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Journal of Human Evolution

David M Alba, Isaac Casanovas-Vilar, Marc Furió, Israel García-Paredes, Chiara Angelone, Sílvia Jovells-Vaqué, Àngel H Luján, Sergio Almécija, Salvador Moyà-Solà
In the Iberian Peninsula, Miocene apes (Hominoidea) are generally rare and mostly restricted to the Vallès-Penedès Basin. Here we report a new hominoid maxillary fragment with M2 from this basin. It was surface-collected in March 2017 from the site of Can Pallars i Llobateres (CPL, Sant Quirze del Vallès), where fossil apes had not been previously recorded. The locality of provenance (CPL-M), which has delivered no further fossil remains, is located very close (ca. 50 m) to previously known CPL outcrops, and not very far (ca...
May 18, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Dimitris S Kostopoulos, Franck Guy, Zoi Kynigopoulou, George D Koufos, Xavier Valentin, Gildas Merceron
A new fossil cranium of a large papionin monkey from the Lower Pleistocene site of Dafnero-3 in Western Macedonia, Greece, is described by means of outer and inner morphological and metric traits using high-resolution micro-computed tomography. Comparisons with modern cercopithecids and contemporaneous Eurasian fossil taxa suggest that the new cranium could equally be ascribed to either the Eurasian Paradolichopithecus or to the East Asian Procynocephalus. The combination of the available direct and indirect fossil evidence, including the new cranium from Dafnero, revives an earlier hypothesis that considers these two sparsely documented genera as synonyms...
May 17, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Feng Li, Christopher J Bae, Christopher B Ramsey, Fuyou Chen, Xing Gao
Due to the presence of multiple partial modern human skeletons thought to have been interred along with a diversity of evidence of symbolic behavior, Zhoukoudian Upper Cave (ZKD UC; formally "Choukoutien") from northern China has long been a critical site for understanding Late Quaternary human evolution and particularly the role eastern Asia played. Unfortunately, uncertainty regarding ZKD UC's chronology has long hindered determination of its importance in the debate over modern human origins. This situation has been particularly problematic because dates from the primary archaeological layers of ZKD UC have ranged from the Late Pleistocene to the Early Holocene (∼34-10 ka), with clearly different implications depending on which age is used...
May 16, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Ignacio de la Torre, Rafael Mora
HWK EE (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania) is a late Oldowan site dated to ∼1.7 Ma that contains a large fossil and lithic assemblage. This paper reports on the technology of the recently excavated stone tool collection, over 18,000 pieces. Our results indicate that reduction sequences were generally short, flaking productivity was low, and knapping methods were largely simple and expedient, lacking the technical skills observed in other Oldowan assemblages. Conspicuous differences are observed in the chaînes opératoires of the three main raw materials used at HWK EE: the quartzite reduction sequence can be reconstructed in full at the site, most of the lava detached pieces are missing, and there is a preferential use of chert for retouched tools...
May 14, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Biren A Patel, Tea Jashashvili, Stephanie H Bui, Kristian J Carlson, Nicole L Griffin, Ian J Wallace, Caley M Orr, Randall L Susman
When measured as a ratio of mean midshaft diameter to bone length, the OH 8 fossil hominin foot exhibits a metatarsal (Mt) robusticity pattern of 1 > 5 > 3 > 4 > 2, which differs from the widely perceived "common" modern human pattern (1 > 5 > 4 > 3 > 2); African apes generally exhibit a third pattern (1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5). Largely because of the relative ranking of Mt2 and Mt5, OH 8 metatarsals structurally resemble the pattern exhibited by bipedal humans more than the pattern of quadrupedal and climbing African apes...
May 12, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Feng Li, Fuyou Chen, Shuangquan Zhang, Xing Gao
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 11, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Daniel García-Martínez, Manuel Campo Martín, Armando González Martín, Óscar Cambra-Moo, Alon Barash, Markus Bastir
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 10, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Deborah L Cunningham, Ronda R Graves, Daniel J Wescott, Robert C McCarthy
The Homo erectus specimen KNM-WT 15000 has played a critical role in our understanding of body size evolution. New interpretations suggest that KNM-WT 15000 had a younger age-at-death and a more rapid ontogenetic trajectory than previously suggested. Recent fossil discoveries and new interpretations suggest a wide range of body size and shape variation in H. erectus. Based on these new insights, we argue that KNM-WT 15000's adult stature and body mass could have been much smaller than has been traditionally presented in the literature...
May 10, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Georgios Lazaridis, Evangelia Tsoukala, Todd C Rae, Asier Gómez-Olivencia, Doris Nagel, Antonis Bartsiokas
New material of the Mio-Pliocene colobine Mesopithecus from the Turolian locality of Kryopigi (Greece) is described here. It includes a complete skull with the atlas attached and other dental and postcranial elements representing at least five individuals (four males and one female). The material is compared with Mesopithecus delsoni, Mesopithecus pentelicus, Mesopithecus monspessulanus and intermediate forms from more than a dozen Turolian localities of the Greco-Iranian province. These comparisons support the attribution of the Kryopigi material to M...
