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Journal of Human Evolution

Javier Ruiz, Juan Luis Arsuaga
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 15, 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
Peter W Lucas, Ridwaan Omar, Khaled Al-Fadhalah, Abdulwahab S Almusallam, Amanda G Henry, Shaji Michael, Lidia Arockia Thai, Jörg Watzke, David S Strait, Adam van Casteren, Anthony G Atkins
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 27, 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
Véronique Michel, Hélène Valladas, Guanjun Shen, Wei Wang, Jian-Xin Zhao, Chuan-Chou Shen, Patricia Valensi, Christopher J Bae
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 29, 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
David J Daegling, Kristian J Carlson, Paul Tafforeau, Darryl J de Ruiter, Lee R Berger
Fossils attributed to Australopithecus sediba are described as having phylogenetic affinities with early Homo to the exclusion of other South African australopiths. With respect to functional anatomy of mastication, one implication of this hypothesis is that A. sediba mandibles should exhibit absolutely and relatively reduced stiffness and strength in comparison to Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus jaws. Examination of cortical bone distribution in the MH 1 and MH 2 mandibles of A. sediba (evaluated against samples of Pan, early and modern Homo as well as A...
November 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
David W Frayer, Ronald J Clarke, Ivana Fiore, Robert J Blumenschine, Alejandro Pérez-Pérez, Laura M Martinez, Ferran Estebaranz, Ralph Holloway, Luca Bondioli
Labial striations on the anterior teeth have been documented in numerous European pre-Neandertal and Neandertal fossils and serve as evidence for handedness. OH-65, dated at 1.8 mya, shows a concentration of oblique striations on, especially, the left I(1) and right I(1), I(2) and C(1), which signal that it was right-handed. From these patterns we contend that OH-65 was habitually using the right hand, over the left, in manipulating objects during some kind of oral processing. In living humans right-handedness is generally correlated with brain lateralization, although the strength of the association is questioned by some...
November 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
Terrence B Ritzman, Claire E Terhune, Philipp Gunz, Chris A Robinson
The fossils from Malapa cave, South Africa, attributed to Australopithecus sediba, include two partial skeletons-MH1, a subadult, and MH2, an adult. Previous research noted differences in the mandibular rami of these individuals. This study tests three hypotheses that could explain these differences. The first two state that the differences are due to ontogenetic variation and sexual dimorphism, respectively. The third hypothesis, which is relevant to arguments suggesting that MH1 belongs in the genus Australopithecus and MH2 in Homo, is that the differences are due to the two individuals representing more than one taxon...
November 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Stephanie M Melillo, Timothy M Ryan, Naomi E Levin, Beverly Z Saylor, Alan Deino, Ronald Mundil, Gary Scott, Mulugeta Alene, Luis Gibert
Australopithecus afarensis is the best-known and most dimorphic species in the early hominin fossil record. Here, we present a comparative description of new fossil specimens of Au. afarensis from Nefuraytu, a 3.330-3.207 million-years-old fossil collection area in the Woranso-Mille study area, central Afar, Ethiopia. These specimens include NFR-VP-1/29, one of the most complete mandibles assigned to the species thus far and among the largest mandibles attributed to Au. afarensis, likely representing a male individual...
November 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
Sandra A Heldstab, Carel P van Schaik, Karin Isler
Humans stand out among non-aquatic mammals by having both an extremely large brain and a relatively large amount of body fat. To understand the evolution of this human peculiarity we report a phylogenetic comparative study of 120 mammalian species, including 30 primates, using seasonal variation in adult body mass as a proxy of the tendency to store fat. Species that rely on storing fat to survive lean periods are expected to be less active because of higher costs of locomotion and have increased predation risk due to reduced agility...
