Know Your Primate: Anoiapithecus brevirostris

Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorrhini
Family: Hominidae
Subfamily: incertae sedis
Tribe: Dryopithecini
Genus: Anoiapithecus
Species: Anoiapithecus brevirostris

I have chosen Anoiapithecus brevirostris for this week’s “know Your Primate” because a paper on it has recently been published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The paper, by Alba, Fortuny, and Moya-Sola, looks at enamel thickness in Anoiapithecus brevirostris, Pierolapithecus catalaunicus, and Dryopithecus fontani.
I”l have more about the paper later in the week. Continue reading

New Innovation in Carbon Dating

According to Science Daily a new innovation in radiocarbon dating – or an extension of a previous method is being presented at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

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Begging for an Article

Can someone send me the article below:

The complete mitochondrial DNA genome of an unknown hominin from southern Siberia
doi:10.1038/nature08976
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature08976.html

Here is the abstract:

With the exception of Neanderthals, from which DNA sequences of numerous individuals have now been determined1, the number and genetic relationships of other hominin lineages are largely unknown. Here we report a complete mitochondrial (mt) DNA sequence retrieved from a bone excavated in 2008 in Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains in southern Siberia. It represents a hitherto unknown type of hominin mtDNA that shares a common ancestor with anatomically modern human and Neanderthal mtDNAs about 1.0 million years ago. This indicates that it derives from a hominin migration out of Africa distinct from that of the ancestors of Neanderthals and of modern humans. The stratigraphy of the cave where the bone was found suggests that the Denisova hominin lived close in time and space with Neanderthals as well as with modern humans

Insteresting stuff, but not the only interesting new article out…

Things You Would Like To See

Science Daily has an item concerning the Laetoli foot print study in PLoS One. One bit stands out:

The subjects walked both with normal, erect human gaits and then with crouched, chimpanzee-like gaits.

Film of the latter would be interesting – lord knows we were disappointed with last year’s Ardipithecus special on that score… Speaking of, why is the idea that some of our ancestors were bipedal on the ground but still spent a lot of time in the trees news?

And then there is this (also from Science Daily):

This morphology differs distinctly from our own genus, Homo, who abandoned arboreal life around 2 million years ago and irrevocably committed to human-like bipedalism.

I guess Homo habilis don’t count, eh? I hope the PLoS One article is better (I haven’t read it yet).

Is Genetics and Archaeology a Replay of Genes vs Morphology?

I’m a bit under the weather with some kind of icky cold/sinus thing so I haven’t been writing much and when I do feel up to it I will have a lot to write about. I couldn’t pass up the chance to mention this post on genetics and archaeology by Hawks. It is very interesting…

Know Your Primate: Pongo abelii

Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorrhini
Family: Hominidae
Genus: Pongo
Species: Pongo abelii
Common Name: Sumatran Orangutan

The sumatran orang lives, obviously, in Sumatra – they are an endemic species. According several genetic analysis the Sumatran and Bornean populations diverged from each other about 1.5-1.7 MYA. They are largely frugivorous and spend most of their time in trees. On the ground they are quadrupedal. Unlike the chimpanzee, bonobo, and gorilla, they are not knuckle walkers they use their fist. Males tend to be solitary.

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NPR Science Friday: Update

As I have previously mentioned NPR’s Science Friday is coming to St. Louis on March 12th. Last I heard tickets were all spoken for but earlier this week a pair of tickets arrived in the mail. So, Mrs. afarensis and I will be attending.

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