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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 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

  5. Gamma-ray spectrometric dating of late Homo erectus skulls from Ngandong and Sambungmacan, Central Java, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, Yuji; Falguères, Christophe; Sémah, François; Jacob, Teuku; Grün, Rainer

    2008-08-01

    Hominid fossils from Ngandong and Sambungmacan, Central Java, Indonesia, are considered to be the most anatomically derived and youngest representatives of Homo erectus. Nondestructive gamma-ray spectrometric dating of three of these Homo erectus skulls showed that all samples underwent uranium leaching. Nevertheless, we could establish minimum age estimates of around 40ka, with an upper age limit of around 60 to 70ka. This means that the Homo erectus of Java very likely survived the Toba eruption and may have been contemporaneous with the earliest Homo sapiens in Southeast Asia and Australasia.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Morphological variation in Homo erectus and the origins of developmental plasticity.

    PubMed

    Antón, Susan C; Taboada, Hannah G; Middleton, Emily R; Rainwater, Christopher W; Taylor, Andrea B; Turner, Trudy R; Turnquist, Jean E; Weinstein, Karen J; Williams, Scott A

    2016-07-01

    Homo erectus was the first hominin to exhibit extensive range expansion. This extraordinary departure from Africa, especially into more temperate climates of Eurasia, has been variously related to technological, energetic and foraging shifts. The temporal and regional anatomical variation in H. erectus suggests that a high level of developmental plasticity, a key factor in the ability of H. sapiens to occupy a variety of habitats, may also have been present in H. erectus. Developmental plasticity, the ability to modify development in response to environmental conditions, results in differences in size, shape and dimorphism across populations that relate in part to levels of resource sufficiency and extrinsic mortality. These differences predict not only regional variations but also overall smaller adult sizes and lower levels of dimorphism in instances of resource scarcity and high predator load. We consider the metric variation in 35 human and non-human primate 'populations' from known environmental contexts and 14 time- and space-restricted paleodemes of H. erectus and other fossil Homo Human and non-human primates exhibit more similar patterns of variation than expected, with plasticity evident, but in differing patterns by sex across populations. The fossil samples show less evidence of variation than expected, although H. erectus varies more than Neandertals.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'. PMID:27298467

  11. 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

  12. Mapping and taphonomic analysis of the Homo erectus loci at Locality 1 Zhoukoudian, China.

    PubMed

    Boaz, Noel T; Ciochon, Russell L; Xu, Qinqi; Liu, Jinyi

    2004-05-01

    From a detailed analysis of published and unpublished sources, we constructed a digitized three-dimensional, stratigraphically-controlled excavation grid of Zhoukoudian Locality 1 in order to assess the spatial relationships of the excavated materials. All 15 fossil Homo erectus loci were mapped on the grid. Meter cubes were used in excavation starting in 1934, and Loci H through O, established between 1934 and 1937, were mapped to within 1 m(3)vertical and horizontal provenience. Loci A through G, established between 1921 and 1933, were excavated in the northernmost part of Locality 1 by unmapped quarrying, but their stratigraphic levels were recorded. We could localize Loci A through G on the grid system by utilizing locations of remaining walls, stratigraphic sections, excavation reports, excavation maps, and photographs. Loci contained skeletal elements of Homo erectus individuals scattered over areas of the cave floor of up to 9 m in diameter. Scoring of taphonomic damage on the Homo erectus sample, as observed on casts and originals, demonstrates that 67% of the hominid sample shows bite marks or other modifications ascribed to large mammalian carnivores, particularly the large Pleistocene cave hyena, Pachycrocuta brevirostris. Virtually all of the remaining Homo erectus skeletal assemblage shows breakage consistent with this taphonomic pattern of fragmentation. Bioturbation by digging carnivores is the most likely explanation for a fragment of Homo erectus Skull XI discovered 1 m below its other conjoined portions in Locus L. Carbon on all the Homo erectus fossils from Locus G, a circumscribed area of 1-meter diameter, earlier taken to indicate burning, cooking, and cannibalism, is here interpreted as detrital carbon deposited under water, perhaps the result of hyaenid caching behavior. Locus G records the close stratigraphic and horizontal association of stone artifacts with Homo erectus and other vertebrate skeletal elements, an association that is seen at

  13. Mapping and taphonomic analysis of the Homo erectus loci at Locality 1 Zhoukoudian, China.

    PubMed

    Boaz, Noel T; Ciochon, Russell L; Xu, Qinqi; Liu, Jinyi

    2004-05-01

    From a detailed analysis of published and unpublished sources, we constructed a digitized three-dimensional, stratigraphically-controlled excavation grid of Zhoukoudian Locality 1 in order to assess the spatial relationships of the excavated materials. All 15 fossil Homo erectus loci were mapped on the grid. Meter cubes were used in excavation starting in 1934, and Loci H through O, established between 1934 and 1937, were mapped to within 1 m(3)vertical and horizontal provenience. Loci A through G, established between 1921 and 1933, were excavated in the northernmost part of Locality 1 by unmapped quarrying, but their stratigraphic levels were recorded. We could localize Loci A through G on the grid system by utilizing locations of remaining walls, stratigraphic sections, excavation reports, excavation maps, and photographs. Loci contained skeletal elements of Homo erectus individuals scattered over areas of the cave floor of up to 9 m in diameter. Scoring of taphonomic damage on the Homo erectus sample, as observed on casts and originals, demonstrates that 67% of the hominid sample shows bite marks or other modifications ascribed to large mammalian carnivores, particularly the large Pleistocene cave hyena, Pachycrocuta brevirostris. Virtually all of the remaining Homo erectus skeletal assemblage shows breakage consistent with this taphonomic pattern of fragmentation. Bioturbation by digging carnivores is the most likely explanation for a fragment of Homo erectus Skull XI discovered 1 m below its other conjoined portions in Locus L. Carbon on all the Homo erectus fossils from Locus G, a circumscribed area of 1-meter diameter, earlier taken to indicate burning, cooking, and cannibalism, is here interpreted as detrital carbon deposited under water, perhaps the result of hyaenid caching behavior. Locus G records the close stratigraphic and horizontal association of stone artifacts with Homo erectus and other vertebrate skeletal elements, an association that is seen at

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Footprints reveal direct evidence of group behavior and locomotion in Homo erectus.

    PubMed

    Hatala, Kevin G; Roach, Neil T; Ostrofsky, Kelly R; Wunderlich, Roshna E; Dingwall, Heather L; Villmoare, Brian A; Green, David J; Harris, John W K; Braun, David R; Richmond, Brian G

    2016-01-01

    Bipedalism is a defining feature of the human lineage. Despite evidence that walking on two feet dates back 6-7 Ma, reconstructing hominin gait evolution is complicated by a sparse fossil record and challenges in inferring biomechanical patterns from isolated and fragmentary bones. Similarly, patterns of social behavior that distinguish modern humans from other living primates likely played significant roles in our evolution, but it is exceedingly difficult to understand the social behaviors of fossil hominins directly from fossil data. Footprints preserve direct records of gait biomechanics and behavior but they have been rare in the early human fossil record. Here we present analyses of an unprecedented discovery of 1.5-million-year-old footprint assemblages, produced by 20+ Homo erectus individuals. These footprints provide the oldest direct evidence for modern human-like weight transfer and confirm the presence of an energy-saving longitudinally arched foot in H. erectus. Further, print size analyses suggest that these H. erectus individuals lived and moved in cooperative multi-male groups, offering direct evidence consistent with human-like social behaviors in H. erectus. PMID:27403790

  17. Footprints reveal direct evidence of group behavior and locomotion in Homo erectus

    PubMed Central

    Hatala, Kevin G.; Roach, Neil T.; Ostrofsky, Kelly R.; Wunderlich, Roshna E.; Dingwall, Heather L.; Villmoare, Brian A.; Green, David J.; Harris, John W. K.; Braun, David R.; Richmond, Brian G.

    2016-01-01

    Bipedalism is a defining feature of the human lineage. Despite evidence that walking on two feet dates back 6–7 Ma, reconstructing hominin gait evolution is complicated by a sparse fossil record and challenges in inferring biomechanical patterns from isolated and fragmentary bones. Similarly, patterns of social behavior that distinguish modern humans from other living primates likely played significant roles in our evolution, but it is exceedingly difficult to understand the social behaviors of fossil hominins directly from fossil data. Footprints preserve direct records of gait biomechanics and behavior but they have been rare in the early human fossil record. Here we present analyses of an unprecedented discovery of 1.5-million-year-old footprint assemblages, produced by 20+ Homo erectus individuals. These footprints provide the oldest direct evidence for modern human-like weight transfer and confirm the presence of an energy-saving longitudinally arched foot in H. erectus. Further, print size analyses suggest that these H. erectus individuals lived and moved in cooperative multi-male groups, offering direct evidence consistent with human-like social behaviors in H. erectus. PMID:27403790

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Cranial morphology of Javanese Homo erectus: new evidence for continuous evolution, specialization, and terminal extinction.

    PubMed

    Kaifu, Yousuke; Aziz, Fachroel; Indriati, Etty; Jacob, Teuku; Kurniawan, Iwan; Baba, Hisao

    2008-10-01

    Our current knowledge of the evolution of Homo during the early to middle Pleistocene is far from complete. This is not only because of the small number of fossil samples available, but also due to the scarcity of standardized datasets which are reliable in terms of landmark identification, interobserver error, and other distorting factors. This study aims to accurately describe the cranial morphological changes of H. erectus in Java using a standardized set of measurements taken by the authors from 18 adult crania from Sangiran, Trinil, Sambungmacan, and Ngandong. The identification of some obscure landmarks was aided by the use of micro-CT imaging. While recent studies tend to emphasize evolutionary conservatism in Javanese H. erectus, our results reinforce the theory that chronologically later groups experienced distinct morphological changes in a number of cranial traits. Some of these changes, particularly those related to brain size expansion, are similar to those observed for the genus Homo as a whole, whereas others are apparently unique specializations restricted to Javanese H. erectus. Such morphological specializations in Java include previously undescribed anteroposterior lengthening of the midcranial base and an anterior shift of the posterior temporal muscle, which might have influenced the morphology of the angular torus and supramastoid sulcus. Analyses of morphological variation indicate that the three crania from Sambungmacan variously fill the morphological gap between the chronologically earlier (Bapang-AG, Bapang Formation above the Grenzbank zone in Sangiran) and later (Ngandong) morphotypes of Java. At least one of the Bapang-AG crania, Sangiran 17, also exhibits a few characteristics which potentially indicate evolution toward the Ngandong condition. These strongly suggest the continuous, gradual morphological evolution of Javanese H. erectus from the Bapang-AG to Ngandong periods. The development of some unique features in later Javanese H

  5. 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

  6. Cranial growth in Homo erectus: how credible are the Ngandong juveniles?

    PubMed

    Antón, S C

    1999-02-01

    Confusion exists regarding the developmental ages of numerous Asian and southeast Asian Homo erectus fossils because of Weidenreich's contention that Pithecanthropus fused its sutures prematurely relative to H. sapiens. I reevaluate the cranial developmental ages of the Ngandong "juveniles" (2, 5, 8, 9) based on a series of indicators of youth (superstructure development, suture development/fusion, and cranial thickness) and cranial contours. The Ngandong juveniles are compared with H. sapiens adults (n = 281) and subadults (n = 81) and with Ngandong and other H. erectus adults (n = 20) and subadults (n = 4). Cranial contours are assessed using bivariate plots of arc vs. chord measurements. All indicators suggest that Ngandong 5 and 9 are adults, whereas Ngandong 8 is an older juvenile or young adult and Ngandong 2 is a juvenile with a developmental age range of greater than 6 and less than 11 years. In addition, adult cranial contours and the pattern of contour development are similar between Ngandong adults and other H. erectus adults. There is nothing in the cranial contour data to suggest that Ngandong is, despite a relatively large brain, transitional in vault shape between H. erectus and H. sapiens.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Kappelman, John; Alçiçek, 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

  20. Venturing out safely: The biogeography of Homo erectus dispersal out of Africa.

    PubMed

    Carotenuto, F; Tsikaridze, N; Rook, L; Lordkipanidze, D; Longo, Laura; Condemi, Silvana; Raia, P

