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).

Ardipithecus ramidus At The Panda’s Thumb

I have the first, of several, posts up on Ardipithecus ramidus at The Panda’s Thumb. It covers the geological, enivonmental, and taphonomic background. I hope you like it, it is my first contribution to PT – other than the links page (I am in charge of the links page at PT so if you know of any good sites not listed let me know).

This video has an interesting glimpse into how the environment was reconstructed:

Also, early in the video you can see one of the “crawls” in progress…

Ardipithecus and Glynn Isaac

So I’m reading all the material on Ardipithecus ramidus when I got to the paper on macrovertebrates. It is interesting, but most of the way through I kept thinking of a paper by Glynn Isaac called Stone Age visiting cards: approaches to the study of early land use patterns. It’s not cited in any of the Ardipithecus papers – though it should have been…

Happy Fifth Blogiversary To Me

Yup, five years ago today I wrote my first post. It is kind of hard to believe that I have been around doing this for that long and I am starting to feel like one of the senior citizens in the science blogosphere – but there are others that have been around longer. I had planned on doing a longish, retrospective style post, but that evil Tim White and company just released a bunch of papers on Ardipithecus ramidus which is way more interesting than me waxing nostalgic about the past and hollering at the young punk kids to get off my grass. With that in mind, I’ll probably be blogging about each of the papers in turn – there are a bunch of them (plus a ton of supplementary material).

To all my readers, to all the people who have sent me articles, and to those who have, at one time or another, given me support – mental , scientific, and financial – I would like to say a big