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Asier Gómez-Olivencia, Rolf Quam, Nohemi Sala, Morgane Bardey, James C Ohman, Antoine Balzeau
The La Ferrassie 1 (LF1) skeleton, discovered over a century ago, is one of the most important Neandertal individuals both for its completeness and due to the role it has played historically in the interpretation of Neandertal anatomy and lifeways. Here we present new skeletal remains from this individual, which include a complete right middle ear ossicular chain (malleus, incus, and stapes), three vertebral fragments, and two costal remains. Additionally, the study of the skeleton has allowed us to identify new pathological lesions, including a congenital variant in the atlas, a greenstick fracture of the left clavicle, and a lesion in a mid-thoracic rib of unknown etiology...
April 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Susanne Cote, John Kingston, Alan Deino, Alisa Winkler, Robert Kityo, Laura MacLatchy
Field expeditions to Bukwa in the late 1960s and early 1970s established that the site had a small but diverse early Miocene fauna, including the catarrhine primate Limnopithecus legetet. Initial potassium-argon radiometric dating indicated that Bukwa was 22 Ma, making it the oldest of the East African early Miocene fossil localities known at the time. In contrast, the fauna collected from Bukwa was similar to other fossil localities in the region that were several million years younger. This discrepancy was never resolved, and due to the paucity of primate remains at the site, little subsequent research took place...
March 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Clément Zanolli, Lei Pan, Jean Dumoncel, Ottmar Kullmer, Martin Kundrát, Wu Liu, Roberto Macchiarelli, Lucia Mancini, Friedemann Schrenk, Claudio Tuniz
Locality 1, in the Lower Cave of the Zhoukoudian cave complex, China, is one of the most important Middle Pleistocene paleoanthropological and archaeological sites worldwide, with the remains of c. 45 Homo erectus individuals, 98 mammalian taxa, and thousands of lithic tools recovered. Most of the material collected before World War II was lost. However, besides two postcranial elements rediscovered in China in 1951, four human permanent teeth from the 'Dragon Bone Hill,' collected by O. Zdansky between 1921 and 1923, were at the time brought to the Paleontological Institute of Uppsala University, Sweden, where they are still stored...
March 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Brian Villmoare
The history of the discovery of early fossils attributed to the genus Homo has been contentious, with scholars disagreeing over the generic assignment of fossils proposed as members of our genus. In this manuscript I review the history of discovery and debate over early Homo and evaluate the various taxonomic hypotheses for the genus. To get a sense of how hominin taxonomy compares to taxonomic practice outside paleoanthropology, I compare the diversity of Homo to genera in other vertebrate clades. Finally, I propose a taxonomic model that hews closely to current models for hominin phylogeny and is consistent with taxonomic practice across evolutionary biology...
January 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Trudy R Turner, Robin M Bernstein, Andrea B Taylor, Abigail Asangba, Traci Bekelman, Jennifer Danzy Cramer, Sarah Elton, Katarina Harvati, Erin Marie Williams-Hatala, Laurie Kauffman, Emily Middleton, Joan Richtsmeier, Emőke Szathmáry, Christina Torres-Rouff, Zaneta Thayer, Amelia Villaseñor, Erin Vogel
American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) membership surveys from 1996 and 1998 revealed significant gender disparities in academic status. A 2014 follow-up survey showed that gender equality had improved, particularly with respect to the number of women in tenure-stream positions. However, although women comprised 70% of AAPA membership at that time, the percentage of women full professors remained low. Here, we continue to consider the status of women in biological anthropology by examining the representation of women through a quantitative analysis of their participation in annual meetings of the AAPA during the past 20 years...
January 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Arturo Ruiz-Taboada, Isabel Molero Rodrigo
World societies can often be characterized by their attitude towards elderly and illness. It is well known that most cultures were concerned about those who were not able to produce and take care of themselves. This brings to the development of social processes that involve such individuals within the community, resulting in groups who stick together, and at last, ensuring the survival of the group. The contextualization of many of those social processes might be studied through Physical Anthropology and Paleopathology...
