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American Journal of Physical Anthropology

Agnieszka Żelaźniewicz, Bogusław Pawłowski
OBJECTIVES: Successful breastfeeding, crucial for a child's development, depends on a woman's ability to initiate lactation, milk yield, and composition. Those traits differ among women, but the cause and physiological mechanisms responsible for this variation are not fully understood yet. Growing evidence shows that lactation and milk composition vary among women and depend on maternal traits. The aim of this study was to test whether breast volume and its changes during pregnancy are related to the nutritional quality of breastmilk and to breastfeeding dynamics...
November 8, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Ellen E Quillen, Heather L Norton, Esteban J Parra, Frida Lona-Durazo, Khai C Ang, Florin Mircea Illiescu, Laurel N Pearson, Mark D Shriver, Tina Lasisi, Omer Gokcumen, Izzy Starr, Yen-Lung Lin, Alicia R Martin, Nina G Jablonski
Like many highly variable human traits, more than a dozen genes are known to contribute to the full range of skin color. However, the historical bias in favor of genetic studies in European and European-derived populations has blinded us to the magnitude of pigmentation's complexity. As deliberate efforts are being made to better characterize diverse global populations and new sequencing technologies, better measurement tools, functional assessments, predictive modeling, and ancient DNA analyses become more widely accessible, we are beginning to appreciate how limited our understanding of the genetic bases of human skin color have been...
November 8, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Liza J Shapiro, Addison D Kemp
OBJECTIVES: We tested whether patterns of intraspecific variation in catarrhine vertebral shape are consistent with developmental or functional predictions. Intraspecific variation was compared across column regions, morphological features, and species. Transitional regions and later ossifying morphological features were predicted to exhibit increased variation. The lumbosacral region, biomechanically important morphological features, and species with high locomotor demand and/or dedicated pronogrady were predicted to exhibit decreased variation...
November 8, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Lauren A Gonzales, Michael D Malinzak, Richard F Kay
OBJECTIVES: Recent evidence suggests that the amount of intraspecific variation in semicircular canal morphology may, itself, be evidence for varying levels of selection related to locomotor demands. To determine the extent of this phenomenon across taxa, we expand upon previous work by examining intraspecific variation in canal radii and canal orthogonality in a broad sample of strepsirrhine and platyrrhine primates. Patterns of interspecific variation are re-examined in light of intraspecific variation to better understand the resolution at which locomotion can be reconstructed from single individuals...
November 8, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Cecilia García-Campos, María Martinón-Torres, Marina Martínez de Pinillos, Mario Modesto-Mata, Laura Martín-Francés, Bernardo Perea-Pérez, Clément Zanolli, José María Bermúdez de Castro
OBJECTIVES: Dental tissue proportions of human permanent canines is one of only a few sexually dimorphic features that is present in childhood and maintained in adults, offering the opportunity for this to be used in sex determination. This study assesses dental tissue volumes and surface areas of maxillary permanent canines in a sample of known sex to provide new data and to explore the potential of these variables as reliable sexual estimators. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The teeth studied here derive from 56 individuals (27 females and 29 males) of known sex and age, and of different geographic origins...
October 31, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Madeline Zhu, Judith Sealy
OBJECTIVES: Multi-tissue stable isotope models to reconstruct past diets (Froehle, Kellner, & Schoeninger, 2012; Kellner & Schoeninger, 2007) have lacked data from a heavily C4 -dependent population. Using new data from southern African agriculturalists, published models are evaluated for accuracy in dietary reconstruction and applicability to isotopically diverse diets. Additionally, isotopic variation between tooth enamel and bone apatite, which are often treated as isotopically equivalent, is investigated...
October 31, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Bernard Wood
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 26, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Alizé Lacoste Jeanson, Frédéric Santos, Chiara Villa, Jytte Banner, Jaroslav Brůžek
OBJECTIVES: Recent investigations have evaluated the influence of body composition on long bones in order to overcome the limits of body mass (BM) estimation methods and eventually lead to studying nutrition in past populations. Knowing how fat mass (FM) and fat-free mass (FFM) impact the skeleton would also enhance the understanding of mobility, activity, and locomotion derived from bone architecture. We investigated the relationship between BM and composition, and the architecture of the entire tibial and femoral diaphyses in an adult sample representative of a wide range of variation in age, BM, and composition...
October 24, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Jordi Galbany, Thadée Muhire, Veronica Vecellio, Antoine Mudakikwa, Aisha Nyiramana, Michael R Cranfield, Tara S Stoinski, Shannon C McFarlin
OBJECTIVES: Ecological factors, but also tooth-to-tooth contact over time, have a dramatic effect on tooth wear in primates. The aim of this study is to test whether incisor tooth wear changes predictably with age and can thus be used as an age estimation method in a wild population of mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) from Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In mountain gorillas of confidently known chronological age (N = 24), we measured the crown height of all permanent maxillary and mandibular incisors (I1 , I1 , I2 , I2 ) as a proxy for incisal macrowear...
October 23, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Adrián Pablos, Asier Gómez-Olivencia, Juan Luis Arsuaga
OBJECTIVES: The Galería de las Estatuas site (GE), a new Mousterian site at the Sierra de Atapuerca site complex (Spain), has revealed a Late Pleistocene detrital sequence with at least five lithostratigraphic units. These units have yielded evidence of Mousterian occupations with sporadic carnivore activity, and have provided datings of 80-112 ka BP using single-grain optically stimulated luminescence. This places the sequence at the end of MIS5 and beginning of the MIS4. We described here a complete adult human distal foot phalanx (GE-1573) recovered during the 2017 field season in the interface between lithostratigraphic units 3 and 4 (107-112 ka BP) in the GE-I test pit...