    2016-06-01

    The dispersal of Homo erectus out of Africa at some 1.9 million years ago is one of the most important, crucial, and yet controversial events in human evolution. Current opinions about this episode expose the contrast between those who see H. erectus as a highly social, cooperative species seeking out new ecological opportunities to exploit, and those preferring a passive, climate driven explanation for such an event. By using geostatistics techniques and probabilistic models, we characterised the ecological context of H. erectus dispersal, from its East African origin to the colonization of Eurasia, taking into account both the presence of other large mammals and the physical characteristics of the landscape as potential factors. Our model indicated that H. erectus followed almost passively the large herbivore fauna during its dispersal. In Africa, the dispersal was statistically associated with the presence of large freshwater bodies (Rift Valley Lakes). In Eurasia, the presence of H. erectus was associated with the occurrence of geological outcrops likely yielding unconsolidated flint. During the early phase of dispersal, our model indicated that H. erectus actively avoided areas densely populated by large carnivores. This pattern weakened as H. erectus dispersed over Europe, possibly because of the decreasing presence of carnivores there plus the later acquisition of Acheulean technology. During this later phase, H. erectus was associated with limestone and shaley marl, and seems to have been selecting for high-elevation sites. While our results do not directly contradict the idea that H. erectus may have been an active hunter, they clearly point to the fact that predator avoidance may have conditioned its long-distance diffusion as it moved outside Africa. The modelled dispersal route suggests that H. erectus remained preferentially associated with low/middle latitude (i.e., comparatively warm) sites throughout its colonization history. PMID:27260171

  1. Venturing out safely: The biogeography of Homo erectus dispersal out of Africa.

    PubMed

    Carotenuto, F; Tsikaridze, N; Rook, L; Lordkipanidze, D; Longo, Laura; Condemi, Silvana; Raia, P

    2016-06-01

    The dispersal of Homo erectus out of Africa at some 1.9 million years ago is one of the most important, crucial, and yet controversial events in human evolution. Current opinions about this episode expose the contrast between those who see H. erectus as a highly social, cooperative species seeking out new ecological opportunities to exploit, and those preferring a passive, climate driven explanation for such an event. By using geostatistics techniques and probabilistic models, we characterised the ecological context of H. erectus dispersal, from its East African origin to the colonization of Eurasia, taking into account both the presence of other large mammals and the physical characteristics of the landscape as potential factors. Our model indicated that H. erectus followed almost passively the large herbivore fauna during its dispersal. In Africa, the dispersal was statistically associated with the presence of large freshwater bodies (Rift Valley Lakes). In Eurasia, the presence of H. erectus was associated with the occurrence of geological outcrops likely yielding unconsolidated flint. During the early phase of dispersal, our model indicated that H. erectus actively avoided areas densely populated by large carnivores. This pattern weakened as H. erectus dispersed over Europe, possibly because of the decreasing presence of carnivores there plus the later acquisition of Acheulean technology. During this later phase, H. erectus was associated with limestone and shaley marl, and seems to have been selecting for high-elevation sites. While our results do not directly contradict the idea that H. erectus may have been an active hunter, they clearly point to the fact that predator avoidance may have conditioned its long-distance diffusion as it moved outside Africa. The modelled dispersal route suggests that H. erectus remained preferentially associated with low/middle latitude (i.e., comparatively warm) sites throughout its colonization history.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Age of Zhoukoudian Homo erectus determined with (26)Al/(10)Be burial dating.

    PubMed

    Shen, Guanjun; Gao, Xing; Gao, Bin; Granger, Darryl E

    2009-03-12

    The age of Zhoukoudian Homo erectus, commonly known as 'Peking Man', has long been pursued, but has remained problematic owing to the lack of suitable dating methods. Here we report cosmogenic (26)Al/(10)Be burial dating of quartz sediments and artefacts from the lower strata of Locality 1 in the southwestern suburb of Beijing, China, where early representatives of Zhoukoudian Homo erectus were discovered. This study marks the first radioisotopic dating of any early hominin site in China beyond the range of mass spectrometric U-series dating. The weighted mean of six meaningful age measurements, 0.77 +/- 0.08 million years (Myr, mean +/- s.e.m.), provides the best age estimate for lower cultural layers 7-10. Together with previously reported U-series dating of speleothem calcite and palaeomagnetic stratigraphy, as well as sedimentological considerations, these layers may be further correlated to S6-S7 in Chinese loess stratigraphy or marine isotope stages (MIS) 17-19, in the range of approximately 0.68 to 0.78 Myr ago. These ages are substantially older than previously supposed and may imply early hominin's presence at the site in northern China through a relatively mild glacial period corresponding to MIS 18.

  8. Homo floresiensis-like fossils from the early Middle Pleistocene of Flores.

    PubMed

    van den Bergh, Gerrit D; Kaifu, Yousuke; Kurniawan, Iwan; Kono, Reiko T; Brumm, Adam; Setiyabudi, Erick; Aziz, Fachroel; Morwood, Michael J

    2016-06-08

    The evolutionary origin of Homo floresiensis, a diminutive hominin species previously known only by skeletal remains from Liang Bua in western Flores, Indonesia, has been intensively debated. It is a matter of controversy whether this primitive form, dated to the Late Pleistocene, evolved from early Asian Homo erectus and represents a unique and striking case of evolutionary reversal in hominin body and brain size within an insular environment. The alternative hypothesis is that H. floresiensis derived from an older, smaller-brained member of our genus, such as Homo habilis, or perhaps even late Australopithecus, signalling a hitherto undocumented dispersal of hominins from Africa into eastern Asia by two million years ago (2 Ma). Here we describe hominin fossils excavated in 2014 from an early Middle Pleistocene site (Mata Menge) in the So'a Basin of central Flores. These specimens comprise a mandible fragment and six isolated teeth belonging to at least three small-jawed and small-toothed individuals. Dating to ~0.7 Ma, these fossils now constitute the oldest hominin remains from Flores. The Mata Menge mandible and teeth are similar in dimensions and morphological characteristics to those of H. floresiensis from Liang Bua. The exception is the mandibular first molar, which retains a more primitive condition. Notably, the Mata Menge mandible and molar are even smaller in size than those of the two existing H. floresiensis individuals from Liang Bua. The Mata Menge fossils are derived compared with Australopithecus and H. habilis, and so tend to support the view that H. floresiensis is a dwarfed descendent of early Asian H. erectus. Our findings suggest that hominins on Flores had acquired extremely small body size and other morphological traits specific to H. floresiensis at an unexpectedly early time.

  9. Homo floresiensis-like fossils from the early Middle Pleistocene of Flores.

    PubMed

    van den Bergh, Gerrit D; Kaifu, Yousuke; Kurniawan, Iwan; Kono, Reiko T; Brumm, Adam; Setiyabudi, Erick; Aziz, Fachroel; Morwood, Michael J

    2016-06-01

    The evolutionary origin of Homo floresiensis, a diminutive hominin species previously known only by skeletal remains from Liang Bua in western Flores, Indonesia, has been intensively debated. It is a matter of controversy whether this primitive form, dated to the Late Pleistocene, evolved from early Asian Homo erectus and represents a unique and striking case of evolutionary reversal in hominin body and brain size within an insular environment. The alternative hypothesis is that H. floresiensis derived from an older, smaller-brained member of our genus, such as Homo habilis, or perhaps even late Australopithecus, signalling a hitherto undocumented dispersal of hominins from Africa into eastern Asia by two million years ago (2 Ma). Here we describe hominin fossils excavated in 2014 from an early Middle Pleistocene site (Mata Menge) in the So'a Basin of central Flores. These specimens comprise a mandible fragment and six isolated teeth belonging to at least three small-jawed and small-toothed individuals. Dating to ~0.7 Ma, these fossils now constitute the oldest hominin remains from Flores. The Mata Menge mandible and teeth are similar in dimensions and morphological characteristics to those of H. floresiensis from Liang Bua. The exception is the mandibular first molar, which retains a more primitive condition. Notably, the Mata Menge mandible and molar are even smaller in size than those of the two existing H. floresiensis individuals from Liang Bua. The Mata Menge fossils are derived compared with Australopithecus and H. habilis, and so tend to support the view that H. floresiensis is a dwarfed descendent of early Asian H. erectus. Our findings suggest that hominins on Flores had acquired extremely small body size and other morphological traits specific to H. floresiensis at an unexpectedly early time. PMID:27279221

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

    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 (40)Ar/(39)Ar 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

    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 (40)Ar/(39)Ar 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

  13. 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

  14. The age of the 20 meter Solo River terrace, Java, Indonesia and the survival of Homo erectus in Asia.

    PubMed

    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 (40)Ar/(39)Ar 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 (40)Ar/(39)Ar 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 (40)Ar/(39)Ar 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.

  15. Analytical morphies on mid-sagittal craniograms glabella-opisthocranion of Homo erectus and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis: Fourier parameters and multivariate discriminant analysis.

    PubMed

    Vacca, E; Pesce Delfino, V

    1991-03-01

    The analytical description of complicated morphologies offers the possibility to define patterns of parameters characterizing the investigated groups. These patterns must be considered as morphies useful in performing classification and comparison. Fourier parameters are extremely effective in describing and comparing complex irregular forms and since they are statistically independent we can use them in performing multivariate discriminant analysis. Two groups of mid-sagittal craniograms glabella-opisthocranion of asiatic samples of Homo erectus and of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis were described by means of Fourier harmonic analysis. The discriminatory power of all the obtained parameters (coefficients, amplitudes and phases) was tested. A discriminant function (error % = 0) was obtained using as parameters the first 4 sine/cosine coefficients, the 5th sine, the 6th and the 7th cosine components (11 parameters in all). When the information contained in the coefficient values is being subdivided into the two components of amplitude and phase, the amplitude component is not able to discriminate between the two groups (error % = 25), while the phase values of the first 7 harmonics are able to discriminate them (error % = 0 and distance between centroids = 47).

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Discovery of Homo sp. tooth associated with a mammalian cave fauna of Late Middle Pleistocene age, northern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Tougard, C; Jaeger, J J

    1998-07-01

    In the context of a Thai-French paleontological project, a single human tooth, a right upper fourth premolar, has been discovered in Northern Thailand among mammalian fossil remains excavated from the "Thum Wiman Nakin" cave. Based on the fauna associated with the human tooth and the Uranium/Thorium datings from the overlying calcite beds, we attribute this site to the Late Middle Pleistocene. The human tooth was compared with teeth of Chinese and Javanese Homo erectus, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens sapiens as well as teeth of apes (Orang-utan). The tooth has archaic features of the crown which are similar to Homo erectus. It also has derived features of the root which makes it aligns with Neanderthals and modern humans. Consequently, it has been tentatively attributed to Homo sp. Homo remains have not been previously reported from Thailand, and the specimen described here is therefore the first and oldest fossil human remain from this country.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Aquatic ape theory and fossil hominids.

    PubMed

    Verhaegen, M J

    1991-06-01

    While most older palaeo-anthropological studies emphasise the similarities of the fossil hominids with modern man, recent studies often stress the unique and the apelike features of the australopithecine dentitions, skulls and postcranial bones. It is worth reconsidering the features of Australopithecus, Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis in the light of the so-called Aquatic Ape Theory (AAT) of Hardy and Morgan, and to compare the skeletal parts of our fossil relatives with those of (semi)aquatic animals. Possible convergences are observed with proboscis monkeys, beavers, sea-otters, hippopotamuses, seals, sea-lions, walruses, sea-cows, whales, dolphins, porpoises, penguins and crocodiles. PMID:1909768

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. The Homo habitat niche: using the avian fossil record to depict ecological characteristics of Palaeolithic Eurasian hominins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finlayson, Clive; Carrión, José; Brown, Kimberly; Finlayson, Geraldine; Sánchez-Marco, Antonio; Fa, Darren; Rodríguez-Vidal, Joaquín; Fernández, Santiago; Fierro, Elena; Bernal-Gómez, Marco; Giles-Pacheco, Francisco

    2011-06-01

    Although hardly applied to human palaeoecology, bird fossils offer a unique opportunity for quantitative studies of the hominin habitat. Here we reconstruct the Homo habitat niche across a large area of the Palaearctic, based on a database of avian fauna for Pleistocene sites. Our results reveal a striking association between Homo and habitat mosaics. A mix of open savannah-type woodland, wetlands and rocky habitats emerges as the predominant combination occupied by Homo across a wide geographical area, from the earliest populations of the Lower Palaeolithic to the latest hunter-gatherer communities of the Upper Palaeolithic. This observation is in keeping with the view that such landscapes have had long standing selective value for hominins.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  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. From Australopithecus to Homo: the transition that wasn't.