January 10, 2018: Anthropologischer Anzeiger; Bericht über die Biologisch-anthropologische Literatur
João Zilhão, Daniela Anesin, Thierry Aubry, Ernestina Badal, Dan Cabanes, Martin Kehl, Nicole Klasen, Armando Lucena, Ignacio Martín-Lerma, Susana Martínez, Henrique Matias, Davide Susini, Peter Steier, Eva Maria Wild, Diego E Angelucci, Valentín Villaverde, Josefina Zapata
The late persistence in Southern Iberia of a Neandertal-associated Middle Paleolithic is supported by the archeological stratigraphy and the radiocarbon and luminescence dating of three newly excavated localities in the Mula basin of Murcia (Spain). At Cueva Antón, Mousterian layer I-k can be no more than 37,100 years-old. At La Boja, the basal Aurignacian can be no less than 36,500 years-old. The regional Middle-to-Upper Paleolithic transition process is thereby bounded to the first half of the 37th millennium Before Present, in agreement with evidence from Andalusia, Gibraltar and Portugal...
November 2017: Heliyon
Mathilde Lequin
Bipedalism is one of the criteria that paleoanthropologists use in order to interpret the fossil record and to determine if a specimen belongs to the human lineage. In the context of such interpretations, bipedalism is considered to be a unique characteristic of this lineage that also marks its origin. This conception has largely remained unchallenged over the last decades, in spite of fossil discoveries that led to the emergence of bipedalism in the human lineage being shifted back by several millions of years...
November 22, 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Francesco Lacquaniti, Yury P Ivanenko, Francesca Sylos-Labini, Valentina La Scaleia, Barbara La Scaleia, Patrick A Willems, Myrka Zago
We have considerable knowledge about the mechanisms underlying compensation of Earth gravity during locomotion, a knowledge obtained from physiological, biomechanical, modeling, developmental, comparative, and paleoanthropological studies. By contrast, we know much less about locomotion and movement in general under sustained hypogravity. This lack of information poses a serious problem for human space exploration. In a near future humans will walk again on the Moon and for the first time on Mars. It would be important to predict how they will move around, since we know that locomotion and mobility in general may be jeopardized in hypogravity, especially when landing after a prolonged weightlessness of the space flight...
2017: Frontiers in Physiology
Kathryn E Fitzsimmons, Radu Iovita, Tobias Sprafke, Michelle Glantz, Sahra Talamo, Katharine Horton, Tyler Beeton, Saya Alipova, Galymzhan Bekseitov, Yerbolat Ospanov, Jean-Marc Deom, Renato Sala, Zhaken Taimagambetov
Central Asia has delivered significant paleoanthropological discoveries in the past few years. New genetic data indicate that at least two archaic human species met and interbred with anatomically modern humans as they arrived into northern Central Asia. However, data are limited: known archaeological sites with lithic assemblages generally lack human fossils, and consequently identifying the archaeological signatures of different human groups, and the timing of their occupation, remains elusive. Reliable chronologic data from sites in the region, crucial to our understanding of the timing and duration of interactions between different human species, are rare...
December 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
P H Rhys Evans, M Cameron
For over a century, otolaryngologists have recognised the condition of aural exostoses, but their significance and aetiology remains obscure, although they tend to be associated with frequent swimming and cold water immersion of the auditory canal. The fact that this condition is usually bilateral is predictable since both ears are immersed in water. However, why do exostoses only grow in swimmers and why do they grow in the deep bony meatus at two or three constant sites? Furthermore, from an evolutionary point of view, what is or was the purpose and function of these rather incongruous protrusions? In recent decades, paleoanthropological evidence has challenged ideas about early hominid evolution...
November 2017: Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Pere Ibáñez-Gimeno, Joan Manyosa, Ignasi Galtés, Xavier Jordana, Salvador Moyà-Solà, Assumpció Malgosa
OBJECTIVES: The locomotor and manipulative abilities of australopithecines are highly debated in the paleoanthropological context. Australopithecus afarensis and Australopithecus sediba likely engaged in arboreal locomotion and, especially the latter, in certain activities implying manipulation. Nevertheless, their degree of arboreality and the relevance of their manipulative skills remain unclear. Here we calculate the pronation efficiency of the forearm (Erot ) in these taxa to explore their arboreal and manipulative capabilities using a biomechanical approach...
