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Sample records for homo erectus fossils

  1. Homo erectus in Salkhit, Mongolia?

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang-Hee

    2015-08-01

    In 2006, a skullcap was discovered in Salkhit, Mongolia. The Salkhit skullcap has a mostly complete frontal, two partially complete parietals, and nasals. No chronometric dating has been published yet, and suggested dates range from early Middle Pleistocene to terminal Late Pleistocene. While no chronometric date has been published, the presence of archaic features has led to a potential affiliation with archaic hominin species. If it is indeed Homo erectus or archaic Homo sapiens, Salkhit implies a much earlier spread of hominins farther north and inland Asia than previously thought. In this paper, the nature of the archaic features in Salkhit is investigated. The Salkhit skullcap morphology and metrics were compared with Middle and Late Pleistocene hominin fossils from northeast Asia: Zhoukoudian Locality 1, Dali, and Zhoukoudian Upper Cave. Results show an interesting pattern: on one hand, the archaic features that Salkhit shares with the Zhoukoudian Locality 1 sample also are shared with other later hominins; on the other hand, Salkhit is different from the Middle Pleistocene materials in the same way later hominins differ from the Middle Pleistocene sample, in having a broader frontal and thinner supraorbital region. This may reflect encephalization and gracilization, a modernization trend found in many places. It is concluded that the archaic features observed in Salkhit are regionally predominant features rather than diagnostic features of an archaic species. PMID:25813423

  2. New magnetostratigraphic dates of Lantian Homo erectus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhisheng, An; Kun, Ho Chuan

    1989-09-01

    Skeletal remains of Homo erectus found in Pleistocene loess at two sites near Lantian in central China are of greatly different geologic age. The cranium found in the fossil-bearing strata at Gongwangling is about 1.15 myr old whereas the remains found at the Chenjiawo locality in middle Pleistocene loess are about 0.65 myr old. The dating is based on new paleomagnetic polarity determinations and on the lithostratigraphic position of the fossils in the loess-paleosol sequence. Our results confirm that both localities are older than the first occupation of Zhoukoudian. New dates, palaeoenvironmental settings, and morphological features of the hominids from Lantian localities have significant bearing on the understanding of adaptive radiations of the middle and late hominids in Asia.

  3. The larger mammal fossil assemblage from JK2, Bed III, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania: implications for the feeding behavior of Homo erectus.

    PubMed

    Pante, Michael C

    2013-01-01

    Little is known about the type and amount of animal proteins consumed by Homo erectus, a species distinguished from its predecessors by more human-like brain and body proportions and its association with more advanced stone tool technology. Here I present an interpretation of the feeding behavior of African H. erectus based upon the first taphonomic analysis of the larger mammal fossil assemblage from the JK2 site, Bed III, Olduvai Gorge. Results indicate that both hominins and carnivores consumed some flesh and bone marrow at the site. A low incidence of percussion marking suggests hominins did not break all long bones in the assemblage. Relatively high carnivore tooth mark frequencies and low cut mark frequencies independently suggest that both hominins and carnivores had access to flesh, while specimens that are both tooth- and butchery-marked demonstrate occasional hominin and carnivore feeding from the same carcass. Together, the bone surface modification data suggest a mixed and possibly time-averaged taphonomic history for the assemblage with at least some carcasses accessed by hominins early in the consumption sequence and others only by carnivores. The results for the JK2 assemblage contribute to a growing literature concerning the feeding behavior of African H. erectus, a species that appears to have relied on carcass foods to meet some of the nutritional demands of its larger brain and body size. PMID:23273772

  4. The taxonomic implications of cranial shape variation in Homo erectus.

    PubMed

    Baab, Karen L

    2008-06-01

    The taxonomic status of Homo erectus sensu lato has been a source of debate since the early 1980s, when a series of publications suggested that the early African fossils may represent a separate species, H. ergaster. To gain further resolution regarding this debate, 3D geometric morphometric data were used to quantify overall shape variation in the cranial vault within H. erectus using a new metric, the sum of squared pairwise Procrustes distances (SSD). Bootstrapping methods were used to compare the H. erectus SSD to a broad range of human and nonhuman primate samples in order to ascertain whether variation in H. erectus most clearly resembles that seen in one or more species. The reference taxa included relevant phylogenetic, ecological, and temporal analogs including humans, apes, and both extant and extinct papionin monkeys. The mean cranial shapes of different temporogeographic subsets of H. erectus fossils were then tested for significance using exact randomization tests and compared to the distances between regional groups of modern humans and subspecies/species of the ape and papionin monkey taxa. To gauge the influence of sexual dimorphism on levels of variation, comparisons were also made between the mean cranial shapes of single-sex samples for the reference taxa. Results indicate that variation in H. erectus is most comparable to single species of papionin monkeys and the genus Pan, which included two species. However, H. erectus encompasses a limited range of variation given its extensive geographic and temporal range, leading to the conclusion that only one species should be recognized. In addition, there are significant differences between the African/Georgian and Asian H. erectus samples, but not between H. ergaster (Georgia+Africa, excluding OH 9 and Daka) and H. erectus sensu stricto. This finding is in line with expectations for intraspecific variation in a long-lived species with a wide, but probably discontinuous, geographic distribution. PMID:18191986

  5. The role of neurocranial shape in defining the boundaries of an expanded Homo erectus hypodigm.

    PubMed

    Baab, Karen L

    2016-03-01

    The main goals of this study were to evaluate the distinctiveness of Homo erectus neurocranial shape relative to other closely related species, and assess the likelihood that particular fossils were correctly attributed to H. erectus given how shape variation related to geography, time and brain size. This was accomplished through analyses of several sets of landmarks designed to maximize the fossil sample, including 24 putative H. erectus fossils. The question of taxonomic differentiation was initially assessed for the type specimen (Trinil II) and morphologically similar Sangiran fossils and subsequently for increasingly inclusive definitions of H. erectus. Results indicated that H. erectus fossils from China, Indonesia, Georgia and East Africa shared a neurocranial shape that was distinct from that of other Plio-Pleistocene Homo taxa, a pattern only partially accounted for by brain size. Early Indonesian H. erectus formed a morphological "bridge" between earlier and later populations assigned to H. erectus from Africa and Asia, respectively. These results were combined with discrete characters to create a more complete species definition for H. erectus. There were two notable exceptions to the general pattern of H. erectus uniqueness. The 0.8-1.0 Ma (millions of years ago) Daka calvaria from Ethiopia consistently grouped with mid-Pleistocene Homo, including Bodo and Kabwe, rather than African or Asian H. erectus. In addition, Daka also exhibited several traits derived for mid-Pleistocene Homo, and its scaling pattern mirrored mid-Pleistocene Homo rather than H. erectus. Daka may have belonged to an "advanced" H. erectus population close to the root of Homo heidelbergensis sensu lato (s.l.), or to an early population of H. heidelbergensis s.l.. The 1.5 Ma KNM-ER 42700 specimen from Kenya exhibited a unique calvarial shape distinct from H. erectus despite the exclusion of problematic landmarks from the frontal bone. These unique aspects of shape were not present in two other subadult fossils, KNM-WT 15000 and D2700. PMID:26989013

  6. Energetic consequences of being a Homo erectus female.

    PubMed

    Aiello, Leslie C; Key, Cathy

    2002-01-01

    Body size is one of the most important characteristics of any animal because it affects a range of behavioral, ecological, and physiological traits including energy requirements, choice of food, reproductive strategies, predation risk, range size, and locomotor style. This article focuses on the implications of being large bodied for Homo erectus females, estimated to have been over 50% heavier than average australopithecine females. The energy requirements of these hominins are modeled using data on activity patterns, body mass, and life history from living primates. Particular attention is given to the inferred energetic costs of reproduction for Homo erectus females based on chimpanzee and human reproductive scheduling. Daily energy requirements during gestation and lactation would have been significantly higher for Homo erectus females, as would total energetic cost per offspring if the australopithecines and Homo erectus had similar reproductive schedules (gestation and lactation lengths and interbirth intervals). Shortening the interbirth interval could considerably reduce the costs per offspring to Homo erectus and have the added advantage of increasing reproductive output. The mother would, however, incur additional daily costs of caring for the dependent offspring. If Homo erectus females adopted this reproductive strategy, it would necessarily imply a revolution in the way in which females obtained and utilized energy to support their increased energetic requirements. This transformation is likely to have occurred on several levels involving cooperative economic division of labor, locomotor energetics, menopause, organ size, and other physiological mechanisms for reducing the energetic load on females. PMID:12203811

  7. Thickened cranial vault and parasagittal keeling: correlated traits and autapomorphies of Homo erectus?

    PubMed

    Balzeau, Antoine

    2013-06-01

    Homo erectus sensu lato (s.l.) is a key species in the hominin fossil record for the study of human evolution, being one of the first species discovered and perhaps the most documented, but also because of its long temporal range and having dispersed out of Africa earlier than any other human species. Here I test two proposed autapomorphic traits of H. erectus, namely the increased thickness of the upper cranial vault and parasagittal keeling. The definition of these two anatomical features and their expression and variation among hominids are discussed. The results of this study indicate that the upper vault in Asian H. erectus is not absolutely thicker compared with fossil anatomically modern Homo sapiens, whereas Broken Hill and Petralona have values above the range of variation of H. erectus. Moreover, this anatomical region in Asian H. erectus is not significantly thicker compared with Pan paniscus. In addition, these results demonstrate that cranial vault thickness should not be used to make hypotheses regarding sexual attribution of fossil hominin specimens. I also show that the relation between relief on the external surface of the upper vault, parasagittal keeling and bregmatic eminence, and bone thickness is complex. In this context, the autapomorphic status of the two analysed traits in H. erectus may be rejected. Nevertheless, different patterns in the distribution of bone thickness on the upper vault were identified. Some individual variations are visible, but specificities are observable in samples of different species. The pattern of bone thickness distribution observed in Asian H. erectus, P. paniscus, possibly australopiths, and early Homo or Homo ergaster/erectus appears to be shared by these different species and would be a plesiomorphic trait among hominids. In contrast, two apomorphic states for this feature were identified for Neandertals and H. sapiens. PMID:23541383

  8. New 1.5 million-year-old Homo erectus maxilla from Sangiran (Central Java, Indonesia).

    PubMed

    Zaim, Yahdi; Ciochon, Russell L; Polanski, Joshua M; Grine, Frederick E; Bettis, E Arthur; Rizal, Yan; Franciscus, Robert G; Larick, Roy R; Heizler, Matthew; Aswan; Eaves, K Lindsay; Marsh, Hannah E

    2011-10-01

    Sangiran (Solo Basin, Central Java, Indonesia) is the singular Homo erectus fossil locale for Early Pleistocene Southeast Asia. Sangiran is the source for more than 80 specimens in deposits with (40)Ar/(39)Ar ages of 1.51-0.9 Ma. In April 2001, we recovered a H. erectus left maxilla fragment (preserving P(3)- M(2)) from the Sangiran site of Bapang. The find spot lies at the base of the Bapang Formation type section in cemented gravelly sands traditionally called the Grenzbank Zone. Two meters above the find spot, pumice hornblende has produced an (40)Ar/(39)Ar age of 1.51 ± 0.08 Ma. With the addition of Bpg 2001.04, Sangiran now has five H. erectus maxillae. We compare the new maxilla with homologs representing Sangiran H. erectus, Zhoukoudian H. erectus, Western H. erectus (pooled African and Georgian specimens), and Homo habilis. Greatest contrast is with the Zhoukoudian maxillae, which appear to exhibit a derived pattern of premolar-molar relationships compared to Western and Sangiran H. erectus. The dental patterns suggest distinct demic origins for the earlier H. erectus populations represented at Sangiran and the later population represented at Zhoukoudian. These two east Asian populations, separated by 5000 km and nearly 800 k.yr., may have had separate origins from different African/west Eurasian populations. PMID:21783226

  9. Taxonomic differences in deciduous upper second molar crown outlines of Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis and Homo erectus.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Shara E; Benazzi, Stefano; Souday, Caroline; Astorino, Claudia; Paul, Kathleen; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2014-07-01

    A significant number of Middle to Late Pleistocene sites contain primarily (and sometimes only) deciduous teeth (e.g., Grotta del Cavallo, Mezmaiskaya, Blombos). Not surprisingly, there has been a recent renewed interest in deciduous dental variation, especially in the context of distinguishing Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens. Most studies of the deciduous dentition of fossil hominins have focused on standard metrical variation but morphological (non-metric and morphometric) variation also promises to shed light on long standing taxonomic questions. This study examines the taxonomic significance of the crown outline of the deciduous upper second molar through principal components analysis and linear discriminant analysis. We examine whether or not the crown shape of the upper deciduous second molar separates H. neanderthalensis from H. sapiens and explore whether it can be used to correctly assign individuals to taxa. It builds on previous studies by focusing on crown rather than cervical outline and by including a large sample of geographically diverse recent human populations. Our samples include 17 H. neanderthalensis, five early H. sapiens, and 12 Upper Paleolithic H. sapiens. In addition, we include two Homo erectus specimens in order to evaluate the polarity of crown shape differences observed between H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens. Our results show that crown outline shape discriminates H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis quite well, but does not do well at distinguishing H. erectus from H. sapiens. We conclude that the crown outline shape observed in H. sapiens is a primitive retention and that the skewed shape observed in H. neanderthalensis is a derived condition. Finally, we explore the phylogenetic implications of the results for the H. erectus molars. PMID:24703186

  10. A neonatal perspective on Homo erectus brain growth.

    PubMed

    Cofran, Zachary; DeSilva, Jeremy M

    2015-04-01

    The Mojokerto calvaria has been central to assessment of brain growth in Homo erectus, but different analytical approaches and uncertainty in the specimen's age at death have hindered consensus on the nature of H. erectus brain growth. We simulate average annual rates (AR) of absolute endocranial volume (ECV) growth and proportional size change (PSC) in H. erectus, utilizing estimates of H. erectus neonatal ECV and a range of ages for Mojokerto. These values are compared with resampled ARs and PSCs from ontogenetic series of humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas from birth to six years. Results are consistent with other studies of ECV growth in extant taxa. There is extensive overlap in PSC between all living species through the first postnatal year, with continued but lesser overlap between humans and chimpanzees to age six. Human ARs are elevated above those of apes, although there is modest overlap up to 0.50 years. Ape ARs overlap throughout the sequence, with gorillas slightly elevated over chimpanzees up to 0.50 years. Simulated H. erectus PSCs can be found in all living species by 0.50 years, and the median falls below the human and chimpanzee ranges after 2.5 years. H. erectus ARs are elevated above those of all extant taxa prior to 0.50 years, and after two years they fall out of the human range but are still above ape ranges. A review of evidence for the age at death of Mojokerto supports an estimate of around one year, indicating absolute brain growth rates in the lower half of the human range. These results point to secondary altriciality in H. erectus, implying that key human adaptations for increasing the energy budget of females may have been established by at least 1 Ma. PMID:25771994

  11. Cranial vault thickness in primates: Homo erectus does not have uniquely thick vault bones.

    PubMed

    Copes, Lynn E; Kimbel, William H

    2016-01-01

    Extremely thick cranial vaults have been noted as a diagnostic characteristic of Homo erectus since the first fossil of the species was identified, but relatively little work has been done on elucidating its etiology or variation across fossils, living humans, or extant non-human primates. Cranial vault thickness (CVT) is not a monolithic trait, and the responsiveness of its layers to environmental stimuli is unknown. We obtained measurements of cranial vault thickness in fossil hominins from the literature and supplemented those data with additional measurements taken on African fossil specimens. Total CVT and the thickness of the cortical and diploë layers individually were compared to measures of CVT in extant species measured from more than 500 CT scans of human and non-human primates. Frontal and parietal CVT in fossil primates was compared to a regression of CVT on cranial capacity calculated for extant species. Even after controlling for cranial capacity, African and Asian H. erectus do not have uniquely high frontal or parietal thickness residuals, either among hominins or extant primates. Extant primates with residual CVT thickness similar to or exceeding H. erectus (depending on the sex and bone analyzed) include Nycticebus coucang, Perodicticus potto, Alouatta caraya, Lophocebus albigena, Galago alleni, Mandrillus sphinx, and Propithecus diadema. However, the especially thick vaults of extant non-human primates that overlap with H. erectus values are composed primarily of cortical bone, while H. erectus and other hominins have diploë-dominated vault bones. Thus, the combination of thick vaults comprised of a thickened diploë layer may be a reliable autapomorphy for members of the genus Homo. PMID:26767964

  12. Human taxonomic diversity in the pleistocene: does Homo erectus represent multiple hominid species?

    PubMed

    Kramer, A

    1993-06-01

    Recently, nomina such as "Homo heidelbergensis" and "H. ergaster" have been resurrected to refer to fossil hominids that are perceived to be specifically distinct from Homo sapiens and Homo erectus. This results in a later human fossil record that is nearly as speciose as that documenting the earlier history of the family Hominidae. However, it is agreed that there remains only one extant hominid species: H. sapiens. Has human taxonomic diversity been significantly pruned over the last few hundred millennia, or have the number of taxa been seriously overestimated? To answer this question, the following null hypothesis is tested: polytypism was established relatively early and the species H. erectus can accommodate all spatio-temporal variation from ca. 1.7 to 0.5 Ma. A disproof of this hypothesis would suggest that modern human polytypism is a very recent phenomenon and that speciation throughout the course of human evolution was the norm and not the exception. Cranial variation in a taxonomically mixed sample of fossil hominids, and in a modern human sample, is analyzed with regard to the variation present in the fossils attributed to H. erectus. The data are examined using both univariate (coefficient of variation) and multivariate (determinant) analyses. Employing randomization methodology to offset the small size and non-normal distribution of the fossil samples, the CV and determinant results reveal a pattern and degree of variation in H. erectus that most closely approximates that of the single species H. sapiens. It is therefore concluded that the null hypothesis cannot be rejected. PMID:8317558

  13. Clavicle length, throwing performance and the reconstruction of the Homo erectus shoulder.

    PubMed

    Roach, Neil T; Richmond, Brian G

    2015-03-01

    Powerful, accurate throwing may have been an important mode of early hunting and defense. Previous work has shown that throwing performance is functionally linked to several anatomical shifts in the upper body that occurred during human evolution. The final shift to occur is the inferior reorientation of the shoulder. Fossil scapulae show the earliest evidence of a more inferior glenoid in Homo erectus. However, where the scapula rests on the thorax is uncertain. The relative length of the clavicle, the only skeletal attachment of the scapula to the torso, is quite variable. Depending on which fossils or skeletal measures are used to reconstruct the H. erectus shoulder, either a novel, anteriorly facing shoulder configuration or a modern human-like lateral orientation is possible. These competing hypotheses have led to very different conclusions regarding the throwing ability and hunting behavior of early Homo. Here, we evaluate competing models of H. erectus shoulder morphology and examine how these models relate to throwing performance. To address these questions, we collected skeletal measures from fossil and extant taxa, as well as anthropometric (N = 36) and kinematic (N = 27) data from Daasanach throwers from northwestern Kenya. Our data show that all H. erectus fossil clavicles fall within the normal range of modern human variation. We find that a commonly used metric for normalizing clavicle length, the claviculohumeral ratio, poorly predicts shoulder position on the torso. Furthermore, no significant relationship between clavicle length and any measure of throwing performance was found. These data support reconstructing the H. erectus shoulder as modern human-like, with a laterally facing glenoid, and suggest that the capacity for high speed throwing dates back nearly two million years. PMID:25439706

  14. African Homo erectus: Old radiometric ages and young Oldowan assemblages in the middle Awash Valley, Ethiopia

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, J.D.; White, T.D.; Selassie, Y.H. ); Heinzelin, J. de ); Schick, K.D. ); Hart, W.K. ); WoldeGabriel, G. ); Walter, R.C. ); Suwa, G. ); Asfaw, B. )

    1994-06-24

    Fossils and artifacts recovered from the middle Awash Valley of Ethiopia's Afar depression sample the Middle Pleistocene transition from Homo erectus to Homo sapiens. Ar/Ar ages, biostratigraphy, and tephrachronology from this area indicate that the Pleistocene Bodo hominid cranium and newer specimens are approximately 0.6 million years old. Only Oldowan chopper and flake assemblages are present in the lower stratigraphic units but Acheulean bifacial artifacts are consistently prevalent and widespread in directly overlying deposits. This technological transition is related to a shift in sedimentary regime, supporting the hypothesis that Middle Pleistocene Oldowan assemblages represent a behavioral facies of the Acheulean industrial complex.

  15. African Homo erectus: old radiometric ages and young Oldowan assemblages in the Middle Awash Valley, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Clark, J D; de Heinzelin, J; Schick, K D; Hart, W K; White, T D; WoldeGabriel, G; Walter, R C; Suwa, G; Asfaw, B; Vrba, E

    1994-06-24

    Fossils and artifacts recovered from the middle Awash Valley of Ethiopia's Afar depression sample the Middle Pleistocene transition from Homo erectus to Homo sapiens. Ar/Ar ages, biostratigraphy, and tephrachronology from this area indicate that the Pleistocene Bodo hominid cranium and newer specimens are approximately 0.6 million years old. Only Oldowan chopper and flake assemblages are present in the lower stratigraphic units, but Acheulean bifacial artifacts are consistently prevalent and widespread in directly overlying deposits. This technological transition is related to a shift in sedimentary regime, supporting the hypothesis that Middle Pleistocene Oldowan assemblages represent a behavioral facies of the Acheulean industrial complex. PMID:8009220

  16. Homo erectus at Trinil on Java used shells for tool production and engraving.

    PubMed

    Joordens, Josephine C A; d'Errico, Francesco; Wesselingh, Frank P; Munro, Stephen; de Vos, John; Wallinga, Jakob; Ankjærgaard, Christina; Reimann, Tony; Wijbrans, Jan R; Kuiper, Klaudia F; Mücher, Herman J; Coqueugniot, Hélène; Prié, Vincent; Joosten, Ineke; van Os, Bertil; Schulp, Anne S; Panuel, Michel; van der Haas, Victoria; Lustenhouwer, Wim; Reijmer, John J G; Roebroeks, Wil

    2015-02-12

    The manufacture of geometric engravings is generally interpreted as indicative of modern cognition and behaviour. Key questions in the debate on the origin of such behaviour are whether this innovation is restricted to Homo sapiens, and whether it has a uniquely African origin. Here we report on a fossil freshwater shell assemblage from the Hauptknochenschicht ('main bone layer') of Trinil (Java, Indonesia), the type locality of Homo erectus discovered by Eugène Dubois in 1891 (refs 2 and 3). In the Dubois collection (in the Naturalis museum, Leiden, The Netherlands) we found evidence for freshwater shellfish consumption by hominins, one unambiguous shell tool, and a shell with a geometric engraving. We dated sediment contained in the shells with (40)Ar/(39)Ar and luminescence dating methods, obtaining a maximum age of 0.54 ± 0.10 million years and a minimum age of 0.43 ± 0.05 million years. This implies that the Trinil Hauptknochenschicht is younger than previously estimated. Together, our data indicate that the engraving was made by Homo erectus, and that it is considerably older than the oldest geometric engravings described so far. Although it is at present not possible to assess the function or meaning of the engraved shell, this discovery suggests that engraving abstract patterns was in the realm of Asian Homo erectus cognition and neuromotor control. PMID:25470048

  17. A new Homo erectus (Zhoukoudian V) brain endocast from China

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiujie; Schepartz, Lynne A.; Liu, Wu

    2010-01-01

    A new Homo erectus endocast, Zhoukoudian (ZKD) V, is assessed by comparing it with ZKD II, ZKD III, ZKD X, ZKD XI, ZKD XII, Hexian, Trinil II, Sambungmacan (Sm) 3, Sangiran 2, Sangiran 17, KNM-ER 3733, KNM-WT 15 000, Kabwe, Liujiang and 31 modern Chinese. The endocast of ZKD V has an estimated endocranial volume of 1140 ml. As the geological age of ZKD V is younger than the other ZKD H. erectus, evolutionary changes in brain morphology are evaluated. The brain size of the ZKD specimens increases slightly over time. Compared with the other ZKD endocasts, ZKD V shows important differences, including broader frontal and occipital lobes, some indication of fuller parietal lobes, and relatively large brain size that reflect significant trends documented in later hominin brain evolution. Bivariate and principal component analyses indicate that geographical variation does not characterize the ZKD, African and other Asian specimens. The ZKD endocasts share some common morphological and morphometric features with other H. erectus endocasts that distinguish them from Homo sapiens. PMID:19403532

  18. Structural analysis of the Kresna 11 Homo erectus femoral shaft (Sangiran, Java).

    PubMed

    Puymerail, Laurent; Ruff, Christopher B; Bondioli, Luca; Widianto, Harry; Trinkaus, Erik; Macchiarelli, Roberto

    2012-11-01

    The biomechanical characterization of lower limb long bones in the chrono-ecogeographically diverse species Homo erectus is a fundamental step for assessing evolutionary changes in locomotor mode and body shape that occurred within the genus Homo. However, the samples available for the Early and earlier Middle Pleistocene are small and widely scattered in time and space, thus limiting our understanding of the nature and polarity of morphological trends. Compared to the African fossil record, loading histories based on detailed biomechanical assessment of diaphyseal strength in Indonesian H. erectus lower limb long bones have not been assessed. By using a microtomographic record (μCT), we performed a quantitative analysis of the biomechanical properties and structural organization of Kresna 11, a late Early Pleistocene adult H. erectus femoral shaft from the Sangiran Dome, Central Java. Relative to the modern human condition, Kresna 11 shows the predominant mediolateral cortical thickening (hypertrophy) and the distal displacement of the minimum diaphyseal breadth characteristic of early Homo femora, associated nonetheless with relatively modest cortical thickness within the mid-proximal portion. Synthetic functional imaging of the shaft through the planar representation of its inner structure has revealed distal thickening of the medial cortex, a feature previously unreported in H. erectus. The increase in relative mediolateral bending strength observed in Kresna 11 supports the hypothesis that, rather than simply reflecting differences in patterns of locomotor loading, biomechanical properties of the femoral shaft in archaic Homo are strongly influenced by body shape, i.e., variations in pelvic breadth and femoral neck length. PMID:23036460

  19. Molar crown inner structural organization in Javanese Homo erectus.

    PubMed

    Zanolli, Clément

    2015-01-01

    This contribution investigates the inner organizational pattern (tooth tissue proportions and enamel-dentine junction morphology) of seven Homo erectus permanent molar crowns from the late Lower-early Middle Pleistocene Kabuh Formation of the Sangiran Dome (Central Java, Indonesia). The previous study of their external characteristics confirmed the degree of time-related structural reduction occurred in Javanese H. erectus, and also revealed a combination of nonmetric features which are rare in the Lower and early Middle Pleistocene dental record, but more frequently found in recent humans. In accordance with their outer occlusal morphology, the specimens exhibit a set of derived internal features, such as thick to hyperthick enamel, an incomplete expression of the crest patterns at the enamel-dentine junction (EDJ) level, a sharp EDJ topography. As a whole, these features differ from those expressed in some penecontemporaneous specimens/samples representing African H. erectus/ergaster and H. heidelbergensis, as well as in Neanderthals, but occur in recent human populations. Further research in virtual dental paleoanthropology to be developed at macroregional scale would clarify the polarity and intensity of the intermittent exchanges between continental and insular Southeast Asia around the Lower to Middle Pleistocene boundary, as well as should shed light on the still poorly understood longitudinal evolutionary dynamics across continental Asia. PMID:25209431

  20. Paleoanthropology: Homo erectus and the limits of a paleontological species.

    PubMed

    Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2014-01-20

    The bushy nature of the human evolutionary tree in the past 3 million years is widely accepted. Yet, a spectacular new fossil of early Homo has prompted some paleoanthropologists to prune our family tree. PMID:24456983

  1. Ecospaces occupied by Homo erectus and Homo sapiens in insular Southeast Asia in the Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hertler, Christine; Haupt, Susanne; Volmer, Rebekka; Bruch, Angela

    2014-05-01

    Hominins migrated to the islands of the Sunda Shelf multiple times. At least two immigration events are evident, an early immigration of Homo erectus in the late Early Pleistocene and a second immigration of Homo sapiens during the Late Pleistocene. Regional environments changed considerably in the Pleistocene. Expansion patterns among hominins are at least co-determined by their ecologies and environmental change. We examine these expansion patterns on the basis of habitat reconstructions. Mammalian communities provide a geographically extensive record and permit to assess hominin ecospaces. Although chronological resolution is low, they represent the most complete record of habitat changes associated with hominin expansion patterns. In order to reconstruct and compare hominin ecospaces on a quantitative scale, we set up a reference sample consisting of mammalian communities of 117 national parks in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The diversity of such communities is assessed by ecological profiling of specialized herbivore taxa. Moreover, datasets on climate and vegetation correlate with the diversity structure of such specialized herbivore communities. Reconstructing the diversity structure of communities at key sites in Pleistocene Southeast Asia permits to infer features of the climatic and vegetation framework associated with different hominin taxa. Our results show that Homo erectus and Homo sapiens did not occupy similar ecospaces. The ecospace of Homo erectus is characterized by comparatively low diversity among frugivorous and folivorous taxa, while obligate grazers are part of the assemblages. Specialized herbivore communities with such a diversity structure occur at present in East Africa, while they are absent in Southeast Asia. In the reference sample, this type of ecospace corresponds to seasonal wetlands. Although Homo sapiens still inhabits this type of environment in Southeast Asia, his ecospace is wider. Homo sapiens is associated with specialized herbivore communities dominated by frugivorous and folivorous taxa. Specialized herbivore communities with such a diversity structure occur at present in rainforests on the Sunda Shelf.

  2. Pleistocene footprints show intensive use of lake margin habitats by Homo erectus groups.

    PubMed

    Roach, Neil T; Hatala, Kevin G; Ostrofsky, Kelly R; Villmoare, Brian; Reeves, Jonathan S; Du, Andrew; Braun, David R; Harris, John W K; Behrensmeyer, Anna K; Richmond, Brian G

    2016-01-01

    Reconstructing hominin paleoecology is critical for understanding our ancestors' diets, social organizations and interactions with other animals. Most paleoecological models lack fine-scale resolution due to fossil hominin scarcity and the time-averaged accumulation of faunal assemblages. Here we present data from 481 fossil tracks from northwestern Kenya, including 97 hominin footprints attributed to Homo erectus. These tracks are found in multiple sedimentary layers spanning approximately 20 thousand years. Taphonomic experiments show that each of these trackways represents minutes to no more than a few days in the lives of the individuals moving across these paleolandscapes. The geology and associated vertebrate fauna place these tracks in a deltaic setting, near a lakeshore bordered by open grasslands. Hominin footprints are disproportionately abundant in this lake margin environment, relative to hominin skeletal fossil frequency in the same deposits. Accounting for preservation bias, this abundance of hominin footprints indicates repeated use of lakeshore habitats by Homo erectus. Clusters of very large prints moving in the same direction further suggest these hominins traversed this lakeshore in multi-male groups. Such reliance on near water environments, and possibly aquatic-linked foods, may have influenced hominin foraging behavior and migratory routes across and out of Africa. PMID:27199261

  3. Dated co-occurrence of Homo erectus and Gigantopithecus from Tham Khuyen Cave, Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Ciochon, R; Long, V T; Larick, R; Gonzlez, L; Grn, R; de Vos, J; Yonge, C; Taylor, L; Yoshida, H; Reagan, M

    1996-04-01

    Tham Khuyen Cave (Lang Son Province, northern Vietnam) is one of the more significant sites to yield fossil vertebrates in east Asia. During the mid-1960s, excavation in a suite of deposits produced important hominoid dental remains of middle Pleistocene age. We undertake more rigorous analyses of these sediments to understand the fluvial dynamics of Pleistocene cave infilling as they determine how skeletal elements accumulate within Tham Khuyen and other east Asian sites. Uranium/thorium series analysis of speleothems brackets the Pleistocene chronology for breaching, infilling, and exhuming the regional paleokarst. Clast analysis indicates sedimentary constituents, including hominoid teeth and cranial fragments accumulated from very short distances and under low fluvial energy. Electron spin resonance analysis of vertebrate tooth enamel and sediments shows that the main fossil-bearing suite (S1-S3) was deposited about 475 thousand years ago. Among the hominoid teeth excavated from S1-S3, some represent Homo erectus and Gigantopithecus blacki. Criteria are defined to differentiate these teeth from more numerous Pongo pygmaeus elements. The dated co-occurrence of Homo erectus and Gigantopithecus blacki at Tham Khuyen helps to establish the long co-existence of these two species throughout east Asia during the Early and Middle Pleistocene. PMID:8610161

  4. ESR dating of tooth enamel from yunxian homo erectus site, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Tie-Mei; Yang, Quan; Hu, Yan-Qiu; Bao, Wen-Bo; Li, Tian-Yuan

    Two almost complete fossil hominid crania (EV9001 and EV9002) were found in 1989 and 1990 in Middle Pleistocene terrace deposit of Han River, Yunxian county, Hubei province, China. They are classified as Homo erectus. Nine fossil animal teeth stratigraphically associated with the skulls were selected for electron spin resonance (ESR) dating. The simple exponential function was used for determination of the accumulated dose De and its appropriateness was discussed on the base of the experimental study. The closed system assumption was checked and the early uranium uptake model was applied to age determination. A mean age value was yielded to be 581±93 ka. It deviates from the palaeomagnetic dating result of 830-870 ka. Micro-regional complete saturation of ESR signal in enamel of very high U-content may account for the underestimation of ESR ages. Nevertheless both ESR and palaeomagnetic dating results place Yunxian crania in between the Homo erectus of Lantian and Zhoukoudian, which means that Yunxian crania constitute an important link in the human evolutionary lineage of China.

  5. Dental size reduction in Indonesian Homo erectus: Implications for the PU-198 premolar and the appearance of Homo sapiens on Java.

    PubMed

    Polanski, Joshua M; Marsh, Hannah E; Maddux, Scott D

    2016-01-01

    The recent recovery of a hominin maxillary third premolar, PU-198, within the faunal collections from Punung Cave (East Java) has led to assertions that Homo sapiens appeared on Java between 143,000 and 115,000 years ago. The taxonomic assignment of PU-198 to H. sapiens was based predominantly on the small size of the specimen, following an analysis which found little to no overlap in premolar size between Homo erectus and terminal Pleistocene/Holocene H. sapiens. Here, we re-evaluate the use of size in the taxonomic assignment of PU-198 in light of 1) new buccolingual and mesiodistal measurements taken on the fossil, 2) comparisons to a larger sample of H. erectus and H. sapiens maxillary third premolars, and 3) evidence of a diachronic trend in post-canine dental size reduction among Javan H. erectus. Our results demonstrate PU-198 to be slightly larger than previously suggested, reveal substantial overlap in premolar size between H. erectus and H. sapiens, and indicate a statistically significant reduction in premolar size between early and late Javan H. erectus. Our findings cast doubt on the assignment of PU-198 to H. sapiens, and accordingly, question the appearance of H. sapiens on Java between 143,000 and 115,000 years ago. PMID:26767959

  6. Dating the Homo erectus bearing travertine from Kocabaş (Denizli, Turkey) at at least 1.1 Ma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebatard, Anne-Elisabeth; Alçiçek, M. Cihat; Rochette, Pierre; Khatib, Samir; Vialet, Amélie; Boulbes, Nicolas; Bourlès, Didier L.; Demory, François; Guipert, Gaspard; Mayda, Serdar; Titov, Vadim V.; Vidal, Laurence; de Lumley, Henry

    2014-03-01

    Since its discovery within a travertine quarry, the fragmentary cranium of the only known Turkish Homo erectus, the Kocabaş hominid, has led to conflicting biochronological estimations. First estimated to be ˜500 ka old, the partial skull presents a combination of archaic and evolved features that puts it as an intermediate specimen between the Dmanisi fossils (Homo georgicus) and the Chinese Zhoukoudian skulls (Homo erectus) respectively dated to 1.8 to ˜0.8 Ma. Here we present a multidisciplinary study combining sedimentological, paleontological and paleoanthropological observations together with cosmogenic nuclide concentration and paleomagnetic measurements to provide an absolute chronological framework for the Upper fossiliferous Travertine unit where the Kocabaş hominid and fauna were discovered. The 26Al/10Be burial ages determined on pebbles from conglomeratic levels framing the Upper fossiliferous Travertine unit, which exhibits an inverse polarity, constrains its deposition to before the Cobb Mountain sub-chron, that is between 1.22 and ˜1.5 Ma. The alternative match of the normal polarity recorded above the travertine with the Jaramillo subchron (lower limit 1.07 Ma) may also be marginally compatible with cosmogenic nuclides interpretation, thus the proposed minimum age of 1.1 Ma for the end of massive travertine deposition. The actual age of the fossils is likely to be in the 1.1-1.3 Ma range. This absolute date is in close agreement with the paleoanthropological conclusions based on morphometric comparisons implying that Kocabaş hominid belongs to the Homo erectus s.l. group that includes Chinese and African fossils, and is different from Middle and Upper Pleistocene specimens. Furthermore, this date is confirmed by the large mammal assemblage, typical of the late Villafranchian. Because it attests to the antiquity of human occupation of the Anatolian Peninsula and one of the waves of settlements out of Africa, this work challenges the current knowledge of the Homo erectus dispersal over Eurasia.

  7. Revisiting scoliosis in the KNM-WT 15000 Homo erectus skeleton.

    PubMed

    Schiess, Regula; Boeni, Thomas; Rühli, Frank; Haeusler, Martin

    2014-02-01

    Owing to its completeness, the 1.5 million year old Nariokotome boy skeleton KNM-WT 15000 is central for understanding the skeletal biology of Homo erectus. Nevertheless, since the reported asymmetries and distortions of Nariokotome boy's axial skeleton suggest adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, possibly associated with congenital skeletal dysplasia, it is questionable whether it still can be used as a reference for H. erectus. Recently, however, the presence of skeletal dysplasia has been refuted. Here, we present a morphological and morphometric reanalysis of the assertion of idiopathic scoliosis. We demonstrate that unarticulated vertebral columns of non-scoliotic and scoliotic individuals can be distinguished based on the lateral deviation of the spinous process, lateral and sagittal wedging, vertebral body torsion, pedicle thickness asymmetry, and asymmetry of superior and inferior articular facet areas. A principal component analysis of the overall asymmetry of all seven vertebral shape variables groups KNM-WT 15000 within non-scoliotic modern humans. There is, however, an anomaly of vertebrae T1-T2 that is compatible with a short left convex curve at the uppermost thoracic region, possibly due to injury or local growth dysbalance. Asymmetries of the facet joints L3-L5 suggest a local right convex curve in the lower lumbar region that probably resulted from juvenile traumatic disc herniation. This pattern is incompatible with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis or other types of scoliosis, including congenital, neuromuscular or syndromic scoliosis. It is, however, consistent with a recent reanalysis of the rib cage that did not reveal any asymmetry. Except for these possibly trauma-related anomalies, the Nariokotome boy fossil therefore seems to belong to a normal H. erectus youth without evidence for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis or other severe pathologies of the axial skeleton. PMID:24491377

  8. New dating of the Homo erectus cranium from Lantian (Gongwangling), China.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Zhao-Yu; Dennell, Robin; Huang, Wei-Wen; Wu, Yi; Rao, Zhi-Guo; Qiu, Shi-Fan; Xie, Jiu-Bing; Liu, Wu; Fu, Shu-Qing; Han, Jiang-Wei; Zhou, Hou-Yun; Ou Yang, Ting-Ping; Li, Hua-Mei

    2015-01-01

    The Homo erectus cranium from Gongwangling, Lantian County, Shaanxi Province is the oldest fossil hominin specimen from North China. It was found in 1964 in a layer below the Jaramillo subchron and was attributed to loess (L) L15 in the Chinese loess-palaeosol sequence, with an estimated age of ca. 1.15 Ma (millions of years ago). Here, we demonstrate that there is a stratigraphical hiatus in the Gongwangling section immediately below loess 15, and the cranium in fact lies in palaeosol (S) S22 or S23, the age of which is ca. 1.54-1.65 Ma. Closely spaced palaeomagnetic sampling at two sections at Gongwangling and one at Jiacun, 10 km to the north, indicate that the fossil layer at Gongwangling and a similar fossil horizon at Jiacun were deposited shortly before a short period of normal polarity above the Olduvai subchron. This is attributed to the Gilsa Event that has been dated elsewhere to ca. 1.62 Ma. Our investigations thus demonstrate that the Gongwangling cranium is slightly older than ca. 1.62 Ma, probably ca. 1.63 Ma, and significantly older than previously supposed. This re-dating now makes Gongwangling the second oldest site outside Africa (after Dmanisi) with cranial remains, and causes substantial re-adjustment in the early fossil hominin record in Eurasia. PMID:25456822

  9. Mojokerto revisited: evidence for an intermediate pattern of brain growth in Homo erectus.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, Caitlin A; DeSilva, Jeremy M

    2013-08-01

    Brain development in Homo erectus is a subject of great interest, and the infant calvaria from Mojokerto, Indonesia, has featured prominently in these debates. Some researchers have suggested that the pattern of brain development in H. erectus resembled that of non-human apes, while others argue for a more human-like growth pattern. In this study, we retested hypotheses regarding brain ontogeny in H. erectus using new methods (resampling), and data from additional H. erectus crania. Our results reveal that humans achieve 62% (±10%) and chimpanzees 80% (±9%) of their adult endocranial volume by 0.5-1.5 years of age. Using brain mass data, humans achieve on average 65% and chimpanzees 81% of adult size by 0.5-1.5 years. When compared with adult H. erectus crania (n = 9) from Indonesian sites greater than 1.2 million years old, Mojokerto had reached ∼70% of its adult cranial capacity. Mojokerto thus falls almost directly between the average growth in humans and chimpanzees, and well within the range of both. We therefore suggest that brain development in H. erectus cannot be dichotomized as either ape-like or human-like; it was H. erectus-like. These data indicate that H. erectus may have had a unique developmental pattern that should be considered as an important step along the continuum of brain ontogeny between apes and humans. PMID:23815827

  10. An explorative multiproxy approach to characterize the ecospace of Homo erectus at Sangiran (Java, Indonesia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hertler, Christine; Haupt, Susanne; Lüdecke, Tina; Wirkner, Mathias; Bruch, Angela

    2015-04-01

    Homo erectus inhabited the islands of the Sunda Shelf in the late Early Pleistocene. This is illustrated by an extensive record of hominid specimens stemming from a variety of sites in Java. The hominid locality Sangiran plays a crucial role in studying related environments, because the geological record at the Sangiran dome covers a stratigraphic sequence, unlike any other hominid site in Java. Although the detailed chronology of the localities in Java is still under dispute, it covers the period between the late Early and early Middle Pleistocene. Fossil evidence includes the hominin specimens proper, diverse and evolving vertebrate faunas as well as pollen profiles. We applied a multiproxy approach to analyse and reconstruct features of the Homo erectus ecospace. Preliminary results of our explorative study are introduced in this paper. Based on the pollen record, we reconstructed temperature and precipitation for the major stratigraphic units. Although resulting values are averaging over wide chronological intervals, they illustrate general climatic trends in the late Early and early Middle Pleistocene in accordance with previous studies and the MIS record. The mammalian specimens we selected for this preliminary study possess a more restricted stratigraphic provenience. Our analyses are based on a dental sample of Duboisia santeng from the Koenigswald collection (n=14). The occurrence of the taxon is restricted to 3 layers in the stratigraphy. We reconstructed body mass and inferred diet from mesowear and isotope studies. There is no significant shift in body masses of Duboisia santeng. This result is in accordance with studies from other localities in Java. However, slight shifts in the mesowear signals (mixed feeder with increasingly browsing signal) are confirmed by studies of carbon isotopes. The analysis of oxygen isotopes provides evidence for seasonality which is compared with the signals from the vegetation.

  11. First Homo erectus from Turkey and implications for migrations into temperate Eurasia.

    PubMed

    Kappelman, John; Aliek, Mehmet Cihat; Kazanci, Nizamettin; Schultz, Michael; Ozkul, Mehmet; Sen, Sevket

    2008-01-01

    Remains of fossil hominins from temperate regions of the Old World are rare across both time and space, but such specimens are necessary for understanding basic issues in human evolution including linkages between their adaptations and early migration patterns. We report here the remarkable circumstances surrounding the discovery of the first fossil hominin calvaria from Turkey. The specimen was found in the Denizli province of western Turkey and recovered from within a solid block of travertine stone as it was being sawed into tile-sized slabs for the commercial natural stone building market. The new specimen fills an important geographical and temporal gap and displays several anatomical features that are shared with other Middle Pleistocene hominins from both Africa and Asia attributed to Homo erectus. It also preserves an unusual pathology on the endocranial surface of the frontal bone that is consistent with a diagnosis of Leptomeningitis tuberculosa (TB), and this evidence represents the most ancient example of this disease known for a fossil human. TB is exacerbated in dark-skinned peoples living in northern latitudes by a vitamin D deficiency because of reduced levels of ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Evidence for TB in the new specimen supports the thesis that reduced UVR was one of the many climatic variables presenting an adaptive challenge to ancient hominins during their migration into the temperate regions of Europe and Asia. PMID:18067194

  12. No skeletal dysplasia in the Nariokotome boy KNM-WT 15000 (Homo erectus)--a reassessment of congenital pathologies of the vertebral column.

    PubMed

    Schiess, Regula; Haeusler, Martin

    2013-03-01

    The Nariokotome boy skeleton KNM-WT 15000 is the most complete Homo erectus fossil and therefore is key for understanding human evolution. Nevertheless, since Latimer and Ohman (2001) reported on severe congenital pathology in KNM-WT 15000, it is questionable whether this skeleton can still be used as reference for Homo erectus skeletal biology. The asserted pathologies include platyspondylic and diminutive vertebrae implying a disproportionately short stature; spina bifida; condylus tertius; spinal stenosis; and scoliosis. Based on this symptom complex, the differential diagnosis of spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia tarda, an extremely rare form of skeletal dysplasia, has been proposed. Yet, our reanalysis of these pathologies shows that the shape of the KNM-WT 15000 vertebrae matches that of normal modern human adolescents. The vertebrae are not abnormally flat, show no endplate irregularities, and thus are not platyspondylic. As this is the hallmark of spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia tarda and related forms of skeletal dysplasia, the absence of platyspondyly refutes axial dysplasia and disproportionate dwarfism. Furthermore, we neither found evidence for spina bifida occulta nor manifesta, whereas the condylus tertius, a developmental anomaly of the cranial base, is not related to skeletal dysplasias. Other fossils indicate that the relatively small size of the vertebrae and the narrow spinal canal are characteristics of early hominins rather than congenital pathologies. Except for the recently described signs of traumatic lumbar disc herniation, the Nariokotome boy fossil therefore seems to belong to a normal Homo erectus youth without pathologies of the axial skeleton. PMID:23283736

  13. Homo erectus and Middle Pleistocene hominins: brain size, skull form, and species recognition.

    PubMed

    Rightmire, G Philip

    2013-09-01

    Hominins that differ from Homo erectus, the Neanderthals, and recent humans are known from Middle Pleistocene localities across the Old World. The taxonomic status of these populations has been clouded by controversy. Perhaps the most critical problem has been an incomplete understanding of variation in skull form. Here, both H. erectus and later mid-Pleistocene hominins are the focus of an investigation aimed at clarifying the relationships among brain volume, basicranial dimensions, neurocranial shape, and certain facial characters. Brain size in H. erectus averages about 950 cm(3), while in a series of Middle Pleistocene crania from Africa and Europe, volume is about 1230 cm(3). If encephalization is the primary mechanism operating in the mid-Pleistocene, then diverse aspects of cranial form cannot all be treated as independent variables. Correlation is utilized to examine the associations among measurements for more than 30 H. erectus crania that are reasonably well preserved. A similar approach is used with the Middle Pleistocene sample. Patterns of covariation are compared in order to assess integration. Next, factor analysis is applied to the H. erectus specimens in an attempt to identify modules, tightly integrated traits that can evolve independently. Studies of the variation within H. erectus are followed by direct comparisons with the Middle Pleistocene population. Discriminant functions facilitate the description of intergroup differences. Traits that vary independently from brain volume include anterior frontal broadening, lateral expansion of the parietal vault, elevation of the lambda-inion chord, and rounding of the sagittal contour of the occipital. This finding helps to resolve the problem of species recognition. Neurocranial proportions as well as characters from the cranial base and face can be incorporated into a differential diagnosis for the mid-Pleistocene sample. Evidence presented here supports arguments for speciation in the Middle Pleistocene. PMID:23850294

  14. Hominid mandibular corpus shape variation and its utility for recognizing species diversity within fossil Homo.

    PubMed

    Lague, Michael R; Collard, Nicole J; Richmond, Brian G; Wood, Bernard A

    2008-12-01

    Mandibular corpora are well represented in the hominin fossil record, yet few studies have rigorously assessed the utility of mandibular corpus morphology for species recognition, particularly with respect to the linear dimensions that are most commonly available. In this study, we explored the extent to which commonly preserved mandibular corpus morphology can be used to: (i) discriminate among extant hominid taxa and (ii) support species designations among fossil specimens assigned to the genus Homo. In the first part of the study, discriminant analysis was used to test for significant differences in mandibular corpus shape at different taxonomic levels (genus, species and subspecies) among extant hominid taxa (i.e. Homo, Pan, Gorilla, Pongo). In the second part of the study, we examined shape variation among fossil mandibles assigned to Homo (including H. habilis sensu stricto, H. rudolfensis, early African H. erectus/H. ergaster, late African H. erectus, Asian H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens). A novel randomization procedure designed for small samples (and using group 'distinctness values') was used to determine whether shape variation among the fossils is consistent with conventional taxonomy (or alternatively, whether a priori taxonomic groupings are completely random with respect to mandibular morphology). The randomization of 'distinctness values' was also used on the extant samples to assess the ability of the test to recognize known taxa. The discriminant analysis results demonstrated that, even for a relatively modest set of traditional mandibular corpus measurements, we can detect significant differences among extant hominids at the genus and species levels, and, in some cases, also at the subspecies level. Although the randomization of 'distinctness values' test is more conservative than discriminant analysis (based on comparisons with extant specimens), we were able to detect at least four distinct groups among the fossil specimens (i.e. H. sapiens, H. heidelbergensis, Asian H. erectus and a combined 'African Homo' group consisting of H. habilis sensu stricto, H. rudolfensis, early African H. erectus/H. ergaster and late African H. erectus). These four groups appear to be distinct at a level similar to, or greater than, that of modern hominid species. In addition, the mandibular corpora of H. neanderthalensis could be distinguished from those of 'African Homo', although not from those of H. sapiens, H. heidelbergensis, or the Asian H. erectus group. The results suggest that the features most commonly preserved on the hominin mandibular corpus have some taxonomic utility, although they are unlikely to be useful in generating a reliable alpha taxonomy for early African members of the genus Homo. PMID:19094183

  15. Hominid mandibular corpus shape variation and its utility for recognizing species diversity within fossil Homo

    PubMed Central

    Lague, Michael R; Collard, Nicole J; Richmond, Brian G; Wood, Bernard A

    2008-01-01

    Mandibular corpora are well represented in the hominin fossil record, yet few studies have rigorously assessed the utility of mandibular corpus morphology for species recognition, particularly with respect to the linear dimensions that are most commonly available. In this study, we explored the extent to which commonly preserved mandibular corpus morphology can be used to: (i) discriminate among extant hominid taxa and (ii) support species designations among fossil specimens assigned to the genus Homo. In the first part of the study, discriminant analysis was used to test for significant differences in mandibular corpus shape at different taxonomic levels (genus, species and subspecies) among extant hominid taxa (i.e. Homo, Pan, Gorilla, Pongo). In the second part of the study, we examined shape variation among fossil mandibles assigned to Homo(including H. habilis sensu stricto, H. rudolfensis, early African H. erectus/H. ergaster, late African H. erectus, Asian H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens). A novel randomization procedure designed for small samples (and using group ‘distinctness values’) was used to determine whether shape variation among the fossils is consistent with conventional taxonomy (or alternatively, whether a priori taxonomic groupings are completely random with respect to mandibular morphology). The randomization of ‘distinctness values’ was also used on the extant samples to assess the ability of the test to recognize known taxa. The discriminant analysis results demonstrated that, even for a relatively modest set of traditional mandibular corpus measurements, we can detect significant differences among extant hominids at the genus and species levels, and, in some cases, also at the subspecies level. Although the randomization of ‘distinctness values’ test is more conservative than discriminant analysis (based on comparisons with extant specimens), we were able to detect at least four distinct groups among the fossil specimens (i.e. H. sapiens, H. heidelbergensis, Asian H. erectus and a combined ‘African Homo’ group consisting of H. habilis sensu stricto, H. rudolfensis, early African H. erectus/H. ergaster and late African H. erectus). These four groups appear to be distinct at a level similar to, or greater than, that of modern hominid species. In addition, the mandibular corpora of H. neanderthalensis could be distinguished from those of ‘African Homo’, although not from those of H. sapiens, H. heidelbergensis, or the Asian H. erectus group. The results suggest that the features most commonly preserved on the hominin mandibular corpus have some taxonomic utility, although they are unlikely to be useful in generating a reliable alpha taxonomy for early African members of the genus Homo. PMID:19094183

  16. Homo floresiensis contextualized: a geometric morphometric comparative analysis of fossil and pathological human samples.

    PubMed

    Baab, Karen L; McNulty, Kieran P; Harvati, Katerina

    2013-01-01

    The origin of hominins found on the remote Indonesian island of Flores remains highly contentious. These specimens may represent a new hominin species, Homo floresiensis, descended from a local population of Homo erectus or from an earlier (pre-H. erectus) migration of a small-bodied and small-brained hominin out of Africa. Alternatively, some workers suggest that some or all of the specimens recovered from Liang Bua are pathological members of a small-bodied modern human population. Pathological conditions proposed to explain their documented anatomical features include microcephaly, myxoedematous endemic hypothyroidism ("cretinism") and Laron syndrome (primary growth hormone insensitivity). This study evaluates evolutionary and pathological hypotheses through comparative analysis of cranial morphology. Geometric morphometric analyses of landmark data show that the sole Flores cranium (LB1) is clearly distinct from healthy modern humans and from those exhibiting hypothyroidism and Laron syndrome. Modern human microcephalic specimens converge, to some extent, on crania of extinct species of Homo. However in the features that distinguish these two groups, LB1 consistently groups with fossil hominins and is most similar to H. erectus. Our study provides further support for recognizing the Flores hominins as a distinct species, H. floresiensis, whose affinities lie with archaic Homo. PMID:23874886

  17. Homo floresiensis Contextualized: A Geometric Morphometric Comparative Analysis of Fossil and Pathological Human Samples

    PubMed Central

    Baab, Karen L.; McNulty, Kieran P.; Harvati, Katerina

    2013-01-01

    The origin of hominins found on the remote Indonesian island of Flores remains highly contentious. These specimens may represent a new hominin species, Homo floresiensis, descended from a local population of Homo erectus or from an earlier (pre-H. erectus) migration of a small-bodied and small-brained hominin out of Africa. Alternatively, some workers suggest that some or all of the specimens recovered from Liang Bua are pathological members of a small-bodied modern human population. Pathological conditions proposed to explain their documented anatomical features include microcephaly, myxoedematous endemic hypothyroidism (“cretinism”) and Laron syndrome (primary growth hormone insensitivity). This study evaluates evolutionary and pathological hypotheses through comparative analysis of cranial morphology. Geometric morphometric analyses of landmark data show that the sole Flores cranium (LB1) is clearly distinct from healthy modern humans and from those exhibiting hypothyroidism and Laron syndrome. Modern human microcephalic specimens converge, to some extent, on crania of extinct species of Homo. However in the features that distinguish these two groups, LB1 consistently groups with fossil hominins and is most similar to H. erectus. Our study provides further support for recognizing the Flores hominins as a distinct species, H. floresiensis, whose affinities lie with archaic Homo. PMID:23874886

  18. The Age of the 20 Meter Solo River Terrace, Java, Indonesia and the Survival of Homo erectus in Asia

    PubMed Central

    Indriati, Etty; Swisher, Carl C.; Lepre, Christopher; Quinn, Rhonda L.; Suriyanto, Rusyad A.; Hascaryo, Agus T.; Grün, Rainer; Feibel, Craig S.; Pobiner, Briana L.; Aubert, Maxime; Lees, Wendy; Antón, Susan C.

    2011-01-01

    Homo erectus was the first human lineage to disperse widely throughout the Old World, the only hominin in Asia through much of the Pleistocene, and was likely ancestral to H. sapiens. The demise of this taxon remains obscure because of uncertainties regarding the geological age of its youngest populations. In 1996, some of us co-published electron spin resonance (ESR) and uranium series (U-series) results indicating an age as young as 35–50 ka for the late H. erectus sites of Ngandong and Sambungmacan and the faunal site of Jigar (Indonesia). If correct, these ages favor an African origin for recent humans who would overlap with H. erectus in time and space. Here, we report 40Ar/39Ar incremental heating analyses and new ESR/U-series age estimates from the “20 m terrace" at Ngandong and Jigar. Both data sets are internally consistent and provide no evidence for reworking, yet they are inconsistent with one another. The 40Ar/39Ar analyses give an average age of 546±12 ka (sd±5 se) for both sites, the first reliable radiometric indications of a middle Pleistocene component for the terrace. Given the technical accuracy and consistency of the analyses, the argon ages represent either the actual age or the maximum age for the terrace and are significantly older than previous estimates. Most of the ESR/U-series results are older as well, but the oldest that meets all modeling criteria is 143 ka+20/−17. Most samples indicated leaching of uranium and likely represent either the actual or the minimum age of the terrace. Given known sources of error, the U-series results could be consistent with a middle Pleistocene age. However, the ESR and 40Ar/39Ar ages preclude one another. Regardless, the age of the sites and hominins is at least bracketed between these estimates and is older than currently accepted. PMID:21738710

  19. High-resolution record of the Matuyama–Brunhes transition constrains the age of Javanese Homo erectus in the Sangiran dome, Indonesia

    PubMed Central

    Hyodo, Masayuki; Matsu'ura, Shuji; Kamishima, Yuko; Kondo, Megumi; Takeshita, Yoshihiro; Kitaba, Ikuko; Danhara, Tohru; Aziz, Fachroel; Kurniawan, Iwan; Kumai, Hisao

    2011-01-01

    A detailed paleomagnetic study conducted in the Sangiran area, Java, has provided a reliable age constraint on hominid fossil-bearing formations. A reverse-to-normal polarity transition marks a 7-m thick section across the Upper Tuff in the Bapang Formation. The transition has three short reversal episodes and is overlain by a thick normal polarity magnetozone that was fission-track dated to the Brunhes chron. This pattern closely resembles another high-resolution Matuyama–Brunhes (MB) transition record in an Osaka Bay marine core. In the Sangiran sediments, four successive transitional polarity fields lie just below the presumed main MB boundary. Their virtual geomagnetic poles cluster in the western South Pacific, partly overlapping the transitional virtual geomagnetic poles from Hawaiian and Canary Islands’ lavas, which have a mean 40Ar/39Ar age of 776 ± 2 ka. Thus, the polarity transition is unambiguously the MB boundary. A revised correlation of tuff layers in the Bapang Formation reveals that the hominid last occurrence and the tektite level in the Sangiran area are nearly coincident, just below the Upper Middle Tuff, which underlies the MB transition. The stratigraphic relationship of the tektite level to the MB transition in the Sangiran area is consistent with deep-sea core data that show that the meteorite impact preceded the MB reversal by about 12 ka. The MB boundary currently defines the uppermost horizon yielding Homo erectus fossils in the Sangiran area. PMID:22106291

  20. New fossils from Koobi Fora in northern Kenya confirm taxonomic diversity in early Homo.

    PubMed

    Leakey, Meave G; Spoor, Fred; Dean, M Christopher; Feibel, Craig S; Antón, Susan C; Kiarie, Christopher; Leakey, Louise N

    2012-08-01

    Since its discovery in 1972 (ref. 1), the cranium KNM-ER 1470 has been at the centre of the debate over the number of species of early Homo present in the early Pleistocene epoch of eastern Africa. KNM-ER 1470 stands out among other specimens attributed to early Homo because of its larger size, and its flat and subnasally orthognathic face with anteriorly placed maxillary zygomatic roots. This singular morphology and the incomplete preservation of the fossil have led to different views as to whether KNM-ER 1470 can be accommodated within a single species of early Homo that is highly variable because of sexual, geographical and temporal factors, or whether it provides evidence of species diversity marked by differences in cranial size and facial or masticatory adaptation. Here we report on three newly discovered fossils, aged between 1.78 and 1.95 million years (Myr) old, that clarify the anatomy and taxonomic status of KNM-ER 1470. KNM-ER 62000, a well-preserved face of a late juvenile hominin, closely resembles KNM-ER 1470 but is notably smaller. It preserves previously unknown morphology, including moderately sized, mesiodistally long postcanine teeth. The nearly complete mandible KNM-ER 60000 and mandibular fragment KNM-ER 62003 have a dental arcade that is short anteroposteriorly and flat across the front, with small incisors; these features are consistent with the arcade morphology of KNM-ER 1470 and KNM-ER 62000. The new fossils confirm the presence of two contemporary species of early Homo, in addition to Homo erectus, in the early Pleistocene of eastern Africa. PMID:22874966

  1. Fossil evidence for the origin of Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Jeffrey H; Tattersall, Ian

    2010-01-01

    Our species Homo sapiens has never received a satisfactory morphological definition. Deriving partly from Linnaeus's exhortation simply to "know thyself," and partly from the insistence by advocates of the Evolutionary Synthesis in the mid-20th Century that species are constantly transforming ephemera that by definition cannot be pinned down by morphology, this unfortunate situation has led to huge uncertainty over which hominid fossils ought to be included in H. sapiens, and even over which of them should be qualified as "archaic" or as "anatomically modern," a debate that is an oddity in the broader context of paleontology. Here, we propose a suite of features that seems to characterize all H. sapiens alive today, and we review the fossil evidence in light of those features, paying particular attention to the bipartite brow and the "chin" as examples of how, given the continuum from developmentally regulated genes to adult morphology, we might consider features preserved in fossil specimens in a comparative analysis that includes extant taxa. We also suggest that this perspective on the origination of novelty, which has gained a substantial foothold in the general field of evolutionary developmental biology, has an intellectual place in paleoanthropology and hominid systematics, including in defining our species, H. sapiens. Beginning solely with the distinctive living species reveals a startling variety in morphologies among late middle and late Pleistocene hominids, none of which can be plausibly attributed to H. sapiens/H. neanderthalensis admixture. Allowing for a slightly greater envelope of variation than exists today, basic "modern" morphology seems to have appeared significantly earlier in time than the first stirrings of the modern symbolic cognitive system. PMID:21086529

  2. Evolution of the Genus Homo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tattersall, Ian; Schwartz, Jeffrey H.

    2009-05-01

    Definition of the genus Homo is almost as fraught as the definition of Homo sapiens. We look at the evidence for “early Homo,” finding little morphological basis for extending our genus to any of the 2.5-1.6-myr-old fossil forms assigned to “early Homo” or Homo habilis/rudolfensis. We also point to heterogeneity among “early African Homo erectus,” and the lack of apomorphies linking these fossils to the Asian Homo erectus group, a cohesive regional clade that shows some internal variation, including brain size increase over time. The first truly cosmopolitan Homo species is Homo heidelbergensis, known from Africa, Europe, and China following 600 kyr ago. One species sympatric with it included the >500-kyr-old Sima de los Huesos fossils from Spain, clearly distinct from Homo heidelbergensis and the oldest hominids assignable to the clade additionally containing Homo neanderthalensis. This clade also shows evidence of brain size expansion with time; but although Homo neanderthalensis had a large brain, it left no unequivocal evidence of the symbolic consciousness that makes our species unique. Homo sapiens clearly originated in Africa, where it existed as a physical entity before it began (also in that continent) to show the first stirrings of symbolism. Most likely, the biological underpinnings of symbolic consciousness were exaptively acquired in the radical developmental reorganization that gave rise to the highly characteristic osteological structure of Homo sapiens, but lay fallow for tens of thousands of years before being “discovered” by a cultural stimulus, plausibly the invention of language.

  3. Origin and evolution of the genus Homo.

    PubMed

    Wood, B

    1992-02-27

    It is remarkable that the taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships of the earliest known representatives of our own genus, Homo, remain obscure. Advances in techniques for absolute dating and reassessments of the fossils themselves have rendered untenable a simple unilineal model of human evolution, in which Homo habilis succeeded the australopithecines and then evolved via H. erectus into H. sapiens-but no clear alternative consensus has yet emerged. PMID:1538759

  4. Découverte d'un Homo sapiens archaïque à Oranjemund, NamibieDiscovery of an archaic Homo sapiens in Oranjemund, Namibia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senut, Brigitte; Pickford, Martin; Braga, José; Marais, Daan; Coppens, Yves

    2000-06-01

    The transition between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens in Africa is still a matter of debate due to the paucity of fossils and to the difficulty of estimating their chronologic age. The discovery of a well preserved skull-cap of archaic Homo sapiens (OMD 1'98) in Namibia on the banks of the Orange River enlarges the distribution of these archaic populations to southwestern Africa.

  5. Reconstructed Homo habilis type OH 7 suggests deep-rooted species diversity in early Homo.

    PubMed

    Spoor, Fred; Gunz, Philipp; Neubauer, Simon; Stelzer, Stefanie; Scott, Nadia; Kwekason, Amandus; Dean, M Christopher

    2015-03-01

    Besides Homo erectus (sensu lato), the eastern African fossil record of early Homo has been interpreted as representing either a single variable species, Homo habilis, or two species. In the latter case, however, there is no consensus over the respective groupings, and which of the two includes OH 7, the 1.8-million-year-old H. habilis holotype. This partial skull and hand from Olduvai Gorge remains pivotal to evaluating the early evolution of the Homo lineage, and by priority names one or other of the two taxa. However, the distorted preservation of the diagnostically important OH 7 mandible has hindered attempts to compare this specimen with other fossils. Here we present a virtual reconstruction of the OH 7 mandible, and compare it to other early Homo fossils. The reconstructed mandible is remarkably primitive, with a long and narrow dental arcade more similar to Australopithecus afarensis than to the derived parabolic arcades of Homo sapiens or H. erectus. We find that this shape variability is not consistent with a single species of early Homo. Importantly, the jaw morphology of OH 7 is incompatible with fossils assigned to Homo rudolfensis and with the A.L. 666-1 Homo maxilla. The latter is morphologically more derived than OH 7 but 500,000 years older, suggesting that the H. habilis lineage originated before 2.3 million years ago, thus marking deep-rooted species diversity in the genus Homo. We also reconstructed the parietal bones of OH 7 and estimated its endocranial volume. At between 729 and 824 ml it is larger than any previously published value, and emphasizes the near-complete overlap in brain size among species of early Homo. Our results clarify the H. habilis hypodigm, but raise questions about its phylogenetic relationships. Differences between species of early Homo appear to be characterized more by gnathic diversity than by differences in brain size, which was highly variable within all taxa. PMID:25739632

  6. Man the Fat Hunter: The Demise of Homo erectus and the Emergence of a New Hominin Lineage in the Middle Pleistocene (ca. 400 kyr) Levant

    PubMed Central

    Ben-Dor, Miki; Gopher, Avi; Hershkovitz, Israel; Barkai, Ran

    2011-01-01

    The worldwide association of H. erectus with elephants is well documented and so is the preference of humans for fat as a source of energy. We show that rather than a matter of preference, H. erectus in the Levant was dependent on both elephants and fat for his survival. The disappearance of elephants from the Levant some 400 kyr ago coincides with the appearance of a new and innovative local cultural complex – the Levantine Acheulo-Yabrudian and, as is evident from teeth recently found in the Acheulo-Yabrudian 400-200 kyr site of Qesem Cave, the replacement of H. erectus by a new hominin. We employ a bio-energetic model to present a hypothesis that the disappearance of the elephants, which created a need to hunt an increased number of smaller and faster animals while maintaining an adequate fat content in the diet, was the evolutionary drive behind the emergence of the lighter, more agile, and cognitively capable hominins. Qesem Cave thus provides a rare opportunity to study the mechanisms that underlie the emergence of our post-erectus ancestors, the fat hunters. PMID:22174868

  7. Man the fat hunter: the demise of Homo erectus and the emergence of a new hominin lineage in the Middle Pleistocene (ca. 400 kyr) Levant.

    PubMed

    Ben-Dor, Miki; Gopher, Avi; Hershkovitz, Israel; Barkai, Ran

    2011-01-01

    The worldwide association of H. erectus with elephants is well documented and so is the preference of humans for fat as a source of energy. We show that rather than a matter of preference, H. erectus in the Levant was dependent on both elephants and fat for his survival. The disappearance of elephants from the Levant some 400 kyr ago coincides with the appearance of a new and innovative local cultural complex--the Levantine Acheulo-Yabrudian and, as is evident from teeth recently found in the Acheulo-Yabrudian 400-200 kyr site of Qesem Cave, the replacement of H. erectus by a new hominin. We employ a bio-energetic model to present a hypothesis that the disappearance of the elephants, which created a need to hunt an increased number of smaller and faster animals while maintaining an adequate fat content in the diet, was the evolutionary drive behind the emergence of the lighter, more agile, and cognitively capable hominins. Qesem Cave thus provides a rare opportunity to study the mechanisms that underlie the emergence of our post-erectus ancestors, the fat hunters. PMID:22174868

  8. Bone strength and athletic ability in hominids: Ardipithecus ramidus to Homo sapiens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, S. A.

    2013-03-01

    The ability of the femur to resist bending stresses is determined by its midlength cross-sectional geometry, its length and the elastic properties of the mineral part of the bone. The animal's athletic ability, determined by a ``bone strength index,'' is limited by this femoral bending strength in relation to the loads on the femur. This analysis is applied to the fossil record for Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo erectus, Homo habilis, Australopithecus afarensis and Ardipithecus ramidus. Evidence that the femoral bone strength index of modern Homo sapiens has weakened over the last 50,000 years is found.

  9. A single lineage in early Pleistocene Homo: size variation continuity in early Pleistocene Homo crania from East Africa and Georgia.