    PubMed

    Kimbel, William H; Villmoare, Brian

    2016-07-01

    Although the transition from Australopithecus to Homo is usually thought of as a momentous transformation, the fossil record bearing on the origin and earliest evolution of Homo is virtually undocumented. As a result, the poles of the transition are frequently attached to taxa (e.g. A. afarensis, at ca 3.0 Ma versus H. habilis or H. erectus, at ca 2.0-1.7 Ma) in which substantial adaptive differences have accumulated over significant spans of independent evolution. Such comparisons, in which temporally remote and adaptively divergent species are used to identify a 'transition', lend credence to the idea that genera should be conceived at once as monophyletic clades and adaptively unified grades. However, when the problem is recast in terms of lineages, rather than taxa per se, the adaptive criterion becomes a problem of subjectively privileging 'key' characteristics from what is typically a stepwise pattern of acquisition of novel characters beginning in the basal representatives of a clade. This is the pattern inferred for species usually included in early Homo, including H. erectus, which has often been cast in the role as earliest humanlike hominin. A fresh look at brain size, hand morphology and earliest technology suggests that a number of key Homo attributes may already be present in generalized species of Australopithecus, and that adaptive distinctions in Homo are simply amplifications or extensions of ancient hominin trends.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'. PMID:27298460

  18. 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.

  19. Brief Communication: Shape analysis of the MT 1 proximal articular surface in fossil hominins and shod and unshod Homo.

    PubMed

    Proctor, Daniel J

    2010-12-01

    As a follow-up study to Proctor et al. (Am J Phys Anthropol 135 (2008) 216-224), this study quantifies the first metatarsal proximal articular surface using three-dimensional morphometrics to test for differences in articular surface shape between habitually shod and habitually unshod humans. In addition, differences in shape between Homo, Pan, Gorilla, and Hylobates are compared to the fossil hominin specimens A. L. 333-54, Stw 562, Stw 573 ("Little Foot"), OH 8, SKX 5017, and SK 1813. No difference in surface shape was found between habitually shod and habitually unshod humans. There is a clear quantitative division in articular surface shape between humans and apes that is more pronounced than a previous study by Proctor et al. (Am J Phys Anthropol 135 (2008) 216-224), due to additional landmarks present in this study. The specimen OH 8 is indistinguishable from modern Homo. The fossils A. L. 333-54, Stw 562, and Stw 573 are intermediate in shape between humans and apes. The specimens SKX 5017 and SK 1813 have a more apelike articular surface. When combined with other characteristics, this trait suggests that Paranthropus used a degree of abduction during locomotion that was much less than that in extant apes, but greater than that in Australopithecus, allowing for some small degree of grasping ability. PMID:20925078

  20. The evolutionary relationships and age of Homo naledi: An assessment using dated Bayesian phylogenetic methods.

    PubMed

    Dembo, Mana; Radovčić, Davorka; Garvin, Heather M; Laird, Myra F; Schroeder, Lauren; Scott, Jill E; Brophy, Juliet; Ackermann, Rebecca R; Musiba, Chares M; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Mooers, Arne Ø; Collard, Mark

    2016-08-01

    Homo naledi is a recently discovered species of fossil hominin from South Africa. A considerable amount is already known about H. naledi but some important questions remain unanswered. Here we report a study that addressed two of them: "Where does H. naledi fit in the hominin evolutionary tree?" and "How old is it?" We used a large supermatrix of craniodental characters for both early and late hominin species and Bayesian phylogenetic techniques to carry out three analyses. First, we performed a dated Bayesian analysis to generate estimates of the evolutionary relationships of fossil hominins including H. naledi. Then we employed Bayes factor tests to compare the strength of support for hypotheses about the relationships of H. naledi suggested by the best-estimate trees. Lastly, we carried out a resampling analysis to assess the accuracy of the age estimate for H. naledi yielded by the dated Bayesian analysis. The analyses strongly supported the hypothesis that H. naledi forms a clade with the other Homo species and Australopithecus sediba. The analyses were more ambiguous regarding the position of H. naledi within the (Homo, Au. sediba) clade. A number of hypotheses were rejected, but several others were not. Based on the available craniodental data, Homo antecessor, Asian Homo erectus, Homo habilis, Homo floresiensis, Homo sapiens, and Au. sediba could all be the sister taxon of H. naledi. According to the dated Bayesian analysis, the most likely age for H. naledi is 912 ka. This age estimate was supported by the resampling analysis. Our findings have a number of implications. Most notably, they support the assignment of the new specimens to Homo, cast doubt on the claim that H. naledi is simply a variant of H. erectus, and suggest H. naledi is younger than has been previously proposed.

  1. The evolutionary relationships and age of Homo naledi: An assessment using dated Bayesian phylogenetic methods.

    PubMed

    Dembo, Mana; Radovčić, Davorka; Garvin, Heather M; Laird, Myra F; Schroeder, Lauren; Scott, Jill E; Brophy, Juliet; Ackermann, Rebecca R; Musiba, Chares M; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Mooers, Arne Ø; Collard, Mark

    2016-08-01

    Homo naledi is a recently discovered species of fossil hominin from South Africa. A considerable amount is already known about H. naledi but some important questions remain unanswered. Here we report a study that addressed two of them: "Where does H. naledi fit in the hominin evolutionary tree?" and "How old is it?" We used a large supermatrix of craniodental characters for both early and late hominin species and Bayesian phylogenetic techniques to carry out three analyses. First, we performed a dated Bayesian analysis to generate estimates of the evolutionary relationships of fossil hominins including H. naledi. Then we employed Bayes factor tests to compare the strength of support for hypotheses about the relationships of H. naledi suggested by the best-estimate trees. Lastly, we carried out a resampling analysis to assess the accuracy of the age estimate for H. naledi yielded by the dated Bayesian analysis. The analyses strongly supported the hypothesis that H. naledi forms a clade with the other Homo species and Australopithecus sediba. The analyses were more ambiguous regarding the position of H. naledi within the (Homo, Au. sediba) clade. A number of hypotheses were rejected, but several others were not. Based on the available craniodental data, Homo antecessor, Asian Homo erectus, Homo habilis, Homo floresiensis, Homo sapiens, and Au. sediba could all be the sister taxon of H. naledi. According to the dated Bayesian analysis, the most likely age for H. naledi is 912 ka. This age estimate was supported by the resampling analysis. Our findings have a number of implications. Most notably, they support the assignment of the new specimens to Homo, cast doubt on the claim that H. naledi is simply a variant of H. erectus, and suggest H. naledi is younger than has been previously proposed. PMID:27457542

  2. The brain of LB1, Homo floresiensis.

    PubMed

    Falk, Dean; Hildebolt, Charles; Smith, Kirk; Morwood, M J; Sutikna, Thomas; Brown, Peter; Jatmiko; Saptomo, E Wayhu; Brunsden, Barry; Prior, Fred

    2005-04-01

    The brain of Homo floresiensis was assessed by comparing a virtual endocast from the type specimen (LB1) with endocasts from great apes, Homo erectus, Homo sapiens, a human pygmy, a human microcephalic, specimen number Sts 5 (Australopithecus africanus), and specimen number WT 17000 (Paranthropus aethiopicus). Morphometric, allometric, and shape data indicate that LB1 is not a microcephalic or pygmy. LB1's brain/body size ratio scales like that of an australopithecine, but its endocast shape resembles that of Homo erectus. LB1 has derived frontal and temporal lobes and a lunate sulcus in a derived position, which are consistent with capabilities for higher cognitive processing. PMID:15749690

  3. A Homo habilis maxilla and other newly-discovered hominid fossils from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Clarke, R J

    2012-08-01

    In 1995, a 1.8 million year old hominid maxilla with complete dentition (OH 65) was excavated from Bed I in the western part of Olduvai Gorge. The molar crowns are small relative to the long flaring roots, and the root of the canine is very long and straight. The broad maxilla with wide U-shaped palate and the form of the tooth roots closely match those of KNM-ER 1470 which, in its parietal size and morphology, matches the type specimen of Homo habilis, OH 7. Thus, OH 65 and KNM-ER 1470 group with OH 7 as representatives of H. habilis while some other Olduvai specimens, such as OH 13 and OH 24, have more in common in terms of morphology and brain size with Australopithecus africanus. Between 1995 and 2007, the OLAPP team has recovered teeth of eight other hominid individuals from various parts of Olduvai Gorge. These have been identified as belonging to H. habilis, Paranthropus boisei, and Australopithecus cf. africanus. PMID:22561056

  4. What constitutes Homo sapiens? Morphology versus received wisdom.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Jeffrey

    2016-06-20

    Although Linnaeus coined Homo sapiens in 1735, it was Blumenbach forty years later who provided the first morphological definition of the species. Since humans were not then allowed to be ante-Diluvian, his effort applied to the genus, as well. After the Feldhofer Grotto Neanderthal disproved this creationist notion, and human-fossil hunting became legitimate, new specimens were allocated either to sapiens or new species within Homo, or even to new species within new genera. Yet as these taxonomic acts reflected the morphological differences between specimens, they failed to address the question: What constitutes H. sapiens? When in 1950 Mayr collapsed all human fossils into Homo, he not only denied humans a diverse evolutionary past, he also shifted the key to identifying its species from morphology to geological age - a practice most paleoanthropologists still follow. Thus, for example, H. erectus is the species that preceded H. sapiens, and H. sapiens is the species into which H. erectus morphed. In order to deal with a growing morass of morphologically dissimilar specimens, the non-taxonomic terms "archaic" (AS) and "anatomically modern" (AMS) were introduced to distinguish between the earlier and later versions of H. sapiens, thereby making the species impossible to define. In attempting to disentangle fact from scenario, I begin from the beginning, trying to delineate features that may be distinctive of extant humans (ES), and then turning to the fossils that have been included in the species. With the exception of Upper Paleolithic humans - e.g. from Cro-Magnon, Dolni Vestonice, Mladeč - I argue that many specimens regarded as AMS, and all those deemed AS, are not H. sapiens. The features these AMS do share with ES suggest the existence of a sapiens clade. Further, restudy of near-recent fossils, especially from southwestern China (∼11-14.5 ka), reinforces what discoveries such as H. floresiensis indicate: "If it's recent, it's not necessarily H. sapiens

  5. What constitutes Homo sapiens? Morphology versus received wisdom.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Jeffrey

    2016-06-20

    Although Linnaeus coined Homo sapiens in 1735, it was Blumenbach forty years later who provided the first morphological definition of the species. Since humans were not then allowed to be ante-Diluvian, his effort applied to the genus, as well. After the Feldhofer Grotto Neanderthal disproved this creationist notion, and human-fossil hunting became legitimate, new specimens were allocated either to sapiens or new species within Homo, or even to new species within new genera. Yet as these taxonomic acts reflected the morphological differences between specimens, they failed to address the question: What constitutes H. sapiens? When in 1950 Mayr collapsed all human fossils into Homo, he not only denied humans a diverse evolutionary past, he also shifted the key to identifying its species from morphology to geological age - a practice most paleoanthropologists still follow. Thus, for example, H. erectus is the species that preceded H. sapiens, and H. sapiens is the species into which H. erectus morphed. In order to deal with a growing morass of morphologically dissimilar specimens, the non-taxonomic terms "archaic" (AS) and "anatomically modern" (AMS) were introduced to distinguish between the earlier and later versions of H. sapiens, thereby making the species impossible to define. In attempting to disentangle fact from scenario, I begin from the beginning, trying to delineate features that may be distinctive of extant humans (ES), and then turning to the fossils that have been included in the species. With the exception of Upper Paleolithic humans - e.g. from Cro-Magnon, Dolni Vestonice, Mladeč - I argue that many specimens regarded as AMS, and all those deemed AS, are not H. sapiens. The features these AMS do share with ES suggest the existence of a sapiens clade. Further, restudy of near-recent fossils, especially from southwestern China (∼11-14.5 ka), reinforces what discoveries such as H. floresiensis indicate: "If it's recent, it's not necessarily H. sapiens".

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Early evidence of the genus Homo in East Asia.

    PubMed

    Zhu, R X; Potts, R; Pan, Y X; Yao, H T; Lü, L Q; Zhao, X; Gao, X; Chen, L W; Gao, F; Deng, C L

    2008-12-01

    The timing and route of the earliest dispersal from Africa to Eastern Asia are contentious topics in the study of early human evolution because Asian hominin fossil sites with precise age constraints are very limited. Here we report new high-resolution magnetostratigraphic results that place stringent age controls on excavated hominin incisors and stone tools from the Yuanmou Basin, southwest China. The hominin-bearing layer resides in a reverse polarity magnetozone just above the upper boundary of the Olduvai subchron, yielding an estimated age of 1.7Ma. The finding represents the age of the earliest documented presence of Homo, with affinities to Homo erectus, in mainland East Asia. This age estimate is roughly the same as for H. erectus in island Southeast Asia and immediately prior to the oldest archaeological evidence in northeast Asia. Mammalian fauna and pollen obtained directly from the hominin site indicate that the Yuanmou hominins lived in a varied habitat of open vegetation with patches of bushland and forest on an alluvial fan close to a lake or swamp. The age and location are consistent with a rapid southern migration route of initial hominin populations into Eastern Asia. PMID:18842287

  10. Tooth enamel stable isotopes of Holocene and Pleistocene fossil fauna reveal glacial and interglacial paleoenvironments of hominins in Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janssen, Renée; Joordens, Josephine C. A.; Koutamanis, Dafne S.; Puspaningrum, Mika R.; de Vos, John; van der Lubbe, Jeroen H. J. L.; Reijmer, John J. G.; Hampe, Oliver; Vonhof, Hubert B.

