Lemuta to the Lower Augitic Sandstone (LAS) interval within the HWK EE sequence...
September 1, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
C V Ward, J M Plavcan, F K Manthi
Kanapoi, Kenya, has yielded the earliest evidence of the genus Australopithecus, Australopithecus anamensis. Renewed fieldwork from 2012 through 2015 yielded 18 new fossils attributable to this species. The new specimens include the second maxillary fragment known from a Kanapoi hominin and the first from a relatively young adult. The new maxilla has the distinctive rounded nasal aperture margin characteristic of A. anamensis. A second partial proximal tibia from the site is the first postcranial element from a small A...
August 22, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Charlotte A Brassey, Thomas G O'Mahoney, Andrew T Chamberlain, William I Sellers
Fossil body mass estimation is a well established practice within the field of physical anthropology. Previous studies have relied upon traditional allometric approaches, in which the relationship between one/several skeletal dimensions and body mass in a range of modern taxa is used in a predictive capacity. The lack of relatively complete skeletons has thus far limited the potential application of alternative mass estimation techniques, such as volumetric reconstruction, to fossil hominins. Yet across vertebrate paleontology more broadly, novel volumetric approaches are resulting in predicted values for fossil body mass very different to those estimated by traditional allometry...
August 21, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
David R Samson, Alyssa N Crittenden, Ibrahim A Mabulla, Audax Z P Mabulla
Sleep is necessary for the survival of all mammalian life. In humans, recent investigations have generated critical data on the relationship between sleep and ecology in small-scale societies. Here, we report the technological and social strategies used to alter sleep environments and influence sleep duration and quality among a population of hunter-gatherers, the Hadza of Tanzania. Specifically, we investigated the effects that grass huts, sound levels, and fire had on sleep. We quantitatively compared thermal stress in outdoor environments to that found inside grass hut domiciles to test whether the huts function as thermoregulated microhabitats during the rainy season...
December 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Cristiana Margherita, Gregorio Oxilia, Veronica Barbi, Daniele Panetta, Jean-Jacques Hublin, David Lordkipanidze, Tengiz Meshveliani, Nino Jakeli, Zinovi Matskevich, Ofer Bar-Yosef, Anna Belfer-Cohen, Ron Pinhasi, Stefano Benazzi
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Daniel L Gebo, Marian Dagosto, Xijun Ni, K Christopher Beard
Here, we describe hundreds of isolated phalanges attributed to middle Eocene fossil primates from the Shanghuang fissure-fillings from southern Jiangsu Province, China. Extending knowledge based on previous descriptions of postcranial material from Shanghuang, this sample of primate finger and toe bones includes proximal phalanges, middle phalanges, and over three hundred nail-bearing distal phalanges. Most of the isolated proximal and middle phalanges fall within the range of small-bodied individuals, suggesting an allocation to the smaller haplorhine primates identified at Shanghuang, including eosimiids...
December 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Guido Rocatti, Leandro Aristide, Alfred L Rosenberger, S Ivan Perez
New World monkeys (order Primates) are an example of a major mammalian evolutionary radiation in the Americas, with a contentious fossil record. There is evidence of an early platyrrhine occupation of this continent by the Eocene-Oligocene transition, evolving in isolation from the Old World primates from then on, and developing extensive morphological and size variation. Previous studies postulated that the platyrrhine clade arose as a local version of the Simpsonian ecospace model, with an early phase involving a rapid increase in morphological and ecological diversity driven by selection and ecological opportunity, followed by a diversification rate that slowed due to niche-filling...
December 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Meir M Barak, Emma Sherratt, Daniel E Lieberman
If Wolff's law is valid, then quantifying the three-dimensional architecture of trabecular bone, specifically 3D principal trabecular orientation (3D-PTO), can reveal joint loading direction among different taxa. This study measured the architecture of trabecular bone in the 3rd metacarpal head of humans and chimpanzees, and then tested their association with expected joint loading direction. We postulate that since chimpanzees, unlike humans, directly load their metacarpal bones during knuckle-walking, trabecular structure in the dorsal aspect of the 3rd metacarpal head will be significantly more organized and robust in chimpanzees...
December 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Laura Buti, Adeline Le Cabec, Daniele Panetta, Maria Tripodi, Piero A Salvadori, Jean-Jacques Hublin, Robin N M Feeney, Stefano Benazzi
Enamel thickness figures prominently in studies of human evolution, particularly for taxonomy, phylogeny, and paleodietary reconstruction. Attention has focused on molar teeth, through the use of advanced imaging technologies and novel protocols. Despite the important results achieved thus far, further work is needed to investigate all tooth classes. We apply a recent approach developed for anterior teeth to investigate the 3D enamel thickness of Neandertal and modern human (MH) canines. In terms of crown size, the values obtained for both upper and lower unworn/slightly worn canines are significantly greater in Neandertals than in Upper Paleolithic and recent MH...
December 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
François Druelle, Peter Aerts, Gilles Berillon
In this paper, we point to the importance of considering infancy in the emergence of new locomotor modes during evolution, and particularly when considering bipedal walking. Indeed, because infant primates commonly exhibit a more diverse posturo-locomotor repertoire than adults, the developmental processes of locomotion represent an important source of variation upon which natural selection may act. We have had the opportunity to follow the development of locomotion in captive individuals of a committed quadrupedal primate, the olive baboon (Papio anubis)...
December 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Raef Minwer-Barakat, Judit Marigó, Damien Becker, Loïc Costeur
Primates reached a great abundance and diversity during the Eocene, favored by warm temperatures and by the development of dense forests throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Here we describe new primate material from La Verrerie de Roches, a Middle Eocene karstic infill situated in the Jura Region (Switzerland), consisting of more than 80 dental remains. The primate assemblage from La Verrerie de Roches includes five different taxa. The best represented primate is Necrolemur aff. anadoni, similar in size and overall morphology to Necrolemur anadoni but resembling in some features the younger species Necrolemur antiquus...
December 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
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