The Dispersal of Homo sapiens in Europe

Nature has two papers relating to the dispersal of Homo sapiens in Europe. The first, by Higham et al provides new dates on KC4 (Kent’s Cavern), a maxilla fragment attributed to Homo sapiens. The new dates (44.2 – 41.5 kyr cal BP) make KC4 contemporary with late European Neanderthals. The Higham et al article also rexamines the morphology of KC4 and confirms that it is Homo sapiens. Continue reading

Hyena Coprolites And Hominin Hair

National Geographic has an interesting story on hair found in hyena coprolites. The coprolites were in strata that date to about 195,000-257,000 years ago.

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Rak and Australopithecus afarensis: A Second Look

Back in April of 2007 I wrote a brief post on a paper by Rak, Ginzberg, and Geffin. I had meant to write a more in depth post about it but kept procrastinating.

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Von Economo Neurons and Hominoids

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I would have more to say about primates, brain evolution, and life history. I still plan on exploring that in future posts, but wanted to mention this interesting item that deserves a post of its own.

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Chimp and Human Genome Compared and Other Interesting Evolution Stories

The chimp and human genomes are being compared in two articles that came out today.

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Skull Fragments: A Frontal From Mongolia

It was published last month in C. R. Palevol 7 (2008) 51-60.

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What You Can Learn From Bones: When Did We Start Wearing Shoes?

ResearchBlogging.orgBioarchaeologists and paleoanthropologists draw on a wide variety of methods in order to analyze bone. The exact technique depends upon the problem being addressed. One technique, associated mainly with Christopher Ruff, that has been around since the late 1970’s involves the use of beam model analysis. In beam model analysis cross sections of bone, perpendicular to the long axis, are taken and the distribution of bone is analyzed. Based on the measures derived from the analysis the mechanical properties of the bone can be determined, and this in turn can be related to locomotion, changes in subsistence strategy, sexual dimorphism, and various temporal trends (among other things). This post is concerned with the analysis of temporal trends, in particular, with the effects of shoe wearing on pedal morphology.

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