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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
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...
December 6, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Faysal Bibi, Michael Pante, Antoine Souron, Kathlyn Stewart, Sara Varela, Lars Werdelin, Jean-Renaud Boisserie, Mikael Fortelius, Leslea Hlusko, Jackson Njau, Ignacio de la Torre
Eight years of excavation work by the Olduvai Geochronology and Archaeology Project (OGAP) has produced a rich vertebrate fauna from several sites within Bed II, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Study of these as well as recently re-organized collections from Mary Leakey's 1972 HWK EE excavations here provides a synthetic view of the faunal community of Olduvai during Middle Bed II at ∼1.7-1.4 Ma, an interval that captures the local transition from Oldowan to Acheulean technology. We expand the faunal list for this interval, name a new bovid species, clarify the evolution of several mammalian lineages, and record new local first and last appearances...
November 27, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Christopher B Ruff, Markku Niskanen
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 22, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Caroline VanSickle, Zachary Cofran, Daniel García-Martínez, Scott A Williams, Steven E Churchill, Lee R Berger, John Hawks
In the hominin fossil record, pelvic remains are sparse and are difficult to attribute taxonomically when they are not directly associated with craniodental material. Here we describe the pelvic remains from the Dinaledi Chamber in the Rising Star cave system, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa, which has produced hominin fossils of a new species, Homo naledi. Though this species has been attributed to Homo based on cranial and lower limb morphology, the morphology of some of the fragmentary pelvic remains recovered align more closely with specimens attributed to the species Australopithecus afarensis and Australopithecus africanus than they do with those of most (but not all) known species of the genus Homo...
November 20, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Adrián Arroyo, Ignacio de la Torre
In this paper, we present pounded objects from excavations at HWK EE and EF-HR, which are studied from macro and microscopic perspectives. Analysis of HWK EE revealed one of the largest collections of percussive objects from Olduvai Gorge, while excavations at EF-HR have allowed us to recover a much wider collection of percussive tools than previously recorded. Differences are observed between the two localities. At the Acheulean site of EF-HR, percussive tools were predominantly used in the production of flakes and large cutting tools (LCTs)...
November 20, 2017: 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...
November 20, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Juho-Antti Junno, Markku Niskanen, Heli Maijanen, Brigitte Holt, Vladimir Sladek, Sirpa Niinimäki, Margit Berner
The stature/bi-iliac breadth method provides reasonably precise, skeletal frame size (SFS) based body mass (BM) estimations across adults as a whole. In this study, we examine the potential effects of age changes in anthropometric dimensions on the estimation accuracy of SFS-based body mass estimation. We use anthropometric data from the literature and our own skeletal data from two osteological collections to study effects of age on stature, bi-iliac breadth, body mass, and body composition, as they are major components behind body size and body size estimations...
November 19, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Ignacio de la Torre, Rosa M Albert, Adrián Arroyo, Richard Macphail, Lindsay J McHenry, Rafael Mora, Jackson K Njau, Michael C Pante, Carlos A Rivera-Rondón, Ágata Rodríguez-Cintas, Ian G Stanistreet, Harald Stollhofen, Karol Wehr
This paper reports the results of renewed fieldwork at the HWK EE site (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania). HWK EE is positioned across the boundary between Lower and Middle Bed II, a crucial interval for studying the emergence of the Acheulean at Olduvai Gorge. Our excavations at HWK EE have produced one of the largest collections of fossils and artefacts from any Oldowan site, distributed across several archaeological units and a large excavation surface in four separate trenches that can be stratigraphically correlated...
November 15, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Jonathan M G Perry, Siobhán B Cooke, Jacqueline A Runestad Connour, M Loring Burgess, Christopher B Ruff
Body mass is an important component of any paleobiological reconstruction. Reliable skeletal dimensions for making estimates are desirable but extant primate reference samples with known body masses are rare. We estimated body mass in a sample of extinct platyrrhines and Fayum anthropoids based on four measurements of the articular surfaces of the humerus and femur. Estimates were based on a large extant reference sample of wild-collected individuals with associated body masses, including previously published and new data from extant platyrrhines, cercopithecoids, and hominoids...
November 14, 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 13, 2017: 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
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
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