    PubMed

    Van Arsdale, Adam P; Wolpoff, Milford H

    2013-03-01

    The relationship between Homo habilis and early African Homo erectus has been contentious because H. habilis was hypothesized to be an evolutionary stage between Australopithecus and H. erectus, more than a half-century ago. Recent work re-dating key African early Homo localities and the discovery of new fossils in East Africa and Georgia provide the opportunity for a productive re-evaluation of this topic. Here, we test the hypothesis that the cranial sample from East Africa and Georgia represents a single evolutionary lineage of Homo spanning the approximately 1.9-1.5 Mya time period, consisting of specimens attributed to H. habilis and H. erectus. To address issues of small sample sizes in each time period, and uneven representation of cranial data, we developed a novel nonparametric randomization technique based on the variance in an index of pairwise difference from a broad set of fossil comparisons. We fail to reject the hypothesis of a single lineage this period by identifying a strong, time-dependent pattern of variation throughout the sequence. These results suggest the need for a reappraisal of fossil evidence from other regions within this time period and highlight the critical nature of the Plio-Pleistocene boundary for understanding the early evolution of the genus Homo. PMID:23461332

  10. The first archaic Homo from Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chun-Hsiang; Kaifu, Yousuke; Takai, Masanaru; Kono, Reiko T; Grün, Rainer; Matsu'ura, Shuji; Kinsley, Les; Lin, Liang-Kong

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies of an increasing number of hominin fossils highlight regional and chronological diversities of archaic Homo in the Pleistocene of eastern Asia. However, such a realization is still based on limited geographical occurrences mainly from Indonesia, China and Russian Altai. Here we describe a newly discovered archaic Homo mandible from Taiwan (Penghu 1), which further increases the diversity of Pleistocene Asian hominins. Penghu 1 revealed an unexpectedly late survival (younger than 450 but most likely 190-10 thousand years ago) of robust, apparently primitive dentognathic morphology in the periphery of the continent, which is unknown among the penecontemporaneous fossil records from other regions of Asia except for the mid-Middle Pleistocene Homo from Hexian, Eastern China. Such patterns of geographic trait distribution cannot be simply explained by clinal geographic variation of Homo erectus between northern China and Java, and suggests survival of multiple evolutionary lineages among archaic hominins before the arrival of modern humans in the region. PMID:25625212

  11. The first archaic Homo from Taiwan

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Chun-Hsiang; Kaifu, Yousuke; Takai, Masanaru; Kono, Reiko T.; Grün, Rainer; Matsu’ura, Shuji; Kinsley, Les; Lin, Liang-Kong

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies of an increasing number of hominin fossils highlight regional and chronological diversities of archaic Homo in the Pleistocene of eastern Asia. However, such a realization is still based on limited geographical occurrences mainly from Indonesia, China and Russian Altai. Here we describe a newly discovered archaic Homo mandible from Taiwan (Penghu 1), which further increases the diversity of Pleistocene Asian hominins. Penghu 1 revealed an unexpectedly late survival (younger than 450 but most likely 190–10 thousand years ago) of robust, apparently primitive dentognathic morphology in the periphery of the continent, which is unknown among the penecontemporaneous fossil records from other regions of Asia except for the mid-Middle Pleistocene Homo from Hexian, Eastern China. Such patterns of geographic trait distribution cannot be simply explained by clinal geographic variation of Homo erectus between northern China and Java, and suggests survival of multiple evolutionary lineages among archaic hominins before the arrival of modern humans in the region. PMID:25625212

  12. Improved age control on early Homo fossils from the upper Burgi Member at Koobi Fora, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Joordens, Josephine C A; Dupont-Nivet, Guillaume; Feibel, Craig S; Spoor, Fred; Sier, Mark J; van der Lubbe, Jeroen H J L; Nielsen, Trine Kellberg; Knul, Monika V; Davies, Gareth R; Vonhof, Hubert B

    2013-12-01

    To address questions regarding the evolutionary origin, radiation and dispersal of the genus Homo, it is crucial to be able to place the occurrence of hominin fossils in a high-resolution chronological framework. The period around 2 Ma (millions of years ago) in eastern Africa is of particular interest as it is at this time that a more substantial fossil record of the genus Homo is first found. Here we combine magnetostratigraphy and strontium (Sr) isotope stratigraphy to improve age control on hominin-bearing upper Burgi (UBU) deposits in Areas 105 and 131 on the Karari Ridge in the eastern Turkana Basin (Kenya). We identify the base of the Olduvai subchron (bC2n) plus a short isolated interval of consistently normal polarity that we interpret to be the Pre-Olduvai event. Combined with precession-forced (~20 kyr [thousands of years]) wet-dry climate cycles resolved by Sr isotope ratios, the magnetostratigraphic data allow us to construct an age model for the UBU deposits. We provide detailed age constraints for 15 hominin fossils from Area 131, showing that key specimens such as cranium KNM-ER 1470, partial face KNM-ER 62000 and mandibles KNM-ER 1482, KNM-ER 1801, and KNM-ER 1802 can be constrained between 1.945 ± 0.004 and 2.058 ± 0.034 Ma, and thus older than previously estimated. The new ages are consistent with a temporal overlap of two species of early Homo that can be distinguished by their facial morphology. Further, our results show that in this time interval, hominins occurred throughout the wet-dry climate cycles, supporting the hypothesis that the lacustrine Turkana Basin was a refugium during regionally dry periods. By establishing the observed first appearance datum of a marine-derived stingray in UBU deposits at 2.058 ± 0.034 Ma, we show that at this time the Turkana Basin was hydrographically connected to the Indian Ocean, facilitating dispersal of fauna between these areas. From a biogeographical perspective, we propose that the Indian Ocean coastal strip should be considered as a possible source area for one or more of the multiple Homo species in the Turkana Basin from over 2 Ma onwards. PMID:24134960

  13. Spinal cord evolution in early Homo.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Marc R; Haeusler, Martin

    2015-11-01

    The discovery at Nariokotome of the Homo erectus skeleton KNM-WT 15000, with a narrow spinal canal, seemed to show that this relatively large-brained hominin retained the primitive spinal cord size of African apes and that brain size expansion preceded postcranial neurological evolution. Here we compare the size and shape of the KNM-WT 15000 spinal canal with modern and fossil taxa including H. erectus from Dmanisi, Homo antecessor, the European middle Pleistocene hominins from Sima de los Huesos, and Pan troglodytes. In terms of shape and absolute and relative size of the spinal canal, we find all of the Dmanisi and most of the vertebrae of KNM-WT 15000 are within the human range of variation except for the C7, T2, and T3 of KNM-WT 15000, which are constricted, suggesting spinal stenosis. While additional fossils might definitively indicate whether H. erectus had evolved a human-like enlarged spinal canal, the evidence from the Dmanisi spinal canal and the unaffected levels of KNM-WT 15000 show that unlike Australopithecus, H. erectus had a spinal canal size and shape equivalent to that of modern humans. Subadult status is unlikely to affect our results, as spinal canal growth is complete in both individuals. We contest the notion that vertebrae yield information about respiratory control or language evolution, but suggest that, like H. antecessor and European middle Pleistocene hominins from Sima de los Huesos, early Homo possessed a postcranial neurological endowment roughly commensurate to modern humans, with implications for neurological, structural, and vascular improvements over Pan and Australopithecus. PMID:26553817

  14. Brain size and encephalization in early to Mid-Pleistocene Homo.

    PubMed

    Rightmire, G Philip

    2004-06-01

    Important changes in the brain have occurred during the course of human evolution. Both absolute and relative size increases can be documented for species of Homo, culminating in the appearance of modern humans. One species that is particularly well-represented by fossil crania is Homo erectus. The mean capacity for 30 individuals is 973 cm(3). Within this group there is substantial variation, but brain size increases slightly in specimens from later time periods. Other Middle Pleistocene crania differ from those of Homo erectus. Characters of the facial skeleton, vault, and cranial base suggest that fossils from sites such as Arago Cave in France, the Sima de los Huesos in Spain, Bodo in Ethiopia, Broken Hill in Zambia, and perhaps Dali in China belong to the taxon Homo heidelbergensis. Ten of these mid-Quaternary hominins have brains averaging 1,206 cm(3) in volume, and many fall beyond the limits of size predicted for Homo erectus of equivalent age. When orbit height is used to construct an index of relative brain size, it is apparent that the (significant) increase in volume documented for the Middle Pleistocene individuals is not simply a consequence of larger body mass. Encephalization quotient values confirm this finding. These changes in absolute and relative brain size can be taken as further corroborative evidence for a speciation event, in which Homo erectus produced a daughter lineage. It is probable that Homo heidelbergensis originated in Africa or western Eurasia and then ranged widely across the Old World. Archaeological traces indicate that these populations differed in their technology and behavior from earlier hominins. PMID:15160365

  15. New hominid fossils from the Swartkrans formation (1979-1986 excavations): postcranial specimens.

    PubMed

    Susman, R L

    1989-08-01

    New postcranial fossils of Paranthropus robustus and Homo cf. erectus were recovered from Swartkrans from 1979 through 1986. These fossils are from Members 1, 2, and 3. The new fossils are described here along with their morphological affinities. Fossils that are assigned to Paranthropus indicate that the South African "robust" australopithecines engaged in tool behavior and were essentially terrestrial bipeds at around 1.8 Myr BP. The manual dexterity and bipedal locomotion of Paranthropus may have equaled that of Homo habilis in East Africa at approximately the same time. PMID:2672829

  16. Associated ilium and femur from Koobi Fora, Kenya, and postcranial diversity in early Homo.

    PubMed

    Ward, Carol V; Feibel, Craig S; Hammond, Ashley S; Leakey, Louise N; Moffett, Elizabeth A; Plavcan, J Michael; Skinner, Matthew M; Spoor, Fred; Leakey, Meave G

    2015-04-01

    During the evolution of hominins, it is generally accepted that there was a shift in postcranial morphology between Australopithecus and the genus Homo. Given the scarcity of associated remains of early Homo, however, relatively little is known about early Homo postcranial morphology. There are hints of postcranial diversity among species, but our knowledge of the nature and extent of potential differences is limited. Here we present a new associated partial ilium and femur from Koobi Fora, Kenya, dating to 1.9 Ma (millions of years ago) that is clearly attributable to the genus Homo but documents a pattern of morphology not seen in eastern African early Homo erectus. The ilium and proximal femur share distinctive anatomy found only in Homo. However, the geometry of the femoral midshaft and contour of the pelvic inlet do not resemble that of any specimens attributed to H. erectus from eastern Africa. This new fossil confirms the presence of at least two postcranial morphotypes within early Homo, and documents diversity in postcranial morphology among early Homo species that may reflect underlying body form and/or adaptive differences. PMID:25747316

  17. Taxonomic identification of Lower Pleistocene fossil hominins based on distal humeral diaphyseal cross-sectional shape.

    PubMed

    Lague, Michael R

    2015-01-01

    The coexistence of multiple hominin species during the Lower Pleistocene has long presented a challenge for taxonomic attribution of isolated postcrania. Although fossil humeri are well-suited for studies of hominin postcranial variation due to their relative abundance, humeral articular morphology has thus far been of limited value for differentiating Paranthropus from Homo. On the other hand, distal humeral diaphyseal shape has been used to justify such generic distinctions at Swartkrans. The potential utility of humeral diaphyseal shape merits larger-scale quantitative analysis, particularly as it permits the inclusion of fragmentary specimens lacking articular morphology. This study analyzes shape variation of the distal humeral diaphysis among fossil hominins (c. 2-1 Ma) to test the hypothesis that specimens can be divided into distinct morphotypes. Coordinate landmarks were placed on 3D laser scans to quantify cross-sectional shape at a standardized location of the humeral diaphysis (proximal to the olecranon fossa) for a variety of fossil hominins and extant hominids. The fossil sample includes specimens attributed to species based on associated craniodental remains. Mantel tests of matrix correlation were used to assess hypotheses about morphometric relationships among the fossils by comparing empirically-derived Procrustes distance matrices to hypothetical model matrices. Diaphyseal shape variation is consistent with the hypothesis of three distinct morphotypes (Paranthropus, Homo erectus, non-erectus early Homo) in both eastern and southern Africa during the observed time period. Specimens attributed to non-erectus early Homo are unique among hominids with respect to the degree of relative anteroposterior flattening, while H. erectus humeri exhibit morphology more similar to that of modern humans. In both geographic regions, Paranthropus is characterized by a morphology that is intermediate with respect to those morphological features that differentiate the two forms of early Homo. This study demonstrates the utility of the humeral diaphysis for taxonomic identification of isolated postcranial remains and further documents a high degree of postcranial diversity in early Homo. PMID:26213653

  18. Taxonomic identification of Lower Pleistocene fossil hominins based on distal humeral diaphyseal cross-sectional shape

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The coexistence of multiple hominin species during the Lower Pleistocene has long presented a challenge for taxonomic attribution of isolated postcrania. Although fossil humeri are well-suited for studies of hominin postcranial variation due to their relative abundance, humeral articular morphology has thus far been of limited value for differentiating Paranthropus from Homo. On the other hand, distal humeral diaphyseal shape has been used to justify such generic distinctions at Swartkrans. The potential utility of humeral diaphyseal shape merits larger-scale quantitative analysis, particularly as it permits the inclusion of fragmentary specimens lacking articular morphology. This study analyzes shape variation of the distal humeral diaphysis among fossil hominins (c. 2-1 Ma) to test the hypothesis that specimens can be divided into distinct morphotypes. Coordinate landmarks were placed on 3D laser scans to quantify cross-sectional shape at a standardized location of the humeral diaphysis (proximal to the olecranon fossa) for a variety of fossil hominins and extant hominids. The fossil sample includes specimens attributed to species based on associated craniodental remains. Mantel tests of matrix correlation were used to assess hypotheses about morphometric relationships among the fossils by comparing empirically-derived Procrustes distance matrices to hypothetical model matrices. Diaphyseal shape variation is consistent with the hypothesis of three distinct morphotypes (Paranthropus, Homo erectus, non-erectus early Homo) in both eastern and southern Africa during the observed time period. Specimens attributed to non-erectus early Homo are unique among hominids with respect to the degree of relative anteroposterior flattening, while H. erectus humeri exhibit morphology more similar to that of modern humans. In both geographic regions, Paranthropus is characterized by a morphology that is intermediate with respect to those morphological features that differentiate the two forms of early Homo. This study demonstrates the utility of the humeral diaphysis for taxonomic identification of isolated postcranial remains and further documents a high degree of postcranial diversity in early Homo. PMID:26213653

  19. Bone strength and athletic ability in hominids: Ardipithecus ramidus to Homo sapiens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Scott

    2012-10-01

    A methodology for the evaluation of the athletic ability of animals based on the strength of their femur and their body mass is developed. The ability of the femur to resist bending stresses is determined by its midlength cross-sectional geometry, its length and the elastic properties of the mineral part of the bone. The animal's athletic ability, determined by a ``bone strength index,'' is limited by this femoral bending strength in relation to the loads on the femur. This analysis is applied to the fossil record for Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo erectus, Homo habilis, Australopithecus afarensis and Ardipithecus ramidus. Evidence that the femoral bone strength index of modern Homo sapiens has weakened over the last 50,000 years is found.

  20. Human species and mating systems: Neandertal-Homo sapiens reproductive isolation and the archaeological and fossil records.

    PubMed

    Overmann, Karenleigh; Coolidge, Frederick

    2013-01-01

    The present paper examined the assumption of strong reproductive isolation (RI) between Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens, as well as the question of what form it might have taken, using insights from the parallel case of chimpanzee–bonobo hybridization. RI from hybrid sterility or inviability was thought unlikely based on the short separation-to-introgression timeline. The forms of RI that typically develop in primates have relatively short timelines (especially for partial implementation); they generally preclude mating or influence hybrid survival and reproduction in certain contexts, and they have the potential to skew introgression directionality. These RI barriers are also consistent with some interpretations of the archaeological and fossil records, especially when behavioral, cognitive, morphological, and genetic differences between the two human species are taken into consideration. Differences potentially influencing patterns of survival and reproduction include interspecies violence, Neandertal xenophobia, provisioning behavior, and ontogenetic, morphological, and behavioral differences affecting matters such as kin and mate recognition, infanticide, and sexual selection. These factors may have skewed the occurrence of interbreeding or the survival and reproduction of hybrids in a way that might at least partially explain the pattern of introgression. PMID:24344097

  1. Un nouveau crâne humain fossile dans le dôme de Sangiran (Java, Indonésie)A recently discovered fossil human skull from the Sangiran dome (Java, Indonesia).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Widianto, Harry; Grimaud-Hervé, Dominique

    2000-06-01

    The study of new human remains discovered at the Grogol Wetan hamlet, in the Kabuh layers of the Sangiran stratigraphy dated between 0.8 and 0.25 million years, allows us to show morphological characters very similar to those observed on the other hominids of the same stratigraphical layers of this site. So, we can attribute this human fossil to this very homogeneous population of asiatic Homo erectus.

  2. Unique Dental Morphology of Homo floresiensis and Its Evolutionary Implications.

    PubMed

    Kaifu, Yousuke; Kono, Reiko T; Sutikna, Thomas; Saptomo, Emanuel Wahyu; Jatmiko; Due Awe, Rokus

    2015-01-01

    Homo floresiensis is an extinct, diminutive hominin species discovered in the Late Pleistocene deposits of Liang Bua cave, Flores, eastern Indonesia. The nature and evolutionary origins of H. floresiensis' unique physical characters have been intensively debated. Based on extensive comparisons using linear metric analyses, crown contour analyses, and other trait-by-trait morphological comparisons, we report here that the dental remains from multiple individuals indicate that H. floresiensis had primitive canine-premolar and advanced molar morphologies, a combination of dental traits unknown in any other hominin species. The primitive aspects are comparable to H. erectus from the Early Pleistocene, whereas some of the molar morphologies are more progressive even compared to those of modern humans. This evidence contradicts the earlier claim of an entirely modern human-like dental morphology of H. floresiensis, while at the same time does not support the hypothesis that H. floresiensis originated from a much older H. habilis or Australopithecus-like small-brained hominin species currently unknown in the Asian fossil record. These results are however consistent with the alternative hypothesis that H. floresiensis derived from an earlier Asian Homo erectus population and experienced substantial body and brain size dwarfism in an isolated insular setting. The dentition of H. floresiensis is not a simple, scaled-down version of earlier hominins. PMID:26624612

  3. Unique Dental Morphology of Homo floresiensis and Its Evolutionary Implications

    PubMed Central

    Kaifu, Yousuke; Kono, Reiko T.; Sutikna, Thomas; Saptomo, Emanuel Wahyu; Jatmiko

    2015-01-01

    Homo floresiensis is an extinct, diminutive hominin species discovered in the Late Pleistocene deposits of Liang Bua cave, Flores, eastern Indonesia. The nature and evolutionary origins of H. floresiensis’ unique physical characters have been intensively debated. Based on extensive comparisons using linear metric analyses, crown contour analyses, and other trait-by-trait morphological comparisons, we report here that the dental remains from multiple individuals indicate that H. floresiensis had primitive canine-premolar and advanced molar morphologies, a combination of dental traits unknown in any other hominin species. The primitive aspects are comparable to H. erectus from the Early Pleistocene, whereas some of the molar morphologies are more progressive even compared to those of modern humans. This evidence contradicts the earlier claim of an entirely modern human-like dental morphology of H. floresiensis, while at the same time does not support the hypothesis that H. floresiensis originated from a much older H. habilis or Australopithecus-like small-brained hominin species currently unknown in the Asian fossil record. These results are however consistent with the alternative hypothesis that H. floresiensis derived from an earlier Asian Homo erectus population and experienced substantial body and brain size dwarfism in an isolated insular setting. The dentition of H. floresiensis is not a simple, scaled-down version of earlier hominins. PMID:26624612

  4. Variations and asymmetries in regional brain surface in the genus Homo.

    PubMed

    Balzeau, Antoine; Holloway, Ralph L; Grimaud-Hervé, Dominique

    2012-06-01

    Paleoneurology is an important field of research within human evolution studies. Variations in size and shape of an endocast help to differentiate among fossil hominin species whereas endocranial asymmetries are related to behavior and cognitive function. Here we analyse variations of the surface of the frontal, parieto-temporal and occipital lobes among different species of Homo, including 39 fossil hominins, ten fossil anatomically modern Homo sapiens and 100 endocasts of extant modern humans. We also test for the possible asymmetries of these features in a large sample of modern humans and observe individual particularities in the fossil specimens. This study contributes important new information about the brain evolution in the genus Homo. Our results show that the general pattern of surface asymmetry for the different regional brain surfaces in fossil species of Homo does not seem to be different from the pattern described in a large sample of anatomically modern H. sapiens, i.e., the right hemisphere has a larger surface than the left, as do the right frontal, the right parieto-temporal and the left occipital lobes compared with the contra-lateral side. It also appears that Asian Homo erectus specimens are discriminated from all other samples of Homo, including African and Georgian specimens that are also sometimes included in that taxon. The Asian fossils show a significantly smaller relative size of the parietal and temporal lobes. Neandertals and anatomically modern H. sapiens, who share the largest endocranial volume of all hominins, show differences when considering the relative contribution of the frontal, parieto-temporal and occipital lobes. These results illustrate an original variation in the pattern of brain organization in hominins independent of variations in total size. The globularization of the brain and the enlargement of the parietal lobes could be considered derived features observed uniquely in anatomically modern H. sapiens. PMID:22542169

  5. The Watinglo mandible: a second terminal Pleistocene Homo sapiens fossil from tropical Sahul with a test on existing models for the human settlement of the region.

    PubMed

    Bulbeck, D; O'Connor, S

    2011-02-01

    This paper analyses a fossil human mandible, dated to circa 10ka, from Watinglo rockshelter on the north coast of Papua New Guinea. The fossil is metrically and morphologically similar to male mandibles of recent Melanesians and Australian Aborigines. It is distinguished from Kow Swamp and Coobool Creek male mandibles (Murray Valley, terminal Pleistocene) by being smaller and having different shape characteristics, as well as smaller teeth and a slower rate of tooth wear. It pairs with the Liang Lemdubu female (Late Glacial Maximum, Aru Islands) in suggesting that the morphology of the terminal Pleistocene inhabitants of tropical Sahul was gracile compared to their contemporaries within the southern Murray drainage. An explanatory scenario for this morphological contrast is developed in the context of the Homo sapiens early fossil record, Australasian mtDNA evidence, terminal Pleistocene climatic variation, and the possibility of multiple entry points into Sahul. PMID:21216399

  6. Before the Emergence of Homo sapiens: Overview on the Early-to-Middle Pleistocene Fossil Record (with a Proposal about Homo heidelbergensis at the subspecific level).

    PubMed

    Manzi, Giorgio

    2011-01-01

    The origin of H. sapiens has deep roots, which include two crucial nodes: (1) the emergence and diffusion of the last common ancestor of later Homo (in the Early Pleistocene) and (2) the tempo and mode of the appearance of distinct evolutionary lineages (in the Middle Pleistocene). The window between 1,000 and 500 thousand years before present appears of crucial importance, including the generation of a new and more encephalised kind of humanity, referred to by many authors as H. heidelbergensis. This species greatly diversified during the Middle Pleistocene up to the formation of new variants (i.e., incipient species) that, eventually, led to the allopatric speciation of H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens. The special case furnished by the calvarium found near Ceprano (Italy), dated to 430-385 ka, offers the opportunity to investigate this matter from an original perspective. It is proposed to separate the hypodigm of a single, widespread, and polymorphic human taxon of the Middle Pleistocene into distinct subspecies (i.e., incipient species). The ancestral one should be H. heidelbergensis, including specimens such as Ceprano and the mandible from Mauer. PMID:21716742

  7. Before the Emergence of Homo sapiens: Overview on the Early-to-Middle Pleistocene Fossil Record (with a Proposal about Homo heidelbergensis at the subspecific level)

    PubMed Central

    Manzi, Giorgio

    2011-01-01

    The origin of H. sapiens has deep roots, which include two crucial nodes: (1) the emergence and diffusion of the last common ancestor of later Homo (in the Early Pleistocene) and (2) the tempo and mode of the appearance of distinct evolutionary lineages (in the Middle Pleistocene). The window between 1,000 and 500 thousand years before present appears of crucial importance, including the generation of a new and more encephalised kind of humanity, referred to by many authors as H. heidelbergensis. This species greatly diversified during the Middle Pleistocene up to the formation of new variants (i.e., incipient species) that, eventually, led to the allopatric speciation of H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens. The special case furnished by the calvarium found near Ceprano (Italy), dated to 430–385 ka, offers the opportunity to investigate this matter from an original perspective. It is proposed to separate the hypodigm of a single, widespread, and polymorphic human taxon of the Middle Pleistocene into distinct subspecies (i.e., incipient species). The ancestral one should be H. heidelbergensis, including specimens such as Ceprano and the mandible from Mauer. PMID:21716742

  8. Disproportionate Cochlear Length in Genus Homo Shows a High Phylogenetic Signal during Apes' Hearing Evolution.

    PubMed

    Braga, J; Loubes, J-M; Descouens, D; Dumoncel, J; Thackeray, J F; Kahn, J-L; de Beer, F; Riberon, A; Hoffman, K; Balaresque, P; Gilissen, E

    2015-01-01

    Changes in lifestyles and body weight affected mammal life-history evolution but little is known about how they shaped species' sensory systems. Since auditory sensitivity impacts communication tasks and environmental acoustic awareness, it may have represented a deciding factor during mammal evolution, including apes. Here, we statistically measure the influence of phylogeny and allometry on the variation of five cochlear morphological features associated with hearing capacities across 22 living and 5 fossil catarrhine species. We find high phylogenetic signals for absolute and relative cochlear length only. Comparisons between fossil cochleae and reconstructed ape ancestral morphotypes show that Australopithecus absolute and relative cochlear lengths are explicable by phylogeny and concordant with the hypothetized ((Pan,Homo),Gorilla) and (Pan,Homo) most recent common ancestors. Conversely, deviations of the Paranthropus oval window area from these most recent common ancestors are not explicable by phylogeny and body weight alone, but suggest instead rapid evolutionary changes (directional selection) of its hearing organ. Premodern (Homo erectus) and modern human cochleae set apart from living non-human catarrhines and australopiths. They show cochlear relative lengths and oval window areas larger than expected for their body mass, two features corresponding to increased low-frequency sensitivity more recent than 2 million years ago. The uniqueness of the "hypertrophied" cochlea in the genus Homo (as opposed to the australopiths) and the significantly high phylogenetic signal of this organ among apes indicate its usefulness to identify homologies and monophyletic groups in the hominid fossil record. PMID:26083484

  9. Disproportionate Cochlear Length in Genus Homo Shows a High Phylogenetic Signal during Apes’ Hearing Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Braga, J.; Loubes, J-M.; Descouens, D.; Dumoncel, J.; Thackeray, J. F.; Kahn, J-L.; de Beer, F.; Riberon, A.; Hoffman, K.; Balaresque, P.; Gilissen, E.

    2015-01-01

    Changes in lifestyles and body weight affected mammal life-history evolution but little is known about how they shaped species’ sensory systems. Since auditory sensitivity impacts communication tasks and environmental acoustic awareness, it may have represented a deciding factor during mammal evolution, including apes. Here, we statistically measure the influence of phylogeny and allometry on the variation of five cochlear morphological features associated with hearing capacities across 22 living and 5 fossil catarrhine species. We find high phylogenetic signals for absolute and relative cochlear length only. Comparisons between fossil cochleae and reconstructed ape ancestral morphotypes show that Australopithecus absolute and relative cochlear lengths are explicable by phylogeny and concordant with the hypothetized ((Pan,Homo),Gorilla) and (Pan,Homo) most recent common ancestors. Conversely, deviations of the Paranthropus oval window area from these most recent common ancestors are not explicable by phylogeny and body weight alone, but suggest instead rapid evolutionary changes (directional selection) of its hearing organ. Premodern (Homo erectus) and modern human cochleae set apart from living non-human catarrhines and australopiths. They show cochlear relative lengths and oval window areas larger than expected for their body mass, two features corresponding to increased low-frequency sensitivity more recent than 2 million years ago. The uniqueness of the “hypertrophied” cochlea in the genus Homo (as opposed to the australopiths) and the significantly high phylogenetic signal of this organ among apes indicate its usefulness to identify homologies and monophyletic groups in the hominid fossil record. PMID:26083484

  10. Subnasal morphological variation in fossil hominids: a reassessment based on new observations and recent developmental findings.

    PubMed

    McCollum, M A

    2000-06-01

    Quantitative and qualitative assessments of subnasal morphology in fossil hominids yield distinct patterns which have been used both to sort robust from nonrobust australopithecine taxa and to distinguish individual species. Recently, new developmental models have been applied to hominoid subnasal morphological variation. These studies require that certain features of the fossil hominid subnasal region, in particular the topography of the nasal cavity entrance and details of vomeral morphology, be reevaluated. This study does so for the robust and nonrobust australopithecines, early Homo (H. habilis/H. rudolfensis), and African H. erectus. Results reaffirm an overall similarity of the nonrobust Australopithecus subnasal morphological pattern with that of the chimpanzee. They further indicate that a vomeral insertion above the nasal surface of the premaxilla should be added to the list of traits characteristic of the robust australopithecine subnasal morphological pattern. Finally, reassessment of subnasal morphology in the early Homo and H. erectus samples from Africa suggest that these two taxa share a similar subnasal morphological pattern. This pattern consists of a smooth nasal cavity entrance, a horizontal nasal sill whose anterior edge is demarcated by a strong nasal crest, and a well-developed horizontal spine at the posterior edge of the nasal sill. Although none of the African fossil Homo specimens preserve a vomer, indirect evidence suggests that it would have inserted above the nasal sill. PMID:10813707

  11. Evolution of M1 crown size and cusp proportions in the genus Homo

    PubMed Central

    Quam, Rolf; Bailey, Shara; Wood, Bernard

    2009-01-01

    Previous research into tooth crown dimensions and cusp proportions has proved to be a useful way to identify taxonomic differences in Pliocene and Pleistocene fossil hominins. The present study has identified changes in both M1 crown size and cusp proportions within the genus Homo, with M1 overall crown size reduction apparently occurring in two main stages. The first stage (a reduction of ca. 17%) is associated with the emergence of Homo ergaster and Homo erectus sensu stricto. The second stage (a reduction of ca. 10%) occurs in Homo sapiens, but the reduced modern human M1 tooth crown size was only attained in Upper Paleolithic times. The absolute sizes of the individual cusps are highly positively correlated with overall crown size and dental reduction produces a reduction in the absolute size of each of the cusps. Most of the individual cusps scale isometrically with crown size, but the paracone shows a negative allometric relationship, indicating that the reduction in paracone size is less than in the other M1 cusps. Thus, the phylogenetically oldest cusp in the upper molars also seems to be the most stable cusp (at least in the M1). The most striking change in M1 cusp proportions is a change in the relative size of the areas of the paracone and metacone. The combination of a small relative paracone and a large relative metacone generally characterizes specimens attributed to early Homo, and the presence of this character state in Australopithecus andParanthropus suggests it may represent the primitive condition for the later part of the hominin clade. In contrast, nearly all later Homo taxa, with the exception of Homo antecessor, show the opposite condition (i.e. a relatively large paracone and a relatively small metacone). This change in the relationship between the relative sizes of the paracone and metacone is related to an isometric reduction of the absolute size of the metacone. This metacone reduction occurs in the context of relative stability in the paracone as crown size decreases. Among later Homo taxa, both Homo heidelbergensis and Homo neanderthalensis show a further reduction of the metacone and an enlargement of the hypocone. Fossil and contemporary H. sapiens samples show a trend toward increasing the relative size of the protocone and decreasing the relative size of the hypocone. In Europe, modern human M1 cusp proportions are essentially reached during the Upper Paleolithic. Although some variation was documented among the fossil taxa, we suggest that the relative size of the M1 paracone and metacone areas may be useful for differentiating the earliest members of our genus from subsequent Homo species. PMID:19438761

  12. Evolution of M1 crown size and cusp proportions in the genus Homo.

    PubMed

    Quam, Rolf; Bailey, Shara; Wood, Bernard

    2009-05-01

    Previous research into tooth crown dimensions and cusp proportions has proved to be a useful way to identify taxonomic differences in Pliocene and Pleistocene fossil hominins. The present study has identified changes in both M(1) crown size and cusp proportions within the genus Homo, with M(1) overall crown size reduction apparently occurring in two main stages. The first stage (a reduction of ca. 17%) is associated with the emergence of Homo ergaster and Homo erectus sensu stricto. The second stage (a reduction of ca. 10%) occurs in Homo sapiens, but the reduced modern human M(1) tooth crown size was only attained in Upper Paleolithic times. The absolute sizes of the individual cusps are highly positively correlated with overall crown size and dental reduction produces a reduction in the absolute size of each of the cusps. Most of the individual cusps scale isometrically with crown size, but the paracone shows a negative allometric relationship, indicating that the reduction in paracone size is less than in the other M(1) cusps. Thus, the phylogenetically oldest cusp in the upper molars also seems to be the most stable cusp (at least in the M(1)). The most striking change in M(1) cusp proportions is a change in the relative size of the areas of the paracone and metacone. The combination of a small relative paracone and a large relative metacone generally characterizes specimens attributed to early Homo, and the presence of this character state in Australopithecus and Paranthropus suggests it may represent the primitive condition for the later part of the hominin clade. In contrast, nearly all later Homo taxa, with the exception of Homo antecessor, show the opposite condition (i.e. a relatively large paracone and a relatively small metacone). This change in the relationship between the relative sizes of the paracone and metacone is related to an isometric reduction of the absolute size of the metacone. This metacone reduction occurs in the context of relative stability in the paracone as crown size decreases. Among later Homo taxa, both Homo heidelbergensis and Homo neanderthalensis show a further reduction of the metacone and an enlargement of the hypocone. Fossil and contemporary H. sapiens samples show a trend toward increasing the relative size of the protocone and decreasing the relative size of the hypocone. In Europe, modern human M(1) cusp proportions are essentially reached during the Upper Paleolithic. Although some variation was documented among the fossil taxa, we suggest that the relative size of the M(1) paracone and metacone areas may be useful for differentiating the earliest members of our genus from subsequent Homo species. PMID:19438761

  13. Patterns of dental development in Homo, Australopithecus, Pan, and Gorilla.

    PubMed

    Smith, B H

    1994-07-01

    Smith ([1986] Nature 323:327-330) distinguished patterns of development of teeth of juvenile fossil hominids as being "more like humans" or "more like apes" based on statistical similarity to group standards. Here, this central tendency discrimination (CTD) is tested for its ability to recognize ape and human patterns of dental development in 789 subadult hominoids. Tooth development of a modern human sample (665 black southern Africans) was scored entirely by an outside investigator; pongid and fossil hominid samples (59 Pan, 50 Gorilla, and 14 fossil hominids) were scored by the author. The claim of Lampl et al. ([1993] Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 90:113-127) that Smith's 1986 method succeeds in only 8% of human cases was not sustained. Figures for overall success of classification (87% humans, 68% apes) mask important effects of teeth sampled and age class. For humans, the power of CTD varied between 53% and 92% depending on the number and kind of teeth available--nearly that of a coin toss when data described only two nearby teeth, but quite successful with more teeth or distant teeth. For apes, only age class affected accuracy: "Infant" apes (M1 development < or = root cleft complete, unemerged) were usually classed as humans, probably because the present developmental standard for great apes is in substantial error under 3 years of age. "Juvenile" apes (M1 > or = root 1/4), however, were correctly discriminated in 87% of cases. Overall, CTD can be considered reliable (accuracy of 92% for humans and 88% for apes) when data contrast development of distant dental fields and subjects are juveniles (not infants). Restricting analysis of fossils to specimens satisfying these criteria, patterns of dental development of gracile australopithecines and Homo habilis remain classified with African apes. Those of Homo erectus and Neanderthals are classified with humans, suggesting that patterns of growth evolved substantially in the Hominidae. To standardize future research, the computer program that operationalizes CTD is now available. PMID:7943188

  14. Body mass estimates of hominin fossils and the evolution of human body size.

    PubMed

    Grabowski, Mark; Hatala, Kevin G; Jungers, William L; Richmond, Brian G

    2015-08-01

    Body size directly influences an animal's place in the natural world, including its energy requirements, home range size, relative brain size, locomotion, diet, life history, and behavior. Thus, an understanding of the biology of extinct organisms, including species in our own lineage, requires accurate estimates of body size. Since the last major review of hominin body size based on postcranial morphology over 20 years ago, new fossils have been discovered, species attributions have been clarified, and methods improved. Here, we present the most comprehensive and thoroughly vetted set of individual fossil hominin body mass predictions to date, and estimation equations based on a large (n = 220) sample of modern humans of known body masses. We also present species averages based exclusively on fossils with reliable taxonomic attributions, estimates of species averages by sex, and a metric for levels of sexual dimorphism. Finally, we identify individual traits that appear to be the most reliable for mass estimation for each fossil species, for use when only one measurement is available for a fossil. Our results show that many early hominins were generally smaller-bodied than previously thought, an outcome likely due to larger estimates in previous studies resulting from the use of large-bodied modern human reference samples. Current evidence indicates that modern human-like large size first appeared by at least 3-3.5 Ma in some Australopithecus afarensis individuals. Our results challenge an evolutionary model arguing that body size increased from Australopithecus to early Homo. Instead, we show that there is no reliable evidence that the body size of non-erectus early Homo differed from that of australopiths, and confirm that Homo erectus evolved larger average body size than earlier hominins. PMID:26094042

  15. Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Berger, Lee R; Hawks, John; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Churchill, Steven E; Schmid, Peter; Delezene, Lucas K; Kivell, Tracy L; Garvin, Heather M; Williams, Scott A; DeSilva, Jeremy M; Skinner, Matthew M; Musiba, Charles M; Cameron, Noel; Holliday, Trenton W; Harcourt-Smith, William; Ackermann, Rebecca R; Bastir, Markus; Bogin, Barry; Bolter, Debra; Brophy, Juliet; Cofran, Zachary D; Congdon, Kimberly A; Deane, Andrew S; Dembo, Mana; Drapeau, Michelle; Elliott, Marina C; Feuerriegel, Elen M; Garcia-Martinez, Daniel; Green, David J; Gurtov, Alia; Irish, Joel D; Kruger, Ashley; Laird, Myra F; Marchi, Damiano; Meyer, Marc R; Nalla, Shahed; Negash, Enquye W; Orr, Caley M; Radovcic, Davorka; Schroeder, Lauren; Scott, Jill E; Throckmorton, Zachary; Tocheri, Matthew W; VanSickle, Caroline; Walker, Christopher S; Wei, Pianpian; Zipfel, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    Homo naledi is a previously-unknown species of extinct hominin discovered within the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star cave system, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. This species is characterized by body mass and stature similar to small-bodied human populations but a small endocranial volume similar to australopiths. Cranial morphology of H. naledi is unique, but most similar to early Homo species including Homo erectus, Homo habilis or Homo rudolfensis. While primitive, the dentition is generally small and simple in occlusal morphology. H. naledi has humanlike manipulatory adaptations of the hand and wrist. It also exhibits a humanlike foot and lower limb. These humanlike aspects are contrasted in the postcrania with a more primitive or australopith-like trunk, shoulder, pelvis and proximal femur. Representing at least 15 individuals with most skeletal elements repeated multiple times, this is the largest assemblage of a single species of hominins yet discovered in Africa. PMID:26354291

  16. Mandibular shape analysis in fossil hominins: Fourier descriptors in norma lateralis.

    PubMed

    Lestrel, P E; Wolfe, C A; Bodt, A

    2013-08-01

    Biological shape can be defined as the boundary of a form in 2-space (R(2)). An earlier study (Lestrel et al., 2010, HOMO-J. Comp. Hum. Biol.) of the cranial vault found that there were statistically significant differences between each of the three groups: H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, and H. neanderthalensis compared with H. sapiens. In contrast, there was no statistically significant difference among the first three groups. These results suggest that these three groups may have formed single evolving lineage while H. sapiens represents a separate evolutionary development. The purpose of the current research was to discern if the mandible reflected a similar pattern as the cranial vault data. This study used lateral jpeg images of the mandible. Five fossil samples were used: A. robustus (n=7), H. erectus (n=12), H. heidelbergensis (n=4), H. neanderthalensis (n=22) and H. sapiens (n=61). Each mandible image was pre-processed with Photoshop Elements. Each image was then submitted to a specially written routine that digitized the 84 points along the mandible boundary. Each mandible was fitted with elliptical Fourier functions (EFFs). Procrustes superimposition was imposed to insure minimum shape differences. The mandible results largely mirrored the earlier cranial vault study with one exception. Statistically significant results were obtained for the mandible between the H. erectus and H. neanderthalensis samples in contrast to the earlier cranial vault data. F-tests disclosed that the statistical significance was limited to the anterior symphysis of the mandible. This mosaic pattern may be explained by the reduction in prognathism with the concomitant if rudimentary development of the chin as seen in H. neanderthalensis compared to H. erectus. PMID:23769600

  17. No homo.

    PubMed

    Brown, Joshua R

    2011-01-01

    The phrase no homo arose in hip-hop lyrics of the 1990s as a discourse interjection to negate supposed sexual and gender transgressions. Today the phrase has gained currency beyond hip-hop culture and pervades racial and gender continua. As a result, its increasing prevalence in mainstream speech has caused critics to deplore no homo as outright homophobia. This article describes the origins and scope of no homo. Instead of easily identifying the phrase as homophobic, the article invites readers to examine the phrase as a way of understanding the complexities in gender identification processes along with the linguistic dexterity necessary for survival in certain sociocultural groups. By exploring the macrosociological issues which created and perpetuate the need for no homo, we arrive at a deeper understanding of sexuality, marginalized sexuality, and the (often unspoken) uneasiness with sexual and gendered nonconformity. PMID:21360388

  18. What do cranial bones of LB1 tell us about Homo floresiensis?

    PubMed

    Balzeau, Antoine; Charlier, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    Cranial vault thickness (CVT) of Liang Bua 1, the specimen that is proposed to be the holotype of Homo floresiensis, has not yet been described in detail and compared with samples of fossil hominins, anatomically modern humans or microcephalic skulls. In addition, a complete description from a forensic and pathological point of view has not yet been carried out. It is important to evaluate scientifically if features related to CVT bring new information concerning the possible pathological status of LB1, and if it helps to recognize affinities with any hominin species and particularly if the specimen could belong to the species Homo sapiens. Medical examination of the skull based on a micro-CT examination clearly brings to light the presence of a sincipital T (a non-metrical variant of normal anatomy), a scar from an old frontal trauma without any evident functional consequence, and a severe bilateral hyperostosis frontalis interna that may have modified the anterior morphology of the endocranium of LB1. We also show that LB1 displays characteristics, related to the distribution of bone thickness and arrangements of cranial structures, that are plesiomorphic traits for hominins, at least for Homo erectus s.l. relative to Homo neanderthalensis and H. sapiens. All the microcephalic skulls analyzed here share the derived condition of anatomically modern H. sapiens. Cranial vault thickness does not help to clarify the definition of the species H. floresiensis but it also does not support an attribution of LB1 to H. sapiens. We conclude that there is no support for the attribution of LB1 to H. sapiens as there is no evidence of systemic pathology and because it does not have any of the apomorphic traits of our species. PMID:27086053

  19. The many mysteries of Homo naledi

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    More than 1500 fossils from the Rising Star cave system in South Africa have been assigned to a new human species, Homo naledi, which displays a unique combination of primitive and derived traits throughout the skeleton. PMID:26354290

  20. The many mysteries of Homo naledi.

    PubMed

    Stringer, Chris

    2015-01-01

    More than 1500 fossils from the Rising Star cave system in South Africa have been assigned to a new human species, Homo naledi, which displays a unique combination of primitive and derived traits throughout the skeleton. PMID:26354290

  1. Comment on "A complete skull from Dmanisi, Georgia, and the evolutionary biology of early Homo".

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Jeffrey H; Tattersall, Ian; Chi, Zhang

    2014-04-25

    Lordkipanidze et al. (Research Article, 18 October 2013, p. 326) conclude, from gross morphological comparisons and geometric-morphometric analysis of general shape, that the five hominid crania from Dmanisi in Georgia represent a single regional variant of Homo erectus. However, dental, mandibular, and cranial morphologies all suggest taxic diversity and, in particular, validate the previously named H. georgicus. PMID:24763572

  2. The late Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record of eastern Asia: synthesis and review.

    PubMed

    Bae, Christopher J

    2010-01-01

    Traditionally, Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils that cannot be allocated to Homo erectus sensu lato or modern H. sapiens have been assigned to different specific taxa. For example, in eastern Asia, these hominin fossils have been classified as archaic, early, or premodern H. sapiens. An increasing number of Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils are currently being assigned to H. heidelbergensis. This is particularly the case for the African and European Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record. There have been suggestions that perhaps the eastern Asian late Middle Pleistocene hominins can also be allocated to the H. heidelbergensis hypodigm. In this article, I review the current state of the late Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record from eastern Asia and examine the various arguments for assigning these hominins to the different specific taxa. The two primary conclusions drawn from this review are as follows: 1) little evidence currently exists in the eastern Asian Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record to support their assignment to H. heidelbergensis; and 2) rather than add to the growing list of hominin fossil taxa by using taxonomic names like H. daliensis for northeast Asian fossils and H. mabaensis for Southeast Asian fossils, it is better to err on the side of caution and continue to use the term archaic H. sapiens to represent all of these hominin fossils. What should be evident from this review is the need for an increase in the quality and quantity of the eastern Asian hominin fossil data set. Fortunately, with the increasing number of large-scale multidisciplinary paleoanthropological field and laboratory research projects in eastern Asia, the record is quickly becoming better understood. PMID:21086528

  3. A comprehensive morphometric analysis of the frontal and zygomatic bone of the Zuttiyeh fossil from Israel.

    PubMed

    Freidline, S E; Gunz, P; Janković, I; Harvati, K; Hublin, J J

    2012-02-01

    The Zuttiyeh hominin craniofacial fossil was discovered in Israel in 1925. Radiometric dates and the archaeological context (Acheulo-Yabrudian) bracket the associated cave layers to between 200 and 500 ka (thousands of years ago), making it one of the earliest cranial fossils discovered in the Near East thus far. Its geographic position, at the corridor between Africa and Eurasia, in combination with its probable Middle Pleistocene date make it a crucial specimen for interpreting later human evolution. Since its discovery, qualitative descriptive and traditional morphometric methods have variously suggested affinities to Homo erectus (Zhoukoudian), Homo neanderthalensis (Tabun), and early Homo sapiens (Skhul and Qafzeh). To better determine the taxonomic affinities of the Zuttiyeh fossil, this study uses 3D semilandmark geometric morphometric techniques and multivariate statistical analyses to quantify the frontal and zygomatic region and compare it with other Middle to Late Pleistocene African and Eurasian hominins. Our results show that the frontal and zygomatic morphology of Zuttiyeh is most similar to Shanidar 5, a Near East Neanderthal, Arago 21, a European Middle Pleistocene hominin, and Skhul 5, an early H. sapiens. The shape differences between archaic hominins (i.e., Homo heidelbergensis and H. neanderthalensis) in this anatomical region are very subtle. We conclude that Zuttiyeh exhibits a generalized frontal and zygomatic morphology, possibly indicative of the population that gave rise to modern humans and Neanderthals. However, given that it most likely postdates the split between these two lineages, Zuttiyeh might also be an early representative of the Neanderthal lineage. Neanderthals largely retained this generalized overall morphology, whereas recent modern humans depart from this presumably ancestral morphology. PMID:22176924

  4. Biomechanics of the hip and birth in early Homo.

    PubMed

    Ruff, C B

    1995-12-01

    A complex of traits in the femur and pelvis of Homo erectus and early "erectus-like" specimens has been described, but never satisfactorily explained. Here the functional relationships between pelvic and femoral structure in humans are explored using both theoretical biomechanical models and empirical tests within modern samples of diverse body form (Pecos Amerindians, East Africans). Results indicate that a long femoral neck increases mediolateral bending of the femoral diaphysis and decreases gluteal abductor and hip joint reaction forces. Increasing biacetabular breadth along with femoral neck length further increases M-L bending of the femoral shaft and maintains abductor and joint reaction forces at near "normal" levels. When compared to modern humans, Homo erectus and early "erectus-like" specimens are characterized by a long femoral neck and greatly increased M-L relative to A-P bending strength of the femoral shaft, coupled with no decrease in hip joint size and a probable increase in abductor force relative to body size. All of this strongly suggests that biacetabular breadth as well as femoral neck length was relatively large in early Homo. Several features preserved in early Homo partial hip bones also indicate that the true (lower) pelvis was very M-L broad, as well as A-P narrow. This is similar to the lower pelvic shape of australopithecines and suggests that nonrotational birth, in which the newborn's head is oriented transversely through the pelvic outlet, characterized early Homo as well as Australopithecus. Because M-L breadth of the pelvis is constrained by other factors, this may have limited increases in cranial capacity within Homo until rotational birth was established during the late Middle Pleistocene. During or after the transition to rotational birth biacetabular breadth decreased, reducing the body weight moment arm about the hip and allowing femoral neck length (abductor moment arm) to also decrease, both of which reduced M-L bending of the proximal femoral shaft. Variation in femoral structural properties within early Homo and other East African Early Pleistocene specimens has several taxonomic and phylogenetic implications. PMID:8599386

  5. Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Berger, Lee R; Hawks, John; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Churchill, Steven E; Schmid, Peter; Delezene, Lucas K; Kivell, Tracy L; Garvin, Heather M; Williams, Scott A; DeSilva, Jeremy M; Skinner, Matthew M; Musiba, Charles M; Cameron, Noel; Holliday, Trenton W; Harcourt-Smith, William; Ackermann, Rebecca R; Bastir, Markus; Bogin, Barry; Bolter, Debra; Brophy, Juliet; Cofran, Zachary D; Congdon, Kimberly A; Deane, Andrew S; Dembo, Mana; Drapeau, Michelle; Elliott, Marina C; Feuerriegel, Elen M; Garcia-Martinez, Daniel; Green, David J; Gurtov, Alia; Irish, Joel D; Kruger, Ashley; Laird, Myra F; Marchi, Damiano; Meyer, Marc R; Nalla, Shahed; Negash, Enquye W; Orr, Caley M; Radovcic, Davorka; Schroeder, Lauren; Scott, Jill E; Throckmorton, Zachary; Tocheri, Matthew W; VanSickle, Caroline; Walker, Christopher S; Wei, Pianpian; Zipfel, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    Homo naledi is a previously-unknown species of extinct hominin discovered within the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star cave system, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. This species is characterized by body mass and stature similar to small-bodied human populations but a small endocranial volume similar to australopiths. Cranial morphology of H. naledi is unique, but most similar to early Homo species including Homo erectus, Homo habilis or Homo rudolfensis. While primitive, the dentition is generally small and simple in occlusal morphology. H. naledi has humanlike manipulatory adaptations of the hand and wrist. It also exhibits a humanlike foot and lower limb. These humanlike aspects are contrasted in the postcrania with a more primitive or australopith-like trunk, shoulder, pelvis and proximal femur. Representing at least 15 individuals with most skeletal elements repeated multiple times, this is the largest assemblage of a single species of hominins yet discovered in Africa. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09560.001 PMID:26354291

  6. Hominin cognitive evolution: identifying patterns and processes in the fossil and archaeological record.

    PubMed

    Shultz, Susanne; Nelson, Emma; Dunbar, Robin I M

    2012-08-01

    As only limited insight into behaviour is available from the archaeological record, much of our understanding of historical changes in human cognition is restricted to identifying changes in brain size and architecture. Using both absolute and residual brain size estimates, we show that hominin brain evolution was likely to be the result of a mix of processes; punctuated changes at approximately 100 kya, 1 Mya and 1.8 Mya are supplemented by gradual within-lineage changes in Homo erectus and Homo sapiens sensu lato. While brain size increase in Homo in Africa is a gradual process, migration of hominins into Eurasia is associated with step changes at approximately 400 kya and approximately 100 kya. We then demonstrate that periods of rapid change in hominin brain size are not temporally associated with changes in environmental unpredictability or with long-term palaeoclimate trends. Thus, we argue that commonly used global sea level or Indian Ocean dust palaeoclimate records provide little evidence for either the variability selection or aridity hypotheses explaining changes in hominin brain size. Brain size change at approximately 100 kya is coincident with demographic change and the appearance of fully modern language. However, gaps remain in our understanding of the external pressures driving encephalization, which will only be filled by novel applications of the fossil, palaeoclimatic and archaeological records. PMID:22734056

  7. Hominin cognitive evolution: identifying patterns and processes in the fossil and archaeological record

    PubMed Central

    Shultz, Susanne; Nelson, Emma; Dunbar, Robin I. M.

    2012-01-01

    As only limited insight into behaviour is available from the archaeological record, much of our understanding of historical changes in human cognition is restricted to identifying changes in brain size and architecture. Using both absolute and residual brain size estimates, we show that hominin brain evolution was likely to be the result of a mix of processes; punctuated changes at approximately 100 kya, 1 Mya and 1.8 Mya are supplemented by gradual within-lineage changes in Homo erectus and Homo sapiens sensu lato. While brain size increase in Homo in Africa is a gradual process, migration of hominins into Eurasia is associated with step changes at approximately 400 kya and approximately 100 kya. We then demonstrate that periods of rapid change in hominin brain size are not temporally associated with changes in environmental unpredictability or with long-term palaeoclimate trends. Thus, we argue that commonly used global sea level or Indian Ocean dust palaeoclimate records provide little evidence for either the variability selection or aridity hypotheses explaining changes in hominin brain size. Brain size change at approximately 100 kya is coincident with demographic change and the appearance of fully modern language. However, gaps remain in our understanding of the external pressures driving encephalization, which will only be filled by novel applications of the fossil, palaeoclimatic and archaeological records. PMID:22734056

  8. New magnetostratigraphy for the Olduvai Subchron in the Koobi Fora Formation, northwest Kenya, with implications for early Homo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lepre, Christopher J.; Kent, Dennis V.

    2010-02-01

    A problematic magnetostratigraphy for the Koobi Fora Formation has contributed to debates on the evolutionary implications for early hominin fossils. To address this, 50 independent samples distributed over a nearly 63-m-thick interval were collected from the lower-middle KBS Member type section in fossil collection Area 102, northeast Turkana Basin. Characteristic directions obtained by thermal demagnetization define a coherent magnetostratigraphy that is supported by alternating-field studies on 28 sister specimens and the prior tephrochronological framework. Two long polarity intervals were recognized, each 30-40 m in thickness, and interpreted as the upper part of the normal polarity Olduvai Subchron and the overlying reverse polarity Matuyama Chron. The end Olduvai consists of a normal-reverse-normal polarity sequence occurring over a thickness of at least 1 m but perhaps up to 5 m, suggesting that this subchron has a short reverse interval in its uppermost part. Such a fine-scale structure also has been reported from several other sites, like the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary and point stratotype section at Vrica, Italy, which serves as a basis for formally delimiting three temporally discrete polarity subintervals for the Olduvai Subchron. These paleomagnetic results that place the upper boundary of the Olduvai at ˜ 48 m above the base of the KBS Member, coupled with published radioisotopic dates, firmly secure the age of partial cranium KNM-ER 3733 in the interval 1.78-1.48 Ma, with an interpolated age of ˜ 1.7 Ma, giving this fossil the most unambiguous numerical-age constraints, as compared to the oldest Homo cranial remains from Europe and Asia. Nonetheless, assured placement of the top of the Olduvai Subchron in the KBS Member is not sufficient in the face of other uncertainties to influence conventional interpretations of the timing and direction for the global dispersal of early Homo erectus.

  9. Landmark-based shape analysis of the archaic Homo calvarium from Ceprano (Italy).

    PubMed

    Bruner, Emiliano; Manzi, Giorgio

    2007-03-01

    The Ceprano calvarium represents one of the most important sources of information about both the dynamics of the earliest hominid dispersal toward Europe and the evolution of the genus Homo in the early-to-middle Pleistocene. In this paper, the midsagittal vault profile and the 3D frontal bone morphology of Ceprano are investigated comparatively, using landmark coordinates and Procrustes superimposition. In fact, despite the fact that the skull appears partially distorted by diagenetic pressures (thus precluding a comprehensive landmark-based analysis), some aspects of the overall morphology are suitable for consideration in terms of geometric morphometrics. The midsagittal profile shows an archaic shape, comparable with the H. ergaster/erectus range of variation because of the fronto-parietal flattening, the development of the supraorbital and nuchal structures, and the occurrence of a slightly larger occipital bone. By contrast, the frontal bone displays a derived 3D shape that, mostly because of the widening of the frontal squama, appears comparable with the Afro-European variation of the Middle Pleistocene (i.e., H. heidelbergensis/rhodesiensis). Taking into account the unique morphological pattern displayed by Ceprano, its role as a link between early Homo and the Middle Pleistocene populations of Europe and Africa is not falsified. Thus, when aspects of the Ceprano's morphology are described within the analytical framework provided by geometric morphometrics, the relationships between Ceprano and the subsequent Afro-European fossil record are emphasized, suggesting the occurrence of an ancestral stock of H. heidelbergensis/rhodesiensis that is properly represented by the Italian specimen. PMID:17177181

  10. Phylogenetic rate shifts in feeding time during the evolution of Homo

    PubMed Central

    Organ, Chris; Nunn, Charles L.; Machanda, Zarin; Wrangham, Richard W.

    2011-01-01

    Unique among animals, humans eat a diet rich in cooked and nonthermally processed food. The ancestors of modern humans who invented food processing (including cooking) gained critical advantages in survival and fitness through increased caloric intake. However, the time and manner in which food processing became biologically significant are uncertain. Here, we assess the inferred evolutionary consequences of food processing in the human lineage by applying a Bayesian phylogenetic outlier test to a comparative dataset of feeding time in humans and nonhuman primates. We find that modern humans spend an order of magnitude less time feeding than predicted by phylogeny and body mass (4.7% vs. predicted 48% of daily activity). This result suggests that a substantial evolutionary rate change in feeding time occurred along the human branch after the human–chimpanzee split. Along this same branch, Homo erectus shows a marked reduction in molar size that is followed by a gradual, although erratic, decline in H. sapiens. We show that reduction in molar size in early Homo (H. habilis and H. rudolfensis) is explicable by phylogeny and body size alone. By contrast, the change in molar size to H. erectus, H. neanderthalensis, and H. sapiens cannot be explained by the rate of craniodental and body size evolution. Together, our results indicate that the behaviorally driven adaptations of food processing (reduced feeding time and molar size) originated after the evolution of Homo but before or concurrent with the evolution of H. erectus, which was around 1.9 Mya. PMID:21873223

  11. Craniometric ratios of microcephaly and LB1, Homo floresiensis, using MRI and endocasts

    PubMed Central

    Vannucci, Robert C.; Barron, Todd F.; Holloway, Ralph L.

    2011-01-01

    The designation of Homo floresiensis as a new species derived from an ancient population is controversial, because the type specimen, LB1, might represent a pathological microcephalic modern Homo sapiens. Accordingly, two specific craniometric ratios (relative frontal breadth and cerebellar protrusion) were ascertained in 21 microcephalic infants and children by using MRI. Data on 118 age-equivalent control (normocephalic) subjects were collected for comparative purposes. In addition, the same craniometric ratios were determined on the endocasts of 10 microcephalic individuals, 79 normal controls (anatomically modern humans), and 17 Homo erectus specimens. These ratios were then compared with those of two LB1 endocasts. The findings showed that the calculated cerebral/cerebellar ratios of the LB1 endocast [Falk D, et al. (2007) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:2513–2518] fall outside the range of living normocephalic individuals. The ratios derived from two LB1 endocasts also fall largely outside the range of modern normal human and H. erectus endocasts and within the range of microcephalic endocasts. The findings support but do not prove the contention that LB1 represents a pathological microcephalic Homo sapiens rather than a new species, (i.e., H. floresiensis). PMID:21825126

  12. Spatial and temporal variation of body size among early Homo.

    PubMed

    Will, Manuel; Stock, Jay T

    2015-05-01

    The estimation of body size among the earliest members of the genus Homo (2.4-1.5Myr [millions of years ago]) is central to interpretations of their biology. It is widely accepted that Homo ergaster possessed increased body size compared with Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis, and that this may have been a factor involved with the dispersal of Homo out of Africa. The study of taxonomic differences in body size, however, is problematic. Postcranial remains are rarely associated with craniodental fossils, and taxonomic attributions frequently rest upon the size of skeletal elements. Previous body size estimates have been based upon well-preserved specimens with a more reliable species assessment. Since these samples are small (n < 5) and disparate in space and time, little is known about geographical and chronological variation in body size within early Homo. We investigate temporal and spatial variation in body size among fossils of early Homo using a 'taxon-free' approach, considering evidence for size variation from isolated and fragmentary postcranial remains (n = 39). To render the size of disparate fossil elements comparable, we derived new regression equations for common parameters of body size from a globally representative sample of hunter-gatherers and applied them to available postcranial measurements from the fossils. The results demonstrate chronological and spatial variation but no simple temporal or geographical trends for the evolution of body size among early Homo. Pronounced body size increases within Africa take place only after hominin populations were established at Dmanisi, suggesting that migrations into Eurasia were not contingent on larger body sizes. The primary evidence for these marked changes among early Homo is based upon material from Koobi Fora after 1.7Myr, indicating regional size variation. The significant body size differences between specimens from Koobi Fora and Olduvai support the cranial evidence for at least two co-existing morphotypes in the Early Pleistocene of eastern Africa. PMID:25818180

  13. Postcranial robusticity in Homo. III: Ontogeny.

    PubMed

    Ruff, C B; Walker, A; Trinkaus, E

    1994-01-01

    The influence of developmental factors on long-bone cross-sectional geometry and articular size in modern humans is investigated using two approaches: (1) an analysis of the effects of increased mechanical loading on long-bone structure when applied during different developmental periods, using data collected for a study of upper limb bone bilateral asymmetry in professional tennis players; and (2) an analysis of the relative timing of age changes in femoral dimensions among juveniles from the Pecos Pueblo Amerindian archaeological sample. Results of these analyses are used to interpret the femoral morphology of three pre-Recent Homo juveniles--the H. erectus KNM-WT 15000 and the archaic H. sapiens La Ferrassie 6 and Teshik-Tash 1--as well as observed differences in postcranial morphology between adult Recent and earlier Homo (Ruff et al., 1993). Our findings indicate the following: (1) There are age-related changes in long-bone diaphyseal envelope sensitivity to increased mechanical loading, with the periosteal envelope more responsive prior to mid-adolescence, and the endosteal envelope more responsive thereafter. The periosteal expansion and endosteal contraction of the diaphysis documented earlier for adult pre-Recent Homo relative to Recent humans (Ruff et al., 1993) is thus consistent with a developmental response to increased mechanical loading applied throughout life. The relatively large medullary cavity in the 11-12-year-old KNM-WT 15000 femur is also consistent with this model. However, the two archaic H. sapiens juveniles show relatively small medullary cavities, possibly indicating a modified developmental pattern in this group. (2) Articulations follow a growth pattern similar to that of long-bone length (and stature), while cross-sectional diaphyseal dimensions (cortical area, second moments of area) show a contrasting growth pattern, with slower initial growth from childhood through mid-adolescence, followed by a "catch-up" period that continues through early adulthood. This latter pattern is more similar to the growth curve for body weight, and may in fact partially reflect adaptation of the diaphysis to increased weight bearing. Because of these different growth patterns, articulations appear relatively large, and diaphyseal breadths relatively small during late childhood to mid-adolescence (i.e., about 9-13 years), when compared to adults from the same population. KNM-WT 15000 shows this same proportional difference from adult early Homo specimens, which is therefore interpreted as simply a developmental consequence of his age at death.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS) PMID:8141241

  14. Brain size of Homo floresiensis and its evolutionary implications

    PubMed Central

    Kubo, Daisuke; Kono, Reiko T.; Kaifu, Yousuke

    2013-01-01

    The extremely small endocranial volume (ECV) of LB1, the type specimen of Homo floresiensis, poses a challenge in our understanding of human brain evolution. Some researchers hypothesize dramatic dwarfing of relative brain size from Homo erectus presumably without significant decrease in intellectual function, whereas others expect a lesser degree of brain diminution from a more primitive, small-brained form of hominin currently undocumented in eastern Asia. However, inconsistency in the published ECVs for LB1 (380–430 cc), unclear human intraspecific brain–body size scaling and other uncertainties have hampered elaborative modelling of its brain size reduction. In this study, we accurately determine the ECV of LB1 using high-resolution micro-CT scan. The ECV of LB1 thus measured, 426 cc, is larger than the commonly cited figure in previous studies (400 cc). Coupled with brain–body size correlation in Homo sapiens calculated based on a sample from 20 worldwide modern human populations, we construct new models of the brain size reduction in the evolution of H. floresiensis. The results show a more significant contribution of scaling effect than previously claimed. PMID:23595271

  15. Brain size of Homo floresiensis and its evolutionary implications.

    PubMed

    Kubo, Daisuke; Kono, Reiko T; Kaifu, Yousuke

    2013-06-01

    The extremely small endocranial volume (ECV) of LB1, the type specimen of Homo floresiensis, poses a challenge in our understanding of human brain evolution. Some researchers hypothesize dramatic dwarfing of relative brain size from Homo erectus presumably without significant decrease in intellectual function, whereas others expect a lesser degree of brain diminution from a more primitive, small-brained form of hominin currently undocumented in eastern Asia. However, inconsistency in the published ECVs for LB1 (380-430 cc), unclear human intraspecific brain-body size scaling and other uncertainties have hampered elaborative modelling of its brain size reduction. In this study, we accurately determine the ECV of LB1 using high-resolution micro-CT scan. The ECV of LB1 thus measured, 426 cc, is larger than the commonly cited figure in previous studies (400 cc). Coupled with brain-body size correlation in Homo sapiens calculated based on a sample from 20 worldwide modern human populations, we construct new models of the brain size reduction in the evolution of H. floresiensis. The results show a more significant contribution of scaling effect than previously claimed. PMID:23595271

  16. Megadontia, striae periodicity and patterns of enamel secretion in Plio-Pleistocene fossil hominins.

    PubMed

    Lacruz, Rodrigo S; Dean, M Christopher; Ramirez-Rozzi, Fernando; Bromage, Timothy G

    2008-08-01

    Early hominins formed large and thick-enamelled cheek-teeth within relatively short growth periods as compared with modern humans. To understand better the developmental basis of this process, we measured daily enamel increments, or cross striations, in 17 molars of Plio-Pleistocene hominins representing seven different species, including specimens attributed to early Homo. Our results show considerable variation across species, although all specimens conformed to the known pattern characterised by greater values in outer than inner enamel, and greater cuspal than cervical values. We then compared our results with the megadontia index, which represents tooth size in relation to body mass, for each species to assess the effect of daily growth rates on tooth size. Our results indicate that larger toothed (megadont) taxa display higher rates or faster forming enamel than smaller toothed hominins. By forming enamel quickly, large tooth crowns were able to develop within the constraints of shorter growth periods. Besides daily increments, many animals express long-period markings (striae of Retzius) in their enamel. We report periodicity values (number of cross striations between adjacent striae) in 14 new specimens of Australopithecus afarensis, Paranthropus aethiopicus, Paranthropus boisei, Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis and Homo erectus, and show that long-period striae express a strong association with male and average male-female body mass. Our results for Plio-Pleistocene hominins show that the biological rhythms that give rise to long-period striae are encompassed within the range of variation known for modern humans, but show a lower mean and modal value of 7 days in australopithecines. In our sample of early Homo, mean and modal periodicity values were 8 days, and therefore similar to modern humans. These new data on daily rates of enamel formation and periodicity provide a better framework to interpret surface manifestations of internal growth markings on fossil hominin tooth crowns. Importantly, our data on early hominin cross striation variation may now contribute towards solving difficult taxonomic diagnoses where much may depend on fragmentary molar remains and enamel structure. PMID:19172730

  17. The evolution of early Homo: a reply to Scott.

    PubMed

    Van Arsdale, A P; Wolpoff, M H

    2014-03-01

    Scott presents a welcome reply to our article, "A single lineage in early Pleistocene Homo" (Van Arsdale and Wolpoff ). However, Scott's reply mischaracterizes and fails to directly address the hypothesis of a single lineage that we test. Additionally, the approach taken by Scott fails to replicate the methods used in our analysis. As Scott himself suggests, our null hypothesis of a single evolving lineage in early Homo remains without refutation. Although many evolutionary scenarios might explain the complex pattern of variation present in the early Homo fossil record, the most parsimonious remains that of a single lineage displaying evolutionary change over time. PMID:24372272

  18. Rethinking the dispersal of Homo sapiens out of Africa.

    PubMed

    Groucutt, Huw S; Petraglia, Michael D; Bailey, Geoff; Scerri, Eleanor M L; Parton, Ash; Clark-Balzan, Laine; Jennings, Richard P; Lewis, Laura; Blinkhorn, James; Drake, Nick A; Breeze, Paul S; Inglis, Robyn H; Devès, Maud H; Meredith-Williams, Matthew; Boivin, Nicole; Thomas, Mark G; Scally, Aylwyn

    2015-01-01

    Current fossil, genetic, and archeological data indicate that Homo sapiens originated in Africa in the late Middle Pleistocene. By the end of the Late Pleistocene, our species was distributed across every continent except Antarctica, setting the foundations for the subsequent demographic and cultural changes of the Holocene. The intervening processes remain intensely debated and a key theme in hominin evolutionary studies. We review archeological, fossil, environmental, and genetic data to evaluate the current state of knowledge on the dispersal of Homo sapiens out of Africa. The emerging picture of the dispersal process suggests dynamic behavioral variability, complex interactions between populations, and an intricate genetic and cultural legacy. This evolutionary and historical complexity challenges simple narratives and suggests that hybrid models and the testing of explicit hypotheses are required to understand the expansion of Homo sapiens into Eurasia. PMID:26267436

  19. Homo Economicus Belief Inhibits Trust

    PubMed Central

    Xin, Ziqiang; Liu, Guofang

    2013-01-01

    As a foundational concept in economics, the homo economicus assumption regards humans as rational and self-interested actors. In contrast, trust requires individuals to believe partners’ benevolence and unselfishness. Thus, the homo economicus belief may inhibit trust. The present three experiments demonstrated that the direct exposure to homo economicus belief can weaken trust. And economic situations like profit calculation can also activate individuals’ homo economicus belief and inhibit their trust. It seems that people’s increasing homo economicus belief may serve as one cause of the worldwide decline of trust. PMID:24146907

  20. Cranial size variation and lineage diversity in early Pleistocene Homo.

    PubMed

    Scott, Jeremiah E

    2014-03-01

    A recent article in this journal concluded that a sample of early Pleistocene hominin crania assigned to genus Homo exhibits a pattern of size variation that is time dependent, with specimens from different time periods being more different from each other, on average, than are specimens from the same time period. The authors of this study argued that such a pattern is not consistent with the presence of multiple lineages within the sample, but rather supports the hypothesis that the fossils represent an anagenetically evolving lineage (i.e., an evolutionary species). However, the multiple-lineage models considered in that study do not reflect the multiple-species alternatives that have been proposed for early Pleistocene Homo. Using simulated data sets, I show that fossil assemblages that contain multiple lineages can exhibit the time-dependent pattern of variation specified for the single-lineage model under certain conditions, particularly when temporal overlap among fossil specimens attributed to the lineages is limited. These results do not reject the single-lineage hypothesis, but they do indicate that rejection of multiple lineages in the early Pleistocene Homo fossil record is premature, and that other sources of variation, such as differences in cranial shape, should be considered. PMID:24588348

  1. Stratigraphic, chronological and behavioural contexts of Pleistocene Homo sapiens from Middle Awash, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Clark, J Desmond; Beyene, Yonas; WoldeGabriel, Giday; Hart, William K; Renne, Paul R; Gilbert, Henry; Defleur, Alban; Suwa, Gen; Katoh, Shigehiro; Ludwig, Kenneth R; Boisserie, Jean-Renaud; Asfaw, Berhane; White, Tim D

    2003-06-12

    Clarifying the geographic, environmental and behavioural contexts in which the emergence of anatomically modern Homo sapiens occurred has proved difficult, particularly because Africa lacked adequate geochronological, palaeontological and archaeological evidence. The discovery of anatomically modern Homo sapiens fossils at Herto, Ethiopia, changes this. Here we report on stratigraphically associated Late Middle Pleistocene artefacts and fossils from fluvial and lake margin sandstones of the Upper Herto Member of the Bouri Formation, Middle Awash, Afar Rift, Ethiopia. The fossils and artefacts are dated between 160,000 and 154,000 years ago by precise age determinations using the 40Ar/39Ar method. The archaeological assemblages contain elements of both Acheulean and Middle Stone Age technocomplexes. Associated faunal remains indicate repeated, systematic butchery of hippopotamus carcasses. Contemporary adult and juvenile Homo sapiens fossil crania manifest bone modifications indicative of deliberate mortuary practices. PMID:12802333

  2. First fossil chimpanzee.

    PubMed

    McBrearty, Sally; Jablonski, Nina G

    2005-09-01

    There are thousands of fossils of hominins, but no fossil chimpanzee has yet been reported. The chimpanzee (Pan) is the closest living relative to humans. Chimpanzee populations today are confined to wooded West and central Africa, whereas most hominin fossil sites occur in the semi-arid East African Rift Valley. This situation has fuelled speculation regarding causes for the divergence of the human and chimpanzee lineages five to eight million years ago. Some investigators have invoked a shift from wooded to savannah vegetation in East Africa, driven by climate change, to explain the apparent separation between chimpanzee and human ancestral populations and the origin of the unique hominin locomotor adaptation, bipedalism. The Rift Valley itself functions as an obstacle to chimpanzee occupation in some scenarios. Here we report the first fossil chimpanzee. These fossils, from the Kapthurin Formation, Kenya, show that representatives of Pan were present in the East African Rift Valley during the Middle Pleistocene, where they were contemporary with an extinct species of Homo. Habitats suitable for both hominins and chimpanzees were clearly present there during this period, and the Rift Valley did not present an impenetrable barrier to chimpanzee occupation. PMID:16136135

  3. Human evolution. Evolution of early Homo: an integrated biological perspective.

    PubMed

    Antón, Susan C; Potts, Richard; Aiello, Leslie C

    2014-07-01

    Integration of evidence over the past decade has revised understandings about the major adaptations underlying the origin and early evolution of the genus Homo. Many features associated with Homo sapiens, including our large linear bodies, elongated hind limbs, large energy-expensive brains, reduced sexual dimorphism, increased carnivory, and unique life history traits, were once thought to have evolved near the origin of the genus in response to heightened aridity and open habitats in Africa. However, recent analyses of fossil, archaeological, and environmental data indicate that such traits did not arise as a single package. Instead, some arose substantially earlier and some later than previously thought. From ~2.5 to 1.5 million years ago, three lineages of early Homo evolved in a context of habitat instability and fragmentation on seasonal, intergenerational, and evolutionary time scales. These contexts gave a selective advantage to traits, such as dietary flexibility and larger body size, that facilitated survival in shifting environments. PMID:24994657

  4. Hominin stature, body mass, and walking speed estimates based on 1.5 million-year-old fossil footprints at Ileret, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Dingwall, Heather L; Hatala, Kevin G; Wunderlich, Roshna E; Richmond, Brian G

    2013-06-01

    The early Pleistocene marks a period of major transition in hominin body form, including increases in body mass and stature relative to earlier hominins. However, because complete postcranial fossils with reliable taxonomic attributions are rare, efforts to estimate hominin mass and stature are complicated by the frequent albeit necessary use of isolated, and often fragmentary, skeletal elements. The recent discovery of 1.52 million year old hominin footprints from multiple horizons in Ileret, Kenya, provides new data on the complete foot size of early Pleistocene hominins as well as stride lengths and other characteristics of their gaits. This study reports the results of controlled experiments with habitually unshod Daasanach adults from Ileret to examine the relationships between stride length and speed, and also those between footprint size, body mass, and stature. Based on significant relationships among these variables, we estimate travel speeds ranging between 0.45 m/s and 2.2 m/s from the fossil hominin footprint trails at Ileret. The fossil footprints of seven individuals show evidence of heavy (mean = 50.0 kg; range: 41.5-60.3 kg) and tall individuals (mean = 169.5 cm; range: 152.6-185.8 cm), suggesting that these prints were most likely made by Homo erectus and/or male Paranthropus boisei. The large sizes of these footprints provide strong evidence that hominin body size increased during the early Pleistocene. PMID:23522822

  5. "Fossil" Forecasting.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brody, Michael J.; deOnis, Ann

    2001-01-01

    Presents a density study in which students calculate the density of limestone substrate to determine if the specimen contains any fossils. Explains how to make fossils and addresses national standards. (YDS)

  6. Marquee Fossils

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clary, Renee; Wandersee, James

    2008-01-01

    Professors of an online graduate-level paleontology class developed the concept of marquee fossils--fossils that have one or more unique characteristics that capture the attention and direct observation of students. In the classroom, Marquee fossils integrate the geology, biology, and environmental science involved in the study of fossilized…

  7. In search of Homo economicus.

    PubMed

    Yamagishi, Toshio; Li, Yang; Takagishi, Haruto; Matsumoto, Yoshie; Kiyonari, Toko

    2014-09-01

    Homo economicus, a model for humans in neoclassical economics, is a rational maximizer of self-interest. However, many social scientists regard such a person as a mere imaginary creature. We found that 31 of 446 residents of relatively wealthy Tokyo suburbs met the behavioral definition of Homo economicus. In several rounds of economic games, participants whose behavior was consistent with this model always apportioned the money endowed by the experimenter to themselves, leaving no share for their partners. These participants had high IQs and a deliberative decision style. An additional 39 participants showed a similar disregard for other people's welfare, although they were slightly more altruistic than those in the Homo economicus group. The psychological composition of these quasi-Homo economicus participants was distinct from that of participants in the Homo economicus group. Although participants in the latter group behaved selfishly on the basis of rational calculations, those in the former group made selfish choices impulsively. The implications of these findings concerning the two types of extreme noncooperators are discussed. PMID:25037961

  8. The Emergence of Homo sapiens.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rensberger, Boyce

    1980-01-01

    Describes chronologically the evolution of the human race on earth so as to refute Darwin's theory of descent from animals. Skull fragments from sites around the world suggest at least two possible routes toward the emergence of Homo sapiens sapiens. (Author/SK)

  9. Additional evidence for morpho-dimensional tooth crown variation in a New Indonesian H. erectus sample from the Sangiran Dome (Central Java).

