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Berlin Brandenburg

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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Science (New York, N.Y.), 09 September 2011, Vol.333(6048), pp.1411-7
    Description: Hand bones from a single individual with a clear taxonomic affiliation are scarce in the hominin fossil record, which has hampered understanding the evolution of manipulative abilities in hominins. Here we describe and analyze a nearly complete wrist and hand of an adult female [Malapa Hominin 2 (MH2)] Australopithecus sediba from Malapa, South Africa (1.977 million years ago). The hand presents a suite of Australopithecus-like features, such as a strong flexor apparatus associated with arboreal locomotion, and Homo-like features, such as a long thumb and short fingers associated with precision gripping and possibly stone tool production. Comparisons to other fossil hominins suggest that there were at least two distinct hand morphotypes around the Plio-Pleistocene transition. The MH2 fossils suggest that Au. sediba may represent a basal condition associated with early stone tool use and production.
    Keywords: Biological Evolution ; Fossils ; Hand -- Anatomy & Histology ; Hand Bones -- Anatomy & Histology ; Hominidae -- Anatomy & Histology
    ISSN: 00368075
    E-ISSN: 1095-9203
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Nature, July 30, 2015, Vol.523(7562), p.531(1)
    Keywords: Fossil Hominids -- Study And Teaching
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    E-ISSN: 14764687
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Science (New York, N.Y.), 09 September 2011, Vol.333(6048), pp.1417-20
    Description: A well-preserved and articulated partial foot and ankle of Australopithecus sediba, including an associated complete adult distal tibia, talus, and calcaneus, have been discovered at the Malapa site, South Africa, and reported in direct association with the female paratype Malapa Hominin 2. These fossils reveal a mosaic of primitive and derived features that are distinct from those seen in other hominins. The ankle (talocrural) joint is mostly humanlike in form and inferred function, and there is some evidence for a humanlike arch and Achilles tendon. However, Au. sediba is apelike in possessing a more gracile calcaneal body and a more robust medial malleolus than expected. These observations suggest, if present models of foot function are correct, that Au. sediba may have practiced a unique form of bipedalism and some degree of arboreality. Given the combination of features in the Au. sediba foot, as well as comparisons between Au. sediba and older hominins, homoplasy is implied in the acquisition of bipedal adaptations in the hominin foot.
    Keywords: Fossils ; Ankle -- Anatomy & Histology ; Foot -- Anatomy & Histology ; Foot Bones -- Anatomy & Histology ; Hominidae -- Anatomy & Histology ; Tarsal Bones -- Anatomy & Histology
    ISSN: 00368075
    E-ISSN: 1095-9203
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Science (New York, N.Y.), 09 September 2011, Vol.333(6048), pp.1402-7
    Description: The virtual endocast of MH1 (Australopithecus sediba), obtained from high-quality synchrotron scanning, reveals generally australopith-like convolutional patterns on the frontal lobes but also some foreshadowing of features of the human frontal lobes, such as posterior repositioning of the olfactory bulbs. Principal component analysis of orbitofrontal dimensions on australopith endocasts (MH1, Sts 5, and Sts 60) indicates that among these, MH1 orbitofrontal shape and organization align most closely with human endocasts. These results are consistent with gradual neural reorganization of the orbitofrontal region in the transition from Australopithecus to Homo, but given the small volume of the MH1 endocast, they are not consistent with gradual brain enlargement before the transition.
    Keywords: Biological Evolution ; Fossils ; Brain -- Anatomy & Histology ; Frontal Lobe -- Anatomy & Histology ; Hominidae -- Anatomy & Histology
    ISSN: 00368075
    E-ISSN: 1095-9203
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Science, Sept 9, 2011, Vol.333(6048), p.1407(5)
    Description: The fossil record of the hominin pelvis reflects important evolutionary changes in locomotion and parturition. The partial pelves of two individuals of Australopithecus sediba were reconstructed from previously reported finds and new material These remains share some features with australopiths, such as large biacetabular diameter, small sacral and coxal joints, and long pubic rami. The specimens also share derived features with Homo, including more vertically oriented and sigmoid-shaped iliac blades, greater robusticity of the iliac body, sinusoidal anterior iliac borders, shortened ischia, and more superiorly oriented pubic rami. These derived features appear in a species with a small adult brain size, suggesting that the birthing of larger-brained babies was not driving the evolution of the pelvis at this time. 10.1126/science.1202521
    Keywords: Fossil Hominids -- Models ; Pelvis -- Physiological Aspects ; Hip -- Physiological Aspects
    ISSN: 0036-8075
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Science (New York, N.Y.), 09 September 2011, Vol.333(6048), pp.1421-3
    Description: Newly exposed cave sediments at the Malapa site include a flowstone layer capping the sedimentary unit containing the Australopithecus sediba fossils. Uranium-lead dating of the flowstone, combined with paleomagnetic and stratigraphic analysis of the flowstone and underlying sediments, provides a tightly constrained date of 1.977 ± 0.002 million years ago (Ma) for these fossils. This refined dating suggests that Au. sediba from Malapa predates the earliest uncontested evidence for Homo in Africa.