    2016-07-01

    The carbon (δ13C) and oxygen (δ18O) isotope compositions of fossilized animal tissues have become important proxies of paleodiet and paleoenvironment, but such stable isotope studies have not yet been extensively applied to the fossil assemblages of Sundaland (the biogeographical region comprising most of the Indonesian Archipelago). Here, we use the isotope composition of tooth enamel to investigate the diet and habitat of bovids, cervids, and suids from several Holocene and Pleistocene sites on Java and Sumatra. Our carbon isotope results indicate that individual sites are strongly dominated by either C3-browsers or C4-grazers. Herbivores from the Padang Highlands (Sumatra) and Hoekgrot (Java) cave faunas were mainly C3-browsers, while herbivores from Homo erectus-bearing sites Trinil and Sangiran (Java) utilized an almost exclusive C4 diet. The suids from all sites show a wide range of δ13C values, corroborating their omnivorous diet. For the dataset as a whole, oxygen and carbon isotope values are positively correlated. This suggests that isotopic enrichment of rainwater and vegetation δ18O values coincides with an increase of C4-grasslands. We interpret this pattern to mainly reflect the environmental contrast between glacial (drier, more C4) and interglacial (wetter, more C3) conditions. Intermediate herbivore δ13C values indicating mixed C3/C4 feeding is relatively rare, which we believe to reflect the abruptness of the transition between glacial and interglacial precipitation regimes in Sundaland. For seven Homo erectus bone samples we were not able distinguish between diagenetic overprint and original isotope values, underlining the need to apply this isotopic approach to Homo erectus tooth enamel instead of bone. Importantly, our present results on herbivore and omnivore faunas provide the isotopic framework that will allow interpretation of such Homo erectus enamel isotope data.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. The place of Homo floresiensis in human evolution.

    PubMed

    Baab, Karen

    2016-06-20

    Two main evolutionary scenarios have been proposed to explain the presence of the small-bodied and small-brained Homo floresiensis species on the remote Indonesian island of Flores in the Late Pleistocene. According to these two scenarios, H. floresiensis was a dwarfed descendent of H. erectus or a late-surviving remnant of a older lineage, perhaps descended from H. habilis. Each scenario has interesting and important implications for hominin biogeography, body size evolution, brain evolution and morphological convergences. Careful evaluation reveals that only a small number of characters support each of these scenarios uniquely. H. floresiensis exhibits a cranial shape and many cranial characters that appear to be shared derived traits with H. erectus, but postcranial traits are more primitive and resemble those of early Homo or even australopiths. Mandibular and dental traits show a mix of derived and primitive features. Unfortunately, many traits cannot be used to assess these two hypotheses because their distribution in H. erectus, early Homo (e.g., H. habilis), or both is unknown. H. erectus ancestry implies evolutionary convergence on a postcranial configuration similar to australopiths and early Homo, which could be explained by a return to more climbing behaviors. Body size reduction as well as brain size reduction on a scale only rarely documented in mammals would also accompany the origin of H. floresiensis from a H. erectus ancestor. H. habilis ancestry implies parallel evolution of numerous cranial characters, as well as a few dentognathic traits. A pre-H. erectus ancestry also suggests an early migration to Southeast Asia that is as yet undocumented in mainland Asia, but minimal body and brain size reduction. PMID:26829572

  2. Homo floresiensis: a cladistic analysis.

    PubMed

    Argue, D; Morwood, M J; Sutikna, T; Jatmiko; Saptomo, E W

    2009-11-01

    The announcement of a new species, Homo floresiensis, a primitive hominin that survived until relatively recent times is an enormous challenge to paradigms of human evolution. Until this announcement, the dominant paradigm stipulated that: 1) only more derived hominins had emerged from Africa, and 2) H. sapiens was the only hominin since the demise of Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis. Resistance to H. floresiensis has been intense, and debate centers on two sets of competing hypotheses: 1) that it is a primitive hominin, and 2) that it is a modern human, either a pygmoid form or a pathological individual. Despite a range of analytical techniques having been applied to the question, no resolution has been reached. Here, we use cladistic analysis, a tool that has not, until now, been applied to the problem, to establish the phylogenetic position of the species. Our results produce two equally parsimonious phylogenetic trees. The first suggests that H. floresiensis is an early hominin that emerged after Homo rudolfensis (1.86Ma) but before H. habilis (1.66Ma, or after 1.9Ma if the earlier chronology for H. habilis is retained). The second tree indicates H. floresiensis branched after Homo habilis.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Extension rates and growth in tooth height of modern human and fossil hominin canines and molars.

    PubMed

    Dean, M Christopher

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study was to describe similarities and differences in the way modern and fossil hominin teeth grow in height. Measurements from longitudinal ground sections of 7 modern human canines and 19 first permanent molars were used to calculate extension rates in the crowns and roots and to plot distance curves for growth in tooth height. These were compared with identical data for 3 fossil hominin teeth attributed respectively to Paranthropus robustus, Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis. Enamel extension rates in each of the three fossil taxa fell within the range of modern humans. Root extension rates in the fossil taxa also fell within modern human ranges but differed in their pattern with either an early or late marked increase in root length. Extension rates in the canine crowns were higher in cuspal enamel than in lateral enamel. Combinations of high or low cuspal enamel extension rates, with either longer or shorter times taken to form lateral enamel, explain how crown formation times may vary independently of completed crown heights. PMID:19828973

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. The Homo floresiensis cranium (LB1): Size, scaling, and early Homo affinities

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Adam D.; Nevell, Lisa; Wood, Bernard

    2008-01-01

    The skeletal remains of a diminutive small-brained hominin found in Late Pleistocene cave deposits on the island of Flores, Indonesia were assigned to a new species, Homo floresiensis [Brown P, et al. (2004) A new small-bodied hominin from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia. Nature 431: 1055–1061]. A dramatically different interpretation is that this material belongs not to a novel hominin taxon but to a population of small-bodied modern humans affected, or unaffected, by microcephaly. The debate has primarily focused on the size and shape of the endocranial cavity of the type specimen, LB1, with less attention being paid to the morphological evidence provided by the rest of the LB1 cranium and postcranium, and no study thus far has addressed the problem of how scaling would affect shape comparisons between a diminutive cranium like LB1 and the much larger crania of modern humans. We show that whether or not the effects of its small cranial size are accounted for, the external cranial morphology of the LB1 cranium cannot be accommodated within a large global sample of normal modern human crania. Instead, the shape of LB1, which is shown by multivariate analysis to differ significantly from that of modern humans, is similar to that of Homo erectus sensu lato, and, to a lesser extent, Homo habilis. Our results are consistent with hypotheses that suggest the Liang Bua specimens represent a diminutive population closely related to either early H. erectus s. l. from East Africa and/or Dmanisi or to H. habilis. PMID:18356300

  17. Cladistic analysis of early Homo crania from Swartkrans and Sterkfontein, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Smith, Heather F; Grine, Frederick E

    2008-05-01

    The phylogenetic relationships of early Pleistocene Homo crania from the South African sites of Swartkrans and Sterkfontein were investigated through cladistic analyses of 99 morphological characters. The Swartkrans Member 1 specimen SK 847 and the Stw 53 cranium from Sterkfontein Member 5A were treated as separate operational taxonomic units (OTUs), distinct from the three species of early Homo-H. erectus, H. habilis, and H. rudolfensis-that are recognized from the Plio-Pleistocene deposits of East Africa. The cladistic analyses differed in the treatment of the South African OTUs (separate Swartkrans and Sterkfontein OTUs vs. a single Swartkrans+Sterkfontein OTU). PAUP 4.0 was used to construct cladograms and address hypotheses about relationships. In the analysis that treated the South African specimens as a single OTU, the position of that OTU was stable as a separate branch on the Homo clade between H. rudolfensis and [H. habilis+(H. erectus+H. sapiens)]. When SK 847 and Stw 53 were treated as separate OTUs, the majority of most parsimonious trees indicated that they were positioned in similar positions as the combined South African Homo OTU; that is, as separate branches between H. rudolfensis and [H. habilis+(H. erectus+H. sapiens)], with the Swartkrans OTU generally occupying a more derived position. The position of the Sterkfontein OTU was more stable than that of the Swartkrans OTU, which was found in several other positions among the minimum length trees. Running the analyses with only those characters preserved by SK 847 and Stw 53 resulted in similar topologies for minimum length trees, although the positions of Stw 53, SK 847, and H. habilis exchanged places in some trees. In no case was an exclusive sister relationship between either South African OTU and a particular species of Homo supported statistically. Both South African OTUs differ from H. habilis in the fewest number of cladistic characters.

  18. Variation in enamel thickness within the genus Homo.

    PubMed

    Smith, Tanya M; Olejniczak, Anthony J; Zermeno, John P; Tafforeau, Paul; Skinner, Matthew M; Hoffmann, Almut; Radovčić, Jakov; Toussaint, Michel; Kruszynski, Robert; Menter, Colin; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Glasmacher, Ulrich A; Kullmer, Ottmar; Schrenk, Friedemann; Stringer, Chris; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2012-03-01

    Recent humans and their fossil relatives are classified as having thick molar enamel, one of very few dental traits that distinguish hominins from living African apes. However, little is known about enamel thickness in the earliest members of the genus Homo, and recent studies of later Homo report considerable intra- and inter-specific variation. In order to assess taxonomic, geographic, and temporal trends in enamel thickness, we applied micro-computed tomographic imaging to 150 fossil Homo teeth spanning two million years. Early Homo postcanine teeth from Africa and Asia show highly variable average and relative enamel thickness (AET and RET) values. Three molars from South Africa exceed Homo AET and RET ranges, resembling the hyper thick Paranthropus condition. Most later Homo groups (archaic European and north African Homo, and fossil and recent Homo sapiens) possess absolutely and relatively thick enamel across the entire dentition. In contrast, Neanderthals show relatively thin enamel in their incisors, canines, premolars, and molars, although incisor AET values are similar to H. sapiens. Comparisons of recent and fossil H. sapiens reveal that dental size reduction has led to a disproportionate decrease in coronal dentine compared with enamel (although both are reduced), leading to relatively thicker enamel in recent humans. General characterizations of hominins as having 'thick enamel' thus oversimplify a surprisingly variable craniodental trait with limited taxonomic utility within a genus. Moreover, estimates of dental attrition rates employed in paleodemographic reconstruction may be biased when this variation is not considered. Additional research is necessary to reconstruct hominin dietary ecology since thick enamel is not a prerequisite for hard-object feeding, and it is present in most later Homo species despite advances in technology and food processing. PMID:22361504

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    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

  3. 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

  4. Homo floresiensis and the evolution of the hominin shoulder.

    PubMed

    Larson, Susan G; Jungers, William L; Morwood, Michael J; Sutikna, Thomas; Jatmiko; Saptomo, E Wahyu; Due, Rokus Awe; Djubiantono, Tony

    2007-12-01

    The holotype of Homo floresiensis, diminutive hominins with tiny brains living until 12,000 years ago on the island of Flores, is a partial skeleton (LB1) that includes a partial clavicle (LB1/5) and a nearly complete right humerus (LB1/50). Although the humerus appears fairly modern in most regards, it is remarkable in displaying only 110 degrees of humeral torsion, well below modern human average values. Assuming a modern human shoulder configuration, such a low degree of humeral torsion would result in a lateral set to the elbow. Such an elbow joint would function more nearly in a frontal than in a sagittal plane, and this is certainly not what anyone would have predicted for a tool-making Pleistocene hominin. We argue that Homo floresiensis probably did not have a modern human shoulder configuration: the clavicle was relatively short, and we suggest that the scapula was more protracted, resulting in a glenoid fossa that faced anteriorly rather than laterally. A posteriorly directed humeral head was therefore appropriate for maintaining a normally functioning elbow joint. Similar morphology in the Homo erectus Nariokotome boy (KNM-WT 15000) suggests that this shoulder configuration may represent a transitional stage in pectoral girdle evolution in the human lineage.

