Posted on April 11, 2013 by Timothy, FCD
Posted on June 27, 2012 by Timothy, FCD
The answer may surprise you, or not. A new paper in Nature provides some insight into Australopithecus sediba’s diet. I don’t have access to Nature but Science Daily has the press release where we learn:
The researchers concluded from their scientific tests that bark and other fracture-resistant foods were at least a seasonal part of the A. sediba diet. While bark and woody tissues had not been previously documented as a dietary component of any other ancient African hominids, such foods are consumed by many contemporary primates and contain both protein and soluble sugars. The diet of A. sediba may have been similar to that of today’s African savanna chimpanzees, Sandberg said.
Researchers performed stable isotope analysis, analyzed phytoliths trapped in dental plaque, and examined microwear on the teeth of Au. sediba to arrive at those conclusions. I have to agree with Matt Sponheimer on this:
“What fascinates me is that these individuals are oddballs,” said CU-Boulder’s Sponheimer. “I had pretty much convinced myself that after four million years ago most of our hominid kin had diets that were different from living apes, but now I am not so sure. And while our sample is too small to be conclusive, the rate at which Malapa is spewing hominid fossils makes me reasonably certain we won’t have to wait another two million years to augment our data set. “
As mentioned above I don’t have access to Nature so can some one send me a copy of the article? My email address is on the “about” tab and the article can be found at DOI: 10.1038/nature11185.
Filed under: Australopithecus sediba | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 29, 2012 by Timothy, FCD
A recent article in PNAS looks at the metopic suture on the Taung endocast. Before discussing the article a few words are in order about the frontal bone. Continue reading
Filed under: Australopithecus, Australopithecus africanus, Paleoanthropology | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 29, 2012 by Timothy, FCD
The fact that two species of Australopithecus coexisted, more or less, in South Africa has been known for years. One of the more interesting South African specimens (Stw 573) is dated to somewhere between 3.5 and 3 million years. It has a divergent big toe. As does a new partial foot found in East Africa. The foot is somewhere around 3.46 MYA. Only a partial foot was found so the specimen has not been attributed to a species. The find is reported in Nature.
I don’t have access to Nature, and would be grateful if someone could send me a copy of the article. I have the paper now, thanks!
Filed under: Australopithecus | Comments Off
Posted on February 21, 2012 by Timothy, FCD
Can someone with access send me the following articles:
A critical analysis of claims for the existence of Southeast Asian australopithecines, Journal of Human Evolution Volume 26, Issue 1, Pages 3–21 http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/jhev.1994.1002
Meganthropus, australopithecines and hominids, American Journal of Physical Anthropology Volume 11, Issue 1, pages 1–38, DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.1330110112
Further remarks on the relationship between “Meganthropus” and australopithecines, American Journal of Physical Anthropology Volume 13, Issue 3, pages 429–445, DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.1330130304
My email address is on the about page. Continue reading
Filed under: Australopithecus, Homo habilis, Paleoanthropology | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 6, 2011 by Timothy, FCD
A. L. 822-1 was discovered in 2000 at Hadar, Ethipia. It is attributed to Australopithecus afarensis and is, at the time of discovery, the only complete skull of a female A. afarensis. The skull dates to approximately 3.1 MYA and is one of three that preserves both a cranium and a mandible (the others being A.L. 444-2 and A.L. 417-1).
Kimbel and Rak (2010) The cranial base of Australopithecus afarensis: new insights from the female skull. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 2010 365, 3365-3376, doi: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0070
Kimbel (2009) Australopithecus afarensis and the Mosaic Evolution of the Hominin Cranial Base. Note: This is an audio presentation given at a seminar hosted by the Royal Society in 2009.
Filed under: Australopithecina, Australopithecus, Australopithecus afarensis, Hominini, Know Your Hominin | Tagged: Australopithecus afarensis | Comments Off
Posted on October 24, 2011 by Timothy, FCD
I am starting a new series, similar to “know Your Primate” – which will continue – on hominins. The difference, besides subject matter, will be that instead of discussing species I’ll be posting pictures of individual fossils with some additional commentary as the mood strikes me. First up is Stw 53 from Sterfontein. Stw 53 was discovered in 1976 by Alan Hughes and has been at the heart of debates over South African hominin variability. So much so that last year Curnoe used it as the holotype of a new species. The question of how many species are represented in the South African fossil record is something I am becoming interested in, so I will be taking a more in depth look at the question over the coming months. In the meantime, here is Stw 53:
Filed under: Australopithecus, Homo gautengensis, Know Your Hominin | Comments Off