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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28733602/distinct-selective-forces-and-neanderthal-introgression-shaped-genetic-diversity-at-genes-involved-in-neurodevelopmental-disorders
#1
Alessandra Mozzi, Diego Forni, Rachele Cagliani, Uberto Pozzoli, Mario Clerici, Manuela Sironi
In addition to high intelligence, humans evolved specialized social-cognitive skills, which are specifically affected in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Genes affected in ASD represent suitable candidates to study the evolution of human social cognition. We performed an evolutionary analysis on 68 genes associated to neurodevelopmental disorders; our data indicate that genetic diversity was shaped by distinct selective forces, including natural selection and introgression from archaic hominins...
July 21, 2017: Scientific Reports
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28726833/human-occupation-of-northern-australia-by-65-000-years-ago
#2
Chris Clarkson, Zenobia Jacobs, Ben Marwick, Richard Fullagar, Lynley Wallis, Mike Smith, Richard G Roberts, Elspeth Hayes, Kelsey Lowe, Xavier Carah, S Anna Florin, Jessica McNeil, Delyth Cox, Lee J Arnold, Quan Hua, Jillian Huntley, Helen E A Brand, Tiina Manne, Andrew Fairbairn, James Shulmeister, Lindsey Lyle, Makiah Salinas, Mara Page, Kate Connell, Gayoung Park, Kasih Norman, Tessa Murphy, Colin Pardoe
The time of arrival of people in Australia is an unresolved question. It is relevant to debates about when modern humans first dispersed out of Africa and when their descendants incorporated genetic material from Neanderthals, Denisovans and possibly other hominins. Humans have also been implicated in the extinction of Australia's megafauna. Here we report the results of new excavations conducted at Madjedbebe, a rock shelter in northern Australia. Artefacts in primary depositional context are concentrated in three dense bands, with the stratigraphic integrity of the deposit demonstrated by artefact refits and by optical dating and other analyses of the sediments...
July 19, 2017: Nature
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28720889/acquisition-of-terrestrial-life-by-human-ancestors-influenced-by-forest-microclimate
#3
Hiroyuki Takemoto
Bipedalism, terrestriality and open habitat were thought to be linked to each other in the course of human evolution. However, recent paleontological evidence has revealed that early hominins evolved in a wooded, humid environment. Did the evolutionary process from arboreal to terrestrial life actually require open habitat? Here I report the seasonal change in forest utilization height of West African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and central African bonobos (Pan paniscus), and show that the difference in terrestriality between these two species was mainly caused by ambient temperature differences between the two study sites...
July 18, 2017: Scientific Reports
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28714535/neandertal-talus-bones-from-el-sidr%C3%A3-n-site-asturias-spain-a-3d-geometric-morphometrics-analysis
#4
Antonio Rosas, Anabel Ferrando, Markus Bastir, Antonio García-Tabernero, Almudena Estalrrich, Rosa Huguet, Daniel García-Martínez, Juan Francisco Pastor, Marco de la Rasilla
OBJECTIVES: The El Sidrón tali sample is assessed in an evolutionary framework. We aim to explore the relationship between Neandertal talus morphology and body size/shape. We test the hypothesis 1: talar Neandertal traits are influenced by body size, and the hypothesis 2: shape variables independent of body size correspond to inherited primitive features. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We quantify 35 landmarks through 3D geometric morphometrics techniques to describe H...
July 17, 2017: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28711317/invasion-fitness-for-gene-culture-co-evolution-in-family-structured-populations-and-an-application-to-cumulative-culture-under-vertical-transmission
#5
Charles Mullon, Laurent Lehmann
Human evolution depends on the co-evolution between genetically determined behaviors and socially transmitted information. Although vertical transmission of cultural information from parent to offspring is common in hominins, its effects on cumulative cultural evolution are not fully understood. Here, we investigate gene-culture co-evolution in a family-structured population by studying the invasion fitness of a mutant allele that influences a deterministic level of cultural information (e.g., amount of knowledge or skill) to which diploid carriers of the mutant are exposed in subsequent generations...
July 12, 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28704414/examining-the-use-of-amazon-s-mechanical-turk-for-edge-extraction-of-the-occlusal-surface-of-fossilized-bovid-teeth
#6
Gregory J Matthews, George K Thiruvathukal, Maxwell P Luetkemeier, Juliet K Brophy
In order to reconstruct environments associated with Plio-Pleistocene hominins in southern Africa, researchers frequently rely upon the animals associated with the hominins, in particular, animals in the Family Bovidae. Bovids in southern Africa are typically identified by their teeth. However, identifying the taxon of a bovid tooth is challenging due to various biasing factors. Furthermore, inaccurate identification of fossil bovids can have significant consequences on the reconstructed paleoenvironment. Recent research on the classification of bovid fossil teeth has relied on using elliptical Fourier analysis to summarize the shape of the outline of the occlusal surface of the tooth and the resulting harmonic amplitudes...