  5. 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

  6. Development of the palatal size in Pan troglodytes, Hominids and Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Arnold, W H; Zoellner, A; Sebastian, T

    2004-12-01

    As the hard palate plays an important role in speech production it was the aim of this study whether similarities or dissimilarities in palatal size may allow conclusions about the ability to produce speech in the extant investigated species. The palatal size of Pan troglodytes, Homo sapiens, Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, Australopithecus robustus, Australopithecus boisei, Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis and Cro-Magnon has been investigated using euclidian distance matrix analysis (EDMA) and thin-plate-spline analysis. The results show that the palatal size of all australopithecine specimens and H. erectus is very similar to that of P toglodytes, whereas the palatal size of H. neanderthalensis more closely resembles that of H. sapiens. Postnatal development of palatal size in P troglodytes is different from that of H. sapiens. In P troglodytes not only the size of the palate changes but also the form. In H. sapiens there is little change in form, but a continuos uniform growth from infantile to adult specimens. From the results we conclude that in all australopithecine samples which have been investigated, the palatal size is similar to that of P troglodytes. Therefore, it is unlikely that austraopithecine individuals were capable of producing vowels and consonants. The palatal size of H. neandethalensis and Cro-Magnon is similar to that of H. sapiens which may indicate the possibility that they were capable of speech production.

  7. Development of the palatal size in Pan troglodytes, Hominids and Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Arnold, W H; Zoellner, A; Sebastian, T

    2004-12-01

    As the hard palate plays an important role in speech production it was the aim of this study whether similarities or dissimilarities in palatal size may allow conclusions about the ability to produce speech in the extant investigated species. The palatal size of Pan troglodytes, Homo sapiens, Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, Australopithecus robustus, Australopithecus boisei, Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis and Cro-Magnon has been investigated using euclidian distance matrix analysis (EDMA) and thin-plate-spline analysis. The results show that the palatal size of all australopithecine specimens and H. erectus is very similar to that of P toglodytes, whereas the palatal size of H. neanderthalensis more closely resembles that of H. sapiens. Postnatal development of palatal size in P troglodytes is different from that of H. sapiens. In P troglodytes not only the size of the palate changes but also the form. In H. sapiens there is little change in form, but a continuos uniform growth from infantile to adult specimens. From the results we conclude that in all australopithecine samples which have been investigated, the palatal size is similar to that of P troglodytes. Therefore, it is unlikely that austraopithecine individuals were capable of producing vowels and consonants. The palatal size of H. neandethalensis and Cro-Magnon is similar to that of H. sapiens which may indicate the possibility that they were capable of speech production. PMID:15646285

  8. The origin and evolution of Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Stringer, Chris

    2016-07-01

    If we restrict the use of Homo sapiens in the fossil record to specimens which share a significant number of derived features in the skeleton with extant H. sapiens, the origin of our species would be placed in the African late middle Pleistocene, based on fossils such as Omo Kibish 1, Herto 1 and 2, and the Levantine material from Skhul and Qafzeh. However, genetic data suggest that we and our sister species Homo neanderthalensis shared a last common ancestor in the middle Pleistocene approximately 400-700 ka, which is at least 200 000 years earlier than the species origin indicated from the fossils already mentioned. Thus, it is likely that the African fossil record will document early members of the sapiens lineage showing only some of the derived features of late members of the lineage. On that basis, I argue that human fossils such as those from Jebel Irhoud, Florisbad, Eliye Springs and Omo Kibish 2 do represent early members of the species, but variation across the African later middle Pleistocene/early Middle Stone Age fossils shows that there was not a simple linear progression towards later sapiens morphology, and there was chronological overlap between different 'archaic' and 'modern' morphs. Even in the late Pleistocene within and outside Africa, we find H. sapiens specimens which are clearly outside the range of Holocene members of the species, showing the complexity of recent human evolution. The impact on species recognition of late Pleistocene gene flow between the lineages of modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans is also discussed, and finally, I reconsider the nature of the middle Pleistocene ancestor of these lineages, based on recent morphological and genetic data.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'.

  9. The origin and evolution of Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Stringer, Chris

    2016-07-01

    If we restrict the use of Homo sapiens in the fossil record to specimens which share a significant number of derived features in the skeleton with extant H. sapiens, the origin of our species would be placed in the African late middle Pleistocene, based on fossils such as Omo Kibish 1, Herto 1 and 2, and the Levantine material from Skhul and Qafzeh. However, genetic data suggest that we and our sister species Homo neanderthalensis shared a last common ancestor in the middle Pleistocene approximately 400-700 ka, which is at least 200 000 years earlier than the species origin indicated from the fossils already mentioned. Thus, it is likely that the African fossil record will document early members of the sapiens lineage showing only some of the derived features of late members of the lineage. On that basis, I argue that human fossils such as those from Jebel Irhoud, Florisbad, Eliye Springs and Omo Kibish 2 do represent early members of the species, but variation across the African later middle Pleistocene/early Middle Stone Age fossils shows that there was not a simple linear progression towards later sapiens morphology, and there was chronological overlap between different 'archaic' and 'modern' morphs. Even in the late Pleistocene within and outside Africa, we find H. sapiens specimens which are clearly outside the range of Holocene members of the species, showing the complexity of recent human evolution. The impact on species recognition of late Pleistocene gene flow between the lineages of modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans is also discussed, and finally, I reconsider the nature of the middle Pleistocene ancestor of these lineages, based on recent morphological and genetic data.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'. PMID:27298468

  10. Complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the lined seahorse Hippocampus erectus Perry, 1810 (Gasterosteiformes: Syngnathidae).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yanhong; Zhang, Huixian; Lin, Qiang; Huang, Liangmin

    2015-01-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the lined seahorse Hippocampus erectus was first determined in this article. The total length of H. erectus mitogenome is 16,529 bp, which consists of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA and 2 rRNA genes and 1 control region. The features of the H. erectus mitochondrial genome were similar to the typical vertebrates. The overall base composition of H. erectus is 31.8% A, 28.6% T, 24.3% C and 15.3% G, with a slight A + T rich feature (60.4%).

  11. 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

  12. The evolution and development of cranial form in Homo sapiens

    PubMed Central

    Lieberman, Daniel E.; McBratney, Brandeis M.; Krovitz, Gail

    2002-01-01

    Despite much data, there is no unanimity over how to define Homo sapiens in the fossil record. Here, we examine cranial variation among Pleistocene and recent human fossils by using a model of cranial growth to identify unique derived features (autapomorphies) that reliably distinguish fossils attributed to “anatomically modern” H. sapiens (AMHS) from those attributed to various taxa of “archaic” Homo spp. (AH) and to test hypotheses about the changes in cranial development that underlie the origin of modern human cranial form. In terms of pattern, AMHS crania are uniquely characterized by two general structural autapomorphies: facial retraction and neurocranial globularity. Morphometric analysis of the ontogeny of these autapomorphies indicates that the developmental changes that led to modern human cranial form derive from a combination of shifts in cranial base angle, cranial fossae length and width, and facial length. These morphological changes, some of which may have occurred because of relative size increases in the temporal and possibly the frontal lobes, occur early in ontogeny, and their effects on facial retraction and neurocranial globularity discriminate AMHS from AH crania. The existence of these autapomorphies supports the hypothesis that AMHS is a distinct species from taxa of “archaic” Homo (e.g., Homo neanderthalensis). PMID:11805284

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. "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)

  17. Fossil Explorers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moran, Sean; McLaughlin, Cheryl; MacFadden, Bruce; Jacobbe, Elizabeth; Poole, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Many young learners are fascinated with fossils, particularly charismatic forms such as dinosaurs and giant sharks. Fossils provide tangible, objective evidence of life that lived millions of years ago. They also provide a timescale of evolution not typically appreciated by young learners. Fossils and the science of paleontology can, therefore,…

  18. 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…

  19. Geometric properties and comparative biomechanics of Homo floresiensis mandibles.

    PubMed

    Daegling, David J; Patel, Biren A; Jungers, William L

    2014-03-01

    The hypodigm of Homo floresiensis from the cave of Liang Bua on Flores Island in the archipelago of Indonesia includes two mandibles (LB1/2 and LB6/1). The morphology of their symphyses and corpora has been described as sharing similarities with both australopiths and early Homo despite their Late Pleistocene age. Although detailed morphological comparisons of these mandibles with those of modern and fossil hominin taxa have been made, a functional analysis in the context of masticatory biomechanics has yet to be performed. Utilizing data on cortical bone geometry from computed tomography scans, we compare the mechanical attributes of the LB1 and LB6 mandibles with samples of modern Homo, Pan, Pongo, and Gorilla, as well as fossil samples of Paranthropus robustus, Australopithecus africanus and South African early Homo. Structural stiffness measures were derived from the geometric data to provide relative measures of mandibular corpus strength under hypothesized masticatory loading regimes. These mechanical variables were evaluated relative to bone area, mandibular length and estimates of body size to assess their functional affinities and to test the hypothesis that the Liang Bua mandibles can be described as scaled-down variants of either early hominins or modern humans. Relative to modern hominoids, the H. floresiensis material appears to be relatively strong in terms of rigidity in torsion and transverse bending, but is relatively weak under parasagittal bending. Thus, they are 'robust' relative to modern humans (and comparable with australopiths) under some loads but not others. Neither LB1 nor LB6 can be described simply as 'miniaturized' versions of modern human jaws since mandible length is more or less equivalent in Homo sapiens and H. floresiensis. The mechanical attributes of the Liang Bua mandibles are consistent with previous inferences that masticatory loads were reduced relative to australopiths but remained elevated relative to modern Homo.

  20. Geometric properties and comparative biomechanics of Homo floresiensis mandibles.

    PubMed

    Daegling, David J; Patel, Biren A; Jungers, William L

    2014-03-01

    The hypodigm of Homo floresiensis from the cave of Liang Bua on Flores Island in the archipelago of Indonesia includes two mandibles (LB1/2 and LB6/1). The morphology of their symphyses and corpora has been described as sharing similarities with both australopiths and early Homo despite their Late Pleistocene age. Although detailed morphological comparisons of these mandibles with those of modern and fossil hominin taxa have been made, a functional analysis in the context of masticatory biomechanics has yet to be performed. Utilizing data on cortical bone geometry from computed tomography scans, we compare the mechanical attributes of the LB1 and LB6 mandibles with samples of modern Homo, Pan, Pongo, and Gorilla, as well as fossil samples of Paranthropus robustus, Australopithecus africanus and South African early Homo. Structural stiffness measures were derived from the geometric data to provide relative measures of mandibular corpus strength under hypothesized masticatory loading regimes. These mechanical variables were evaluated relative to bone area, mandibular length and estimates of body size to assess their functional affinities and to test the hypothesis that the Liang Bua mandibles can be described as scaled-down variants of either early hominins or modern humans. Relative to modern hominoids, the H. floresiensis material appears to be relatively strong in terms of rigidity in torsion and transverse bending, but is relatively weak under parasagittal bending. Thus, they are 'robust' relative to modern humans (and comparable with australopiths) under some loads but not others. Neither LB1 nor LB6 can be described simply as 'miniaturized' versions of modern human jaws since mandible length is more or less equivalent in Homo sapiens and H. floresiensis. The mechanical attributes of the Liang Bua mandibles are consistent with previous inferences that masticatory loads were reduced relative to australopiths but remained elevated relative to modern Homo. PMID

  1. Endurance running and the evolution of Homo.

    PubMed

    Bramble, Dennis M; Lieberman, Daniel E

    2004-11-18

    Striding bipedalism is a key derived behaviour of hominids that possibly originated soon after the divergence of the chimpanzee and human lineages. Although bipedal gaits include walking and running, running is generally considered to have played no major role in human evolution because humans, like apes, are poor sprinters compared to most quadrupeds. Here we assess how well humans perform at sustained long-distance running, and review the physiological and anatomical bases of endurance running capabilities in humans and other mammals. Judged by several criteria, humans perform remarkably well at endurance running, thanks to a diverse array of features, many of which leave traces in the skeleton. The fossil evidence of these features suggests that endurance running is a derived capability of the genus Homo, originating about 2 million years ago, and may have been instrumental in the evolution of the human body form.

  2. Endurance running and the evolution of Homo.

    PubMed

    Bramble, Dennis M; Lieberman, Daniel E

    2004-11-18

    Striding bipedalism is a key derived behaviour of hominids that possibly originated soon after the divergence of the chimpanzee and human lineages. Although bipedal gaits include walking and running, running is generally considered to have played no major role in human evolution because humans, like apes, are poor sprinters compared to most quadrupeds. Here we assess how well humans perform at sustained long-distance running, and review the physiological and anatomical bases of endurance running capabilities in humans and other mammals. Judged by several criteria, humans perform remarkably well at endurance running, thanks to a diverse array of features, many of which leave traces in the skeleton. The fossil evidence of these features suggests that endurance running is a derived capability of the genus Homo, originating about 2 million years ago, and may have been instrumental in the evolution of the human body form. PMID:15549097

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Estimating stature in fossil hominids: which regression model and reference sample to use?

