Begging for Articles: Australopithecus sediba

Can someone send me the Australopithecus sediba papers that are published in the current issue of Science? links are below

The Vertebral Column of Australopithecus sediba

The Lower Limb and Mechanics of Walking in Australopithecus sediba

The Upper Limb of Australopithecus sediba

Mosaic Morphology in the Thorax of Australopithecus sediba

Mandibular Remains Support Taxonomic Validity of Australopithecus sediba

Dental Morphology and the Phylogenetic “Place” of Australopithecus sediba
I have them now, thanks!
My email address is on the “About” tab.

What Did Australopithecus sediba Eat?

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.

Australopithecus sediba in the news

There are a couple of news articles on Australopithecus sediba. The first, at Science News concerns a presentation by Darryl de Ruiter at the AAPA meetings. Continue reading

Can’t Get Enough Australopithecus sediba

I’ll have something up tonight, but in the meantime Jim Kidder has a ton of articles on the subject. Check them out.
Also Zimmer, Hawks, and Laelaps

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.

Continue reading

Australopithecus sediba: Was the Embargo Broken

I will have more to say about the find itself this evening (hopefully), in the meantime time there have been more than a few accusations of someone breaking the embargo on the story. Ivan Oransky at Embargo Watch looks at the issue. Turns out it was a case of a reporter doing some interesting detective work and scooping the competition. The reporter in question emailed Ivan Oransky and I would like to quote one small part of it – a part that raises some profound questions about science journals and the embargo process:

We did not receive any embargoed press releases on this paper or the find until Monday morning and gathered information about the story in a perfectly reasonable journalistic manner. On Saturday evening I also checked to see if there were any embargoed press releases on Eurekalert and could find none.

Can this be an embargo break if no official embargo has been issued?

Should Science be able to put an embargo on information that has not come from them and has been obtained from other sources? [bolding mine - afarensis]

Does this mean that if I speak to any scientist who is hoping to have a paper in Science in the future, then I am prevented from publishing anything about this until it appears in Science?

The bolded question is , IMHO, incredibly important. I would say that, no Science does not have that right nor should they. But that is just me and I could be wrong.

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