    PubMed

    Zanolli, Clément

    2013-01-01

    This contribution reports fifteen human fossil dental remains found during the last two decades in the Sangiran Dome area, in Central Java, Indonesia. Among this sample, only one of the specimens had already been briefly described, with the other fourteen remaining unreported. Seven of the fifteen isolated teeth were found in a secured stratigraphic context in the late Lower-early Middle Pleistocene Kabuh Formation. The remaining elements were surface finds which, based on coincidental sources of information, were inferred as coming from the Kabuh Formation. Mainly constituted of permanent molars, but also including one upper incisor and one upper premolar, this dental sample brings additional evidence for a marked degree of size variation and time-related structural reduction in Javanese H. erectus. This is notably expressed by a significant decrease of the mesiodistal diameter, frequently associated to the reduction or even loss of the lower molar distal cusp (hypoconulid) and to a more square occlusal outline. In addition to the hypoconulid reduction or loss, this new sample also exhibits a low frequency of the occlusal Y-groove pattern, with a dominance of the X and, to a lesser extent, of the+patterns. This combination is rare in the Lower and early Middle Pleistocene paleoanthropological record, including in the early Javanese dental assemblage from the Sangiran Dome. On the other hand, similar dental features are found in Chinese H. erectus and in H. heidelbergensis. As a whole, this new record confirms the complex nature of the intermittent exchanges that occurred between continental and insular Southeast Asia through the Pleistocene. PMID:23843996

  10. Additional Evidence for Morpho-Dimensional Tooth Crown Variation in a New Indonesian H. erectus Sample from the Sangiran Dome (Central Java)

    PubMed Central

    Zanolli, Clément

    2013-01-01

    This contribution reports fifteen human fossil dental remains found during the last two decades in the Sangiran Dome area, in Central Java, Indonesia. Among this sample, only one of the specimens had already been briefly described, with the other fourteen remaining unreported. Seven of the fifteen isolated teeth were found in a secured stratigraphic context in the late Lower-early Middle Pleistocene Kabuh Formation. The remaining elements were surface finds which, based on coincidental sources of information, were inferred as coming from the Kabuh Formation. Mainly constituted of permanent molars, but also including one upper incisor and one upper premolar, this dental sample brings additional evidence for a marked degree of size variation and time-related structural reduction in Javanese H. erectus. This is notably expressed by a significant decrease of the mesiodistal diameter, frequently associated to the reduction or even loss of the lower molar distal cusp (hypoconulid) and to a more square occlusal outline. In addition to the hypoconulid reduction or loss, this new sample also exhibits a low frequency of the occlusal Y-groove pattern, with a dominance of the X and, to a lesser extent, of the+patterns. This combination is rare in the Lower and early Middle Pleistocene paleoanthropological record, including in the early Javanese dental assemblage from the Sangiran Dome. On the other hand, similar dental features are found in Chinese H. erectus and in H. heidelbergensis. As a whole, this new record confirms the complex nature of the intermittent exchanges that occurred between continental and insular Southeast Asia through the Pleistocene. PMID:23843996

  11. Fossil Fuels.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crank, Ron

    This instructional unit is one of 10 developed by students on various energy-related areas that deals specifically with fossil fuels. Some topics covered are historic facts, development of fuels, history of oil production, current and future trends of the oil industry, refining fossil fuels, and environmental problems. Material in each unit may…

  12. Ediacara Fossils

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science Teacher, 2005

    2005-01-01

    Now, a research team from Virginia Tech and Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology has discovered uniquely well-preserved fossil forms from 550-million-year-old rocks of the Ediacaran Period. The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The discovery of these unusually preserved fossils reveals unprecedented

  13. Ediacara Fossils

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science Teacher, 2005

    2005-01-01

    Now, a research team from Virginia Tech and Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology has discovered uniquely well-preserved fossil forms from 550-million-year-old rocks of the Ediacaran Period. The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The discovery of these unusually preserved fossils reveals unprecedented…

  14. Fossil Fuels.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crank, Ron

    This instructional unit is one of 10 developed by students on various energy-related areas that deals specifically with fossil fuels. Some topics covered are historic facts, development of fuels, history of oil production, current and future trends of the oil industry, refining fossil fuels, and environmental problems. Material in each unit may

  15. Fossil spiders.

    PubMed

    Selden, Paul A; Penney, David

    2010-02-01

    Over the last three decades, the fossil record of spiders has increased from being previously biased towards Tertiary ambers and a few dubious earlier records, to one which reveals a much greater diversity in the Mesozoic, with many of the modern families present in that era, and with clearer evidence of the evolutionary history of the group. We here record the history of palaeoarachnology and the major breakthroughs which form the basis of studies on fossil spiders. Understanding the preservation and taphonomic history of spider fossils is crucial to interpretation of fossil spider morphology. We also review the more recent descriptions of fossil spiders and the effect these discoveries have had on the phylogenetic tree of spiders. We discuss some features of the evolutionary history of spiders and present ideas for future work. PMID:19961468

  16. Variability in first Homo: Analysis of the ratio between the skulls KNM-ER 1470 and KNM-ER 1813 based on sexual dimorphism of Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Guimarães, S W Ferreira; Lorenzo, C

    2015-10-01

    The study of the skulls KNM-ER 1470 and KNM-ER 1813, considered the first members of the genus Homo, has raised some debates. While some of researchers maintain that there is only one species, another group argues that there are two species. On one hand these two fossils are still taxonomically undetermined, on the other hand they bring up another problem related to the existence of a genus with multiple species since its beginning, according to the last discoveries. In this paper, we have compared the size ratio between these fossils with ratios established in populations of Homo sapiens, in order to know if they fit into the human standard, considering intra-sexual and inter-sexual variation. Results help to establish whether these fossils correspond to different species or their differences could be related to sexual dimorphism within a single species. PMID:26092693

  17. Australopithecus sediba at 1.977 Ma and implications for the origins of the genus Homo.

    PubMed

    Pickering, Robyn; Dirks, Paul H G M; Jinnah, Zubair; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Churchil, Steven E; Herries, Andy I R; Woodhead, Jon D; Hellstrom, John C; Berger, Lee R

    2011-09-01

    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. PMID:21903808

  18. A bivariate approach to the widening of the frontal lobes in the genus Homo.

    PubMed

    Bruner, Emiliano; Holloway, Ralph L

    2010-02-01

    Within the genus Homo, the most encephalized taxa (Neandertals and modern humans) show relatively wider frontal lobes than either Homo erectus or australopithecines. The present analysis considers whether these changes are associated with a single size-based or allometric pattern (positive allometry of the width of the anterior endocranial fossa) or with a more specific and non-allometric pattern. The relationship between hemispheric length, maximum endocranial width, and frontal width at Broca's area was investigated in extant and extinct humans. Our results do not support positive allometry for the frontal lobe's width in relation to the main endocranial diameters within modern humans (Homo sapiens). Also, the correlation between frontal width and hemispheric length is lower than the correlation between frontal width and parieto-temporal width. When compared with the australopithecines, the genus Homo could have experienced a non-allometric widening of the brain at the temporo-parietal areas, which is most evident in Neandertals. Modern humans and Neandertals also display a non-allometric widening of the anterior endocranial fossa at the Broca's cap when compared with early hominids, again more prominent in the latter group. Taking into account the contrast between the intra-specific patterns and the between-species differences, the relative widening of the anterior fossa can be interpreted as a definite evolutionary character instead of a passive consequence of brain size increase. This expansion is most likely associated with correspondent increments of the underlying neural mass, or at least with a geometrical reallocation of the frontal cortical volumes. Although different structural changes of the cranial architecture can be related to such variations, the widening of the frontal areas is nonetheless particularly interesting when some neural functions (like language or working memory, decision processing, etc.) and related fronto-parietal cortico-cortical connections are taken into account. PMID:20035967

  19. The foot of Homo naledi

    PubMed Central

    Harcourt-Smith, W. E. H.; Throckmorton, Z.; Congdon, K. A.; Zipfel, B.; Deane, A. S.; Drapeau, M. S. M.; Churchill, S. E.; Berger, L. R.; DeSilva, J. M.

    2015-01-01

    Modern humans are characterized by a highly specialized foot that reflects our obligate bipedalism. Our understanding of hominin foot evolution is, although, hindered by a paucity of well-associated remains. Here we describe the foot of Homo naledi from Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa, using 107 pedal elements, including one nearly-complete adult foot. The H. naledi foot is predominantly modern human-like in morphology and inferred function, with an adducted hallux, an elongated tarsus, and derived ankle and calcaneocuboid joints. In combination, these features indicate a foot well adapted for striding bipedalism. However, the H. naledi foot differs from modern humans in having more curved proximal pedal phalanges, and features suggestive of a reduced medial longitudinal arch. Within the context of primitive features found elsewhere in the skeleton, these findings suggest a unique locomotor repertoire for H. naledi, thus providing further evidence of locomotor diversity within both the hominin clade and the genus Homo. PMID:26439101

  20. The foot of Homo naledi.

    PubMed

    Harcourt-Smith, W E H; Throckmorton, Z; Congdon, K A; Zipfel, B; Deane, A S; Drapeau, M S M; Churchill, S E; Berger, L R; DeSilva, J M

    2015-01-01

    Modern humans are characterized by a highly specialized foot that reflects our obligate bipedalism. Our understanding of hominin foot evolution is, although, hindered by a paucity of well-associated remains. Here we describe the foot of Homo naledi from Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa, using 107 pedal elements, including one nearly-complete adult foot. The H. naledi foot is predominantly modern human-like in morphology and inferred function, with an adducted hallux, an elongated tarsus, and derived ankle and calcaneocuboid joints. In combination, these features indicate a foot well adapted for striding bipedalism. However, the H. naledi foot differs from modern humans in having more curved proximal pedal phalanges, and features suggestive of a reduced medial longitudinal arch. Within the context of primitive features found elsewhere in the skeleton, these findings suggest a unique locomotor repertoire for H. naledi, thus providing further evidence of locomotor diversity within both the hominin clade and the genus Homo. PMID:26439101

  1. Elastic energy storage in the shoulder and the evolution of high-speed throwing in Homo.

    PubMed

    Roach, Neil T; Venkadesan, Madhusudhan; Rainbow, Michael J; Lieberman, Daniel E

    2013-06-27

    Some primates, including chimpanzees, throw objects occasionally, but only humans regularly throw projectiles with high speed and accuracy. Darwin noted that the unique throwing abilities of humans, which were made possible when bipedalism emancipated the arms, enabled foragers to hunt effectively using projectiles. However, there has been little consideration of the evolution of throwing in the years since Darwin made his observations, in part because of a lack of evidence of when, how and why hominins evolved the ability to generate high-speed throws. Here we use experimental studies of humans throwing projectiles to show that our throwing capabilities largely result from several derived anatomical features that enable elastic energy storage and release at the shoulder. These features first appear together approximately 2 million years ago in the species Homo erectus. Taking into consideration archaeological evidence suggesting that hunting activity intensified around this time, we conclude that selection for throwing as a means to hunt probably had an important role in the evolution of the genus Homo. PMID:23803849

  2. The dispersal of Homo sapiens across southern Asia: how early, how often, how complex?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dennell, Robin; Petraglia, Michael D.

    2012-07-01

    The timing and the paths of colonization of southern Asia by Homo sapiens are poorly known, though many population geneticists, paleoanthropologists, and archaeologists have contended that this process began with dispersal from East Africa, and occurred between 60,000 and 40,000 years ago. However, the evidence for this scenario is very weak, particularly the lack of human skeletal evidence between the Levant and Borneo before 40 ka, and other explanations are possible. Here we argue that environmental and archaeological information is increasingly indicating the likelihood that H. sapiens exited Africa much earlier than commonly thought, and may have colonized much of southern Asia well before 60,000 years ago. Additionally, we cannot exclude the possibility that several dispersal events occurred, from both North and East Africa, nor the likelihood that early populations of H. sapiens in southern Asia interbred with indigenous populations of Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo erectus. The population history of southern Asia during the Upper Pleistocene is likely far more complex than currently envisaged.

  3. Paleoanthropology. Late Pliocene fossiliferous sedimentary record and the environmental context of early Homo from Afar, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    DiMaggio, Erin N; Campisano, Christopher J; Rowan, John; Dupont-Nivet, Guillaume; Deino, Alan L; Bibi, Faysal; Lewis, Margaret E; Souron, Antoine; Garello, Dominique; Werdelin, Lars; Reed, Kaye E; Arrowsmith, J Ramón

    2015-03-20

    Sedimentary basins in eastern Africa preserve a record of continental rifting and contain important fossil assemblages for interpreting hominin evolution. However, the record of hominin evolution between 3 and 2.5 million years ago (Ma) is poorly documented in surface outcrops, particularly in Afar, Ethiopia. Here we present the discovery of a 2.84- to 2.58-million-year-old fossil and hominin-bearing sediments in the Ledi-Geraru research area of Afar, Ethiopia, that have produced the earliest record of the genus Homo. Vertebrate fossils record a faunal turnover indicative of more open and probably arid habitats than those reconstructed earlier in this region, which is in broad agreement with hypotheses addressing the role of environmental forcing in hominin evolution at this time. Geological analyses constrain depositional and structural models of Afar and date the LD 350-1 Homo mandible to 2.80 to 2.75 Ma. PMID:25739409

  4. Fossil Horses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacFadden, Bruce J.

    1994-06-01

    The family Equidae have an extensive fossil record spanning the past 58 million years, and the evolution of the horse has frequently been used as a classic example of long-term evolution. In recent years, however, there have been many important discoveries of fossil horses, and these, in conjunction with such new methods as cladistics, and techniques such as precise geochronology, have allowed us to achieve a much greater understanding of the evolution and biology of this important group. This book synthesizes the large body of data and research relevant to an understanding of fossil horses from several disciplines including biology, geology and paleontology. Using horses as the central theme, the author weaves together in the text such topics as modern geochronology, paleobiogeography, climate change, evolution and extinction, functional morphology, and population biology during the Cenozoic period. This book will be exciting reading for researchers and graduate students in vertebrate paleontology, evolution, and zoology.

  5. Antioxidant and antiacetylcholine esterase potential of aerial parts of Conocarpus erectus, Ficus variegata and Ficus maclellandii.

    PubMed

    Raza, Muhammad Asam; Anwar, Farwa; Shahwar, Durre; Majeed, Abdul; Mumtaz, Muhammad Waseem; Danish, Muhammad; Nazar, Muhammad Faizan; Perveen, Irum; Khan, Salahud-Din

    2016-03-01

    The current study was designed to check the antioxidant and enzyme inhibition potential of various extracts/ fractions of three selected plants. The aerial parts of Conocarpus erectus (Combretaceae), Ficus variegata (Moraceae) and Ficus maclellandii (Moraceae) were extracted with ethanol (95%) and the resulting crude extracts were partitioned with n-hexane, chloroform and n-butanol successively. Folin-Ciocalteu reagent was used to calculate the total phenolic contents, flavonoids contents were calculated with aluminum chloride while antioxidant and enzyme studies were carried out through standard protocols. All extracts/fractions contained reasonable amount of phenolic compounds ranging from 0.58-58.23mg CE/g of DW and 0.43-30.56mg GAE/g of DW. Total flavonoids were determined using rutin and quercetin standards, ranging from 2.65-18.2 mg rutin equivalent/g of dry weight and 0.92-5.41mg quercetin equivalent/g of dry weight. Antioxidant studies such as DPPH inhibition FRAP and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) was checked. The crude ethanolic extract of C. erectus showed maximum antiradical scavenging power (90.43%; IC50=7 μg) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (16.5μM eq.FeSO4.7H2O), respectively while leave extract of F. variegata (chloroform) was the most active (0.6577) in TAC among other extracts of the selected medicinal plants. Butanolic leave extract of C. erectus exhibited maximum enzyme inhibition activity (91.62% with IC50 40μg/ml) while other extracts showed significant activity. It was observed from results that all extracts/fractions of under consideration plants, exhibited significant bioactivities especially ethanolic and butanolic fractions, which may be the richest source of such type of activities. PMID:27087094

  6. An integrated study of the Homo-bearing Aalat stratigraphic section (Eritrea): An expanded continental record at the Early-Middle Pleistocene transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghinassi, Massimiliano; Oms, Oriol; Papini, Mauro; Scarciglia, Fabio; Carnevale, Giorgio; Sani, Federico; Rook, Lorenzo; Delfino, Massimo; Pavia, Marco; Libsekal, Yosief; Bondioli, Luca; Coppa, Alfredo; Frayer, David W.; Macchiarelli, Roberto

    2015-12-01

    The Early to Middle Pleistocene continental transition in East Africa is widely documented from lacustrine and deep-sea records, although significant insights are also provided by fluvio-lacustrine successions of the central and southern African Rift Valley, such as the at Olduvai Gorge succession (Tanzania), the Bouri Formation (Ethiopia) and the Olorgesailie Formation (Kenya). The Early to Middle Pleistocene Dandiero Basin fill (Eritrean Danakil) represents the only continental succession in the northernmost sector of the African Rift Valley that provided abundant fossil vertebrates, including human remains. The present study integrates already available data with new sedimentological, pedological, magnetostratigraphic, paleontological and paleoanthropological investigations of the 300 m thick Aalat section (North Dandiero Basin). This sedimentary succession records repeated shifts from fluvial to lacustrine depositional settings, which occurred under the tight interaction between local tectonics and Pleistocene climate changes. Accumulation was associated with axial sedimentation in a NS-trending extensional basin, with an overall tectono-sedimentary setting comparable with that of the coeval Bouri Formation (Ethiopia). Because of the high rates of sedimentation, a poor to moderate degree of soil development characterizes the whole succession. Sporadic soil horizons testify to carbonate dissolution, leaching and accumulation in calcic and petrocalcic horizons (indicating an overall dry climate). The alternate with local to extensive iron-oxide/hydroxide segregation, promoted by water infiltration under varying drainage conditions and/or seasonal contrast, that record more humid conditions. Magnetostratigraphic dating and correlation indicates that this section is among the world's thickest record embracing the Early-Middle Pleistocene transition, spanning from the Jaramillo to the base of Brunhes chron. The terrestrial vertebrate fauna includes a typical Early to Middle Pleistocene East African mammalian assemblage for this age and is dominated by taxa characterized by strong water dependence. The ichthyofauna, with its abundant Clariidae, is also consistent with the shallow water, fluvio-lacustrine paleobiotopes. The cranial, dental and postcranial human remains from the lower part of the Aalat succession add valuable evidence about the patterns of variation and evolutionary dynamics in African Homo erectus/ergaster near the end of the Early Pleistocene.

  7. The status of Homo heidelbergensis (Schoetensack 1908).

    PubMed

    Stringer, Chris

    2012-05-01

    The species Homo heidelbergensis is central to many discussions about recent human evolution. For some workers, it was the last common ancestor for the subsequent species Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis; others regard it as only a European form, giving rise to the Neanderthals. Following the impact of recent genomic studies indicating hybridization between modern humans and both Neanderthals and "Denisovans", the status of these as separate taxa is now under discussion. Accordingly, clarifying the status of Homo heidelbergensis is fundamental to the debate about modern human origins. PMID:22718477

  8. The hand of Homo naledi

    PubMed Central

    Kivell, Tracy L.; Deane, Andrew S.; Tocheri, Matthew W.; Orr, Caley M.; Schmid, Peter; Hawks, John; Berger, Lee R.; Churchill, Steven E.

    2015-01-01

    A nearly complete right hand of an adult hominin was recovered from the Rising Star cave system, South Africa. Based on associated hominin material, the bones of this hand are attributed to Homo naledi. This hand reveals a long, robust thumb and derived wrist morphology that is shared with Neandertals and modern humans, and considered adaptive for intensified manual manipulation. However, the finger bones are longer and more curved than in most australopiths, indicating frequent use of the hand during life for strong grasping during locomotor climbing and suspension. These markedly curved digits in combination with an otherwise human-like wrist and palm indicate a significant degree of climbing, despite the derived nature of many aspects of the hand and other regions of the postcranial skeleton in H. naledi. PMID:26441219

  9. The hand of Homo naledi.

    PubMed

    Kivell, Tracy L; Deane, Andrew S; Tocheri, Matthew W; Orr, Caley M; Schmid, Peter; Hawks, John; Berger, Lee R; Churchill, Steven E

    2015-01-01

    A nearly complete right hand of an adult hominin was recovered from the Rising Star cave system, South Africa. Based on associated hominin material, the bones of this hand are attributed to Homo naledi. This hand reveals a long, robust thumb and derived wrist morphology that is shared with Neandertals and modern humans, and considered adaptive for intensified manual manipulation. However, the finger bones are longer and more curved than in most australopiths, indicating frequent use of the hand during life for strong grasping during locomotor climbing and suspension. These markedly curved digits in combination with an otherwise human-like wrist and palm indicate a significant degree of climbing, despite the derived nature of many aspects of the hand and other regions of the postcranial skeleton in H. naledi. PMID:26441219

  10. Dermatitis and systemic mycosis in lined seahorses Hippocampus erectus associated with a marine-adapted Fusarium solani species complex pathogen

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During a 4 month epizootic, 100% of 152 lined seahorses Hippocampus erectus in three separate groups died while in quarantine following shipment to a public aquarium. Twelve animals with skin depigmentation and ulceration were received by the Aquatic Pathology Service, University of Georgia, College...

  11. A geometric morphometric study of a Middle Pleistocene cranium from Hexian, China.

    PubMed

    Cui, Yaming; Wu, Xinzhi

    2015-11-01

    The Hexian calvarium is one of the most complete and well-preserved Homo erectus fossils ever found in east Asia, apart from the Zhoukoudian specimens. Various methods bracket the age of the Hexian fossil to between 150 and 412 ka (thousands of years ago). The Hexian calvarium has been considered to be H. erectus given its morphological similarities to Zhoukoudian and Javan H. erectus. However, discussion continues regarding the affinities of the Hexian specimen with other H. erectus fossils. The arguments mainly focus on its relationships to other Asian H. erectus fossils, including those from both China and Java. To better determine the affinities of the Hexian cranium, our study used 3D landmark and semilandmark geometric morphometric techniques and multivariate statistical analyses to quantify the shape of the neurocranium and to compare the Hexian cranium to other H. erectus specimens. The results of this study confirmed the morphological similarities between Hexian and Chinese H. erectus in overall morphology, and particularly in the structure of the frontal bone and the posterior part of the neurocranium. Although the Hexian specimen shows the strongest connection to Chinese H. erectus, the morphology of the lateral neurocranium resembles early Indonesian H. erectus specimens, possibly suggesting shared common ancestry or gene flow from early Indonesian populations. Overall cranial and frontal bone morphology are strongly influenced by geography. Although geographically intermediate between Zhoukoudian and Indonesian H. erectus, the Hexian specimen does not form part of an obvious morphological gradient with regard to overall cranial shape. PMID:26553818

  12. Australopithecus sediba: a new species of Homo-like australopith from South Africa.

    PubMed

    Berger, Lee R; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Churchill, Steven E; Schmid, Peter; Carlson, Kristian J; Dirks, Paul H G M; Kibii, Job M

    2010-04-01

    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. PMID:20378811

  13. Gross, histological and ultrastructural morphology of the aglomerular kidney in the lined seahorse Hippocampus erectus.

    PubMed

    Fogelson, S B; Yanong, R P E; Kane, A; Teal, C N; Berzins, I K; Smith, S A; Brown, C; Camus, A

    2015-09-01

    Histologic evaluation of the renal system in the lined seahorse Hippocampus erectus reveals a cranial kidney with low to moderate cellularity, composed of a central dorsal aorta, endothelial lined capillary sinusoids, haematopoietic tissue, fine fibrovascular stroma, ganglia and no nephrons. In comparison, the caudal kidney is moderately to highly cellular with numerous highly convoluted epithelial lined tubules separated by interlacing haematopoietic tissue, no glomeruli, fine fibrovascular stroma, numerous capillary sinusoids, corpuscles of Stannius and clusters of endocrine cells adjacent to large calibre vessels. Ultrastructural evaluation of the renal tubules reveals minimal variability of the tubule epithelium throughout the length of the nephron and the majority of tubules are characterized by epithelial cells with few apical microvilli, elaborate basal membrane infolding, rare electron dense granules and abundant supporting collagenous matrix. PMID:26333141

  14. The Homo Energeticus: maturity, inheritance, identity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Arthur

    2013-03-01

    In this letter, modern society’s intimate bond to the convenience and reliability of delivered energy services results in a form of identification I call the Homo Energeticus. The Homo Energeticus relies upon a mature system of services for achieving an equivalency of status and prestige that is historically similar to the morality of a noble class. I describe the uniqueness of this identity by its imperative for acquiring experience through an invisibility of energy expenditures. In this way, the Homo Energeticus cultivates a highly individualized life whose ambience of perfection, while created personally, is only successful insofar as it conceals energy expenditures in labor and supply.

  15. Inventing Homo gardarensis: prestige, pressure, and human evolution in interwar Scandinavia.

    PubMed

    Kjaergaard, Peter C

    2014-06-01

    In the 1920s there were still very few fossil human remains to support an evolutionary explanation of human origins. Nonetheless, evolution as an explanatory framework was widely accepted. This led to a search for ancestors in several continents with fierce international competition. With so little fossil evidence available and the idea of a Missing Link as a crucial piece of evidence in human evolution still intact, many actors participated in the scientific race to identify the human ancestor. The curious case of Homo gardarensis serves as an example of how personal ambitions and national pride were deeply interconnected as scientific concerns were sometimes slighted in interwar palaeoanthropology. PMID:24941795

  16. Pleistocene soil development and paleoenvironmental dynamics in East Africa: a multidisciplinary study of the Homo-bearing Aalat succession, Dandiero Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarciglia, Fabio; Mercatante, Giuseppe; Donato, Paola; Ghinassi, Massimiliano; Carnevale, Giorgio; Delfino, Massimo; Oms, Oriol; Papini, Mauro; Pavia, Marco; Sani, Federico; Rook, Lorenzo

    2015-04-01

    Pleistocene environmental changes in East Africa, largely documented by deep marine or lacustrine records correlated with inland high-resolution, Homo-bearing stratigraphic successions, have been so far interpreted as a major cause of faunal dispersal and human evolution. However, only few studies focused on reconstruction of paleoenvironmental dynamics from continental successions, given the usually poor continuity and extension of stratigraphic records. In this work we report on a multidisciplinary study of the Early to Middle Pleistocene sedimentary fill of the Dandiero Basin (Eritrean Danakil), a morpho-tectonic depression in the East African Rift System, which represents the only continental stratigraphy including human remains of Homo erectus/ergaster and abundant fossil vertebrates in the northernmost sector of this region. Sedimentological, pedological, volcanological and paleontological investigations were performed on the Aalat section, located in the northern part of the Dandiero Basin, as tools for an integrated reconstruction of the Early-Middle Pleistocene transition in East Africa. This section is almost 300 m thick and records repeated shifts from fluvial to deltaic and lacustrine depositional environments, as a response to local tectonic activity and climate changes. Sedimentary facies distribution and paleocurrent data show that sedimentation was controlled by a NS-trending axial drainage. Some tephra layers were identified both at the bottom and the top of the section, whereas two main fossiliferous layers were detected in its lower part. Terrestrial vertebrate faunas include a typical Early to Middle Pleistocene East African mammalian assemblage, where taxa characterized by strong water dependence prevail. Also the ichthyofauna is consistent with the shallow water fluvio-lacustrine paleobiotopes. High-quality paleomagnetic analyses, integrated with radiometric dating and vertebrate paleontology, allowed to substantiate the chronological constraints of the Aalat section to a time span approximately bracketed between the Jaramillo event (ca. 1.07-0.99 Ma) and the Matuyama-Brunhes magnetic field reversal (ca. 0.78 Ma). High rates of sedimentary aggradation can be estimated around 1 mm/a, coherently with a poor to moderate degree of soil development and evidence of soil truncation by erosion. Physico-chemical, mineralogical, geochemical and micromorphological analyses were carried out on selected soil samples. Weathering and pedogenetic features mainly consist of pedogenic structure, secondary carbonate accumulations (following carbonate leaching) and iron-oxide/hydroxide segregations, promoted by water infiltration under varying drainage conditions and/or seasonal contrast. The complex patterns of some petrocalcic horizons and rare rubified soils testify for occasionally longer geomorphic stability and non-deposition, which were more prone to pedogenesis. Our multidisciplinary study revealed that the Aalat section in the Dandiero Basin represents a promising continental archive of the main paleoenvironmental changes occurred during the Early-Middle Pleistocene transition in East Africa.

  17. The costal skeleton of Homo antecessor: preliminary results.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Carretero, José Miguel; Lorenzo, Carlos; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald

    2010-12-01

    The Lower Pleistocene TD6 level at the Gran Dolina site in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain) has yielded nine ribs that represent a minimum of three individuals of the species, Homo antecessor. We present a detailed morphological and metric study of these costal elements, including the siding and anatomical position of all of the rib remains. The adult or nearly adult ribs are also metrically compared with other fossil hominins and with modern comparative samples. The costal elements recovered to date from the TD6 level at Gran Dolina can neither confirm nor reject the hypothesis that H. antecessor had a large thorax, similar to that of Neandertals. However, the fragmentary evidence of the H. antecessor thoracic skeleton is not inconsistent with this suggestion based on other skeletal elements, such as clavicles. PMID:20965547

  18. Geometric morphometric analysis of the crown morphology of the lower first premolar of hominins, with special attention to Pleistocene Homo.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Robles, Aida; Martinón-Torres, María; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Prado, Leyre; Sarmiento, Susana; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2008-10-01

    This article is the third of a series that explores hominin dental crown morphology by means of geometric morphometrics. After the analysis of the lower second premolar and the upper first molar crown shapes, we apply the same technique to lower first premolar morphology. Our results show a clear distinction between the morphology seen in earlier hominin taxa such as Australopithecus and African early Homo, as well as Asian H. erectus, and more recent groups such as European H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis, and H. sapiens. The morphology of the earlier hominins includes an asymmetrical outline, a conspicuous talonid, and an occlusal polygon that tends to be large. The morphology of the recent hominins includes a symmetrical outline and a reduced or absent talonid. Within this later group, premolars belonging to H. heidelbergensis and H. neanderthalensis tend to possess a small and mesiolingually-displaced occlusal polygon, whereas H. sapiens specimens usually present expanded and centered occlusal polygons in an almost circular outline. The morphological differences among Paranthropus, Australopithecus, and African early Homo as studied here are small and evolutionarily less significant compared to the differences between the earlier and later homin taxa. In contrast to the lower second premolar and the upper first molar crown, the inclusion of a larger hominin sample of lower first premolars reveals a large allometric component. PMID:18639917

  19. Paleoclimatic setting for Homo sapiens neanderthalensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boaz, N. T.; Ninkovich, D.; Rossignol-Strick, M.

    1982-01-01

    A paleoclimatic hypothesis is presented to account for the evolution and eventual replacement of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. Neandertal populations in the European Late Pleistocene were largely isolated by geographic barriers. Populations of modern Homo sapiens replaced Neandertals at 34000 years ago, near the end of the relatively cold oxygen isotope stage 3. These population were pushed into Europe by conditions brought on by increasing aridity affecting North Africa and southwestern Asia, and their dispersal was facilitated by lowered sea level.

  20. Are the oldest 'fossils', fossils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schopf, J. W.

    1976-01-01

    A comparative statistical study has been carried out on populations of modern algae, Precambrian algal microfossils, the 'organized elements' of the Orgueil carbonaceous meteorite, and the oldest microfossil-like objects now known (spheroidal bodies from the Fig Tree and Onverwacht Groups of the Swaziland Supergroup, South Africa). The distribution patterns exhibited by the more than 3000 m.y.-old Swaziland microstructures bear considerable resemblance to those of the abiotic 'organized elements' but differ rather markedly from those exhibited by younger, assuredly biogenic, populations. Based on these comparisons, it is concluded that the Swaziland spheroids could be, at least in part, of nonbiologic origin; these oldest known fossil-like microstructures should not be regarded as constituting firm evidence of Archean life.

  1. Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Dirks, Paul H G M; Berger, Lee R; Roberts, Eric M; Kramers, Jan D; Hawks, John; Randolph-Quinney, Patrick S; Elliott, Marina; Musiba, Charles M; Churchill, Steven E; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Schmid, Peter; Backwell, Lucinda R; Belyanin, Georgy A; Boshoff, Pedro; Hunter, K Lindsay; Feuerriegel, Elen M; Gurtov, Alia; Harrison, James du G; Hunter, Rick; Kruger, Ashley; Morris, Hannah; Makhubela, Tebogo V; Peixotto, Becca; Tucker, Steven

    2015-01-01

    We describe the physical context of the Dinaledi Chamber within the Rising Star cave, South Africa, which contains the fossils of Homo naledi. Approximately 1550 specimens of hominin remains have been recovered from at least 15 individuals, representing a small portion of the total fossil content. Macro-vertebrate fossils are exclusively H. naledi, and occur within clay-rich sediments derived from in situ weathering, and exogenous clay and silt, which entered the chamber through fractures that prevented passage of coarser-grained material. The chamber was always in the dark zone, and not accessible to non-hominins. Bone taphonomy indicates that hominin individuals reached the chamber complete, with disarticulation occurring during/after deposition. Hominins accumulated over time as older laminated mudstone units and sediment along the cave floor were eroded. Preliminary evidence is consistent with deliberate body disposal in a single location, by a hominin species other than Homo sapiens, at an as-yet unknown date. PMID:26354289

  2. Will My Fossil Float?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riesser, Sharon; Airey, Linda

    1993-01-01

    Explains how young students can be introduced to fossils. Suggests books to read and science activities including "Fossils to Eat" where students make fossils from peanut butter, honey, and powdered milk. (PR)

  3. The evolutionary history of the hominin hand since the last common ancestor of Pan and Homo

    PubMed Central

    Tocheri, Matthew W; Orr, Caley M; Jacofsky, Marc C; Marzke, Mary W

    2008-01-01

    Molecular evidence indicates that the last common ancestor of the genus Pan and the hominin clade existed between 8 and 4 million years ago (Ma). The current fossil record indicates the Pan-Homo last common ancestor existed at least 5 Ma and most likely between 6 and 7 Ma. Together, the molecular and fossil evidence has important consequences for interpreting the evolutionary history of the hand within the tribe Hominini (hominins). Firstly, parsimony supports the hypothesis that the hand of the last common ancestor most likely resembled that of an extant great ape overall (Pan, Gorilla, and Pongo), and that of an African ape in particular. Second, it provides a context for interpreting the derived changes to the hand that have evolved in various hominins. For example, the Australopithecus afarensis hand is likely derived in comparison with that of the Pan–Homo last common ancestor in having shorter fingers relative to thumb length and more proximo-distally oriented joints between its capitate, second metacarpal, and trapezium. This evidence suggests that these derived features evolved prior to the intensification of stone tool-related hominin behaviors beginning around 2.5 Ma. However, a majority of primitive features most likely present in the Pan-Homo last common ancestor are retained in the hands of Australopithecus, Paranthropus/early Homo, and Homo floresiensis. This evidence suggests that further derived changes to the hands of other hominins such as modern humans and Neandertals did not evolve until after 2.5 Ma and possibly even later than 1.5 Ma, which is currently the earliest evidence of Acheulian technology. The derived hands of modern humans and Neandertals may indicate a morphological commitment to tool-related manipulative behaviors beyond that observed in other hominins, including those (e.g. H. floresiensis) which may be descended from earlier tool-making species. PMID:18380869

  4. Crown size and cusp proportions in Homo antecessor upper first molars. A comment on Quam et al. 2009.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Robles, Aida; de Castro, José María Bermúdez; Martinón-Torres, María; Prado-Simón, Leyre

    2011-02-01

    A recent evaluation of upper first molar (M¹) crown size and cusp proportions in the genus Homo (Quam et al. 2009) describes Homo antecessor as maintaining a primitive pattern of cusp proportions, similar to that identified in australopithecines and the earliest members of the genus Homo. These results contrast with those of Gómez-Robles et al. (2007), who described the crown shape in these molars as derived and similar to Neanderthals and European Homo heidelbergensis. The reassessment of these measurements following the same methodology described by Quam et al. (2009) in all the M(1) s that are currently part of the hypodigm of H. antecessor demonstrates that the fossils from TD6 not only have the same cusp proportions identified in later Homo species, but also a strongly reduced metacone and a large hypocone shared with Middle and Upper Pleistocene members of the Neanderthal lineage. The evolutionary significance of these features should be evaluated in light of the results provided by recently discovered dental, cranial, mandibular, and postcranial H. antecessor fossils. PMID:21208207

  5. Crown size and cusp proportions in Homo antecessor upper first molars. A comment on Quam et al. 2009

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Robles, Aida; de Castro, José María Bermúdez; Martinón-Torres, María; Prado-Simón, Leyre

    2011-01-01

    A recent evaluation of upper first molar (M1) crown size and cusp proportions in the genus Homo (Quam et al. 2009) describes Homo antecessor as maintaining a primitive pattern of cusp proportions, similar to that identified in australopithecines and the earliest members of the genus Homo. These results contrast with those of Gómez-Robles et al. (2007), who described the crown shape in these molars as derived and similar to Neanderthals and European Homo heidelbergensis. The reassessment of these measurements following the same methodology described by Quam et al. (2009) in all the M1s that are currently part of the hypodigm of H. antecessor demonstrates that the fossils from TD6 not only have the same cusp proportions identified in later Homo species, but also a strongly reduced metacone and a large hypocone shared with Middle and Upper Pleistocene members of the Neanderthal lineage. The evolutionary significance of these features should be evaluated in light of the results provided by recently discovered dental, cranial, mandibular, and postcranial H. antecessor fossils. PMID:21208207

  6. Technical note: virtual reconstruction of KNM-ER 1813 Homo habilis cranium.

    PubMed

    Benazzi, Stefano; Gruppioni, Giorgio; Strait, David S; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2014-01-01

    A very limiting factor for paleoanthropological studies is the poor state of preservation of the human fossil record, where fragmentation and deformation are considered normal. Although anatomical information can still be gathered from a distorted fossil, such specimens must typically be excluded from advanced morphological and morphometric analyses, thus reducing the fossil sample size and, ultimately, our knowledge of human evolution. In this contribution we provide the first digital reconstruction of the KNM-ER 1813 Homo habilis cranium. Based on state of-the-art three-dimensional digital modeling and geometric morphometric (GM) methods, the facial portion was aligned to the neurocranium, the overall distortion was removed, and the missing regions were restored. The reconstructed KNM-ER 1813 allows for an adjustment of the anthropometric measurements gathered on the original fossil. It is suitable for further quantitative studies, such as GM analyses focused on skull morphology or for finite element analysis to explore the mechanics of early Homo feeding behavior and diet. PMID:24318950

  7. Radiometric dating of the type-site for Homo heidelbergensis at Mauer, Germany.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Günther A; Krbetschek, Matthias; Degering, Detlev; Bahain, Jean-Jacques; Shao, Qingfeng; Falguères, Christophe; Voinchet, Pierre; Dolo, Jean-Michel; Garcia, Tristan; Rightmire, G Philip

    2010-11-16

    The Mauer mandible, holotype of Homo heidelbergensis, was found in 1907 in fluvial sands deposited by the Neckar River 10 km southeast of Heidelberg, Germany. The fossil is an important key to understanding early human occupation of Europe north of the Alps. Given the associated mammal fauna and the geological context, the find layer has been placed in the early Middle Pleistocene, but confirmatory chronometric evidence has hitherto been missing. Here we show that two independent techniques, the combined electron spin resonance/U-series method used with mammal teeth and infrared radiofluorescence applied to sand grains, date the type-site of Homo heidelbergensis at Mauer to 609 ± 40 ka. This result demonstrates that the mandible is the oldest hominin fossil reported to date from central and northern Europe and raises questions concerning the phyletic relationship of Homo heidelbergensis to more ancient populations documented from southern Europe and in Africa. We address the paleoanthropological significance of the Mauer jaw in light of this dating evidence. PMID:21041630

  8. Radiometric dating of the type-site for Homo heidelbergensis at Mauer, Germany

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Günther A.; Krbetschek, Matthias; Degering, Detlev; Bahain, Jean-Jacques; Shao, Qingfeng; Falguères, Christophe; Voinchet, Pierre; Dolo, Jean-Michel; Garcia, Tristan; Rightmire, G. Philip

    2010-01-01

    The Mauer mandible, holotype of Homo heidelbergensis, was found in 1907 in fluvial sands deposited by the Neckar River 10 km southeast of Heidelberg, Germany. The fossil is an important key to understanding early human occupation of Europe north of the Alps. Given the associated mammal fauna and the geological context, the find layer has been placed in the early Middle Pleistocene, but confirmatory chronometric evidence has hitherto been missing. Here we show that two independent techniques, the combined electron spin resonance/U-series method used with mammal teeth and infrared radiofluorescence applied to sand grains, date the type-site of Homo heidelbergensis at Mauer to 609 ± 40 ka. This result demonstrates that the mandible is the oldest hominin fossil reported to date from central and northern Europe and raises questions concerning the phyletic relationship of Homo heidelbergensis to more ancient populations documented from southern Europe and in Africa. We address the paleoanthropological significance of the Mauer jaw in light of this dating evidence. PMID:21041630

  9. Dental development in living and fossil orangutans.

    PubMed

    Smith, Tanya M

    2016-05-01

    Numerous studies have investigated molar development in extant and fossil hominoids, yet relatively little is known about orangutans, the only great ape with an extensive fossil record. This study characterizes aspects of dental development, including cuspal enamel daily secretion rate, long-period line periodicities, cusp-specific molar crown formation times and extension rates, and initiation and completion ages in living and fossil orangutan postcanine teeth. Daily secretion rate and periodicities in living orangutans are similar to previous reports, while crown formation times often exceed published values, although direct comparisons are limited. One wild Bornean individual died at 4.5 years of age with fully erupted first molars (M1s), while a captive individual and a wild Sumatran individual likely erupted their M1s around five or six years of age. These data underscore the need for additional samples of orangutans of known sex, species, and developmental environment to explore potential sources of variation in molar emergence and their relationship to life history variables. Fossil orangutans possess larger crowns than living orangutans, show similarities in periodicities, and have faster daily secretion rate, longer crown formation times, and slower extension rates. Molar crown formation times exceed reported values for other fossil apes, including Gigantopithecus blacki. When compared to African apes, both living and fossil orangutans show greater cuspal enamel thickness values and periodicities, resulting in longer crown formation times and slower extension rates. Several of these variables are similar to modern humans, representing examples of convergent evolution. Molar crown formation does not appear to be equivalent among extant great apes or consistent within living and fossil members of Pongo or Homo. PMID:27178461

  10. Body composition in Pan paniscus compared with Homo sapiens has implications for changes during human evolution.

    PubMed

    Zihlman, Adrienne L; Bolter, Debra R

    2015-06-16

    The human body has been shaped by natural selection during the past 4-5 million years. Fossils preserve bones and teeth but lack muscle, skin, fat, and organs. To understand the evolution of the human form, information about both soft and hard tissues of our ancestors is needed. Our closest living relatives of the genus Pan provide the best comparative model to those ancestors. Here, we present data on the body composition of 13 bonobos (Pan paniscus) measured during anatomical dissections and compare the data with Homo sapiens. These comparative data suggest that both females and males (i) increased body fat, (ii) decreased relative muscle mass, (iii) redistributed muscle mass to lower limbs, and (iv) decreased relative mass of skin during human evolution. Comparison of soft tissues between Pan and Homo provides new insights into the function and evolution of body composition. PMID:26034269

  11. Body composition in Pan paniscus compared with Homo sapiens has implications for changes during human evolution

    PubMed Central

    Zihlman, Adrienne L.; Bolter, Debra R.

    2015-01-01

    The human body has been shaped by natural selection during the past 4–5 million years. Fossils preserve bones and teeth but lack muscle, skin, fat, and organs. To understand the evolution of the human form, information about both soft and hard tissues of our ancestors is needed. Our closest living relatives of the genus Pan provide the best comparative model to those ancestors. Here, we present data on the body composition of 13 bonobos (Pan paniscus) measured during anatomical dissections and compare the data with Homo sapiens. These comparative data suggest that both females and males (i) increased body fat, (ii) decreased relative muscle mass, (iii) redistributed muscle mass to lower limbs, and (iv) decreased relative mass of skin during human evolution. Comparison of soft tissues between Pan and Homo provides new insights into the function and evolution of body composition. PMID:26034269

  12. De Novo Transcriptome Analysis of Two Seahorse Species (Hippocampus erectus and H. mohnikei) and the Development of Molecular Markers for Population Genetics

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Qiang; Luo, Wei; Wan, Shiming; Gao, Zexia

    2016-01-01

    Seahorse conservation has been performed utilizing various strategies for many decades, and the deeper understanding of genomic information is necessary to more efficiently protect the germplasm resources of seahorse species. However, little genetic information about seahorses currently exists in the public databases. In this study, high-throughput RNA sequencing for two seahorse species, Hippocampus erectus and H. mohnikei, was carried out, and de novo assembly generated 37,506 unigenes for H. erectus and 36,113 unigenes for H. mohnikei. Among them, 17,338 (46.23%) unigenes for H. erectus and 17,900 (49.57%) for H. mohnikei were successfully annotated based on the information available from the public databases. Through comparing the unigenes of two seahorse species, 7,802 candidate orthologous genes were identified and 5,268 genes among them could be annotated. In addition, gene ontology analysis of two species was similarly performed on biological processes, cellular components, and molecular functions. Twenty-four and twenty-one unigenes in H. erectus and H. mohnikei were annotated in the biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids pathways, and both seahorses lacked the Δ12 and Δ15 desaturases. Total of 8,992 and 9,116 SSR loci were obtained from H. erectus and H. mohnikei unigenes, respectively. Dozens of SSR were developed and then applied to assess the population genetic diversity, as well as cross-amplified in a related species, H. trimaculatus. The HO and HE values of the tested populations for H. erectus, H. mohnikei, and H. trimaculatus were medium. These resources would facilitate the conservation of the species through a better understanding of the genomics and comparative genome analysis within the Hippocampus genus. PMID:27128031

  13. Total π-electron and HOMO energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutman, Ivan; Radenković, Slavko; Ðorđević, Slađana; Milovanović, Igor Ž.; Milovanović, Emina I.

    2016-04-01

    A relation is obtained between the total π-electron energy Eπ and the HOMO energy EHOMO, valid within the HMO approximation. This seems to be the very first relation between Eπ and EHOMO ever established. It enables a much more accurate assessment of Eπ of alternant conjugated hydrocarbons than that based on McClelland's formula and on other (n, m)-type approximate expressions.

  14. [Adaptive evolution of the Homo mitochondrial genome].

    PubMed

    Maliarchuk, B A

    2011-01-01

    Adaptive evolution of 12 protein-coding mitochondrial genes in members of genus Homo (Denisova hominin (H. sp. Altai), Neandertals (H. neanderthalensis) and modern humans (H. sapiens)) has been evaluated by assessing the pattern of changes in the physicochemical properties of amino acid replacements during the primate evolution. It has been found that in the Homo molecular adaptation (positive destabilizing selection) become apparent in the form of 12 radical amino acid replacements accompanied by statistically significant (P < 0.001) changes of physicochemical properties that probably had the functional consequences. These replacements have occurred on the stage of a common ancestor of the Homo (in CO2 and CytB genes) as well as with the appearance of the common ancestor of Neandertals and modern humans (in CO1 and ND5 genes). Radical amino acid replacements were mainly revealed in the cytochrome c oxidase complex IV and cytochrome bc1 complex III, thus coinciding with general trend of increasing of non-synonymous changes in mtDNA genes coding subunits of complexes III and IV proteins in anthropoid primates. PMID:22393781

  15. The hominin fossil record: taxa, grades and clades

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Bernard; Lonergan, Nicholas

    2008-01-01

    This paper begins by reviewing the fossil evidence for human evolution. It presents summaries of each of the taxa recognized in a relatively speciose hominin taxonomy. These taxa are grouped in grades, namely possible and probable hominins, archaic hominins, megadont archaic hominins, transitional hominins, pre-modern Homo and anatomically modern Homo. The second part of this contribution considers some of the controversies that surround hominin taxonomy and systematics. The first is the vexed question of how you tell an early hominin from an early panin, or from taxa belonging to an extinct clade closely related to the Pan-Homo clade. Secondly, we consider how many species should be recognized within the hominin fossil record, and review the philosophies and methods used to identify taxa within the hominin fossil record. Thirdly, we examine how relationships within the hominin clade are investigated, including descriptions of the methods used to break down an integrated structure into tractable analytical units, and then how cladograms are generated and compared. We then review the internal structure of the hominin clade, including the problem of how many subclades should be recognized within the hominin clade, and we examine the reliability of hominin cladistic hypotheses. The last part of the paper reviews the concepts of a genus, including the criteria that should be used for recognizing genera within the hominin clade. PMID:18380861

  16. Fossil-energy program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNeese, L. E.

    1982-01-01

    The increased utilization of coal and other fossil fuel alternatives as sources of clean energy is reported. The projects reported include: coal conversion development, chemical research and development, materials technology, component development and process evaluation, technical support to major liquefaction, process analysis and engineering evaluations, fossil energy environmental analysis, environmental control technology, coal preparation waste utilization, atmospheric fluidized bed coal combustor for cogeneration, TVA FBC demonstration plant program technical support, PFBC systems analysis, FBC char utilization improvement, fossil fuel applications assessments, performance assurance system support for fossil energy projects, international energy technology, generalized equilibrium models for liquid and gaseous fuel supplies, instrumentations and controls and fossil energy information center.

  17. Fossilized bioelectric wire - the trace fossil Trichichnus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kędzierski, M.; Uchman, A.; Sawlowicz, Z.; Briguglio, A.

    2015-04-01

    The trace fossil Trichichnus is proposed as an indicator of fossil bioelectric bacterial activity at the oxic-anoxic interface zone of marine sediments. This fulfils the idea that such processes, commonly found in the modern realm, should be also present in the geological past. Trichichnus is an exceptional trace fossil due to its very thin diameter (mostly less than 1 mm) and common pyritic filling. It is ubiquitous in some fine-grained sediments, where it has been interpreted as a burrow formed deeper than any other trace fossils, below the redox boundary. Trichichnus, formerly referred to as deeply burrowed invertebrates, has been found as remnant of a fossilized intrasediment bacterial mat that is pyritized. As visualized in 3-D by means of X-ray computed microtomography scanner, Trichichnus forms dense filamentous fabric, which reflects that it is produced by modern large, mat-forming, sulfide-oxidizing bacteria, belonging mostly to Thioploca-related taxa, which are able to house a complex bacterial consortium. Several stages of Trichichnus formation, including filamentous, bacterial mat and its pyritization, are proposed to explain an electron exchange between oxic and suboxic/anoxic layers in the sediment. Therefore, Trichichnus can be considered a fossilized "electric wire".

  18. Fossilized bioelectric wire - the trace fossil Trichichnus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kędzierski, M.; Uchman, A.; Sawlowicz, Z.; Briguglio, A.

    2014-12-01

    The trace fossil Trichichnus is proposed as an indicator of fossil bioelectric bacterial activity at the interface oxic - anoxic zone of marine sediments. This fulfils the idea that such processes, commonly found in the modern realm, should be also present in the geological past. Trichichnus is an exceptional trace fossil due to its very thin diameter (mostly less than 1 mm) and common pyritic filling. It is ubiquitous in some fine-grained sediments, where it has been interpreted as a burrow formed deeper than any other trace fossils, below the redox boundary. Trichichnus formerly referred to as deeply burrowed invertebrates, has been found as remnant of a fossilized intrasediment bacterial mat that is pyritized. As visualized in 3-D by means of X-ray computed microtomography scanner, Trichichnus forms dense filamentous fabric, which reflects that produced by modern large, mat-forming, sulphide-oxidizing bacteria, belonging mostly to Trichichnus-related taxa, which are able to house a complex bacterial consortium. Several stages of Trichichnus formation, including filamentous, bacterial mat and its pyritization, are proposed to explain an electron exchange between oxic and suboxic/anoxic layers in the sediment. Therefore, Trichichnus can be considered a fossilized "electric wire".

  19. Influences of limb proportions and body size on locomotor kinematics in terrestrial primates and fossil hominins.

    PubMed

    Polk, J D

    2004-10-01

    During locomotion, mammalian limb postures are influenced by many factors including the animal's limb length and body mass. Polk (2002) compared the gait of similar-sized cercopithecine monkeys that differed limb proportions and found that longer-limbed monkeys usually adopt more extended joint postures than shorter-limbed monkeys in order to moderate their joint moments. Studies of primates as well as non-primate mammals that vary in body mass have demonstrated that larger animals use more extended limb postures than smaller animals. Such extended postures in larger animals increase the extensor muscle mechanical advantage and allow postures to be maintained with relatively less muscular effort (Polk, 2002; Biewener 1989). The results of these previous studies are used here to address two anthropological questions. The first concerns the postural effects of body mass and limb proportion differences between australopithecines and members of the genus Homo. That is, H. erectus and later hominins all have larger body mass and longer legs than australopithecines, and these anatomical differences suggest that Homo probably used more extended postures and probably required relatively less muscular force to resist gravity than the smaller and shorter-limbed australopithecines. The second question investigates how animals with similar size but different limb proportions differ in locomotor performance. The effects of limb proportions on gait are relevant to inferring postural and locomotor differences between Neanderthals and modern Homo sapiens which differ in their crural indices and relative limb length. This study demonstrates that primates with relatively long limbs achieve higher walking speeds while using lower stride frequencies and lower angular excursions than shorter-limbed monkeys, and these kinematic differences may allow longer-limbed taxa to locomote more efficiently than shorter-limbed species of similar mass. Such differences may also have characterized the gait of Homo sapiens in comparison to Neanderthals, but more experimental data on humans that vary in limb proportions are necessary in order to evaluate this question more thoroughly. PMID:15454335

  20. Encephalization and allometric trajectories in the genus Homo: Evidence from the Neandertal and modern lineages

    PubMed Central

    Bruner, Emiliano; Manzi, Giorgio; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2003-01-01

    The term “encephalization” is commonly used to describe an enlargement in brain size, considered as either absolute endocranial volumes or relative values in relation to body size. It is widely recognized that a considerable endocranial expansion occurred throughout the evolution of the genus Homo. This article aims to evaluate whether this phenomenon was the outcome of distinct evolutionary lineages, reaching similar brain expansions but through different trajectories. Endocranial morphology was studied in a sample of fossil hominines by multivariate approaches using both traditional metrics and geometric morphometrics. The analysis was focused on the transition from a generalized archaic pattern within the genus Homo to the modern morphology and compared with changes that occurred along the Neandertal lineage. The main result was the identification of two different evolutionary trajectories, in which a similar expansion in endocranial size has been reached by different changes in shape. Along the Neandertal lineage we observed maintenance of an “archaic” endocranial model, in which a large amount of variability is based on a single allometric trend. By contrast, when modern endocasts were compared with nonmodern ones, we found important differences apparently led by a parietal expansion. In this light, the origin of our species may have represented the opportunity to surpass the constraints imposed on encephalization by the ontogenetic pattern shared by nonmodern Homo representatives. PMID:14673084

  1. Fossil human remains from Bolomor Cave (Valencia, Spain).

    PubMed

    Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Fernández Peris, Josep; Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Quam, Rolf; Carretero, José Miguel; Barciela González, Virginia; Blasco, Ruth; Cuartero, Felipe; Sañudo, Pablo

    2012-05-01

    Systematic excavations carried out since 1989 at Bolomor Cave have led to the recovery of four Pleistocene human fossil remains, consisting of a fibular fragment, two isolated teeth, and a nearly complete adult parietal bone. All of these specimens date to the late Middle and early Late Pleistocene (MIS 7-5e). The fibular fragment shows thick cortical bone, an archaic feature found in non-modern (i.e. non-Homo sapiens) members of the genus Homo. Among the dental remains, the lack of a midtrigonid crest in the M(1) represents a departure from the morphology reported for the majority of Neandertal specimens, while the large dimensions and pronounced shoveling of the marginal ridges in the C(1) are similar to other European Middle and late Pleistocene fossils. The parietal bone is very thick, with dimensions that generally fall above Neandertal fossils and resemble more closely the Middle Pleistocene Atapuerca (SH) adult specimens. Based on the presence of archaic features, all the fossils from Bolomor are attributed to the Neandertal evolutionary lineage. PMID:22440746

  2. Fossil Energy Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNeese, L. E.

    1981-01-01

    Increased utilization of coal and other fossil fuel alternatives as sources of clean energy is reported. The following topics are discussed: coal conversion development, chemical research and development, materials technology, component development and process evaluation studies, technical support to major liquefaction projects, process analysis and engineering evaluations, fossil energy environmental analysis, flue gas desulfurization, solid waste disposal, coal preparation waste utilization, plant control development, atmospheric fluidized bed coal combustor for cogeneration, TVA FBC demonstration plant program technical support, PFBC systems analysis, fossil fuel applications assessments, performance assurance system support for fossil energy projects, international energy technology assessment, and general equilibrium models of liquid and gaseous fuel supplies.

  3. Body proportions of Australopithecus afarensis and A. africanus and the origin of the genus Homo.

    PubMed

    McHenry, H M; Berger, L R

    1998-07-01

    New discoveries of A. africanus fossils from Member 4 Sterkfontein reveal a body form quite unlike earlier Australopithecus species. The new adult material consists of over 48 fore- and hindlimb specimens and includes an associated partial skeleton, Stw 431. The forelimbs and relatively large: the average size of their joints corresponds to a modern human with body mass of 53 kg. The hindlimbs are much smaller with an average size matching a modern human of only 33 kg. Analyses of the Stw 431 partial skeleton confirm these results. In contrast, A. afarensis and anamensis more closely approximate a human pattern of forelimb joint size. This is an unanticipated complication in our understanding of early human evolution. In general, craniodental morphology tracks time in species of Australopithecus: A. anamensis (3.5-4.1 Ma) is the the most primitive with a strongly sloping symphysis, large canine roots, etc., A. afarensis (3.0-3.6 Ma) is less primitive, and A. africanus (2.6-3.0 Ma) shares many derived characteristics with early Homo (e.g., expanded brain, reduced canine, bicuspid lower third premolar, reduced prognathism, greater flexion of the cranial base, deeper TMJ). the new postcranial material, however, reveals an apparently primitive morphology of relatively large forelimb and small hindlimb joints resembling more the pongid than the human pattern. More pongid-like proportions are also present in the two known associated partial skeletons of H. habilis (OH 62 KNM-ER 3735). This may imply either (1) that A. africanus and H. habilis evolved craniodental characters in parallel with the lineage leading to later Homo, or (2) that fore- to hindlimb proportions of A. afarensis (and perhaps A. anamensis) evolved independent of the lineage leading to Homo and does not imply a close phylogenetic link with Homo. Both of these explanations or any other phylogeny imply homoplasy. PMID:9680464

  4. Restoring Fossil Creek

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flaccus, Kathleen; Vlieg, Julie; Marks, Jane C.; LeRoy, Carri J.

    2004-01-01

    Fossil Creek had been dammed for the past 90 years, and plans were underway to restore the stream. The creek runs through Central Arizona and flows from the high plateaus to the desert, cutting through the same formations that form the Grand Canyon. This article discusses the Fossil Creek monitoring project. In this project, students and teachers…

  5. Descriptions of the lower limb skeleton of Homo floresiensis.

    PubMed

    Jungers, W L; Larson, S G; Harcourt-Smith, W; Morwood, M J; Sutikna, T; Due Awe, Rokhus; Djubiantono, T

    2009-11-01

    Bones of the lower extremity have been recovered for up to nine different individuals of Homo floresiensis - LB1, LB4, LB6, LB8, LB9, LB10, LB11, LB13, and LB14. LB1 is represented by a bony pelvis (damaged but now repaired), femora, tibiae, fibulae, patellae, and numerous foot bones. LB4/2 is an immature right tibia lacking epiphyses. LB6 includes a fragmentary metatarsal and two pedal phalanges. LB8 is a nearly complete right tibia (shorter than that of LB1). LB9 is a fragment of a hominin femoral diaphysis. LB10 is a proximal hallucal phalanx. LB11 includes pelvic fragments and a fragmentary metatarsal. LB13 is a patellar fragment, and LB14 is a fragment of an acetabulum. All skeletal remains recovered from Liang Bua were extremely fragile, and some were badly damaged when they were removed temporarily from Jakarta. At present, virtually all fossil materials have been returned, stabilized, and hardened. These skeletal remains are described and illustrated photographically. The lower limb skeleton exhibits a uniquely mosaic pattern, with many primitive-like morphologies; we have been unable to find this combination of ancient and derived (more human-like) features in either healthy or pathological modern humans, regardless of body size. Bilateral asymmetries are slight in the postcranium, and muscle markings are clearly delineated on all bones. The long bones are robust, and the thickness of their cortices is well within the ranges seen in healthy modern humans. LB1 is most probably a female based on the shape of her greater sciatic notch, and the marked degree of lateral iliac flaring recalls that seen in australopithecines such as "Lucy" (AL 288-1). The metatarsus has a human-like robusticity formula, but the proximal pedal phalanges are relatively long and robust (and slightly curved). The hallux is fully adducted, but we suspect that a medial longitudinal arch was absent. PMID:19062072

  6. Fossil energy program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNeese, L. E.

    1981-12-01

    Research and development programs in support of the increased utilization of coal and other fossil fuel alternatives as sources of clean energy are reported. The following projects are reported: coal conversion development, chemical research and development, materials technology, component development and process evaluation, technical support to major liquefaction, process analysis and engineering evaluations, fossil energy environmental analysis, environmental control technology, coal preparation waste utilization, atmospheric fluidized bed coal combustor for cogeneration, TVA FBC demonstration plant program technical support, PFBC systems analysis, FBC char utilization improvement, fossil fuel applications assessments, performance assurance system support for fossil energy projects, international energy technology, generalized equilibrium models for liquid and gaseous fuel supplies, analysis of coal production, and fossil energy information center.

  7. Fossil evidence for early hominid tool use.

    PubMed

    Susman, R L

    1994-09-01

    Although several Plio-Pleistocene hominids are found in association with stone and bone tools, it has been generally assumed that at any one time the hominid with the largest brain was the toolmaker. Fossils recovered over the last decade suggest that early hominids subsequent to 2.5 million years ago all might have used tools and occupied "cultural" niches. A test for humanlike precision grasping (the enhanced ability to manipulate tools) is proposed and applied to australopithecines and early Homo. The results indicate that tools were likely to have been used by all early hominids at around 2.0 million years ago. The earliest australopithecines, which predate the appearance of stone tools in the archaeological record, do not show signs of advanced precision grasping. PMID:8079169

  8. A re-examination of the human fossil specimen from Bački Petrovac (Serbia).

    PubMed

    Radović, Predrag; Lindal, Joshua Allan; Roksandic, Mirjana

    2014-08-01

    A fragmented human calotte was discovered during the early 1950s near Bački Petrovac (Serbia), in association with Palaeolithic stone tools. After its initial publication, the fossil specimen remained largely unknown outside of the Serbian academe and no detailed comparative study has ever been carried out. Since the whereabouts of the fossil itself are currently unknown, and given its potential significance for the Pleistocene human evolution, we re-examine the data published by Živanović (1966, 1975). Using the original measurements, mostly taken on the frontal bone, and a wide comparative sample of 68 fossil specimens, the fossil was compared and analyzed by statistical multivariate methods. We also conducted a visual examination of the morphology based on the available photographic material. Our analysis reveals phenetic similarity with Middle Pleistocene archaic Homo from Africa and anatomically modern Homo sapiens. However, the absence of primitive cranial traits in Bački Petrovac indicates a clear modern Homo sapiens designation. Although lost at the moment, there is a chance for the re-discovery of the fossil in the years to come. This would give us an opportunity to acquire absolute dates and to study the specimen in a more detailed manner. PMID:24951407

  9. Body proportions of Homo habilis reviewed.

    PubMed

    Haeusler, Martin; McHenry, Henry M

    2004-04-01

    The ratio of fore- to hindlimb size plays an important role in our understanding of human evolution. Although Homo habilis was relatively modern craniodentally, its body proportions are commonly believed to have been more apelike than in the earlier Australopithecus afarensis. The evidence for this, however, rests, on two fragmentary skeletons, OH 62 and KNM-ER 3735. The upper limb of the better-preserved OH 62 from Olduvai Gorge is long and slender, but its hindlimb is represented mainly by the proximal portion of a thin femur of uncertain length. The present analysis shows that upper-to-lower limb shaft proportions of both OH 62 and AL 288-1 (A. afarensis) fall in the modern human range of variation, although OH 62 also falls inside that of chimpanzees due to their overlap in small individuals. Despite being more fragmentary, the larger-bodied KNM-ER 3735 lies outside the chimpanzee range and close to the human mean. Because the differences between any of the three individuals are compatible with the range of variation seen in extant hominoid groups, it is not legitimate to infer more primitive upper-to-lower limb shaft proportions for either H. habilis or A. afarensis. Femur length of OH 62 can only be estimated by comparison. Its closest match in size and morphology is with the gracile OH 34 specimen, which therefore provides a better analogue for the reconstruction of OH 62 than the stocky AL 288-1 femur that is traditionally used. OH 34's slender proportions are hardly due to abrasion, but match those of a modern human of that body-size, suggesting that the relative length of OH 62's leg may have been human-like. Brachial proportions, however, remained primitive. Long legs may imply long distance terrestrial travel. Perhaps this adaptation evolved early in the genus Homo, with H. habilis providing an early representative of this important change. PMID:15066379

  10. Human evolution.

    PubMed

    Wood, B

    1996-12-01

    The common ancestor of modern humans and the great apes is estimated to have lived between 5 and 8 Myrs ago, but the earliest evidence in the human, or hominid, fossil record is Ardipithecus ramidus, from a 4.5 Myr Ethiopian site. This genus was succeeded by Australopithecus, within which four species are presently recognised. All combine a relatively primitive postcranial skeleton, a dentition with expanded chewing teeth and a small brain. The most primitive species in our own genus, Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis, are little advanced over the australopithecines and with hindsight their inclusion in Homo may not be appropriate. The first species to share a substantial number of features with later Homo is Homo ergaster, or 'early African Homo erectus', which appears in the fossil record around 2.0 Myr. Outside Africa, fossil hominids appear as Homo erectus-like hominids, in mainland Asia and in Indonesia close to 2 Myr ago; the earliest good evidence of 'archaic Homo' in Europe is dated at between 600-700 Kyr before the present. Anatomically modern human, or Homo sapiens, fossils are seen first in the fossil record in Africa around 150 Kyr ago. Taken together with molecular evidence on the extent of DNA variation, this suggests that the transition from 'archaic' to 'modern' Homo may have taken place in Africa. PMID:8976151

  11. Fossil energy program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNeese, L. E.

    1981-02-01

    The projects reported include those for coal conversion development, chemical research and development, materials technology, component development and process evaluation studies, technical support to major liquefaction projects, process analysis and engineering evaluations, fossil energy environmental analysis, flue gas desulfurization, plant control development, atmospheric fluidized bed coal combustor for cogeneration, TVA, FBC demonstration plant program technical support, and PFBC systems analysis. Fossil fuel application assessments, performance assurance system support for fossil energy projects, international energy technology assessment, and general equilibrium models of liquid and gaseous fuel supplies are presented.

  12. Fossil fuels -- future fuels

    SciTech Connect

    1998-03-01

    Fossil fuels -- coal, oil, and natural gas -- built America`s historic economic strength. Today, coal supplies more than 55% of the electricity, oil more than 97% of the transportation needs, and natural gas 24% of the primary energy used in the US. Even taking into account increased use of renewable fuels and vastly improved powerplant efficiencies, 90% of national energy needs will still be met by fossil fuels in 2020. If advanced technologies that boost efficiency and environmental performance can be successfully developed and deployed, the US can continue to depend upon its rich resources of fossil fuels.

  13. A description of the geological context, discrete traits, and linear morphometrics of the Middle Pleistocene hominin from Dali, Shaanxi Province, China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xinzhi; Athreya, Sheela

    2013-01-01

    In 1978, a nearly complete hominin fossil cranium was recovered from loess deposits at the site of Dali in Shaanxi Province, northwestern China. It was subsequently briefly described in both English and Chinese publications. Here we present a comprehensive univariate and nonmetric description of the specimen and provide comparisons with key Middle Pleistocene Homo erectus and non-erectus hominins from Eurasia and Africa. In both respects we find affinities with Chinese H. erectus as well as African and European Middle Pleistocene hominins typically referred to as Homo heidelbergensis. Specifically, the Dali specimen possesses a low cranial height, relatively short and arched parietal bones, an angled occipital bone, and a nonprominent articular tubercle relative to the preglenoid surface all of which distinguish it from Afro/European Middle Pleistocene Homo and align it with Asian H. erectus. At the same time, it displays a more derived morphology of the supraorbital torus and supratoral sulcus and a thinner tympanic plate than H. erectus, a relatively long upper (lambda-inion) occipital plane with a clear separation of inion and opisthocranion, and an absolute and relative increase in brain size, all of which align it with African and European Middle Pleistocene Homo. Finally, traits such as the form of the frontal keel and the relatively short, broad midface align Dali specifically with other Chinese specimens from the Middle Pleistocene and Late Pleistocene, including H. erectus, and differentiate these from the Afro/European specimens of this time period. PMID:23283667

  14. Fossil energy program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNeese, L. E.

    1981-03-01

    A compendium of monthly progress reports for the ORNL research and development programs that are in support of the increased utilization of coal and other fossil fuel alternatives as sources of clean energy is presented. The projects reported this month include those for coal conversion development, chemical research and development, materials technology, component development and process evaluation, technical support to major liquefaction projects, process analysis; and engineering evaluations, fossil energy environmental analysis, flue gas desulfurization, solid waste disposal, coal preparation and waste utilization, plant control development, atmospheric fluidized bed coal combustor for cogeneration, Tennessee Valley Authority Fluidized Bed Combustion demonstration plant program technical support, PFBC systems analysis, fossil fuel applications assessments, performance assurance system support for fossil energy projects, international energy technology assessment, and generalized equilibrium models of liquid and gaseous fuel supplies.

  15. Fossil energy program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1980-04-01

    Research and development projects that were carried out in support of the increased utilization of coal are described. Other fossil fuel alternatives to oil and gas as sources of clean energy are described.

