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Journal of Human Evolution

Alastair Key, Stephen R Merritt, Tracy L Kivell
The suite of anatomical features contributing to the unique gripping capabilities of the modern human hand evolved alongside the proliferation of Lower Palaeolithic flaked tool technologies across the Old World. Experimental studies investigating their potential co-evolution suggest that the use of flakes, handaxes, and other stone tools is facilitated by manipulative capabilities consistent with the evolutionary trajectory of the hominin hand during this period. Grip analyses have provided important contributions to this understanding...
October 12, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Darya Presnyakova, David R Braun, Nicholas J Conard, Craig Feibel, John W K Harris, Cornel M Pop, Stefan Schlager, Will Archer
From its initial appearance at ∼1.7 Ma, the Acheulean was prevalent through a vast chronological span of hominin behavioural evolution that lasted nearly 1.5 million years. The origins and production patterns of large bifacial cutting tools ('LCTs') - the marker of the Acheulean techno-complex - and the systematic changes in this behaviour through time are gaining increasing interest in paleoanthropology. Here we provide a synthesis of early Acheulean LCT variation in a landscape context by analysing assemblages from four different quasi-contemporaneous (∼1...
September 26, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Maxime Aubert, Adam Brumm, Jillian Huntley
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 30, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Andrew Du, Zeresenay Alemseged
Knowing how the diversity of large mammal communities changes across space and time provides an important ecological framework for studying hominin evolution. However, diversity studies that apply methods currently used by neoecologists are rare in paleoanthropology and are also challenging due to diversity's unusual statistical properties. Here, we apply up-to-date analytical methods for understanding how species- and genus-level large mammalian diversity in the Omo-Turkana Basin changed through time and across space at multiple spatiotemporal scales (within each formation:102-3  km2 and 104-5 years; and within the basin as a whole: 103  km2 and 105 years)...
August 25, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
T Proffitt, M Haslam, J F Mercader, C Boesch, L V Luncz
Archaeological recovery of chimpanzee Panda oleosa nut cracking tools at the Panda 100 (P100) and Noulo sites in the Taï Forest, Côte d'Ivoire, showed that this behavior is over 4000 years old, making it the oldest known evidence of non-human tool use. In 2002, the first report on the lithic material from P100 was directly compared to early hominin stone tools, highlighting their similarities and proposing the name 'Pandan' for the chimpanzee material. Here we present an expanded and comprehensive technological, microscopic, and refit analysis of the late twentieth century lithic assemblage from P100...
November 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Mercedes Conde-Valverde, Rolf Quam, Ignacio Martínez, Juan-Luis Arsuaga, Joan Daura, Montserrat Sanz, João Zilhão
The discovery of a partial cranium at the site of Aroeira (Portugal) dating to 389-436 ka augments the current sample of Middle Pleistocene European crania and makes this specimen penecontemporaneous with the fossils from the geographically close Atapuerca Sima de los Huesos (SH) and Arago sites. A recent study of the cranium documented a unique combination of primitive and derived features. The Aroeira 3 cranium preserves the right temporal bone, including the petrosal portion. Virtual reconstruction of the bony labyrinth from μCT scans provides an opportunity to examine its morphology...
November 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Marine Frouin, Christelle Lahaye, Hélène Valladas, Thomas Higham, Anne Delagnes, Norbert Mercier
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Dafna Langgut, Ahuva Almogi-Labin, Miryam Bar-Matthews, Nadine Pickarski, Mina Weinstein-Evron
This study provides a detailed reconstruction of the paleoenvironmental conditions that prevailed during one of the periods of modern human migration out of Africa and their occupation of the Eastern Mediterranean-Levant during the Late Middle Paleolithic-Early Upper Paleolithic. Tracing the past vegetation and climate within the Eastern Mediterranean-Levant region is largely based on a south-eastern Mediterranean marine pollen record covering the last 90 kyr (core MD-9509). The various palynomorphs were linked to distinct vegetation zones that were correlated to the two climate systems affecting the study area: the low-latitude monsoon system and the North Atlantic-Mediterranean climate system...