December 2017: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Catalina I Villamil
There is ongoing debate in paleoanthropology about whether and how the anatomy of the cranium, and especially the cranial base, is evolving in response to locomotor and postural changes. However, the majority of studies focus on two-dimensional data, which fails to capture the complexity of cranial anatomy. This study tests whether three-dimensional cranial base anatomy is linked to locomotion or to other factors in primates (n = 473) and marsupials (n = 231). Results indicate that although there is a small effect of locomotion on cranial base anatomy in primates, this is not the case in marsupials...
October 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Jamie Hodgkins
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
July 2017: Evolutionary Anthropology
D B Patterson, D R Braun, A K Behrensmeyer, S B Lehmann, S R Merritt, J S Reeves, B A Wood, R Bobe
Placing the biological adaptations of Pleistocene hominins within a well-resolved ecological framework has been a longstanding goal of paleoanthropology. This effort, however, has been challenging due to the discontinuous nature of paleoecological data spanning many important periods in hominin evolution. Sediments from the Upper Burgi (1.98-1.87 Ma), KBS (1.87-1.56 Ma) and Okote (1.56-1.38 Ma) members of the Koobi Fora Formation at East Turkana in northern Kenya document an important time interval in the evolutionary history of the hominin genera Homo and Paranthropus...
November 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Stephen R Frost, Charles Saanane, Britt M Starkovich, Hilde Schwartz, Friedemann Schrenk, Katerina Harvati
The Pleistocene hominin site of Makuyuni, near Lake Manyara, Tanzania, is known for fossils attributable to Homo and Acheulean artifacts (Ring et al., 2005; Kaiser et al., 2010; Frost et al., 2012). Here we describe the fossil primate material from the Manyara Beds, which includes the first nearly complete female cranium of Theropithecus oswaldi leakeyi and a proximal tibia from the same taxon. The cranium is dated to between 633 and 780 Ka and the tibia to the Pleistocene. The T. oswaldi lineage is one of the most important among Neogene mammals of Africa: it is both widespread and abundant...
August 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
Ian Tattersall
Because of the greater morphological distances among them, genera should be more robustly recognizable in the fossil record than species are. But there are clearly upper as well as lower bounds to their species inclusivity. Currently, the vast majority of fossils composing the large and rapidly expanding paleoanthropological record are crammed into one of two genera (Australopithecus vs Homo), expanding the latter, especially, far beyond any reasonable morphological or phylogenetic limits. This excessive inclusivity obscures both diversity and the complexities of phylogenetic structure within the hominid family...
May 2017: Evolutionary Anthropology
Carol V Ward, Thierra K Nalley, Fred Spoor, Paul Tafforeau, Zeresenay Alemseged
The evolution of the human pattern of axial segmentation has been the focus of considerable discussion in paleoanthropology. Although several complete lumbar vertebral columns are known for early hominins, to date, no complete cervical or thoracic series has been recovered. Several partial skeletons have revealed that the thoracolumbar transition in early hominins differed from that of most extant apes and humans. Australopithecus africanus, Australopithecus sediba , and Homo erectus all had zygapophyseal facets that shift from thoracic-like to lumbar-like at the penultimate rib-bearing level, rather than the ultimate rib-bearing level, as in most humans and extant African apes...
June 6, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Karen R Rosenberg, Jeremy M DeSilva
No bone in the human postcranial skeleton differs more dramatically from its match in an ape skeleton than the pelvis. Humans have evolved a specialized pelvis, well-adapted for the rigors of bipedal locomotion. Precisely how this happened has been the subject of great interest and contention in the paleoanthropological literature. In part, this is because of the fragility of the pelvis and its resulting rarity in the human fossil record. However, new discoveries from Miocene hominoids and Plio-Pleistocene hominins have reenergized debates about human pelvic evolution and shed new light on the competing roles of bipedal locomotion and obstetrics in shaping pelvic anatomy...
May 2017: Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology
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