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Journal of Human Evolution

Ashley S Hammond, Sergio Almécija, Yosief Libsekal, Lorenzo Rook, Roberto Macchiarelli
Here we analyze 1.07-0.99 million-year-old pelvic remains UA 173/405 from Buia, Eritrea. Based on size metrics, UA 173/405 is likely associated with an already described pubic symphysis (UA 466) found nearby. The morphology of UA 173/405 was quantitatively characterized using three-dimensional landmark-based morphometrics and linear data. The Buia specimen falls within the range of variation of modern humans for all metrics investigated, making it unlikely that the shared last common ancestor of Late Pleistocene Homo species would have had an australopith-like pelvis...
July 13, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Marina C Elliott, Rolf Quam, Shahed Nalla, Darryl J de Ruiter, John Hawks, Lee R Berger
This study describes three incudes recovered from the Dinaledi Chamber in the Rising Star cave system in South Africa. All three bones were recovered during sieving of excavated sediments and likely represent three Homo naledi individuals. Morphologically and metrically, the Dinaledi ossicles resemble those of chimpanzees and Paranthropus robustus more than they do later members of the genus Homo, and fall outside of the modern human range of variation in several dimensions. Despite this, when overall size is considered, the functional lengths in H...
July 9, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Roger S Seymour, Edward P Snelling
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
July 5, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Daniel García-Martínez, Davorka Radovčić, Jakov Radovčić, Zachary Cofran, Antonio Rosas, Markus Bastir
The Krapina costal sample was studied by Gorjanović-Kramberger in the early twentieth century. He pointed out unique features in the sample such as the rounder rib cross-section, which was recently confirmed in other Neanderthal specimens. Round rib cross-sections are characteristic of Homo ergaster, suggesting this may be plesiomorphic for Pleistocene Homo, but it is unknown whether Homo antecessor also had this rib shape. Furthermore, the influence of allometry on the cross-sectional shape of ribs is still unknown...
July 5, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Neil T Roach, Andrew Du, Kevin G Hatala, Kelly R Ostrofsky, Jonathan S Reeves, David R Braun, John W K Harris, Anna K Behrensmeyer, Brian G Richmond
The ecological and selective forces that sparked the emergence of Homo's adaptive strategy remain poorly understood. New fossil and archaeological finds call into question previous interpretations of the grade shift that drove our ancestors' evolutionary split from the australopiths. Furthermore, issues of taphonomy and scale have limited reconstructions of the hominin habitats and faunal communities that define the environmental context of these behavioral changes. The multiple ∼1.5 Ma track surfaces from the Okote Member of the Koobi Fora Formation at East Turkana provide unique windows for examining hominin interactions with the paleoenvironment and associated faunas at high spatiotemporal resolution...
June 30, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Christopher C Gilbert, Stephen R Frost, Kelsey D Pugh, Monya Anderson, Eric Delson
Baboons (Papio hamadryas) are among the most successful extant primates, with a minimum of six distinctive forms throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. However, their presence in the fossil record is unclear. Three early fossil taxa are generally recognized, all from South Africa: Papio izodi, Papio robinsoni and Papio angusticeps. Because of their derived appearance, P. angusticeps and P. robinsoni have sometimes been considered subspecies of P. hamadryas and have been used as biochronological markers for the Plio-Pleistocene hominin sites where they are found...
June 25, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Doug M Boyer, Stephanie A Maiolino, Patricia A Holroyd, Paul E Morse, Jonathan I Bloch
Euprimates are unusual among mammals in having fingers and toes with flat nails. While it seems clear that the ancestral stock from which euprimates evolved had claw-bearing digits, the available fossil record has not yet contributed a detailed understanding of the transition from claws to nails. This study helps clarify the evolutionary history of the second pedal digit with fossils representing the distal phalanx of digit two (dpII), and has broader implications for other digits. Among extant primates, the keratinized structure on the pedal dpII widely varies in form...
June 20, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Mark Grabowski, Kevin G Hatala, William L Jungers
Many hypotheses regarding the paleobiology of the earliest possible hominins, Orrorin tugenensis and Ardipithecus ramidus, are dependent upon accurate body mass estimates for these taxa. While we have previously published body mass predictions for Orrorin and Ardipithecus, the accuracies of those estimates depend on the assumption that the postcranial skeletal dimensions and body masses of these taxa followed scaling patterns that were similar to those observed in modern humans. This assumption may not be correct because certain aspects of postcranial morphology in Orrorin and Ardipithecus differ from modern humans, and suggest that their overall body plans might be unique but more similar to modern non-human great apes than to modern humans...