November 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
Ethan L Fulwood, Doug M Boyer, Richard F Kay
The pterion, on the lateral aspect of the cranium, is where the zygomatic, frontal, sphenoid, squamosal, and parietal bones approach and contact. The configuration of these bones distinguishes New and Old World anthropoids: most extant platyrrhines exhibit contact between the parietal and zygomatic bones, while all known catarrhines exhibit frontal-alisphenoid contact. However, it is thought that early stem-platyrrhines retained the apparently primitive catarrhine condition. Here we re-evaluate the condition of key fossil taxa using μCT (micro-computed tomography) imaging...
November 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
Travis Rayne Pickering, Jason L Heaton, Morris B Sutton, Ron J Clarke, Kathleen Kuman, Jess Hutton Senjem, C K Brain
We describe 14 hominin teeth and tooth fragments excavated recently from Swartkrans Cave (South Africa). The fossils derive from Members 1 (Lower Bank) and 3, from the Member 2/3 interface and from two deposits not yet assigned to member (the "Talus Cone Deposit" and the "Underground North Excavation" [UNE]) of the Swartkrans Formation, and include the first hominin fossil from the UNE, the two smallest Paranthropus robustus deciduous maxillary second molars in the entire hominin fossil record, and one of the smallest P...
November 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
Aurore Val, Paloma de la Peña, Lyn Wadley
Here, we present direct taphonomic evidence for the exploitation of birds by hunter-gatherers in the Middle Stone Age of South Africa as far as ∼77 ka. The bird assemblage from Sibudu Cave, KwaZulu-Natal, was analysed for bone surface modifications. Cut-marks associated with skinning, defleshing, and disarticulation, perforations on distal humeri produced during disarticulation of the forewing, peeling, and human tooth marks were observed on bird bones (i.e., mostly pigeons, doves, Galliformes, waders, and raptors) recovered from pre-Still Bay, Still Bay, Howiesons Poort, and post-Howiesons Poort techno-complexes...
October 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
Jonathan G Wynn, Kaye E Reed, Matt Sponheimer, William H Kimbel, Zeresenay Alemseged, Zelalem K Bedaso, Christopher J Campisano
One approach to understanding the context of changes in hominin paleodiets is to examine the paleodiets and paleohabitats of contemporaneous mammalian taxa. Recent carbon isotopic studies suggest that the middle Pliocene was marked by a major shift in hominin diets, characterized by a significant increase in C4 foods in Australopithecus-grade species, including Australopithecus afarensis. To contextualize previous isotopic studies of A. afarensis, we employed stable isotopes to examine paleodiets of the mammalian fauna contemporaneous with A...
October 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
Mónica Nova Delgado, Jordi Galbany, Alejandro Pérez-Pérez
Recent phylogenetic analyses suggest that platyrrhines constitute a monophyletic group represented by three families: Cebidae, Atelidae, and Pitheciidae. Morphological variability between and within these three families, however, is widely discussed and debated. The aim of this study was to assess molar shape variability in platyrrhines, to explore patterns of interspecific variation among extant species, and to evaluate how molar shape can be used as a taxonomic indicator. The analyses were conducted using standard multivariate analyses of geometric morphometric data from 802 platyrrhine lower molars...
October 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
Arianna R Harrington, Mary T Silcox, Gabriel S Yapuncich, Doug M Boyer, Jonathan I Bloch
Well-preserved crania of notharctine adapiforms from the Eocene of North America provide the best direct evidence available for inferring neuroanatomy and encephalization in early euprimates (crown primates). Virtual endocasts of the notharctines Notharctus tenebrosus (n = 3) and Smilodectes gracilis (n = 4) from the middle Eocene Bridger formation of Wyoming, and the late Eocene European adapid adapiform Adapis parisiensis (n = 1), were reconstructed from high-resolution X-ray computed tomography (CT) data...