2017: PloS One
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28701907/adaptation-of-human-skin-color-in-various-populations
#7
REVIEW
Lian Deng, Shuhua Xu
BACKGROUND: Skin color is a well-recognized adaptive trait and has been studied extensively in humans. Understanding the genetic basis of adaptation of skin color in various populations has many implications in human evolution and medicine. DISCUSSION: Impressive progress has been made recently to identify genes associated with skin color variation in a wide range of geographical and temporal populations. In this review, we discuss what is currently known about the genetics of skin color variation...
2018: Hereditas
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28688460/chronometric-investigations-of-the-middle-to-upper-paleolithic-transition-in-the-zagros-mountains-using-ams-radiocarbon-dating-and-bayesian-age-modelling
#8
Lorena Becerra-Valdivia, Katerina Douka, Daniel Comeskey, Behrouz Bazgir, Nicholas J Conard, Curtis W Marean, Andreu Ollé, Marcel Otte, Laxmi Tumung, Mohsen Zeidi, Thomas F G Higham
The Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition is often linked with a bio-cultural shift involving the dispersal of modern humans outside of Africa, the concomitant replacement of Neanderthals across Eurasia, and the emergence of new technological traditions. The Zagros Mountains region assumes importance in discussions concerning this period as its geographic location is central to all pertinent hominin migration areas, pointing to both east and west. As such, establishing a reliable chronology in the Zagros Mountains is crucial to our understanding of these biological and cultural developments...
August 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28688459/new-cranium-of-the-large-cercopithecid-primate-theropithecus-oswaldi-leakeyi-hopwood-1934-from-the-paleoanthropological-site-of-makuyuni-tanzania
#9
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
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28688457/u-series-dating-and-classification-of-the-apidima-2-hominin-from-mani-peninsula-southern-greece
#10
Antonis Bartsiokas, Juan Luis Arsuaga, Maxime Aubert, Rainer Grün
Laser ablation U-series dating results on a human cranial bone fragment from Apidima, on the western cost of the Mani Peninsula, Southern Greece, indicate a minimum age of 160,000 years. The dated cranial fragment belongs to Apidima 2, which preserves the facial skeleton and a large part of the braincase, lacking the occipital bone. The morphology of the preserved regions of the cranium, and especially that of the facial skeleton, indicates that the fossil belongs to the Neanderthal clade. The dating of the fossil at a minimum age of 160,000 years shows that most of the Neanderthal traits were already present in the MIS 6 and perhaps earlier...
August 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28688456/the-social-organization-of-homo-ergaster-inferences-from-anti-predator-responses-in-extant-primates
#11
Erik P Willems, Carel P van Schaik
Patterns of primate socioecology have been used to suggest that the first truly savanna-dwelling hominin, Homo ergaster, lived in sizeable groups. Here, we revisit these estimates and infer additional features of the social organization of these early hominins based on anti-predator responses observed across the primate taxon. We first show that the effect of habitat on primate group size, composition, and sexual dimorphism is negligible after controlling for substrate use and phylogeny: terrestrial species live in larger groups with more and bigger males than arboreal taxa...
August 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28688455/foot-use-during-vertical-climbing-in-chimpanzees-pan-troglodytes
#12
R E Wunderlich, S B Ischinger
Upright bipedalism is a hallmark of hominin locomotion, however debates continue regarding the extent of arboreal locomotion and the nature of bipedalism practiced by early hominins. Pedal form and function play a prominent role in these debates, as the foot is the element that directly interacts with the locomotor substrate. Recent finds have substantially increased the availability of associated foot remains of early hominins and emphasized the enigmatic nature of the early evolution of human bipedalism. New discoveries of associated forefoot remains have afforded the opportunity to assess relative proportions across the forefoot of fossil hominins and illuminated the need for data on relative loading across the forefoot in extant hominoids...
August 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28680931/the-use-of-fire-and-human-distribution
#13
REVIEW
Katharine MacDonald
Humans today live in a wide range of environments from the iciest to the hottest, thanks to diverse cultural solutions that buffer temperature extremes. The prehistory of this relationship between human distribution, cultural solutions and temperature conditions may help us to understand the evolution of human biological adaptations to cold temperature. Fire has long been seen as an important factor in human evolution and range expansion, particularly into temperate latitudes. Nevertheless, the earliest evidence for hominin presence in Eurasia, and middle latitudes in northern Europe, substantially predates convincing evidence for fire use in these regions...