May 10, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Kevin G Hatala, David A Perry, Stephen M Gatesy
Recent discoveries have made hominin tracks an increasingly prevalent component of the human fossil record, and these data have the capacity to inform long-standing debates regarding the biomechanics of hominin locomotion. However, there is currently no consensus on how to decipher biomechanical variables from hominin tracks. These debates can be linked to our generally limited understanding of the complex interactions between anatomy, motion, and substrate that give rise to track morphology. These interactions are difficult to study because direct visualization of the track formation process is impeded by foot and substrate opacity...
May 9, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Scott A Williams
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 9, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Ignacio de la Torre, Lindsay McHenry, Jackson Njau
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 9, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Nick Blegen, Brian R Jicha, Sally McBrearty
The Middle to Late Pleistocene (780-10 ka) of East Africa records evidence of significant behavioral change, early fossils of Homo sapiens, and the dispersals of our species across and out of Africa. Studying human evolution in this time period thus requires an extensive and precise chronology relating behavioral evidence from archaeological sequences to aspects of hominin biology and evidence of past environments from fossils and geological sequences. Tephrochronology provides the chronostratigraphic resolution to achieve this through correlation and dating of volcanic ashes...
May 9, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Kevin T Uno, Florent Rivals, Faysal Bibi, Michael Pante, Jackson Njau, Ignacio de la Torre
The well-dated Pleistocene sediments at Olduvai Gorge have yielded a rich record of hominin fossils, stone tools, and vertebrate faunal remains that, taken together, provide insight to hominin behavior and paleoecology. Since 2008, the Olduvai Geochronology and Archaeology Project (OGAP) has undertaken extensive excavations in Bed II that have yielded a large collection of early Pleistocene stone tools and fossils. The strata of Lower, Middle and Upper Bed II at Olduvai Gorge capture the critical transition from Oldowan to Acheulean technology and therefore provide an opportunity to explore the possible role of biotic and abiotic change during the transition...
May 8, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Tomos Proffitt
Debates regarding the validity of the Developed Oldowan as separate cultural facies within the Oldowan techno-complex have primarily concentrated on the Developed Oldowan B/Acheulean transition, with little attention paid to the validity of the Developed Oldowan A (DOA) as a valid technological differentiation. This study presents a diachronic technological analysis and comparison of Oldowan and DOA lithic assemblages from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, dated between 1.84 and 1.6 Ma, to test the validity of Leakey's original distinction between these two cultural facies...
May 8, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Claire E Terhune, Terrence B Ritzman, Chris A Robinson
As the interface between the mandible and cranium, the mandibular ramus is functionally significant and its morphology has been suggested to be informative for taxonomic and phylogenetic analyses. In primates, and particularly in great apes and humans, ramus morphology is highly variable, especially in the shape of the coronoid process and the relationship of the ramus to the alveolar margin. Here we compare ramus shape variation through ontogeny in Homo neanderthalensis to that of modern and fossil Homo sapiens using geometric morphometric analyses of two-dimensional semilandmarks and univariate measurements of ramus angulation and relative coronoid and condyle height...
April 27, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg, Mackie C O'Hara, Adeline Le Cabec, Lucas K Delezene, Donald J Reid, Matthew M Skinner, Lee R Berger
Perikymata, incremental growth lines visible on tooth enamel surfaces, differ in their distribution and number among hominin species, although with overlapping patterns. This study asks: (1) How does the distribution of perikymata along the lateral enamel surface of Homo naledi anterior teeth compare to that of other hominins? (2) When both perikymata distribution and number are analyzed together, how distinct is H. naledi from other hominins? A total of 19 permanent anterior teeth (incisors and canines) of H...
April 27, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Ignacio de la Torre, Rafael Mora
Technological strategies of early humans are discussed in the light of a recently excavated stone tool assemblage from EF-HR, an archaeological site older than 1.33 Ma at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Renewed fieldwork at EF-HR has unearthed a lithic collection containing over 2300 artefacts (including a hundred handaxes in stratigraphic position), which represents one of the largest assemblages for the early Acheulean in East Africa. Our technological study shows co-occurrence of two distinctive reduction sequences in the same assemblage, one aimed at obtaining small flakes and the other focused on the production of large, thick, heavy flakes that were then used as blanks for handaxe shaping...
April 26, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Simon Neubauer, Philipp Gunz, Louise Leakey, Meave Leakey, Jean-Jacques Hublin, Fred Spoor
When first described, the small calvaria KNM-ER 42700 from Ileret, Kenya, was considered a late juvenile or young adult and assigned to Homo erectus. However, this species attribution has subsequently been challenged because the specimen's neurocranial shape differs substantially from that of H. erectus adults. Here, (1) we describe the postmortem damage and deformation that could have influenced previous shape analyses, (2) present digital reconstructions based on computed tomographic scans correcting for these taphonomic defects, and (3) analyze the reconstructed endocranial shape and form, considering both static allometry among adults and ontogenetic allometry...
April 26, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Timothy M Ryan, Kristian J Carlson, Adam D Gordon, Nina Jablonski, Colin N Shaw, Jay T Stock
Adaptations indicative of habitual bipedalism are present in the earliest recognized hominins. However, debate persists about various aspects of bipedal locomotor behavior in fossil hominins, including the nature of gait kinematics, locomotor variability across different species, and the degree to which various australopith species engaged in arboreal behaviors. In this study, we analyze variation in trabecular bone structure of the femoral head using a sample of modern humans, extant non-human hominoids, baboons, and fossil hominins attributed to Australopithecus africanus, Paranthropus robustus, and the genus Homo...
April 26, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
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