    PubMed

    Hens, S M; Konigsberg, L W; Jungers, W L

    2000-06-01

    coResearchers have long appreciated the significant relationship between body size and an animal's overall adaptive strategy and life history. However, much more emphasis has been placed on interpreting body size than on the actual calculation of it. One measure of size that is especially important for human evolutionary studies is stature. Despite a long history of investigation, stature estimation remains plagued by two methodological problems: (1) the choice of the statistical estimator, and (2) the choice of the reference population from which to derive the parameters. This work addresses both of these problems in estimating stature for fossil hominids, with special reference to A.L. 288-1 (Australopithecus afarensis) and WT 15000 (Homo erectus). Three reference samples of known stature with maximum humerus and femur lengths are used in this study: a large (n=2209) human sample from North America, a smaller sample of modern human pygmies (n=19) from Africa, and a sample of wild-collected African great apes (n=85). Five regression techniques are used to estimate stature in the fossil hominids using both univariate and multivariate parameters derived from the reference samples: classical calibration, inverse calibration, major axis, reduced major axis and the zero-intercept ratio model. We also explore a new diagnostic to test extrapolation and allometric differences with multivariate data, and we calculate 95% confidence intervals to examine the range of variation in estimates for A.L. 288-1, WT 15000 and the new Bouri hominid (contemporary with [corrected] Australopithecus garhi). Results frequently vary depending on whether the data are univariate or multivariate. Unique limb proportions and fragmented remains complicate the choice of estimator. We are usually left in the end with the classical calibrator as the best choice. It is the maximum likelihood estimator that performs best overall, especially in scenarios where extrapolation occurs away from the mean

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

    2015-10-06

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

    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.

  4. Mud fossils

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    1997-01-01

    At the close of the 18th century, the haze of fantasy and mysticism that tended to obscure the true nature of the Earth was being swept away. Careful studies by scientists showed that rocks had diverse origins. Some rock layers, containing clearly identifiable fossil remains of fish and other forms of aquatic animal and plant life, originally formed in the ocean. Other layers, consisting of sand grains winnowed clean by the pounding surf, obviously formed as beach deposits that marked the shorelines of ancient seas.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

    2015-10-06

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  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. 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)

  13. Brief communication: two human fossil deciduous molars from the Sangiran dome (Java, Indonesia): outer and inner morphology.

    PubMed

    Zanolli, Clément; Bondioli, Luca; Mancini, Lucia; Mazurier, Arnaud; Widianto, Harry; Macchiarelli, Roberto

    2012-03-01

    Currently, the human deciduous dental record from the Pleistocene deposits of the Sangiran Dome, Java, consists of only eight specimens. Here we report two deciduous crowns collected near the village of Pucung. While their precise geo-chronological context remains unknown, a provenance from the Early-Middle Pleistocene Kabuh Formation, or from the Early Pleistocene "Grenzbank Zone," is very likely. These isolated specimens consist of an upper first molar (PCG.1) and a lower second molar (PCG.2). Taxonomic discrimination of the Indonesian tooth record is difficult because of the convergence in crown size and appearance between Pongo and Homo. Accordingly, as PCG.2 still bears a concretion masking most of its features, we coupled the outer analysis of the two specimens with an investigation of their inner morphology. In addition to external characteristics, virtual imaging and quantitative assessment of inner morphology and tissue proportions support an attribution to the taxon Homo, and we preliminary allocate both specimens toH. erectus.

  14. 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, Salah Ud-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 0.58-58.23 mg CE/g of DW and 0.43-30.56 mg 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 0.92-5.41 mg 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 (16.5 μM 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 40 μg/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

  15. 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, Salah Ud-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 0.58-58.23 mg CE/g of DW and 0.43-30.56 mg 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 0.92-5.41 mg 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 (16.5 μM 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 40 μg/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.

  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

  17. A New Bioactive Metabolite Isolated from the Red Sea Marine Sponge Hyrtios erectus.

    PubMed

    Elhady, Sameh S; El-Halawany, Ali M; Alahdal, Abdulrahman M; Hassanean, Hashim A; Ahmed, Safwat A

    2016-01-15

    Chemical investigation of the lipophilic fraction of Hyrtios erectus, a Red Sea sponge, yielded a new pentacyclic nitrogen-containing scalarane; 24-methoxypetrosaspongia C (1), together with the previously reported scalaranes sesterstatin 3 (2), 12-deacetyl-12-epi-scalaradial (3) and 12-deacetyl-12,18-di-epi-scalaradial (4). The compounds were identified using HRESIMS, 1D and 2D NMR experiments. The isolated compounds showed growth inhibitory activity against hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2), colorectal carcinoma (HCT-116) and breast adenocarcinoma cells (MCF-7).

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-01

    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

  3. Adult Neandertal clavicles from the El Sidrón site (Asturias, Spain) in the context of Homo pectoral girdle evolution.

    PubMed

    Rosas, Antonio; Rodriguez-Perez, Francisco Javier; Bastir, Markus; Estalrrich, Almudena; Huguet, Rosa; García-Tabernero, Antonio; Pastor, Juan Francisco; de la Rasilla, Marco

    2016-06-01

    We undertook a three-dimensional geometric morphometric (3DGM) analysis on 12 new Neandertal clavicle specimens from the El Sidrón site (Spain), dated to 49,000 years ago. The 3DGM methods were applied in a comparative framework in order to improve our understanding of trait polarity in features related to Homo pectoral girdle evolution, using other Neandertals, Homo sapiens, Pan, ATD6-50 (Homo antecessor), and KNM-WT 15000 (Homo ergaster/erectus) in the reference collection. Twenty-nine homologous landmarks were measured for each clavicle. Variation and morphological similarities were assessed through principal component analysis, conducted separately for the complete clavicle and the diaphysis. On average, Neandertal clavicles had significantly larger muscular entheses, double dorsal curvature, clavicle torsion, and cranial orientation of the acromial end than non-Neandertal clavicles; the El Sidrón clavicles fit this pattern. Variation within the samples was large, with extensive overlap between Homo species; only chimpanzee specimens clearly differed from the other specimens in morphometric terms. Taken together, our morphometric analyses are consistent with the following phylogenetic sequence. The primitive condition of the clavicle is manifest in the cranial orientation of both the acromial and sternal ends. The derived condition expressed in the H. sapiens + Neandertal clade is defined by caudal rotation of both the sternal and acromial ends, but with variation in the number of acromia remaining in a certain cranial orientation. Finally, the autapomorphic Neandertal condition is defined by secondarily acquired primitive cranial re-orientation of the acromial end, which varies from individual to individual. These results suggest that the pace of phylogenetic change in the pectoral girdle does not seem to follow that of other postcranial skeletal features. PMID:27260174

  4. Adult Neandertal clavicles from the El Sidrón site (Asturias, Spain) in the context of Homo pectoral girdle evolution.

    PubMed

    Rosas, Antonio; Rodriguez-Perez, Francisco Javier; Bastir, Markus; Estalrrich, Almudena; Huguet, Rosa; García-Tabernero, Antonio; Pastor, Juan Francisco; de la Rasilla, Marco

    2016-06-01

    We undertook a three-dimensional geometric morphometric (3DGM) analysis on 12 new Neandertal clavicle specimens from the El Sidrón site (Spain), dated to 49,000 years ago. The 3DGM methods were applied in a comparative framework in order to improve our understanding of trait polarity in features related to Homo pectoral girdle evolution, using other Neandertals, Homo sapiens, Pan, ATD6-50 (Homo antecessor), and KNM-WT 15000 (Homo ergaster/erectus) in the reference collection. Twenty-nine homologous landmarks were measured for each clavicle. Variation and morphological similarities were assessed through principal component analysis, conducted separately for the complete clavicle and the diaphysis. On average, Neandertal clavicles had significantly larger muscular entheses, double dorsal curvature, clavicle torsion, and cranial orientation of the acromial end than non-Neandertal clavicles; the El Sidrón clavicles fit this pattern. Variation within the samples was large, with extensive overlap between Homo species; only chimpanzee specimens clearly differed from the other specimens in morphometric terms. Taken together, our morphometric analyses are consistent with the following phylogenetic sequence. The primitive condition of the clavicle is manifest in the cranial orientation of both the acromial and sternal ends. The derived condition expressed in the H. sapiens + Neandertal clade is defined by caudal rotation of both the sternal and acromial ends, but with variation in the number of acromia remaining in a certain cranial orientation. Finally, the autapomorphic Neandertal condition is defined by secondarily acquired primitive cranial re-orientation of the acromial end, which varies from individual to individual. These results suggest that the pace of phylogenetic change in the pectoral girdle does not seem to follow that of other postcranial skeletal features.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Antiproliferative Scalarane-Based Metabolites from the Red Sea Sponge Hyrtios erectus.

    PubMed

    Elhady, Sameh S; Al-Abd, Ahmed M; El-Halawany, Ali M; Alahdal, Abdulrahman M; Hassanean, Hashim A; Ahmed, Safwat A

    2016-01-01

    Two new sesterterpenes analogs, namely, 12-acetoxy,16-epi-hyrtiolide (1) and 12β-acetoxy,16β-methoxy,20α-hydroxy-17-scalaren-19,20-olide (2), containing a scalarane-based framework along with seven previously reported scalarane-type sesterterpenes (3-9) have been isolated from the sponge Hyrtios erectus (order Dictyoceratida) collected from the Red Sea, Egypt. The structures of the isolated compounds were elucidated on the basis of their spectroscopic data and comparison with reported NMR data. Compounds 1-9 exhibited considerable antiproliferative activity against breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7), colorectal carcinoma (HCT-116) and hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG2). Compounds 3, 5 and 9 were selected for subsequent investigations regarding their mechanism of cell death induction (differential apoptosis/necrosis assessment) and their influence on cell cycle distribution. PMID:27399730

  11. Antiproliferative Scalarane-Based Metabolites from the Red Sea Sponge Hyrtios erectus

    PubMed Central

    Elhady, Sameh S.; Al-Abd, Ahmed M.; El-Halawany, Ali M.; Alahdal, Abdulrahman M.; Hassanean, Hashim A.; Ahmed, Safwat A.

    2016-01-01

    Two new sesterterpenes analogs, namely, 12-acetoxy,16-epi-hyrtiolide (1) and 12β-acetoxy,16β-methoxy,20α-hydroxy-17-scalaren-19,20-olide (2), containing a scalarane-based framework along with seven previously reported scalarane-type sesterterpenes (3–9) have been isolated from the sponge Hyrtios erectus (order Dictyoceratida) collected from the Red Sea, Egypt. The structures of the isolated compounds were elucidated on the basis of their spectroscopic data and comparison with reported NMR data. Compounds 1–9 exhibited considerable antiproliferative activity against breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7), colorectal carcinoma (HCT-116) and hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG2). Compounds 3, 5 and 9 were selected for subsequent investigations regarding their mechanism of cell death induction (differential apoptosis/necrosis assessment) and their influence on cell cycle distribution. PMID:27399730

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

    PubMed

    Wood, Bernard; Lonergan, Nicholas

    2008-04-01

    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.

  13. 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

  14. Filling the gap. Human cranial remains from Gombore II (Melka Kunture, Ethiopia; ca. 850 ka) and the origin of Homo heidelbergensis.

    PubMed

    Profico, Antonio; Di Vincenzo, Fabio; Gagliardi, Lorenza; Piperno, Marcello; Manzi, Giorgio

    2016-06-20

    African archaic humans dated to around 1,0 Ma share morphological affinities with Homo ergaster and appear distinct in cranio-dental morphology from those of the Middle Pleistocene that are referred to Homo heidelbergensis. This observation suggests a taxonomic and phylogenetic discontinuity in Africa that ranges across the Matuyama/Brunhes reversal (780 ka). Yet, the fossil record between roughly 900 and 600 ka is notoriously poor. In this context, the Early Stone Age site of Gombore II, in the Melka Kunture formation (Upper Awash, Ethiopia), provides a privileged case-study. In the Acheulean layer of Gombore II, somewhat more recent than 875 ±10 ka, two large cranial fragments were discovered in 1973 and 1975 respectively: a partial left parietal (Melka Kunture 1) and a right portion of the frontal bone (Melka Kunture 2), which probably belonged to the same cranium. We present here the first detailed description and computer-assisted reconstruction of the morphology of the cranial vault pertaining to these fossil fragments. Our analysis suggest that the human fossil specimen from Gombore II fills a phenetic gap between Homo ergaster and Homo heidelbergensis. This appears in agreement with the chronology of such a partial cranial vault, which therefore represents at present one of the best available candidates (if any) for the origin of Homo heidelbergensis in Africa.

  15. Filling the gap. Human cranial remains from Gombore II (Melka Kunture, Ethiopia; ca. 850 ka) and the origin of Homo heidelbergensis.

