New Date on Sahelanthropus tchadensis and Australopithecus bahrelghazali

A new article in PNAS discusses the use of a new dating technique that has been used to come up with a new date for Sahelanthropus tchadensis and a specimen of Australopithecus bahrelghazali. The new method dates Sahelanthropus tchadensis to around 6.8-7.2 MYA, while the Australopithecus bahrelghazali specimen is dated to around 3.58 MYA.

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Lemurs! The Evil Greg Laden Beat Me To The Lemurs

Greg scooped me on the lemur research but that’s okay because I beat him to the gorilla sex story. So, what is the story about?

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The Chimps Continue to Construct a New Niche

Or maybe they are just being observed filling their old niche more frequently. At any rate, the chimps I have blogged about here and here are in the news again. There is not much to report, other than that the use of spears in hunting continues to grow:

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Oops! Manco Pata is a Natural Formation

And not the lost city of Paititi. According to National Geographic Peruvian archaeologists have examined the site. Findings include:

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Personology is for Crackpots

Steve has taken time off from getting the new blog ready to bring us news of some credulous reporting on CNN. The reporting concerns some new woo called “Personology” which seeks to determine personality based on various measures of the face and hair. Forensic anthropology and bioarchaeology are concerned with looking at skeletal variation through time and across space so research in these areas are relevant to the claims of personology. Before going further, let’s look at some of the claims of personology.

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Saturday Know Your Primate: Hapalemur griseus

Order: Primates
Suborder: Strepsirrhini
Family: Lemuridae
Genus: Hapalemur
Species: Hapalemur griseus
Common: Gentle Bamboo Lemur
According to Walker’s Primates of the World there are three species in the genus Hapalemur, however the ADW lists four.

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Chimps, Dirt, and Malaria

National Geographic is reporting on an interesting story about self medicating by eating dirt. Chimps in Uganda’s Kibale National Park have been observed eating dirt. Not just any dirt, though, but a type rich in kaolinite:

Experts had previously suggested that chimps ate the fine-grained clay to help ward off intestinal ailments or to obtain added minerals in their diet.

Recent research published in Naturwissenschaften suggests a different reason. Chimps also eat Trichilia rubescens. What happens when the two are combined is quite interesting.

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