Know Your Hominin: Sambungmacan 3

Sambungmacan 3 was discovered in 1977 and spent some time on the antiquities market, eventually ending up in New York, where its importance was realized. It has since been returned to Indonesia. It is attributed to Homo erectus and may be the skull of a female.

Source: Delson et al (2001) The Sambungmacan 3 Homo erectus Calvaria: A Comparative Morphometric and Morphological Analysis

For Further Reading:
Broadfield et al (2001) Endocast of Sambungmacan 3 (Sm 3): A new Homo erectus from Indonesia. The Anatomical Record 262:369-379

Delson et al (2001) The Sambungmacan 3 Homo erectus Calvaria: A Comparative Morphometric and Morphological Analysis. The Anatomical Record 262:380-397

Laitman and Tattersall (2001) Homo erectus newyorkensis: An Indonesian fossil rediscovered in Manhattan sheds light on the middle phase of human evolution. The Anatomical Record 262:341-343

Marquez et al (2001) New Fossil Hominid Calvaria From Indonesia—Sambungmacan 3. The Anatomical Record 262:344–368

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.

Know Your Hominin: Stw 53

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:
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A New Study on Homo floresiensis

Nature News mentions a new study on Homo floresiensis that concludes that the fossil is that of a microcephalic modern human. The study is actually published in PNAS (and if someone could send me a copy I would appreciate it – my email is in the about tab). Continue reading

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

Was Australopithecus anamensis  Arboreal?

That is the question asked by a recemt paper in Folia Primatologica. I don’t have access but Discovery News has the story. Apparently, the researchers analyzed the capitates of a number of hominoids and hominins. According to Discovery News: Continue reading

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

Neanderthal and Human Brain Growth

I was hoping to have a more in depth post on this for the upcoming edition of the Four Stone Hearth but I am not going to get it finished in time. Here is the short version.

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Rickets, Neanderthals, And Lubenow: Part Two

In the previous post in this series I looked at vitamin D metabolism and the effects of vitamin D deficiency on the skeleton. So, lets talk about Lubenow and Neanderthals. Lubenows discussion of Neanderthals and rickets occurs in chapter 14. He begins the chapter by invoking the Genesis flood to explain the ice ages, which only lasted, according to Lubenow, for 700 years (give or take). Continue reading

Rickets, Neanderthals, And Lubenow: Part One

I have mentioned previously that I was reading Lubenow’s Bones of Contention. In this post I would like to focus on Lubenow’s understanding of rickets and Neanderthal morphology. In order to discuss that I first need to discuss vitamin D deficiency Continue reading