2017: Temperature: Multidisciplinary Biomedical Journal
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28675384/deeply-divergent-archaic-mitochondrial-genome-provides-lower-time-boundary-for-african-gene-flow-into-neanderthals
#14
Cosimo Posth, Christoph Wißing, Keiko Kitagawa, Luca Pagani, Laura van Holstein, Fernando Racimo, Kurt Wehrberger, Nicholas J Conard, Claus Joachim Kind, Hervé Bocherens, Johannes Krause
Ancient DNA is revealing new insights into the genetic relationship between Pleistocene hominins and modern humans. Nuclear DNA indicated Neanderthals as a sister group of Denisovans after diverging from modern humans. However, the closer affinity of the Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to modern humans than Denisovans has recently been suggested as the result of gene flow from an African source into Neanderthals before 100,000 years ago. Here we report the complete mtDNA of an archaic femur from the Hohlenstein-Stadel (HST) cave in southwestern Germany...
July 4, 2017: Nature Communications
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28652366/aridity-and-hominin-environments
#15
Scott A Blumenthal, Naomi E Levin, Francis H Brown, Jean-Philip Brugal, Kendra L Chritz, John M Harris, Glynis E Jehle, Thure E Cerling
Aridification is often considered a major driver of long-term ecological change and hominin evolution in eastern Africa during the Plio-Pleistocene; however, this hypothesis remains inadequately tested owing to difficulties in reconstructing terrestrial paleoclimate. We present a revised aridity index for quantifying water deficit (WD) in terrestrial environments using tooth enamel δ(18)O values, and use this approach to address paleoaridity over the past 4.4 million years in eastern Africa. We find no long-term trend in WD, consistent with other terrestrial climate indicators in the Omo-Turkana Basin, and no relationship between paleoaridity and herbivore paleodiet structure among fossil collections meeting the criteria for WD estimation...
July 11, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28652350/chimpanzee-super-strength-and-human-skeletal-muscle-evolution
#16
Matthew C O'Neill, Brian R Umberger, Nicholas B Holowka, Susan G Larson, Peter J Reiser
Since at least the 1920s, it has been reported that common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) differ from humans in being capable of exceptional feats of "super strength," both in the wild and in captive environments. A mix of anecdotal and more controlled studies provides some support for this view; however, a critical review of available data suggests that chimpanzee mass-specific muscular performance is a more modest 1.5 times greater than humans on average. Hypotheses for the muscular basis of this performance differential have included greater isometric force-generating capabilities, faster maximum shortening velocities, and/or a difference in myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform content in chimpanzee relative to human skeletal muscle...
July 11, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637851/island-rule-quantitative-genetics-and-brain-body-size-evolution-in-homo-floresiensis
#17
José Alexandre Felizola Diniz-Filho, Pasquale Raia
Colonization of islands often activate a complex chain of adaptive events that, over a relatively short evolutionary time, may drive strong shifts in body size, a pattern known as the Island Rule. It is arguably difficult to perform a direct analysis of the natural selection forces behind such a change in body size. Here, we used quantitative evolutionary genetic models, coupled with simulations and pattern-oriented modelling, to analyse the evolution of brain and body size in Homo floresiensis, a diminutive hominin species that appeared around 700 kya and survived up to relatively recent times (60-90 kya) on Flores Island, Indonesia...
June 28, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28633035/economy-and-endurance-in-human-evolution
#18
REVIEW
Herman Pontzer
The evolutionary pressures shaping humans' unique bipedal locomotion have been a focus of research since Darwin, but the origins of humans' economical walking gait and endurance running capabilities remain unclear. Here, I review the anatomical and physiological determinants of locomotor economy (e.g., limb length and posture) and endurance (e.g., muscle volume and fiber type) and investigate their development in the hominin fossil record. The earliest hominins were bipedal but retained ape-like features in the hind limb that would have limited their walking economy compared to living humans...
June 19, 2017: Current Biology: CB
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28627781/retraction-early-hominin-biogeography-in-island-southeast-asia-by-roy-larick-and-russell-l-ciochon
#19
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 2017: Evolutionary Anthropology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28622934/selection-to-outsmart-the-germs-the-evolution-of-disease-recognition-and-social-cognition
#20
Sharon E Kessler, Tyler R Bonnell, Richard W Byrne, Colin A Chapman
The emergence of providing care to diseased conspecifics must have been a turning point during the evolution of hominin sociality. On a population level, care may have minimized the costs of socially transmitted diseases at a time of increasing social complexity, although individual care-givers probably incurred increased transmission risks. We propose that care-giving likely originated within kin networks, where the costs may have been balanced by fitness increases obtained through caring for ill kin. We test a novel hypothesis of hominin cognitive evolution in which disease may have selected for the cognitive ability to recognize when a conspecific is infected...
July 2017: Journal of Human Evolution
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