    Keywords: Fossils ; Geologic Sediments ; Hominidae
    ISSN: 00368075
    E-ISSN: 1095-9203
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Science (New York, N.Y.), 09 April 2010, Vol.328(5975), pp.195-204
    Description: Despite a rich African Plio-Pleistocene hominin fossil record, the ancestry of Homo and its relation to earlier australopithecines remain unresolved. Here we report on two partial skeletons with an age of 1.95 to 1.78 million years. The fossils were encased in cave deposits at the Malapa site in South Africa. The skeletons were found close together and are directly associated with craniodental remains. Together they represent a new species of Australopithecus that is probably descended from Australopithecus africanus. Combined craniodental and postcranial evidence demonstrates that this new species shares more derived features with early Homo than any other australopith species and thus might help reveal the ancestor of that genus.
    Keywords: Fossils ; Hominidae -- Classification
    ISSN: 00368075
    E-ISSN: 1095-9203
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  • 8
    In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology, May 2018, Vol.166(1), pp.228-235
    Description: Objectives A recent study of dental chipping suggested that Homo naledi teeth were exposed to “acute trauma” on a regular basis during life, presumably from the consumption of grit‐laden foods. This follows debate concerning the etiology of dental chips in South African hominin teeth that dates back more than half a century. Some have argued that antemortem chips result from consumption of hard foods, such as nuts and seeds or bone, whereas others have claimed that exogenous grit on roots and tubers are responsible. Here we examine the dental microwear textures of H. naledi, both to reconstruct aspects of diet of these hominins and to assess the possibility that hard foods (gritty or otherwise) are the culprits for the unusually high antemortem chip incidence reported. Methods We made high‐resolution replicas of original molars and found that ten individuals preserve antemortem wear. These were scanned by white‐light scanning confocal profilometry and analyzed using scale‐sensitive fractal analysis. Resulting data were compared with those published for other fossil hominins and extant non‐human primates. Results Our results indicate that H. naledi had complex microwear textures dominated by large, deep pits. The only known fossil hominin with higher average texture complexity is Paranthropus robustus, and the closest extant primates in a comparative baseline series appear to be the hard‐object feeder, Cercocebus atys, and the eurytopic generalist, Papio ursinus. Conclusions This study suggests that H. naledi likely consumed hard and abrasive foods, such as nuts or tubers, at least on occasion, and that these might well be responsible for the pattern of chipping observed on their teeth.
    Keywords: Feeding Ecology ; Hominin ; Tooth Wear
    ISSN: 0002-9483
    E-ISSN: 1096-8644
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Science (New York, N.Y.), 09 September 2011, Vol.333(6048), pp.1407-11
    Description: The fossil record of the hominin pelvis reflects important evolutionary changes in locomotion and parturition. The partial pelves of two individuals of Australopithecus sediba were reconstructed from previously reported finds and new material. These remains share some features with australopiths, such as large biacetabular diameter, small sacral and coxal joints, and long pubic rami. The specimens also share derived features with Homo, including more vertically oriented and sigmoid-shaped iliac blades, greater robusticity of the iliac body, sinusoidal anterior iliac borders, shortened ischia, and more superiorly oriented pubic rami. These derived features appear in a species with a small adult brain size, suggesting that the birthing of larger-brained babies was not driving the evolution of the pelvis at this time.
    Keywords: Fossils ; Hominidae -- Anatomy & Histology ; Pelvic Bones -- Anatomy & Histology ; Pelvis -- Anatomy & Histology
    ISSN: 00368075
    E-ISSN: 1095-9203
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2015, Vol.10(12), p.e0145340
    Description: In the South African context, computed tomography (CT) has been used applied to individually prepared fossils and small rocks containing fossils, but has not been utilized on large breccia blocks as a means of discovering fossils, and particularly fossil hominins. Previous attempts at CT imaging of rocks from other South African sites for this purpose yielded disappointing results. For this study, 109 fossil- bearing rocks from the site of Malapa, South Africa were scanned with medical CT prior to manual preparation. The resultant images were assessed for accuracy of fossil identification and characterization against the standard of manual preparation. The accurate identification of fossils, including those of early hominins, that were not visible on the surface of individual blocks, is shown to be possible. The discovery of unexpected fossils is reduced, thus lowering the potential that fossils could be damaged through accidental encounter during routine preparation, or even entirely missed. This study should significantly change the way fossil discovery, recovery and preparation is done in the South African context and has potential for application in other palaeontological situations. Medical CT imaging is shown to be reliable, readily available, cost effective and accurate in finding fossils within matrix conglomerates. Improvements in CT equipment and in CT image quality are such that medical CT is now a viable imaging modality for this palaeontological application.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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