October 23, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Estelle Herrscher, Modwene Poulmarc'h, Laure Pecqueur, Elsa Jovenet, Norbert Benecke, Alexia Decaix, Bertille Lyonnet, Farhad Guliyev, Guy André
OBJECTIVES: Subsistence strategies are of great interest for understanding how prehistoric societies adapted to their environment. This is particularly the case for the southern Caucasus where relationships have been shown with the northern Caucasus and Mesopotamia since the Neolithic and where societies are alternately described as sedentary and mobile. This article aims, for the first time, to characterize human diets and their evolution using biochemical markers, from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age (sixth-first millenium BC), at Mentesh Tepe, a site in the middle Kura valley in Azerbaijan...
October 23, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Stefanie Stelzer, Simon Neubauer, Jean-Jacques Hublin, Fred Spoor, Philipp Gunz
OBJECTIVES: Middle Pleistocene fossil hominins, often summarized as Homo heidelbergensis sensu lato, are difficult to interpret due to a fragmentary fossil record and ambiguous combinations of primitive and derived characters. Here, we focus on one aspect of facial shape and analyze shape variation of the dental arcades of these fossils together with other Homo individuals. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Three-dimensional landmark data were collected on computed tomographic scans and surface scans of Middle Pleistocene fossil hominins (n = 8), Homo erectus s...
October 23, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Sandro Sehner, Claudia Fichtel, Peter M Kappeler
OBJECTIVE: Living primates vary considerably in tail length-body size relation, ranging from tailless species to those where the tail is more than twice as long as the body. Because the general pattern and determinants of tail evolution remain incompletely known, we reconstructed evolutionary changes in relative tail length across all primates and sought to explain interspecific variation in this trait. METHODS: We combined data on tail length, head-body length, intermembral index (IMI), habitat use, locomotion type, and range latitude for 340 species from published sources...
October 20, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Seth Boren, Dennis Slice, Geoffrey Thomas
OBJECTIVES: The mandible can provide valuable information on both the life history and genetic makeup of Archaic human populations. The following analysis tests two hypotheses: (a) that there are significant differences in morphology in mandibular shape between the genders amongst Archaic North American Homo sapiens and (b) that there is a significant difference in variance in mandibular shape between Archaic Windover and Point Hope. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A sample made from mandible specimens taken from both populations is subjected to Principal Component Analyses (PCA)...
October 20, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Conrad S Brimacombe, Kevin L Kuykendall, Pia Nystrom
OBJECTIVES: Compared with frequent studies of skeletal development in chimpanzees, relatively little is known about bonobo skeletal development. This study seeks to explore the relationship between skeletal and dental development in both species of Pan. New data are presented for fusion sites not previously observed in bonobos. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a sample of 34 Pan paniscus and 168 Pan troglodytes subadults, state of fusion was recorded for 30 epiphyseal fusion sites using a three-stage system of unfused, midfusion, and complete fusion based on Wintheiser, Clauser, and Tappen...
October 14, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Adriana E Lowe, Catherine Hobaiter, Nicholas E Newton-Fisher
OBJECTIVES: Infanticide by males is common in mammals. According to the sexual selection hypothesis, the risk is inversely related to infant age because the older the infant, the less infanticide can shorten lactational amenorrhea; risk is also predicted to increase when an infanticidal male's chance of siring the replacement infant is high. Infanticide occurs in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), a species in which male dominance rank predicts paternity skew. Infanticidal male chimpanzees (if low-ranking) are unlikely to kill their own offspring, whereas those who are currently rising in rank, particularly when this rise is dramatic, have an increased likelihood of fathering potential future infants relative to any existing ones...
October 10, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Eishi Hirasaki, Motoharu Oishi
OBJECTIVES: The dorsal interossei of the human foot are arranged so that they abduct the digits around the second digit, while those of non-hominoid anthropoid primates are mostly arranged around the third or fourth digit. This is thought to relate to the medial shift in the functional axis, an essential modification in the evolution of the human foot. However, studies of the arrangement of interosseous muscles are relatively limited and there is some debate about their arrangement in great apes...
October 10, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Anne Marie E Snoddy, Hallie R Buckley, Gail E Elliott, Vivien G Standen, Bernardo T Arriaza, Siân E Halcrow
The past two decades have seen a proliferation in bioarchaeological literature on the identification of scurvy, a disease caused by chronic vitamin C deficiency, in ancient human remains. This condition is one of the few nutritional deficiencies that can result in diagnostic osseous lesions. Scurvy is associated with low dietary diversity and its identification in human skeletal remains can provide important contextual information on subsistence strategy, resource allocation, and human-environmental interactions in past populations...
October 9, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Stefano S K Kaburu, Pascal R Marty, Brianne Beisner, Krishna N Balasubramaniam, Eliza Bliss-Moreau, Kawaljit Kaur, Lalit Mohan, Brenda McCowan
OBJECTIVES: The impact of anthropogenic environmental changes may impose strong pressures on the behavioral flexibility of free-ranging animals. Here, we examine whether rates of interactions with humans had both a direct and indirect influence on the duration and distribution of social grooming in commensal rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data were collected in two locations in the city of Shimla in northern India: an urban setting and a temple area...
October 3, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Jonny Geber, Eileen Murphy
OBJECTIVES: Despite subsisting on a low-cariogenic diet comprising virtually nothing more than potatoes and dairy products, poor oral health affected the quality of life for the poor of nineteenth-century Ireland. This study investigates potential biocultural reasons that may explain why this was the case. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 6,860 teeth and 9,889 alveoli from 363 permanent dentitions from the skeletal remains of impoverished adult Irish males and females who died between 1847 and 1851 in the Kilkenny Union Workhouse were examined for evidence of dental caries, periodontal disease and ante-mortem tooth loss...
October 3, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
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