  16. Reconstructing the ups and downs of primate brain evolution: implications for adaptive hypotheses and Homo floresiensis

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Brain size is a key adaptive trait. It is often assumed that increasing brain size was a general evolutionary trend in primates, yet recent fossil discoveries have documented brain size decreases in some lineages, raising the question of how general a trend there was for brains to increase in mass over evolutionary time. We present the first systematic phylogenetic analysis designed to answer this question. Results We performed ancestral state reconstructions of three traits (absolute brain mass, absolute body mass, relative brain mass) using 37 extant and 23 extinct primate species and three approaches to ancestral state reconstruction: parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian Markov-chain Monte Carlo. Both absolute and relative brain mass generally increased over evolutionary time, but body mass did not. Nevertheless both absolute and relative brain mass decreased along several branches. Applying these results to the contentious case of Homo floresiensis, we find a number of scenarios under which the proposed evolution of Homo floresiensis' small brain appears to be consistent with patterns observed along other lineages, dependent on body mass and phylogenetic position. Conclusions Our results confirm that brain expansion began early in primate evolution and show that increases occurred in all major clades. Only in terms of an increase in absolute mass does the human lineage appear particularly striking, with both the rate of proportional change in mass and relative brain size having episodes of greater expansion elsewhere on the primate phylogeny. However, decreases in brain mass also occurred along branches in all major clades, and we conclude that, while selection has acted to enlarge primate brains, in some lineages this trend has been reversed. Further analyses of the phylogenetic position of Homo floresiensis and better body mass estimates are required to confirm the plausibility of the evolution of its small brain mass. We find that for our dataset the Bayesian analysis for ancestral state reconstruction is least affected by inclusion of fossil data suggesting that this approach might be preferable for future studies on other taxa with a poor fossil record. PMID:20105283

  17. Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Dirks, Paul HGM; Berger, Lee R; Roberts, Eric M; Kramers, Jan D; Hawks, John; Randolph-Quinney, Patrick S; Elliott, Marina; Musiba, Charles M; Churchill, Steven E; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Schmid, Peter; Backwell, Lucinda R; Belyanin, Georgy A; Boshoff, Pedro; Hunter, K Lindsay; Feuerriegel, Elen M; Gurtov, Alia; Harrison, James du G; Hunter, Rick; Kruger, Ashley; Morris, Hannah; Makhubela, Tebogo V; Peixotto, Becca; Tucker, Steven

    2015-01-01

    We describe the physical context of the Dinaledi Chamber within the Rising Star cave, South Africa, which contains the fossils of Homo naledi. Approximately 1550 specimens of hominin remains have been recovered from at least 15 individuals, representing a small portion of the total fossil content. Macro-vertebrate fossils are exclusively H. naledi, and occur within clay-rich sediments derived from in situ weathering, and exogenous clay and silt, which entered the chamber through fractures that prevented passage of coarser-grained material. The chamber was always in the dark zone, and not accessible to non-hominins. Bone taphonomy indicates that hominin individuals reached the chamber complete, with disarticulation occurring during/after deposition. Hominins accumulated over time as older laminated mudstone units and sediment along the cave floor were eroded. Preliminary evidence is consistent with deliberate body disposal in a single location, by a hominin species other than Homo sapiens, at an as-yet unknown date. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09561.001 PMID:26354289

  18. Fossil energy program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNeese, L. E.

    1981-12-01

    The progress made during the period from July 1 through September 30 for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory research and development projects in support of the increased utilization of coal and other fossil fuels as sources of clean energy is reported. The following topics are discussed: coal conversion development, chemical research and development, materials technology, fossil energy materials program, liquefaction projects, component development, process analysis, environmental control technology, atmospheric fluidized bed combustion, underground coal gasification, coal preparation and waste utilization.

  19. Yawn Contagion and Empathy in Homo sapiens

    PubMed Central

    Norscia, Ivan; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2011-01-01

    The ability to share others' emotions, or empathy, is crucial for complex social interactions. Clinical, psychological, and neurobiological clues suggest a link between yawn contagion and empathy in humans (Homo sapiens). However, no behavioral evidence has been provided so far. We tested the effect of different variables (e.g., country of origin, sex, yawn characteristics) on yawn contagion by running mixed models applied to observational data collected over 1 year on adult (>16 years old) human subjects. Only social bonding predicted the occurrence, frequency, and latency of yawn contagion. As with other measures of empathy, the rate of contagion was greatest in response to kin, then friends, then acquaintances, and lastly strangers. Related individuals (r≥0.25) showed the greatest contagion, in terms of both occurrence of yawning and frequency of yawns. Strangers and acquaintances showed a longer delay in the yawn response (latency) compared to friends and kin. This outcome suggests that the neuronal activation magnitude related to yawn contagion can differ as a function of subject familiarity. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that yawn contagion is primarily driven by the emotional closeness between individuals and not by other variables, such as gender and nationality. PMID:22163307

  20. Palaeopathological and variant conditions of the Homo heidelbergensis type specimen (Mauer, Germany).

    PubMed

    Czarnetzki, A; Jakob, T; Pusch, C M

    2003-04-01

    Although early Homo specimens are now known from a number of African, Asian and European Middle Pleistocene sites, the taxon Homo heidelbergensis was initially introduced for the Mauer jaw recovered in 1907. Fossil hominids from the earlier Middle Pleistocene of Europe are very rare and the Mauer mandible is generally accepted as one of the most ancient, with an age of approximately 700 kyr. A new preparation of the mandible was conducted in 1996 and gave rise to the detailed palaeopathological examination which is presented here. Based on comparative analyses, the extreme breadth of the mandibular ramus and its flat intercondylar incision, in conjunction with the flattening and broadening of the coronoid process tip, results either from an idiosyncratic pattern of the course and insertion of the temporalis muscle on the coronoid process or from the temporalis possessing an accessory head. The incidence of periodontal pocketing, together with a vertical reduction of the alveolar margin to approximately 3.00 mm, and a slight protuberance formed in vicinity of the right M(2)can safely be interpreted as pathognomonic indications of periodontal disease. The short distance between the enamel-dentine junction of the teeth and the horizontal alveolar margins could either be an inherited variant or may result from incipient osteoporosis. In addition, an arthrotic condition with slight osteophytic peripheral exostoses and an arthrolit (i.e. an articular calculus or "joint mouse") on the left condylus articularisand a depression in the medial part of the left mandibular condyle extending into the inferior part of the ramus are present. These features are indicative of a trauma-induced osteochondrosis dissecans. The diagnosis therefore suggests that the observed depression results from a well-healed fracture. This traumatic event illustrates the demanding living conditions endured by humans during the European Middle Pleistocene. The variations and pathological conditions observed in Mauer do not question the mandible's role as type specimen for the taxon Homo heidelbergensis. PMID:12727464

  1. Fossil Simulation in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoehn, Robert G.

    1977-01-01

    Describes classroom science demonstrations and experiments that simulate the process of fossil formation. Lists materials, procedures and suggestions for successful activities. Includes ten student activities (coral fossils, leaf fossils, leaf scars, carbonization, etc.). Describes a fossil game in which students work in pairs. (CS)

  2. Early stone technology on Flores and its implications for Homo floresiensis.

    PubMed

    Brumm, Adam; Aziz, Fachroel; van den Bergh, Gert D; Morwood, Michael J; Moore, Mark W; Kurniawan, Iwan; Hobbs, Douglas R; Fullagar, Richard

    2006-06-01

    In the Soa Basin of central Flores, eastern Indonesia, stratified archaeological sites, including Mata Menge, Boa Lesa and Kobatuwa (Fig. 1), contain stone artefacts associated with the fossilized remains of Stegodon florensis, Komodo dragon, rat and various other taxa. These sites have been dated to 840-700 kyr bp (thousand years before present). The authenticity of the Soa Basin artefacts and their provenance have been demonstrated by previous work, but to quell lingering doubts, here we describe the context, attributes and production modes of 507 artefacts excavated at Mata Menge. We also note specific similarities, and apparent technological continuity, between the Mata Menge stone artefacts and those excavated from Late Pleistocene levels at Liang Bua cave, 50 km to the west. The latter artefacts, dated to between 95-74 and 12 kyr ago, are associated with the remains of a dwarfed descendent of S. florensis, Komodo dragon, rat and a small-bodied hominin species, Homo floresiensis, which had a brain size of about 400 cubic centimetres. The Mata Menge evidence negates claims that stone artefacts associated with H. floresiensis are so complex that they must have been made by modern humans (Homo sapiens). PMID:16738657

  3. Giant trees from the Middle Pleistocene of Northern Thailand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philippe, Marc; Boonchai, Nareerat; Ferguson, David K.; Jia, Hui; Songtham, Wickanet

    2013-04-01

    Giant fossil trees from the Middle Pleistocene of Thailand are described. The longest log is measured at 72.2 m. Morphological analysis suggests that the original trees towered to more than 100 m, in a wet tropical forest. As contemporaneous archaic pebble tools were reported in the same area, the subtropical rainforest was no impenetrable ecological barrier to a population of Homo erectus.

  4. Absolute and relative endocranial size in Neandertals and later Pleistocene Homo.

    PubMed

    Gallagher, Andrew

    2014-10-01

    Eurasian Neandertals encompass the entire observed range of recent and fossil Homo sapiens in absolute, but not relative endocranial volume, and Neandertals attest an average EQ significantly lower than their Upper Pleistocene successors. While the cognitive, social, and evolutionary implications of this phenomenon have been emphasised, the statistical basis of a mean inference of EQ in the Neandertal hypodigm has not been appropriately demonstrated. A demonstrable male bias in the available postcranial, not cranial, series has skewed perceptions of Neandertal brain-to-body size scaling towards a rejection of the null hypothesis. A simple resolution to this problem is a concise assessment of paired associated covariates against a suitable recent human comparator series. Permutations of Fisher's z and Student's t statistics are valid metrics in tests of significance in single datum hypotheses. Bootstrapped single observation tests determined significance in body size, absolute and relative endocranial volume in Pleistocene archaic, early modern, and late Pleistocene H. sapiens. With respect to absolute ECV, all current Middle-Upper Pleistocene crania fall within the substantial recent Homo range. Nevertheless, simple indices derived from raw and modified data in normal and logarithmic space reveal that Western European Neandertal males approach the lower extremes of our observed size range in relative ECV, yet none exceed statistical significance. Results confirm that relative ECV/brain size in Neandertals was not significantly depressed relative to recent and fossil H. sapiens and this is consistent with a substantial body of data from living humans dismissing any simple correspondence of relative brain size with intelligence and, by extension, evolutionary success. PMID:24954798

  5. Fossil energy program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNeese, L. E.

    1981-01-01

    Progress is reported for the period July 1 through September 30 for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory research and development projects that are carried out in support of the increased utilization of coal and other fossil fuels as sources of clean energy. These projects are supported by various parts of DOE including Fossil Energy, Basic Energy Sciences, Office of Health and Environmental Research, Office of Environmental Compliance and Overview, Economic Regulatory Administration, Power Research Institute, and by the Tennessee Valley Authority and the EPA Office of Research and Development through interagency agreements

  6. Characterizing the Evolutionary Path(s) to Early Homo

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, Lauren; Roseman, Charles C.; Cheverud, James M.; Ackermann, Rebecca R.

    2014-01-01

    Numerous studies suggest that the transition from Australopithecus to Homo was characterized by evolutionary innovation, resulting in the emergence and coexistence of a diversity of forms. However, the evolutionary processes necessary to drive such a transition have not been examined. Here, we apply statistical tests developed from quantitative evolutionary theory to assess whether morphological differences among late australopith and early Homo species in Africa have been shaped by natural selection. Where selection is demonstrated, we identify aspects of morphology that were most likely under selective pressure, and determine the nature (type, rate) of that selection. Results demonstrate that selection must be invoked to explain an Au. africanus—Au. sediba—Homo transition, while transitions from late australopiths to various early Homo species that exclude Au. sediba can be achieved through drift alone. Rate tests indicate that selection is largely directional, acting to rapidly differentiate these taxa. Reconstructions of patterns of directional selection needed to drive the Au. africanus—Au. sediba—Homo transition suggest that selection would have affected all regions of the skull. These results may indicate that an evolutionary path to Homo without Au. sediba is the simpler path and/or provide evidence that this pathway involved more reliance on cultural adaptations to cope with environmental change. PMID:25470780

  7. Fossil energy program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNeese, L. E.

    1981-04-01

    Progress made during the period October 1 through December 31 for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory research and development projects, carried out in support of the increased utilization of coal and other fossil fuels as sources of clean energy, is described.

  8. Advanced fossil energy utilization

    SciTech Connect

    Shekhawat, D.; Berry, D.; Spivey, J.; Pennline, H.; Granite, E.

    2010-01-01

    This special issue of Fuel is a selection of papers presented at the symposium ‘Advanced Fossil Energy Utilization’ co-sponsored by the Fuels and Petrochemicals Division and Research and New Technology Committee in the 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Spring National Meeting Tampa, FL, on April 26–30, 2009.

  9. Fossil-Fired Boilers

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    1993-09-23

    Boiler Performance Model (BPM 3.0S) is a set of computer programs developed to analyze the performance of fossil-fired utility boilers. The programs can model a wide variety of boiler designs, and can model coal, oil, or natural gas firing. The programs are intended for use by engineers performing analyses of alternative fuels, alternative operating modes, or boiler modifications.

  10. LB1 and LB6 Homo floresiensis are not modern human (Homo sapiens) cretins.

    PubMed

    Brown, Peter

    2012-02-01

    Excavations in the late Pleistocene deposits at Liang Bua cave, Flores, have uncovered the skeletal remains of several small-bodied and small-brained hominins in association with stone artefacts and the bones of Stegodon. Due to their combination of plesiomorphic, unique and derived traits, they were ascribed to a new species, Homo floresiensis, which, along with Stegodon, appears to have become extinct ∼17 ka (thousand years ago). However, recently it has been argued that several characteristics of H. floresiensis were consistent with dwarfism and evidence of delayed development in modern human (Homo sapiens) myxoedematous endemic (ME) cretins. This research compares the skeletal and dental morphology in H. floresiensis with the clinical and osteological indicators of cretinism, and the traits that have been argued to be associated with ME cretinism in LB1 and LB6. Contrary to published claims, morphological and statistical comparisons did not identify the distinctive skeletal and dental indicators of cretinism in LB1 or LB6 H. floresiensis. Brain mass, skeletal proportions, epiphyseal union, orofacial morphology, dental development, size of the pituitary fossa and development of the paranasal sinuses, vault bone thickness and dimensions of the hands and feet all distinguish H. floresiensis from modern humans with ME cretinism. The research team responsible for the diagnosis of ME cretinism had not examined the original H. floresiensis skeletal materials, and perhaps, as a result, their research confused taphonomic damage with evidence of disease, and thus contained critical errors of fact and interpretation. Behavioural scenarios attempting to explain the presence of cretinous H. sapiens in the Liang Bua Pleistocene deposits, but not unaffected H. sapiens, are both unnecessary and not supported by the available archaeological and geochronological evidence from Flores. PMID:22277102

  11. Population Genomics Reveals Seahorses (Hippocampus erectus) of the Western Mid-Atlantic Coast to Be Residents Rather than Vagrants

    PubMed Central

    Boehm, J. T.; Waldman, John; Robinson, John D.; Hickerson, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding population structure and areas of demographic persistence and transients is critical for effective species management. However, direct observational evidence to address the geographic scale and delineation of ephemeral or persistent populations for many marine fishes is limited. The Lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) can be commonly found in three western Atlantic zoogeographic provinces, though inhabitants of the temperate northern Virginia Province are often considered tropical vagrants that only arrive during warm seasons from the southern provinces and perish as temperatures decline. Although genetics can locate regions of historical population persistence and isolation, previous evidence of Virginia Province persistence is only provisional due to limited genetic sampling (i.e., mitochondrial DNA and five nuclear loci). To test alternative hypotheses of historical persistence versus the ephemerality of a northern Virginia Province population we used a RADseq generated dataset consisting of 11,708 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) sampled from individuals collected from the eastern Gulf of Mexico to Long Island, NY. Concordant results from genomic analyses all infer three genetically divergent subpopulations, and strongly support Virginia Province inhabitants as a genetically diverged and a historically persistent ancestral gene pool. These results suggest that individuals that emerge in coastal areas during the warm season can be considered “local” and supports offshore migration during the colder months. This research demonstrates how a large number of genes sampled across a geographical range can capture the diversity of coalescent histories (across loci) while inferring population history. Moreover, these results clearly demonstrate the utility of population genomic data to infer peripheral subpopulation persistence in difficult-to-observe species. PMID:25629166

  12. Sustainability of Fossil Fuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lackner, K. S.

    2002-05-01

    For a sustainable world economy, energy is a bottleneck. Energy is at the basis of a modern, technological society, but unlike materials it cannot be recycled. Energy or more precisely "negentropy" (the opposite of entropy) is always consumed. Thus, one either accepts the use of large but finite resources or must stay within the limits imposed by dilute but self-renewing resources like sunlight. The challenge of sustainable energy is exacerbated by likely growth in world energy demand due to increased population and increased wealth. Most of the world still has to undergo the transition to a wealthy, stable society with the near zero population growth that characterizes a modern industrial society. This represents a huge unmet demand. If ten billion people were to consume energy like North Americans do today, world energy demand would be ten times higher. In addition, technological advances while often improving energy efficiency tend to raise energy demand by offering more opportunity for consumption. Energy consumption still increases at close to the 2.3% per year that would lead to a tenfold increase over the course of the next century. Meeting future energy demands while phasing out fossil fuels appears extremely difficult. Instead, the world needs sustainable or nearly sustainable fossil fuels. I propose the following definition of sustainable under which fossil fuels would well qualify: The use of a technology or resource is sustainable if the intended and unintended consequences will not force its abandonment within a reasonable planning horizon. Of course sustainable technologies must not be limited by resource depletion but this is only one of many concerns. Environmental impacts, excessive land use, and other constraints can equally limit the use of a technology and thus render it unsustainable. In the foreseeable future, fossil fuels are not limited by resource depletion. However, environmental concerns based on climate change and other environmental effects of injecting excess carbon into the environment need to be eliminated before fossil fuels can be considered sustainable. Sustainable fossil fuel use would likely rely on abundant, low-grade hydrocarbons like coal, tar, and shale. It would require a closed cycle approach in which carbon is extracted from the ground, processed for its energy content, and returned into safe and stable sinks for permanent disposal. Such sequestration technologies already exist and more advanced approaches that could maintain access to fossil energy for centuries are on the drawing boards. I will review these options and outline a pathway towards a zero emission fossil fuel based economy that could provide energy at prices comparable to those of today for several centuries. A successful implementation will depend not only on technological advances but also on the development of economic institutions that allow one to pay for the required carbon management. If done correctly the markets will decide whether renewable energy, or sustainable fossil energy provides a better choice.

  13. The Sima de los Huesos (Burgos, northern Spain): palaeoenvironment and habitats of Homo heidelbergensis during the Middle Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García, Nuria; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2011-06-01

    Interpreting how environmental dynamics respond to global climate change and how this has affected human evolution and dispersal is an on-going topic of debate. During the early Middle Pleistocene (˜0.6-0.4 Ma), as compared to earlier, environmental conditions were relatively more stable, with longer climatic cycles alternating between open and forested landscapes. During this interval, humans spread successfully providing an important number of fossil sites where fossils or tools are reported. The Atapuerca-Sima de los Huesos (Burgos, northern Spain) site (Atapuerca-SH) is one of the earliest localities with hominin evidence in the European Middle Pleistocene, with the most important accumulation of Homo heidelbergensis so far. We have analyzed the abundant faunal record from Sima de los Huesos, which is mainly comprised of carnivores, in order to approach an interpretation of the palaeoenvironmental circumstances where these hominids inhabited within the Sierra. Other sites from Sierra de Atapuerca referred to the same Faunal Unit (FU 6), are roughly contemporaneous, and include important ungulates, which are here analyzed with Atapuerca-SH. Additional information provided by isotopic analysis helps elucidate the ancient ecology of taxa present in Sima de los Huesos allowing for an accurate portrayal of the setting in which humans lived. The timing of the spread of Homo heidelbergensis is dominated by a relative climatic and environmental stability and points to a landscape dominated by savannah-like open woodland.

  14. Ants and the fossil record.

    PubMed

    LaPolla, John S; Dlussky, Gennady M; Perrichot, Vincent

    2013-01-01

    The dominance of ants in the terrestrial biosphere has few equals among animals today, but this was not always the case. The oldest ants appear in the fossil record 100 million years ago, but given the scarcity of their fossils, it is presumed they were relatively minor components of Mesozoic insect life. The ant fossil record consists of two primary types of fossils, each with inherent biases: as imprints in rock and as inclusions in fossilized resins (amber). New imaging technology allows ancient ant fossils to be examined in ways never before possible. This is particularly helpful because it can be difficult to distinguish true ants from non-ants in Mesozoic fossils. Fossil discoveries continue to inform our understanding of ancient ant morphological diversity, as well as provide insights into their paleobiology. PMID:23317048

  15. Brain size and thermoregulation during the evolution of the genus Homo.

    PubMed

    Naya, Daniel E; Naya, Hugo; Lessa, Enrique P

    2016-01-01

    Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the evolution of an energetically costly brain in the genus Homo. Some of these hypotheses are based on the correlation between climatic factors and brain size recorded for this genus during the last millions of years. In this study, we propose a complementary climatic hypothesis that is based on the mechanistic connection between temperature, thermoregulation, and size of internal organs in endothermic species. We hypothesized that global cooling during the last 3.2 my may have imposed an increased energy expenditure for thermoregulation, which in the case of hominids could represent a driver for the evolution of an expanded brain, or at least, it could imply the relaxation of a negative selection pressure acting upon this costly organ. To test this idea, here we (1) assess variation in the energetic costs of thermoregulation and brain maintenance for the last 3.2 my, and (2) evaluate the relationship between Earth temperature and brain maintenance cost for the same period, taking into account the effects of body mass and fossil age. We found that: (1) the energetic cost associated with brain enlargement represents an important fraction (between 47.5% and 82.5%) of the increase in energy needed for thermoregulation; (2) fossil age is a better predictor of brain maintenance cost than Earth temperature, suggesting that (at least) another factor correlated with time was more relevant than ambient temperature in brain size evolution; and (3) there is a significant negative correlation between the energetic cost of brain and Earth temperature, even after accounting for the effect of body mass and fossil age. Thus, our results expand the current energetic framework for the study of brain size evolution in our lineage by suggesting that a fall in Earth temperature during the last millions of years may have facilitated brain enlargement. PMID:26435349

  16. Is Homo heidelbergensis a distinct species? New insight on the Mauer mandible.

    PubMed

    Mounier, Aurélien; Marchal, François; Condemi, Silvana

    2009-03-01

    The discovery of new fossils in Africa, Asia, and Europe, and the recognition of a greater diversity in the middle Pleistocene fossil record, has led to a reconsideration of the species Homo heidelbergensis. This nomen, formulated by Schoetensack in 1908 to describe the Mauer jaw (Germany), was almost forgotten during most of the past century. Numerous fossils have been attributed to it but no consensus has arisen concerning their classification. The holotype anatomical traits are still poorly understood, and numerous fossils with no mandibular remains have been placed in the taxon. Some researchers propose H. heidelbergensis as an Afro-European taxon that is ancestral to both modern humans and Neandertals whereas others think it is a strictly European species that is part of the Neandertal lineage. We focus on the validity of H. heidelbergensis, using the traditional basis of species recognition: anatomical description. We provide a comparative morphological analysis using 47 anatomical traits of 36 Pleistocene fossils from Africa, Asia, and Europe and 35 extant human mandibles. We re-examine the mandibular features of Mauer and discuss the specimen's inclusion in H. heidelbergensis, as well as alternative evolutionary theories. To lend objectivity to specimen grouping, we use multiple correspondence analysis associated with hierarchical classification that creates clusters corresponding to phenetic similarities between jaws. Our phenetic and comparative morphological analyses support the validity of H. heidelbergensis as a taxon. A set of morphological features can be statistically identified for the definition of the species. Some traits can be used to delimit H. heidelbergensis in an evolutionary framework (e.g., foramina mentale posteriorly positioned, horizontal retromolar surface). Those traits are also present on African (e.g., Tighenif) and European (e.g., Sima de los Huesos) specimens that show a close relationship with the Mauer mandible. Therefore, the definition of H. heidelbergensis is more precise and mainly supports the theory of an Afro-European taxon, which is the last common ancestor of H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens. However, the results of this study fail to entirely discount the hypothesis that considers H. heidelbergensis as a chronospecies leading to the Neandertals. PMID:19249816

  17. Design of intelligent nucleobases and DNA HOMO mapping.

    PubMed

    Saito, Isao

    2002-01-01

    We have designed a new nucleobase, benzodeazaadenine (BDA) that has a stronger charge transport ability than guanine and is not destroyed during charge transport process. By incorporating this new nucleobase into DNA, we demonstrated a protocol for real DNA nano-wire that is far superior to natural DNA. We also demonstrated that the selectivity for the interaction of Mn(II) ion with guanine N7 in G runs is a HOMO-controlled process, and as a consequence, the selectivity for G-metal ion interactions obtained by 15N-NMR studies would directly reflect the HOMO distribution of G-containing sequences in B-DNA. PMID:12903077

  18. Cycles in fossil diversity

    SciTech Connect

    Rohde, Robert A.; Muller, Richard A.

    2004-10-20

    It is well-known that the diversity of life appears to fluctuate during the course the Phanerozoic, the eon during which hard shells and skeletons left abundant fossils (0-542 Ma). Using Sepkoski's compendium of the first and last stratigraphic appearances of 36380 marine genera, we report a strong 62 {+-} 3 Myr cycle, which is particularly strong in the shorter-lived genera. The five great extinctions enumerated by Raup and Sepkoski may be an aspect of this cycle. Because of the high statistical significance, we also consider contributing environmental factors and possible causes.

  19. Fossil Microorganisms in Archaean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Astafleva, Marina; Hoover, Richard; Rozanov, Alexei; Vrevskiy, A.

    2006-01-01

    Ancient Archean and Proterozoic rocks are the model objects for investigation of rocks comprising astromaterials. The first of Archean fossil microorganisms from Baltic shield have been reported at the last SPIE Conference in 2005. Since this confeence biomorphic structures have been revealed in Archean rocks of Karelia. It was determined that there are 3 types of such bion structures: 1. structures found in situ, in other words microorganisms even-aged with rock matrix, that is real Archean fossils biomorphic structures, that is to say forms inhabited early formed rocks, and 3. younger than Archean-Protherozoic minerali microorganisms, that is later contamination. We made attempt to differentiate these 3 types of findings and tried to understand of burial of microorganisms. The structures belongs (from our point of view) to the first type, or real Archean, forms were under examination. Practical investigation of ancient microorganisms from Green-Stone-Belt of Northern Karelia turns to be very perspective. It shows that even in such ancient time as Archean ancient diverse world existed. Moreover probably such relatively highly organized cyanobacteria and perhaps eukaryotic formes existed in Archean world.

  20. Radioactivity in fossils at the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument.

    PubMed

    Farmer, C Neal; Kathren, Ronald L; Christensen, Craig

    2008-08-01

    Since 1996, higher than background levels of naturally occurring radioactivity have been documented in both fossil and mineral deposits at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in south-central Idaho. Radioactive fossil sites occur primarily within an elevation zone of 900-1000 m above sea level and are most commonly found associated with ancient river channels filled with sand. Fossils found in clay rich deposits do not exhibit discernable levels of radioactivity. Out of 300 randomly selected fossils, approximately three-fourths exhibit detectable levels of natural radioactivity ranging from 1 to 2 orders of magnitude above ambient background levels when surveyed with a portable hand held Geiger-Muller survey instrument. Mineral deposits in geologic strata also show above ambient background levels of radioactivity. Radiochemical lab analysis has documented the presence of numerous natural radioactive isotopes. It is postulated that ancient groundwater transported radioactive elements through sand bodies containing fossils which precipitated out of solution during the fossilization process. The elevated levels of natural radioactivity in fossils may require special precautions to ensure that exposures to personnel from stored or displayed items are kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). PMID:18442873

  1. The functions of sound production in the lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus, and effects of loud ambient noise on its behavior and physiology in captive environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Paul August

    Loud noise in aquaria represents a cacophonous environment for captive fishes. I tested the effects of loud noise on acoustic communication, feeding behavior, courtship behavior, and the stress response of the lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus. Total Root Mean Square (RMS) power of ambient noise to which seahorses are exposed in captivity varies widely but averages 126.1 +/- 0.8 deciBels with reference to one micropascal (dB re: 1 muPa) at the middle of the water column and 133.7 +/- 1.1 dB at the tank bottom, whereas ambient noise in the wild averages 119.6 +/- 3.5 dB. Hearing sensitivity of H. erectus, measured from auditory evoked potentials, demonstrated maximum spectrum-level sensitivities of 105.0 +/- 1.5 dB and 3.5 x 10-3 + 7.6 x 10-4 m/s2 at 200 Hz; which is characteristic of hearing generalists. H. erectus produces acoustic clicks with mean peak spectrum-level amplitudes of 94.3 +/- 0.9 dB at 232 +/- 16 Hz and 1.5 x 10 -3 +/- 1.9 x 10-4 m/s2 at 265 +/- 22 Hz. Frequency matching of clicks to best hearing sensitivity, and estimates of audition of broadband signals suggest that seahorses may hear conspecific clicks, especially in terms of particle motion. Behavioral investigations revealed that clicking did not improve prey capture proficiency. However, animals clicked more often as time progressed in a courtship sequence, and mates performed more courtship behaviors with control animals than with muted animals, lending additional evidence to the role of clicking as an acoustic signal during courtship. Despite loud noise and the role of clicking in communication, masking of the acoustic signal was not demonstrated. Seahorses exposed to loud noise in aquaria for one month demonstrated physiological, chronic stress responses: reduced weight and body condition, and increased heterophil to lymphocyte ratio. Behavioral alterations were characterized by greater mean and variance of activity among animals housed in loud tanks in the first week, followed by habituation. By week four, animals in loud tanks demonstrated variable performance of clicking and piping, putative distress behaviors. Despite the physiological stress response, animals in loud tanks did not reduce feeding response or courtship behavior, suggesting allostasis.

  2. New insights into mid-late Pleistocene fossil hominin paranasal sinus morphology.

    PubMed

    Zollikofer, Christoph P E; Ponce De León, Marcia S; Schmitz, Ralf W; Stringer, Christopher B

    2008-11-01

    Mid-late Pleistocene fossil hominins such as Homo neanderthalensis and H. heidelbergensis are often described as having extensively pneumatized crania compared with modern humans. However, the significance of pneumatization in recognizing patterns of phyletic diversification and/or functional specialization has remained controversial. Here, we test the null hypothesis that the paranasal sinuses of fossil and extant humans and great apes can be understood as biological spandrels, i.e., their morphology reflects evolutionary, developmental, and functional constraints imposed onto the surrounding bones. Morphological description of well-preserved mid-late Pleistocene hominin specimens are contrasted with our comparative sample of modern humans and great apes. Results from a geometric morphometric analysis of the correlation between paranasal sinus and cranial dimensions show that the spandrel hypothesis cannot be refuted. However, visualizing specific features of the paranasal sinus system with methods of biomedical imaging and computer graphics reveals new aspects of patterns of growth and development of fossil hominins. PMID:18951483

  3. Fossils, feet and the evolution of human bipedal locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Harcourt-Smith, W E H; Aiello, L C

    2004-01-01

    We review the evolution of human bipedal locomotion with a particular emphasis on the evolution of the foot. We begin in the early twentieth century and focus particularly on hypotheses of an ape-like ancestor for humans and human bipedal locomotion put forward by a succession of Gregory, Keith, Morton and Schultz. We give consideration to Morton's (1935) synthesis of foot evolution, in which he argues that the foot of the common ancestor of modern humans and the African apes would be intermediate between the foot of Pan and Hylobates whereas the foot of a hypothetical early hominin would be intermediate between that of a gorilla and a modern human. From this base rooted in comparative anatomy of living primates we trace changing ideas about the evolution of human bipedalism as increasing amounts of postcranial fossil material were discovered. Attention is given to the work of John Napier and John Robinson who were pioneers in the interpretation of Plio-Pleistocene hominin skeletons in the 1960s. This is the period when the wealth of evidence from the southern African australopithecine sites was beginning to be appreciated and Olduvai Gorge was revealing its first evidence for Homo habilis. In more recent years, the discovery of the Laetoli footprint trail, the AL 288-1 (A. afarensis) skeleton, the wealth of postcranial material from Koobi Fora, the Nariokotome Homo ergaster skeleton, Little Foot (Stw 573) from Sterkfontein in South Africa, and more recently tantalizing material assigned to the new and very early taxa Orrorin tugenensis, Ardipithecus ramidus and Sahelanthropus tchadensis has fuelled debate and speculation. The varying interpretations based on this material, together with changing theoretical insights and analytical approaches, is discussed and assessed in the context of new three-dimensional morphometric analyses of australopithecine and Homo foot bones, suggesting that there may have been greater diversity in human bipedalism in the earlier phases of our evolutionary history than previously suspected. PMID:15198703

  4. Fossils, feet and the evolution of human bipedal locomotion.

    PubMed

    Harcourt-Smith, W E H; Aiello, L C

    2004-05-01

    We review the evolution of human bipedal locomotion with a particular emphasis on the evolution of the foot. We begin in the early twentieth century and focus particularly on hypotheses of an ape-like ancestor for humans and human bipedal locomotion put forward by a succession of Gregory, Keith, Morton and Schultz. We give consideration to Morton's (1935) synthesis of foot evolution, in which he argues that the foot of the common ancestor of modern humans and the African apes would be intermediate between the foot of Pan and Hylobates whereas the foot of a hypothetical early hominin would be intermediate between that of a gorilla and a modern human. From this base rooted in comparative anatomy of living primates we trace changing ideas about the evolution of human bipedalism as increasing amounts of postcranial fossil material were discovered. Attention is given to the work of John Napier and John Robinson who were pioneers in the interpretation of Plio-Pleistocene hominin skeletons in the 1960s. This is the period when the wealth of evidence from the southern African australopithecine sites was beginning to be appreciated and Olduvai Gorge was revealing its first evidence for Homo habilis. In more recent years, the discovery of the Laetoli footprint trail, the AL 288-1 (A. afarensis) skeleton, the wealth of postcranial material from Koobi Fora, the Nariokotome Homo ergaster skeleton, Little Foot (Stw 573) from Sterkfontein in South Africa, and more recently tantalizing material assigned to the new and very early taxa Orrorin tugenensis, Ardipithecus ramidus and Sahelanthropus tchadensis has fuelled debate and speculation. The varying interpretations based on this material, together with changing theoretical insights and analytical approaches, is discussed and assessed in the context of new three-dimensional morphometric analyses of australopithecine and Homo foot bones, suggesting that there may have been greater diversity in human bipedalism in the earlier phases of our evolutionary history than previously suspected. PMID:15198703

  5. Systematic solution to homo-oligomeric structures determined by NMR

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Jeffrey W.; Zhou, Pei; Donald, Bruce R.

    2015-01-01

    Protein structure determination by NMR has predominantly relied on simulated annealing-based conformational search for a converged fold using primarily distance constraints, including constraints derived from nuclear Overhauser effects (NOEs), paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE), and cysteine crosslinkings. Although there is no guarantee that the converged fold represents the global minimum of the conformational space, it is generally accepted that good convergence is synonymous to the global minimum. Here, we show such a criterion breaks down in the presence of large numbers of ambiguous constraints from NMR experiments on homo-oligomeric protein complexes. A systematic evaluation of the conformational solutions that satisfy the NMR constraints of a trimeric membrane protein, DAGK, reveals 9 distinct folds, including the reported NMR and crystal structures. This result highlights the fundamental limitation of global fold determination for homo-oligomeric proteins using ambiguous distance constraints and provides a systematic solution for exhaustive enumeration of all satisfying solutions. PMID:25620116

  6. Genotype-specific responses of Bromus erectus to elevated CO{sub 2} at different levels of biodiversity and endophyte infection - a field experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Steinger, T.; Groppe, K.; Schmid, B. |

    1995-06-01

    In 1994 we initiated a long-term field experiment in a calcareous grassland to study the effects of elevated CO{sub 2} on individuals, populations, and communities. Clonal replicates of 54 genotypes of the dominant grass Bromus erectus were grown in communities planted at three levels of biodiversity (5-, 12-, 31-species plots) and exposed to ambient and elevated CO{sub 2}. The same genotypes were also individually grown in tubes within the field plots. Some genotypes were infected by the endophytic fungus Epichloee typhina. Elevated CO{sub 2} had no significant effects on plant growth, however, there was large variation among genotypes in all measured characters. A significant CO{sub 2}-by-genotype interaction was found for leaf length in the competition-free tubes. Infection by the endophyte led to the abortion of all inflorescences but increased vegetative growth, especially under competitive conditions.

  7. Conductance through a single molecule: transport via HOMO or LUMO?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lagerqvist, Johan; di Ventra, Massimiliano

    2003-03-01

    Many theoretical studies have appeared where the transport properties of single phenyldithiolate molecules have been compared to available experimental results.[1] While many of these studies agree on the shape and magnitude of the current-voltage characteristics, there is still disagreement on which state, HOMO or LUMO, is mainly responsible for the transport across the molecules. Experiments using a molecule adsorbed on a gold surface and probed by an STM tip [2] seem to indicate that transport occurs via the HOMO. In this configuration the sulfur atom that faces the STM tip is bonded to a hydrogen atom, unlike in break-junction experiments.[1] We report first-principles calculations [3] of the transport properties of a phenyldithiolate molecule adsorbed on a metal surface with the opposite contact simulated by a metal surface at various distances from the molecule, mimicking an STM tip. We show that the presence of the hydrogen atom bonded to sulfur pushes the HOMO level of the molecule very close to the Fermi level and the current flows mainly via the HOMO. This study shows that even a single-atom change in the molecule configuration can dramatically affect its transport properties. Work supported in part by NSF, Carilion Biomedical Institute and ACS-Petroleum Research Fund. [1] See, e.g., M. Di Ventra, S.T. Pantelides and N.D. Lang, Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 979 (2000). [2] W. Tian et. al., J. Chem. Phys. 109, 2874 (1998) [3] N.D. Lang, Phys. Rev. B 52, 5335 (1995); M. Di Ventra and N.D. Lang, Phys. Rev. B 65, 045402 (2002); Z. Yang, A. Tackett and M. Di Ventra, Phys. Rev. B 66, 041405 (2002).

  8. Paleoneurology of two new neandertal occipitals from El Sidrn (asturias, Spain) in the context of homo endocranial evolution.

    PubMed

    Pea-Melin, Angel; Rosas, Antonio; Garca-Tabernero, Antonio; Bastir, Markus; De La Rasilla, Marco

    2011-08-01

    The endocranial surface description and comparative analyses of two new neandertal occipital fragments (labelled SD-1149 and SD-370a) from the El Sidrn site (Asturias, Spain) reveal new aspects of neandertal brain morphological asymmetries. The dural sinus drainage pattern, as observed on the sagittal-transverse system, as well as the cerebral occipito-petalias, point out a slightly differential configuration of the neandertal brain when compared to other Homo species, especially H. sapiens. The neandertal dural sinus drainage pattern is organized in a more asymmetric mode, in such a way that the superior sagittal sinus (SSS) drains either to the right or to the left transverse sinuses, but in no case in a confluent mode (i.e. simultaneous continuation of SSS with both right (RTS) and left (LTS) transverse sinuses). Besides, the superior sagittal sinus shows an accentuated deviation from of the mid-sagittal plane in its way to the RTS in 35% of neandertals. This condition, which increases the asymmetry of the system, is almost nonexistent neither in the analyzed Homo fossil species sample nor in that of anatomically modern humans. Regarding the cerebral occipito-petalias, neandertals manifest one of the lowest percentages of left petalia of the Homo sample (including modern H. sapiens). As left occipito-petalia is the predominant pattern in hominins, it seems as if neandertals would have developed a different pattern of brain hemispheres asymmetry. Finally, the relief and position of the the cerebral sulci and gyri impressions observed in the El Sidrn occipital specimens look similar to those observed in modern H. sapiens. PMID:21714107

  9. Evolution and dispersal of the genus Homo: A landscape approach.

    PubMed

    Winder, Isabelle C; Devès, Maud H; King, Geoffrey C P; Bailey, Geoffrey N; Inglis, Robyn H; Meredith-Williams, Matthew

    2015-10-01

    The notion of the physical landscape as an arena of ecological interaction and human evolution is a powerful one, but its implementation at larger geographical and temporal scales is hampered by the challenges of reconstructing physical landscape settings in the geologically active regions where the earliest evidence is concentrated. We argue that the inherently dynamic nature of these unstable landscapes has made them important agents of biological change, creating complex topographies capable of selecting for, stimulating, obstructing or accelerating the latent and emerging properties of the human evolutionary trajectory. We use this approach, drawing on the concepts and methods of active tectonics, to develop a new perspective on the origins and dispersal of the Homo genus. We show how complex topography provides an easy evolutionary pathway to full terrestrialisation in the African context, and would have further equipped members of the genus Homo with a suite of adaptive characteristics that facilitated wide-ranging dispersal across ecological and climatic boundaries into Europe and Asia by following pathways of complex topography. We compare this hypothesis with alternative explanations for hominin dispersal, and evaluate it by mapping the distribution of topographic features at varying scales, and comparing the distribution of early Homo sites with the resulting maps and with other environmental variables. PMID:26235482

  10. Cladistic analysis of continuous modularized traits provides phylogenetic signals in Homo evolution.

    PubMed

    González-José, Rolando; Escapa, Ignacio; Neves, Walter A; Cúneo, Rubén; Pucciarelli, Héctor M

    2008-06-01

    Evolutionary novelties in the skeleton are usually expressed as changes in the timing of growth of features intrinsically integrated at different hierarchical levels of development. As a consequence, most of the shape-traits observed across species do vary quantitatively rather than qualitatively, in a multivariate space and in a modularized way. Because most phylogenetic analyses normally use discrete, hypothetically independent characters, previous attempts have disregarded the phylogenetic signals potentially enclosed in the shape of morphological structures. When analysing low taxonomic levels, where most variation is quantitative in nature, solving basic requirements like the choice of characters and the capacity of using continuous, integrated traits is of crucial importance in recovering wider phylogenetic information. This is particularly relevant when analysing extinct lineages, where available data are limited to fossilized structures. Here we show that when continuous, multivariant and modularized characters are treated as such, cladistic analysis successfully solves relationships among main Homo taxa. Our attempt is based on a combination of cladistics, evolutionary-development-derived selection of characters, and geometric morphometrics methods. In contrast with previous cladistic analyses of hominid phylogeny, our method accounts for the quantitative nature of the traits, and respects their morphological integration patterns. Because complex phenotypes are observable across different taxonomic groups and are potentially informative about phylogenetic relationships, future analyses should point strongly to the incorporation of these types of trait. PMID:18454137

  11. Organic molecules as chemical fossils - The molecular fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eglinton, G.

    1983-01-01

    The study of biochemical clues to the early earth and the origin of life is discussed. The methods used in such investigation are described, including the extraction, fractionation, and analysis of geolipids and the analysis of kerogen. The occurrence of molecular fossils in the geological record is examined, discussing proposed precursor-product relationships and the molecular assessment of deep sea sediments, ancient sediments, and crude petroleums. Alterations in the molecular record due to diagenesis and catagenesis are considered, and the use of microbial lipids as molecular fossils is discussed. The results of searches for molecular fossils in Precambrian sediments are assessed.

  12. Fossil fuel furnace reactor

    DOEpatents

    Parkinson, William J.

    1987-01-01

    A fossil fuel furnace reactor is provided for simulating a continuous processing plant with a batch reactor. An internal reaction vessel contains a batch of shale oil, with the vessel having a relatively thin wall thickness for a heat transfer rate effective to simulate a process temperature history in the selected continuous processing plant. A heater jacket is disposed about the reactor vessel and defines a number of independent controllable temperature zones axially spaced along the reaction vessel. Each temperature zone can be energized to simulate a time-temperature history of process material through the continuous plant. A pressure vessel contains both the heater jacket and the reaction vessel at an operating pressure functionally selected to simulate the continuous processing plant. The process yield from the oil shale may be used as feedback information to software simulating operation of the continuous plant to provide operating parameters, i.e., temperature profiles, ambient atmosphere, operating pressure, material feed rates, etc., for simulation in the batch reactor.

  13. Earliest human occupations at Dmanisi (Georgian Caucasus) dated to 1.85–1.78 Ma

    PubMed Central

    Ferring, Reid; Oms, Oriol; Agustí, Jordi; Berna, Francesco; Nioradze, Medea; Shelia, Teona; Tappen, Martha; Vekua, Abesalom; Zhvania, David; Lordkipanidze, David

    2011-01-01

    The early Pleistocene colonization of temperate Eurasia by Homo erectus was not only a significant biogeographic event but also a major evolutionary threshold. Dmanisi's rich collection of hominin fossils, revealing a population that was small-brained with both primitive and derived skeletal traits, has been dated to the earliest Upper Matuyama chron (ca. 1.77 Ma). Here we present archaeological and geologic evidence that push back Dmanisi's first occupations to shortly after 1.85 Ma and document repeated use of the site over the last half of the Olduvai subchron, 1.85–1.78 Ma. These discoveries show that the southern Caucasus was occupied repeatedly before Dmanisi's hominin fossil assemblage accumulated, strengthening the probability that this was part of a core area for the colonization of Eurasia. The secure age for Dmanisi's first occupations reveals that Eurasia was probably occupied before Homo erectus appears in the East African fossil record. PMID:21646521

  14. The evolution of Homo sapiens denisova and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis miRNA targeting genes in the prenatal and postnatal brain

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background As the evolution of miRNA genes has been found to be one of the important factors in formation of the modern type of man, we performed a comparative analysis of the evolution of miRNA genes in two archaic hominines, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens denisova, and elucidated the expression of their target mRNAs in bain. Results A comparative analysis of the genomes of primates, including species in the genus Homo, identified a group of miRNA genes having fixed substitutions with important implications for the evolution of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens denisova. The mRNAs targeted by miRNAs with mutations specific for Homo sapiens denisova exhibited enhanced expression during postnatal brain development in modern humans. By contrast, the expression of mRNAs targeted by miRNAs bearing variations specific for Homo sapiens neanderthalensis was shown to be enhanced in prenatal brain development. Conclusions Our results highlight the importance of changes in miRNA gene sequences in the course of Homo sapiens denisova and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis evolution. The genetic alterations of miRNAs regulating the spatiotemporal expression of multiple genes in the prenatal and postnatal brain may contribute to the progressive evolution of brain function, which is consistent with the observations of fine technical and typological properties of tools and decorative items reported from archaeological Denisovan sites. The data also suggest that differential spatial-temporal regulation of gene products promoted by the subspecies-specific mutations in the miRNA genes might have occurred in the brains of Homo sapiens denisova and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, potentially contributing to the cultural differences between these two archaic hominines. PMID:26693966

  15. Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis and the Denisova specimen: New insights on their evolutionary histories using whole-genome comparisons.

    PubMed

    Paixão-Côrtes, Vanessa Rodrigues; Viscardi, Lucas Henrique; Salzano, Francisco Mauro; Hünemeier, Tábita; Bortolini, Maria Cátira

    2012-12-01

    After a brief review of the most recent findings in the study of human evolution, an extensive comparison of the complete genomes of our nearest relative, the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), of extant Homo sapiens, archaic Homo neanderthalensis and the Denisova specimen were made. The focus was on non-synonymous mutations, which consequently had an impact on protein levels and these changes were classified according to degree of effect. A total of 10,447 non-synonymous substitutions were found in which the derived allele is fixed or nearly fixed in humans as compared to chimpanzee. Their most frequent location was on chromosome 21. Their presence was then searched in the two archaic genomes. Mutations in 381 genes would imply radical amino acid changes, with a fraction of these related to olfaction and other important physiological processes. Eight new alleles were identified in the Neanderthal and/or Denisova genetic pools. Four others, possibly affecting cognition, occured both in the sapiens and two other archaic genomes. The selective sweep that gave rise to Homo sapiens could, therefore, have initiated before the modern/archaic human divergence. PMID:23413113

  16. FOSSIL2 energy policy model documentation: FOSSIL2 documentation

    SciTech Connect

    1980-10-01

    This report discusses the structure, derivations, assumptions, and mathematical formulation of the FOSSIL2 model. Each major facet of the model - supply/demand interactions, industry financing, and production - has been designed to parallel closely the actual cause/effect relationships determining the behavior of the United States energy system. The data base for the FOSSIL2 program is large, as is appropriate for a system dynamics simulation model. When possible, all data were obtained from sources well known to experts in the energy field. Cost and resource estimates are based on DOE data whenever possible. This report presents the FOSSIL2 model at several levels. Volumes II and III of this report list the equations that comprise the FOSSIL2 model, along with variable definitions and a cross-reference list of the model variables. Volume III lists the model equations and a one line definition for equations, in a short, readable format.

  17. Fossilized bioelectric wire – the trace fossil Trichichnus

    PubMed Central

    Kędzierski, M.; Uchman, A.; Sawlowicz, Z.; Briguglio, A.

    2015-01-01

    The trace fossil Trichichnus is proposed as an indicator of fossil bioelectric bacterial activity at the oxic–anoxic interface zone of marine sediments. This fulfils the idea that such processes, commonly found in the modern realm, should be also present in the geological past. Trichichnus is an exceptional trace fossil due to its very thin diameter (mostly less than 1 mm) and common pyritic filling. It is ubiquitous in some fine-grained sediments, where it has been interpreted as a burrow formed deeper than any other trace fossils, below the redox boundary. Trichichnus, formerly referred to as deeply burrowed invertebrates, has been found as remnant of a fossilized intrasediment bacterial mat that is pyritized. As visualized in 3-D by means of X-ray computed microtomography scanner, Trichichnus forms dense filamentous fabric, which reflects that it is produced by modern large, mat-forming, sulfide-oxidizing bacteria, belonging mostly to Thioploca-related taxa, which are able to house a complex bacterial consortium. Several stages of Trichichnus formation, including filamentous, bacterial mat and its pyritization, are proposed to explain an electron exchange between oxic and suboxic/anoxic layers in the sediment. Therefore, Trichichnus can be considered a fossilized “electric wire”. PMID:26290671

  18. Dating Fossil Pollen: A Simulation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheridan, Philip

    1992-01-01

    Describes a hands-on simulation in which students determine the age of "fossil" pollen samples based on the pollen types present when examined microscopically. Provides instructions for the preparation of pollen slides. (MDH)

  19. The legacy of fossil fuels.

    PubMed

    Armaroli, Nicola; Balzani, Vincenzo

    2011-03-01

    Currently, over 80% of the energy used by mankind comes from fossil fuels. Harnessing coal, oil and gas, the energy resources contained in the store of our spaceship, Earth, has prompted a dramatic expansion in energy use and a substantial improvement in the quality of life of billions of individuals in some regions of the world. Powering our civilization with fossil fuels has been very convenient, but now we know that it entails severe consequences. We treat fossil fuels as a resource that anyone anywhere can extract and use in any fashion, and Earth's atmosphere, soil and oceans as a dump for their waste products, including more than 30 Gt/y of carbon dioxide. At present, environmental legacy rather than consistence of exploitable reserves, is the most dramatic problem posed by the relentless increase of fossil fuel global demand. Harmful effects on the environment and human health, usually not incorporated into the pricing of fossil fuels, include immediate and short-term impacts related to their discovery, extraction, transportation, distribution, and burning as well as climate change that are spread over time to future generations or over space to the entire planet. In this essay, several aspects of the fossil fuel legacy are discussed, such as alteration of the carbon cycle, carbon dioxide rise and its measurement, greenhouse effect, anthropogenic climate change, air pollution and human health, geoengineering proposals, land and water degradation, economic problems, indirect effects on the society, and the urgent need of regulatory efforts and related actions to promote a gradual transition out of the fossil fuel era. While manufacturing sustainable solar fuels appears to be a longer-time perspective, alternatives energy sources already exist that have the potential to replace fossil fuels as feedstocks for electricity production. PMID:21290608

  20. Metric and geometric morphometric analysis of new hominin fossils from Maba (Guangdong, China).

    PubMed

    Xiao, Dongfang; Bae, Christopher J; Shen, Guanjun; Delson, Eric; Jin, Jennie J H; Webb, Nicole M; Qiu, Licheng

    2014-09-01

    We present an analysis of a set of previously unreported hominin fossils from Maba (Guangdong, China), a cave site that is best known for the presence of a partial hominin cranium currently assigned as mid-Pleistocene Homo and that has been traditionally dated to around the Middle-Late Pleistocene transition. A more recent set of Uranium series dates indicate that the Maba travertine may date to >237 ka (thousands of years ago), as opposed to the original U-series date, which placed Maba at 135-129 ka. The fossils under study include five upper first and second molars and a partial left mandible with a socketed m3, all recovered from different parts of the site than the cranium or the dated sediments. The results of our metric and 2D geometric morphometric ('GM') study suggest that the upper first molars are likely from modern humans, suggesting a more recent origin. The upper second molars align more closely with modern humans, though the minimum spanning tree from the 2D GM analysis also connects Maba to Homo neanderthalensis. The patterning in the M2s is not as clear as with the M1s. The m3 and partial mandible are morphometrically intermediate between Holocene modern humans and older Homo sapiens. However, a minimum spanning tree indicates that both the partial mandible and m3 align most closely with Holocene modern humans, and they also may be substantially younger than the cranium. Because questions exist regarding the context and the relationship of the dated travertine with the hominin fossils, we suggest caution is warranted in interpreting the Maba specimens. PMID:25104621

  1. La position taxinomique du crâne de Zuttiyeh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeitoun, Valéry

    2001-04-01

    Discoveries of new 'one-million-year-old' archaic Homo sapiens or Homo erectus in Europe (Atapuerca, Ceprano) and Africa (Danakil), Homo ergaster in Georgia (Dmanisi) and a more 'elastic' frame for chronological data (1.8 Ma to 46 000 years) in Indonesia lead to build a new paradigm in Palaeoanthropology. In this context, I focus attention on Middle East as a good way for migration in Pleistocene between Africa, Europa and Asia. The research of the taxinomical position of the oldest Middle Eastern human fossil - Zuttiyeh - is put forward as a potential key to clarify the evolutionary scenario for human origin.

  2. Reciprocal evolution of the cerebellum and neocortex in fossil humans.

    PubMed

    Weaver, Anne H

    2005-03-01

    Human brain evolution involved both neurological reorganization and an increase in overall brain volume relative to body mass. It is generally difficult to draw functional inferences about the timing and nature of brain reorganization, given that superficial brain morphology recorded on fossil endocasts is functionally ambiguous. However, the cerebellum, housed in the clearly delineated posterior cranial fossa, is functionally and ontologically discrete. The cerebellum is reciprocally connected to each of 14 neocortical regions important to human cognitive evolution. Cerebellar volume varies significantly relative to overall brain volume among mammalian orders, as well as within the primate order. There is also significant diachronic variation among fossil human taxa. In the australopithecines and early members of the genus Homo, the cerebral hemispheres were large in proportion to the cerebellum, compared with other hominoids. This trend continued in Middle and Late Pleistocene humans, including Neandertals and Cro-Magnon 1, who have the largest cerebral hemispheres relative to cerebellum volume of any primates, including earlier and Holocene humans. In recent humans, however, the pattern is reversed; the cerebellum is larger with respect to the rest of the brain (and, conversely, the cerebral hemispheres are smaller with respect to the cerebellum) than in Late Pleistocene humans. The cerebellum and cerebral hemispheres appear to have evolved reciprocally. Cerebellar development in Holocene humans may have provided greater computational efficiency for coping with an increasingly complex cultural and conceptual environment. PMID:15731345

  3. An Enlarged Parietal Foramen in the Late Archaic Xujiayao 11 Neurocranium from Northern China, and Rare Anomalies among Pleistocene Homo

    PubMed Central

    Xing, Song

    2013-01-01

    We report here a neurocranial abnormality previously undescribed in Pleistocene human fossils, an enlarged parietal foramen (EPF) in the early Late Pleistocene Xujiayao 11 parietal bones from the Xujiayao (Houjiayao) site, northern China. Xujiayao 11 is a pair of partial posteromedial parietal bones from an adult. It exhibits thick cranial vault bones, arachnoid granulations, a deviated posterior sagittal suture, and a unilateral (right) parietal lacuna with a posteriorly-directed and enlarged endocranial vascular sulcus. Differential diagnosis indicates that the perforation is a congenital defect, an enlarged parietal foramen, commonly associated with cerebral venous and cranial vault anomalies. It was not lethal given the individual’s age-at-death, but it may have been associated with secondary neurological deficiencies. The fossil constitutes the oldest evidence in human evolution of this very rare condition (a single enlarged parietal foramen). In combination with developmental and degenerative abnormalities in other Pleistocene human remains, it suggests demographic and survival patterns among Pleistocene Homo that led to an elevated frequency of conditions unknown or rare among recent humans. PMID:23527224

  4. The massive fossil humerus from the Oldowan horizon of Gombore I, Melka Kunture (Ethiopia, >1.39 Ma)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Vincenzo, Fabio; Rodriguez, Laura; Carretero, José Miguel; Collina, Carmine; Geraads, Denis; Piperno, Marcello; Manzi, Giorgio

    2015-08-01

    A well-preserved distal portion of a left humerus was discovered in 1976 during excavations directed by J. Chavaillon at the Gombore I site, in the Melka Kunture area (Ethiopia). The specimen, labelled Gombore IB-7594 (formally Melka Kunture 3, or MK3), was found in situ within unit 2 of level B, which is dated to >1.39 Ma and includes a rich Oldowan Paleolithic assemblage. Although MK3 has never been described in detail, it appeared in the literature several times and, from a taxonomic point of view, has been alternatively regarded as Homo, Australopithecus or Paranthropus. According to our analysis, MK3 exhibits a suite of features that fit the variability of the genus Homo and does not display any clear Australopithecus/Paranthropus affinity. Nevertheless, MK3 adds a great deal of variability to the genus Homo, at least as far as the Early Pleistocene fossil record is concerned. In particular, our quantitative approach, which combines traditional morphometric analyses and geometric morphometrics, highlights traits that are uncommon among the Plio-Pleistocene fossil record, while affinities with Mid-to-Late Pleistocene representatives of Homo are observed. In addition, the large size of MK3 suggests that this humerus belonged to an individual whose body weight approached 90 kg, far from the range of body size known for Homo representatives in the Early Pleistocene and as big as those of extant humans or even gorillas. We suggest that such peculiar features are of interest when regarded from an ecological perspective; thus, dimension and morphology of MK3 may be considered as an exaptation that became useful when early humans dispersed to high altitudes such as those of the upper Awash basin on the Ethiopian plateau, at heights above 2000 m.

  5. Travels with the Fossil Hunters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whybrow, Peter J.

    2000-04-01

    Whether dodging bullets in West Africa, or rabid dogs in Pakistan, surviving yak-butter tea in Tibet, or eating raw fish in China, the life of a globe-trotting fossil hunter is often hazardous and always filled with surprises. Travels with the Fossil Hunters lets readers share the wonder, joys of discovery, and excitement of these intrepid scientists. Packed with more than 100 beautiful, full-color photographs, the volume takes readers on twelve expeditions to remote parts of the world in search of diverse fossil remains, from those of dinosaurs to human ancestors. Each expedition by paleontologists from London's Natural History Museum reveals the problems and challenges of working in extreme conditions, from the deserts of the Sahara and Yemen to the frozen wastes of Antarctica, from the mountains of India to the forests of Latvia. Along the way they also describe the paleontology and geology of the countries they visit and the scientific reasons for their expeditions. With a foreword from Sir David Attenborough and an introduction from Richard Fortey, this fascinating book will appeal to amateur and professional fossil hunters alike and to readers interested in accounts of exotic locales. Peter Whybrow is a research scientist at the Natural History Museum, London. His research interests include Arabian Miocene vertebrates, paleoclimates, paleogeography, and biotic diversity. He is senior editor with A. Hill of Fossil Vertebrates of Arabia (Yale University Press, New Haven, 1999).

  6. A Galactic Fossil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2007-05-01

    How old are the oldest stars? Using ESO's VLT, astronomers recently measured the age of a star located in our Galaxy. The star, a real fossil, is found to be 13.2 billion years old, not very far from the 13.7 billion years age of the Universe. The star, HE 1523-0901, was clearly born at the dawn of time. "Surprisingly, it is very hard to pin down the age of a star", the lead author of the paper reporting the results, Anna Frebel, explains. "This requires measuring very precisely the abundance of the radioactive elements thorium or uranium, a feat only the largest telescopes such as ESO's VLT can achieve." ESO PR Photo 23a/07 ESO PR Photo 23a/07 The 'Cosmic Clock' This technique is analogous to the carbon-14 dating method that has been so successful in archaeology over time spans of up to a few tens of thousands of years. In astronomy, however, this technique must obviously be applied to vastly longer timescales. For the method to work well, the right choice of radioactive isotope is critical. Unlike other, stable elements that formed at the same time, the abundance of a radioactive (unstable) isotope decreases all the time. The faster the decay, the less there will be left of the radioactive isotope after a certain time, so the greater will be the abundance difference when compared to a stable isotope, and the more accurate is the resulting age. Yet, for the clock to remain useful, the radioactive element must not decay too fast - there must still be enough left of it to allow an accurate measurement, even after several billion years. "Actual age measurements are restricted to the very rare objects that display huge amounts of the radioactive elements thorium or uranium," says Norbert Christlieb, co-author of the report. ESO PR Photo 23b/07 ESO PR Photo 23b/07 Uranium Line in the Spectrum of an Old Star Large amounts of these elements have been found in the star HE 1523-0901, an old, relatively bright star that was discovered within the Hamburg/ESO survey [1]. The star was then observed with UVES on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) for a total of 7.5 hours. A high quality spectrum was obtained that could never have been achieved without the combination of the large collecting power Kueyen, one of the individual 8.2-m Unit Telescopes of the VLT, and the extremely good sensitivity of UVES in the ultraviolet spectral region, where the lines from the elements are observed. For the first time, the age dating involved both radioactive elements in combination with the three other neutron-capture elements europium, osmium, and iridium. "Until now, it has not been possible to measure more than a single cosmic clock for a star. Now, however, we have managed to make six measurements in this one star", says Frebel. Ever since the star was born, these "clocks" have ticked away over the eons, unaffected by the turbulent history of the Milky Way. They now read 13.2 billion years. The Universe being 13.7 billion years old, this star clearly formed very early in the life of our own Galaxy, which must also formed very soon after the Big Bang. More Information This research is reported in a paper published in the 10 May issue of the Astrophysical Journal ("Discovery of HE 1523-0901, a Strongly r-Process Enhanced Metal-Poor Star with Detected Uranium", by A. Frebel et al.). The team includes Anna Frebel (McDonald Observatory, Texas) and John E. Norris (The Australian National University), Norbert Christlieb (Uppsala University, Sweden, and Hamburg Observatory, Germany), Christopher Thom (University of Chicago, USA, and Swinburne University of Technlogy, Australia), Timothy C. Beers (Michigan State University, USA), Jaehyon Rhee (Center for Space Astrophysics, Yonsei University, Korea, and Caltech, USA).

  7. FOSSIL2 energy policy model documentation: FOSSIL2 documentation

    SciTech Connect

    1980-10-01

    This report discusses the structure, derivations, assumptions, and mathematical formulation of the FOSSIL2 model. Each major facet of the model - supply/demand interactions, industry financing, and production - has been designed to parallel closely the actual cause/effect relationships determining the behavior of the United States energy system. The data base for the FOSSIL2 program is large, as is appropriate for a system dynamics simulation model. When possible, all data were obtained from sources well known to experts in the energy field. Cost and resource estimates are based on DOE data whenever possible. This report presents the FOSSIL2 model at several levels. Volumes II and III of this report list the equations that comprise the FOSSIL2 model, along with variable definitions and a cross-reference list of the model variables. Volume II provides the model equations with each of their variables defined, while Volume III lists the equations, and a one line definition for equations, in a shorter, more readable format.

  8. DNA extraction from fossil eggshell.

    PubMed

    Oskam, Charlotte L; Bunce, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Avian eggshell fragments recovered from both paleontological and archaeological deposits contain a cache of well-preserved ancient DNA. Here, we describe an extraction protocol that has been optimized to maximize the recovery of ancient DNA from fossil eggshell and minimize the co-purification of PCR inhibitors. In this method, fossil eggshell fragments are powdered, then digested and heated to release DNA from the calcite matrix. The digest then undergoes a concentration step before purification and washing using silica columns. The method has been used to recover aDNA from the eggshell of many avian species including moa, elephant birds, and emu, up to 19,000 years old. PMID:22237523

  9. Palaeobiology: Argentinian unhatched pterosaur fossil.

    PubMed

    Chiappe, Luis M; Codorniú, Laura; Grellet-Tinner, Gerald; Rivarola, David

    2004-12-01

    Our knowledge of the eggs and embryos of pterosaurs, the Mesozoic flying reptiles, is sparse. Until now, the recent discovery of an ornithocheirid embryo from 121-million-year-old rocks in China constituted the only reliable evidence of an unhatched pterosaur. Here we describe an embryonic fossil of a different pterosaur from the Early Cretaceous lacustrine deposits of Loma del Pterodaustro (the Lagarcito Formation, which is about 100 million years old) in central Argentina. This new fossil provides insight into the eggshell morphology, early growth and nesting environments of pterosaurs. PMID:15577899

  10. Evaluating the transitional mosaic: frameworks of change from Neanderthals to Homo sapiens in eastern Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, William; White, Dustin; Lewis, Mark; Stringer, Chris

    2015-06-01

    Defining varying spatial and temporal analytical scales is essential before evaluating the responses of late Neanderthals and early Homo sapiens to Abrupt Environmental Transitions (AETs) and environmental disasters for the period 130-25 ka. Recent advances in addressing the population histories and interactions (using both genetic and archaeological evidence) of Neanderthals and H. sapiens have encouraged consideration of more subtle dynamics of archaeological change. Descriptions of change based on methodologies pioneered some 160 years ago are no longer adequate to explain the patterning we now see in the record. New chronological results, using multiple dating methods, allow us to begin to unpick the spatial and temporal scales of change. Isochronic markers (such as specific volcanic eruptions) can be used to create temporal frameworks (lattices), and results from other dating techniques compared against them. A combination of chronological lattices and direct dating of diagnostic artefacts and human fossils permits us, for the first time, to have greater confidence in connecting human (recent hominin) species and their behavioural responses to environmental conditions, and in quantifying scales of change over time and space (time-transgression). The timing of innovations, particularly those in bone, antler and ivory, can be directly quantified and tested, and used to re-evaluate longstanding models of cultural change. This paper also uses these new chronologies to explore the ecologies of late Neanderthals and early H. sapiens: their population densities, mobilities, resources exploited and possible interactions. Environmental productivity estimates are used to generate new questions of potential population densities and mobilities, and thus the sensitivity of these groups to environmental perturbations. Scales and intensities of effect on environments from natural disasters and AETs (notably Heinrich Events and the Campanian Ignimbrite eruption) are defined as a scale from "proximal" to "distal," with local conditions (topographic shelter or exposure) serving to intensify or mitigate those effects.

  11. Homo Heuristicus: Less-is-More Effects in Adaptive Cognition

    PubMed Central

    Brighton, Henry; Gigerenzer, Gerd

    2012-01-01

    Heuristics are efficient cognitive processes that ignore information. In contrast to the widely held view that less processing reduces accuracy, the study of heuristics shows that less information, computation, and time can in fact improve accuracy. We discuss some of the major progress made so far, focusing on the discovery of less-is-more effects and the study of the ecological rationality of heuristics which examines in which environments a given strategy succeeds or fails, and why. Homo heuristicus has a biased mind and ignores part of the available information, yet a biased mind can handle uncertainty more efficiently and robustly than an unbiased mind relying on more resource-intensive and general-purpose processing strategies. PMID:23613644

  12. Mauer - the type site of Homo heidelbergensis: palaeoenvironment and age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Günther A.; Maul, Lutz Christian; Löscher, Manfred; Schreiber, H. Dieter

    2011-06-01

    The mandible of Homo heidelbergensis was found 1907 in the sand pit Grafenrain at Mauer in coarse fluvial sands 24 m below the surface, deposited in a former course of the Neckar River. These 'Mauer sands' are overlain by a series of glacial-climate loess deposits with intercalated interglacial palaeosols, which can be correlated with Quaternary climate history, thus indicating an early Middle Pleistocene age for H. heidelbergensis. The 'Mauer sands' are famous for their rather rich mammal fauna, which clearly indicates interglacial climate conditions. The faunal evidence - in particular the micromammals - place the 'Mauer sands' into MIS 15 or MIS 13 although most stratigraphic arguments favour correlation to MIS 15 and therefore to an age of ca 600 ka.

  13. Crystal structure of Homo sapiens protein LOC79017

    SciTech Connect

    Bae, Euiyoung; Bingman, Craig A.; Aceti, David J.; Phillips, Jr., George N.

    2010-02-08

    LOC79017 (MW 21.0 kDa, residues 1-188) was annotated as a hypothetical protein encoded by Homo sapiens chromosome 7 open reading frame 24. It was selected as a target by the Center for Eukaryotic Structural Genomics (CESG) because it did not share more than 30% sequence identity with any protein for which the three-dimensional structure is known. The biological function of the protein has not been established yet. Parts of LOC79017 were identified as members of uncharacterized Pfam families (residues 1-95 as PB006073 and residues 104-180 as PB031696). BLAST searches revealed homologues of LOC79017 in many eukaryotes, but none of them have been functionally characterized. Here, we report the crystal structure of H. sapiens protein LOC79017 (UniGene code Hs.530024, UniProt code O75223, CESG target number go.35223).

  14. Brain shape in human microcephalics and Homo floresiensis

    PubMed Central

    Falk, Dean; Hildebolt, Charles; Smith, Kirk; Morwood, M. J.; Sutikna, Thomas; Jatmiko; Saptomo, E. Wayhu; Imhof, Herwig; Seidler, Horst; Prior, Fred

    2007-01-01

    Because the cranial capacity of LB1 (Homo floresiensis) is only 417 cm3, some workers propose that it represents a microcephalic Homo sapiens rather than a new species. This hypothesis is difficult to assess, however, without a clear understanding of how brain shape of microcephalics compares with that of normal humans. We compare three-dimensional computed tomographic reconstructions of the internal braincases (virtual endocasts that reproduce details of external brain morphology, including cranial capacities and shape) from a sample of 9 microcephalic humans and 10 normal humans. Discriminant and canonical analyses are used to identify two variables that classify normal and microcephalic humans with 100% success. The classification functions classify the virtual endocast from LB1 with normal humans rather than microcephalics. On the other hand, our classification functions classify a pathological H. sapiens specimen that, like LB1, represents an ≈3-foot-tall adult female and an adult Basuto microcephalic woman that is alleged to have an endocast similar to LB1's with the microcephalic humans. Although microcephaly is genetically and clinically variable, virtual endocasts from our highly heterogeneous sample share similarities in protruding and proportionately large cerebella and relatively narrow, flattened orbital surfaces compared with normal humans. These findings have relevance for hypotheses regarding the genetic substrates of hominin brain evolution and may have medical diagnostic value. Despite LB1's having brain shape features that sort it with normal humans rather than microcephalics, other shape features and its small brain size are consistent with its assignment to a separate species. PMID:17277082

  15. The colour of fossil feathers.

    PubMed

    Vinther, Jakob; Briggs, Derek E G; Prum, Richard O; Saranathan, Vinodkumar

    2008-10-23

    Feathers are complex integumentary appendages of birds and some other theropod dinosaurs. They are frequently coloured and function in camouflage and display. Previous investigations have concluded that fossil feathers are preserved as carbonized traces composed of feather-degrading bacteria. Here, an investigation of a colour-banded feather from the Lower Cretaceous Crato Formation of Brazil revealed that the dark bands are preserved as elongate, oblate carbonaceous bodies 1-2 microm long, whereas the light bands retain only relief traces on the rock matrix. Energy dispersive X-ray analysis showed that the dark bands preserve a substantial amount of carbon, whereas the light bands show no carbon residue. Comparison of these oblate fossil bodies with the structure of black feathers from a living bird indicates that they are the eumelanin-containing melanosomes. We conclude that most fossil feathers are preserved as melanosomes, and that the distribution of these structures in fossil feathers can preserve the colour pattern in the original feather. The discovery of preserved melanosomes opens up the possibility of interpreting the colour of extinct birds and other dinosaurs. PMID:18611841

  16. Theory of fossil magnetic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dudorov, Alexander E.; Khaibrakhmanov, Sergey A.

    2015-02-01

    Theory of fossil magnetic field is based on the observations, analytical estimations and numerical simulations of magnetic flux evolution during star formation in the magnetized cores of molecular clouds. Basic goals, main features of the theory and manifestations of MHD effects in young stellar objects are discussed.

  17. Mitochondrial genomes as living 'fossils'.

    PubMed

    Small, Ian

    2013-01-01

    The huge variation between mitochondrial genomes makes untangling their evolutionary histories difficult. Richardson et al. report on the remarkably unaltered 'fossil' genome of the tulip tree, giving us many clues as to how the mitochondrial genomes of flowering plants have evolved over the last 150 million years, and raising questions about how such extraordinary sequence conservation can be maintained. PMID:23587103

  18. Progress of fossil fuel science

    SciTech Connect

    Demirbas, M.F.

    2007-07-01

    Coal is the most abundant and widely distributed fossil fuel. More than 45% of the world's electricity is generated from coal, and it is the major fuel for generating electricity worldwide. The known coal reserves in the world are enough for more than 215 years of consumption, while the known oil reserves are only about 39 times of the world's consumption and the known natural gas reserves are about 63 times of the world's consumption level in 1998. In recent years, there have been effective scientific investigations on Turkish fossil fuels, which are considerable focused on coal resources. Coal is a major fossil fuel source for Turkey. Turkish coal consumption has been stable over the past decade and currently accounts for about 24% of the country's total energy consumption. Lignite coal has had the biggest share in total fossil fuel production, at 43%, in Turkey. Turkish researchers may investigate ten broad pathways of coal species upgrading, such as desulfurization and oxydesulfurization, pyrolysis and hydropyrolysis, liquefaction and hydroliquefaction, extraction and supercritical fluid extraction, gasification, oxidation, briquetting, flotation, and structure identification.