November 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Anna E Goldfield, Ross Booton, John M Marston
The Neanderthal body was more robust and energetically costly than the bodies of anatomically modern humans (AMH). Different metabolic budgets between competing populations of Neanderthals and AMH may have been a factor in the varied ranges of behavior and timelines for Neanderthal extinction that we see in the Paleolithic archaeological record. This paper uses an adaptation of the Lotka-Volterra model to determine whether metabolic differences alone could have accounted for Neanderthal extinction. In addition, we use a modeling approach to investigate Neanderthal fire use, evidence for which is much debated and is variable throughout different climatic phases of the Middle Paleolithic...
November 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Thomas Sutikna, Matthew W Tocheri, J Tyler Faith, Jatmiko, Rokus Due Awe, Hanneke J M Meijer, E Wahyu Saptomo, Richard G Roberts
Liang Bua, the type site of Homo floresiensis, is a limestone cave on the Indonesian island of Flores with sedimentary deposits currently known to range in age from about 190 thousand years (ka) ago to the present. Recent revision of the stratigraphy and chronology of this depositional sequence suggests that skeletal remains of H. floresiensis are between ∼100 and 60 ka old, while cultural evidence of this taxon occurs until ∼50 ka ago. Here we examine the compositions of the faunal communities and stone artifacts, by broad taxonomic groups and raw materials, throughout the ∼190 ka time interval preserved in the sequence...
November 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Evan A Simons, Stephen R Frost, Michelle Singleton
While the analysis of ontogenetic trajectories is common in geometric morphometrics (GM), the simultaneous comparison of several trajectories can be unwieldy and is, in some cases, unable to make use of one of the main advantages of GM, visualization. Furthermore, due to the paucity of the paleontological record, analyses of trajectories are often limited to extant taxa. We address these issues by presenting a method for visualizing the similarities and differences of cranial ontogenetic trajectories among taxa and a method for reconstructing ancestral ontogenetic trajectories, so that these differences can be investigated in a phylogenetic context...
November 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Amy L Atwater, E Christopher Kirk
The Friars Formation of San Diego County, California, has yielded a middle Eocene mammalian fauna from the early part of the Uintan North American Land Mammal Age. Prior research on the primate fauna from the Friars Formation provides evidence of one notharctine and multiple omomyine species, but many specimens collected since the early 1980s remain unstudied. Here we describe three new omomyine genera from the Friars Formation. These new taxa range in estimated body mass from about 119 g to 757 g, and substantially expand the diversity of middle Eocene omomyoids known from Southern California...
November 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
David M Alba, Eric Delson, Jorge Morales, Plini Montoya, Gregorio Romero
Macaques dispersed out of Africa into Eurasia in the framework of a broader intercontinental faunal exchange that coincided in time with the sea level drop associated with the Messinian Salinity Crisis. They are first recorded in Europe (Italy and Spain) by the latest Miocene, being subsequently recorded all over Europe, albeit sparsely, throughout the Pliocene and Pleistocene. These fossil European macaques are attributed to several (sub)species of the extant Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus). In Iberia, fossil macaques are best documented by Macaca sylvanus florentina from various Early Pleistocene sites, whereas their published Pliocene record is very scarce...
October 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Yasuhiro Kikuchi, Masato Nakatsukasa, Hiroshi Tsujikawa, Yoshihiko Nakano, Yutaka Kunimatsu, Naomichi Ogihara, Daisuke Shimizu, Tomo Takano, Hideo Nakaya, Yoshihiro Sawada, Hidemi Ishida
Sexual size dimorphism in the African fossil ape Proconsul nyanzae (18 million years ago, 18 Ma) has been previously documented. However, additional evidence for sexual dimorphism in Miocene hominoids can provide great insight into the history of extant hominoid mating systems. The present study focused on body mass (BM) sexual dimorphism in Nacholapithecus kerioi from the Middle Miocene (16-15 Ma) in Africa. Bootstrap analysis revealed that P. nyanzae BM sexual dimorphism was lower than that in Pan troglodytes, which exhibits moderate sexual dimorphism, as reported previously...