June 14, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Jason J Head, Johannes Müller
The squamate fossil record from Kanapoi reveals generic to higher-order similarities with modern East African herpetofaunas. The record is derived from surface collection and screen washing, and consists primarily of isolated vertebrae with a few maxillary and mandibular elements. The most abundant remains are vertebrae of large-bodied Python that are morphologically similar to extant Python sebae, and vertebrae of Varanus cf. (Varanus niloticus + Varanus exanthematicus). Additional cranial and vertebral remains indicate the presence of lygosomine skinks, indeterminate Varanus, Viperidae, cf...
June 14, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Joel D Irish, Shara E Bailey, Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg, Lucas K Delezene, Lee R Berger
A new species of Homo, Homo naledi, was described in 2015 based on the hominin skeletal remains from the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star cave system, South Africa. Subsequent craniodental comparative analyses, both phenetic and cladistic, served to support its taxonomic distinctiveness. Here we provide a new quantitative analysis, where up to 78 nonmetric crown and root traits of the permanent dentition were compared among samples of H. naledi (including remains from the recently discovered Lesedi Chamber) and eight other species from Africa: Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, Paranthropus boisei, Paranthropus robustus, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Middle Pleistocene Homo sp...
June 7, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Kenneth D Rose, Rachel H Dunn, Kishor Kumar, Jonathan M G Perry, Kristen A Prufrock, Rajendra S Rana, Thierry Smith
Several new fossil specimens from the Cambay Shale Formation at Tadkeshwar Lignite Mine in Gujarat document the presence of two previously unknown early Eocene primate species from India. A new species of Asiadapis is named based on a jaw fragment preserving premolars similar in morphology to those of A. cambayensis but substantially larger. Also described is an exceptionally preserved edentulous dentary (designated cf. Asiadapis, unnamed sp. nov.) that is slightly larger and much more robust than previously known Cambay Shale primates...
June 7, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Sergio Jarillo, Alan Fridlund, Carlos Crivelli, Jose-Miguel Fernández-Dols, James A Russell
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 4, 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 31, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Aurélien Mounier, Maria Correia, Frances Rivera, Federica Crivellaro, Ronika Power, Joe Jeffery, Alex Wilshaw, Robert A Foley, Marta Mirazón Lahr
Africa is the birthplace of the species Homo sapiens, and Africans today are genetically more diverse than other populations of the world. However, the processes that underpinned the evolution of African populations remain largely obscure. Only a handful of late Pleistocene African fossils (∼50-12 Ka) are known, while the more numerous sites with human fossils of early Holocene age are patchily distributed. In particular, late Pleistocene and early Holocene human diversity in Eastern Africa remains little studied, precluding any analysis of the potential factors that shaped human diversity in the region, and more broadly throughout the continent...
May 29, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Katja Douze, Anne Delagnes, Veerle Rots, Brad Gravina
Sahle and Braun's (in press) recent comments on our identification (Douze and Delagnes, 2016) of diachronic trends in Middle Stone Age point traditions in several lithic assemblages from the sites of Gademotta and Kulkuletti (Ethiopia) focuses on pointed tool function rather than the gradual technological shifts we observed between sites. Here we address several of what we consider to be inaccuracies and misinterpretations concerning our work with the Gademotta and Kulkuletti lithic assemblages (Douze, 2012, 2014), more specifically, Sahle and Braun's (in press) interpretation of the tranchet blow technique...
May 28, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Jeremiah E Scott, Ryan M Campbell, Luisa M Baj, Maegan C Burns, Mia S Price, Jaime D Sykes, Christopher J Vinyard
Dietary adaptations specific to the premolar row remain largely undocumented across primates. This study examines how relative premolar size varies among broad dietary groups (i.e., folivores, frugivores, insectivores, hard-object feeders) using a phylogenetically and ecologically diverse sample of species. We quantified relative premolar size with shape ratios computed using mandibular length, body mass, palate area, and M1 area to evaluate hypotheses that link variation in relative premolar size to differences in tooth loading, energy requirements, the probability of tooth-food-tooth contact during mastication, and shifts in preferred bite point...
May 21, 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Amélie Beaudet, Kristian J Carlson, Ronald J Clarke, Frikkie de Beer, Jelle Dhaene, Jason L Heaton, Travis R Pickering, Dominic Stratford
The Sterkfontein Caves site is one of the richest early hominin fossil localities in Africa. More specifically, the fossiliferous deposits within the lower-lying Jacovec Cavern have yielded valuable hominin remains; prominent among them is the Australopithecus partial cranium StW 578. Due to the fragmentary nature of the braincase, the specimen has not yet been formally assigned to a species. In this context, we employ microtomography to quantify cranial thickness and composition of StW 578 in order to assess its taxonomic affinity...
May 21, 2018: 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
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
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