  19. Fossil Energy: Drivers and Challenges.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedmann, Julio

    2007-04-01

    Concerns about rapid economic growth, energy security, and global climate change have created a new landscape for fossil energy exploration, production, and utilization. Since 85% of primary energy supply comes from fossil fuels, and 85% of greenhouse gas emissions come from fossil fuel consumption, new and difficult technical and political challenges confront commercial, governmental, and public stakeholders. As such, concerns over climate change are explicitly weighed against security of international and domestic energy supplies, with economic premiums paid for either or both. Efficiency improvements, fuel conservation, and deployment of nuclear and renewable supplies will help both concerns, but are unlikely to offset growth in the coming decades. As such, new technologies and undertakings must both provide high quality fossil energy with minimal environmental impacts. The largest and most difficult of these undertakings is carbon management, wherein CO2 emissions are sequestered indefinitely at substantial incremental cost. Geological formations provide both high confidence and high capacity for CO2 storage, but present scientific and technical challenges. Oil and gas supply can be partially sustained and replaced through exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels such as tar-sands, methane hydrates, coal-to-liquids, and oil shales. These fuels provide enormous reserves that can be exploited at current costs, but generally require substantial energy to process. In most cases, the energy return on investment (EROI) is dropping, and unconventional fuels are generally more carbon intensive than conventional, presenting additional carbon management challenges. Ultimately, a large and sustained science and technology program akin to the Apollo project will be needed to address these concerns. Unfortunately, real funding in energy research has dropped dramatically (75%) in the past three decades, and novel designs in fission and fusion are not likely to provide any substantial offset in the next 30 years when they are most needed internationally.

  20. A Critical Discourse Analysis of "No Promo Homo" Policies in US Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrett, Brian; Bound, Arron M.

    2015-01-01

    This article presents a critical discourse analysis of "no promo homo" policies and their effects in US schools. "No promo homo"--short for "no promotion of homosexuality" (Eskridge, 2000, p. 1329)--polices have been adopted across nine states and several local school districts in the United States. They direct…

  1. Numerical description of selected endo- and ectocranial dimensions in Homo sapiens and the three Homo heidelbergensis: Kabwe, Atapuerca and Petralona.

    PubMed

    Bernhard, M; Schäfer, K; Seidler, H

    2002-12-01

    Investigation of hominid cranial morphology is of particular importance for those dealing with questions concerning both ontogenetic and phylogenetic aspects in the genus Homo. The present study provides a numerical description of several regions of extant human crania and, in addition, mid-Pleistocene crania, given in distances and angles. This study is seen as a basic preparatory work that is most useful for further investigation on cranial development in hominids. The sample used consisted of 60 recent adult human crania as well as stereolithographic models of three H. heidelbergensis crania: Kabwe, Atapuerca and Petralona. 12 ecto- and 20 endocranial landmarks were selected and 3D-coordinates taken on each cranium using a 3D Polhemus 3Space FASTRAK tracking system. From the resulting data set, 21 ectocranial and 17 endocranial distances were calculated, in addition to 41 angles of the ectocranium and 21 angles of the endocranium; the measurements are presented in tables, serving as a reference database. PMID:12529956

  2. Fossil group origins. VII. Galaxy substructures in fossil systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarattini, S.; Girardi, M.; Aguerri, J. A. L.; Boschin, W.; Barrena, R.; del Burgo, C.; Castro-Rodriguez, N.; Corsini, E. M.; D'Onghia, E.; Kundert, A.; Méndez-Abreu, J.; Sánchez-Janssen, R.

    2016-02-01

    Context. Fossil groups (FG) are expected to be the final product of galaxy merging within galaxy groups. In simulations, they are predicted to assemble their mass at high redshift. This early formation allows for the innermost M∗ galaxies to merge into a massive central galaxy. Then, they are expected to maintain their fossil status because of the few interactions with the large-scale structure. In this context, the magnitude gap between the two brightest galaxies of the system is considered a good indicator of its dynamical status. As a consequence, the systems with the largest gaps should be dynamically relaxed. Aims: In order to examine the dynamical status of these systems, we systematically analyze, for the first time, the presence of galaxy substructures in a sample of 12 spectroscopically-confirmed fossil systems with redshift z ≤ 0.25. Methods: We apply a number of tests to investigate the substructure in fossil systems in the two-dimensional space of projected positions out to R200. Moreover, for a subsample of five systems with at least 30 spectroscopically-confirmed members we also analyze the substructure in the velocity and in the three-dimensional velocity-position spaces. Additionally, we look for signs of recent mergers in the regions around the central galaxies. Results: We find that an important fraction of fossil systems show substructure. The fraction depends critically on the adopted test, since each test is more sensitive to a particular type of substructure. Conclusions: Our interpretation of the results is that fossil systems are not, in general, as relaxed as expected from simulations. Our sample of 12 spectroscopically-confirmed fossil systems need to be extended to compute an accurate fraction, but our conclusion is that this fraction is similar to the fraction of substructure detected in nonfossil clusters. This result points out that the magnitude gap alone is not a good indicator of the dynamical status of a system. However, the subsample of five FGs for which we were able to use velocities as a probe for substructures is dominated by high-mass FGs. These massive systems could have a different evolution compared to low-mass FGs, since they are expected to form via the merging of a fossil group with another group of galaxies. This merger would lengthen the relaxation time and it could be responsible for the substructure detected in present-time massive FGs. If this is the case, only low-mass FGs are expected to be dynamically old and relaxed. The redshift catalog is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/586/A63

  3. Are the small human-like fossils found on Flores human endemic cretins?

    PubMed Central

    Obendorf, Peter J; Oxnard, Charles E; Kefford, Ben J

    2008-01-01

    Fossils from Liang Bua (LB) on Flores, Indonesia, including a nearly complete skeleton (LB1) dated to 18 kyr BP, were assigned to a new species, Homo floresiensis. We hypothesize that these individuals are myxoedematous endemic (ME) cretins, part of an inland population of (mostly unaffected) Homo sapiens. ME cretins are born without a functioning thyroid; their congenital hypothyroidism leads to severe dwarfism and reduced brain size, but less severe mental retardation and motor disability than neurological endemic cretins. We show that the fossils display many signs of congenital hypothyroidism, including enlarged pituitary fossa, and that distinctive primitive features of LB1 such as the double rooted lower premolar and the primitive wrist morphology are consistent with the hypothesis. We find that the null hypothesis (that LB1 is not a cretin) is rejected by the pituitary fossa size of LB1, and by multivariate analyses of cranial measures. We show that critical environmental factors were potentially present on Flores, how remains of cretins but not of unaffected individuals could be preserved in caves, and that extant oral traditions may provide a record of cretinism. PMID:18319214

  4. Fossil hominin shoulders support an African ape-like last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees.

    PubMed

    Young, Nathan M; Capellini, Terence D; Roach, Neil T; Alemseged, Zeresenay

    2015-09-22

    Reconstructing the behavioral shifts that drove hominin evolution requires knowledge of the timing, magnitude, and direction of anatomical changes over the past ∼6-7 million years. These reconstructions depend on assumptions regarding the morphotype of the Homo-Pan last common ancestor (LCA). However, there is little consensus for the LCA, with proposed models ranging from African ape to orangutan or generalized Miocene ape-like. The ancestral state of the shoulder is of particular interest because it is functionally associated with important behavioral shifts in hominins, such as reduced arboreality, high-speed throwing, and tool use. However, previous morphometric analyses of both living and fossil taxa have yielded contradictory results. Here, we generated a 3D morphospace of ape and human scapular shape to plot evolutionary trajectories, predict ancestral morphologies, and directly test alternative evolutionary hypotheses using the hominin fossil evidence. We show that the most parsimonious model for the evolution of hominin shoulder shape starts with an African ape-like ancestral state. We propose that the shoulder evolved gradually along a single morphocline, achieving modern human-like configuration and function within the genus Homo. These data are consistent with a slow, progressive loss of arboreality and increased tool use throughout human evolution. PMID:26351685

  5. Comparative 3D quantitative analyses of trapeziometacarpal joint surface curvatures among living catarrhines and fossil hominins.

    PubMed

    Marzke, M W; Tocheri, M W; Steinberg, B; Femiani, J D; Reece, S P; Linscheid, R L; Orr, C M; Marzke, R F

    2010-01-01

    Comparisons of joint surface curvature at the base of the thumb have long been made to discern differences among living and fossil primates in functional capabilities of the hand. However, the complex shape of this joint makes it difficult to quantify differences among taxa. The purpose of this study is to determine whether significant differences in curvature exist among selected catarrhine genera and to compare these genera with hominin fossils in trapeziometacarpal curvature. Two 3D approaches are used to quantify curvatures of the trapezial and metacarpal joint surfaces: (1) stereophotogrammetry with nonuniform rational B-spline (NURBS) calculation of joint curvature to compare modern humans with captive chimpanzees and (2) laser scanning with a quadric-based calculation of curvature to compare modern humans and wild-caught Pan, Gorilla, Pongo, and Papio. Both approaches show that Homo has significantly lower curvature of the joint surfaces than does Pan. The second approach shows that Gorilla has significantly more curvature than modern humans, while Pongo overlaps with humans and African apes. The surfaces in Papio are more cylindrical and flatter than in Homo. Australopithecus afarensis resembles African apes more than modern humans in curvatures, whereas the Homo habilis trapezial metacarpal surface is flatter than in all genera except Papio. Neandertals fall at one end of the modern human range of variation, with smaller dorsovolar curvature. Modern human topography appears to be derived relative to great apes and Australopithecus and contributes to the distinctive human morphology that facilitates forceful precision and power gripping, fundamental to human manipulative activities. PMID:19544574

  6. Shared Pattern of Endocranial Shape Asymmetries among Great Apes, Anatomically Modern Humans, and Fossil Hominins

    PubMed Central

    Balzeau, Antoine; Gilissen, Emmanuel; Grimaud-Hervé, Dominique

    2012-01-01

    Anatomical asymmetries of the human brain are a topic of major interest because of their link with handedness and cognitive functions. Their emergence and occurrence have been extensively explored in human fossil records to document the evolution of brain capacities and behaviour. We quantified for the first time antero-posterior endocranial shape asymmetries in large samples of great apes, modern humans and fossil hominins through analysis of “virtual” 3D models of skull and endocranial cavity and we statistically test for departures from symmetry. Once based on continuous variables, we show that the analysis of these brain asymmetries gives original results that build upon previous analysis based on discrete traits. In particular, it emerges that the degree of petalial asymmetries differs between great apes and hominins without modification of their pattern. We indeed demonstrate the presence of shape asymmetries in great apes, with a pattern similar to modern humans but with a lower variation and a lower degree of fluctuating asymmetry. More importantly, variations in the position of the frontal and occipital poles on the right and left hemispheres would be expected to show some degree of antisymmetry when population distribution is considered, but the observed pattern of variation among the samples is related to fluctuating asymmetry for most of the components of the petalias. Moreover, the presence of a common pattern of significant directional asymmetry for two components of the petalias in hominids implicates that the observed traits were probably inherited from the last common ancestor of extant African great apes and Homo sapiens. These results also have important implications for the possible relationships between endocranial shape asymmetries and functional capacities in hominins. It emphasizes the uncoupling between lateralized activities, some of them well probably distinctive to Homo, and large-scale cerebral lateralization itself, which is not unique to Homo. PMID:22242147

  7. Fossil groups of galaxies: Are they groups? Are they fossils?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupke, Renato de Alencar; Miller, Eric; de Oliveira, Claudia Mendes; Sodre, Laerte; Rykoff, Eli; de Oliveira, Raimundo Lopes; Proctor, Rob

    2010-11-01

    Fossil groups present a puzzle to current theories of structure formation. Despite the low number of bright galaxies, their high velocity dispersions and high TX indicate cluster-like potential wells. Measured concentration parameters seem very high indicating early formation epochs in contradiction with the observed lack of large and well defined cooling cores. There are very few fossil groups with good quality X-ray data and their idiosyncrasies may enhance these apparent contradictions. The standard explanation for their formation suggests that bright galaxies within half the virial radii of these systems were wiped out by cannibalism forming the central galaxy. Since dry mergers, typically invoked to explain the formation of the central galaxies, are not expected to change the IGM energetics significantly, thus not preventing the formation of cooling cores, we investigate the scenario where recent gaseous (wet) mergers formed the central galaxy injecting energy and changing the chemistry of the IGM in fossil groups. We show a test for this scenario using fossil groups with enough X-ray flux in the Chandra X-ray Observatory archive by looking at individual metal abundance ratio distributions near the core. Secondary SN II powered winds would tend to erase the dominance of SN IA ejecta in the core of these systems and would help to erase previously existing cold cores. Strong SN II-powered galactic winds resulting from galaxy merging would be trapped by their deep potential wells reducing the central enhancement of SN Ia/SN II iron mass fraction ratio. The results indicate that there is a decrement in the ratio of SN Ia to SN II iron mass fraction in the central regions of the systems analyzed, varying from 99±1% in the outer regions to 85±2% within the cooling radius (Figure 1) and would inject enough energy into the IGM preventing central gas cooling. The results are consistent with a scenario of later formation epoch for fossil groups, as they are defined, when compared to galaxy clusters and normal groups.

  8. FOSSIL SPRINGS ROADLESS AREA, ARIZONA.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beard, L.S.; Ellis, C.E.

    1984-01-01

    Based on field studies, the Fossil Springs Roadless Area in central Arizona is concluded to have little promise for the occurrence of mineral or energy resources. Rocks in the Supai Formation (Pennsylvanian-Permian) near the central part of the roadless area contain widespread but spotty copper mineralization and trace amounts of uranium. Analyses obtained during the study define geochemical anomalies in two portions of the area that remain unexplained. The suites of anomalous metals suggest the possibility of hydrothermal veins and the presence of ultramafic rocks; neither were found in the field. Although there is little promise for the occurrence of mineral resources in the Fossil Springs Roadless Area, studies to identify the source of the geochemical anomalies could have valuable implications for regional studies and mineral exploration in the surrounding area.

  9. Cycads: Fossil evidence of late paleozoic origin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mamay, S.H.

    1969-01-01

    Plant fossils from Lower Permian strata of the southwestern United States have been interpreted as cycadalean megasporophylls. They are evidently descended from spermopterid elements of the Pennsylvanian Taeniopteris complex; thus the known fossil history of the cycads is extended from the Late Triassic into the late Paleozoic. Possible implications of the Permian fossils toward evolution of the angiosperm carpel are considered.

  10. Looking at Fossils in New Ways

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flannery, Maura C.

    2005-01-01

    Existing fossils could be studied from a different prospective with the use of new methods of analysis for gathering more information. The new techniques of studying fossils binds the new and the old techniques and information and provides another way to look at fossils.

  11. Extinction and the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, ,. J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1994-01-01

    The author examines evidence of mass extinctions in the fossil record and searches for reasons for such large extinctions. Five major mass extinctions eliminated at least 40 percent of animal genera in the oceans and from 65 to 95 percent of ocean species. Questions include the occurrence of gradual or catastrophic extinctions, causes, environment, the capacity of a perturbation to cause extinctions each time it happens, and the possibility and identification of complex events leading to a mass extinction.

  12. Microbial denitrogenation of fossil fuels.

    PubMed

    Benedik, M J; Gibbs, P R; Riddle, R R; Willson, R C

    1998-09-01

    The microbial degradation of nitrogen compounds from fossil fuels is important because of the contribution these contaminants make to the formation of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and hence to air pollution and acid rain. They also contribute to catalyst poisoning during the refining of crude oil, thus reducing process yields. We review the current status of microbial degradation of aromatic nitrogen compounds and discuss the potential of microbial processes to alleviate these problems. PMID:9744113

  13. Spectroscopic properties, NLO, HOMO-LUMO and NBO of maltol.

    PubMed

    Krishnakumar, V; Barathi, D; Mathammal, R; Balamani, J; Jayamani, N

    2014-01-01

    Maltol (3-hydroxy-2-methyl-4pyrone) is widely known as metal ions chelator with many practical applications in catalysis, medicine and food chemistry. The FTIR and FT-Raman spectra of maltol have been recorded in the region 4000-400 and 4000-50 cm(-1), respectively. The conformational analysis, optimized geometry, frequency and intensity of the vibrational bands of maltol were obtained by the density functional theory (DFT) with complete relaxation in the potential energy surface using 6-31G* basis set. The observed and the calculated frequencies are found to be in good agreement. The (1)H and (13)C NMR spectra have been recorded and (1)H and (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance chemical shifts of the molecule were also calculated using the gauge independent atomic orbital (GIAO) method and their respective linear correlations were obtained. The electronic properties HOMO and LUMO energies were measured. Thermodynamic properties (heat capacity, entropy and enthalpy) of the title compound were calculated. The Mulliken charges, the values of electric dipole moment (μ) of the molecule were computed using DFT calculations. The first order hyperpolarizability (βo) and related properties (β, αo and Δα) of both are calculated using B3LYP/6-31G* method on the finite-field approach. The calculated first hyperpolarizability shows that the molecules are an attractive molecule for future applications in non-linear optics. The intramolecular contacts have been interpreted using Natural Bond Orbital (NBO). PMID:24247097

  14. A new strategy for realizing the conversion of "homo-hetero-homo" heteroepitaxial growth in Bi(2)Te(3) and the thermoelectric performance.

    PubMed

    Guo, Wei; Ma, Jianmin; Yang, Jiaqin; Li, Di; Qin, Qing; Wei, Caiying; Zheng, Wenjun

    2014-05-01

    Uncovering the reason for structure-dependent thermoelectric performance still remains a big challenge. A low-temperature and easily scalable strategy for synthesizing Bi2 Te3 nanostring hierarchical structures through solution-phase reactions, during which there is the conversion of "homo-hetero-homo" in Bi2 Te3 heteroepitaxial growth, is reported. Bi2 Te3 nanostrings are obtained through the transformation from pure Bi2 Te3 hexagonal nanosheets followed by TeBi2 Te3 "nanotop" heterostructures to Bi2 Te3 nanostrings. The growth of Bi2 Te3 nanostrings appears to be a self-assembly process through a wavy competition process generated from Te and Bi(3+) . The conversion of homo-hetero-homo opens up new platforms to investigate the wet chemistry of Bi2 Te3 nanomaterials. Furthermore, to study the effect of morphologies and hetero/homo structures, especially with the same origin and uniform conditions on their thermoelectric properties, the thermoelectric properties of Bi2 Te3 nanostrings and TeBi2 Te3 heterostructured pellets fabricated by spark plasma sintering have been investigated separately. PMID:24700422

  15. Cognitive inferences in fossil apes (Primates, Hominoidea): does encephalization reflect intelligence?

    PubMed

    Alba, David M

    2010-01-01

    Paleobiological inferences on general cognitive abilities (intelligence) in fossil hominoids strongly rely on relative brain size or encephalization, computed by means of allometric residuals, quotients or constants. Th is has been criticized on the basis that it presumably fails to reflect the higher intelligence of great apes, and absolute brain size has been favored instead. Many problems of encephalization metrics stem from the decrease of allometric slopes towards lower taxonomic level, thus making it difficult to determine at what level encephalization metrics have biological meaning. Here, the hypothesis that encephalization can be used as a good neuroanatomical proxy for intelligence is tested at two different taxonomic levels. A significant correlation is found between intelligence and encephalization only at a lower taxonomic level, i.e. on the basis of a low allometric slope, irrespective of whether species data or independent contrasts are employed. This indicates that higher-level slopes, resulting from encephalization grade shifts between subgroups (including hylobatids vs. great apes), do not reflect functional equivalence, whereas lower-level metrics can be employed as a paleobiological proxy for intelligence. Thus, in accordance to intelligence rankings, lower-level metrics indicate that great apes are more encephalized than both monkeys and hylobatids. Regarding fossil taxa, encephalization increased during hominin evolution (particularly in Homo), but during the Miocene a significant shift towards higher encephalization (and inferred enhanced cognitive abilities) must have been also involved in the emergence of the great-ape-and-human clade (Hominidae). This is confirmed by the modern great-ape-like degree of encephalization displayed by the fossil great ape Hispanopithecus, which contrasts with the rather hylobatid-like degree of the stem hominoid Proconsul. The similarly low encephalization of Oreopithecus might result from secondary reduction under insularity conditions, but the australopith-like degree of encephalization of Homo floresiensis seems incompatible with the cognitive abilities inferred from the stone tools attributed to this taxon. PMID:20834049

  16. Virtual reconstruction of modern and fossil hominoid crania: consequences of reference sample choice.

    PubMed

    Senck, Sascha; Bookstein, Fred L; Benazzi, Stefano; Kastner, Johann; Weber, Gerhard W

    2015-05-01

    Most hominin cranial fossils are incomplete and require reconstruction prior to subsequent analyses. Missing data can be estimated by geometric morphometrics using information from complete specimens, for example, by using thin-plate splines. In this study, we estimate missing data in several virtually fragmented models of hominoid crania (Homo, Pan, Pongo) and fossil hominins (e.g., Australopithecus africanus, Homo heidelbergensis). The aim is to investigate in which way different references influence estimations of cranial shape and how this information can be employed in the reconstruction of fossils. We used a sample of 64 three-dimensional digital models of complete human, chimpanzee, and orangutan crania and a set of 758 landmarks and semilandmarks. The virtually knocked out neurocranial and facial areas that were reconstructed corresponded to those of a real case found in A.L. 444-2 (A. afarensis) cranium. Accuracy of multiple intraspecies and interspecies reconstructions was computed as the maximum square root of the mean squared difference between the original and the reconstruction (root mean square). The results show that the uncertainty in reconstructions is a function of both the geometry of the knockout area and the dissimilarity between the reference sample and the specimen(s) undergoing reconstruction. We suggest that it is possible to estimate large missing cranial areas if the shape of the reference is similar enough to the shape of the specimen reconstructed, though caution must be exercised when employing these reconstructions in subsequent analyses. We provide a potential guide for the choice of the reference by means of bending energy. PMID:25689596

  17. Dinosaur fossils predict body temperatures.

    PubMed

    Gillooly, James F; Allen, Andrew P; Charnov, Eric L

    2006-07-01

    Perhaps the greatest mystery surrounding dinosaurs concerns whether they were endotherms, ectotherms, or some unique intermediate form. Here we present a model that yields estimates of dinosaur body temperature based on ontogenetic growth trajectories obtained from fossil bones. The model predicts that dinosaur body temperatures increased with body mass from approximately 25 degrees C at 12 kg to approximately 41 degrees C at 13,000 kg. The model also successfully predicts observed increases in body temperature with body mass for extant crocodiles. These results provide direct evidence that dinosaurs were reptiles that exhibited inertial homeothermy. PMID:16817695

  18. Homo-psychologicus: Reactionary behavioural aspects of epidemics.

    PubMed

    Cherif, Alhaji; Barley, Kamal; Hurtado, Marcel

    2016-03-01

    We formulate an in silico model of pathogen avoidance mechanism and investigate its impact on defensive behavioural measures (e.g., spontaneous social exclusions and distancing, crowd avoidance and voluntary vaccination adaptation). In particular, we use SIR(B)S (e.g., susceptible-infected-recovered with additional behavioural component) model to investigate the impact of homo-psychologicus aspects of epidemics. We focus on reactionary behavioural changes, which apply to both social distancing and voluntary vaccination participations. Our analyses reveal complex relationships between spontaneous and uncoordinated behavioural changes, the emergence of its contagion properties, and mitigation of infectious diseases. We find that the presence of effective behavioural changes can impede the persistence of disease. Furthermore, it was found that under perfect effective behavioural change, there are three regions in the response factor (e.g., imitation and/or reactionary) and behavioural scale factor (e.g., global/local) factors ρ-α behavioural space. Mainly, (1) disease is always endemic even in the presence of behavioural change, (2) behavioural-prevalence plasticity is observed and disease can sometimes be eradication, and (3) elimination of endemic disease under permanence of permanent behavioural change is achieved. These results suggest that preventive behavioural changes (e.g., non-pharmaceutical prophylactic measures, social distancing and exclusion, crowd avoidance) are influenced by individual differences in perception of risks and are a salient feature of epidemics. Additionally, these findings indicates that care needs to be taken when considering the effect of adaptive behavioural change in predicting the course of epidemics, and as well as the interpretation and development of the public health measures that account for spontaneous behavioural changes. PMID:26972513

  19. Ontogenetic study of allometric variation in Homo and Pan mandibles.

    PubMed

    Singh, Nandini

    2014-02-01

    Investigating ontogenetic variation and allometry in the mandible can provide valuable insight and aid in addressing questions related to the ontogeny of the skull. Here, patterns of ontogenetic shape change and allometric trajectories were examined in the mandible of 187 sub-adult and adult humans, bonobos, and chimpanzees. Procrustes-based geometric morphometrics was employed to quantify and analyze mandibular form. Thirty three-dimensional landmarks were used to capture the overall morphology of the mandible, and the landmarks were analyzed as a whole and subdivided into separate anterior and posterior units. Principal component analyses in Procrustes shape-space and form-space, and multivariate regressions were used to examine patterns of ontogenetic and allometric shape change. Results suggest that humans are distinct from Pan both in their mandibular morphology, particularly in the anterior-alveolar region, and direction of allometric trajectory. Chimpanzees and bonobos have parallel ontogenetic trajectories, but also show differences in mandibular shape. Species-specific features and adult mandibular shape are established before or by the eruption of the deciduous dentition. This suggests that developmental processes prior to deciduous teeth eruption have a stronger effect establishing taxa-specific phenotypes than later postnatal effects. This additionally implies that divergent trajectories between Pan and Homo do not contribute much to the adult mandibular shape after deciduous teeth eruption. Separate analyses of the anterior-alveolar region and ascending ramus show that these regions are semi-independent in their developmental pattern of shape change and allometry. This implies that allometric variation and ontogenetic shape change in the hominoid mandible is decoupled. PMID:24347386

  20. Nucleic acid sensing by an orthogonal reporter system based on homo-DNA.

    PubMed

    Stoop, Matthias; Désiron, Camille; Leumann, Christian J

    2013-01-01

    We have developed an assay for single strand DNA or RNA detection which is based on the homo-DNA templated Staudinger reduction of the profluorophore rhodamine-azide. The assay is based on a three component system, consisting of a homo-DNA/DNA hybrid probe, a set of homo-DNA reporter strands and the target DNA or RNA. We present two different formats of the assay (Omega probe and linear probe) in which the linear probe was found to perform best with catalytic turnover of the reporter strands (TON: 8) and a match/mismatch discrimination of up to 19. The advantage of this system is that the reporting (homo-DNA) and sensing (DNA) domain are decoupled from each other since the two pairing systems are bioorthogonal. This allows independent optimization of either domain which may lead to higher selectivity in in vivo imaging. PMID:23507698

  1. Evaluating developmental shape changes in Homo antecessor subadult facial morphology.

    PubMed

    Freidline, Sarah E; Gunz, Philipp; Harvati, Katerina; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2013-10-01

    The fossil ATD6-69 from Atapuerca, Spain, dated to ca. 900 ka (thousands of years ago) has been suggested to mark the earliest appearance of modern human facial features. However, this specimen is a subadult and the interpretation of its morphology remains controversial, because it is unclear how developmental shape changes would affect the features that link ATD6-69 to modern humans. Here we analyze ATD6-69 in an evolutionary and developmental context. Our modern human sample comprises cross-sectional growth series from four populations. The fossil sample covers human specimens from the Pleistocene to the Upper Paleolithic, and includes several subadult Early Pleistocene humans and Neanderthals. We digitized landmarks and semilandmarks on surface and CT scans and analyzed the Procrustes shape coordinates using multivariate statistics. Ontogenetic allometric trajectories and developmental simulations were employed in order to identify growth patterns and to visualize potential adult shapes of ATD6-69. We show that facial differences between modern and archaic humans are not exclusively allometric. We find that while postnatal growth further accentuates the differences in facial features between Neanderthals and modern humans, those features that have been suggested to link ATD6-69's morphology to modern humans would not have been significantly altered in the course of subsequent development. In particular, the infraorbital depression on this specimen would have persisted into adulthood. However, many of the facial features that ATD6-69 shares with modern humans can be considered to be part of a generalized pattern of facial architecture. Our results present a complex picture regarding the polarity of facial features and demonstrate that some modern human-like facial morphology is intermittently present in Middle Pleistocene humans. We suggest that some of the facial features that characterize recent modern humans may have developed multiple times in human evolution. PMID:23998458

  2. PALEOANTHROPOLOGY. Comment on "Early Homo at 2.8 Ma from Ledi-Geraru, Afar, Ethiopia".

    PubMed

    Hawks, John; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Berger, Lee R

    2015-06-19

    Villmoare et al. (Reports, 20 March 2015, p. 1352) report on a hominin mandible from the Ledi-Geraru research area, Ethiopia, which they claim to be the earliest known representative of the genus Homo. However, certain measurements and observations for Australopithecus sediba mandibles presented are incorrect or are not included in critical aspects of the study. When correctly used, these data demonstrate that specimen LD 350-1 cannot be unequivocally assigned to the genus Homo. PMID:26089505

  3. Sky Luminaries in the Space Orienting Activity of Homo Sapiens in the Middle Palaeolithic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaurov, E. N.

    Data describing the beginnings of the space orienting activity of Homo sapiens is analysed and systematized: observation of the Pole and the recognition of Ursa Major were used as the basis of the determination of the points of the compass. Data and results from astronomy, history of astronomy, archaeology and palaeoanthropology were used for the reconstruction of the evolution of the space orienting activity of Homo sapiens.

  4. Fossil energy program. Summary document

    SciTech Connect

    1980-05-01

    This program summary document presents a comprehensive overview of the research, development, and demonstration (RD and D) activities that will be performed in FY 1981 by the Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy (ASFE), US Department of Energy (DOE). The ASFE technology programs for the fossil resources of coal, petroleum (including oil shale) and gas have been established with the goal of making substantive contributions to the nation's future supply and efficienty use of energy. On April 29, 1977, the Administration submitted to Congress the National Energy Plan (NEP) and accompanying legislative proposals designed to establish a coherent energy policy structure for the United States. Congress passed the National Energy Act (NEA) on October 15, 1978, which allows implementation of the vital parts of the NEP. The NEP was supplemented by additional energy policy statements culminating in the President's address on July 15, 1979, presenting a program to further reduce dependence on imported petroleum. The passage of the NEA-related energy programs represent specific steps by the Administration and Congress to reorganize, redirect, and clarify the role of the Federal Government in the formulation and execution of national energy policy and programs. The energy technology RD and D prog4rams carried out by ASFE are an important part of the Federal Government's effort to provide the combination and amounts of energy resources needed to ensure national security and continued economic growth.

  5. Design of homo-organic acid producing strains using multi-objective optimization.

    PubMed

    Kim, Tae Yong; Park, Jong Myoung; Kim, Hyun Uk; Cho, Kwang Myung; Lee, Sang Yup

    2015-03-01

    Production of homo-organic acids without byproducts is an important challenge in bioprocess engineering to minimize operation cost for separation processes. In this study, we used multi-objective optimization to design Escherichia coli strains with the goals of maximally producing target organic acids, while maintaining sufficiently high growth rate and minimizing the secretion of undesired byproducts. Homo-productions of acetic, lactic and succinic acids were targeted as examples. Engineered E. coli strains capable of producing homo-acetic and homo-lactic acids could be developed by taking this systems approach for the minimal identification of gene knockout targets. Also, failure to predict effective gene knockout targets for the homo-succinic acid production suggests that the multi-objective optimization is useful in assessing the suitability of a microorganism as a host strain for the production of a homo-organic acid. The systems metabolic engineering-based approach reported here should be applicable to the production of other industrially important organic acids. PMID:25542849

  6. Calculation of the HOMO localization of Tetrahymena and Oxytricha telomeric quadruplex DNA.

    PubMed

    Morikawa, Masayuki; Kino, Katsuhito; Oyoshi, Takanori; Suzuki, Masayo; Kobayashi, Takanobu; Miyazawa, Hiroshi

    2015-08-15

    Several guanine-rich sequences exist in many important regions, such as telomeres, and these sequences can form quadruplex DNA structures. It was previously reported that 3'-guanines are mainly oxidized in the Tetrahymena and Oxytricha telomeric quadruplex DNA, d(TGGGGT)4, and 5'-guanines are mainly oxidized in the human telomeric quadruplex DNA, d(TAGGGT)4T. We speculated that the differences in site reactivity between d(TGGGGT)4 and d(TAGGGT)4T are induced by the localization of the HOMO. The HOMOs of the possible quadruplex structures were thus determined and the results showed that the HOMOs of d(TGGGGT)4 +3K(+) and d(TAGGGT)4T +2K(+) localized at the 5'-guanine, and that the HOMO shifted from the 5'-guanine to the 3'-guanine by the addition of a 5'-capping cation. Furthermore, we determined the influence of the cation and demonstrated that localization of the HOMO at the G-quartet plane located immediately adjacent to the cation is disfavored. The calculated HOMO localization of d(TGGGGT)4 +4K(+) and d(TAGGGT)4T +2K(+) matched the experimental results and suggest that d(TGGGGT)4 contains a 5'-capping cation in solution. PMID:26071638

  7. Understanding fossilization: Experimental pyritization of plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grimes, Stephen T.; Brock, Fiona; Rickard, David; Davies, Kevin L.; Edwards, Dianne; Briggs, Derek E. G.; Parkes, R. John

    2001-02-01

    The process of fossilization is poorly understood. However, it is central to our understanding of the evolution of life. It is unclear how plant tissues become fossilized, whether fossilization is selective to specific biopolymers, or whether original organic constituents survive. We have replicated the fossilization process in the laboratory by using both microbial and chemical approaches to pyritize plant debris. These results demonstrate that initial pyritization can be an extremely rapid process (within 80 days) and is driven by anaerobic bacterial-mediated decay. Initially, pyrite precipitates on and within plant cell walls and in the spaces between them. Further decay and infilling at all scales preserves broad cellular anatomy. The results have implications for fossilization in general and the fidelity of the taxonomic and biomolecular information preserved in fossils.

  8. Patterns of tooth crown size and shape variation in great apes and humans and species recognition in the hominid fossil record.

    PubMed

    Scott, Jeremiah E; Lockwood, Charles A

    2004-12-01

    It has been suggested that patterns of craniodental variation in living hominids (Gorilla, Homo, Pan, and Pongo) may be useful for evaluating variation in fossil hominid assemblages. Using this approach, a fossil sample exhibiting a pattern of variation that deviates from one shared among living taxa would be regarded as taxonomically heterogeneous. Here we examine patterns of tooth crown size and shape variation in great apes and humans to determine 1) if these taxa share a pattern of dental variation, and 2) if such a pattern can reliably discriminate between samples that contain single species and those that contain multiple species. We use parametric and nonparametric correlation methods to establish the degree of pattern similarity among taxa, and randomization tests to assess their statistical significance. The results of this study show that extant hominids do not share a pattern of dental size variation, and thus these taxa cannot be used to generate expectations for patterns of size variation in fossil hominid species. The hominines (Gorilla, Homo, and Pan) do share a pattern of shape variation in the mandibular dentition; however, Pongo is distinct, and thus it is unclear which, if either, pattern should be expected in fossil hominids. Moreover, in this case, most combined-species samples exhibit patterns of shape variation that are similar to those for single hominine species samples. Thus, although a common pattern of shape variation is present in the mandibular dentition, it is not useful for recognizing taxonomically mixed paleontological samples. PMID:15386248

  9. Fossilization Processes in Thermal Springs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farmer, Jack D.; Cady, Sherry; Desmarais, David J.; Chang, Sherwood (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    To create a comparative framework for the study of ancient examples, we have been carrying out parallel studies of the microbial biosedimentology, taphonomy and geochemistry of modem and sub-Recent thermal spring deposits. One goal of the research is the development of integrated litho- and taphofacies models for siliceous and travertline sinters. Thermal springs are regarded as important environments for the origin and early evolution of life on Earth, and we seek to utilize information from the fossil record to reconstruct the evolution of high temperature ecosystems. Microbial contributions to the fabric of thermal spring sinters occur when population growth rates keep pace with, or exceed rates of inorganic precipitation, allowing for the development of continuous biofilms or mats. In siliceous thermal springs, microorganisms are typically entombed while viable. Modes of preservation reflect the balance between rates of organic matter degradation, silica precipitation and secondary infilling. Subaerial sinters are initially quite porous and permeable and at temperatures higher than about 20 C, organic materials are usually degraded prior to secondary infilling of sinter frameworks. Thus, organically-preserved microfossils are rare and fossil information consists of characteristic biofabrics formed by the encrustation and underplating of microbial mat surfaces. This probably accounts for the typically low total organic carbon values observed in thermal spring deposits. In mid-temperature, (approx. 35 - 59 C) ponds and outflows, the surface morphology of tufted Phormidium mats is preserved through mat underplating by thin siliceous: crusts. Microbial taxes lead to clumping of ceils and/or preferred filament orientations that together define higher order composite fabrics in thermal spring stromatolites (e.g. network, coniform, and palisade). At lower temperatures (less than 35 C), Calothrix mats cover shallow terracette pools forming flat carpets or pustular surfaces that produce palisade and "shrub" fabrics, respectively. At finer scales, composite fabrics are seen to consist distinctive associations of microstructures formed by the encrustation of individual cells and filaments. Composite fabrics survive the diagenetic transitions from primary opaline silica to quartz and are known from subaerial thermal spring deposits as old as Lower Carboniferous. However, fossil microorganisms tend to be rare in older deposits, and are usually preserved only where cells or sheaths have been stained by iron oxides. In subaqueous mineralizing springs at lower temperatures, early infilling leads to a more rapid and complete reduction in porosity and permeability. This process, along with the slower rates of microbial degradation at lower temperatures, creates a more favorable situation for organic matter preservation. Application of this taphonomic model to the Rhynie Chert, previously interpreted as subaerial, suggest it was probably deposited in a subaqueous spring setting at lower temperatures.

  10. Comparative morphological and morphometric description of the hominin calvaria from Bukuran (Sangiran, Central Java, Indonesia).

    PubMed

    Grimaud-Hervé, Dominique; Widianto, Harry; Détroit, Florent; Sémah, François

    2012-11-01

    We describe the hominin skull (called here "Bukuran") discovered in the lower Kabuh (or "Bapang") series near Sendangbusik, from the Bukuran area in the Sangiran dome. The fossil, heavily mineralized, consists of the parieto-occipital and the left temporal, and the frontal bones. When combined, those two cranial parts represent a rather complete and well-preserved calvaria. Its stratigraphic position was established after the discovery. A detailed description is presented of the morphological and metric features of the Bukuran calvaria, and comparisons are made with Asian Homo erectus from Indonesia and China. The estimated cranial capacity of Bukuran, the general shape of its cranial vault, its ectocranial structures, and its morphological and metrical characters are in the range of Asian Homo erectus, and show clear affinities with other Indonesian members of the species. We discuss the evolutionary status of the Bukuran calvaria and its implication for hominin history on Java. PMID:23021728

  11. Fossil fuel biodegradation: laboratory studies.

    PubMed Central

    Chapman, P J; Shelton, M; Grifoll, M; Selifonov, S

    1995-01-01

    Biodegradation of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons of creosote by undefined bacterial cultures was shown to be accompanied by the accumulation of neutral and acidic oxidation products. Formation of a number of identified neutral products is accounted for by demonstration of anomalous actions of an arene dioxygenase on the benzylic methylene and methylene carbons of napthenoaromatic hydrocarbons. Both neutral and acidic water-soluble fractions are also formed when various mixed bacterial cultures degrade weathered crude oil. While constituents of these fractions are not yet identified, the neutral materials have been shown to be toxic to developing embryos of invertebrates. These observations are discussed in relation to chemical and toxicological assessments of biodegradation of the complex chemical mixtures of fossil fuels. PMID:8565917

  12. Fossil diatoms and neogene paleolimnology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Platt, Bradbury J.

    1988-01-01

    Diatoms have played an important role in the development of Neogene continental biostratigraphy and paleolimnology since the mid-19th Century. The history of progress in Quaternary diatom biostratigraphy has developed as a result of improved coring techniques that enable sampling sediments beneath existing lakes coupled with improved chronological control (including radiometric dating and varve enumeration), improved statistical treatment of fossil diatom assemblages (from qualitative description to influx calculations of diatom numbers or volumes), and improved ecological information about analogous living diatom associations. The last factor, diatom ecology, is the most critical in many ways, but progresses slowly. Fortunately, statistical comparison of modern diatom assemblages and insightful studies of the nutrient requirements of some common freshwater species are enabling diatom paleolimnologists to make more detailed interpretations of the Quaternary record than had been possible earlier, and progress in the field of diatom biology and ecology will continue to refine paleolimnological studies. The greater age and geologic setting of Tertiary diatomaceous deposits has prompted their study in the contexts of geologic history, biochronology and evolution. The distribution of diatoms of marine affinities in continental deposits has given geologists insights about tectonism and sea-level change, and the distribution of distinctive (extinct?) diatoms has found utilization both in making stratigraphic correlations between outcrops of diatomaceous deposits and in various types of biochronological studies that involve dating deposits in different areas. A continental diatom biochronologic scheme will rely upon evolution, such as the appearance of new genera within a family, in combination with regional environmental changes that are responsible for the wide distribution of distinctive diatom species. The increased use of the scanning electron microscope for the detailed descriptions of fossil diatoms will provide the basis for making more accurate correlations and identifications, and the micromorphological detail for speculations about evolutionary relationships. ?? 1988.

  13. Forty Years Later: Updating the Fossilization Hypothesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Han, ZhaoHong

    2013-01-01

    A founding concept in second language acquisition (SLA) research, fossilization has been fundamental to understanding second language (L2) development. The Fossilization Hypothesis, introduced in Selinker's seminal text (1972), has thus been one of the most influential theories, guiding a significant bulk of SLA research for four decades; 2012

  14. Silica-replaced fossils through the Phanerozoic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schubert, Jennifer K.; Kidder, David L.; Erwin, Douglas H.

    1997-11-01

    A systematic survey of 1863 papers on macrobenthic assemblages reveals that an average of 21% of published Paleozoic papers concern silicified fossils, but that average drops to just 4% for post-Paleozoic papers. During the Paleozoic, silicified fossil occurrences do not significantly correlate with the amount of shelf chert, outcrop area, time, duration of geologic intervals, or carbonate rock volume. This substantial drop in numbers of silicified fossils coincides temporally with increased importance of aragonite faunas following the end-Permian extinctions. However, qualitative measurements of secular changes in abundance and diversity of siliceous sponges are consistent not only with the post-Paleozoic decline in fossil silicification, but also with fluctuations in the amount of silicified fossils throughout the Paleozoic. The facies distribution of silicified fossils in the Permian of West Texas also suggests that the distribution of silicified fossils may reflect the occurrence of siliceous sponges. The decline in silicified fossils after the Permian may be related to a concomitant rise in offshore bedded chert deposition and movement of the locus of biogenic silica formation from nearshore to offshore regions beginning in the Triassic, rather than with the expansion of diatoms in the Cretaceous.

  15. Forty Years Later: Updating the Fossilization Hypothesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Han, ZhaoHong

    2013-01-01

    A founding concept in second language acquisition (SLA) research, fossilization has been fundamental to understanding second language (L2) development. The Fossilization Hypothesis, introduced in Selinker's seminal text (1972), has thus been one of the most influential theories, guiding a significant bulk of SLA research for four decades; 2012…

  16. Atomic force microscopy of Precambrian microscopic fossils.

    PubMed

    Kempe, André; Schopf, J William; Altermann, Wladyslaw; Kudryavtsev, Anatoliy B; Heckl, Wolfgang M

    2002-07-01

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a technique used routinely in material science to image substances at a submicron (including nm) scale. We apply this technique to analysis of the fine structure of organic-walled Precambrian fossils, microscopic sphaeromorph acritarchs (cysts of planktonic unicellular protists) permineralized in approximately 650-million-year-old cherts of the Chichkan Formation of southern Kazakhstan. AFM images, backed by laser-Raman spectroscopic analysis of individual specimens, demonstrate that the walls of these petrified fossils are composed of stacked arrays of approximately 200-nm-sized angular platelets of polycyclic aromatic kerogen. Together, AFM and laser-Raman spectroscopy provide means by which to elucidate the submicron-scale structure of individual microscopic fossils, investigate the geochemical maturation of ancient organic matter, and, potentially, distinguish true fossils from pseudofossils and probe the mechanisms of fossil preservation by silica permineralization. PMID:12089337

  17. RBM45 homo-oligomerization mediates association with ALS-linked proteins and stress granules

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yang; Collins, Mahlon; Geiser, Rachel; Bakkar, Nadine; Riascos, David; Bowser, Robert

    2015-01-01

    The aggregation of RNA-binding proteins is a pathological hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). RBM45 is an RNA-binding protein that forms cytoplasmic inclusions in neurons and glia in ALS and FTLD. To explore the role of RBM45 in ALS and FTLD, we examined the contribution of the protein’s domains to its function, subcellular localization, and interaction with itself and ALS-linked proteins. We find that RBM45 forms homo-oligomers and physically associates with the ALS-linked proteins TDP-43 and FUS in the nucleus. Nuclear localization of RBM45 is mediated by a bipartite nuclear-localization sequence (NLS) located at the C-terminus. RBM45 mutants that lack a functional NLS accumulate in the cytoplasm and form TDP-43 positive stress granules. Moreover, we identify a novel structural element, termed the homo-oligomer assembly (HOA) domain, that is highly conserved across species and promote homo-oligomerization of RBM45. RBM45 mutants that fail to form homo-oligomers exhibit significantly reduced association with ALS-linked proteins and inclusion into stress granules. These results show that RMB45 may function as a homo-oligomer and that its oligomerization contributes to ALS/FTLD RNA-binding protein aggregation. PMID:26391765

  18. Clean Fossil Energy Conversion Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, L.-S.

    2007-03-01

    Absolute and per-capita energy consumption is bound to increase globally, leading to a projected increase in energy requirements of 50% by 2020. The primary source for providing a majority of the energy will continue to be fossil fuels. However, an array of enabling technologies needs to be proven for the realization of a zero emission power, fuel or chemical plants in the near future. Opportunities to develop new processes, driven by the regulatory requirements for the reduction or elimination of gaseous and particulate pollutant abound. This presentation describes the chemistry, reaction mechanisms, reactor design, system engineering, economics, and regulations that surround the utilization of clean coal energy. The presentation will cover the salient features of the fundamental and process aspects of the clean coal technologies in practice as well as in development. These technologies include those for the cleaning of SO2, H2S, NOx, and heavy metals, and separation of CO2 from the flue gas or the syngas. Further, new combustion and gasification processes based on the chemical looping concepts will be illustrated in the context of the looping particle design, process heat integration, energy conversion efficiency, and economics.

  19. Nicotinamidase/pyrazinamidase of Mycobacterium tuberculosis forms homo-dimers stabilized by disulfide bonds.

    PubMed

    Rueda, Daniel; Sheen, Patricia; Gilman, Robert H; Bueno, Carlos; Santos, Marco; Pando-Robles, Victoria; Batista, Cesar V; Zimic, Mirko

    2014-12-01

    Recombinant wild-pyrazinamidase from H37Rv Mycobacterium tuberculosis was analyzed by gel electrophoresis under differential reducing conditions to evaluate its quaternary structure. PZAse was fractionated by size exclusion chromatography under non-reducing conditions. PZAse activity was measured and mass spectrometry analysis was performed to determine the identity of proteins by de novo sequencing and to determine the presence of disulfide bonds. This study confirmed that M. tuberculosis wild type PZAse was able to form homo-dimers in vitro. Homo-dimers showed a slightly lower specific PZAse activity compared to monomeric PZAse. PZAse dimers were dissociated into monomers in response to reducing conditions. Mass spectrometry analysis confirmed the existence of disulfide bonds (C72-C138 and C138-C138) stabilizing the quaternary structure of the PZAse homo-dimer. PMID:25199451

  20. Nicotinamidase/pyrazinamidase of Mycobacterium tuberculosis forms homo-dimers stabilized by disulfide bonds

    PubMed Central

    Rueda, Daniel; Sheen, Patricia; Gilman, Robert H.; Bueno, Carlos; Santos, Marco; Pando-Robles, Victoria; Batista, Cesar V.; Zimic, Mirko

    2014-01-01

    Recombinant wild-pyrazinamidase from H37Rv M. tuberculosis was analyzed by gel electrophoresis under differential reducing conditions to evaluate its quaternary structure. PZAse was fractionated by size exclusion chromatography under non-reducing conditions. PZAse activity was measured and mass spectrometry analysis was performed to determine the identity of proteins by de novo sequencing and to determine the presence of disulfide bonds. This study confirmed that M. tuberculosis wild type PZAse was able to form homo-dimers in vitro. Homo-dimers showed a slightly lower specific PZAse activity compared to monomeric PZAse. PZAse dimers were dissociated into monomers in response to reducing conditions. Mass spectrometry analysis confirmed the existence of disulfide bonds (C72-C138 and C138-C138) stabilizing the quaternary structure of the PZAse homo-dimer. PMID:25199451

  1. Linking the HOMO-LUMO gap to torsional disorder in P3HT/PCBM blends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLeod, John A.; Pitman, Amy L.; Kurmaev, Ernst Z.; Finkelstein, Larisa D.; Zhidkov, Ivan S.; Savva, Achilleas; Moewes, Alexander

    2015-12-01

    The electronic structure of [6,6]-phenyl C61 butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM), poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT), and P3HT/PCBM blends is studied using soft X-ray emission and absorption spectroscopy and density functional theory calculations. We find that annealing reduces the HOMO-LUMO gap of P3HT and P3HT/PCBM blends, whereas annealing has little effect on the HOMO-LUMO gap of PCBM. We propose a model connecting torsional disorder in a P3HT polymer to the HOMO-LUMO gap, which suggests that annealing helps to decrease the torsional disorder in the P3HT polymers. Our model is used to predict the characteristic length scales of the flat P3TH polymer segments in P3HT and P3HT/PCBM blends before and after annealing. Our approach may prove useful in characterizing organic photovoltaic devices in situ or even in operando.

  2. Fossil oak galls preserve ancient multitrophic interactions.

    PubMed

    Stone, Graham N; van der Ham, Raymond W J M; Brewer, Jan G

    2008-10-01

    Trace fossils of insect feeding have contributed substantially to our understanding of the evolution of insect-plant interactions. The most complex phenotypes of herbivory are galls, whose diagnostic morphologies often allow the identification of the gall inducer. Although fossil insect-induced galls over 300Myr old are known, most are two-dimensional impressions lacking adequate morphological detail either for the precise identification of the causer or for detection of the communities of specialist parasitoids and inquilines inhabiting modern plant galls. Here, we describe the first evidence for such multitrophic associations in Pleistocene fossil galls from the Eemian interglacial (130000-115000 years ago) of The Netherlands. The exceptionally well-preserved fossils can be attributed to extant species of Andricus gallwasps (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) galling oaks (Quercus), and provide the first fossil evidence of gall attack by herbivorous inquiline gallwasps. Furthermore, phylogenetic placement of one fossil in a lineage showing obligate host plant alternation implies the presence of a second oak species, Quercus cerris, currently unknown from Eemian fossils in northwestern Europe. This contrasts with the southern European native range of Q. cerris in the current interglacial and suggests that gallwasp invasions following human planting of Q. cerris in northern Europe may represent a return to preglacial distribution limits. PMID:18559323

  3. Thermal ionization mass spectrometry U-series dating of a hominid site near Nanjing, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Jian-Xin; Hu, Kai; Collerson, Kenneth D.; Xu, Han-Kui

    2001-01-01

    Mass spectrometric U-series dating of speleothems from Tangshan Cave, combined with ecological and paleoclimatic evidence, indicates that Nanjing Man, a typical Homo erectus morphologically correlated with Peking Man at Zhoukoudian, should be at least 580 k.y. old, or more likely lived during the glacial oxygen isotope stage 16 (˜620 ka). Such an age estimate, which is ˜270 ka older than previous electron spin resonance and alpha-counting U-series dates, has significant implications for the evolution of Asian H. erectus. Dentine and enamel samples from the coexisting fossil layer yield significantly younger apparent ages, that of the enamel sample being only less than one-fourth of the minimum age of Nanjing Man. This suggests that U uptake history is far more complex than existing models can handle. As a result, great care must be taken in the interpretation of electron spin resonance and U-series dates of fossil teeth.

  4. Spitzer Digs Up Galactic Fossil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 2

    This false-color image taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a globular cluster previously hidden in the dusty plane of our Milky Way galaxy. Globular clusters are compact bundles of old stars that date back to the birth of our galaxy, 13 or so billion years ago. Astronomers use these galactic 'fossils' as tools for studying the age and formation of the Milky Way.

    Most clusters orbit around the center of the galaxy well above its dust-enshrouded disc, or plane, while making brief, repeated passes through the plane that each last about a million years. Spitzer, with infrared eyes that can see into the dusty galactic plane, first spotted the newfound cluster during its current pass. A visible-light image (inset of Figure 1) shows only a dark patch of sky.

    The red streak behind the core of the cluster is a dust cloud, which may indicate the cluster's interaction with the Milky Way. Alternatively, this cloud may lie coincidentally along Spitzer's line of sight.

    Follow-up observations with the University of Wyoming Infrared Observatory helped set the distance of the new cluster at about 9,000 light-years from Earth - closer than most clusters - and set the mass at the equivalent of 300,000 Suns. The cluster's apparent size, as viewed from Earth, is comparable to a grain of rice held at arm's length. It is located in the constellation Aquila.

    Astronomers believe that this cluster may be one of the last in our galaxy to be uncovered.

    This image composite was taken on April 21, 2004, by Spitzer's infrared array camera. It is composed of images obtained at four wavelengths: 3.6 microns (blue), 4.5 microns (green), 5.8 microns (orange) and 8 microns (red).

    Galactic Fossil Found Behind Curtain of Dust In Figure 2, the image mosaic shows the same patch of sky in various wavelengths of light. While the visible-light image (left) shows a dark sky speckled with stars, infrared images (middle and right), reveal a never-before-seen bundle of stars, called a globular cluster. The left panel is from the California Institute of Technology's Digitized Sky Survey; the middle panel includes images from the NASA-funded Two Micron All-Sky Survey and the University of Wyoming Infrared Observatory (circle inset); and the right panel is from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

    The Two Micron All-Sky Survey false-color image was obtained using near-infrared wavelengths ranging from 1.3 to 2.2 microns. The University of Wyoming Observatory false-color image was captured on July 31, 2004, at wavelengths ranging from 1.2 to 2.2 microns. The Spitzer false-color image composite was taken on April 21, 2004, by its infrared array camera. It is composed of images obtained at four mid-infrared wavelengths: 3.6 microns (blue), 4.5 microns (green), 5.8 microns (orange) and 8 microns (red).

  5. A Fossil Group in Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Eric D.; Rappaport, Saul A.; McDonald, Michael; Bautz, Mark W.; Grant, Catherine E.; Veilleux, Sylvain

    2016-04-01

    In the current picture of hierarchical structure formation, galaxy groups play a vital role as the seeds from which large assemblies of matter form. Compact groups are also important environments in which to watch the fueling of star formation and AGN activity, as the conditions are ideal for galaxy-galaxy interactions. We have identified a galaxy system that may represent an intermediate or transition stage in group evolution. Shakhbazyan 1 (or SHK 1) is a remarkably compact collection of about ten massive, red-sequence galaxies within a region 100 kpc across. Several of these galaxies show signs of AGN activity, and new, deep optical observations with the Discovery Channel Telescope reveal an extended stellar envelope surrounding the galaxies. This envelope is much more extended than what would be expected from a superposition of normal galaxy envelopes, and it indicates a large amount of intra-group starlight, evidence that the galaxies in SHK 1 are dynamically interacting.We here present new Chandra spectral imaging observations of this unusual system that confirm the presence of an X-ray-emitting diffuse intra-group medium (IGM), with a temperature of 1.5 keV and X-ray luminosity of 1043 erg/s. Assuming hydrostatic equilibrium, the system is about 1/3 as massive as expected from the optical richness. In addition, three of the ten central galaxies exhibit signatures of X-ray AGN. The under-luminous IGM, high density of bright galaxies, and evidence for galaxy-galaxy interaction indicate that this system may be in a transition stage of galaxy merging, similar to that expected in the formation of a fossil group. Alternatively, SHK 1 may consist of multiple poor groups in the final stages of merging along our line of sight. We explore these scenarios and outline paths of future study for this enigmatic system.

  6. Development incentives for fossil fuel subsidy reform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakob, Michael; Chen, Claudine; Fuss, Sabine; Marxen, Annika; Edenhofer, Ottmar

    2015-08-01

    Reforming fossil fuel subsidies could free up enough funds to finance universal access to water, sanitation, and electricity in many countries, as well as helping to cut global greenhouse-gas emissions.

  7. The fossil record of the sixth extinction.

    PubMed

    Plotnick, Roy E; Smith, Felisa A; Lyons, S Kathleen

    2016-05-01

    Comparing the magnitude of the current biodiversity crisis with those in the fossil record is difficult without an understanding of differential preservation. Integrating data from palaeontological databases with information on IUCN status, ecology and life history characteristics of contemporary mammals, we demonstrate that only a small and biased fraction of threatened species (< 9%) have a fossil record, compared with 20% of non-threatened species. We find strong taphonomic biases related to body size and geographic range. Modern species with a fossil record tend to be large and widespread and were described in the 19(th) century. The expected magnitude of the current extinction based only on species with a fossil record is about half of that of one based on all modern species; values for genera are similar. The record of ancient extinctions may be similarly biased, with many species having originated and gone extinct without leaving a tangible record. PMID:26932459

  8. Fossil energy program. Progress report, July 1980

    SciTech Connect

    McNeese, L. E.

    1980-10-01

    This report - the seventy-second of a series - is a compendium of monthly progress reports for the ORNL research and development programs that are in support of the increased utilization of coal and other fossil fuel alternatives to oil and gas as sources of clean energy. The projects reported this month include those for coal conversion development, chemical research and development, materials technology, component development and process evaluation, technical support to major liquefaction projects, process and program analysis, fossil energy environmental analysis, coal preparation and waste utilization, coal preparation plant automation, atmospheric fluidized bed coal combustor for cogeneration, technical support to the TVA fluidized bed combustion demonstration plant program, fossil energy applications assessments, performance assurance system support for fossil energy projects, international assessment of atmospheric fluidized bed combustion technology, and PFBC systems analysis.

  9. Fossil Finds Expand Early Hominid Anatomy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bower, B.

    1991-01-01

    Hominid fossils found in late 1990 in Ethiopia are reported. A controversy surrounding these remains and those of earlier expeditions, including Lucy, over whether more than one species of hominid are represented is discussed. (CW)

  10. Fossil fuels in the 21st century.

    PubMed

    Lincoln, Stephen F

    2005-12-01

    An overview of the importance of fossil fuels in supplying the energy requirements of the 21st century, their future supply, and the impact of their use on global climate is presented. Current and potential alternative energy sources are considered. It is concluded that even with substantial increases in energy derived from other sources, fossil fuels will remain a major energy source for much of the 21st century and the sequestration of CO2 will be an increasingly important requirement. PMID:16521838

  11. Fossil facies of the Greater Caspian region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svitoch, A. A.

    2015-05-01

    The Pliocene-Pleistocene marine sediments of the Great Caspian region host various lithological fossil facies, which reflect specific sedimentation conditions caused by different structural-geomorphologic settings, tectonic regimes, climates, and hydrologies. The facies of shelf, epicontinental basins, ingression gulfs and estuaries, intermontane and mountainous basins, and deep-sea depressions form a hierarchy of geological bodies from types to subtypes. Paragenetic associations of fossil facies, which form various series in space and along the section, are typical of marine sediments.

  12. Quantification de révolution morphologique du crâne des Hominidés et hétérochronies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaline, Jean; David, Bruno; Magniez-Jannin, Françoise; Malassé, Anne Dambricourt; Marchand, Didier; Courant, Frédéric; Millet, Jean-Jacques

    1998-02-01

    Comparisons of adult skulls of various species of great apes, fossil hominids and modern humans in the sagittal, Francfort and ortho-sagittal planes reveal a series of three separate organisation plans: 'Great Ape', 'Australopithecine' and 'Homo', the latter including primitive men ( Homo ergaster-erectus-neandertalensis) and modern humans ( Homo sapiens). Morphological changes between these plans are quantified for the first time here by vector fields. This study confirms the existence of cranio-facial contraction, which occurs as a series of leaps. The juvenile morphology of the great ape skull is broadly preserved in adult Homo sapiens, suggesting that numerous heterochronies have occurred in mosaic during ontogeny (hypermorphosis, hypomorphosis, post-displacements).

  13. Homo- and heterofermentative lactobacilli differently affect sugarcane-based fuel ethanol fermentation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The antagonism between by yeast and lactobacilli is largely dependent on the initial population of each organism. While homo-fermentative lactobacillus present higher inhibitory effect upon yeast when in equal cell number, in industrial fuel ethanol conditions where high yeast cell densities prevail...

  14. Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology: Volume 51, Molecular biology of /ital Homo sapiens/

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-01-01

    This volume is the second part of a collection of papers submitted by the participants to the 1986 Cold Spring Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology entitled Molecular Biology of /ital Homo sapiens/. The 49 papers included in this volume are grouped by subject into receptors, human cancer genes, and gene therapy. (DT)

  15. Spatial Construction Skills of Chimpanzees ("Pan Troglodytes") and Young Human Children ("Homo Sapiens Sapiens")

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poti, Patrizia; Hayashi, Misato; Matsuzawa, Tetsuro

    2009-01-01

    Spatial construction tasks are basic tests of visual-spatial processing. Two studies have assessed spatial construction skills in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and young children (Homo sapiens sapiens) with a block modelling task. Study 1a subjects were three young chimpanzees and five adult chimpanzees. Study 1b subjects were 30 human children…

  16. Stimulus-dependent dynamic homo- and heteromultimerization of synaptobrevin/VAMP and synaptophysin.

    PubMed

    Khvotchev, Mikhail V; Südhof, Thomas C

    2004-11-30

    Synaptophysin and synaptobrevin/VAMP are abundant synaptic vesicle proteins that form homo- and heterooligomers. We now use chemical cross-linking in synaptosomes, pinched-off nerve terminals that are capable of stimulus-dependent neurotransmitter release, to investigate whether these complexes are regulated. We show that in synaptosomes treated with three stimuli that induce exocytosis (a depolarizing K(+) solution, the excitatory neurotoxin alpha-latrotoxin, or the Ca(2+)-ionophore ionomycin), the homo- and heteromultimerization of synaptophysin and synaptobrevin is increased up to 6-fold. Whereas at rest less than 10% of the total synaptobrevin and synaptophysin could be chemically cross-linked into homo- and heteromeric complexes, after stimulation up to 25% of synaptobrevin and synaptophysin are present in homo- and heteromultimers, suggesting that a large fraction of these synaptic vesicle proteins physiologically participate in such complexes. The increase in multimerization of synaptophysin and synaptobrevin was only observed in intact but not in lysed synaptosomes and could not be inhibited by general kinase or phosphatase inhibitors. The stimulus dependence of synaptophysin and synaptobrevin multimers indicates that the complexes are not composed of a fixed multisubunit structure, for example, as an ion channel, but represent distinct functional states of synaptobrevin and synaptophysin that are modulated in parallel with synaptic vesicle exo- and endocytosis. PMID:15554711

  17. From oligomers to polymer: convergence in the HOMO-LUMO gaps of conjugated oligomers.

    PubMed

    Zade, Sanjio S; Bendikov, Michael

    2006-11-01

    [Structure: see text] Extrapolation of HOMO-LUMO gaps for pi-conjugated oligomers at the B3LYP/6-31G(d) level of theory predict accurately (within 0.1-0.2 eV) the band gaps of conjugated polymers only when long (at least 20-mer) pi-conjugated oligomers are used for the extrapolation. PMID:17078688

  18. Fossil group origins - VI. Global X-ray scaling relations of fossil galaxy clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kundert, A.; Gastaldello, F.; D'Onghia, E.; Girardi, M.; Aguerri, J. A. L.; Barrena, R.; Corsini, E. M.; De Grandi, S.; Jiménez-Bailón, E.; Lozada-Muñoz, M.; Méndez-Abreu, J.; Sánchez-Janssen, R.; Wilcots, E.; Zarattini, S.

    2015-11-01

    We present the first pointed X-ray observations of 10 candidate fossil galaxy groups and clusters. With these Suzaku observations, we determine global temperatures and bolometric X-ray luminosities of the intracluster medium (ICM) out to r500 for six systems in our sample. The remaining four systems show signs of significant contamination from non-ICM sources. For the six objects with successfully determined r500 properties, we measure global temperatures in the range 2.8 ≤ TX ≤ 5.3 keV, bolometric X-ray luminosities of 0.8 × 1044 ≤ LX, bol ≤ 7.7 × 1044 erg s-1, and estimate masses, as derived from TX, of M500 ≳ 1014 M⊙. Fossil cluster scaling relations are constructed for a sample that combines our Suzaku observed fossils with fossils in the literature. Using measurements of global X-ray luminosity, temperature, optical luminosity, and velocity dispersion, scaling relations for the fossil sample are then compared with a control sample of non-fossil systems. We find the fits of our fossil cluster scaling relations are consistent with the relations for normal groups and clusters, indicating fossil clusters have global ICM X-ray properties similar to those of comparable mass non-fossil systems.

  19. Fossil group origins. IV. Characterization of the sample and observational properties of fossil systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarattini, S.; Barrena, R.; Girardi, M.; Castro-Rodriguez, N.; Boschin, W.; Aguerri, J. A. L.; Méndez-Abreu, J.; Sánchez-Janssen, R.; Catalán-Torrecilla, C.; Corsini, E. M.; del Burgo, C.; D'Onghia, E.; Herrera-Ruiz, N.; Iglesias-Páramo, J.; Jimenez Bailon, E.; Lozada Muoz, M.; Napolitano, N.; Vilchez, J. M.

    2014-05-01

    Context. Virialized halos grow by the accretion of smaller ones in the cold dark matter scenario. The rate of accretion depends on the different properties of the host halo. Those halos for which this accretion rate was very fast and efficient resulted in systems dominated by a central galaxy surrounded by smaller galaxies that were at least two magnitudes fainter. These galaxy systems are called fossil systems, and they can be the fossil relics of ancient galaxy structures. Aims: We started an extensive observational program to characterize a sample of 34 fossil group candidates spanning a broad range of physical properties. Methods: Deep r-band images were obtained with the 2.5-m Isaac Newton Telescope and Nordic Optic Telescope. Optical spectroscopic observations were performed at the 3.5-m Telescopio Nazionale Galileo for ~1200 galaxies. This new dataset was completed with Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 archival data to obtain robust cluster membership and global properties of each fossil group candidate. For each system, we recomputed the magnitude gaps between the two brightest galaxies (Δm12) and the first and fourth ranked galaxies (Δm14) within 0.5 R200. We consider fossil systems to be those with Δm12 ≥ 2 mag or Δm14 ≥ 2.5 mag within the errors. Results: We find that 15 candidates turned out to be fossil systems. Their observational properties agree with those of non-fossil systems. Both follow the same correlations, but the fossil systems are always extreme cases. In particular, they host the brightest central galaxies, and the fraction of total galaxy light enclosed in the brightest group galaxy is larger in fossil than in non-fossil systems. Finally, we confirm the existence of genuine fossil clusters. Conclusions: Combining our results with others in the literature, we favor the merging scenario in which fossil systems formed from mergers of L∗ galaxies. The large magnitude gap is a consequence of the extreme merger ratio within fossil systems and therefore it is an evolutionary effect. Moreover, we suggest that at least one fossil group candidate in our sample could represent a transitional fossil stage. This system could have been a fossil in the past, but not now owing to the recent accretion of another group of galaxies.

  20. An ecomorphological model of the initial hominid dispersal from Africa.

    PubMed

    Antón, S C; Leonard, W R; Robertson, M L

    2002-12-01

    We use new data on the timing and extent of the early Pleistocene dispersal of Homo erectus to estimate diffusion coefficients of early Homo from Africa. These diffusion coefficients indicate more rapid and efficient dispersals than those calculated for fossil Macaca sp., Theropithecus darti, and Mesopithecus pentelicus. Increases in home range size associated with changes in ecology, hominid body size, and possibly foraging strategy may underlay these differences in dispersal efficiency. Ecological data for extant primates and human foragers indicate a close relationship between body size, home range size, and diet quality. These data predict that evolutionary changes in body size and foraging behavior would have produced a 10-fold increase in the home range size of H. erectus compared with that of the australopithecines. These two independent datasets provide a means of quantifying aspects of the dispersal of early Homo and suggest that rapid rates of dispersal appear to have been promoted by changes in foraging strategy and body size in H. erectus facilitated by changes in ecosystem structure during the Plio-Pleistocene. PMID:12473483

  1. Virtual assessment of the endocranial morphology of the early modern European fossil calvaria from cioclovina, romania.

    PubMed

    Kranioti, Elena F; Holloway, Ralph; Senck, Sascha; Ciprut, Tudor; Grigorescu, Dan; Harvati, Katerina

    2011-07-01

    Endocasts provide evidence on size and shape characteristics, blood supply trajectories, and neurological features of the brain, allowing comparative analyses of fossil hominins crucial to our understanding of human brain evolution. Here, we assess the morphological features of the virtual endocast of the Cioclovina Upper Paleolithic calvarium, one of the earliest reliably dated European modern human fossils. Our study was conducted on a computed tomography (CT) scan of the original specimen. The endocranial profile was approximated via a semiautomatic segmentation of the CT data. Virtual reconstructions of the endocast were used for assessing the morphological features of the endocranium and for the estimation of the endocranial volume. Cioclovina exhibits a clockwise torque with a small anterior extension of the left frontal lobe over the right one and a protrusion of the right occipital lobe over the left, most likely due to the superior sagittal sinus coursing over the occipital pole. There is an obvious right predominance of the posterior drainage system. Interestingly, the area of the frontal sinus is occupied by dense bony tissue with small air cells corresponding probably to a natural bony loss in the diploë and to vascular spaces. An estimated endocranial volume of 1498.53 cc was calculated. The convolutional details of the third inferior frontal gyrus (Broca's caps) are indistinguishable from those found in modern Homo sapiens, and the left occipital lobe appears wider than the right, a possible correlate of right-handedness. Our metric analysis of endocranial measurements also aligns Cioclovina with modern humans. PMID:21634023

  2. Fossil hominin shoulders support an African ape-like last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees

    PubMed Central

    Young, Nathan M.; Capellini, Terence D.; Roach, Neil T.; Alemseged, Zeresenay

    2015-01-01

    Reconstructing the behavioral shifts that drove hominin evolution requires knowledge of the timing, magnitude, and direction of anatomical changes over the past ∼6–7 million years. These reconstructions depend on assumptions regarding the morphotype of the Homo–Pan last common ancestor (LCA). However, there is little consensus for the LCA, with proposed models ranging from African ape to orangutan or generalized Miocene ape-like. The ancestral state of the shoulder is of particular interest because it is functionally associated with important behavioral shifts in hominins, such as reduced arboreality, high-speed throwing, and tool use. However, previous morphometric analyses of both living and fossil taxa have yielded contradictory results. Here, we generated a 3D morphospace of ape and human scapular shape to plot evolutionary trajectories, predict ancestral morphologies, and directly test alternative evolutionary hypotheses using the hominin fossil evidence. We show that the most parsimonious model for the evolution of hominin shoulder shape starts with an African ape-like ancestral state. We propose that the shoulder evolved gradually along a single morphocline, achieving modern human-like configuration and function within the genus Homo. These data are consistent with a slow, progressive loss of arboreality and increased tool use throughout human evolution. PMID:26351685

  3. Physiological and life history strategies of a fossil large mammal in a resource-limited environment

    PubMed Central

    Köhler, Meike; Moyà-Solà, Salvador

    2009-01-01

    Because of their physiological and life history characteristics, mammals exploit adaptive zones unavailable to ectothermic reptiles. Yet, they perform best in energy-rich environments because their high and constant growth rates and their sustained levels of resting metabolism require continuous resource supply. In resource-limited ecosystems such as islands, therefore, reptiles frequently displace mammals because their slow and flexible growth rates and low metabolic rates permit them to operate effectively with low energy flow. An apparent contradiction of this general principle is the long-term persistence of certain fossil large mammals on energy-poor Mediterranean islands. The purpose of the present study is to uncover the developmental and physiological strategies that allowed fossil large mammals to cope with the low levels of resource supply that characterize insular ecosystems. Long-bone histology of Myotragus, a Plio-Pleistocene bovid from the Balearic Islands, reveals lamellar-zonal tissue throughout the cortex, a trait exclusive to ectothermic reptiles. The bone microstructure indicates that Myotragus grew unlike any other mammal but similar to crocodiles at slow and flexible rates, ceased growth periodically, and attained somatic maturity extremely late by ≈12 years. This developmental pattern denotes that Myotragus, much like extant reptiles, synchronized its metabolic requirements with fluctuating resource levels. Our results suggest that developmental and physiological plasticity was crucial to the survival of this and, perhaps, other large mammals on resource-limited Mediterranean Islands, yet it eventually led to their extinction through a major predator, Homo sapiens. PMID:19918076

  4. The properties of fossil groups of galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eigenthaler, P.; Zeilinger, W. W.

    2009-12-01

    Numerical simulations as well as optical and X-ray observations over the last few years have shown that poor groups of galaxies can evolve to what is called a fossil group. Dynamical friction as the driving process leads to the coalescence of individual galaxies in ordinary poor groups leaving behind nothing more than a central, massive elliptical galaxy supposed to contain the merger history of the whole group. Due to merging timescales for less-massive galaxies and gas cooling timescales of the X-ray intragroup medium exceeding a Hubble time, a surrounding faint-galaxy population having survived this galactic cannibalism as well as an extended X-ray halo similar to that found in ordinary groups, is expected. Recent studies suggest that fossil groups are very abundant and could be the progenitors of brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) in the centers of rich galaxy clusters. However, only a few objects are known to the literature. This article aims to summarize the results of observational fossil group research over the last few years and presents ongoing work by the authors. Complementary to previous research, the SDSS and RASS surveys have been cross-correlated to identify new fossil structures yielding 34 newly detected fossil group candidates. Observations with ISIS at the 4.2 m William Herschel Telescope on La Palma have been carried out to study the stellar populations of the central ellipticals of 6 fossil groups. In addition multi-object spectroscopy with VLTs VIMOS has been performed to study the shape of the OLF of one fossil system.

