Interesting Anthropology News and Other Stuff

The other day when I said blogging would be light I had the best of intentions, but like when Bill Dembski shouts”Waterloo” reality has conspired against me. The intertubewebnet thingy has thrown some interesting stories up into the cybersphere.


Science Daily reports on a new study, appearing in the Journal of Human Evolution on the hand bones of a fossil lemur (Hadropithecus stenognathus to be exact). From Science Daily:
An examination of the five tiny hand bones by Lemelin and the rest of the research team revealed a never-before-seen hand joint configuration on the side of the little finger. The same joint configuration is straight in all other primates, including Archaeolemur, a close extinct relative of Hadropithecus.

“Our analysis showed a mosaic of lemurid-like, monkey-like and very unique morphological traits,” Lemelin said. “Because the joint was present on both hands, it’s likely not an anomaly, but because there are no other Hadropithecus hand bones for comparison, we don’t know for certain,” Lemelin said. “It is a mystery, and further investigation is needed to explain the difference in this species.”

(The entire issue is filled with interesting research, and I should also mention that the previous issue is entirely open access)
Science Daily also reports on research, to be published in Science, that dates the migration of Native Americans from Alaska into the rest of the Americas at around 15,000 years ago or earlier. From Science Daily:

Previous theories stated that the first migrants spread from Beringia to Tierra del Fuego over a few centuries about. Goebel says scientists have concluded that the peopling of America was a much more complex process.
The team focused primarily on molecular genetic, archaeological and human skeletal evidence to create a working model that explains the dispersal of modern humans across the New World.

Which sounds similar to the focus of the recent PLoS One paper on the three stage colonization model. The research was conducted by researchers at the Center for The Study of the First Americans.
Tim at Remote Central has an excellent write up.
(P.S. if someone could send me a copy of the paper I would appreciate it)
Nichollsia borealis is a new, recently discovered, species of plesiosaur – and one of the most complete found. You can see some pictures here.

One Response

  1. Yes, you beat me this time!

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