October 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Kathleen Kuman, Morris B Sutton, Travis Rayne Pickering, Jason L Heaton
The oldest recognized artifacts at the Swartkrans cave hominid-bearing site in South Africa have long been known to occur in the Lower Bank of Member 1, now dated with the cosmogenic nuclide burial method to ca. 1.8-2.19 Ma. However, the affinities of this industry have been debated due to small sample size. In this paper we present newly excavated material from the Lower Bank retrieved since 2005 in the Swartkrans Paleoanthropological Research Project. The sample is now large enough to confirm its affinity with the Oldowan industrial complex...
October 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Dionisios Youlatos, Dimitra Moussa, Nikolaos-Evangelos Karantanis, Leszek Rychlik
Debates on early euprimate evolution are related to the understanding of the ecological context that promoted their unique adaptations. Currently, these discussions mainly revolve around the habitual use of the small-branch niche or the frequent utilization of wider, and probably, strongly inclined substrates by euprimate ancestors. The current fossil evidence implies a diversity of arboreal quadrupedal behaviors for these early euprimates, associated with the use of various types of substrates. However, inferring the positional behavior of early euprimates based exclusively on fossils fails to unravel the positional flexibility in terms of modes and substrate use, which is important for understanding key adaptations related to limb postures...
October 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Eve K Boyle, Ellison J McNutt, Tomohiko Sasaki, Gen Suwa, Bernhard Zipfel, Jeremy M DeSilva
The evolution of bipedalism in the hominin lineage has shaped the posterior human calcaneus into a large, robust structure considered to be adaptive for dissipating peak compressive forces and energy during heel-strike. A unique anatomy thought to contribute to the human calcaneus and its function is the lateral plantar process (LPP). While it has long been known that humans possess a plantarly positioned LPP and apes possess a more dorsally positioned homologous structure, the relative position of the LPP and intraspecific variation of this structure have never been quantified...
October 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Nicholas B Stephens, Tracy L Kivell, Dieter H Pahr, Jean-Jacques Hublin, Matthew M Skinner
Hand bone morphology is regularly used to link particular hominin species with behaviors relevant to cognitive/technological progress. Debates about the functional significance of differing hominin hand bone morphologies tend to rely on establishing phylogenetic relationships and/or inferring behavior from epigenetic variation arising from mechanical loading and adaptive bone modeling. Most research focuses on variation in cortical bone structure, but additional information about hand function may be provided through the analysis of internal trabecular structure...
October 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Amy L Rector, Marie Vergamini
It is suggested that joint architecture of the extant cercopithecid forelimb differentiates terrestrial from arboreal quadrupedal species. Linear dimensions of forelimb joint morphology have also been used to assign fossil species to locomotor categories. However, many primates use a mix of terrestrial and arboreal behaviors, which can be problematic when developing models of behavior reconstruction using morphological variation. The current study uses multivariate analyses to identify morphology related to substrate use in primates, including determination of semiterrestriality...
October 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
James D Pampush, Jill E Scott, Chris A Robinson, Lucas K Delezene
The rate of change in primate mandibular symphyseal angles was modeled with particular aim of locating a rate-shift within the hominin clade. Prior work noted that the human symphyseal angle must have experienced a rapid rate of change in order to assume the modern human form, suggestive of the non-random work of natural selection. This study indicates that the rate of symphyseal evolution rose dramatically between Australopithecus anamensis and Australopithecus afarensis and continued throughout the diversification of the hominin clade...
October 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
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