  5. Fossil Araceae from a Paleocene neotropical rainforest in Colombia.

    PubMed

    Herrera, Fabiany A; Jaramillo, Carlos A; Dilcher, David L; Wing, Scott L; Gómez-N, Carolina

    2008-12-01

    Both the fossil record and molecular data support a long evolutionary history for the Araceae. Although the family is diverse in tropical America today, most araceous fossils, however, have been recorded from middle and high latitudes. Here, we report fossil leaves of Araceae from the middle-late Paleocene of northern Colombia, and review fossil araceous pollen grains from the same interval. Two of the fossil leaf species are placed in the new fossil morphogenus Petrocardium Herrera, Jaramillo, Dilcher, Wing et Gomez-N gen. nov.; these fossils are very similar in leaf morphology to extant Anthurium; however, their relationship to the genus is still unresolved. A third fossil leaf type from Cerrejón is recognized as a species of the extant genus Montrichardia, the first fossil record for this genus. These fossils inhabited a coastal rainforest ∼60-58 million years ago with broadly similar habitat preferences to modern Araceae. PMID:21628164

  6. Mineralogy of fossil resins in Northern Eurasia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogdasarov, M. A.

    2007-12-01

    The investigation is focused on identification and origin of fossil resins from the Cretaceous, Tertiary, and Quaternary sediments of Northern Eurasia on the basis of detailed study of their physical and chemical characteristics: morphology; size; mass; density; optical, mechanical, and thermal properties; chemical composition; etc. The composition of amorphous organic minerals with polymeric structure, fossil resins included, is studied with IR spectrometry, the EPR method, derivatography at low heating rates, XRD, chemical analysis, emission spectrometry, etc. The results of investigation summarized for the Baltic-Dnieper, North Siberian, and Far East amber-bearing provinces show some similarity of fossil resins in combination with specific features inherent to each province. Resins from the Baltic-Dnieper province should be termed as amber (succinite). Their variety is the most characteristic of Northern and Eastern Europe. Amber-like fossil resins from the North Siberian and Far East provinces are irrelevant to succinite. They usually occur as brittle resins, namely, retinite and gedanite, without jewelry value. Viscous fossil resin rumänite with an expected high economic value occurs in the Far East, on the shore of Sakhalin Island.

  7. Macroevolutionary developmental biology: Embryos, fossils, and phylogenies.

    PubMed

    Organ, Chris L; Cooper, Lisa Noelle; Hieronymus, Tobin L

    2015-10-01

    The field of evolutionary developmental biology is broadly focused on identifying the genetic and developmental mechanisms underlying morphological diversity. Connecting the genotype with the phenotype means that evo-devo research often considers a wide range of evidence, from genetics and morphology to fossils. In this commentary, we provide an overview and framework for integrating fossil ontogenetic data with developmental data using phylogenetic comparative methods to test macroevolutionary hypotheses. We survey the vertebrate fossil record of preserved embryos and discuss how phylogenetic comparative methods can integrate data from developmental genetics and paleontology. Fossil embryos provide limited, yet critical, developmental data from deep time. They help constrain when developmental innovations first appeared during the history of life and also reveal the order in which related morphologies evolved. Phylogenetic comparative methods provide a powerful statistical approach that allows evo-devo researchers to infer the presence of nonpreserved developmental traits in fossil species and to detect discordant evolutionary patterns and processes across levels of biological organization. PMID:26250386

  8. Fossil fuels in a trillion tonne world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, Vivian; Haszeldine, R. Stuart; Tett, Simon F. B.; Oschlies, Andreas

    2015-05-01

    The useful energy services and energy density value of fossil carbon fuels could be retained for longer timescales into the future if their combustion is balanced by CO2 recapture and storage. We assess the global balance between fossil carbon supply and the sufficiency (size) and capability (technology, security) of candidate carbon stores. A hierarchy of value for extraction-to-storage pairings is proposed, which is augmented by classification of CO2 containment as temporary (<1,000 yr) or permanent (>100,000 yr). Using temporary stores is inefficient and defers an intergenerational problem. Permanent storage capacity is adequate to technically match current fossil fuel reserves. However, rates of storage creation cannot balance current and expected rates of fossil fuel extraction and CO2 consequences. Extraction of conventional natural gas is uniquely holistic because it creates the capacity to re-inject an equivalent tonnage of carbon for storage into the same reservoir and can re-use gas-extraction infrastructure for storage. By contrast, balancing the extraction of coal, oil, biomass and unconventional fossil fuels requires the engineering and validation of additional carbon storage. Such storage is, so far, unproven in sufficiency.

  9. Grain-size and grain-shape analyses using digital imaging technology: Application to the fluvial formation of the Ngandong paleoanthropological site in Central Java, Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sipola, Maija

    2013-04-01

    This study implements grain-size and grain-shape analyses to better understand the fluvial processes responsible for forming the Ngandong paleoanthropological site along the Solo River in Central Java. The site was first discovered and excavated by the Dutch Geological Survey in the early 1930's, during which fourteen Homo erectus fossils and thousands of other macrofaunal remains were uncovered. The Homo erectus fossils discovered at Ngandong are particularly interesting to paleoanthropologists because the morphology of the excavated crania suggests they are from a recently-living variety of the species. The primary scientific focus for many years has been to determine the absolute age of the Ngandong fossils, while the question of exactly how the Ngandong site itself formed has been frequently overlooked. In this study I use Retsch CAMSIZER digital imaging technology to conduct grain-size and grain-shape analyses of sediments from the terrace stratigraphy at the Ngandong site to understand if there are significant differences between sedimentary layers in grain-size and/or grain-shape, and what these differences mean in terms of local paleoflow dynamics over time. Preliminary analyses indicate there are four distinct sedimentary layers present at Ngandong with regard to size sorting, with the fossil-bearing layers proving to be the most poorly-sorted and most similar to debris-flow deposits. These results support hypotheses by geoarchaeologists that the fossil-bearing layers present at Ngandong were deposited during special flow events rather than under normal stream flow conditions.

  10. Recent synchronous radiation of a living fossil.

    PubMed

    Nagalingum, N S; Marshall, C R; Quental, T B; Rai, H S; Little, D P; Mathews, S

    2011-11-11

    Modern survivors of previously more diverse lineages are regarded as living fossils, particularly when characterized by morphological stasis. Cycads are often cited as a classic example, reaching their greatest diversity during the Jurassic-Cretaceous (199.6 to 65.5 million years ago) then dwindling to their present diversity of ~300 species as flowering plants rose to dominance. Using fossil-calibrated molecular phylogenies, we show that cycads underwent a near synchronous global rediversification beginning in the late Miocene, followed by a slowdown toward the Recent. Although the cycad lineage is ancient, our timetrees indicate that living cycad species are not much older than ~12 million years. These data reject the hypothesized role of dinosaurs in generating extant diversity and the designation of today's cycad species as living fossils. PMID:22021670

  11. Cerium anomaly at microscale in fossils.

    PubMed

    Gueriau, Pierre; Mocuta, Cristian; Bertrand, Loïc

    2015-09-01

    Patterns in rare earth element (REE) concentrations are essential instruments to assess geochemical processes in Earth and environmental sciences. Excursions in the "cerium anomaly" are widely used to inform on past redox conditions in sediments. This proxy resources to the specificity of cerium to adopt both the +III and +IV oxidation states, while most rare earths are purely trivalent and share very similar reactivity and transport properties. In practical terms, the level of cerium anomaly is established through elemental point quantification and profiling. All these models rely on a supposed homogeneity of the cerium oxidation state within the samples. However, this has never been demonstrated, whereas the cerium concentration can significantly vary within a sample, as shown for fossils, which would vastly complicate interpretation of REE patterns. Here, we report direct micrometric mapping of Ce speciation through synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy and production of local rare earth patterns in paleontological fossil tissues through X-ray fluorescence mapping. The sensitivity of the approach is demonstrated on well-preserved fishes and crustaceans from the Late Cretaceous (ca. 95 million years (Myr) old). The presence of Ce under the +IV form within the fossil tissues is attributed to slightly oxidative local conditions of burial and agrees well with the limited negative cerium anomaly observed in REE patterns. The [Ce(IV)]/[Ce(tot)] ratio appears remarkably stable at the microscale within each fossil and is similar between fossils from the locality. Speciation maps were obtained from an original combination of synchrotron microbeam X-ray fluorescence, absorption spectroscopy, and diffraction, together with light and electron microscopy. This work also highlights the need for more systematic studies of cerium geochemistry at the microscale in paleontological contexts, in particular across fossil histologies. PMID:26239283

  12. Instabilities in biofilms: The Kinneyia Fossil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, K. R.; Goehring, L.; Porada, H.; Wittig, R.; Herminghaus, S.

    2012-12-01

    Kinneyia structures are a wrinkle-type fossil pattern most often observed in ancient siliclastic sediment surfaces. Characterised by millimetre-scale ripples with flat-topped crests, these fossils are generally found in areas that were formally littoral habitats. Thin-section observations indicate that Kinneyia formed in surfaces covered by ancient microbial mats. However, to date there has been no conclusive explanation as to the process involved in the formation of these fossils. We propose that the key mechanism involved in the formation of the Kinneyia pattern is a Kelvin-Helmholtz-type instability induced in a viscoelastic film under flowing water. A ripple corrugation is spontaneously induced in the film, which grows in amplitude over time. Such a mechanism is expected to result in a ripple instability with a wavelength proportional to the thickness of the film. Experiments carried out using viscoelastic models microbial mats confirm this prediction, showing a wavelength roughly three times the thickness of the film. The behaviour is independent on the viscoelastic properties of the film. This model corresponds well with the fossil records, which show a reduced wavelength at the boundaries of the fossilised structures where the mat is expected to have been thinner. Fossils were collected from two ancient shallow sea bed sites in Namibia from the terminal Proterozoic period. The fossils are seen to overlay a storm deposit of 15-30cm in thickness. The ripples form on top of this deposit in the veneer, which sedimented after the storm event. Analysis of the shape of the fossilised patterns indicates a similar relationship between the wavelength and amplitude of the ripples to that observed experimentally. A strong directional dependence of the ripples is also observed.

  13. Eocene Patagonia fossils of the daisy family.

    PubMed

    Barreda, V D; Palazzesi, L; Tellería, M C; Katinas, L; Crisci, J V; Bremer, K; Passalia, M G; Corsolini, R; Rodríguez Brizuela, R; Bechis, F

    2010-09-24

    Fossil capitula and pollen grains of Asteraceae from the Eocene of Patagonia, southern Argentina, exhibit morphological features recognized today in taxa, such as Mutisioideae and Carduoideae, that are phylogenetically close to the root of the asteracean tree. This fossil supports the hypothesis of a South American origin of Asteraceae and an Eocene age of divergence and suggests that an ancestral stock of Asteraceae may have formed part of a geoflora developed in southern Gondwana before the establishment of effective dispersal barriers within this landmass. PMID:20929840

  14. Insect diversity in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Labandeira, C C; Sepkoski, J J

    1993-07-16

    Insects possess a surprisingly extensive fossil record. Compilation of the geochronologic ranges of insect families demonstrates that their diversity exceeds that of preserved vertebrate tetrapods through 91 percent of their evolutionary history. The great diversity of insects was achieved not by high origination rates but rather by low extinction rates comparable to the low rates of slowly evolving marine invertebrate groups. The great radiation of modern insects began 245 million years ago and was not accelerated by the expansion of angiosperms during the Cretaceous period. The basic trophic machinery of insects was in place nearly 100 million years before angiosperms appeared in the fossil record. PMID:11536548

  15. Fossil generation restructuring in the Ukraine

    SciTech Connect

    Galambas, J.W.

    1996-12-31

    This paper describes the Ukrainian electrical system as it was in 1991, defines the need for restructuring, outlines the restructuring process, identifies a number of major obstacles that are hindering the implementation of the fossil generation, restructuring process, and points out major problems in the coal procurement system. It describes the visits to several Ukrainian power plants, defines restructuring success to date, makes suggestions for improved restructuring progress, highlights lessons learned, and enlightens the audience on the opportunities of investing in the Ukrainian power generation industry. The primary focus is on the Fossil Generator Advisor task, which was carried out under the direction of Hagler Bailly Consulting, Inc. (Hagler Bailly).

  16. Insect diversity in the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Labandeira, C. C.; Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1993-01-01

    Insects possess a surprisingly extensive fossil record. Compilation of the geochronologic ranges of insect families demonstrates that their diversity exceeds that of preserved vertebrate tetrapods through 91 percent of their evolutionary history. The great diversity of insects was achieved not by high origination rates but rather by low extinction rates comparable to the low rates of slowly evolving marine invertebrate groups. The great radiation of modern insects began 245 million years ago and was not accelerated by the expansion of angiosperms during the Cretaceous period. The basic trophic machinery of insects was in place nearly 100 million years before angiosperms appeared in the fossil record.

  17. Fossils, Genes and The Origin of Organs

    SciTech Connect

    Shubin, Neil

    2011-04-20

    A toolkit of experimental and comparative biology can be applied to understand the great transformations in the history of life. Expeditionary paleontology can be used to target key nodes of the tree of life for which new fossils can provide insights into major morphological transformations. These fossils often have intermediate conditions that allow extant creatures to be compared in new ways. The tools of developmental genetics can then be used to explore these new comparisons to understand the genetic basis for macroevolutionary change. These different approaches can be used to predict new discoveries and this is only possible because of the empirical content of the tree of life.

  18. Microbial Fossils Detected in Desert Varnish

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Flood, B. E.; Allen, C.; Longazo, T.

    2003-01-01

    Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer data indicate regions with significant levels of hematite (_Fe2O3). Fe-oxides, like hematite, can form as aqueous mineral precipitates and as such may preserve microscopic fossils or other biosignatures. Several potential terrestrial analogues to martian hematite like hydrothermal vents have preserved microfossils. Microbial fossilization in Fe-oxides is often a function of biomineralization. For example, goethite (FeO2H) encrustation of fungal mycelia from the mid-Tertiary preserved fungal morphologies such that their genera could be determined.

  19. Molecular structure, vibrational spectroscopic, first-order hyperpolarizability and HOMO, LUMO studies of 2-aminobenzimidazole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sudha, S.; Karabacak, M.; Kurt, M.; Cinar, M.; Sundaraganesan, N.

    2011-12-01

    In the present work, we reported a combined experimental and theoretical study on molecular structure, vibrational spectra and HOMO-LUMO analysis of 2-aminobenzimidazole (2-ABD). The FTIR (400-4000 cm -1) and FT-Raman spectra (50-3500 cm -1) of 2-ABD were recorded. The molecular geometry, harmonic vibrational wavenumbers and bonding features of 2-ABD in the ground-state have been calculated by using the density functional B3LYP method with 6-311++G(d,p) and 6-31G(d) as basis sets. The energy and oscillator strength were calculated by time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) result complements with the experimental findings. The calculated HOMO and LUMO energies showed that charge transfer occurs within the molecule. Finally, the calculation results were applied to simulate infrared and Raman spectra of the title compound which showed good agreement with the observed spectra.

  20. Impaired Air Conditioning within the Nasal Cavity in Flat-Faced Homo.

    PubMed

    Nishimura, Takeshi; Mori, Futoshi; Hanida, Sho; Kumahata, Kiyoshi; Ishikawa, Shigeru; Samarat, Kaouthar; Miyabe-Nishiwaki, Takako; Hayashi, Misato; Tomonaga, Masaki; Suzuki, Juri; Matsuzawa, Tetsuro; Matsuzawa, Teruo

    2016-03-01

    We are flat-faced hominins with an external nose that protrudes from the face. This feature was derived in the genus Homo, along with facial flattening and reorientation to form a high nasal cavity. The nasal passage conditions the inhaled air in terms of temperature and humidity to match the conditions required in the lung, and its anatomical variation is believed to be evolutionarily sensitive to the ambient atmospheric conditions of a given habitat. In this study, we used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with three-dimensional topology models of the nasal passage under the same simulation conditions, to investigate air-conditioning performance in humans, chimpanzees, and macaques. The CFD simulation showed a horizontal straight flow of inhaled air in chimpanzees and macaques, contrasting with the upward and curved flow in humans. The inhaled air is conditioned poorly in humans compared with nonhuman primates. Virtual modifications to the human external nose topology, in which the nasal vestibule and valve are modified to resemble those of chimpanzees, change the airflow to be horizontal, but have little influence on the air-conditioning performance in humans. These findings suggest that morphological variation of the nasal passage topology was only weakly sensitive to the ambient atmosphere conditions; rather, the high nasal cavity in humans was formed simply by evolutionary facial reorganization in the divergence of Homo from the other hominin lineages, impairing the air-conditioning performance. Even though the inhaled air is not adjusted well within the nasal cavity in humans, it can be fully conditioned subsequently in the pharyngeal cavity, which is lengthened in the flat-faced Homo. Thus, the air-conditioning faculty in the nasal passages was probably impaired in early Homo members, although they have survived successfully under the fluctuating climate of the Plio-Pleistocene, and then they moved "Out of Africa" to explore the more severe climates of Eurasia. PMID:27010321

  1. Impaired Air Conditioning within the Nasal Cavity in Flat-Faced Homo

    PubMed Central

    Nishimura, Takeshi; Mori, Futoshi; Hanida, Sho; Kumahata, Kiyoshi; Ishikawa, Shigeru; Samarat, Kaouthar; Miyabe-Nishiwaki, Takako; Hayashi, Misato; Tomonaga, Masaki; Suzuki, Juri; Matsuzawa, Tetsuro; Matsuzawa, Teruo

    2016-01-01

    We are flat-faced hominins with an external nose that protrudes from the face. This feature was derived in the genus Homo, along with facial flattening and reorientation to form a high nasal cavity. The nasal passage conditions the inhaled air in terms of temperature and humidity to match the conditions required in the lung, and its anatomical variation is believed to be evolutionarily sensitive to the ambient atmospheric conditions of a given habitat. In this study, we used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with three-dimensional topology models of the nasal passage under the same simulation conditions, to investigate air-conditioning performance in humans, chimpanzees, and macaques. The CFD simulation showed a horizontal straight flow of inhaled air in chimpanzees and macaques, contrasting with the upward and curved flow in humans. The inhaled air is conditioned poorly in humans compared with nonhuman primates. Virtual modifications to the human external nose topology, in which the nasal vestibule and valve are modified to resemble those of chimpanzees, change the airflow to be horizontal, but have little influence on the air-conditioning performance in humans. These findings suggest that morphological variation of the nasal passage topology was only weakly sensitive to the ambient atmosphere conditions; rather, the high nasal cavity in humans was formed simply by evolutionary facial reorganization in the divergence of Homo from the other hominin lineages, impairing the air-conditioning performance. Even though the inhaled air is not adjusted well within the nasal cavity in humans, it can be fully conditioned subsequently in the pharyngeal cavity, which is lengthened in the flat-faced Homo. Thus, the air-conditioning faculty in the nasal passages was probably impaired in early Homo members, although they have survived successfully under the fluctuating climate of the Plio-Pleistocene, and then they moved “Out of Africa” to explore the more severe climates of Eurasia. PMID:27010321

  2. HomoSAR: bridging comparative protein modeling with quantitative structural activity relationship to design new peptides.

    PubMed

    Borkar, Mahesh R; Pissurlenkar, Raghuvir R S; Coutinho, Evans C

    2013-11-15

    Peptides play significant roles in the biological world. To optimize activity for a specific therapeutic target, peptide library synthesis is inevitable; which is a time consuming and expensive. Computational approaches provide a promising way to simply elucidate the structural basis in the design of new peptides. Earlier, we proposed a novel methodology termed HomoSAR to gain insight into the structure activity relationships underlying peptides. Based on an integrated approach, HomoSAR uses the principles of homology modeling in conjunction with the quantitative structural activity relationship formalism to predict and design new peptide sequences with the optimum activity. In the present study, we establish that the HomoSAR methodology can be universally applied to all classes of peptides irrespective of sequence length by studying HomoSAR on three peptide datasets viz., angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitory peptides, CAMEL-s antibiotic peptides, and hAmphiphysin-1 SH3 domain binding peptides, using a set of descriptors related to the hydrophobic, steric, and electronic properties of the 20 natural amino acids. Models generated for all three datasets have statistically significant correlation coefficients (r(2)) and predictive r2 (r(pred)2) and cross validated coefficient ( q(LOO)2). The daintiness of this technique lies in its simplicity and ability to extract all the information contained in the peptides to elucidate the underlying structure activity relationships. The difficulties of correlating both sequence diversity and variation in length of the peptides with their biological activity can be addressed. The study has been able to identify the preferred or detrimental nature of amino acids at specific positions in the peptide sequences. PMID:24105965

  3. Synthesis and biological evaluation of C-13' substituted 7'-homo-anhydrovinblastine derivatives.

    PubMed

    Gherbovet, Olga; La Spisa, Fabio; Thoret, Sylviane; Alvarez, Maria Concepcion Garcia; Levaique, Hélène; Bignon, Jérôme; Roussi, Fanny

    2015-04-15

    Recent publications highlighted that vinca derivatives either functionalized on C-12' or enlarged on cycle C' could be more cytotoxic than vinblastine or vinorelbine, both used in anti-cancer therapy. By combining these two results, nine new 7'-homo-anhydrovinblastine derivatives functionalized on C-13' were elaborated. The synthesis of key intermediates, their one-step transformation into final products in mild conditions and their biological activities are presented. PMID:25804719

  4. Post-cranial skeletons of hypothyroid cretins show a similar anatomical mosaic as Homo floresiensis.

    PubMed

    Oxnard, Charles; Obendorf, Peter J; Kefford, Ben J

    2010-01-01

    Human remains, some as recent as 15 thousand years, from Liang Bua (LB) on the Indonesian island of Flores have been attributed to a new species, Homo floresiensis. The definition includes a mosaic of features, some like modern humans (hence derived: genus Homo), some like modern apes and australopithecines (hence primitive: not species sapiens), and some unique (hence new species: floresiensis). Conversely, because only modern humans (H. sapiens) are known in this region in the last 40 thousand years, these individuals have also been suggested to be genetic human dwarfs. Such dwarfs resemble small humans and do not show the mosaic combination of the most complete individuals, LB1 and LB6, so this idea has been largely dismissed. We have previously shown that some features of the cranium of hypothyroid cretins are like those of LB1. Here we examine cretin postcrania to see if they show anatomical mosaics like H. floresiensis. We find that hypothyroid cretins share at least 10 postcranial features with Homo floresiensis and unaffected humans not found in apes (or australopithecines when materials permit). They share with H. floresiensis, modern apes and australopithecines at least 11 postcranial features not found in unaffected humans. They share with H. floresiensis, at least 8 features not found in apes, australopithecines or unaffected humans. Sixteen features can be rendered metrically and multivariate analyses demonstrate that H. floresiensis co-locates with cretins, both being markedly separate from humans and chimpanzees (P<0.001: from analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) over all variables, ANOSIM, global R>0.999). We therefore conclude that LB1 and LB6, at least, are, most likely, endemic cretins from a population of unaffected Homo sapiens. This is consistent with recent hypothyroid endemic cretinism throughout Indonesia, including the nearby island of Bali. PMID:20885948

  5. Copper-catalyzed oxidative homo- and cross-coupling of Grignard reagents using diaziridinone.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yingguang; Xiong, Tao; Han, Wenyong; Shi, Yian

    2014-12-01

    Transition-metal-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions are among the most powerful synthetic transformations. This paper describes an efficient copper-catalyzed homo- and cross-coupling of Grignard reagents with di-tert-butyldiaziridinone as oxidant under mild conditions, giving the coupling products in good to excellent yields. The reaction process has a broad substrate scope and is also effective for the C(sp)-C(sp(3)) coupling. PMID:25420218

  6. Enantioselective Intramolecular Aldehyde α-Alkylation with Simple Olefins: Direct Access to Homo-Ene Products

    PubMed Central

    Comito, Robert J.; Finelli, Fernanda G.

    2013-01-01

    A highly selective method for the synthesis of asymmetrically substituted carbocycles and heterocycles from unactivated aldehyde–olefin precursors has been achieved via enantioselective SOMO-catalysis. Addition of a catalytically generated enamine radical cation across a pendent olefin serves to establish a general asymmetric strategy towards the production of a wide range of formyl-substituted rings with alkene transposition. Conceptually, this novel mechanism allows direct access to “homo-ene” type products. PMID:23745728

  7. On the trail of the genus Homo between archaic and derived morphologies.

    PubMed

    Manzi, Giorgio

    2012-01-01

    The topic of this review is the evolution of the genus Homo, focusing on evolutionary transitions that occurred during the Early and Middle Pleistocene. Two crucial issues are addressed in particular: 1) the emergence in the Early Pleistocene of the archaic variant of Homo that might represent the last common ancestor before the emergence of at least two (more probably three) geographically distinct trajectories; and (2) the evolution of these derived lineages, ultimately leading to the allopatric speciations of the most encephalised species of Homo: H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens. In this framework, the time window between 1.0 million years ago (Ma) and 500 thousand years ago (ka) is of crucial importance, since it is probable that a new kind of humanity emerged in this period and then spread across a wide area encompassing Africa and Eurasia. These humans are represented by a number of specimens that are included within the single, polymorphic, and widespread species H. heidelbergensis. It is suggested that, in the course of the Middle Pleistocene, this species diversified in a number of incipient species -or subspecies- geographically and phenotypically distinct from one another. The case-study furnished by the calvarium found near Ceprano, in Italy, is of great interest in this regard, since it displays the least derived morphology seen among the hypodigm of H. heidelbergensis, and may represent better than other specimens the ancestral morphotype (i.e., the stem subspecies) of this taxon. PMID:23274748

  8. Fossil Cores In The Kepler Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, Brian

    Most gas giant exoplanets with orbital periods < few days are unstable against tidal decay and may be tidally disrupted before their host stars leave the main sequence. These gas giants probably contain rocky/icy cores, and so their cores will be stranded near their progenitor's Roche limit (few hours orbital period). These fossil cores will evade the Kepler mission's transit search because it is focused on periods > 0.5 days, but finding these fossil cores would provide unprecedented insights into planetary interiors and formation ? e.g., they would be a smoking gun favoring formation of gas giants via core accretion. We propose to search for and characterize fossil cores in the Kepler dataset. We will vet candidates using the Kepler photometry and auxiliary data, collect ground-based spectra of the host stars and radial-velocity (RV) and adaptive optics (AO) data to corroborate candidates. We will also constrain stellar tidal dissipation efficiencies (parameterized by Q) by determining our survey's completeness, elucidating dynamical origins and evolution of exoplanets even if we find no fossil cores. Our preliminary search has already found several dozen candidates, so the proposed survey has a high likelihood of success.

  9. Thermal dissolution of solid fossil fuels

    SciTech Connect

    E.G. Gorlov

    2007-10-15

    The use of oil shales and coals in the processes of thermal dissolution is considered. It is shown that thermal dissolution is a mode of liquefaction of solid fossil fuels and can be used both independently and in combination with liquefaction of coals and processing of heavy petroleum residues.

  10. On the fossil record of the Gekkota.

    PubMed

    Daza, Juan D; Bauer, Aaron M; Snively, Eric D

    2014-03-01

    Gekkota is often interpreted as sister to all remaining squamates, exclusive of dibamids, or as sister to Autarchoglossa. It is the only diverse lineage of primarily nocturnal lizards and includes some of the smallest amniotes. The skeleton of geckos has often been interpreted as paedomorphic and/or "primitive" but these lizards also display a wide range of structural specializations of the postcranium, including modifications associated with both scansorial locomotion and limb reduction. Although the concept of "Gekkota" has been variously applied by different authors, we here apply a rigorous apomorphy based definition, recent advances in gekkotan morphology and phylogenetics, and diverse comparative material to provide a comprehensive assessment of 28 known pre-Quaternary geckos, updating the last such review, published three decades ago. Fossils evaluated include both sedimentary fossils and amber-embedded specimens. Known Cretaceous geckos are exclusively Asian and exhibit character combinations not seen in any living forms. Cenozoic gekkotans derive from sites around the world, although Europe is especially well represented. Paleogene geckos are largely known from disarticulated remains and show similarities to Sphaerodactylidae and Diplodactylidae, although resemblances may be plesiomorphic in some cases. Many Neogene gekkotans are referable to living families or even genera, but their geographic occurrences are often extralimital to those of modern groups, as is consistent with paleoclimatic conditions. The phylogenetic placement of fossil gekkotans has important repercusions for timetree calibration, but at present only a small number of fossils can be confidently assigned to even family level groupings, limiting their utility in this regard. PMID:24482344

  11. The Fascinating Story of Fossil Fuels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Asimov, Isaac

    1973-01-01

    How this energy source was created, its meaning to mankind, our drastically reduced supply, and why we cannot wait for nature to make more are considered. Today fossil fuels supply 96 percent of the energy used but we must find alternate energy options if we are to combat the energy crisis. (BL)

  12. Learning about Fossil Formation by Classroom Simulation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schlenker, Richard M.; Yoshida, Sarah J.

    1991-01-01

    Activities in which students build their own simulations of fossils, using seashells, chicken bones, toy dinosaurs, or leaves as models and plaster of paris, sand, mud, clay, or a mixture of gravel and clay as a matrix are presented. Curriculum extensions are included. (KR)

  13. Fossilized gravitational wave relic and primordial clocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brahma, Suddhasattwa; Nelson, Elliot; Shandera, Sarah

    2014-01-01

    If long-wavelength primordial tensor modes are coupled to short-wavelength scalar modes, the scalar curvature two-point function will have an off-diagonal component. This "fossil" remnant is a signature of a mode coupling that cannot be achieved in single-clock inflation. Any constraint on its presence allows a cross-check of the relationship between the dynamical generation of the fluctuations and the evolution of the inflationary background. We use the example of nonBunch-Davies initial states for the tensor and scalar modes to demonstrate that physically reasonable fossils, consistent with current data, can be observable in the near future. We illustrate how the fossil off-diagonal power spectrum is a complementary probe to the squeezed limit bispectra of the scalar and tensor sectors individually. We also quantify the relation between the observable signal and the squeezed limit bispectrum for a general scalar-scalar-fossil coupling and note the effect of superhorizon tensor modes on the anisotropy in scalar modes.

  14. Fossil Crustaceans as Parasites and Hosts.

    PubMed

    Klompmaker, Adiël A; Boxshall, Geoff A

    2015-01-01

    Numerous crustacean lineages have independently moved into parasitism as a mode of life. In modern marine ecosystems, parasitic crustaceans use representatives from many metazoan phyla as hosts. Crustaceans also serve as hosts to a rich diversity of parasites, including other crustaceans. Here, we show that the fossil record of such parasitic interactions is sparse, with only 11 examples, one dating back to the Cambrian. This may be due to the limited preservation potential and small size of parasites, as well as to problems with ascribing traces to parasitism with certainty, and to a lack of targeted research. Although the confirmed stratigraphic ranges are limited for nearly every example, evidence of parasitism related to crustaceans has become increasingly more complete for isopod-induced swellings in decapods so that quantitative analyses can be carried out. Little attention has yet been paid to the origin of parasitism in deep time, but insight can be generated by integrating data on fossils with molecular studies on modern parasites. In addition, there are other traces left by parasites that could fossilize, but have not yet been recognized in the fossil record. PMID:26597069

  15. Fossil Energy Materials Program conference proceedings

    SciTech Connect

    Judkins, R.R.

    1987-08-01

    The US Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy has recognized the need for materials research and development to assure the adequacy of materials of construction for advanced fossil energy systems. The principal responsibility for identifying needed materials research and for establishing a program to address these needs resides within the Office of Technical Coordination. That office has established the Advanced Research and Technology Development (AR and TD) Fossil Energy Materials Program to fulfill that responsibility. In addition to the AR and TD Materials Program, which is designed to address in a generic way the materials needs of fossil energy systems, specific materials support activities are also sponsored by the various line organizations such as the Office of Coal Gasification. A conference was held at Oak Ridge, Tennessee on May 19-21, 1987, to present and discuss the results of program activities during the past year. The conference program was organized in accordance with the research thrust areas we have established. These research thrust areas include structural ceramics (particularly fiber-reinforced ceramic composites), corrosion and erosion, and alloy development and mechanical properties. Eighty-six people attended the conference. Papers have been entered individually into EDB and ERA. (LTN)

  16. Solid modeling of fossil small mammal teeth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marschallinger, Robert; Hofmann, Peter; Daxner-Hck, Gudrun; Ketcham, Richard A.

    2011-09-01

    This paper presents an approach to create solid models of fossil small mammal teeth using a combination of microcomputed tomography, object based image analysis and voxel modeling. Small mammal teeth, because of their durability, are widely found in Cenozioc sediments the world over and play a key role in stratigraphy as well as in researching the rapid evolution and the paleogeographic spreading of small mammals. Recent advances in microcomputed tomography make this non-destructive analysis method an ideal data source for high-resolution 3D models of fossil small animal teeth. To derive internally consistent solid models of such fossils from micro-CT imagery, we propose a combination of 3D object based image analysis and solid modeling. Incorporating paleontological expert knowledge in the image processing cycle, object based image analysis yields topologically consistent image stacks classified by the main tooth componentsenamel, dentine and pulp. Forwarding these data to a voxel modeling system, they can be quantitatively analyzed in an unprecedented manner: going beyond the possibilities of the state-of-art surface models, solid models are capable of unambiguously portraying the entire object volumeteeth can be peeled by material properties, subvolumes can be extracted and automatically analyzed by Boolean operations. The proposed method, which can be flexibly extended to handle a range of paleontological and geological micro-objects, is demonstrated with two typical fossil small mammal teeth.

  17. Body weight prediction in early fossil hominids: towards a taxon-"independent" approach.

    PubMed

    Hartwig-Scherer, S

    1993-09-01

    The choice of a model taxon is crucial when investigating fossil hominids that clearly do not resemble any extant species (such as Australopithecus) or show significant differences from modern human proportions (such as Homo habilis OH 62). An "interhominoid" combination is not adequate either, as scaling with body weight is strongly divergent in African apes and humans for most skeletal predictors investigated here. Therefore, in relation to a study of seven long bone dimensions, a new taxon-"independent" approach is suggested. For a given predictor, its taxonomic "independence" is restricted to the size range over which the body weight-predictor relationship for African apes and humans converges. Different predictors produce converging body weight estimates (BWEs) for different size ranges: taxon-"independent" estimates can be calculated for small- and medium-sized hominids (e.g., for weights below 50 kg) using femoral and tibial dimensions, whereas upper limb bones provide converging results for large hominids (above 50 kg). If the remains of Australopithecus afarensis really belong to one species, the relationship of male (above 60 kg) to female body weight (approximately 30 kg) does not fall within the observed range of modern hominoids. Considering Sts 14 (22 kg) to represent a small-sized Australopithecus africanus, the level of encephalization lies well above that of extant apes. If OH 62 (approximately 25 kg), with limb proportions less human-like than those of australopithecines, indeed represents Homo habilis (which has been questioned previously), an increase in relative brain size would have occurred well before full bipedality, an assumption running counter to current assumptions concerning early human evolution. PMID:8238289

  18. Exceptional fossil preservation and the cambrian explosion.

    PubMed

    Butterfield, Nicholas J

    2003-02-01

    Exceptionally preserved, non-biomineralizing fossils contribute importantly to resolving details of the Cambrian explosion, but little to its overall patterns. Six distinct "types" of exceptional preservation are identified for the terminal Proterozoic-Cambrian interval, each of which is dependent on particular taphonomic circumstances, typically restricted both in space and time. Taphonomic pathways yielding exceptional preservation were particularly variable through the Proterozoic-Cambrian transition, at least in part a consequence of contemporaneous evolutionary innovations. Combined with the reasonably continuous record of "Doushantuo-type preservation," and the fundamentally more robust records of shelly fossils, phytoplankton cysts and trace fossils, these taphonomic perturbations contribute to the documentation of major evolutionary and biogeochemical shifts through the terminal Proterozoic and early Cambrian.Appreciation of the relationship between taphonomic pathway and fossil expression serves as a useful tool for interpreting exceptionally preserved, often problematic, early Cambrian fossils. In shale facies, for example, flattened non-biomineralizing structures typically represent the remains of degradation-resistant acellular and extracellular "tissues" such as chaetae and cuticles, whereas three-dimensional preservation represents labile cellular tissues with a propensity for attracting and precipitating early diagenetic minerals. Such distinction helps to identify the acuticular integument of hyolithids, the chaetae-like nature of Wiwaxia sclerites, the chaetognath-like integument of Amiskwia, the midgut glands of various Burgess Shale arthropods, and the misidentification of deposit-feeding arthropods in the Chengjiang biota. By the same reasoning, putative lobopods in the Sirius Passet biota and putative deuterostomes in the Chengiang biota are better interpreted as arthropods. PMID:21680421

  19. Homo-Tandem Polymer Solar Cells with VOC >1.8 V for Efficient PV-Driven Water Splitting.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yangqin; Le Corre, Vincent M; Gaïtis, Alexandre; Neophytou, Marios; Hamid, Mahmoud Abdul; Takanabe, Kazuhiro; Beaujuge, Pierre M

    2016-05-01

    Efficient homo-tandem and triple-junction polymer solar cells are constructed by stacking identical subcells composed of the wide-bandgap polymer PBDTTPD, achieving power conversion efficiencies >8% paralleled by open-circuit voltages >1.8 V. The high-voltage homo-tandem is used to demonstrate PV-driven electrochemical water splitting with an estimated solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency of ≈6%. PMID:26946165

  20. "Homo High"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kilman, Carrie

    2010-01-01

    In Chicago's public school system, LGBT students were three times more likely than straight peers to miss school because of threats to their safety, according to 2003 districtwide survey; and students who face regular harassment were more like to drop out. In this article, the author shares her thoughts on the move of Chicago school officials to…

  1. The Dual Characteristics of Light-Induced Cryptochrome 2, Homo-oligomerization and Heterodimerization, for Optogenetic Manipulation in Mammalian Cells.

    PubMed

    Che, Daphne L; Duan, Liting; Zhang, Kai; Cui, Bianxiao

    2015-10-16

    The photoreceptor cryptochrome 2 (CRY2) has become a powerful optogenetic tool that allows light-inducible manipulation of various signaling pathways and cellular processes in mammalian cells with high spatiotemporal precision and ease of application. However, it has also been shown that the behavior of CRY2 under blue light is complex, as the photoexcited CRY2 can both undergo homo-oligomerization and heterodimerization by binding to its dimerization partner CIB1. To better understand the light-induced CRY2 activities in mammalian cells, this article systematically characterizes CRY2 homo-oligomerization in different cellular compartments, as well as how CRY2 homo-oligomerization and heterodimerization activities affect each other. Quantitative analysis reveals that membrane-bound CRY2 has drastically enhanced oligomerization activity compared to that of its cytoplasmic form. While CRY2 homo-oligomerization and CRY2-CIB1 heterodimerization could happen concomitantly, the presence of certain CIB1 fusion proteins can suppress CRY2 homo-oligomerization. However, the homo-oligomerization of cytoplasmic CRY2 can be significantly intensified by its recruitment to the membrane via interaction with the membrane-bound CIB1. These results contribute to the understanding of the light-inducible CRY2-CRY2 and CRY2-CIB1 interaction systems and can be used as a guide to establish new strategies utilizing the dual optogenetic characteristics of CRY2 to probe cellular processes. PMID:25985220

  2. An early Oligocene fossil demonstrates treeshrews are slowly evolving "living fossils".

    PubMed

    Li, Qiang; Ni, Xijun

    2016-01-01

    Treeshrews are widely considered a "living model" of an ancestral primate, and have long been called "living fossils". Actual fossils of treeshrews, however, are extremely rare. We report a new fossil species of Ptilocercus treeshrew recovered from the early Oligocene (~34 Ma) of China that represents the oldest definitive fossil record of the crown group of treeshrews and nearly doubles the temporal length of their fossil record. The fossil species is strikingly similar to the living Ptilocercus lowii, a species generally recognized as the most plesiomorphic extant treeshrew. It demonstrates that Ptilocercus treeshrews have undergone little evolutionary change in their morphology since the early Oligocene. Morphological comparisons and phylogenetic analysis support the long-standing idea that Ptilocercus treeshrews are morphologically conservative and have probably retained many characters present in the common stock that gave rise to archontans, which include primates, flying lemurs, plesiadapiforms and treeshrews. This discovery provides an exceptional example of slow morphological evolution in a mammalian group over a period of 34 million years. The persistent and stable tropical environment in Southeast Asia through the Cenozoic likely played a critical role in the survival of such a morphologically conservative lineage. PMID:26766238

  3. Chronostratigraphy of KNM-ER 3733 and other Area 104 hominins from Koobi Fora.

    PubMed

    Lepre, Christopher J; Kent, Dennis V

    2015-09-01

    A magnetostratigraphy for ∼ 60 m of Koobi Fora Formation sediment in Area 104 was derived from 46 oriented samples that produced well-resolved characteristic magnetizations from progressive thermal demagnetization. Approximately 59 m below the Morte Tuff, previously dated to ∼ 1.51 Ma (millions of years ago), the Olduvai-Matuyama boundary (∼ 1.78 Ma) was found to be at the level of marker bed A2--inconsistent with the Area 102 type section and thus contrary to fossil dating schemes that utilize temporal equivalence between A2 [104] and A2 [102]. The magnetostratigraphic data, coupled with the Morte Tuff, provide a means to interpolate new ages for marker beds A2 [104] and the White Tuff, as well as multiple Area 104 hominin fossils. Noteworthy is the new date of ∼ 1.63 Ma for KNM-ER 3733, which now implicates KNM-ER 2598 as the sole early African Homo erectus fossil demonstrably older than Dmanisi and Java Homo specimens. Re-dating KNM-ER 3733 creates a ∼ 300-kyr gap at 1.9 to 1.6 Ma in the African fossil record of H. erectus, which might be partially spanned by hand axes recently dated at ∼ 1.76 Ma, if the Acheulian is indeed proprietary to this species. PMID:26190282

  4. Probable Carbonate Fossilization Processes Within Dead Sea Microbial Remains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, P. A.; Wentworth, S. J.; Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Allen, C. C.; McKay, D. S.

    2001-01-01

    Microbial fossilization processes in the Dead Sea is primarily associated with the calcium cation. The putative fossilized microbes do not represent the reported living microbial population. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  5. Structural coloration in a fossil feather.

    PubMed

    Vinther, Jakob; Briggs, Derek E G; Clarke, Julia; Mayr, Gerald; Prum, Richard O

    2010-02-23

    Investigation of feathers from the famous Middle Eocene Messel Oil Shale near Darmstadt, Germany shows that they are preserved as arrays of fossilized melanosomes, the surrounding beta-keratin having degraded. The majority of feathers are preserved as aligned rod-shaped eumelanosomes. In some, however, the barbules of the open pennaceous, distal portion of the feather vane are preserved as a continuous external layer of closely packed melanosomes enclosing loosely aligned melanosomes. This arrangement is similar to the single thin-film nanostructure that generates an iridescent, structurally coloured sheen on the surface of black feathers in many lineages of living birds. This is, to our knowledge, the first evidence of preservation of a colour-producing nanostructure in a fossil feather and confirms the potential for determining colour differences in ancient birds and other dinosaurs. PMID:19710052

  6. Diatoms: a fossil fuel of the future.

    PubMed

    Levitan, Orly; Dinamarca, Jorge; Hochman, Gal; Falkowski, Paul G

    2014-03-01

    Long-term global climate change, caused by burning petroleum and other fossil fuels, has motivated an urgent need to develop renewable, carbon-neutral, economically viable alternatives to displace petroleum using existing infrastructure. Algal feedstocks are promising candidate replacements as a 'drop-in' fuel. Here, we focus on a specific algal taxon, diatoms, to become the fossil fuel of the future. We summarize past attempts to obtain suitable diatom strains, propose future directions for their genetic manipulation, and offer biotechnological pathways to improve yield. We calculate that the yields obtained by using diatoms as a production platform are theoretically sufficient to satisfy the total oil consumption of the US, using between 3 and 5% of its land area. PMID:24529448

  7. Fossil energy waste management. Technology status report

    SciTech Connect

    Bossart, S.J.; Newman, D.A.

    1995-02-01

    This report describes the current status and recent accomplishments of the Fossil Energy Waste Management (FE WM) projects sponsored by the Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC) of the US Department of Energy (DOE). The primary goal of the Waste Management Program is to identify and develop optimal strategies to manage solid by-products from advanced coal technologies for the purpose of ensuring the competitiveness of advanced coal technologies as a future energy source. The projects in the Fossil Energy Waste Management Program are divided into three types of activities: Waste Characterization, Disposal Technologies, and Utilization Technologies. This technology status report includes a discussion on barriers to increased use of coal by-products. Also, the major technical and nontechnical challenges currently being addressed by the FE WM program are discussed. A bibliography of 96 citations and a list of project contacts is included if the reader is interested in obtaining additional information about the FE WM program.

  8. Structural coloration in a fossil feather

    PubMed Central

    Vinther, Jakob; Briggs, Derek E. G.; Clarke, Julia; Mayr, Gerald; Prum, Richard O.

    2010-01-01

    Investigation of feathers from the famous Middle Eocene Messel Oil Shale near Darmstadt, Germany shows that they are preserved as arrays of fossilized melanosomes, the surrounding beta-keratin having degraded. The majority of feathers are preserved as aligned rod-shaped eumelanosomes. In some, however, the barbules of the open pennaceous, distal portion of the feather vane are preserved as a continuous external layer of closely packed melanosomes enclosing loosely aligned melanosomes. This arrangement is similar to the single thin-film nanostructure that generates an iridescent, structurally coloured sheen on the surface of black feathers in many lineages of living birds. This is, to our knowledge, the first evidence of preservation of a colour-producing nanostructure in a fossil feather and confirms the potential for determining colour differences in ancient birds and other dinosaurs. PMID:19710052

  9. FOSSIL RIDGE WILDERNESS STUDY AREA, COLORADO.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeWitt, Ed; Kluender, Steven E.

    1984-01-01

    The Fossil Ridge Wilderness Study Area, approximately 20 mi northeast of Gunnison in central Colorado, was studied and its mineral-resource potential assessed. Portions of the study area have substantiated resource potential for gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, molybdenum, uranium, thorium, rare-earth elements, and high-calcium limestone. Much of the area has a probable resource potential for the preceeding commodities as well as for tin. Various other elements are found in anomalous concentrations within the study area, but there is likelihood for their occurrence in amounts sufficient to constitute resources. Exploration, especially for molybdenum, gold, and uranium, has been active in the past and is expected to continue in the future. No potential for fossil fuel resources was identified in this study.

  10. The Cambrian radiation of shelly fossils.

    PubMed

    Rozanov, A Y

    1992-03-01

    One of the most significant events in the history of the organic world was the acquisition by animals of the ability to build a skeleton. This is of special interest because the overwhelming majority of known major groups (phyla) acquired that ability during a very short period (five to seven million years), early in the Cambrian. Recent fossil finds, especially in northern Asia, are adding much detail to our knowledge of this period. PMID:21235962

  11. Precambrian ``fossil'' Vermiforma is a tectograph

    SciTech Connect

    Seilacher, A.; Meschede, M.; Bolton, E.W.; Luginsland, H.

    2000-03-01

    Vermiforma antiqua Cloud 1976, once celebrated as the earliest animal fossil of the US, is actually a tectonic artifact. The main argument is that the congruence and equal orientation of multiple patterns on the same bedding plane are incompatible with swaying worm bodies of worm burrows. As shown by analog and numerical simulations, these structures can be explained as tracks of particles that broke out from the base of an overlying turbidite and became rolled between beds during bed-to-bed shearing.

  12. Fossil dust shells around luminous supergiants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stothers, R.

    1975-01-01

    The observed frequency with which infrared excesses appear in F, G, and K supergiants of luminosity class Ia supports the idea that these excesses arise in a 'fossil' circumstellar dust shell that was formed during a prior M-super-giant phase of evolution. The required leftward evolution of the star on the H-R diagram would then imply that the Ledoux, rather than the Schwarzschild, criterion for convective mixing is the correct criterion to use in stellar evolution calculations.

  13. Adaptation, plant evolution, and the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knoll, A. H.; Niklas, K. J.

    1987-01-01

    The importance of adaptation in determining patterns of evolution has become an important focus of debate in evolutionary biology. As it pertains to paleobotany, the issue is whether or not adaptive evolution mediated by natural selection is sufficient to explain the stratigraphic distributions of taxa and character states observed in the plant fossil record. One means of addressing this question is the functional evaluation of stratigraphic series of plant organs set in the context of paleoenvironmental change and temporal patterns of floral composition within environments. For certain organ systems, quantitative estimates of biophysical performance can be made on the basis of structures preserved in the fossil record. Performance estimates for plants separated in time or space can be compared directly. Implicit in different hypotheses of the forces that shape the evolutionary record (e.g. adaptation, mass extinction, rapid environmental change, chance) are predictions about stratigraphic and paleoenvironmental trends in the efficacy of functional performance. Existing data suggest that following the evolution of a significant structural innovation, adaptation for improved functional performance can be a major determinant of evolutionary changes in plants; however, there are structural and development limits to functional improvement, and once these are reached, the structure in question may no longer figure strongly in selection until and unless a new innovation evolves. The Silurian-Devonian paleobotanical record is consistent with the hypothesis that the succession of lowland floodplain dominants preserved in the fossil record of this interval was determined principally by the repeated evolution of new taxa that rose to ecological importance because of competitive advantages conferred by improved biophysical performance. This does not seem to be equally true for Carboniferous-Jurassic dominants of swamp and lowland floodplain environments. In these cases, environmental disruption appears to have been a major factor in shaping the fossil record. This does not mean that continuing adaptation was not important during this interval, but it may indicate that adaptive evolution was strongest in environments other than those best represented in the paleobotanical record.

  14. Identifying Fossil Bacteria in Martian Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westall, F.; McKay, D. S.; Gibson, E. K., Jr.

    1999-01-01

    Within the next decade, robotic missions are going to Mars with the search for evidence for extant and extinct life as at least one of the mission objectives. Moreover, the first Martian samples will be returned to Earth in 2008. It is therefore imperative that we can be certain that we can identify life in Martian rocks. In this paper we will not be discussing extant life but will concentrate on fossil life.

  15. Tool making, hand morphology and fossil hominins.

    PubMed

    Marzke, Mary W

    2013-11-19

    Was stone tool making a factor in the evolution of human hand morphology? Is it possible to find evidence in fossil hominin hands for this capability? These questions are being addressed with increasingly sophisticated studies that are testing two hypotheses; (i) that humans have unique patterns of grip and hand movement capabilities compatible with effective stone tool making and use of the tools and, if this is the case, (ii) that there exist unique patterns of morphology in human hands that are consistent with these capabilities. Comparative analyses of human stone tool behaviours and chimpanzee feeding behaviours have revealed a distinctive set of forceful pinch grips by humans that are effective in the control of stones by one hand during manufacture and use of the tools. Comparative dissections, kinematic analyses and biomechanical studies indicate that humans do have a unique pattern of muscle architecture and joint surface form and functions consistent with the derived capabilities. A major remaining challenge is to identify skeletal features that reflect the full morphological pattern, and therefore may serve as clues to fossil hominin manipulative capabilities. Hominin fossils are evaluated for evidence of patterns of derived human grip and stress-accommodation features. PMID:24101624

  16. Exploring macroevolution using modern and fossil data.

    PubMed

    Benton, Michael J

    2015-07-01

    Macroevolution, encompassing the deep-time patterns of the origins of modern biodiversity, has been discussed in many contexts. Non-Darwinian models such as macromutations have been proposed as a means of bridging seemingly large gaps in knowledge, or as a means to explain the origin of exquisitely adapted body plans. However, such gaps can be spanned by new fossil finds, and complex, integrated organisms can be shown to have evolved piecemeal. For example, the fossil record between dinosaurs and Archaeopteryx has now filled up with astonishing fossil intermediates that show how the unique plexus of avian adaptations emerged step by step over 60 Myr. New numerical approaches to morphometrics and phylogenetic comparative methods allow palaeontologists and biologists to work together on deep-time questions of evolution, to explore how diversity, morphology and function have changed through time. Patterns are more complex than sometimes expected, with frequent decoupling of species diversity and morphological diversity, pointing to the need for some new generalizations about the processes that lie behind such patterns. PMID:26063844

  17. Fossil avian eggshell preserves ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Oskam, Charlotte L.; Haile, James; McLay, Emma; Rigby, Paul; Allentoft, Morten E.; Olsen, Maia E.; Bengtsson, Camilla; Miller, Gifford H.; Schwenninger, Jean-Luc; Jacomb, Chris; Walter, Richard; Baynes, Alexander; Dortch, Joe; Parker-Pearson, Michael; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Holdaway, Richard N.; Willerslev, Eske; Bunce, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Owing to exceptional biomolecule preservation, fossil avian eggshell has been used extensively in geochronology and palaeodietary studies. Here, we show, to our knowledge, for the first time that fossil eggshell is a previously unrecognized source of ancient DNA (aDNA). We describe the successful isolation and amplification of DNA from fossil eggshell up to 19 ka old. aDNA was successfully characterized from eggshell obtained from New Zealand (extinct moa and ducks), Madagascar (extinct elephant birds) and Australia (emu and owl). Our data demonstrate excellent preservation of the nucleic acids, evidenced by retrieval of both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA from many of the samples. Using confocal microscopy and quantitative PCR, this study critically evaluates approaches to maximize DNA recovery from powdered eggshell. Our quantitative PCR experiments also demonstrate that moa eggshell has approximately 125 times lower bacterial load than bone, making it a highly suitable substrate for high-throughput sequencing approaches. Importantly, the preservation of DNA in Pleistocene eggshell from Australia and Holocene deposits from Madagascar indicates that eggshell is an excellent substrate for the long-term preservation of DNA in warmer climates. The successful recovery of DNA from this substrate has implications in a number of scientific disciplines; most notably archaeology and palaeontology, where genotypes and/or DNA-based species identifications can add significantly to our understanding of diets, environments, past biodiversity and evolutionary processes. PMID:20219731

  18. Tool making, hand morphology and fossil hominins

    PubMed Central

    Marzke, Mary W.

    2013-01-01

    Was stone tool making a factor in the evolution of human hand morphology? Is it possible to find evidence in fossil hominin hands for this capability? These questions are being addressed with increasingly sophisticated studies that are testing two hypotheses; (i) that humans have unique patterns of grip and hand movement capabilities compatible with effective stone tool making and use of the tools and, if this is the case, (ii) that there exist unique patterns of morphology in human hands that are consistent with these capabilities. Comparative analyses of human stone tool behaviours and chimpanzee feeding behaviours have revealed a distinctive set of forceful pinch grips by humans that are effective in the control of stones by one hand during manufacture and use of the tools. Comparative dissections, kinematic analyses and biomechanical studies indicate that humans do have a unique pattern of muscle architecture and joint surface form and functions consistent with the derived capabilities. A major remaining challenge is to identify skeletal features that reflect the full morphological pattern, and therefore may serve as clues to fossil hominin manipulative capabilities. Hominin fossils are evaluated for evidence of patterns of derived human grip and stress-accommodation features. PMID:24101624

  19. Exploring macroevolution using modern and fossil data

    PubMed Central

    Benton, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Macroevolution, encompassing the deep-time patterns of the origins of modern biodiversity, has been discussed in many contexts. Non-Darwinian models such as macromutations have been proposed as a means of bridging seemingly large gaps in knowledge, or as a means to explain the origin of exquisitely adapted body plans. However, such gaps can be spanned by new fossil finds, and complex, integrated organisms can be shown to have evolved piecemeal. For example, the fossil record between dinosaurs and Archaeopteryx has now filled up with astonishing fossil intermediates that show how the unique plexus of avian adaptations emerged step by step over 60 Myr. New numerical approaches to morphometrics and phylogenetic comparative methods allow palaeontologists and biologists to work together on deep-time questions of evolution, to explore how diversity, morphology and function have changed through time. Patterns are more complex than sometimes expected, with frequent decoupling of species diversity and morphological diversity, pointing to the need for some new generalizations about the processes that lie behind such patterns. PMID:26063844

  20. Non-retroviral fossils in vertebrate genomes.

    PubMed

    Horie, Masayuki; Tomonaga, Keizo

    2011-10-01

    Although no physical fossils of viruses have been found, retroviruses are known to leave their molecular fossils in the genomes of their hosts, the so-called endogenous retroviral elements. These have provided us with important information about retroviruses in the past and their co-evolution with their hosts. On the other hand, because non-retroviral viruses were considered not to leave such fossils, even the existence of prehistoric non-retroviral viruses has been enigmatic. Recently, we discovered that elements derived from ancient bornaviruses, non-segmented, negative strand RNA viruses, are found in the genomes of several mammalian species, including humans. In addition, at approximately the same time, several endogenous elements of RNA viruses, DNA viruses and reverse-transcribing DNA viruses have been independently reported, which revealed that non-retroviral viruses have played significant roles in the evolution of their hosts and provided novel insights into virology and cell biology. Here we review non-retroviral virus-like elements in vertebrate genomes, non-retroviral integration and the knowledge obtained from these endogenous non-retroviral virus-like elements. PMID:22069518

  1. Classification of organisms: living and fossil.

    PubMed

    Anderson, C

    1993-01-01

    The classification advanced herein provides a framework to which any organism can be readily placed and offers comprehensive coverage of the entire biological spectrum. The viruses are incorporated as a kingdom of organisms and a rationale advanced for a 6-kingdom system. Many seldom-classified fossil organisms are included, with a significant number of them classified at an advanced level. Individual phyla are recognized for the fossil genera Tribrachidium, Amiskwia, Dinomischus, Anomalocaris, Tullimonstrum, Hallucigenia, Opabinia and Pikaia. Other seldom-recognized phyla include viruses, conularids, loriciferans, tentaculites, hyoliths, scleritophores, myzostomans, acorn worms, conodonts, monoblastozoans and volborthellids. The notion that failures (geologically) cannot be phyla is rejected. A system of kingdom-related and rank-related suffixes is incorporated with the flexible opportunity, if deemed necessary, to advance or reduce taxa by re-suffixing. Other features of the complete classification of Anderson (Classification of Organisms: Living and Fossil, Golden Crowns Press, Lancaster, OH, 1992) include the elimination of duplicate taxa, incorporation of geologic ranges and number of species for many groups, and extensive usage of common names, which are completely indexed. PMID:8155858

  2. Viral and vector zoonotic exploitation of a homo-sociome memetic complex.

    PubMed

    Rupprecht, C E; Burgess, G W

    2015-05-01

    As most newly characterized emerging infectious diseases are considered to be zoonotic, a modern pre-eminence ascribed within this classification lies clearly within the viral taxonomic realm. In particular, RNA viruses deserve special concern given their documented impact on conservation biology, veterinary medicine and public health, with an unprecedented ability to promote an evolutionary host-pathogen arms race from the ultimate infection and immunity perspective. However, besides the requisite molecular/gross anatomical and physiological bases for infectious diseases to transmit from one host to another, both viral pathogens and their reservoirs/vectors exploit a complex anthropological, cultural, historical, psychological and social suite that specifically defines the phylodynamics within Homo sapiens, unlike any other species. Some of these variables include the ecological benefits of living in groups, decisions on hunting and foraging behaviours and dietary preferences, myths and religious doctrines, health economics, travel destinations, population planning, political decisions on agricultural product bans and many others, in a homo-sociome memetic complex. Taken to an extreme, such complexities elucidate the underpinnings of explanations as to why certain viral zoonoses reside in neglected people, places and things, whereas others are chosen selectively and prioritized for active mitigation. Canine-transmitted rabies serves as one prime example of how a neglected viral zoonosis may transition to greater attention on the basis of renewed advocacy, social media, local champions and vested international community engagement. In contrast, certain bat-associated and arboviral diseases suffer from basic ignorance and perpetuated misunderstanding of fundamental reservoir and vector ecology tenets, translated into failed control policies that only exacerbate the underlying environmental conditions of concern. Beyond applied biomedical knowledge, epidemiological skills and biotechnical abilities alone, if a homo-sociome memetic complex approach is also entertained in a modern transdisciplinary context, neglected viral zoonosis may be better understood, controlled, prevented and possibly eliminated, in a more holistic One Health context. PMID:25769428

  3. Molecular determinants of arenavirus Z protein homo-oligomerization and L polymerase binding.

    PubMed

    Loureiro, Maria Eugenia; Wilda, Maximiliano; Levingston Macleod, Jesica M; D'Antuono, Alejandra; Foscaldi, Sabrina; Marino Buslje, Cristina; Lopez, Nora

    2011-12-01

    The arenavirus Z is a zinc-binding RING protein that has been implicated in multiple functions during the viral life cycle. These roles of Z involve interactions with viral and cellular proteins that remain incompletely understood. In this regard, Z inhibits viral RNA transcription and replication through direct interaction with the viral L polymerase. Here, we defined the L-binding domain of Tacaribe virus (TCRV) Z protein and the structural requirements mediating Z homo-oligomerization. By using site-directed mutagenesis, coimmunoprecipitation, and functional assays, we showed that residues R37, N39, W44, L50, and Y57, located around the zinc coordination site I, play a critical role in the Z-L interaction. We also found that Z protein from either TCRV or the pathogenic Junin virus (JUNV) self-associates into oligomeric forms in mammalian cells. Importantly, mutation of the myristoylation site, the strictly conserved residue G at position 2, severely impaired the ability of both TCRV Z and JUNV Z to self-interact as well as their capacity to accumulate at the plasma membrane, strongly suggesting that Z homo-oligomerization is associated with its myristoylation and cell membrane targeting. In contrast, disruption of the RING structure or substitution of W44 or N39, which are critical for L protein recognition, did not affect Z self-binding. Overall, the data presented here indicate that homo-oligomerization is not a requirement for Z-L interaction or Z-mediated polymerase activity inhibition. PMID:21957305

  4. Molecular structure, First-order hyperpolarizability and HOMO-LUMO studies of L- Histidinium Dinitrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arulmozhi, S.; Madhavan, J.

    2015-02-01

    The geometric parameters and hyperpolarizabilities of a nonlinear optical material L- Histidinium Dinitrate (LHDN) was investigated by density functional theory and presented. The compound crystallizes in the noncentro symmetric space group P212121 of orthorhombic system. The first order hyperpolarizability (β) of this molecular system is calculated using B3LYP/6-31G (d,p) method on the finite-field approach. The calculation results also show that the LHDN molecule might have microscopic nonlinear optical behavior with non zero values. The Optical absorption spectrum and second harmonic generation were investigated. The calculated HOMO and LUMO energies showed that charge transfer occurs within the molecule.

  5. Radical-initiated controlled synthesis of homo- and copolymers based on acrylonitrile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grishin, D. F.; Grishin, I. D.

    2015-07-01

    Data on the controlled synthesis of polyacrylonitrile and acrylonitrile copolymers with other (meth)acrylic and vinyl monomers upon radical initiation and metal complex catalysis are analyzed. Primary attention is given to the use of metal complexes for the synthesis of acrylonitrile-based (co)polymers with defined molecular weight and polydispersity in living mode by atom transfer radical polymerization. The prospects for using known methods of controlled synthesis of macromolecules for the preparation of acrylonitrile homo- and copolymers as carbon fibre precursors are estimated. The major array of published data analyzed in the review refers to the last decade. The bibliography includes 175 references.

  6. Titanium pyridonates for the homo- and copolymerization of rac-lactide and ε-caprolactone.

    PubMed

    Gilmour, Damon J; Webster, Ruth L; Perry, Mitchell R; Schafer, Laurel L

    2015-07-21

    A series of titanium pyridonate complexes have been synthesized under very mild reaction conditions from a common precursor, Ti(NMe2)4. These complexes have been explored as initiators for the ring-opening polymerization of rac-lactide and ε-caprolactone and have proven to be competitive with leading titanium initiators. Furthermore, these complexes have been shown to be competent initiators for the synthesis of copolymers (CL-LA block copolymers and random copolymers). Metal complex reactivity trends in both homo- and copolymerization show that poly(lactic acid) is most susceptible to chain scission and transesterification. PMID:26018788

  7. Designing artificial 3D helicates: unprecedented self-assembly of homo-octanuclear tetrapods with europium.

    PubMed

    Zebret, Soumaila; Vgele, Eliane; Klumpler, Tomas; Hamacek, Josef

    2015-04-27

    Herein, we report on the rational design, preparation and characterization of a novel homo-octanuclear helicate, which results from a spatial extension of the central tetranuclear platform. The 3D supramolecular assembly is obtained by complexing europium(III) with a new hexatopic tripodal ligand. The isolated octanuclear helicate is fully characterized by different methods clearly evidencing the structure predicted with molecular modelling. The ligand preorganization plays a crucial role in a successful self-assembly process and induces the formation of a well-defined triple-stranded helical structure. This prototypal octanuclear edifice accommodating functional lanthanides within a 3D scaffold offers attractive perspectives for further applications. PMID:25765709

  8. Emissions Scenarios and Fossil-fuel Peaking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brecha, R.

    2008-12-01

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emissions scenarios are based on detailed energy system models in which demographics, technology and economics are used to generate projections of future world energy consumption, and therefore, of greenhouse gas emissions. Built into the assumptions for these scenarios are estimates for ultimately recoverable resources of various fossil fuels. There is a growing chorus of critics who believe that the true extent of recoverable fossil resources is much smaller than the amounts taken as a baseline for the IPCC scenarios. In a climate optimist camp are those who contend that "peak oil" will lead to a switch to renewable energy sources, while others point out that high prices for oil caused by supply limitations could very well lead to a transition to liquid fuels that actually increase total carbon emissions. We examine a third scenario in which high energy prices, which are correlated with increasing infrastructure, exploration and development costs, conspire to limit the potential for making a switch to coal or natural gas for liquid fuels. In addition, the same increasing costs limit the potential for expansion of tar sand and shale oil recovery. In our qualitative model of the energy system, backed by data from short- and medium-term trends, we have a useful way to gain a sense of potential carbon emission bounds. A bound for 21st century emissions is investigated based on two assumptions: first, that extractable fossil-fuel resources follow the trends assumed by "peak oil" adherents, and second, that little is done in the way of climate mitigation policies. If resources, and perhaps more importantly, extraction rates, of fossil fuels are limited compared to assumptions in the emissions scenarios, a situation can arise in which emissions are supply-driven. However, we show that even in this "peak fossil-fuel" limit, carbon emissions are high enough to surpass 550 ppm or 2°C climate protection guardrails. Some indicators are presented that the scenario presented here should not be disregarded, and comparisons are made to the outputs of emission scenarios used for the IPCC reports.

  9. Palaeomagnetic analysis of the Sterkfontein palaeocave deposits: implications for the age of the hominin fossils and stone tool industries.

    PubMed

    Herries, Andy I R; Shaw, John

    2011-05-01

    Palaeomagnetic analysis was conducted on speleothems from Members 1-5 at Sterkfontein Cave, South Africa. Palaeomagnetic analysis of siltstone and speleothem from the bulk of Member 4 indicate a reversed magnetic polarity that dates the deposits and its Australopithecus africanus fossils to between 2.58 and ~2.16 Ma. Further confirmation of this age comes in the form of two short normal polarity events correlated to the Rèunion (~2.16 Ma) and Huckleberry Ridge (~2.05 Ma) events in speleothem capping the bulk of Member 4 and coeval with deposition of the final phase of Member 4, including A. africanus fossil Sts 5. At ~2.16-2.05 Ma, Sts 5 is the youngest representative of A. africanus yet discovered. Palaeomagnetic analysis of the Silberberg Grotto deposits identifies a single short geomagnetic field event in flowstone overlying the StW 573 Australopithecus fossil, which is suggested to represent the Rèunion event at ~2.16 Ma. This further supports the uranium lead age estimates of 2.3-2.2 Ma for the StW 573 fossil. Based on a reversed polarity for the deposits below the skeleton it cannot be older than 2.58 Ma. If StW 573 is considered to be a second species of Australopithecus then this indicates that two species of Australopithecus are present at Sterkfontein between 2.6 and 2.0 Ma. All of the Member 5 deposits date to less than 1.8 Ma based on a comparison of palaeomagnetic, faunal, and electron spin resonance age estimates. The StW 53 fossil bearing infill (M5A) is intermediate in age between Member 4 and the rest of Member 5 (B-C) at around 1.78-1.49 Ma. The rest of Member 5 (B-C) containing Oldowan and Acheulian stone tools and Homo and Paranthropus fossils was deposited gradually between 1.40 and 1.07 Ma, much younger than previously suggested. PMID:21392817

  10. Traversing the mountaintop: world fossil fuel production to 2050.

    PubMed

    Nehring, Richard

    2009-10-27

    During the past century, fossil fuels--petroleum liquids, natural gas and coal--were the dominant source of world energy production. From 1950 to 2005, fossil fuels provided 85-93% of all energy production. All fossil fuels grew substantially during this period, their combined growth exceeding the increase in world population. This growth, however, was irregular, providing for rapidly growing per capita production from 1950 to 1980, stable per capita production from 1980 to 2000 and rising per capita production again after 2000. During the past half century, growth in fossil fuel production was essentially limited by energy demand. During the next half century, fossil fuel production will be limited primarily by the amount and characteristics of remaining fossil fuel resources. Three possible scenarios--low, medium and high--are developed for the production of each of the fossil fuels to 2050. These scenarios differ primarily by the amount of ultimate resources estimated for each fossil fuel. Total fossil fuel production will continue to grow, but only slowly for the next 15-30 years. The subsequent peak plateau will last for 10-15 years. These production peaks are robust; none of the fossil fuels, even with highly optimistic resource estimates, is projected to keep growing beyond 2050. World fossil fuel production per capita will thus begin an irreversible decline between 2020 and 2030. PMID:19770156

  11. Traversing the mountaintop: world fossil fuel production to 2050

    PubMed Central

    Nehring, Richard

    2009-01-01

    During the past century, fossil fuels—petroleum liquids, natural gas and coal—were the dominant source of world energy production. From 1950 to 2005, fossil fuels provided 85–93% of all energy production. All fossil fuels grew substantially during this period, their combined growth exceeding the increase in world population. This growth, however, was irregular, providing for rapidly growing per capita production from 1950 to 1980, stable per capita production from 1980 to 2000 and rising per capita production again after 2000. During the past half century, growth in fossil fuel production was essentially limited by energy demand. During the next half century, fossil fuel production will be limited primarily by the amount and characteristics of remaining fossil fuel resources. Three possible scenarios—low, medium and high—are developed for the production of each of the fossil fuels to 2050. These scenarios differ primarily by the amount of ultimate resources estimated for each fossil fuel. Total fossil fuel production will continue to grow, but only slowly for the next 15–30 years. The subsequent peak plateau will last for 10–15 years. These production peaks are robust; none of the fossil fuels, even with highly optimistic resource estimates, is projected to keep growing beyond 2050. World fossil fuel production per capita will thus begin an irreversible decline between 2020 and 2030. PMID:19770156

  12. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging for the study of fossils.

    PubMed

    Giovannetti, Giulio; Guerrini, Andrea; Salvadori, Piero A

    2016-07-01

    Computed tomography (CT) has long been used for investigating palaeontological specimens, as it is a nondestructive technique which avoids the need to dissolve or ionize the fossil sample. However, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have recently gained ground as analytical tools for examination of palaeontological samples, by nondestructively providing information about the structure and composition of fossils. While MRI techniques are able to reveal the three-dimensional geometry of the trace fossil, MRS can provide information on the chemical composition of the samples. The multidimensional nature of MR (magnetic resonance) signals has potential to provide rich three-dimensional data on the palaeontological specimens and also to help in elucidating paleopathological and paleoecological questions. In this work the verified applications and the emerging uses of MRI and MRS in paleontology are reviewed, with particular attention to fossil spores, fossil plants, ambers, fossil invertebrates, and fossil vertebrate studies. PMID:26979538

  13. Fossil Energy Program semiannual progress report, October 1990--March 1991

    SciTech Connect

    Judkins, R.R.

    1992-07-01

    This report covers progress made during the period October 1, 1990, through March 31, 1991, for research and development projects that contribute to the advancement of various fossil energy technologies. Projects on the Fossil Energy Program are supported by the DOE Office of Fossil Energy, the DOE Morgantown Energy Technology Center, the DOE Pittsburgh Energy Technology Center, the DOE Fossil Energy Clean Coal Technology Program, the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences, the DOE Fossil Energy Office of Petroleum Reserves, the DOE Fossil Energy Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves, and the US Agency for International Development. The Fossil, Energy Program organization chart is shown in the appendix. Topics include: alloys, ceramics and composite research and development; corrosion and erosion research; environmental analysis and information systems; coal conversion development; mild gasification product characterization; coal combustion research; strategic petroleum reserve planning and modeling; and coal structure and chemistry.

  14. Derivatives of Black Knight Technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, N.; Wright, D.

    This paper traces the line of descent from Black Knight to Black Arrow, and at the same time looks at various proposed projects, both civil and military, which were to be Black Knight derivatives, but which for one reason or another never saw the light of day. Research in this area is rather akin to anthropological work, tracing fossils from Homo erectus (Black Knight) to Homo sapiens (Black Arrow), knowing that a lot of the fossils found will not be on the direct line of descent, but represent branches that became extinct. This article attempts to cover designs, which, although they never made it to hardware, are none the less interesting technically, or shine light on the evolution of design philosophy.