October 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
Rachel H Dunn, Kenneth D Rose, Rajendra S Rana, Kishor Kumar, Ashok Sahni, Thierry Smith
The oldest primates of modern aspect (euprimates) appear abruptly on the Holarctic continents during a brief episode of global warming known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, at the beginning of the Eocene (∼56 Ma). When they first appear in the fossil record, they are already divided into two distinct clades, Adapoidea (basal members of Strepsirrhini, which includes extant lemurs, lorises, and bushbabies) and Omomyidae (basal Haplorhini, which comprises living tarsiers, monkeys, and apes). Both groups have recently been discovered in the early Eocene Cambay Shale Formation of Vastan lignite mine, Gujarat, India, where they are known mainly from teeth and jaws...
October 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
Alexander G Claxton, Ashley S Hammond, Julia Romano, Ekaterina Oleinik, Jeremy M DeSilva
Characterizing australopith pelvic morphology has been difficult in part because of limited fossilized pelvic material. Here, we reassess the morphology of an under-studied adult right ilium and pubis (Sts 65) from Member 4 of Sterkfontein, South Africa, and provide a hypothetical digital reconstruction of its overall pelvic morphology. The small size of the pelvis, presence of a preauricular sulcus, and shape of the sciatic notch allow us to agree with past interpretations that Sts 65 likely belonged to a female...
October 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
Amy E Shapiro, Vivek V Venkataraman, Nga Nguyen, Peter J Fashing
As the only extant graminivorous primate, gelada monkeys (Theropithecus gelada) offer unique insights into how hominins and other extinct primates with strong C4 isotopic signatures may have subsisted on graminoid-rich diets. Fossil Theropithecus species sharing a strong C4 signal (i.e., Theropithecus brumpti, Theropithecus darti, and Theropithecus oswaldi) have been reconstructed as predominantly graminivorous and potentially in ecological competition with contemporaneous hominins. However, inferring the breadth and variation of diet in these species (and therefore hominins) has proven problematic...
October 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
Callum F Ross, Jose Iriarte-Diaz, David A Reed, Thomas A Stewart, Andrea B Taylor
It has been hypothesized that mandibular corpus morphology of primates is related to the material properties of the foods that they chew. However, chewing foods with different material properties is accompanied by low levels of variation in mandibular strain patterns in macaques. We hypothesized that if variation in primate mandible form reflects adaptations to feeding on foods with different material and geometric properties, then this variation will be driven primarily by differences in oral food processing behavior rather than differences in chewing per se...
September 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
Janine Chalk-Wilayto, Kerry Ossi-Lupo, Melissa Raguet-Schofield
Studies of primate feeding ontogeny provide equivocal support for reduced juvenile proficiency. When immatures exhibit decreased feeding competency, these differences are attributed to a spectrum of experience- and strength-related constraints and are often linked to qualitative assessments of food difficulty. However, few have investigated age-related differences in feeding ability relative to mechanical property variation across the diet, both within and among food types. In this study, we combined dietary toughness and feeding behavior data collected in the wild from cross-sectional samples of two primate taxa, Sapajus libidinosus and Trachypithecus phayrei crepusculus, to test the prediction that small-bodied juveniles are less efficient at processing tough foods than adults...
September 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
Susan Coiner-Collier, Robert S Scott, Janine Chalk-Wilayto, Susan M Cheyne, Paul Constantino, Nathaniel J Dominy, Alison A Elgart, Halszka Glowacka, Laura C Loyola, Kerry Ossi-Lupo, Melissa Raguet-Schofield, Mauricio G Talebi, Enrico A Sala, Pawel Sieradzy, Andrea B Taylor, Christopher J Vinyard, Barth W Wright, Nayuta Yamashita, Peter W Lucas, Erin R Vogel
Substantial variation exists in the mechanical properties of foods consumed by primate species. This variation is known to influence food selection and ingestion among non-human primates, yet no large-scale comparative study has examined the relationships between food mechanical properties and feeding strategies. Here, we present comparative data on the Young's modulus and fracture toughness of natural foods in the diets of 31 primate species. We use these data to examine the relationships between food mechanical properties and dietary quality, body mass, and feeding time...
September 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
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