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).

Know Your Anthropology Literature: Ecobotanical Contexts for African Hominids

Ecobotanical Contexts for African Hominids, by O’Brien and Peters, was published in a book edited by J. Desmond Clark entitled Cultural Beginnings: Approaches to Understanding Early Hominid Life-Ways in the African Savanna.
O’Brien and Peters describe the work they are doing on a project called “Survey of the Wild Edible Plants of Africa”. The point of the survey is to assemble as much information as possible on plant species used by baboons, chimpanzees, and humans in Africa. The eventual inclusion of plants used by gorillas was also mentioned.

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