  15. Hawaii energy strategy project 2: Fossil energy review. Task 1: World and regional fossil energy dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Breazeale, K.; Isaak, D.T.; Yamaguchi, N.; Fridley, D.; Johnson, C.; Long, S.

    1993-12-01

    This report in the Hawaii Energy Strategy Project examines world and regional fossil energy dynamics. The topics of the report include fossil energy characteristics, the world oil industry including reserves, production, consumption, exporters, importers, refining, products and their uses, history and trends in the global oil market and the Asia-Pacific market; world gas industry including reserves, production, consumption, exporters, importers, processing, gas-based products, international gas market and the emerging Asia-Pacific gas market; the world coal industry including reserves, classification and quality, utilization, transportation, pricing, world coal market, Asia-Pacific coal outlook, trends in Europe and the Americas; and environmental trends affecting fossil fuels. 132 figs., 46 tabs.

  16. Dynamic dissociating homo-oligomers and the control of protein function.

    PubMed

    Selwood, Trevor; Jaffe, Eileen K

    2012-03-15

    Homo-oligomeric protein assemblies are known to participate in dynamic association/disassociation equilibria under native conditions, thus creating an equilibrium of assembly states. Such quaternary structure equilibria may be influenced in a physiologically significant manner either by covalent modification or by the non-covalent binding of ligands. This review follows the evolution of ideas about homo-oligomeric equilibria through the 20th and into the 21st centuries and the relationship of these equilibria to allosteric regulation by the non-covalent binding of ligands. A dynamic quaternary structure equilibria is described where the dissociated state can have alternate conformations that cannot reassociate to the original multimer; the alternate conformations dictate assembly to functionally distinct alternate multimers of finite stoichiometry. The functional distinction between different assemblies provides a mechanism for allostery. The requirement for dissociation distinguishes this morpheein model of allosteric regulation from the classical MWC concerted and KNF sequential models. These models are described alongside earlier dissociating allosteric models. The identification of proteins that exist as an equilibrium of diverse native quaternary structure assemblies has the potential to define new targets for allosteric modulation with significant consequences for further understanding and/or controlling protein structure and function. Thus, a rationale for identifying proteins that may use the morpheein model of allostery is presented and a selection of proteins for which published data suggests this mechanism may be operative are listed. PMID:22182754

  17. Initiation of the microgene polymerization reaction with non-repetitive homo-duplexes

    SciTech Connect

    Itsko, Mark Zaritsky, Arieh; Rabinovitch, Avinoam; Ben-Dov, Eitan

    2008-04-11

    Microgene Polymerization Reaction (MPR) is used as an experimental system to artificially simulate evolution of short, non-repetitive homo-duplex DNA into multiply-repetitive products that can code for functional proteins. Blunt-end ligation by DNA polymerase is crucial in expansion of homo-duplexes (HDs) into head-to-tail multiple repeats in MPR. The propagation mechanism is known, but formation of the initial doublet (ID) by juxtaposing two HDs and polymerization through the gap has been ambiguous. Initiation events with pairs of HDs using Real-Time PCR were more frequent at higher HD concentrations and slightly below the melting temperature. A process molecularity of about 3.1, calculated from the amplification efficiency and the difference in PCR cycles at which propagation was detected at varying HD concentrations, led to a simple mechanism for ID formation: the gap between two HDs is bridged by a third. Considering thermodynamic aspects of the presumed intermediate 'nucleation complex' can predict relative propensity for the process with other HDs.

  18. Structural, spectral, thermodynamical, NLO, HOMO, LUMO and NBO analysis of fluconazole.

    PubMed

    Chandrasekaran, K; Thilak Kumar, R

    2015-11-01

    Fluconazole is an efficient antifungal drug used in the treatment and prevention of superficial and systemic fungal infections. The molecular structure, fundamental vibrational wavenumber and intensity of the vibrational bands are interpreted, aided by density functional theory method. The results of the calculations were applied to simulated spectra of the title compound, which show excellent agreement with observed spectra. The vibrational analysis of the title compound has been carried out using FT-IR and FT-Raman spectra. Stability of the molecule arising from hyperconjugative interactions and charge delocalization has been analyzed using natural bond orbital analysis. The present investigation is extended to calculate the HOMO-LUMO energy gap, polarizability, Mulliken charges and thermodynamical properties of fluconazole at different temperature. The calculated HOMO-LUMO energy gap shows that the charge transfer occurs within the molecule. The frontier orbital and molecular electrostatic potential surface studies have been employed to understand the active sites of fluconazole. Nonlinear optical properties related to polarizability and hyperpolarizability are also discussed. The absorption characteristics and solvent analysis of fluconazole have been made using UV-Vis spectroscopic method. PMID:26123515

  19. Comparative evaluation of solar, fission, fusion, and fossil energy resources. Part 4: Energy from fossil fuels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, J. R.

    1974-01-01

    The conversion of fossil-fired power plants now burning oil or gas to burn coal is discussed along with the relaxation of air quality standards and the development of coal gasification processes to insure a continued supply of gas from coal. The location of oil fields, refining areas, natural gas fields, and pipelines in the U.S. is shown. The technologies of modern fossil-fired boilers and gas turbines are defined along with the new technologies of fluid-bed boilers and MHD generators.

  20. Abstracts: Eighth Annual Conference on Fossil Energy Materials. Fossil Energy Program

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-07-01

    Abstracts are presented for about 40 papers. The Fossil Energy Advanced Research and Technology Development Materials program is an integrated materials research activity of the fossil energy coal program, whose objective is to conduct R and D for all advanced coal conversion and utilization technologies. The program is aimed at understanding materials behavior in coal system environments and the development of new materials for improving plant operations and reliability. A generic approach is used for addressing multiple coal technologies; for example, the hot-gas particulate filter development is applicable to pressurized fluidized bed combustion, integrated coal gasification combined-cycle, coal combustion, and indirectly fired combined-cycle systems.

  1. System studies guiding fossil energy RD & D

    SciTech Connect

    2007-12-31

    The article describes the following recently completed studies, all of which may be accessed on NETL's website: http://netl.doe.gov/energy-analyses/ref-shelf.html: Cost and performance baseline for fossil energy power plants - volume 1: bituminous coal and natural gas to electricity (May 2007); Increasing security and reducing carbon emissions of the US transportation sector: a transformational role for coal with biomass (August 2007); Industrial size gasification for syngas, substitute natural gas, and power production (April 2007); and Carbon dioxide capture from existing coal-fired power plants (December 2006). 2 figs.

  2. Recent developments in biodesulfurization of fossil fuels.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ping; Feng, Jinhui; Yu, Bo; Li, Fuli; Ma, Cuiqing

    2009-01-01

    The emission of sulfur oxides can have adverse effects on the environment. Biodesulfurization of fossil fuels is attracting more and more attention because such a bioprocess is environmentally friendly. Some techniques of desulfurization have been used or studied to meet the stricter limitation on sulfur content in China. Recent advances have demonstrated the mechanism and developments for biodesulfurization of gasoline, diesel and crude oils by free cells or immobilized cells. Genetic technology was also used to improve sulfur removal efficiencies. In this review, we summarize recent progress mainly in China on petroleum biodesulfurization. PMID:19475378

  3. Microbial desulphurization and denitrogenation of fossil fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Finnerty, W.R.

    1982-06-01

    This work evaluates the use of microorganisms in the removal of sulphur-containing heterocyclic compounds from high-sulphur crude oil. Relevent literature by Strawinski, Zobell, and Kirsehnbaum is reviewed. A sulphur-containing heterocycle, dibenzothiophene, and high sulphur crude oil are measured. The presence of plasmids in dibenzothiophene oxidation was determined. These studies are extended to select and isolate microorganisms capable of oxidizing carbazole, a nitrogen-containing aromatic compound known to be present in liquid fossil fuel. This work remains at basic research and development level.

  4. Modeling of advanced fossil fuel power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zabihian, Farshid

    The first part of this thesis deals with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil fuel-fired power stations. The GHG emission estimation from fossil fuel power generation industry signifies that emissions from this industry can be significantly reduced by fuel switching and adaption of advanced power generation technologies. In the second part of the thesis, steady-state models of some of the advanced fossil fuel power generation technologies are presented. The impacts of various parameters on the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) overpotentials and outputs are investigated. The detail analyses of operation of the hybrid SOFC-gas turbine (GT) cycle when fuelled with methane and syngas demonstrate that the efficiencies of the cycles with and without anode exhaust recirculation are close, but the specific power of the former is much higher. The parametric analysis of the performance of the hybrid SOFC-GT cycle indicates that increasing the system operating pressure and SOFC operating temperature and fuel utilization factor improves cycle efficiency, but the effects of the increasing SOFC current density and turbine inlet temperature are not favourable. The analysis of the operation of the system when fuelled with a wide range of fuel types demonstrates that the hybrid SOFC-GT cycle efficiency can be between 59% and 75%, depending on the inlet fuel type. Then, the system performance is investigated when methane as a reference fuel is replaced with various species that can be found in the fuel, i.e., H2, CO2, CO, and N 2. The results point out that influence of various species can be significant and different for each case. The experimental and numerical analyses of a biodiesel fuelled micro gas turbine indicate that fuel switching from petrodiesel to biodiesel can influence operational parameters of the system. The modeling results of gas turbine-based power plants signify that relatively simple models can predict plant performance with acceptable accuracy. The unique feature of these models is that they are developed based on similar assumptions and run at similar conditions; therefore, their results can be compared. This work demonstrates that, although utilization of fossil fuels for power generation is inevitable, at least in the short- and mid-term future, it is possible and practical to carry out such utilization more efficiently and in an environmentally friendlier manner.

  5. Synthesis, binding affinities and metabolic stability of dimeric dermorphin analogs modified with β(3) -homo-amino acids.

    PubMed

    Frączak, Oliwia; Lasota, Anika; Tymecka, Dagmara; Kosson, Piotr; Muchowska, Adriana; Misicka, Aleksandra; Olma, Aleksandra

    2016-04-01

    In this study, proteinogenic amino acids residues of dimeric dermorphin pentapeptides were replaced by the corresponding β(3) -homo-amino acids. The potency and selectivity of hybrid α/β dimeric dermorphin pentapeptides were evaluated by competetive receptor binding assay in the rat brain using [3H]DAMGO (a μ ligand) and [3H]DELT (a δ ligand). Tha analog containing β(3) -homo-Tyr in place of Tyr (Tyr-d-Ala-Phe-Gly-β(3) -homo-Tyr-NH-)2 showed good μ receptor affinity and selectivity (IC50  = 0.302, IC50 ratio μ/δ = 68) and enzymatic stability in human plasma. Copyright © 2016 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:27028206

  6. The Quaternary fossil-pollen record and global change

    SciTech Connect

    Grimm, E.C. . Research and Collections Center)

    1993-03-01

    Fossil pollen provide one of the most valuable records of vegetation and climate change during the recent geological past. Advantages of the fossil-pollen record are that deposits containing fossil pollen are widespread, especially in areas having natural lakes, that fossil pollen occurs in continuous stratigraphic sequences spanning millennia, and that fossil pollen occurs in quantitative assemblages permitting a multivariate approach for reconstructing past vegetation and climates. Because of stratigraphic continuity, fossil pollen records climate cycles on a wide range of scales, from annual to the 100 ka Milankovitch cycles. Receiving particular emphasis recently are decadal to century scale changes, possible from the sediments of varved lakes, and late Pleistocene events on a 5--10 ka scale possibly correlating with the Heinrich events in the North Atlantic marine record or the Dansgaard-Oeschger events in the Greenland ice-core record. Researchers have long reconstructed vegetation and climate by qualitative interpretation of the fossil-pollen record. Recently quantitative interpretation has developed with the aid of large fossil-pollen databases and sophisticated numerical models. In addition, fossil pollen are important climate proxy data for validating General Circulation Models, which are used for predicting the possible magnitude future climate change. Fossil-pollen data also contribute to an understanding of ecological issues associated with global climate change, including questions of how and how rapidly ecosystems might respond to abrupt climate change.

  7. Functional diversity of isoamylase oligomers: the ISA1 homo-oligomer is essential for amylopectin biosynthesis in rice endosperm.

    PubMed

    Utsumi, Yoshinori; Utsumi, Chikako; Sawada, Takayuki; Fujita, Naoko; Nakamura, Yasunori

    2011-05-01

    Rice (Oryza sativa) endosperm has two isoamylase (ISA) oligomers, ISA1 homo-oligomer and ISA1-ISA2 hetero-oligomer. To examine their contribution to starch synthesis, expression of the ISA1 or ISA2 gene was differently regulated in various transgenic plants. Although suppression of ISA2 gene expression caused the endosperm to have only the homo-oligomer, no significant effects were detected on the starch phenotypes. In contrast, ISA2 overexpression led to endosperm having only the hetero-oligomer, and starch synthesis in the endosperm was drastically impaired, both quantitatively and qualitatively, because the starch was devoid of typical starch features, such as thermal and x-ray diffraction properties, and water-soluble highly branched maltodextrins were accumulated. In the ISA2 overexpressed line, about 60% to 70% of the ISA1-ISA2 hetero-oligomer was bound to starch, while the ISA homo- and hetero-oligomers from the wild type were mostly present in the soluble form at the early milking stage of the endosperm. Detailed analysis of the relative amounts of homo- and hetero-oligomers in various lines also led us to the conclusion that the ISA1 homo-oligomer is essential, but not the ISA1-ISA2 oligomer, for starch production in rice endosperm. The relative amounts of ISA1 and ISA2 proteins were shown to determine the ratio of both oligomers and the stoichiometry of both ISAs in the hetero-oligomer. It was noted when compared with the homo-oligomer that all the hetero-oligomers from rice endosperm and leaf and potato (Solanum tuberosum) tuber were much more stable at 40°C. This study provides substantial data on the structural and functional diversity of ISA oligomers between plant tissues and species. PMID:21436381

  8. Cladistics and the hominid fossil record.

    PubMed

    Trinkaus, E

    1990-09-01

    Cladistic methodology has become common in phylogenetic analyses of the hominid fossil record. Even though it has correctly placed emphasis on morphology for the primary determination of affinities between groups and on explicit statements regarding traits and methods employed in making phylogenetic assessments, cladistics nonetheless has limitations when applied to the hominid fossil record. These include 1) the uncritical assumption of parsimony, 2) uncertainties in the identification of homoplasies, 3) difficulties in the appropriate delimitation of samples for analysis, 4) failure to account for normal patterns of variation, 5) methodological problems with the appropriate identification of morphological traits involving issues of biological relevance, intercorrelation, primary versus secondary characters, and the use of continuous variables, 6) issues of polarity identification, and 7) problems in hypothesis testing. While cladistics has focused attention on alternative phylogenetic reconstructions in hominid paleontology and on explicit statements regarding their morphological and methodological underpinnings, its biological limitations are too abundant for it to be more than a heuristic device for the preliminary ordering of complex human paleontological and neonatological data. PMID:2221023

  9. Species longevity in North American fossil mammals.

    PubMed

    Prothero, Donald R

    2014-08-01

    Species longevity in the fossil record is related to many paleoecological variables and is important to macroevolutionary studies, yet there are very few reliable data on average species durations in Cenozoic fossil mammals. Many of the online databases (such as the Paleobiology Database) use only genera of North American Cenozoic mammals and there are severe problems because key groups (e.g. camels, oreodonts, pronghorns and proboscideans) have no reliable updated taxonomy, with many invalid genera and species and/or many undescribed genera and species. Most of the published datasets yield species duration estimates of approximately 2.3-4.3 Myr for larger mammals, with small mammals tending to have shorter species durations. My own compilation of all the valid species durations in families with updated taxonomy (39 families, containing 431 genera and 998 species, averaging 2.3 species per genus) yields a mean duration of 3.21 Myr for larger mammals. This breaks down to 4.10-4.39 Myr for artiodactyls, 3.14-3.31 Myr for perissodactyls and 2.63-2.95 Myr for carnivorous mammals (carnivorans plus creodonts). These averages are based on a much larger, more robust dataset than most previous estimates, so they should be more reliable for any studies that need species longevity to be accurately estimated. PMID:25236413

  10. Taxonomy and fossils: a critical appraisal.

    PubMed Central

    Forey, Peter L; Fortey, Richard A; Kenrick, Paul; Smith, Andrew B

    2004-01-01

    Many compendia at the species, genus and family levels document the fossil record, but these are not standardized, nor usually critical in content, and few are available on the World Wide Web. The sampling of the available record is good for organisms with fossilizable parts, but preservational constraints on the entire morphology, life history and geographical distribution lead to difficulties in recognizing and naming species. We recommend abandoning some of the palaeontological species concepts such as chronospecies and stratospecies, and we advocate species recognition based on unique combinations of characters. The compilation of species lists is extremely time consuming, and given the inherent problems we suggest that compilation of generic lists is a more achievable goal because genera are recognized by definitive morphological characters. In calculating taxon duration, care must be taken to distinguish between mono-, para- and polyphyletic groups, the first being the only reliable unit for use in calculating diversity curves. We support the inclusion of fossils into classifications based on Recent organisms, but we recognize some of the problems this may pose for standard Linnaean classifications. Web-based taxonomy is the way forward, having the advantages of speed and currency of information dissemination, universal access with links to primary literature and increasingly sophisticated imagery. These advantages over conventional outlets will only be realized with careful Web design and a commitment to maintenance. PMID:15253350

  11. Shotgun microbial profiling of fossil remains.

    PubMed

    Der Sarkissian, C; Ermini, L; Jónsson, H; Alekseev, A N; Crubezy, E; Shapiro, B; Orlando, L

    2014-04-01

    Millions to billions of DNA sequences can now be generated from ancient skeletal remains thanks to the massive throughput of next-generation sequencing platforms. Except in cases of exceptional endogenous DNA preservation, most of the sequences isolated from fossil material do not originate from the specimen of interest, but instead reflect environmental organisms that colonized the specimen after death. Here, we characterize the microbial diversity recovered from seven c. 200- to 13 000-year-old horse bones collected from northern Siberia. We use a robust, taxonomy-based assignment approach to identify the microorganisms present in ancient DNA extracts and quantify their relative abundance. Our results suggest that molecular preservation niches exist within ancient samples that can potentially be used to characterize the environments from which the remains are recovered. In addition, microbial community profiling of the seven specimens revealed site-specific environmental signatures. These microbial communities appear to comprise mainly organisms that colonized the fossils recently. Our approach significantly extends the amount of useful data that can be recovered from ancient specimens using a shotgun sequencing approach. In future, it may be possible to correlate, for example, the accumulation of postmortem DNA damage with the presence and/or abundance of particular microbes. PMID:24612293

  12. FOSSIL2 energy policy model documentation: generic structures of the FOSSIL2 model

    SciTech Connect

    1980-10-01

    This report discusses the structure, derivations, assumptions, and mathematical formulation of the FOSSIL2 model. Each major facet of the model - supply/demand interactions, industry financing, and production - has been designed to parallel closely the actual cause/effect relationships determining the behavior of the United States energy system. The data base for the FOSSIL2 program is large. When possible, all data were obtained from sources well known to experts in the energy field. Cost and resource estimates are based on DOE data whenever possible. This report presents the FOSSIL2 model at several levels. In Volume I, an overview of the basic structures, assumptions, and behavior of the FOSSIL2 model is presented so that the reader can understand the results of various policy tests. The discussion covers the three major building blocks, or generic structures, used to construct the model: supply/demand balance; finance and capital formation; and energy production. These structures reflect the components and interactions of the major processes within each energy industry that directly affect the dynamics of fuel supply, demand, and price within the energy system as a whole.

  13. Earth's early fossil record: Why not look for similar fossils on Mars?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Awramik, Stanley M.

    1989-01-01

    The oldest evidence of life on Earth is discussed with attention being given to the structure and formation of stromatolites and microfossils. Fossilization of microbes in calcium carbonate or chert media is discussed. In searching for fossil remains on Mars, some lessons learned from the study of Earth's earliest fossil record can be applied. Certain sedimentary rock types and sedimentary rock configurations should be targeted for investigation and returned by the Martian rover and ultimately by human explorers. Domical, columnar to wavy laminated stratiform sedimentary rocks that resemble stromatolites should be actively sought. Limestone, other carbonates, and chert are the favored lithology. Being macroscopic, stromatolites might be recognized by an intelligent unmanned rover. In addition, black, waxy chert with conchoidal fracture should be sought. Chert is by far the preferred lithology for the preservation of microbes and chemical fossils. Even under optimal geological conditions (little or no metamorphism or tectonic alteration, excellent outcrops, and good black chert) and using experienced field biogeologists, the chances of finding well preserved microbial remains in chert are very low.

  14. A cranium for the earliest Europeans: phylogenetic position of the hominid from Ceprano, Italy.

    PubMed

    Manzi, G; Mallegni, F; Ascenzi, A

    2001-08-14

    The human fossil evidence unequivocally pertaining to the first inhabitants of Europe at present includes the sample from Atapuerca-TD6 (Spain) and the incomplete adult calvaria discovered near Ceprano, in Southern Latium (Italy). On the basis of regional correlations and a series of absolute dates, the age of the Ceprano hominid is estimated to range between 800 and 900 kilo-annum (ka). In addition, the association with archaic (Mode 1) Paleolithic findings from the same area is suggested. After the completed reconstruction of the calvaria, we present here a new study dealing with the general and more detailed aspects of the morphology displayed by Ceprano, in comparison to fossil samples ranging between Early and Middle Pleistocene. According to our results, cranial features indicate that Ceprano represents a unique morphological bridge between the clade Homo ergaster/erectus and later Middle Pleistocene specimens commonly referred to Homo heidelbergensis (and/or to Homo rhodesiensis), particularly those belonging to the African fossil record that ultimately relates to the origin of modern humans. In conclusion, given its geographical, chronological, and phylogenetic position, an attribution to the species Homo antecessor is considered, although the sample from Atapuerca-TD6 is not directly comparable to Ceprano. Alternatively, a new species-ancestral to later European and African hominines-should be named to accommodate such a unique fossil specimen. PMID:11504953

  15. Fossil energy biotechnology: A research needs assessment. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-11-01

    The Office of Program Analysis of the US Department of Energy commissioned this study to evaluate and prioritize research needs in fossil energy biotechnology. The objectives were to identify research initiatives in biotechnology that offer timely and strategic options for the more efficient and effective uses of the Nation`s fossil resource base, particularly the early identification of new and novel applications of biotechnology for the use or conversion of domestic fossil fuels. Fossil energy biotechnology consists of a number of diverse and distinct technologies, all related by the common denominator -- biocatalysis. The expert panel organized 14 technical subjects into three interrelated biotechnology programs: (1) upgrading the fuel value of fossil fuels; (2) bioconversion of fossil feedstocks and refined products to added value chemicals; and, (3) the development of environmental management strategies to minimize and mitigate the release of toxic and hazardous petrochemical wastes.

  16. Developments at the graft interface in homo- and hetero-grafts

    PubMed Central

    Clemente Moreno, Maria José; Hevin, Cyril; Ollat, Nathalie; Cookson, Sarah Jane

    2014-01-01

    Gene expression changes induced during graft union formation (the first month after grafting) in grapevine have been studied using whole genome microarrays. The genes differentially expressed between the rootstock and graft interface tissues of homo-grafts (Cabernet Sauvignon (CS) grafted onto CS) were compared at 3 and 28 days after grafting (dag). Graft union formation was associated with the upregulation of genes involved in secondary metabolism, cell wall, wound responses and hormone signaling. These gene expression differences were associated with the accumulation of lignin, cellulose and callose in the callus cells. Superimposed upon this, hetero-grafting between two different grapevine genotypes resulted in the further upregulation of stress and/or defense responses at the graft interface. Here we discuss the limitations of the techniques used to study the developments at the graft interface to date and future research directions to understand graft union formation in plants. PMID:24770337

  17. Pygmoid Australomelanesian Homo sapiens skeletal remains from Liang Bua, Flores: Population affinities and pathological abnormalities

    PubMed Central

    Jacob, T.; Indriati, E.; Soejono, R. P.; Hs, K.; Frayer, D. W.; Eckhardt, R. B.; Kuperavage, A. J.; Thorne, A.; Henneberg, M.

    2006-01-01

    Liang Bua 1 (LB1) exhibits marked craniofacial and postcranial asymmetries and other indicators of abnormal growth and development. Anomalies aside, 140 cranial features place LB1 within modern human ranges of variation, resembling Australomelanesian populations. Mandibular and dental features of LB1 and LB6/1 either show no substantial deviation from modern Homo sapiens or share features (receding chins and rotated premolars) with Rampasasa pygmies now living near Liang Bua Cave. We propose that LB1 is drawn from an earlier pygmy H. sapiens population but individually shows signs of a developmental abnormality, including microcephaly. Additional mandibular and postcranial remains from the site share small body size but not microcephaly. PMID:16938848

  18. Homo-phytochelatins are synthesized in response to cadmium in azuki beans.

    PubMed

    Oven, M; Raith, K; Neubert, R H; Kutchan, T M; Zenk, M H

    2001-07-01

    In a recent report, it was claimed that azuki beans (Vigna angularis) do not synthesize phytochelatins (PCs) upon exposure to cadmium, although glutathione (GSH), the substrate for PC synthesis, is present in this plant. This legume species thus would be the first exception in the plant kingdom that would fail to complex heavy metals by PCs. Here, we report that not GSH, but only homoglutathione can be detected in this plant and that homo-phytochelatins are formed when azuki beans are challenged with heavy metals such as cadmium. We also show that the 5,5'-dithiobis(2-nitrobenzoic acid)-oxidized GSH reductase recycling assay, used for GSH quantification in the recent study of heavy metal tolerance in azuki beans, reacts both with GSH and homoglutathione and therefore cannot be used when biological samples should be analyzed exclusively for GSH. PMID:11457978

  19. High-Density 2D Homo- and Hetero- Plasmonic Dimers with Universal Sub-10-nm Gaps.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Mingliang; Large, Nicolas; Koh, Ai Leen; Cao, Yang; Manjavacas, Alejandro; Sinclair, Robert; Nordlander, Peter; Wang, Shan X

    2015-09-22

    Fabrication of high-density plasmonic dimers on a large (wafer) scale is crucial for applications in surface-enhanced spectroscopy, bio- and molecular sensing, and optoelectronics. Here, we present an experimental approach based on nanoimprint lithography and shadow evaporation that allows for the fabrication of high-density, large-scale homo- (Au-Au and Ag-Ag) and hetero- (Au-Ag) dimer substrates with precise and consistent sub-10-nm gaps. We performed scanning electron, scanning transmission electron, and atomic force microscopy studies along with a complete electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) characterization. We observed distinct plasmonic modes on these dimers, which are well interpreted by finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) and plasmon hybridization calculations. PMID:26202803

  20. Who Was Helping? The Scope for Female Cooperative Breeding in Early Homo

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Adrian Viliami; Hinde, Katie; Newson, Lesley

    2013-01-01

    Derived aspects of our human life history, such as short interbirth intervals and altricial newborns, have been attributed to male provisioning of nutrient-rich meat within monogamous relationships. However, many primatologists and anthropologists have questioned the relative importance of pair-bonding and biparental care, pointing to evidence that cooperative breeding better characterizes human reproductive and child-care relationships. We present a mathematical model with empirically-informed parameter ranges showing that natural selection favors cooperation among mothers over a wide range of conditions. In contrast, our analysis provides a far more narrow range of support for selection favoring male coalition-based monogamy over more promiscuous independent males, suggesting that provisioning within monogamous relationships may fall short of explaining the evolution of Homo life history. Rather, broader cooperative networks within and between the sexes provide the primary basis for our unique life history. PMID:24367605

  1. Earliest evidence for the structure of Homo sapiens populations in Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scerri, Eleanor M. L.; Drake, Nick A.; Jennings, Richard; Groucutt, Huw S.

    2014-10-01

    Understanding the structure and variation of Homo sapiens populations in Africa is critical for interpreting multiproxy evidence of their subsequent dispersals into Eurasia. However, there is no consensus on early H. sapiens demographic structure, or its effects on intra-African dispersals. Here, we show how a patchwork of ecological corridors and bottlenecks triggered a successive budding of populations across the Sahara. Using a temporally and spatially explicit palaeoenvironmental model, we found that the Sahara was not uniformly ameliorated between ∼130 and 75 thousand years ago (ka), as has been stated. Model integration with multivariate analyses of corresponding stone tools then revealed several spatially defined technological clusters which correlated with distinct palaeobiomes. Similarities between technological clusters were such that they decreased with distance except where connected by palaeohydrological networks. These results indicate that populations at the Eurasian gateway were strongly structured, which has implications for refining the demographic parameters of dispersals out of Africa.

  2. Synthesis and biological evaluation of a new series of highly functionalized 7'-homo-anhydrovinblastine derivatives.

    PubMed

    Gherbovet, Olga; Coderch, Claire; García Alvarez, María Concepción; Bignon, Jérôme; Thoret, Sylviane; Martin, Marie-Thèrese; Guéritte, Françoise; Gago, Federico; Roussi, Fanny

    2013-08-01

    Sixteen new 7'-homo-anhydrovinblastine derivatives were prepared in one or two steps from vinorelbine by means of an original and regiospecific rearrangement and subsequent diastereoselective reduction. This strategy has allowed fast access to a family of vinca alkaloid derivatives with an enlarged and functionalized ring C'. Their synthesis and biological evaluation are reported. One compound (compound 35) is 1.7 times more active than vinorelbine as a tubulin assembly inhibitor. Moreover, some of these compounds are highly cytotoxic, and two of them are more potent than vinorelbine on HCT116 and K562 cell lines. Molecular modeling studies, carried out with two of the new vinca derivatives, provide useful hints about how a given functionalization introduced at positions 7' and 8' of the C' ring results in improved binding interactions between one of the new derivatives and the interdimer interface when compared to the parent compound vinblastine. PMID:23822556

  3. Self-control across species (Columba livia, Homo sapiens, and Rattus norvegicus).

    PubMed

    Tobin, H; Logue, A W

    1994-06-01

    Data from six previous studies of self-control behavior were compared against predictions made by the matching law and by molar maximization. The studies involved pigeons (Columba livia), rats (Rattus norvegicus), and 3-year-old, 5-year-old, and adult humans (Homo sapiens) who had received food as the reinforcer, and adult humans who had received points exchangeable for money as the reinforcer. Neither theory proved to be an accurate or better predictor for all groups. In contrast to the predictions of these theories, self-control was shown to vary according to species, human age group, and reinforcer quality. When the reinforcer was food, the self-control of different species was found to be negatively correlated with metabolic rate; that is, larger species showed greater self-control. These results suggest that allometric scaling may prove useful in describing and predicting species differences in self-control. PMID:8026163

  4. Targeting Bax interaction sites reveals that only homo-oligomerization sites are essential for its activation

    PubMed Central

    Peng, R; Tong, J-S; Li, H; Yue, B; Zou, F; Yu, J; Zhang, L

    2013-01-01

    Bax is a proapoptotic Bcl-2 family member that has a central role in the initiation of mitochondria-dependent apoptosis. However, the mechanism of Bax activation during apoptosis remains unsettled. It is believed that the activation of Bax is mediated by either dissociation from prosurvival Bcl-2 family members, or direct association with BH3-only members. Several interaction sites on Bax that mediate its interactions with other Bcl-2 family members, as well as its proapoptotic activity, have been identified in previous studies by other groups. To rigorously investigate the functional role of these interaction sites, we knocked in their respective mutants using HCT116 colon cancer cells, in which apoptosis induced by several stimuli is strictly Bax-dependent. Bax-mediated apoptosis was intact upon knock-in (KI) of K21E and D33A, which were shown to block the interaction of Bax with BH3-only activators. Apoptosis was partially reduced by KI of D68R, which impairs the interaction of Bax with prosurvival members, and S184V, a constitutively mitochondria-targeting mutant. In contrast, apoptosis was largely suppressed by KI of L70A/D71A, which blocks homo-oligomerization of Bax and its binding to prosurvival Bcl-2 family proteins. Collectively, our results suggest that the activation of endogenous Bax in HCT116 cells is dependent on its homo-oligomerization sites, but not those previously shown to interact with BH3-only activators or prosurvival proteins only. We therefore postulate that critical interaction sites yet to be identified, or mechanisms other than protein-protein interactions, need to be pursued to delineate the mechanism of Bax activation during apoptosis. PMID:23392123

  5. Zinc finger protein 131 inhibits estrogen signaling by suppressing estrogen receptor {alpha} homo-dimerization

    SciTech Connect

    Oh, Yohan; Chung, Kwang Chul

    2013-01-04

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer ZNF131 directly interacts with ER{alpha}. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The binding affinity of ZNF131 to ER{alpha} increases upon E2 stimulation. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer ZNF131 inhibits ER{alpha}-mediated trans-activation by suppressing its homo-dimerization. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer ZNF131 inhibits ER{alpha}-dimerization and E2-induced breast cancer cell proliferation. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer ZNF131 inhibits estrogen signaling by acting as an ER{alpha}-co-repressor. -- Abstract: Steroid hormone estrogen elicits various physiological functions, many of which are mediated through two structurally and functionally distinct estrogen receptors, ER{alpha} and ER{beta}. The functional role of zinc finger protein 131 (ZNF131) is poorly understood, but it is assumed to possess transcriptional regulation activity due to the presence of a DNA binding motif. A few recent reports, including ours, revealed that ZNF131 acts as a negative regulator of ER{alpha} and that SUMO modification potentiates the negative effect of ZNF131 on estrogen signaling. However, its molecular mechanism for ER{alpha} inhibition has not been elucidated in detail. Here, we demonstrate that ZNF131 directly interacts with ER{alpha}, which consequently inhibits ER{alpha}-mediated trans-activation by suppressing its homo-dimerization. Moreover, we show that the C-terminal region of ZNF131 containing the SUMOylation site is necessary for its inhibition of estrogen signaling. Taken together, these data suggest that ZNF131 inhibits estrogen signaling by acting as an ER{alpha}-co-repressor.

  6. Microbial synthesis of functional homo-, random, and block polyhydroxyalkanoates by β-oxidation deleted Pseudomonas entomophila.

    PubMed

    Li, Shijun; Cai, Longwei; Wu, Linping; Zeng, Guodong; Chen, Jinchun; Wu, Qiong; Chen, Guo-Qiang

    2014-06-01

    Functional polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) allow chemical modifications to widen PHA diversity, promising to increase values of these biodegradable and biocompatible polyesters. Among functional PHAs, unsaturated PHA site chains can be easily grafted to add chemical groups, and to cross-link with other PHA polymer chains. However, it has been very difficult to obtain structurally controllable functional homo-, random, or block PHA. For the first time, a β-oxidation deleted Pseudomonas entomophila was used to successfully synthesize random copolymers of 3-hydroxydodecanoate (3HDD) and 3-hydroxy-9-decenoate (3H9D). Compositions of the random copolymers P(3HDD-co-3H9D) can be adjusted by ratios of dodecanoic acid (DDA) to 9-decenol (9DEO) fed to the culture of P. entomophila. Homopolymer P3H9D was formed when only 9DEO was added to the culture. Diblock copolymers of P3HDD-b-P3H9D were produced by feeding DDA as the first precursor to form a P3HDD block followed by adding 9DEO as the second precursor to form a second P3H9D block. It was demonstrated that random copolymers P(3HDD-co-3H9D) could be crossed-linked under UV-radiation due to the presence of the unsaturated bonds. Thermal and mechanical characterizations of the above homo-, random, and diblock PHA polymers were conducted. It was found that the diblock polymer P3HDD-b-P3H9D increased at least 2-fold on Young's modulus compared with its random copolymers consisting of similar 3HDD/3H9D ratios. This study demonstrates that PHA functionality could be controlled to meet various requirements. PMID:24830358

  7. Bone remodeling of the Homo heidelbergensis mandible; the Atapuerca-SH sample.

    PubMed

    Rosas, Antonio; Martinez-Maza, Cayetana

    2010-02-01

    Growth by bone remodeling is one of the key mechanisms responsible for skeletal morphology. This mechanism consists of the coordinated activity of two cellular groups: osteoblasts and osteoclasts, which are responsible for bone deposition and resorption, respectively. Information obtained from the study of these remodeling growth fields allows us to understand how species-specific craniofacial form is achieved. These data can help to explain the facial growth differences among Primates, both extinct and extant. The aim of this study was to obtain the distribution of growth remodeling fields of the Homo heidelbergensis mandible (Atapuerca-SH sample), and to infer the growth processes responsible for its specific morphology. A Reflected Light Microscope (RLM) was used to identify the microfeatures of the bone surface related to bone deposition and resorption. Results show that H. heidelbergensis presents a specific growth field distribution, which differs slightly between immature and adult individuals. Interpretation of these maps indicates that the mandible of H. heidelbergensis presents noteworthy variability in the symphyseal region. Two distinct patterns of growth are seen, one of those unique for this species and the other similar to that of Homo sapiens. The lingual side of the mandibular corpus has a resorption area found only in this species and one that includes a variable extension in immature and adult individuals. Finally, the mandibular ramus is characterized, among other aspects, by a large resorption field on its buccal surface. Considering the mandible as a whole, the bone remodeling pattern obtained in this work shows that lower facial growth in H. heidelbergensis is dominated mainly by forward growth, illustrated by the strong inward displacement of the ramus, which is in agreement with the Enlow's "V" growth principle. PMID:20042223

  8. Dynamic similarity predicts gait parameters for Homo floresiensis and the Laetoli hominins.

    PubMed

    Vaughan, Christopher L; Blaszczyk, Maria B

    2008-01-01

    Late in 2004, the skeletal remains of a pygmy-sized hominin recovered from a cave on the Indonesian island of Flores were first documented, with the authors concluding that the "postcranial anatomy [was] consistent with human-like obligate bipedalism" (Brown et al. [2004]: Nature 431:1055-1061). We have assumed that Homo floresiensis, who was estimated to be 18,000-years-old, walked with a gait pattern that was dynamically similar to modern man. The dynamic similarity hypothesis was also applied to the Australopithecines that left their footprints at Laetoli 4-million-years ago. According to this hypothesis, dimensionless gait parameters can be used in combination with known leg length or step length to calculate velocity of bipedal locomotion. We have gathered data on 20 extant modern humans to calculate the standard estimates of error when predicting gait parameters. We predict that the Homo floresiensis specimen walked at a velocity of 1.11 +/- 0.14 m/s. For the Laetoli footprints, the velocity for Track 1 was estimated to be 1.03 +/- 0.12 m/s and for Track 2 to be 1.14 +/- 0.12 m/s. These latter values for Australopithecines are greater than prior analyses, but are in good agreement with more recent work based on evolutionary robotics. Since modern man walks at 1.44 +/- 0.14 m/s, our results suggest that, despite their diminutive size, these ancient hominins were capable of ranging across a wide geographical area. PMID:18186513

  9. Construction of a constitutively expressed homo-fermentative pathway in Lactobacillus brevis.

    PubMed

    Guo, Wei; He, Ronglin; Ma, Lijuan; Jia, Wendi; Li, Demao; Chen, Shulin

    2014-08-01

    Lactobacillus brevis is a promising lactic acid producing strain that simultaneously utilizes glucose and xylose from lignocellulosic hydrolysate without carbon catabolic repression and inhibition. The production of by-products acetic acid and ethanol has been the major drawback of this strain. Two genes, pfkA (fructose-6-phosphate kinase [PFK]) and fbaA (fructose-1,6-biphosphate aldolase [FBA]), that encode the key enzymes of the EMP/glycolytic pathway from Lactobacillus rhamnosus, were fused to the downstream of the strong promoter P32 and expressed in L. brevis s3f4 as a strategy to minimize the formation of by-products. By expressing the two enzymes, a homo-fermentative pathway for lactic acid production was constructed. The lactic acid yields achieved from glucose in the transformants were 1.12 and 1.16 mol/mol, which is higher than that of the native strain (0.74 mol/mol). However, the lactic acid yield from xylose in the transformants stayed the same as that of the native strain. Enzyme assay indicated that the activity of the foreign protein FBA in the transformants was much higher than that of the native strains, but was ten times lower than that in L. rhamnosus. This result was consistent with the metabolic flux analysis, which indicated that the conversion efficiency of the expressed PFK and FBA was somewhat low. Less than 20 % of the carbons accumulated in the form of fructose-6-phosphate were converted into glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate (GAP) by the expressed PFK and FBA. Metabolic flux analysis also indicated that the enzyme phosphoketolase (XPK) played an important role in splitting the carbon flow from the pentose phosphate pathway to the phosphoketolase pathway. This study suggested that the lactic acid yield of L. brevis could be improved by constructing a homo-fermentative pathway. PMID:24728715

  10. Nonlinear Socio-Ecological Dynamics and First Principles ofCollective Choice Behavior of ``Homo Socialis"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonis, M.

    Socio-ecological dynamics emerged from the field of Mathematical SocialSciences and opened up avenues for re-examination of classical problems of collective behavior in Social and Spatial sciences. The ``engine" of this collective behavior is the subjective mental evaluation of level of utilities in the future, presenting sets of composite socio-economic-temporal-locational advantages. These dynamics present new laws of collective multi-population behavior which are the meso-level counterparts of the utility optimization individual behavior. The central core of the socio-ecological choice dynamics includes the following first principle of the collective choice behavior of ``Homo Socialis" based on the existence of ``collective consciousness": the choice behavior of ``Homo Socialis" is a collective meso-level choice behavior such that the relative changes in choice frequencies depend on the distribution of innovation alternatives between adopters of innovations. The mathematical basis of the Socio-Ecological Dynamics includes two complementary analytical approaches both based on the use of computer modeling as a theoretical and simulation tool. First approach is the ``continuous approach" --- the systems of ordinary and partial differential equations reflecting the continuous time Volterra ecological formalism in a form of antagonistic and/or cooperative collective hyper-games between different sub-sets of choice alternatives. Second approach is the ``discrete approach" --- systems of difference equations presenting a new branch of the non-linear discrete dynamics --- the Discrete Relative m-population/n-innovations Socio-Spatial Dynamics (Dendrinos and Sonis, 1990). The generalization of the Volterra formalism leads further to the meso-level variational principle of collective choice behavior determining the balance between the resulting cumulative social spatio-temporal interactions among the population of adopters susceptible to the choice alternatives and the cumulative equalization of the power of elites supporting different choice alternatives. This balance governs the dynamic innovation choice process and constitutes the dynamic meso-level counterpart of the micro-economic individual utility maximization principle.

  11. Looking for Fossil Bacteria in Martian Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westall, F.; Walsh, M. M.; Mckay, D. D.; Wentworth, S.; Gibson, E. K.; Steele, A.; Toporski, J.; Lindstrom, D.; Martinez, R.; Allen, C. C.

    1999-01-01

    The rationale for looking for prokaryote fossils in Martian materials is based on our present understanding of the environmental evolution of that planet in comparison to the history of the terrestrial environments and the development and evolution of life on Earth. On Earth we have clear, albeit indirect, evidence of life in 3.8 b.y.-old rocks from Greenland and the first morphological fossils in 3.3-3.5 b.y.-old cherts from South Africa and Australia. In comparison, Mars, being smaller, probably cooled down after initial aggregation faster than the Earth. Consequently, there could have been liquid water on its surface earlier than on Earth. With a similar exogenous and endogenous input of organics and life-sustaining nutrients as is proposed for the Earth, life could have arisen on that planet, possibly slightly earlier dm it did on Earth. Whereas on Earth liquid water has remained at the surface of the planet since about 4.4 b.y. (with some possible interregnums caused by planet-sterilising impacts before 3.8. b.y. and perhaps a number of periods of a totally frozen Earth, this was not the case with Mars. Although it is not known exactly when surficial water disappeared from the surface, there would have been sufficient time for life to have developed into something similar to the terrestrial prokaryote stage. However, given the earlier environmental deterioration, it is unlikely that it evolved into the eukaryote stage and even evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis may not have been reached. Thus, the impetus of research is on single celled life simnilar to prokaryotes. We are investigating a number of methods of trace element analysis with respect to the Early Archaean microbial fossils. Preliminary neutron activation analysis of carbonaceous layers in the Early Archaean cherts from South Africa and Australia shows some partitioning of elements such as As, Sb, Cr with an especial enrichment of lanthanides in a carbonaceous-rich banded iron sediment . More significantly, preliminary TOF-SIMS investigations of organics in the cherts reveals the presence of a biomarker, which appears to be a derivative of bacterial polymer, in the carbonaceous parts of the rocks. We conclude that a combination of morphological, isotope and biogeochemical methods can be used to successfully identify signs of life in terrestrial material, and that these methods will be useful in searching for signs of life in extraterrestrial materials.

  12. Reconstructing Carotenoid-Based and Structural Coloration in Fossil Skin.

    PubMed

    McNamara, Maria E; Orr, Patrick J; Kearns, Stuart L; Alcalá, Luis; Anadón, Pere; Peñalver, Enrique

    2016-04-25

    Evidence of original coloration in fossils provides insights into the visual communication strategies used by ancient animals and the functional evolution of coloration over time [1-7]. Hitherto, all reconstructions of the colors of reptile integument and the plumage of fossil birds and feathered dinosaurs have been of melanin-based coloration [1-6]. Extant animals also use other mechanisms for producing color [8], but these have not been identified in fossils. Here we report the first examples of carotenoid-based coloration in the fossil record, and of structural coloration in fossil integument. The fossil skin, from a 10 million-year-old colubrid snake from the Late Miocene Libros Lagerstätte (Teruel, Spain) [9, 10], preserves dermal pigment cells (chromatophores)-xanthophores, iridophores, and melanophores-in calcium phosphate. Comparison with chromatophore abundance and position in extant reptiles [11-15] indicates that the fossil snake was pale-colored in ventral regions; dorsal and lateral regions were green with brown-black and yellow-green transverse blotches. Such coloration most likely functioned in substrate matching and intraspecific signaling. Skin replicated in authigenic minerals is not uncommon in exceptionally preserved fossils [16, 17], and dermal pigment cells generate coloration in numerous reptile, amphibian, and fish taxa today [18]. Our discovery thus represents a new means by which to reconstruct the original coloration of exceptionally preserved fossil vertebrates. PMID:27040775

  13. Assessing trace element diffusion models in fossil and sub-fossil bone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suarez, C. A.; Kohn, M. J.

    2012-12-01

    Three different diffusion models have been proposed to explain trace element uptake during fossilization of bone: diffusion-adsorption (DA), diffusion-recrystallization (DR), and double-medium diffusion (DMD). Theoretically, differences in trace element profiles, particularly the rare earth elements (REE) and U, can discriminate among these possibilities. In this study, we tested which model best explains natural samples by analyzing trace element profiles in natural bone using laser-ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Fossil bones ranging in age from a few ka to over 100 Ma were analyzed along traverses from the outer cortical edge to the inner marrow cavity margin. Forty major, minor and trace elements were analyzed, notably Ca, P, transition metals, Sr, Ba, REE, U, Th and Pb. Spatial and analytical resolutions were ~10 μm and ~100 ppb respectively. Many specimens show commonly observed exponential decreases in REE from the outer edge and marrow cavity, with relatively homogeneous U distributions. Yet, most significantly, specimens from American Falls (last interglacial) and Duck Point (last glacial maximum) show distinctive U plateaus adjacent to the outer and inner cortical bone margins. Whereas exponential profiles can be produced by different uptake processes, such plateaus are diagnostic of a DR mechanism. Our work is consistent with recent investigation of trace element diffusivities in modern fresh and deproteinated bone. These studies show similar diffusion rates for REE and U, so the profound disparity in U vs. REE profiles in most fossils cannot result solely from differences in volume diffusion within the context of DA and DMD. Rather, as a recrystallization front propagates into bone, the bone appears to encode changing soil water compositions with earlier vs. later compositions reflected in the bone margin vs. interior. Soil water U concentrations apparently remain nearly fixed during fossilization, whereas REE are rapidly stripped from the surrounding matrix, leading to nearly homogeneous U vs. steep REE profiles. However in our Pleistocene bones (American Falls and Duck Point), changes to U concentrations on the bone margin reveal more complex changes to boundary compositions, and eliminate both DA and DMD (alone) as the dominant mechanisms of trace element uptake. Our work reconciles disparate zoning patterns observed in fossil bone, and simplifies interpretations of soil or sediment water chemistry, but complicates U-series dating of fossils.

  14. Growth, function, and the conodont fossil record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donoghue, Philip C. J.; Purnell, Mark A.

    1999-03-01

    Interpretation of the fossil record of conodonts hinges on whether conodont elements were retained through the life of the animal or were periodically shed and replaced. Many quantitative analyses of conodont paleoecology and statistical techniques in conodont taxonomy, for example, rely on an assumed correspondence between numbers of elements and numbers of animals, but the possibility that conodonts shed their elements may undermine this assumption. As with many aspects of conodont paleobiology, hypotheses of shedding versus retention of elements have been difficult to test. Here, we describe recurrent patterns of damage resulting from element function in vivo which indicate that internal discontinuities within an element represent periods of use followed by further growth. The cyclical alternation of phases of growth and function provides compelling evidence that elements were retained through the life of the animal.

  15. FAST FOSSIL ROTATION OF NEUTRON STAR CORES

    SciTech Connect

    Melatos, A.

    2012-12-10

    It is argued that the superfluid core of a neutron star super-rotates relative to the crust, because stratification prevents the core from responding to the electromagnetic braking torque, until the relevant dissipative (viscous or Eddington-Sweet) timescale, which can exceed {approx}10{sup 3} yr and is much longer than the Ekman timescale, has elapsed. Hence, in some young pulsars, the rotation of the core today is a fossil record of its rotation at birth, provided that magnetic crust-core coupling is inhibited, e.g., by buoyancy, field-line topology, or the presence of uncondensed neutral components in the superfluid. Persistent core super-rotation alters our picture of neutron stars in several ways, allowing for magnetic field generation by ongoing dynamo action and enhanced gravitational wave emission from hydrodynamic instabilities.

  16. Microbial biocatalyst developments to upgrade fossil fuels.

    PubMed

    Kilbane, John J

    2006-06-01

    Steady increases in the average sulfur content of petroleum and stricter environmental regulations concerning the sulfur content have promoted studies of bioprocessing to upgrade fossil fuels. Bioprocesses can potentially provide a solution to the need for improved and expanded fuel upgrading worldwide, because bioprocesses for fuel upgrading do not require hydrogen and produce far less carbon dioxide than thermochemical processes. Recent advances have demonstrated that biodesulfurization is capable of removing sulfur from hydrotreated diesel to yield a product with an ultra-low sulfur concentration that meets current environmental regulations. However, the technology has not yet progressed beyond laboratory-scale testing, as more efficient biocatalysts are needed. Genetic studies to obtain improved biocatalysts for the selective removal of sulfur and nitrogen from petroleum provide the focus of current research efforts. PMID:16678400

  17. Paleophysiology: From Fossils to the Future.

    PubMed

    Vermeij, Geerat J

    2015-10-01

    Future environments may resemble conditions that have not existed for millions of years. To assess the adaptive options available to organisms evolving under such circumstances, it is instructive to probe paleophysiology, the ways in which ancient life coped with its physical and chemical surroundings. To do this, we need reliable proxies that are based on fundamental principles, quantitatively verified in living species, and observable in fossil remains. Insights have already come from vertebrates and plants, and others will likely emerge for marine animals if promising proxies are validated. Many questions remain about the circumstances for the evolution of environmental tolerances, metabolic rates, biomineralization, and physiological responses to interacting species, and about how living organisms will perform under exceptional conditions. PMID:26411617

  18. Fossil birds of the Kibish Formation.

    PubMed

    Louchart, Antoine; Haile-Selassie, Y; Vignaud, P; Likius, A; Brunet, M

    2008-09-01

    The Kibish Formation has yielded a small collection of bird fossils, which are identified here as belonging to five species in four different families: Pelecanidae (pelicans), Anhingidae (darters), Ardeidae (herons) and Phasianidae (gamefowl). Two species of pelicans are identified: Pelecanus cf. P. onocrotalus, and P. aff. P. rufescens. The darter is referrable to Anhinga melanogaster. The heron is identifiable as Ardea sp., and the gamefowl as Numidinae indet. (guineafowl). Pelecanus cf. P. onocrotalus is represented by, among other remains, a well-preserved partial skull. Four of the birds are thus referrable to extant taxa that provide some paleoenvironmental clues for Member I of the Kibish Formation. The two species of pelican, the darter, and the heron indicate the presence of local freshwater bodies, a lake or a slow river, supporting resources of fish. The guineafowl is poorly informative ecologically, but probably excludes the notion that the local terrestrial landscape was treeless. PMID:18656245

  19. Paleoarchean trace fossils in altered volcanic glass

    PubMed Central

    Staudigel, Hubert; Furnes, Harald; DeWit, Maarten

    2015-01-01

    Microbial corrosion textures in volcanic glass from Cenozoic seafloor basalts and the corresponding titanite replacement microtextures in metamorphosed Paleoarchean pillow lavas have been interpreted as evidence for a deep biosphere dating back in time through the earliest periods of preserved life on earth. This interpretation has been recently challenged for Paleoarchean titanite replacement textures based on textural and geochronological data from pillow lavas in the Hooggenoeg Complex of the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa. We use this controversy to explore the strengths and weaknesses of arguments made in support or rejection of the biogenicity interpretation of bioalteration trace fossils in Cenozoic basalt glasses and their putative equivalents in Paleoarchean greenstones. Our analysis suggests that biogenicity cannot be taken for granted for all titanite-based textures in metamorphosed basalt glass, but a cautious and critical evaluation of evidence suggests that biogenicity remains the most likely interpretation for previously described titanite microtextures in Paleoarchean pillow lavas. PMID:26038543

  20. Paleoarchean trace fossils in altered volcanic glass.

    PubMed

    Staudigel, Hubert; Furnes, Harald; DeWit, Maarten

    2015-06-01

    Microbial corrosion textures in volcanic glass from Cenozoic seafloor basalts and the corresponding titanite replacement microtextures in metamorphosed Paleoarchean pillow lavas have been interpreted as evidence for a deep biosphere dating back in time through the earliest periods of preserved life on earth. This interpretation has been recently challenged for Paleoarchean titanite replacement textures based on textural and geochronological data from pillow lavas in the Hooggenoeg Complex of the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa. We use this controversy to explore the strengths and weaknesses of arguments made in support or rejection of the biogenicity interpretation of bioalteration trace fossils in Cenozoic basalt glasses and their putative equivalents in Paleoarchean greenstones. Our analysis suggests that biogenicity cannot be taken for granted for all titanite-based textures in metamorphosed basalt glass, but a cautious and critical evaluation of evidence suggests that biogenicity remains the most likely interpretation for previously described titanite microtextures in Paleoarchean pillow lavas. PMID:26038543

  1. The future of oil: unconventional fossil fuels.

    PubMed

    Chew, Kenneth J

    2014-01-13

    Unconventional fossil hydrocarbons fall into two categories: resource plays and conversion-sourced hydrocarbons. Resource plays involve the production of accumulations of solid, liquid or gaseous hydro-carbons that have been generated over geological time from organic matter in source rocks. The character of these hydrocarbons may have been modified subsequently, especially in the case of solids and extra-heavy liquids. These unconventional hydrocarbons therefore comprise accumulations of hydrocarbons that are trapped in an unconventional manner and/or whose economic exploitation requires complex and technically advanced production methods. This review focuses primarily on unconventional liquid hydro-carbons. The future potential of unconventional gas, especially shale gas, is also discussed, as it is revolutionizing the energy outlook in North America and elsewhere. PMID:24298078

  2. Rates of speciation in the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    Data from palaeontology and biodiversity suggest that the global biota should produce an average of three new species per year. However, the fossil record shows large variation around this mean. Rates of origination have declined through the Phanerozoic. This appears to have been largely a function of sorting among higher taxa (especially classes), which exhibit characteristic rates of speciation (and extinction) that differ among them by nearly an order of magnitude. Secular decline of origination rates is hardly constant, however; many positive deviations reflect accelerated speciation during rebounds from mass extinctions. There has also been general decline in rates of speciation within major taxa through their histories, although rates have tended to remain higher among members in tropical regions. Finally, pulses of speciation appear sometimes to be associated with climate change, although moderate oscillations of climate do not necessarily promote speciation despite forcing changes in species' geographical ranges.

  3. Viroids: "living fossils" of primordial RNAs?

    PubMed

    Diener, Theodor O

    2016-01-01

    The discovery of the viroid in 1971, which initiated the third major expansion of the biosphere towards smaller living entities-after discovery of the "subvisual" microorganisms in 1675 and that of the "submicroscopic" viruses in 1892-has been officially endorsed by the International Committee on Virus Taxonomy as a new order called subviral agents.In 1989, I proposed that, based on their respective molecular properties, viroids are more plausible "living fossils" of the hypothetical RNA World (widely assumed to have existed prior to the evolution of DNA or proteins) than are intron-derived RNAs, which were, at that time, suggested as putative survivors. There were few citations of my proposal-and virtually none of viroids-beyond plant virology unil 1994, when Cheles-Flores critically examined the hypothesis and pointed out a serious difficulty, as well as a process by which this difficulty could be overcome. In 2013, when investigations by Koonin and Dolja revealed that of extant RNAs, viroids "strikingly" display some of the molecular properties posited for the earliest evolving, selfish RNAs (primordial RNAs), but, because extant organisms, aside from higher plants, appear not to harbor viroids, they cannot be regarded as primordial fossils, but appear to have evolved post LUCA (the Last Universal Common Ancestor). Here, I review whether some evidence nevertheless is compatible with the original postulate of the 1989 hypothesis. My analysis reveals no unequivocal evidence for an ancient origin of viroids, but suggests, alternatively, that viroids may have evolved de novo more recently, probably by novel processes similar to those suggested by each reviewer.These results are important, because they help illuminate a little understood period of abiogenesis--after the abiotic synthesis of life's chemical building blocks, which is, in principle, understood, and before the evolution of DNA and proteins in the late RNA World. PMID:27016066

  4. Fossil Groups in the Local Universe

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    OSullivan, Ewan

    2005-01-01

    The two galaxies observed as part of this project were originally selected as fossil group candidates because of their isolation from other galaxies and their apparent high X-ray luminosity and extended X-ray emission. However, the X-ray data available was minimal, being drawn from the ROSAT All-Sky Survey. We have performed an initial analysis of the XMM data from both galaxies and found that their gaseous halos are smaller, cooler, and less luminous than expected. In the case of NGC 57, the RASS estimate of extent and luminosity was biased because of a previously unidentified background group which is visible in the XMM data to one side of the galaxy. In the case of IC 153 1, the contribution from background point sources near the galaxy appears to be to blame. This suggests that both galaxies should be reclassified as isolated ellipticals. Such systems are very rare, and currently poorly understood; for comparison, there are now 6-10 known fossil groups, but only one isolated elliptical with useful X-ray data. We are currently re-analyzing the data for the two galaxies to take advantage of the calibration improvements of SAS 6.1, and to include calculations of the mass profiles of the two systems. A paper is currently in preparation dealing with the X-ray properties and environment of the galaxies, and we expect to submit this to the Astrophysical Journal within the next two months. Multi-band optical imaging of the field surrounding NGC 57 has been acquired to confirm its isolated status and provide more information on the background group. IC 1531 was accepted as a target in Chandra cycle 6 as part of a related proposal, and we intend to add this new observation to our XMM data when it becomes available. A second paper is planned to include the results of this combined analysis.

  5. The eukaryotic fossil record in deep time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butterfield, N.

    2011-12-01

    Eukaryotic organisms are defining constituents of the Phanerozoic biosphere, but they also extend well back into the Proterozoic record, primarily in the form of microscopic body fossils. Criteria for identifying pre-Ediacaran eukaryotes include large cell size, morphologically complex cell walls and/or the recognition of diagnostically eukaryotic cell division patterns. The oldest unambiguous eukaryote currently on record is an acanthomorphic acritarch (Tappania) from the Palaeoproterozoic Semri Group of central India. Older candidate eukaryotes are difficult to distinguish from giant bacteria, prokaryotic colonies or diagenetic artefacts. In younger Meso- and Neoproterozoic strata, the challenge is to recognize particular grades and clades of eukaryotes, and to document their macro-evolutionary expression. Distinctive unicellular forms include mid-Neoproterozoic testate amoebae and phosphate biomineralizing 'scale-microfossils' comparable to an extant green alga. There is also a significant record of seaweeds, possible fungi and problematica from this interval, documenting multiple independent experiments in eukaryotic multicellularity. Taxonomically resolved forms include a bangiacean red alga and probable vaucheriacean chromalveolate algae from the late Mesoproterozoic, and populations of hydrodictyacean and siphonocladalean green algae of mid Neoproterozoic age. Despite this phylogenetic breadth, however, or arguments from molecular clocks, there is no convincing evidence for pre-Ediacaran metazoans or metaphytes. The conspicuously incomplete nature of the Proterozoic record makes it difficult to resolve larger-scale ecological and evolutionary patterns. Even so, both body fossils and biomarker data point to a pre-Ediacaran biosphere dominated overwhelming by prokaryotes. Contemporaneous eukaryotes appear to be limited to conspicuously shallow water environments, and exhibit fundamentally lower levels of morphological diversity and evolutionary turnover than their Phanerozoic counterparts. I will argue here that this fundamental change of state was driven by the early Ediacaran appearance of Eumetazoa, a uniquely complex clade of heterotrophic eukaryotes that redefined how the planet worked.

  6. PALEOANTHROPOLOGY. Response to Comment on "Early Homo at 2.8 Ma from Ledi-Geraru, Afar, Ethiopia".

    PubMed

    Villmoare, Brian; Kimbel, William H; Seyoum, Chalachew; Campisano, Christopher J; DiMaggio, Erin; Rowan, John; Braun, David R; Arrowsmith, J Ramon; Reed, Kaye E

    2015-06-19

    Hawks et al. argue that our analysis of Australopithecus sediba mandibles is flawed and that specimen LD 350-1 cannot be distinguished from this, or any other, Australopithecus species. Our reexamination of the evidence confirms that LD 350-1 falls outside of the pattern that A. sediba shares with Australopithecus and thus is reasonably assigned to the genus Homo. PMID:26089506

  7. In situ growth and density-functional-theory study of polarity-dependent homo-epitaxial ZnO microwires

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Rui; Xu, Jun; Gao, Jingyun; Zhang, Jingmin; Zhu, Wenguang; Xu, Hongjun; Sun, Yanghui; Fu, Qiang; Chen, Li; Du, Dapeng

    2012-01-01

    Polarity-dependent homo-epitaxy on (0001)-Zn and (0001)-O surfaces of cleaved ZnO microwires was investigated by in situ growth in ESEMand DFT simulations. ZnO monomers adsorption, adatoms desorption and chemisorption were simulated to understand the explicit mechanism.

  8. Yeast fermentation affected by homo- and hetero-fermentative Lactobacilli isolated from fuel ethanol distilleries with sugarcane products as substrates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The antagonism between by yeast and lactobacilli is largely dependent on the initial population of each organism. While homo-fermentative lactobacillus present higher inhibitory effect upon yeast when in equal cell number, in industrial fuel ethanol conditions where high yeast cell densities prevail...

  9. Molecular biology of Homo sapiens: Abstracts of papers presented at the 51st Cold Spring Harbor symposium on quantitative biology

    SciTech Connect

    Watson, J.D.; Siniscalco, M.

    1986-01-01

    This volume contains abstracts of papers presented at the 51st Cold Springs Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology. The topic for this meeting was the ''Molecular Biology of Homo sapiens.'' Sessions were entitled Human Gene Map, Human Cancer Genes, Genetic Diagnosis, Human Evolution, Drugs Made Off Human Genes, Receptors, and Gene Therapy. (DT)

  10. Both Homo and Heterodimers of Marek's Disease Virus Encoded Meq Protein Contribute to Transformation of Lymphocytes in Chickens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Marek’s disease virus (MDV) elicits T-cell lymphomas in chickens. The MDV genome encodes an oncoprotein, Meq, with similarity to the Jun/Fos family of proteins. Similar to Jun, the leucine zipper region of Meq allows the formation of homo- and heterodimers. We have previously shown that Meq homodime...

  11. Sensitive detection for coralyne and mercury ions based on homo-A/T DNA by exonuclease signal amplification.

    PubMed

    Huang, Hailiang; Shi, Shuo; Zheng, Xuyue; Yao, Tianming

    2015-09-15

    Based on specific homo-A/T DNA binding properties, a strategy for coralyne and mercury ions detection was realised by exonuclease-aided signal amplification. Coralyne could specifically bind homo-A DNA and protect it from the hydrolysis of exonuclease I. The coralyne-protected DNA was subsequently used as a trigger strand to hydrolyze DNA2 in exonuclease-aided signal amplification process. Thiazole orange was used to quantify the remainder DNA2. Under the optimal condition, the fluorescence intensity was linearly proportional to the concentration of coralyne in the range of 0.2-100 nM with a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.31 nM, which presented the lowest LOD for coralyne among all reported. With homo-T and Hg(2+) taking the place of homo-A DNA and coralyne, respectively, the system could also be used for Hg(2+) detection. The experiments in real samples also showed good results. This method was label-free, low-cost, easy-operating and highly repeatable for the detection of coralyne and mercury ions. It could also be extended to detect various analytes, such as other metal ions, proteins and small molecules by using appropriate aptamers. PMID:25950941

  12. Fossil Leaves and Fossil Leaf n-Alkanes: Reconstructing the First Closed Canopied Rainforests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, H. V.; Freeman, K. H.

    2013-12-01

    Although the age and location is disputed, the rise of the first closed-canopy forest is likely linked with the expansion of angiosperms in the late Cretacous or early Cenozoic. The carbon isotope 'canopy effect' reflects the extent of canopy closure, and is well documented in δ13C values of the leaves and leaf lipids in modern forests. To test the extent of canopy closure among the oldest documented angiosperm tropical forests, we analyzed isotopic characteristics of leaf fossils and leaf waxes from the Guaduas and Cerrejón Formations. The Guaduas Fm. (Maastrichtian) contains some of the earliest angiosperm fossils in the Neotropics, and both leaf morphology and pollen records at this site suggest an open-canopy structure. The Cerrejón Fm. (Paleocene) contains what are believed to be the first recorded fossil leaves from a closed-canopy forest. We analyzed the bulk carbon isotope content (δ13Cleaf) of 199 fossil leaves, as well as the n-alkane concentration and chain-length distribution, and δ13C of alkanes (δ13Clipid) of 73 fossil leaves and adjacent sediment samples. Fossil leaves are dominated by eudicots and include ten modern plant families (Apocynaceae, Bombaceae, Euphorbaceae, Fabaceae, Lauraceae, Malvaceae, Meliaceae, Menispermaceae, Moraceae, Sapotaceae). We interpreted extent of canopy coverage based on the range of δ13Cleaf values. The narrow range of δ13C values in leaves from the Guaduas Fm (2.7‰) is consistent with an open canopy. A significantly wider range in values (6.3‰) suggests a closed-canopy signature for site 0315 of the Cerrejón Fm,. In contrast, at Site 0318, a lacustrine deposit, leaves had a narrow range (3.3‰) in δ13C values, and this is not consistent with a closed-canopy, but is consistent with leaf assemblages from a forest edge. Leaves that accumulate in lake sediments tend to be biased toward plants living at the lake edge, which do not experience closed-canopy conditions, and do not express the isotopic characteristics associated with canopy effect. A biomass flux-weighted model of alkane chain-length distribution and δ13Cleaf indicate n-alkanes extracted from bulk rock are consistent with inputs integrated over time from plants represented by fossil leaves. In a modern rainforest, we found leaf lipid amounts markedly higher in the shaded and moist understory, consistent with studies that show alkanes proffer fungal protection. Shade tolerance is associated with higher plant orders and, consistent with this, literature data for modern plants from 30 plant orders shows alkane production in asterids and rosids is 2 to 3 times greater than in basal angiosperms or gymnosperms. The lower clades tend to contain greater amounts of terpenoids and novel benzylisoquinoline alkaloids, rather than alkanes. For our three fossil floras, alkane abundance is strongly influenced by depositional setting, with preservation best in the lacustrine setting. Within each site, abundance patterns are potentially influenced by both taxonomic affiliation and by canopy structure as measured by δ13Cleaf values, and such relationships shed light on the combined influences of plant evolution, canopy structure and the function of biochemical resources on the geochemical record of the first rainforests.

  13. Early Pleistocene 40Ar/39Ar ages for Bapang Formation hominins, Central Jawa, Indonesia

    PubMed Central

    Larick, Roy; Ciochon, Russell L.; Zaim, Yahdi; Sudijono; Suminto; Rizal, Yan; Aziz, Fachroel; Reagan, Mark; Heizler, Matthew

    2001-01-01

    The Sangiran dome is the primary stratigraphic window for the Plio-Pleistocene deposits of the Solo basin of Central Jawa. The dome has yielded nearly 80 Homo erectus fossils, around 50 of which have known findspots. With a hornblende 40Ar/39Ar plateau age of 1.66 ± 0.04 mega-annum (Ma) reportedly associated with two fossils [Swisher, C.C., III, Curtis, G. H., Jacob, T., Getty, A. G., Suprijo, A. & Widiasmoro (1994) Science 263, 1118–1121), the dome offers evidence that early Homo dispersed to East Asia during the earliest Pleistocene. Unfortunately, the hornblende pumice was sampled at Jokotingkir Hill, a central locality with complex lithostratigraphic deformation and dubious specimen provenance. To address the antiquity of Sangiran H. erectus more systematically, we investigate the sedimentary framework and hornblende 40Ar/39Ar age for volcanic deposits in the southeast quadrant of the dome. In this sector, Bapang (Kabuh) sediments have their largest exposure, least deformation, and most complete tephrostratigraphy. At five locations, we identify a sequence of sedimentary cycles in which H. erectus fossils are associated with epiclastic pumice. From sampled pumice, eight hornblende separates produced 40Ar/39Ar plateau ages ranging from 1.51 ± 0.08 Ma at the Bapang/Sangiran Formation contact, to 1.02 ± 0.06 Ma, at a point above the hominin-bearing sequence. The chronological sequence of 40Ar/39Ar ages follows stratigraphic order across the southeast quadrant. An intermediate level yielding four nearly complete crania has an age of about 1.25 Ma. PMID:11309488

  14. Early Pleistocene 40Ar/39Ar ages for Bapang Formation hominins, Central Jawa, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Larick, R; Ciochon, R L; Zaim, Y; Sudijono; Suminto; Rizal, Y; Aziz, F; Reagan, M; Heizler, M

    2001-04-24

    The Sangiran dome is the primary stratigraphic window for the Plio-Pleistocene deposits of the Solo basin of Central Jawa. The dome has yielded nearly 80 Homo erectus fossils, around 50 of which have known findspots. With a hornblende (40)Ar/(39)Ar plateau age of 1.66 +/- 0.04 mega-annum (Ma) reportedly associated with two fossils [Swisher, C.C., III, Curtis, G. H., Jacob, T., Getty, A. G., Suprijo, A. & Widiasmoro (1994) Science 263, 1118-1121), the dome offers evidence that early Homo dispersed to East Asia during the earliest Pleistocene. Unfortunately, the hornblende pumice was sampled at Jokotingkir Hill, a central locality with complex lithostratigraphic deformation and dubious specimen provenance. To address the antiquity of Sangiran H. erectus more systematically, we investigate the sedimentary framework and hornblende (40)Ar/(39)Ar age for volcanic deposits in the southeast quadrant of the dome. In this sector, Bapang (Kabuh) sediments have their largest exposure, least deformation, and most complete tephrostratigraphy. At five locations, we identify a sequence of sedimentary cycles in which H. erectus fossils are associated with epiclastic pumice. From sampled pumice, eight hornblende separates produced (40)Ar/(39)Ar plateau ages ranging from 1.51 +/- 0.08 Ma at the Bapang/Sangiran Formation contact, to 1.02 +/- 0.06 Ma, at a point above the hominin-bearing sequence. The chronological sequence of (40)Ar/(39)Ar ages follows stratigraphic order across the southeast quadrant. An intermediate level yielding four nearly complete crania has an age of about 1.25 Ma. PMID:11309488

  15. Reconceptualizing Fossilization in Second Language Acquisition: A Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fidler, Ashley

    2006-01-01

    In recent fossilization literature, two problems have been raised repeatedly (e.g. Han, 2003; Long, 2003; Birdsong, 2004). First, the term "fossilization" lacks a unified definition and, second, it has not been adequately described empirically. The works reviewed here seek to address this situation. Han (2004) describes a conceptual framework…

  16. Divesting from Fossil Fuels Makes Sense Morally and Financially

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cleveland, Cutler J.; Reibstein, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Should university endowments divest from fossil fuels? A public discussion of this question has seen some university presidents issuing statements that they would not divest--that investments should not be used for "political action." Many universities hold large endowments that have significant positions in fossil fuel companies or

  17. Activating Strategies to Fossilization for English Learners in China

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Dan

    2009-01-01

    The paper attempts to explore the activating strategies to fossilizations for Chinese EFL learners. Fossilization, although always being ignored in China, still exerts its important role in blocking the EFL learning process for Chinese learners. To overcome this learning barrier, this paper is written to put forward the practical solutions to…

  18. Changing Concepts of the Nature and Significance of Fossils.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gregory, Joseph T.

    1984-01-01

    Provides information on early written accounts of fossils and contrasts historical phases regarding their organic or inorganic origin. Topic areas discussed include the deluge as a stimulant to geological investigation, stratigraphic sequences and earth history, extinction, faunal succession and organic evolution, and fossil evidence of…

  19. Mysterious Fossils from the Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater and Beyond

    Photo of fossil algae (dinocyst). Specimen is about 90 micrometers across.The largest known impact crater in the U.S. lies buried beneath the Virginia Coastal Plain. The late Eocene Chesapeake Bay impact event caused a wide variety of distinctive features, such as fossil algae (dinocysts) that were ...