    PubMed

    Profico, Antonio; Di Vincenzo, Fabio; Gagliardi, Lorenza; Piperno, Marcello; Manzi, Giorgio

    2016-06-20

    African archaic humans dated to around 1,0 Ma share morphological affinities with Homo ergaster and appear distinct in cranio-dental morphology from those of the Middle Pleistocene that are referred to Homo heidelbergensis. This observation suggests a taxonomic and phylogenetic discontinuity in Africa that ranges across the Matuyama/Brunhes reversal (780 ka). Yet, the fossil record between roughly 900 and 600 ka is notoriously poor. In this context, the Early Stone Age site of Gombore II, in the Melka Kunture formation (Upper Awash, Ethiopia), provides a privileged case-study. In the Acheulean layer of Gombore II, somewhat more recent than 875 ±10 ka, two large cranial fragments were discovered in 1973 and 1975 respectively: a partial left parietal (Melka Kunture 1) and a right portion of the frontal bone (Melka Kunture 2), which probably belonged to the same cranium. We present here the first detailed description and computer-assisted reconstruction of the morphology of the cranial vault pertaining to these fossil fragments. Our analysis suggest that the human fossil specimen from Gombore II fills a phenetic gap between Homo ergaster and Homo heidelbergensis. This appears in agreement with the chronology of such a partial cranial vault, which therefore represents at present one of the best available candidates (if any) for the origin of Homo heidelbergensis in Africa. PMID:26583275

  16. Dental metric assessment of the omo fossils: implications for the phylogenetic position of Australopithecus africanus.

    PubMed

    Hunt, K; Vitzthum, V J

    1986-10-01

    The discovery of Australopithecus afarensis has led to new interpretations of hominid phylogeny, some of which reject A. africanus as an ancestor of Homo. Analysis of buccolingual tooth crown dimensions in australopithecines and Homo species by Johanson and White (Science 202:321-330, 1979) revealed that the South African gracile australopithecines are intermediate in size between Laetoli/hadar hominids and South African robust hominids. Homo, on the other hand, displays dimensions similar to those of A. afarensis and smaller than those of other australopithecines. These authors conclude, therefore, that A. africanus is derived in the direction of A. robustus and is not an ancestor of the Homo clade. However, there is a considerable time gap (ca. 800,000 years) between the Laetoli/Hadar specimens and the earliest Homo specimens; "gracile" hominids from Omo fit into this chronological gap and are from the same geographic area. Because the early specimens at Omo have been designated A. afarensis and the later specimens classified as Homo habilis, Omo offers a unique opportunity to test hypotheses concerning hominid evolution, especially regarding the phylogenetic status of A. africanus. Comparisons of mean cheek teeth breadths disclosed the significant (P less than or equal to 0.05) differences between the Omo sample and the Laetoli/Hadar fossils (P4, M2, and M3), the Homo fossils (P3, P4, M1, M2, and M1), and A. africanus (M3). Of the several possible interpretations of these data, it appears that the high degree of similarity between the Omo sample and the South African gracile australopithecine material warrants considering the two as geographical variants of A. africanus. The geographic, chronologic, and metric attributes of the Omo sample argue for its lineal affinity with A. afarensis and Homo. In conclusion, a consideration of hominid postcanine dental metrics provides no basis for removing A. africanus from the ancestry of the Homo lineage.

  17. Dental metric assessment of the omo fossils: implications for the phylogenetic position of Australopithecus africanus.

    PubMed

    Hunt, K; Vitzthum, V J

    1986-10-01

    The discovery of Australopithecus afarensis has led to new interpretations of hominid phylogeny, some of which reject A. africanus as an ancestor of Homo. Analysis of buccolingual tooth crown dimensions in australopithecines and Homo species by Johanson and White (Science 202:321-330, 1979) revealed that the South African gracile australopithecines are intermediate in size between Laetoli/hadar hominids and South African robust hominids. Homo, on the other hand, displays dimensions similar to those of A. afarensis and smaller than those of other australopithecines. These authors conclude, therefore, that A. africanus is derived in the direction of A. robustus and is not an ancestor of the Homo clade. However, there is a considerable time gap (ca. 800,000 years) between the Laetoli/Hadar specimens and the earliest Homo specimens; "gracile" hominids from Omo fit into this chronological gap and are from the same geographic area. Because the early specimens at Omo have been designated A. afarensis and the later specimens classified as Homo habilis, Omo offers a unique opportunity to test hypotheses concerning hominid evolution, especially regarding the phylogenetic status of A. africanus. Comparisons of mean cheek teeth breadths disclosed the significant (P less than or equal to 0.05) differences between the Omo sample and the Laetoli/Hadar fossils (P4, M2, and M3), the Homo fossils (P3, P4, M1, M2, and M1), and A. africanus (M3). Of the several possible interpretations of these data, it appears that the high degree of similarity between the Omo sample and the South African gracile australopithecine material warrants considering the two as geographical variants of A. africanus. The geographic, chronologic, and metric attributes of the Omo sample argue for its lineal affinity with A. afarensis and Homo. In conclusion, a consideration of hominid postcanine dental metrics provides no basis for removing A. africanus from the ancestry of the Homo lineage. PMID:3099582

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Phytochemical Screening and Acute Toxicity of Aqueous Extract of Leaves of Conocarpus erectus Linnaeus in Swiss Albino Mice.

    PubMed

    Nascimento, Dayane K D; Souza, Ivone A DE; Oliveira, Antônio F M DE; Barbosa, Mariana O; Santana, Marllon A N; Pereira, Daniel F; Lira, Eduardo C; Vieira, Jeymesson R C

    2016-09-01

    Mangroves represent areas of high biological productivity and it is a region rich in bioactive substances used in medicine production. Conocarpus erectus (Combretaceae) known as button mangrove is one of the species found in mangroves and it is used in folk medicine in the treatment of anemia, catarrh, conjunctivitis, diabetes, diarrhea, fever, gonorrhea, headache, hemorrhage, orchitis, rash, bumps and syphilis. The present study aimed to investigate the acute toxicity of aqueous extract of leaves of C. erectus in Swiss albino mice. The plant material was collected in Vila Velha mangroves, located in Itamaracá (PE). The material was subjected to a phytochemical screening where extractive protocols to identify majority molecules present in leaves were used. The evaluation of acute toxicity of aqueous extract of C. erectus followed the model of Acute Toxicity Class based on OECD 423 Guideline, 2001. The majority molecules were identified: flavonoids, tannins and saponins. The LD50 was estimated at 2,000 mg/kg bw. Therefore, the aqueous extract showed low acute toxicity classified in category 5.

  2. Phytochemical Screening and Acute Toxicity of Aqueous Extract of Leaves of Conocarpus erectus Linnaeus in Swiss Albino Mice.

    PubMed

    Nascimento, Dayane K D; Souza, Ivone A DE; Oliveira, Antônio F M DE; Barbosa, Mariana O; Santana, Marllon A N; Pereira, Daniel F; Lira, Eduardo C; Vieira, Jeymesson R C

    2016-09-01

    Mangroves represent areas of high biological productivity and it is a region rich in bioactive substances used in medicine production. Conocarpus erectus (Combretaceae) known as button mangrove is one of the species found in mangroves and it is used in folk medicine in the treatment of anemia, catarrh, conjunctivitis, diabetes, diarrhea, fever, gonorrhea, headache, hemorrhage, orchitis, rash, bumps and syphilis. The present study aimed to investigate the acute toxicity of aqueous extract of leaves of C. erectus in Swiss albino mice. The plant material was collected in Vila Velha mangroves, located in Itamaracá (PE). The material was subjected to a phytochemical screening where extractive protocols to identify majority molecules present in leaves were used. The evaluation of acute toxicity of aqueous extract of C. erectus followed the model of Acute Toxicity Class based on OECD 423 Guideline, 2001. The majority molecules were identified: flavonoids, tannins and saponins. The LD50 was estimated at 2,000 mg/kg bw. Therefore, the aqueous extract showed low acute toxicity classified in category 5. PMID:27508993

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Modes of fossil preservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schopf, J.M.

    1975-01-01

    The processes of geologic preservation are important for understanding the organisms represented by fossils. Some fossil differences are due to basic differences in organization of animals and plants, but the interpretation of fossils has also tended to be influenced by modes of preservation. Four modes of preservation generally can be distinguished: (1) Cellular permineralization ("petrifaction") preserves anatomical detail, and, occasionally, even cytologic structures. (2) Coalified compression, best illustrated by structures from coal but characteristic of many plant fossils in shale, preserves anatomical details in distorted form and produces surface replicas (impressions) on enclosing matrix. (3) Authigenic preservation replicates surface form or outline (molds and casts) prior to distortion by compression and, depending on cementation and timing, may intergrade with fossils that have been subject to compression. (4) Duripartic (hard part) preservation is characteristic of fossil skeletal remains, predominantly animal. Molds, pseudomorphs, or casts may form as bulk replacements following dissolution of the original fossil material, usually by leaching. Classification of the kinds of preservation in fossils will aid in identifying the processes responsible for modifying the fossil remains of both animals and plants. ?? 1975.

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. An earlier origin for stone tool making: implications for cognitive evolution and the transition to Homo.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Jason E; Harmand, Sonia

    2016-07-01

    The discovery of the earliest known stone tools at Lomekwi 3 (LOM3) from West Turkana, Kenya, dated to 3.3 Ma, raises new questions about the mode and tempo of key adaptations in the hominin lineage. The LOM3 tools date to before the earliest known fossils attributed to Homo at 2.8 Ma. They were made and deposited in a more C3 environment than were the earliest Oldowan tools at 2.6 Ma. Their discovery leads to renewed investigation on the timing of the emergence of human-like manipulative capabilities in early hominins and implications for reconstructing cognition. The LOM3 artefacts form part of an emerging paradigm shift in palaeoanthropology, in which: tool-use and tool-making behaviours are not limited to the genus Homo; cranial, post-cranial and behavioural diversity in early Homo is much wider than previously thought; and these evolutionary changes may not have been direct adaptations to living in savannah grassland environments.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'. PMID:27298464

  10. Encephalization and allometric trajectories in the genus Homo: evidence from the Neandertal and modern lineages.

    PubMed

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

    2003-12-23

    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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. New interpretation of the Gran Dolina-TD6 bearing Homo antecessor deposits through sedimentological analysis

    PubMed Central

    Campaña, I.; Pérez-González, A.; Benito-Calvo, A.; Rosell, J.; Blasco, R.; de Castro, J. M. Bermúdez; Carbonell, E.; Arsuaga, J. L.

    2016-01-01

    Gran Dolina is a cavity infilled by at least 25 m of Pleistocene sediments. This sequence contains the TD6 stratigraphic unit, whose records include around 170 hominin bones that have allowed the definition of a new species, Homo antecessor. This fossil accumulation was studied as a single assemblage and interpreted as a succession of several human home bases. We propose a complete stratigraphic context and sedimentological interpretation for TD6, analyzing the relationships between the sedimentary facies, the clasts and archaeo-palaeontological remains. The TD6 unit has been divided into three sub-units and 13 layers. Nine sedimentary facies have been defined. Hominin remains appear related to three different sedimentary facies: debris flow facies, channel facies and floodplain facies. They show three kinds of distribution: first a group of scattered fossils, then a group with layers of fossils in fluvial facies, and third a group with a layer of fossils in mixed fluvial and gravity flow facies. The results of this work suggest that some of these hominin remains accumulated in the cave by geological processes, coming from the adjacent slope above the cave or the cave entry, as the palaeogeography and sedimentary characteristics of these allochthonous facies suggest. PMID:27713562

  14. Genome Digging: Insight into the Mitochondrial Genome of Homo

    PubMed Central

    Ovchinnikov, Igor V.; Kholina, Olga I.

