Know Your Hominin: A. L. 822-1

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.

Changing Views on Australopithecus afarensis

The other day I stumbled across an interesting article by Kimbel and Delezene, published last year in the Yearbook of Physical Anthropology, called ‘‘Lucy’’ Redux: A Review of Research on Australopithecus afarensis. I’m just now getting around to reading it and one paragraph jumped out at me: Continue reading

Some Random Thoughts About Australopithecus sediba

I am going to be very busy today so I won’t get an in depth post up on Australopithecus sediba until tomorrow. In the meantime three items jumped out at me so I thought I would, briefly, mention them.

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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).

The Diet of Australopithecus afarensis

PhysOrg.Com has an interesting item on research presented to the Royal Society on October 20th. The research concerns microwear analysis on australopithecine teeth. The research specifically focuses on Australopithecus afarensis (woohoo, take that Ardipithecus)

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Interesting Fossil Pictures: Australopithecus afarensis

AL 288-1 casts a large shadow. The fact that such a large percentage of Lucy’s skeleton was recovered has overshadowed – at least in the public’s mind – that fact that a wide variety of fossil material was recovered at Hadar.

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Rak and Australopithecus afarensis: A Second Look

Back in April of 2007 I wrote a brief post on a paper by Rak, Ginzberg, and Geffin. I had meant to write a more in depth post about it but kept procrastinating.

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