  20. Divesting from Fossil Fuels Makes Sense Morally… and Financially

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cleveland, Cutler J.; Reibstein, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Should university endowments divest from fossil fuels? A public discussion of this question has seen some university presidents issuing statements that they would not divest--that investments should not be used for "political action." Many universities hold large endowments that have significant positions in fossil fuel companies or…

  1. The Great Fossil Fiasco: Teaching about Peer Review.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gift, Nancy; Krasny, Marianne

    2003-01-01

    Describes a lesson that engages middle school students in learning about peer review. Uses the article "Archaeoraptor Fossil Trail," which was published in the November, 1999 issue of "National Geographic" as an example of a real life story of how peer review forces scientists to critically re-examine a fossil discovery. (SOE)

  2. Morphology, fossils, divergence timing, and the phylogenetic relationships of Gavialis.

    PubMed

    Brochu, C A

    1997-09-01

    Although morphological data have historically favored a basal position for the Indian gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) within Crocodylia and a Mesozoic divergence between Gavialis and all other crocodylians, several recent molecular data sets have argued for a sister-group relationship between Gavialis and the Indonesian false gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii) and a divergence between them no earlier than the Late Tertiary. Fossils were added to a matrix of 164 discrete morphological characters and subjected to parsimony analysis. When morphology was analyzed alone, Gavialis was the sister taxon of all other extant crocodylians whether or not fossil ingroup taxa were included, and a sister-group relationship between Gavialis and Tomistoma was significantly less parsimonious. In combination with published sequence and restriction site fragment data, Gavialis was the sister taxon of all other living crocodylians, but the position of Tomistoma depended on the inclusion of fossil ingroup taxa; with or without fossils, preferred morphological and molecular topologies were not significantly different. Fossils closer to Gavialis than to Tomistoma can be recognized in the Late Cretaceous, and fossil relatives of Tomistoma are known from the basal Eocene, strongly indicating a divergence long before the Late Tertiary. Comparison of minimum divergence time from the fossil record with different measures of molecular distance indicates evolutionary rate heterogeneity within Crocodylia. Fossils strongly contradict a post-Oligocene divergence between Gavialis and any other living crocodylian, but the phylogenetic placement of Gavialis is best viewed as unresolved. PMID:11975331

  3. Proceedings: Sixth International Conference on Fossil Plant Cycle Chemistry

    SciTech Connect

    2001-04-01

    The purity of boiler water, feedwater, and steam is central to ensuring component availability and reliability in fossil-fired plants. These conference proceedings address the state of the art in fossil plant and combined cycle/heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) cycle chemistry as well as international practices for control of corrosion and water preparation and purification.

  4. Investigating the cores of fossil systems with Chandra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bharadwaj, V.; Reiprich, T. H.; Sanders, J. S.; Schellenberger, G.

    2016-01-01

    Aims: We aim to systematically investigate the cores of a sample of fossil galaxy groups and clusters ("fossil systems"), using Chandra data, to see what hints they can offer about the properties of the intracluster medium in these particular objects. Methods: We chose a sample of 17 fossil systems from literature with archival Chandra data and determined the cool-core fraction for fossils via three observable diagnostics, namely the central cooling time, cuspiness, and concentration parameter. We quantified the dynamical state of the fossils by the X-ray peak/brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) separation, and the X-ray peak/emission weighted centre separation. We also investigated the X-ray emission coincident with the brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) to detect the presence of potential thermal coronae. A deprojection analysis was performed for fossils with z< 0.05 to resolve subtle temperature structures, and to obtain the cooling time and entropy profiles. We also investigated the LX - T relation for fossils from the 400d catalogue to test whether the scaling relation deviates from what is typically observed for other groups. Results: Most fossils are identified as cool-core objects via at least two cool-core diagnostics with the population of weak cool-core fossils being the highest. All fossils have their dominant elliptical galaxy within 50 kpc of the X-ray peak, and most also have the emission weighted centre within that distance. We do not see clear indications of an X-ray corona associated with the BCG unlike coronae observed for some other clusters. Fossils lack universal temperature profiles, with some low-temperature objects generally not showing features that are expected for ostensibly relaxed objects with a cool-core. The entropy profiles of the z< 0.05 fossil systems can be described well by a power law with shallower indices than what is expected for pure gravitational processes. Finally, the fossils LX - T relation shows indications of an elevated normalisation with respect to other groups, which seems to persist even after factoring in selection effects. Conclusions: We interpret these results within the context of the formation and evolution of fossils, and speculate that non-gravitational heating, and AGN feedback in particular, could have had an impact on the ICM properties of these systems.

  5. The earliest fossil record of the animals and its significance.

    PubMed

    Budd, Graham E

    2008-04-27

    The fossil record of the earliest animals has been enlivened in recent years by a series of spectacular discoveries, including embryos, from the Ediacaran to the Cambrian, but many issues, not least of dating and interpretation, remain controversial. In particular, aspects of taphonomy of the earliest fossils require careful consideration before pronouncements about their affinities. Nevertheless, a reasonable case can now be made for the extension of the fossil record of at least basal animals (sponges and perhaps cnidarians) to a period of time significantly before the beginning of the Cambrian. The Cambrian explosion itself still seems to represent the arrival of the bilaterians, and many new fossils in recent years have added significant data on the origin of the three major bilaterian clades. Why animals appear so late in the fossil record is still unclear, but the recent trend to embrace rising oxygen levels as being the proximate cause remains unproven and may even involve a degree of circularity. PMID:18192192

  6. Fossil-energy program. Progress report for June 1981

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-08-01

    This report - the eighty-third of series - is a compendium of monthly progress reports for the ORNL research and development programs that are in support of the increased utilization of coal and other fossil fuel alternatives as sources of clean energy. The projects reported this month include those for coal conversion development, chemical research and development, materials technology, component development and process evaluation, technical support to major liquefaction projects, process analysis and engineering evaluations, fossil energy environmental analysis, flue gas desulfurization, coal preparation waste utilization, atmospheric fluidized bed coal combustor for cogeneration, TVA FBC demonstration plant program technical support, PFBC systems analysis, fossil fuel applications assessments, performance assurance system support for fossil energy projects, international energy technology assessment, generalized equilibrium models for liquid and gaseous fuel supplies, analyses of coal production goals, and fossil energy information center.

  7. Ontogeny and phylogeny of femoro-tibial characters in humans and hominid fossils: functional influence and genetic determinism.

    PubMed

    Tardieu, C

    1999-11-01

    Three different human femoro-tibial characters are selected as functionally relevant and derived hominid characters: femoral bicondylar angle, shape of the femoral distal epiphysis, and the tibial insertion of the lateral meniscus. The timing and mode of formation of these characters are investigated during human ontogeny and are shown to differ considerably. The available hominid fossils (Australopithecus afarensis and early Homo) are interpreted in the light of this ontogenetic analysis with the conclusion that, during hominid evolution, different modes of selection of these features must have occurred. In modern humans, the femoral bicondylar angle proves to be an epigenetic functional feature, which develops during early childhood growth. It is present in all australopithecines and we suggest that it developed following a change in their locomotor behavior and not upon a genomic change: the early practice of bipedal walking, with adducted knee joints, in the locomotor repertoire of infant australopithecines, was sufficient to promote this angle. Later in hominid evolution, the knee joint evolved from having a single insertion of the lateral meniscus on the tibia to a double one. While Australopithecus afarensis exhibits a single insertion, early Homo clearly exhibits a double insertion of the lateral meniscus on the tibia. The double insertion restricts the mobility of the meniscus on the tibial plateau, indicating a habitual practice of full extension movements of the knee joint. Among modern humans, the posterior insertion of the lateral meniscus appears early in fetal life. Consequently in early Homo, this new selected feature developed directly as a result of a genomic change. The derived shape of human distal femoral epiphysis includes a prominence of the lateral lip of the femoral trochlea, an elliptical profile of the lateral condyle, and an anteroposterior lengthening of the epiphysis. Analysis of human fetal and neonatal distal epiphyses shows that the prominence of the lateral lip of the trochlea arises before any use, and thus appears to be genetically determined. However, the postnatal development of this joint shows that this feature is also modified epigenetically by use. It is argued that the hominid femoro-patellar joint would have been reshaped following the process of genetic assimilation (Waddington [1942] Nature 3811:563-565). The prominence of the lateral lip of the femoral trochlea was probably selected following a two-staged process-first epigenetic, then genetic. Far from being a Lamarckian explanation, this concept applies precisely to adaptive characters that are induced by an external stimulus during a single lifetime and are replaced through natural selection by genetically based equivalent characters. The nature of the structures involved in the studied features is shown to be an important parameter determining their mode of development and selection. PMID:10516567

  8. Evolution of band structures in MoS2-based homo- and heterobilayers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, H. L.; Zhou, C. J.; Huang, X. J.; Wang, X. L.; Xu, H. Z.; Lin, Yong; Yang, W. H.; Wu, Y. P.; Lin, W.; Guo, F.

    2016-02-01

    Density functional theory calculations have been performed to elucidate the detailed evolution of band structures in MoS2-based homo- and heterobilayers. By constructing the energy-band alignments we observed that biaxial tensile and compressive strain in the constituent transition-metal dichalcogenide (TMD) monolayer shifts the states at the K C, Q C, and K V points down and up, respectively, while the states at the ΓV point are almost unaltered. In contrast, interlayer coupling tends to modify the states at the ΓV and Q C points by splitting the band-edge states of two strained or unstrained constituent TMD monolayers, while it does not affect the states at the K C and K V points. Considering the combined actions of strain and interlayer coupling, the relevant electronic parameters, especially the detailed evolution processes, of the band structures of the investigated bilayer systems can be clearly described. When further applying the extra biaxial strain to the three bilayer systems, it is found that energy differences ΔE(K C  -  Q C) and ΔE(K V  -  ΓV) decrease linearly as the increasing of the biaxial strain. According to the varying trends of ΔE(K C  -  Q C) and ΔE(K V  -  ΓV), MoS2 bilayer will maintain the indirect-bandgap character under any compressive or tensile strain. Differently, WS2/MoS2 heterobilayer transforms interestingly to the direct-bandgap material under the strain from  -1.6% to  -1.2% with the valence band maximum and conduction band minimum located at the K C and K V point respectively. The direct-to-indirect bandgap transition can be obtained for the WSe2/MoS2 heterobilayer when applying much larger extra tensile or compressive strain. The results offer an effective route to verify and tailor the electronic properties of TMD homo- and heterostructures and can be helpful in evaluating the performance of TMD-based electronic devices.

  9. Catching the fossil fuel biodesulfurization wave

    SciTech Connect

    Campbell, I.M. )

    1993-10-01

    Both coal and oil contain sulfur atoms covalently bound to the carbon skeleton of the fuel. This organic sulfur is located in more complex and more polycyclo-aromatic structures in coals than in petroleum and is modeled (albeit not perfectly) by the simple aromatic compound dibenzothiophene (DBT). Coals, but not petroleum, also contain inorganic forms of sulfur. These are various iron sulfides, most notably iron pyrites. Unlike organic sulfur, inorganic sulfur is not chemically bound to the carbon matrix of coal and can be removed, at least partially, by physical means that depend on differences in density and hydrophobicity between coal and pyrites. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, DOE/PETC was active in promoting advanced physical methods of coal cleaning and had invested considerable money, effort, and prestige in their development. To address that other coal-sulfur problem--the organic sulfur component--DOE/PETC funded a range of chemistry-based options through the early 1990s. By the early 1980s, and in the wake of the coming of age of genetic engineering, microbially based processes were beginning to make an appearance on the industrial scene. Coal cleaning was no exception. The author discusses his perceptions of the DOE's foray into fossil fuel biodesulfurization.

  10. Fossil fuel conversion -- Measurement and modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Solomon, P.R.; Smoot, L.D.; Serio, M.A.; Hamblen, D.G.; Brewster, B.S.; Radulovic, P.T.

    1995-11-01

    The main objective of this program is to understand the chemical and physical mechanisms in coal conversion processes and incorporate this knowledge in computer-aided reactor engineering technology for the purposes of development, evaluation, design, scale up, simulation, control and feedstock evaluation in advanced coal conversion devices. To accomplish this objective, this program will: (1) provide critical data on the physical and chemical processes in fossil fuel gasifier and combustors; (2) further develop a set of comprehensive codes; and (3) apply these codes to model various types of combustors and gasifier (fixed-bed, transport reactor, and fluidized-bed for coal and gas turbines for natural gas). Results are presented on the devolatilization of large coal particles; transport reactor modeling; fluidized bed model; nitrogen evolution from small and large coal particles; modeling of hydrogen cyanide and ammonia release during coal pyrolysis; oxidation rates for large coal particles at high pressures; advanced fixed-bed model development and evaluation; application of ACERC combustion and gasification codes to AFR diagnostic capabilities to systems of interest to METC; and submodel for lean premixed combustion of natural gas in industrial gas turbines.

  11. Origin of Metazoa: sponges as living fossils.

    PubMed

    Müller, W E

    1998-01-01

    The phylogenetic position of the phylum Porifera (sponges) is at the base of the kingdom Metazoa. During the past few years not only rDNA sequences but--and this was a major advance--even cDNAs/genes have been isolated and characterized from sponges, especially from the marine demosponge Geodia cydonium, which code for proteins. The analyses of their deduced amino acid sequences allowed a molecular biological approach to solve the problem of monophyly of Metazoa. Molecules of the extracellular matrix/basal lamina, with the integrin receptor, fibronectin, and galectin as prominent examples, cell-surface receptors (tyrosine kinase receptor), elements of sensory systems (crystallin, metabotropic glutamate receptor), and homologs/modules of an immune system (immunoglobulin like molecules, scavenger receptor cysteine-rich, and short consensus repeats, rhesus system) classify the Porifera as true Metazoa. As living fossils, provided with simple, primordial molecules allowing cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion as well as processes of signal transduction as known in a more complex manner from higher Metazoa, they also show peculiarities not known in other metazoan phyla. Tissues of sponges are rich in telomerase activity, suggesting a high plasticity in the determination of cell lineages. It is concluded that molecular biological studies with sponges as model will not only help to understand the evolution of Protoctista to Metazoa but also the complex, hierarchial regulatory network of cells in higher Metazoa. PMID:9484707

  12. Origin of Metazoa: Sponges as Living Fossils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Werner E. G.

    1998-01-01

    , which code for proteins. The analyses of their deduced amino acid sequences allowed a molecular biological approach to solve the problem of monophyly of Metazoa. Molecules of the extracellular matrix/basal lamina, with the integrin receptor, fibronectin, and galectin as prominent examples, cell-surface receptors (tyrosine kinase receptor), elements of sensory systems (crystallin, metabotropic glutamate receptor), and homologs/modules of an immune system (immunoglobulin like molecules, scavenger receptor cysteine-rich, and short consensus repeats, rhesus system) classify the Porifera as true Metazoa. As living fossils, provided with simple, primordial molecules allowing cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion as well as processes of signal transduction as known in a more complex manner from higher Metazoa, they also show peculiarities not known in other metazoan phyla. Tissues of sponges are rich in telomerase activity, suggesting a high plasticity in the determination of cell lineages. It is concluded that molecular biological studies with sponges as model will not only help to understand the evolution of Protoctista to Metazoa but also the complex, hierarchial regulatory network of cells in higher Metazoa.

  13. Antelope-Fossil Rebuild Project : Environmental Assessment.

    SciTech Connect

    United States. Bonneville Power Administration.

    1992-04-01

    The Columbia Power Cooperative Association (CPCA), Monument, Oregon, proposes to upgrade a 69-kV transmission line in Wasco and Wheeler Counties, Oregon, between the Antelope Substation and the Bonneville Power Administration's (BPA) Fossil Substation. The project involves rebuilding and reconductoring 23.2 miles of transmission line, including modifying it for future use at 115 kV. Related project activities will include setting new wood pole structures, removing and disposing of old structures, conductors, and insulators, and stringing new conductor, all within the existing right-of-way. No new access roads will be required. A Borrower's Environmental Report was prepared for the 1992--1993 Work Plan for Columbia Power Cooperative Association in March 1991. This report investigated cultural resources, threatened or endangered species, wetlands, and floodplains, and other environmental issues, and included correspondence with appropriate Federal, state, and local agencies. The report was submitted to the Rural Electrification Administration for their use in preparing their environmental documentation for the project.

  14. Antelope-Fossil Rebuild Project : Environmental Assessment.

    SciTech Connect

    United States. Bonneville Power Administration.

    1992-04-01

    The Columbia Power Cooperative Association (CPCA), Monument, Oregon, proposes to upgrade a 69-kV transmission line in Wasco and Wheeler Counties, Oregon, between the Antelope Substation and the Bonneville Power Administration`s (BPA) Fossil Substation. The project involves rebuilding and reconductoring 23.2 miles of transmission line, including modifying it for future use at 115 kV. Related project activities will include setting new wood pole structures, removing and disposing of old structures, conductors, and insulators, and stringing new conductor, all within the existing right-of-way. No new access roads will be required. A Borrower`s Environmental Report was prepared for the 1992--1993 Work Plan for Columbia Power Cooperative Association in March 1991. This report investigated cultural resources, threatened or endangered species, wetlands, and floodplains, and other environmental issues, and included correspondence with appropriate Federal, state, and local agencies. The report was submitted to the Rural Electrification Administration for their use in preparing their environmental documentation for the project.

  15. Amino acids in modern and fossil woods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, C.; Bada, J. L.; Peterson, E.

    1976-01-01

    The amino acid composition and the extent of racemization in several modern and fossil woods are reported. The method of analysis is described, and data are presented on the total amino acid concentration, the amino acid ratios, and the enantiomeric ratios in each sample. It is found that the amino acid concentration per gram of dry wood decreases with age of the sample, that the extent of racemization increases with increasing age, and that the amounts of aspartic acid, threonine, and serine decrease relative to valine with increasing age. The relative racemization rates of amino acids in wood, bone, and aqueous solution are compared, and it is shown that racemization in wood is much slower than in bone or aqueous solution. Racemization results for woods from the Kalambo Falls area of Zambia are used to calculate a minimum age of 110,000 years for the transition between the Sangoan and Acheulian industries at that site. This result is shown to be consistent with numerous radiometric dates for older Acheulian sites in Africa and to compare well with geologically inferred dates for the beginning of the Eemian and the end of the Acheulian industry in southern Africa.

  16. Fossilized excreta associated to dinosaurs in Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Souto, P. R. F.; Fernandes, M. A.

    2015-01-01

    This work provides an updated register of the main occurrences of fossilized excreta (coprolites and urolites) associated with dinosaurs found in the Brazil. The goal is to provide a relevant guide to the interpretation of the environment in the context of Gondwana. In four geographic areas, the excreta are recovered from Cretaceous sedimentary deposits in outcrops of the Bauru and São Luis basins and the Upper Jurassic aeolian deposits of the Parana Basin in the state of São Paulo. The coprolites were analyzed by X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence methods. The results of these analyses reveal compositions that differ from the surrounding matrix, indicating a partial substitution of the organic material due to the feeding habits of the producers. Additionally, we describe the urolite excavations in epirelief and hyporelief, the result of gravitational flow the impact from urine jets on sand. These are associated with ornithopod and theropod dinosaur footprints preserved in the aeolian flagstones of the Botucatu Formation, Parana Basin.

  17. Fossil evidence for the early ant evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrichot, Vincent; Lacau, Sébastien; Néraudeau, Didier; Nel, André

    2008-02-01

    Ants are one of the most studied insects in the world; and the literature devoted to their origin and evolution, systematics, ecology, or interactions with plants, fungi and other organisms is prolific. However, no consensus yet exists on the age estimate of the first Formicidae or on the origin of their eusociality. We review the fossil and biogeographical record of all known Cretaceous ants. We discuss the possible origin of the Formicidae with emphasis on the most primitive subfamily Sphecomyrminae according to its distribution and the Early Cretaceous palaeogeography. And we review the evidence of true castes and eusociality of the early ants regarding their morphological features and their manner of preservation in amber. The mid-Cretaceous amber forest from south-western France where some of the oldest known ants lived, corresponded to a moist tropical forest close to the shore with a dominance of gymnosperm trees but where angiosperms (flowering plants) were already diversified. This palaeoenvironmental reconstruction supports an initial radiation of ants in forest ground litter coincident with the rise of angiosperms, as recently proposed as an ecological explanation for their origin and successful evolution.

  18. Renewable hydrogen production for fossil fuel processing

    SciTech Connect

    Greenbaum, E.

    1994-09-01

    The objective of this mission-oriented research program is the production of renewable hydrogen for fossil fuel processing. This program will build upon promising results that have been obtained in the Chemical Technology Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory on the utilization of intact microalgae for photosynthetic water splitting. In this process, specially adapted algae are used to perform the light-activated cleavage of water into its elemental constituents, molecular hydrogen and oxygen. The great potential of hydrogen production by microalgal water splitting is predicated on quantitative measurement of their hydrogen-producing capability. These are: (1) the photosynthetic unit size of hydrogen production; (2) the turnover time of photosynthetic hydrogen production; (3) thermodynamic efficiencies of conversion of light energy into the Gibbs free energy of molecular hydrogen; (4) photosynthetic hydrogen production from sea water using marine algae; (5) the original development of an evacuated photobiological reactor for real-world engineering applications; (6) the potential for using modern methods of molecular biology and genetic engineering to maximize hydrogen production. The significance of each of these points in the context of a practical system for hydrogen production is discussed. This program will be enhanced by collaborative research between Oak Ridge National Laboratory and senior faculty members at Duke University, the University of Chicago, and Iowa State University. The special contribution that these organizations and faculty members will make is access to strains and mutants of unicellular algae that will potentially have useful properties for hydrogen production by microalgal water splitting.

  19. Molecular structure, vibrational spectroscopy, NBO and HOMO, LUMO studies of o-methoxybenzonitrile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elanthiraiyan, M.; Jayasudha, B.; Arivazhagan, M.

    2015-01-01

    In the present study, the FT-IR and FT-Raman spectra of o-methoxybenzonitrile (O-MBN) have been recorded in the region 4000-400 cm-1 and 3500-50 cm-1, respectively. The fundamental modes of vibrational frequencies of O-MBN are assigned. Theoretical information on the optimized geometry, harmonic vibrational frequencies, infrared and Raman intensities were obtained by means of ab initio Hartree-Fock (HF) and density functional theory (DFT) gradient calculations with complete relaxation in the potential energy surface using 6-311++G(d,p) basis set. The vibrational frequencies which were determined experimentally from the spectral data are compared with those obtained theoretically from ab initio and DFT calculations. A close agreement was achieved between the observed and calculated frequencies by refinement of the scale factors. The infrared and Raman spectra were also predicted from the calculated intensities. Thermodynamic properties like entropy, heat capacity, zero point energy, have been calculated for the molecule. The predicted first hyperpolarizability also shows that the molecule might have a reasonably good non-linear optical (NLO) behavior. The calculated HOMO-LUMO energy gap reveals that charge transfer occurs within the molecule. Stability of the molecule arising from hyper conjugative interactions, charge delocalization have been analyzed using natural bond orbitals (NBO) analysis. Unambiguous vibrational assignment of all the fundamentals was made using the total energy distribution (TED).

  20. Vibronic bands in the HOMO-LUMO excitation of linear polyyne molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wakabayashi, Tomonari; Wada, Yoriko; Iwahara, Naoya; Sato, Tohru

    2013-04-01

    Hydrogen-capped linear carbon chain molecules, namely polyynes H(C≡C)nH (n>=2), give rise to three excited states in the HOMO-LUMO excitation. Electric dipole transition from the ground state is fully allowed to one of the three excited states, while forbidden for the other two low-lying excited states. In addition to the strong absorption bands in the UV for the allowed transition, the molecules exhibit weak absorption and emission bands in the near UV and visible wavelength regions. The weak features are the vibronic bands in the forbidden transition. In this article, symmetry considerations are presented for the optical transitions in the centrosymmetric linear polyyne molecule. The argument includes Herzberg-Teller expansion for the state mixing induced by nuclear displacements along the normal coordinate of the molecule, intensity borrowing from fully allowed transitions, and inducing vibrational modes excited in the vibronic transition. The vibronic coupling considered here includes off-diagonal matrix elements for second derivatives along the normal coordinate. The vibronic selection rule for the forbidden transition is derived and associated with the transition moment with respect to the molecular axis. Experimental approaches are proposed for the assignment of the observed vibronic bands.

  1. Simulation of Threading Dislocation Images in X-ray Topographs of Silicon Carbide Homo-Epilayers

    SciTech Connect

    Vetter,W.; Tsuchida, H.; Kamata, I.; Dudley, M.

    2005-01-01

    Three types of dislocation are seen in homo-epilayers of SiC grown on 4H-SiC wafers with an 8 degree surface offcut: axial screw dislocations, basal plane dislocations propagated into the epilayer at an 8 degree inclination and threading edge dislocations. These types may be imaged by monochromatic synchrotron X-ray topography in the grazing-incidence reflection geometry using the 11{bar 2}8 reflection. Equations needed to apply the ray-tracing method of computer simulating X-ray topographic defect images in this experimental geometry were derived and used to simulate images of all three. Simulations for axial screw dislocations appear as white circles surrounded by narrow dark rings, and those for basal plane dislocations as linear white streaks, both consistent with experimental topographs. Simulations of the threading edge dislocations showed 4 {micro}m wide white ovals with narrow arcs of dark contrast at their ends, inclined relative to the g vector of the topograph according to the sign of their Burgers vector. These images resembled the experimental topographs inasmuch as was possible at the maximum resolution of X-ray topographs.

  2. BLOOD, BULBS, AND BUNODONTS: ON EVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGY AND THE DIETS OF ARDIPITHECUS, AUSTRALOPITHECUS, AND EARLY HOMO

    PubMed Central

    Sayers, Ken; Lovejoy, C. Owen

    2014-01-01

    Beginning with Darwin, some have argued that predation on other vertebrates dates to the earliest stages of hominid evolution, and can explain many uniquely human anatomical and behavioral characters. Other recent workers have focused instead on scavenging, or particular plant foods. Foraging theory suggests that inclusion of any food is influenced by its profitability and distribution within the consumer’s habitat. The morphology and likely cognitive abilities of Ardipithecus, Australopithecus, and early Homo suggest that while hunting and scavenging occurred, their profitability generally would have been considerably lower than in extant primates and/or modern human hunter-gatherers. On the other hand, early hominid diet modelers should not focus solely on plant foods, as this overlooks standard functional interpretations of the early hominid dentition, their remarkable demographic success, and the wide range of available food types within their likely day ranges. Any dietary model focusing too narrowly on any one food type or foraging strategy must be viewed with caution. We argue that early hominid diet can best be elucidated by consideration of their entire habitat-specific resource base, and by quantifying the potential profitability and abundance of likely available foods. PMID:25510078

  3. Revised stratigraphy and chronology for Homo floresiensis at Liang Bua in Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Sutikna, Thomas; Tocheri, Matthew W; Morwood, Michael J; Saptomo, E Wahyu; Jatmiko; Awe, Rokus Due; Wasisto, Sri; Westaway, Kira E; Aubert, Maxime; Li, Bo; Zhao, Jian-xin; Storey, Michael; Alloway, Brent V; Morley, Mike W; Meijer, Hanneke J M; van den Bergh, Gerrit D; Grün, Rainer; Dosseto, Anthony; Brumm, Adam; Jungers, William L; Roberts, Richard G

    2016-04-21

    Homo floresiensis, a primitive hominin species discovered in Late Pleistocene sediments at Liang Bua (Flores, Indonesia), has generated wide interest and scientific debate. A major reason this taxon is controversial is because the H. floresiensis-bearing deposits, which include associated stone artefacts and remains of other extinct endemic fauna, were dated to between about 95 and 12 thousand calendar years (kyr) ago. These ages suggested that H. floresiensis survived until long after modern humans reached Australia by ~50 kyr ago. Here we report new stratigraphic and chronological evidence from Liang Bua that does not support the ages inferred previously for the H. floresiensis holotype (LB1), ~18 thousand calibrated radiocarbon years before present (kyr cal. BP), or the time of last appearance of this species (about 17 or 13-11 kyr cal. BP). Instead, the skeletal remains of H. floresiensis and the deposits containing them are dated to between about 100 and 60 kyr ago, whereas stone artefacts attributable to this species range from about 190 to 50 kyr in age. Whether H. floresiensis survived after 50 kyr ago--potentially encountering modern humans on Flores or other hominins dispersing through southeast Asia, such as Denisovans--is an open question. PMID:27027286

  4. Pair-bonding, romantic love, and evolution: the curious case of Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Garth J O; Simpson, Jeffry A; Campbell, Lorne; Overall, Nickola C

    2015-01-01

    This article evaluates a thesis containing three interconnected propositions. First, romantic love is a "commitment device" for motivating pair-bonding in humans. Second, pair-bonding facilitated the idiosyncratic life history of hominins, helping to provide the massive investment required to rear children. Third, managing long-term pair bonds (along with family relationships) facilitated the evolution of social intelligence and cooperative skills. We evaluate this thesis by integrating evidence from a broad range of scientific disciplines. First, consistent with the claim that romantic love is an evolved commitment device, our review suggests that it is universal; suppresses mate-search mechanisms; has specific behavioral, hormonal, and neuropsychological signatures; and is linked to better health and survival. Second, we consider challenges to this thesis posed by the existence of arranged marriage, polygyny, divorce, and infidelity. Third, we show how the intimate relationship mind seems to be built to regulate and monitor relationships. Fourth, we review comparative evidence concerning links among mating systems, reproductive biology, and brain size. Finally, we discuss evidence regarding the evolutionary timing of shifts to pair-bonding in hominins. We conclude there is interdisciplinary support for the claim that romantic love and pair-bonding, along with alloparenting, played critical roles in the evolution of Homo sapiens. PMID:25910380

  5. Similar Efficacies of Selection Shape Mitochondrial and Nuclear Genes in Both Drosophila melanogaster and Homo sapiens

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Brandon S.; Burrus, Chad R.; Ji, Chao; Hahn, Matthew W.; Montooth, Kristi L.

    2015-01-01

    Deleterious mutations contribute to polymorphism even when selection effectively prevents their fixation. The efficacy of selection in removing deleterious mitochondrial mutations from populations depends on the effective population size (Ne) of the mitochondrial DNA and the degree to which a lack of recombination magnifies the effects of linked selection. Using complete mitochondrial genomes from Drosophila melanogaster and nuclear data available from the same samples, we reexamine the hypothesis that nonrecombining animal mitochondrial DNA harbor an excess of deleterious polymorphisms relative to the nuclear genome. We find no evidence of recombination in the mitochondrial genome, and the much-reduced level of mitochondrial synonymous polymorphism relative to nuclear genes is consistent with a reduction in Ne. Nevertheless, we find that the neutrality index, a measure of the excess of nonsynonymous polymorphism relative to the neutral expectation, is only weakly significantly different between mitochondrial and nuclear loci. This difference is likely the result of the larger proportion of beneficial mutations in X-linked relative to autosomal loci, and we find little to no difference between mitochondrial and autosomal neutrality indices. Reanalysis of published data from Homo sapiens reveals a similar lack of a difference between the two genomes, although previous studies have suggested a strong difference in both species. Thus, despite a smaller Ne, mitochondrial loci of both flies and humans appear to experience similar efficacies of purifying selection as do loci in the recombining nuclear genome. PMID:26297726

  6. Gracility of the modern Homo sapiens skeleton is the result of decreased biomechanical loading.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Timothy M; Shaw, Colin N

    2015-01-13

    The postcranial skeleton of modern Homo sapiens is relatively gracile compared with other hominoids and earlier hominins. This gracility predisposes contemporary humans to osteoporosis and increased fracture risk. Explanations for this gracility include reduced levels of physical activity, the dissipation of load through enlarged joint surfaces, and selection for systemic physiological characteristics that differentiate modern humans from other primates. This study considered the skeletal remains of four behaviorally diverse recent human populations and a large sample of extant primates to assess variation in trabecular bone structure in the human hip joint. Proximal femur trabecular bone structure was quantified from microCT data for 229 individuals from 31 extant primate taxa and 59 individuals from four distinct archaeological human populations representing sedentary agriculturalists and mobile foragers. Analyses of mass-corrected trabecular bone variables reveal that the forager populations had significantly higher bone volume fraction, thicker trabeculae, and consequently lower relative bone surface area compared with the two agriculturalist groups. There were no significant differences between the agriculturalist and forager populations for trabecular spacing, number, or degree of anisotropy. These results reveal a correspondence between human behavior and bone structure in the proximal femur, indicating that more highly mobile human populations have trabecular bone structure similar to what would be expected for wild nonhuman primates of the same body mass. These results strongly emphasize the importance of physical activity and exercise for bone health and the attenuation of age-related bone loss. PMID:25535352

  7. Experimental studies illuminate the cultural transmission of percussive technologies in Homo and Pan.

    PubMed

    Whiten, Andrew

    2015-11-19

    The complexity of Stone Age tool-making is assumed to have relied upon cultural transmission, but direct evidence is lacking. This paper reviews evidence bearing on this question provided through five related empirical perspectives. Controlled experimental studies offer special power in identifying and dissecting social learning into its diverse component forms, such as imitation and emulation. The first approach focuses on experimental studies that have discriminated social learning processes in nut-cracking by chimpanzees. Second come experiments that have identified and dissected the processes of cultural transmission involved in a variety of other force-based forms of chimpanzee tool use. A third perspective is provided by field studies that have revealed a range of forms of forceful, targeted tool use by chimpanzees, that set percussion in its broader cognitive context. Fourth are experimental studies of the development of flint knapping to make functional sharp flakes by bonobos, implicating and defining the social learning and innovation involved. Finally, new and substantial experiments compare what different social learning processes, from observational learning to teaching, afford good quality human flake and biface manufacture. Together these complementary approaches begin to delineate the social learning processes necessary to percussive technologies within the Pan-Homo clade. PMID:26483537

  8. Vibrational spectra, NBO, HOMO-LUMO and conformational stability studies of 4-hydroxythiobenzamide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sambathkumar, Kuppusamy

    2015-08-01

    In this work, the experimental and theoretical study on molecular structure, vibrational spectral analysis of 4-hydroxythiobenzamide (HTB) have been reported. The solid phase FTIR (4000-400 cm-1) and FT-Raman spectra (3500-50 cm-1) were recorded. The molecular geometry, harmonic vibrational frequencies and bonding features of HTB in the ground-state have been calculated by the density functional method (B3LYP) with 6-311+G(d,p) and 6-311++G(d,p) as basis sets. Utilizing the observed FTIR and FT-Raman data, a complete vibrational assignment and analysis of the fundamental modes of the compound were carried out. Stability of the molecule arising from hyperconjugative interactions, charge delocalization has been analyzed using natural bond orbital (NBO) analysis. The results show that the value of electron density (ED) in the σ∗ antibonding orbitals and E(2) energies confirms the occurrence of ICT (intra-molecular charge transfer) within the molecule. The UV spectrum was measured in ethanol solution. The energy and oscillator strength calculated by time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) correlates with the experimental findings. The calculated molecular electrostatic potential (MESP), HOMO and LUMO energies show that charge transfer occurs within the molecule. Besides, the simulated infrared and Raman spectra of the title compound which show good agreement with observed spectra.

  9. Poly(vinyl benzyl trimethylammonium chloride) Homo and Block Copolymers Complexation with DNA.

    PubMed

    Haladjova, Emi; Mountrichas, Grigoris; Pispas, Stergios; Rangelov, Stanislav

    2016-03-10

    In this work we focus on the use of novel homo and block copolymers based on poly(vinyl benzyl trimethylammonium chloride) as gene delivery vectors. The homopolymers and block copolymers were synthesized by RAFT polymerization schemes and molecularly characterized. DNA/polymer complexes (polyplexes) in a wide range of N/P (amino-to-phosphate groups) ratios were prepared. The ability of the novel polymers to form complexes with linear DNA was investigated by light scattering, zeta potential, and ethidium bromide fluorescence quenching measurements. The resulting polyplexes were in the size range of 80-300 nm and their surface potential changed from negative to positive depending on the N/P ratio. The stability of polyplexes was monitored by changes in their hydrodynamic parameters in the presence of salt. The novel vector systems were visualized by transmission electron microscopy. The influence of factors such as molar mass, content, and chemical structure of the polycationic moieties as well as presence of a hydrophilic poly[oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylate] block on the structure and stability of the polyplexes, kinetics of their formation, and effectiveness of the (co)polymers to shrink and pack DNA was discussed. PMID:26884321

  10. Uncovering homo-and hetero-interactions on the cell membrane using single particle tracking approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torreno-Pina, Juan A.; Manzo, Carlo; Garcia-Parajo, Maria F.

    2016-03-01

    The plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells is responsible for a myriad of functions that regulate cell physiology and plays a crucial role in a multitude of processes that include adhesion, migration, signaling recognition and cell-cell communication. This is accomplished by specific interactions between different membrane components such as lipids and proteins on the lipid bilayer but also through interactions with the underlying cortical actin cytoskeleton on the intracellular side and the glycocalyx matrix in close proximity to the extracellular side. Advanced biophysical techniques, including single particle tracking (SPT) have revealed that the lateral diffusion of molecular components on the plasma membrane represents a landmark manifestation of such interactions. Indeed, by studying changes in the diffusivity of individual membrane molecules, including sub-diffusion, confined diffusion and/or transient arrest of molecules in membrane compartments, it has been possible to gain insight on the nature of molecular interactions and to infer on its functional role for cell response. In this review, we will revise some exciting results where SPT has been crucial to reveal homo- and hetero-interactions on the cell membrane.

  11. Vibrational and electronic investigations, thermodynamic parameters, HOMO and LUMO analysis on Lornoxicam by density functional theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suhasini, M.; Sailatha, E.; Gunasekaran, S.; Ramkumaar, G. R.

    2015-11-01

    The Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and FT-Raman spectra of Lornoxicam were recorded in the region 4000-450 cm-1 and 4000-50 cm-1 respectively. Density functional theory (DFT) has been used to calculate the optimized geometrical parameters, atomic charges, and vibrational wavenumbers and intensity of the vibrational bands. The computed vibrational wave numbers were compared with the FT-IR and FT-Raman experimental data. The computational calculations at DFT/B3LYP level with 6-31G(d,p) and 6-31++G(d,p) basis sets. The complete vibrational assignments were performed on the basis of the potential energy distribution (PED) of the Vibrational modes calculated using Vibrational Energy Distribution Analysis (VEDA 4) program. The oscillator's strength calculated by TD-DFT and Lornoxicam is approach complement with the experimental findings. The NMR chemical shifts 13C and 1H were recorded and calculated using the gauge independent atomic orbital (GIAO) method. The Natural charges and intermolecular contacts have been interpreted using Natural Bond orbital (NBO) analysis and the HOMO-LUMO energy gap has been calculated. The thermodynamic properties like Entropy, Enthalpy, Specific heat capacity and zero vibrational energy have been calculated. Besides, molecular electrostatic potential (MEP) was investigated using theoretical calculations.

  12. Homo-β-amino acid containing MBP(85–99) analogs alleviate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

    PubMed Central

    Kant, Ravi; Pasi, Shweta; Surolia, Avadhesha

    2015-01-01

    MBP(85–99), an immuno-dominant epitope of myelin basic protein which binds to the major histocompatibility complex haplotype HLA-DR2 is widely implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. J5, an antagonist of MBP(85–99), that blocks the binding of MBP(85–99) to soluble HLA-DR2b much more efficiently than glatiramer acetate (a random copolymer comprising major MHC and T-cell receptor contact residues), was transformed into analogs with superior biological half-lives and antagonistic-activities by substitution of some of its residues with homo-β-amino acids. S18, the best analog obtained ameliorated symptoms of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis at least twice more effectively than glatiramer acetate or J5. S18 displayed marked resistance to proteolysis in-vitro; biological impact of which was evident in the form of delayed clinical onset of disease and prolonged therapeutic-benefits. Besides active suppression of MBP(85–99)-reactive CD4+ T-cells in-vitro and in-vivo S18 treatment also generated IL-4 producing CD4+ T-cell clones, through which protective effect could be transferred passively. PMID:25644378

  13. erbB3 Is an Active Tyrosine Kinase Capable of Homo- and Heterointeractions

    PubMed Central

    Steinkamp, Mara P.; Low-Nam, Shalini T.; Yang, Shujie; Lidke, Keith A.; Lidke, Diane S.

    2014-01-01

    Often considered to be a “dead” kinase, erbB3 is implicated in escape from erbB-targeted cancer therapies. Here, heregulin stimulation is shown to markedly upregulate kinase activity in erbB3 immunoprecipitates. Intact, activated erbB3 phosphorylates tyrosine sites in an exogenous peptide substrate, and this activity is abolished by mutagenesis of lysine 723 in the catalytic domain. Enhanced erbB3 kinase activity is linked to heterointeractions with catalytically active erbB2, since it is largely blocked in cells pretreated with lapatinib or pertuzumab. erbB2 activation of erbB3 is not dependent on equal surface levels of these receptors, since it occurs even in erbB3-transfected CHO cells with disproportionally small amounts of erbB2. We tested a model in which transient erbB3/erbB2 heterointeractions set the stage for erbB3 homodimers to be signaling competent. erbB3 homo- and heterodimerization events were captured in real time on live cells using single-particle tracking of quantum dot probes bound to ligand or hemagglutinin tags on recombinant receptors. PMID:24379439

  14. Indium oxide thin-film homo-junctions: Morphology and electrical properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stankiewicz, Jolanta; Villuendas, Francisco; Pilar Lozano, María; Díez, Isabel

    2013-08-01

    Indium oxide shows an unusual combination of electrical and optical properties that give rise to a broad range of applications in optoelectronic devices. Here, we report results of structural, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and electrical transport studies of transparent homo-junctions, obtained by sequential growth of polycrystalline thin layers of indium oxide under O2-rich and O2-poor conditions. We find that the growth temperature, which affects significantly film morphology, is critical for the rectifying behavior of the junctions. Only junctions grown at about 350 °C are rectifying. We also find that p-type-like layers have higher concentration of inter-grain oxygen than n-type layers, presumably coming from oxygen-rich deposition conditions and from much larger number of grain boundaries than in n-type layers. We conjecture that the segregation of oxygen ions at grain boundaries is responsible for the formation of inversion layers in O2-rich films and their apparent p-type dc conduction. This mechanism significantly modifies the capacitance-voltage characteristics of the junctions. However, the rectifying mechanism can be accounted for by a space-charge layer at the p-n interface. Such behavior might be important in other polycrystalline thin films with a large number of interface defects at grain boundaries.

  15. Pathophysiology of GPCR Homo- and Heterodimerization: Special Emphasis on Somatostatin Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Somvanshi, Rishi K.; Kumar, Ujendra

    2012-01-01

    G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are cell surface proteins responsible for translating >80% of extracellular reception to intracellular signals. The extracellular information in the form of neurotransmitters, peptides, ions, odorants etc is converted to intracellular signals via a wide variety of effector molecules activating distinct downstream signaling pathways. All GPCRs share common structural features including an extracellular N-terminal, seven-transmembrane domains (TMs) linked by extracellular/intracellular loops and the C-terminal tail. Recent studies have shown that most GPCRs function as dimers (homo- and/or heterodimers) or even higher order of oligomers. Protein-protein interaction among GPCRs and other receptor proteins play a critical role in the modulation of receptor pharmacology and functions. Although ~50% of the current drugs available in the market target GPCRs, still many GPCRs remain unexplored as potential therapeutic targets, opening immense possibility to discover the role of GPCRs in pathophysiological conditions. This review explores the existing information and future possibilities of GPCRs as tools in clinical pharmacology and is specifically focused for the role of somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) in pathophysiology of diseases and as the potential candidate for drug discovery. PMID:24281555

  16. Blood, bulbs, and bunodonts: on evolutionary ecology and the diets of Ardipithecus, Australopithecus, and early Homo.

    PubMed

    Sayers, Ken; Lovejoy, C Owen

    2014-12-01

    Beginning with Darwin, some have argued that predation on other vertebrates dates to the earliest stages of hominid evolution, and can explain many uniquely human anatomical and behavioral characters. Other recent workers have focused instead on scavenging, or particular plant foods. Foraging theory suggests that inclusion of any food is influenced by its profitability and distribution within the consumer's habitat. The morphology and likely cognitive abilities of Ardipithecus, Australopithecus, and early Homo suggest that while hunting and scavenging occurred, their profitability generally would have been considerably lower than in extant primates and/or modern human hunter-gatherers. On the other hand, early hominid diet modelers should not focus solely on plant foods, as this overlooks standard functional interpretations of the early hominid dentition, their remarkable demographic success, and the wide range of available food types within their likely day ranges. Any dietary model focusing too narrowly on any one food type or foraging strategy must be viewed with caution. We argue that early hominid diet can best be elucidated by consideration of their entire habitat-specific resource base, and by quantifying the potential profitability and abundance of likely available foods. PMID:25510078

  17. Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology: Volume 51, Molecular biology of Homo sapiens

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-01-01

    Thirteen years marked the time between the discovery of the double helix in 1953 and the elucidation of the genetic code in 1966. A similar interval has now passed since the development by Cohen and Boyer of a simple procedure for the cloning of selective DNA fragments. The scientific advances made possible by the subsequent modification and elaboration of these original cloning procedures now amaze, stimulate, and increasingly often overwhelm us. Facts that until recently were virtually unobtainable now flow forth almost effortlessly. Most excitingly, the frenetic pace of these new discoveries, instead of marking the impending end of a glorious moment of learning, give every indication of opening up scientific frontiers that will take hundreds if not thousands of years to explore thoroughly. This new era of enlightenment is nowhere more apparent than in our newfound ability to study ourselves at the molecular level. This volume is the first of two collections of papers submitted by the contributors to the Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology for 1986 - molecular biology of Homo sapiens. Contained in this collection are 80 papers grouped into sessions entitled Human Gene Map, Genetic Diagnosis, Human Evolution, and Drugs Made Off Human Genes.

  18. Vibrational, UV spectra, NBO, first order hyperpolarizability and HOMO-LUMO analysis of carvedilol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swarnalatha, N.; Gunasekaran, S.; Nagarajan, M.; Srinivasan, S.; Sankari, G.; Ramkumaar, G. R.

    2015-02-01

    In this work, we have investigated experimentally and theoretically on the molecular structure, vibrational spectra, UV spectral analysis and NBO studies of cardio-protective drug carvedilol. The FT-Raman and FT-IR spectra for carvedilol in the solid phase have been recorded in the region 4000-100 cm-1 and 4000-400 cm-1 respectively. Theoretical calculations were performed by using density functional theory (DFT) method at B3LYP/6-31G(d,p) and B3LYP/6-31++G(d,p) basis set levels. The harmonic vibrational frequencies, the optimized geometric parameters have been interpreted and compared with the reported experimental values. The complete vibrational assignments were performed on the basis of potential energy distribution (PED) of the vibrational modes. The thermodynamic properties and molecular electrostatic potential surfaces of the molecule were constructed. The electronic absorption spectrum was recorded in the region 400-200 nm and electronic properties such as HOMO and LUMO energies were calculated. The stability of the molecule arising from hyper conjugative interactions and charge delocalization have been analyzed from natural bond orbital (NBO) analysis. The first order hyperpolarizability of the title molecule was also calculated. The photo stability of carvedilol under different storage conditions were analyzed using UV-Vis spectral technique.

  19. Calix[n]imidazolium as a new class of positively charged homo-calix compounds

    PubMed Central

    Chun, Young; Jiten Singh, N; Hwang, In-Chul; Woo Lee, Jung; Yu, Seong Uk; Kim, Kwang S

    2013-01-01

    Macrocycles based on neutral calixarenes and calixpyrroles have been extensively explored for ion binding, molecular assembly and related applications. Given that only these two types of calix compounds and their analogs are available, the introduction of new forms of widely usable calix macrocycles is an outstanding challenge. Here we report the quadruply/quintuply charged imidazole-based homo-calix compounds, calix[4/5]imidazolium. The noncovalent (C-H)+/π+-anion interactions of the imidazolium rings with anions inside and outside the cone are the stabilizing factors for crystal packing, resulting in self-assembled arrays of cone-shaped calix-imidazolium molecules. Calix[4]imidazolium senses fluoride selectively even in aqueous solutions. Calix[5]imidazolium recognizes neutral fullerenes through π+–π interactions and makes them soluble in water, which could be useful in fullerene chemistry. Not only derivatization and ring expansion of calix[n]imidazolium, but also their utilization in ionic liquids, carbene chemistry and nanographite/graphene exfoliation could be exploited. PMID:23653209

  20. Vibrational spectra, NBO, HOMO-LUMO and conformational stability studies of 4-hydroxythiobenzamide.

    PubMed

    Sambathkumar, Kuppusamy

    2015-08-01

    In this work, the experimental and theoretical study on molecular structure, vibrational spectral analysis of 4-hydroxythiobenzamide (HTB) have been reported. The solid phase FTIR (4000-400 cm(-1)) and FT-Raman spectra (3500-50 cm(-1)) were recorded. The molecular geometry, harmonic vibrational frequencies and bonding features of HTB in the ground-state have been calculated by the density functional method (B3LYP) with 6-311+G(d,p) and 6-311++G(d,p) as basis sets. Utilizing the observed FTIR and FT-Raman data, a complete vibrational assignment and analysis of the fundamental modes of the compound were carried out. Stability of the molecule arising from hyperconjugative interactions, charge delocalization has been analyzed using natural bond orbital (NBO) analysis. The results show that the value of electron density (ED) in the ?(?) antibonding orbitals and E((2)) energies confirms the occurrence of ICT (intra-molecular charge transfer) within the molecule. The UV spectrum was measured in ethanol solution. The energy and oscillator strength calculated by time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) correlates with the experimental findings. The calculated molecular electrostatic potential (MESP), HOMO and LUMO energies show that charge transfer occurs within the molecule. Besides, the simulated infrared and Raman spectra of the title compound which show good agreement with observed spectra. PMID:25827766

  1. Gracility of the modern Homo sapiens skeleton is the result of decreased biomechanical loading

    PubMed Central

    Ryan, Timothy M.; Shaw, Colin N.

    2015-01-01

    The postcranial skeleton of modern Homo sapiens is relatively gracile compared with other hominoids and earlier hominins. This gracility predisposes contemporary humans to osteoporosis and increased fracture risk. Explanations for this gracility include reduced levels of physical activity, the dissipation of load through enlarged joint surfaces, and selection for systemic physiological characteristics that differentiate modern humans from other primates. This study considered the skeletal remains of four behaviorally diverse recent human populations and a large sample of extant primates to assess variation in trabecular bone structure in the human hip joint. Proximal femur trabecular bone structure was quantified from microCT data for 229 individuals from 31 extant primate taxa and 59 individuals from four distinct archaeological human populations representing sedentary agriculturalists and mobile foragers. Analyses of mass-corrected trabecular bone variables reveal that the forager populations had significantly higher bone volume fraction, thicker trabeculae, and consequently lower relative bone surface area compared with the two agriculturalist groups. There were no significant differences between the agriculturalist and forager populations for trabecular spacing, number, or degree of anisotropy. These results reveal a correspondence between human behavior and bone structure in the proximal femur, indicating that more highly mobile human populations have trabecular bone structure similar to what would be expected for wild nonhuman primates of the same body mass. These results strongly emphasize the importance of physical activity and exercise for bone health and the attenuation of age-related bone loss. PMID:25535352

  2. Normalization of Complete Genome Characteristics: Application to Evolution from Primitive Organisms to Homo sapiens

    PubMed Central

    Sorimachi, Kenji; Okayasu, Teiji; Ohhira, Shuji

    2015-01-01

    Normalized nucleotide and amino acid contents of complete genome sequences can be visualized as radar charts. The shapes of these charts depict the characteristics of an organism’s genome. The normalized values calculated from the genome sequence theoretically exclude experimental errors. Further, because normalization is independent of both target size and kind, this procedure is applicable not only to single genes but also to whole genomes, which consist of a huge number of different genes. In this review, we discuss the applications of the normalization of the nucleotide and predicted amino acid contents of complete genomes to the investigation of genome structure and to evolutionary research from primitive organisms to Homo sapiens. Some of the results could never have been obtained from the analysis of individual nucleotide or amino acid sequences but were revealed only after the normalization of nucleotide and amino acid contents was applied to genome research. The discovery that genome structure was homogeneous was obtained only after normalization methods were applied to the nucleotide or predicted amino acid contents of genome sequences. Normalization procedures are also applicable to evolutionary research. Thus, normalization of the contents of whole genomes is a useful procedure that can help to characterize organisms. PMID:26085808

  3. Homo imitans? Seven reasons why imitation couldn't possibly be associative.

    PubMed

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2016-01-19

    Many comparative and developmental psychologists believe that we are Homo imitans; humans are more skilled and prolific imitators than other animals, because we have a special, inborn 'intermodal matching' mechanism that integrates representations of others with representations of the self. In contrast, the associative sequence learning (ASL) model suggests that human infants learn to imitate using mechanisms that they share with other animals, and the rich resources provided by their sociocultural environments. This article answers seven objections to the ASL model: (i) it presents evidence that newborns do not imitate; (ii) argues that infants receive a plentiful supply of the kind of experience necessary for learning to imitate; (iii) suggests that neither infants nor adults can imitate elementally novel actions; (iv) explains why non-human animals have a limited capacity for imitation; (v) discusses the goal-directedness of imitation; (vi) presents evidence that improvement in imitation depends on visual feedback; and (vii) reflects on the view that associative theories steal 'the soul of imitation'. The empirical success of the ASL model indicates that the mechanisms which make imitation possible, by aligning representations of self with representations of others, have been tweaked by cultural evolution, not built from scratch by genetic evolution. PMID:26644604

  4. Viabilities of D. subobscura homo- and heterokaryotypes at optimal and stress temperatures. II. Seasonal component analysis.

    PubMed

    Zivanovic, Goran; Mestres, Francesc

    2010-04-01

    Here we report the viability of natural chromosomal O-inversion structural homo- and heterokaryotypes in a population of D. subobscura from Avala Mountain, Serbia, subjected to cold and heat stress during spring 2004. These results were compared with those observed in the same population in September 2004. We detected protection of a great number of lethal genes in O-chromosome lethal heterozygous combinations, independently of inversion backgrounds and temperature stress. The positive epistatic interactions of mildly-deleterious genes observed only in O-inversion heterokaryotypes (at distinct temperatures) and lethal genes in O-inversion homokaryotypes (under temperature stress only) could be responsible for reducing the genetic load. The seasonal fluctuations in frequencies of several chromosomal arrangements and karyotypes indicate a seasonal adaptation to changeable environmental conditions. The sample of D. subobscura collected in spring 2004 was tolerant to cold but not to heat, and these results point to tolerance to extreme low temperatures, possibly as a result of natural selection. Also, a non-random distribution of distinct combinations of viability classes among several O-inversion karyotypes (under both optimal conditions and heat stress) was observed. This observation could be taken as evidence of co-adaptation: different capacities of several O-inversion karyotypes with different combinations of genes to tolerate a range of temperatures. We conclude that frequency-dependent and supergene selection are balancing selection mechanisms and are responsible for the protection of chromosomal inversions in natural populations of D. subobscura. PMID:20536546

  5. Organic preservation of fossil musculature with ultracellular detail

    PubMed Central

    McNamara, Maria; Orr, Patrick J.; Kearns, Stuart L.; Alcalá, Luis; Anadón, Pere; Peñalver-Mollá, Enrique

    2010-01-01

    The very labile (decay-prone), non-biomineralized, tissues of organisms are rarely fossilized. Occurrences thereof are invaluable supplements to a body fossil record dominated by biomineralized tissues, which alone are extremely unrepresentative of diversity in modern and ancient ecosystems. Fossil examples of extremely labile tissues (e.g. muscle) that exhibit a high degree of morphological fidelity are almost invariably replicated by inorganic compounds such as calcium phosphate. There is no consensus as to whether such tissues can be preserved with similar morphological fidelity as organic remains, except when enclosed inside amber. Here, we report fossilized musculature from an approximately 18 Myr old salamander from lacustrine sediments of Ribesalbes, Spain. The muscle is preserved organically, in three dimensions, and with the highest fidelity of morphological preservation yet documented from the fossil record. Preserved ultrastructural details include myofilaments, endomysium, layering within the sarcolemma, and endomysial circulatory vessels infilled with blood. Slight differences between the fossil tissues and their counterparts in extant amphibians reflect limited degradation during fossilization. Our results provide unequivocal evidence that high-fidelity organic preservation of extremely labile tissues is not only feasible, but likely to be common. This is supported by the discovery of similarly preserved tissues in the Eocene Grube Messel biota. PMID:19828545

  6. Evaluation of hybrid solar/fossil Rankine-cooling concept

    SciTech Connect

    Curran, H M

    1980-11-01

    The hybrid solar/fossil Rankine cycle is analyzed thermodynamically to determine fuel use and efficiency. The hybrid system is briefly compared with solar organic Rankine systems with a fossil fuel auxiliary mode, and with geothermal resources. The economic evaluation compares the present value of the superheater fuel cost over the system lifetime with the first cost reduction obtained by substituting a hybrid solar/fossil Rankine engine for an organic Rankine engine. The economics analysis indicates that even if the hybrid solar/fossil Rankine cooling system were developed to the point of being a commercial product with an economic advantage over an otherwise equivalent solar organic Rankine cooling system, it would gradually lose that advantage with rising fuel costs and decreasing collector costs. From the standpoint of national fossil fuel conservation, the hybrid concept would be preferable only in applications where the operating duration in the solar/fossil mode would be substantially greater than in the fossil fuel-only auxiliary mode. (LEW)

  7. A new Eocene fossil of the genus Phycopeltis (Ulvophyceae, Chlorophyta).

    PubMed

    Novis, Phil M; Bannister, Jennifer M; Rindi, Fabio; Lee, Daphne E

    2015-10-01

    A fossil of the aerophytic green algal genus Phycopeltis (Trentepohliaes, Ulvophyceae) dated to 35 Ma, is reported from the Pikopiko Fossil Forest, Southland, New Zealand. Previous reports of fossilized Phycopeltis have been subsequently synonymized with fungi by other authors; however, our specimen is not vulnerable to their criticisms. Inflated cells present in two approximately concentric rings are interpreted as gametangia, with irregular structures resembling the gametangial pores of modern material; sporophytic material is absent. The fossil resembles the modern disc-forming species P. novae-zelandiae, P. expansa, and P. arundinacea. The limited material available prevents the assignation of a specific epithet, but the habit and dimensions of the fossil clearly fall within those of modern representatives of the genus. Its single cell thickness throughout, absence of distinct melanization, and larger size demonstrate that it is not a fungal shield. The specimen constitutes arguably the most convincing fossil belonging to Trentepohliales, and the first unambiguously for the genus Phycopeltis. It is consistent in age with other known fossils of the order that, when combined with molecular evidence, suggests a terrestrial radiation far more recent than that of land plants. PMID:26986895

  8. U Pb dating of fossil enamel from the Swartkrans Pleistocene hominid site, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balter, Vincent; Blichert-Toft, Janne; Braga, José; Telouk, Philippe; Thackeray, Francis; Albarède, Francis

    2008-03-01

    We demonstrate that young fossil enamel older than the range of the U-series (˜ 300 ka) can be dated by the U-Pb methods using new models of U and Pb loss and uptake. Contrary to the current hypothesis of U uptake that only considers the adsorption/diffusion mechanism, we here develop a complete time-dependent model which takes gains and losses of the most critical nuclides (238U, 234U, and 230Th) into account, both during chemical (dissolved U) and physical (Th and U α-recoil) processes. Lead is assumed to be a mixture between two components of common Pb and a radiogenic component; the proportions of these components are calculated from the Pb isotope abundances and U/Pb ratios. We apply this new U-Pb method to bovid enamel from the Swartkrans Cave (Gauteng Province, South Africa). This cave has yielded abundant early Pleistocene hominid remains attributed to Paranthropus and Homo as well as various associated archaeological vestiges. Biochronological comparisons with East Africa have provided age estimates ranging between 1.8 and 1.0 Ma, which, however, remain poorly constrained. After correction for initial 234U disequilibrium and further 238U loss, the U and Pb isotope data yield ages of 1.83 ± 1.38, 1.36 ± 0.29, and 0.83 ± 0.21 Ma for the three stratigraphic units, Members 1, 2, and 3, respectively. We discuss the consequences of these radiometric results for hominid evolution in South Africa.

  9. A virtual reconstruction and comparative analysis of the KNM-ER 42700 cranium.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Catherine C; Harvati, Katerina

    2015-01-01

    The taxonomic attribution of the 1.55 million year old young adult fossil calvaria KNM-ER 42700   from Ileret, Kenya, is subject to ongoing controversy. It has been attributed to H. erectus based on comparative description and linear measurements. However, 3-D geometric morphometric analysis found that this specimen fell outside the range of variation of H. erectus in its cranial shape, which was intermediate between H. erectus and modern humans. One problem is that analyses so far were conducted on the original specimen, which shows slight post-mortem distortion. Here we use a surface scan of a high resolution cast of KNM-ER 42700 to virtually reconstruct the calvaria and conduct a new 3D geometric morphometric analysis of both its original and its reconstructed shape. Our comparative sample included several specimens of H. erectus (s.l., including the subadult KNM-WT 15000), H. habilis, H. heidelbergenis (s.l.) and H. neanderthalensis, as well as early and Upper Paleolithic H. sapiens. Our principal component analysis results showed that, like the original specimen, our virtual reconstruction of KNM-ER 42700 is also intermediate in shape between fossil Homo and modern humans. Taphonomic distortion, therefore, appears to not have been a major factor affecting previous 3-D geometric morphometric analyses. The intermediate shape of KNM-ER 42700 might instead be related to the young developmental age of the specimen. Further work on reconstructing the original specimen or based on computed tomorgraphic scans is needed to confirm these results. PMID:25806649

  10. Zeolites replacing plant fossils in the Denver formation, Lakewood, Colorado.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Modreski, P.J.; Verbeek, E.R.; Grout, M.A.

    1984-01-01

    Well-developed crystals of heulandite and stilbite, within fossil wood, occur in sedimentary rocks in Lakewood, Jefferson County. The rocks belong to the Denver formation, a locally fossiliferous deposit of fluvial claystone, siltstone, sandstone and conglomerate, containing some volcanic mudflows (andesitic) of late Cretaceous to Palaeocene age. Altered volcanic glass released Na and Ca into the ground-water and subsequently zeolites were crystallized in the open spaces between grains and within fossil plant structures. Minor pyrite, quartz (jasper), calcite and apatite also occur as replacements of fossil wood. Similar zeolite occurrences in other areas are reviewed.-R.S.M.

  11. Fossil plant decommissioning: Tracking deferred costs in a competitive market

    SciTech Connect

    Ferguson, J.S.

    1995-06-15

    Widespread concern over nuclear plant decommissioning has triggered similar interest in the decommissioning of fossil-fired steam generating stations. This rising interest stems in part from the emergence of a competitive market in electric generation, which, among other things, threatens impairment of assets. Fossil decommissioning issues are not nearly as contentious as those that attend nuclear plants. Nevertheless, the magnitude of cost estimates for fossil decommissioning, when expressed as a percentage of station investment, is high enough to demand attention from accountants and regulators.

  12. Estimating times of extinction in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Wang, Steve C; Marshall, Charles R

    2016-04-01

    Because the fossil record is incomplete, the last fossil of a taxon is a biased estimate of its true time of extinction. Numerous methods have been developed in the palaeontology literature for estimating the true time of extinction using ages of fossil specimens. These methods, which typically give a confidence interval for estimating the true time of extinction, differ in the assumptions they make and the nature and amount of data they require. We review the literature on such methods and make some recommendations for future directions. PMID:27122005

  13. Fossil proboscidea and edentata of the San Pedro Valley, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gidley, James Williams

    1926-01-01

    A preliminary report on the fossil vertebrates of the San Pedro Valley, Ariz., collected by Kirk Bryan and me in the winter of 1920 and 1921 was published in 1922. This report includes a brief statement regarding the geology of the locality and a preliminary list of fossil vertebrates obtained by the expedition of 1921, with descriptions of the rodents and rabbits. Two additional papers on this interesting fauna have also appeared, one on the turtles by C.W. Gilmore and one on the birds by Alexander Wetmore. The present contribution deals with the proboscideans and edentates and gives a somewhat fuller discussion of the geology of the fossil-bearing beds.

  14. Recognizing and Interpreting the Fossils of Early Eukaryotes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Javaux, Emmanuelle J.; Knoll, Andrew H.; Walter, Malcolm

    2003-02-01

    Using molecular sequence data, biologists can generate hypotheses of protistan phylogeny and divergence times. Fossils, however, provide our only direct constraints on the timing and environmental context of early eukaryotic diversification. For this reason, recognition of eukaryotic fossils in Proterozoic rocks is key to the integration of geological and comparative biological perspectives on protistan evolution. Microfossils preserved in shales of the ca. 1500 Ma Roper Group, northern Australia, display characters that ally them to the Eucarya, but, at present, attribution to any particular protistan clade is uncertain. Continuing research on wall ultrastructure and microchemistry promises new insights into the nature and systematic relationships of early eukaryotic fossils.

  15. Fossil Fuel Emission Verification Modeling at LLNL

    SciTech Connect

    Cameron-Smith, P; Kosovic, B; Guilderson, T; Monache, L D; Bergmann, D

    2009-08-06

    We have an established project at LLNL to develop the tools needed to constrain fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions using measurements of the carbon-14 isotope in atmospheric samples. In Figure 1 we show the fossil fuel plumes from Los Angeles and San Francisco for two different weather patterns. Obviously, a measurement made at any given location is going to depend on the weather leading up to the measurement. Thus, in order to determine the GHG emissions from some region using in situ measurements of those GHGs, we use state-of-the-art global and regional atmospheric chemistry-transport codes to simulate the plumes: the LLNL-IMPACT model (Rotman et al., 2004) and the WRFCHEM community code (http://www.wrf-model.org/index.php). Both codes can use observed (aka assimilated) meteorology in order to recreate the actual transport that occurred. The measured concentration of each tracer at a particular spatio-temporal location is a linear combination of the plumes from each region at that location (for non-reactive species). The challenge is to calculate the emission strengths for each region that fit the observed concentrations. In general this is difficult because there are errors in the measurements and modeling of the plumes. We solve this inversion problem using the strategy illustrated in Figure 2. The Bayesian Inference step combines the a priori estimates of the emissions, and their uncertainty, for each region with the results of the observations, and their uncertainty, and an ensemble of model predicted plumes for each region, and their uncertainty. The result is the mathematical best estimate of the emissions and their errors. In the case of non-linearities, or if we are using a statistical sampling technique such as a Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique, then the process is iterated until it converges (ie reaches stationarity). For the Bayesian inference we can use both a direct inversion capability, which is fast but requires assumptions of linearity and Gaussianity of errors, or one of several statistical sampling techniques, which are computationally slower but do not require either linearity or Gaussianity (Chow, et al., 2008; Delle Monache, et al., 2008). The emission regions we are using are based on the air-basins defined by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), see Figure 3. The only difference is that we have joined some of the smaller air basins together. The results of a test using 4 days of simulated observations using our ensemble retrieval system are shown in Figure 3 (right). The main source of the variation between the different model configurations arises from the uncertainty in the atmospheric boundary layer parameterization in the WRF model. We are currently developing a capability to constrain the boundary layer height in our carbon-14 work either by weighting the ensemble member results by the accuracy of their boundary layer height (using commercial aircraft observations), or as part of the retrieval process using an ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) capability.

  16. Homo-FRET Based Biosensors and Their Application to Multiplexed Imaging of Signalling Events in Live Cells

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Sean C.; Margineanu, Anca; Katan, Matilda; Dunsby, Chris; French, Paul M. W.

    2015-01-01

    Multiplexed imaging of Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET)-based biosensors potentially presents a powerful approach to monitoring the spatio-temporal correlation of signalling pathways within a single live cell. Here, we discuss the potential of homo-FRET based biosensors to facilitate multiplexed imaging. We demonstrate that the homo-FRET between pleckstrin homology domains of Akt (Akt-PH) labelled with mCherry may be used to monitor 3′-phosphoinositide accumulation in live cells and show how global analysis of time resolved fluorescence anisotropy measurements can be used to quantify this accumulation. We further present multiplexed imaging readouts of calcium concentration, using fluorescence lifetime measurements of TN-L15-a CFP/YFP based hetero-FRET calcium biosensor-with 3′-phosphoinositide accumulation. PMID:26133241

  17. Novel vertical hetero- and homo-junction tunnel field-effect transistors based on multi-layer 2D crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Shang-Chun; Mohamed, Mohamed; Zhu, Wenjuan

    2016-03-01

    Vertical hetero- and homo-junction tunnel FET (TFET) based on multi-layer black phosphorus (BP) and transition metal dichalcogenides are proposed and studied by numerical simulations employing the semi-classical density gradient quantum correction model. It is found that the vertical TFET based on BP can achieve high on-current (>200 μA μm-1) and steep subthreshold swing (average value = 24.6 mV/dec) simultaneously, due to its high mobility, direct narrow bandgap, and low dielectric constant. We also found that the on-current in vertical TFETs based on MoS2/MoSe2 hetero-junction is two orders of magnitudes higher than the one in MoS2 homo-junction TFET, due to the reduced effective bandgap in heterostructure with staggered band alignment. In addition, we present various design considerations and recommendations as well as provide a qualitative comparison with published data.

  18. Pyrrolidine-mediated direct preparation of (e)-monoarylidene derivatives of homo- and heterocyclic ketones with various aldehydes.

    PubMed

    Gu, Xin; Wang, Xiaoyan; Wang, Fengtian; Sun, Hongbao; Liu, Jie; Xie, Yongmei; Xiang, Mingli

    2014-01-01

    An efficient method for the facile synthesis of (E)-monoarylidene derivatives of homo- and heterocyclic ketones with various aldehydes in the presence of a pyrrolidine organocatalyst has been achieved. A range of α,β-unsaturated ketones were obtained in moderate to high yields (up to 99%). Unlike the Claisen-Schmidt condensation process, the formation of undesired bisarylidene byproducts is not observed. The possible reaction mechanism suggests that the reaction proceeds via a Mannich-elimination sequence. PMID:24526254

  19. Cranial vault shape in fossil hominids: Fourier descriptors in norma lateralis.

    PubMed

    Lestrel, P E; Ohtsuki, F; Wolfe, C A

    2010-10-01

    Two major views of human evolution have elicited considerable controversy. These are: [1] the "out of Africa" hypothesis and [2] the "multiregional" hypothesis. This paper is an attempt to try to reconcile these two scenarios using hominid cranial vault data. Elliptical Fourier functions (EFFs) were used to describe, in visual and numerical terms, the shape of the human cranial vault in norma lateralis. Using jpeg images, contours of the cranial vault of a large sample of hominid specimens were pre-processed in Photoshop CS and rotated in 2D space (positional-orientation) so that a line drawn from nasion to porion was horizontal. The cranial vault image was then digitized with 72 closely-spaced points and submitted to a specially written routine that computed EFFs normalized by scaling (size-standardization). This ensured that the representation was invariant with respect to starting point, size and orientation. Statistically significant differences were found between the H. sapiens sample and both the H. erectus and H. neanderthalensis samples. In contrast, there were no statistically significant differences between the H. erectus and H. neanderthalensis groups, leading to three conclusions: [1] the similarity in cranial vault shape between H. erectus and H. neanderthalensis suggests a single gradually evolving lineage; [2] The taxon H. heidelbergensis can be embedded into the H. erectus→H. neanderthalensis line; and [3] H. sapiens seems to be a separate evolutionary development and is considered here either as a separate species or as a possible example of an allopatric semispecies (Grant, 1977). The results here suggest that human evolution over the last 2 Ma may turn out to be neither totally multiregional or simply out of Africa but rather represents a considerably more complicated picture. PMID:20801442

  20. The Upstream Conserved Regions (UCRs) Mediate Homo- and Hetero-oligomerization of Type 4 Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases (PDE4s)

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Moses; Blackman, Brigitte; Scheitrum, Colleen; Mika, Delphine; Blanchard, Elise; Lei, Tao; Conti, Marco; Richter, Wito

    2015-01-01

    Type 4 cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDE4s) are divided into long and short forms by the presence or absence of conserved N-terminal domains termed upstream conserved regions (UCRs). We have shown previously that PDE4D2, a short variant, is a monomer, whereas PDE4D3, a long variant, is a dimer. Here, we have determined the apparent molecular weights of various long and short PDE4 variants by size exclusion chromatography and sucrose density gradient centrifugation. Our results indicate that dimerization is a conserved property of all long PDE4 forms, whereas short forms are monomers. Dimerization is mediated by the UCR domains. Given their high sequence conservation, the UCR domains mediate not only homo-oligomerization, but also hetero-oligomerization of distinct PDE4 long forms as detected by co-immunoprecipitation assays and FRET microscopy. Endogenous PDE4 hetero-oligomers are in low abundance, however, compared to homo-dimers revealing the presence of mechanisms that predispose PDE4s towards homo-oligomerization. Oligomerization is a prerequisite for regulatory properties of PDE4 long forms, such as their PKA-dependent activation, but is not necessary for PDE4 protein/protein interactions. As a result, individual PDE4 protomers may independently mediate protein/protein interactions, providing a mechanism whereby PDE4s contribute to the assembly of macromolecular signaling complexes. PMID:24555506