    2010-01-01

    Background A fraction of the Neanderthal mitochondrial genome sequence has a similarity with a 5,839-bp nuclear DNA sequence of mitochondrial origin (numt) on the human chromosome 1. This fact has never been interpreted. Although this phenomenon may be attributed to contamination and mosaic assembly of Neanderthal mtDNA from short sequencing reads, we explain the mysterious similarity by integration of this numt (mtAncestor-1) into the nuclear genome of the common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans not long before their reproductive split. Principal Findings Exploiting bioinformatics, we uncovered an additional numt (mtAncestor-2) with a high similarity to the Neanderthal mtDNA and indicated that both numts represent almost identical replicas of the mtDNA sequences ancestral to the mitochondrial genomes of Neanderthals and modern humans. In the proteins, encoded by mtDNA, the majority of amino acids distinguishing chimpanzees from humans and Neanderthals were acquired by the ancestral hominins. The overall rate of nonsynonymous evolution in Neanderthal mitochondrial protein-coding genes is not higher than in other lineages. The model incorporating the ancestral hominin mtDNA sequences estimates the average divergence age of the mtDNAs of Neanderthals and modern humans to be 450,000–485,000 years. The mtAncestor-1 and mtAncestor-2 sequences were incorporated into the nuclear genome approximately 620,000 years and 2,885,000 years ago, respectively. Conclusions This study provides the first insight into the evolution of the mitochondrial DNA in hominins ancestral to Neanderthals and humans. We hypothesize that mtAncestor-1 and mtAncestor-2 are likely to be molecular fossils of the mtDNAs of Homo heidelbergensis and a stem Homo lineage. The dN/dS dynamics suggests that the effective population size of extinct hominins was low. However, the hominin lineage ancestral to humans, Neanderthals and H. heidelbergensis, had a larger effective population size and

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Leukotriene signaling in the extinct human subspecies Homo denisovan and Homo neanderthalensis. Structural and functional comparison with Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Adel, Susan; Kakularam, Kumar Reddy; Horn, Thomas; Reddanna, Pallu; Kuhn, Hartmut; Heydeck, Dagmar

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian lipoxygenases (LOXs) have been implicated in cell differentiation and in the biosynthesis of pro- and anti-inflammatory lipid mediators. The initial draft sequence of the Homo neanderthalensis genome (coverage of 1.3-fold) suggested defective leukotriene signaling in this archaic human subspecies since expression of essential proteins appeared to be corrupted. Meanwhile high quality genomic sequence data became available for two extinct human subspecies (H. neanderthalensis, Homo denisovan) and completion of the human 1000 genome project provided a comprehensive database characterizing the genetic variability of the human genome. For this study we extracted the nucleotide sequences of selected eicosanoid relevant genes (ALOX5, ALOX15, ALOX12, ALOX15B, ALOX12B, ALOXE3, COX1, COX2, LTA4H, LTC4S, ALOX5AP, CYSLTR1, CYSLTR2, BLTR1, BLTR2) from the corresponding databases. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences in connection with site-directed mutagenesis studies and structural modeling suggested that the major enzymes and receptors of leukotriene signaling as well as the two cyclooxygenase isoforms were fully functional in these two extinct human subspecies.

  18. Variations of immune parameters in the lined seahorse Hippocampus erectus after infection with enteritis pathogen of Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

    PubMed

    Lin, Tingting; Zhang, Dong; Liu, Xin; Xiao, Dongxue

    2016-03-01

    Enteritis has been increasingly recognized as one of the major obstacles for the lined seahorse Hippocampus erectus mass culture success. In the present study, the intestinal bacteria strains of the lined seahorses H. erectus suffered from enteritis were isolated, then their pathogenicities were confirmed by artificial infection, and one pathogenic bacteria strain named DS3 was obtained. The median lethal dose (LD50) of strain DS3 for 10 days was determined. The seahorses with different infection levels of uninfected (control), early stage of infection (ESI) and late stage of infection (LSI) were respectively sampled at 0, 3, 6 and 9 days post infection, and 12 immune parameters in the plasma were analyzed. The strain DS3 identified with a biochemical test combined with a molecular method was Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and its LD50 for 10 days was 1.3 × 10(3) cfu/fish. Six parameters including monocytes/leucocytes, leucocytes phagocytic rate, interleukin-2, interferon-α, lysozyme and immunoglobulin M exhibited a generally similar variation trend: highest in the control, second in the ESI and lowest in the LSI throughout the entire experiment. In view of the infection level of V. parahaemolyticus to H. erectus is largely decided by the seahorse's own immune capacity, therefore, these immune parameters were high in the non- or slightly infected seahorses, and low in the severely infected individuals may be an indicator for immune level. These immune parameters may be reliable indicators for the juvenile and broodstock quality assessment. Moreover, clarification of the enteritis pathogen also provides guidances for targeted medicine choice for the lined seahorse.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. The dynamics of reproductive rate, offspring survivorship and growth in the lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus Perry, 1810.

    PubMed

    Lin, Qiang; Li, Gang; Qin, Geng; Lin, Junda; Huang, Liangmin; Sun, Hushan; Feng, Peiyong

    2012-04-15

    Seahorses are the vertebrate group with the embryonic development occurring within a special pouch in males. To understand the reproductive efficiency of the lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus Perry, 1810 under controlled breeding experiments, we investigated the dynamics of reproductive rate, offspring survivorship and growth over births by the same male seahorses. The mean brood size of the 1-year old pairs in the 1(st) birth was 85.4±56.9 per brood, which was significantly smaller than that in the 6(th) birth (465.9±136.4 per brood) (P<0.001). The offspring survivorship and growth rate increased with the births. The fecundity was positively correlated with the length of brood pouches of males and trunk of females. The fecundity of 1-year old male and 2-year old female pairs was significantly higher than that from 1-year old couples (P<0.001). The brood size (552.7±150.4) of the males who mated with females that were isolated for the gamete-preparation, was larger than those (467.8±141.2) from the long-term pairs (P<0.05). Moreover, the offspring from the isolated females had higher survival and growth rates. Our results showed that the potential reproductive rate of seahorses H. erectus increased with the brood pouch development.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Fossilization of feathers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Paul G.; Briggs, Derek E. G.

    1995-09-01

    Scanning electron microscopy of feathers has revealed evidence that a bacterial glycocalyx (a network of exocellular polysaccharide fibers) played a role in promoting their fossilization in some cases. This mode of preservation has not been reported in other soft tissues. The majority of fossil feathers are preserved as carbonized traces. More rarely, bacteria on the surface are replicated by authigenic minerals (bacterial autolithification). The feathers of Archaeopteryx are preserved mainly by imprintation following early lithification of the substrate and decay of the feather. Lacustrine settings provide the most important taphonomic window for feather preservation. Preservation in terrestrial and normal-marine settings involves very different processes (in amber and in authigenically mineralized coprolites, respectively). Therefore, there may be a significant bias in the avian fossil record in favor of inland water habitats.

  10. 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

  11. Fossil-Fired Boilers

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Evolutionary reversals of limb proportions in early hominids? Evidence from KNM-ER 3735 (Homo habilis).

    PubMed

    Haeusler, Martin; McHenry, Henry M

    2007-10-01

    Upper-to-lower limb proportions of Homo habilis are often said to be more ape-like than those of its reputed ancestor, Australopithecus afarensis. Such proportions would either imply multiple evolutionary reversals or parallel development of a relatively short upper limb in A. afarensis and later Homo. However, assessments of limb proportions are complicated by the fragmentary nature of the two known H. habilis skeletons, OH 62 and KNM-ER 3735. Initially, KNM-ER 3735 was compared to A.L. 288-1 (A. afarensis) using a single modern human and chimpanzee as reference. Here, based on a larger comparative sample, we find that the relative size of the distal humerus, radial head, and shaft of both KNM-ER 3735 and A.L. 288-1 lie within the range of variation of modern humans, whereas their sacra are small as is the case for all early hominids. In addition, their manual phalanges are similar in having a gracile base but robust midshaft. Contrary to earlier studies, the fossils are not differentiable from each other statistically with respect to all features listed above. On the other hand, they differ in robusticity of the scapular spine and relative length of the radial neck. An exact randomization test suggests only a very low probability of finding a similar degree of difference within a single species of extant hominoids. In contrast to the consensus view, we conclude that A.L. 288-1 had a short, human-like forearm, whereas KNM-ER 3735 possessed a distinctly longer forearm and more powerful shoulder girdle. This interpretation fits with earlier conclusions that suggested human-like humerofemoral proportions but chimpanzee-like brachial proportions for Homo habilis. Thus, the scenario of a unidirectional, progressive change in limb proportions within the hominid lineage is not supported by our work.

  15. 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

  16. 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).

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. PELDOR in rotationally symmetric homo-oligomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giannoulis, Angeliki; Ward, Richard; Branigan, Emma; Naismith, James H.; Bode, Bela E.

    2013-10-01

    Nanometre distance measurements by pulsed electron-electron double resonance (PELDOR) spectroscopy have become an increasingly important tool in structural biology. The theoretical underpinning of the experiment is well defined for systems containing two nitroxide spin-labels (spin pairs); however, recently experiments have been reported on homo-oligomeric membrane proteins consisting of up to eight spin-labelled monomers. We have explored the theory behind these systems by examining model systems based on multiple spins arranged in rotationally symmetric polygons. The results demonstrate that with a rising number of spins within the test molecule, increasingly strong distortions appear in distance distributions obtained from an analysis based on the simple spin pair approach. These distortions are significant over a range of system sizes and remain so even when random errors are introduced into the symmetry of the model. We present an alternative approach to the extraction of distances on such systems based on a minimisation that properly treats multi-spin correlations. We demonstrate the utility of this approach on a spin-labelled mutant of the heptameric Mechanosensitive Channel of Small Conductance of E. coli.

  20. 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

  1. The largest fossil rodent

    PubMed Central

    Rinderknecht, Andrés; Blanco, R. Ernesto

    2008-01-01

    The discovery of an exceptionally well-preserved skull permits the description of the new South American fossil species of the rodent, Josephoartigasia monesi sp. nov. (family: Dinomyidae; Rodentia: Hystricognathi: Caviomorpha). This species with estimated body mass of nearly 1000 kg is the largest yet recorded. The skull sheds new light on the anatomy of the extinct giant rodents of the Dinomyidae, which are known mostly from isolated teeth and incomplete mandible remains. The fossil derives from San José Formation, Uruguay, usually assigned to the Pliocene–Pleistocene (4–2 Myr ago), and the proposed palaeoenvironment where this rodent lived was characterized as an estuarine or deltaic system with forest communities. PMID:18198140

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Biodesulfurization of fossil fuels.

    PubMed

    Gray, Kevin A; Mrachko, Gregory T; Squires, Charles H

    2003-06-01

    Biotechnological techniques enabling the specific removal of sulfur from fossil fuels have been developed. In the past three years there have been important advances in the elucidation of the mechanisms of biodesulfurization; some of the most significant relate to the role of a flavin reductase, DszD, in the enzymology of desulfurization, and to the use of new tools that enable enzyme enhancement via DNA manipulation to influence both the rate and the substrate range of Dsz. Also, a clearer understanding of the unique desulfinase step in the pathway has begun to emerge.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Dual-laser homo-FRET on the cell surface.

    PubMed

    Bene, László; Ungvári, Tamás; Fedor, Roland; Nagy, István; Damjanovich, László

    2015-05-01

    Inhomogeneous broadening and red-edge effects have been detected on a highly mobile system of fluorescently conjugated mAbs targeted to cell surface receptors. By exploiting site-selective spectroscopy and the characteristic loss of homo-FRET on increasing excitation and decreasing emission wavelengths, contributions of physical rotation and homo-FRET to the depolarization of fluorescence anisotropy have been separated. Absolute homo-FRET efficiency has been determined by ratioing two anisotropies: a homo-FRET-sensitive one, which is excited at the absorption main band and detected at the long wavelength region of emission, and a homo-FRET-insensitive one, which is excited at the long wavelength region of absorption and detected at the short wavelength region of emission. Because the anisotropies are simultaneously detected in a unified detection scheme of a dual T-format arrangement, the method is applicable for the real-time tracking of dynamical changes of physical rotations and proximities. The utility of the method is demonstrated in the context of the MHCII molecule and the heavy and light chains of the MHCI molecule, a system of three receptors with well-characterized close mutual proximities. Although the method is presented for a flow cytometer, it can also be realized in a fluorescence microscope capable for dual-laser excitation and dual-anisotropy detection.

  11. Gas-phase Dissociation of homo-DNA Oligonucleotides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stucki, Silvan R.; Désiron, Camille; Nyakas, Adrien; Marti, Simon; Leumann, Christian J.; Schürch, Stefan

    2013-12-01

    Synthetic modified oligonucleotides are of interest for diagnostic and therapeutic applications, as their biological stability, pairing selectivity, and binding strength can be considerably increased by the incorporation of unnatural structural elements. Homo-DNA is an oligonucleotide homologue based on dideoxy-hexopyranosyl sugar moieties, which follows the Watson-Crick A-T and G-C base pairing system, but does not hybridize with complementary natural DNA and RNA. Homo-DNA has found application as a bioorthogonal element in templated chemistry applications. The gas-phase dissociation of homo-DNA has been investigated by ESI-MS/MS and MALDI-MS/MS, and mechanistic aspects of its gas-phase dissociation are discussed. Experiments revealed a charge state dependent preference for the loss of nucleobases, which are released either as neutrals or as anions. In contrast to DNA, nucleobase loss from homo-DNA was found to be decoupled from backbone cleavage, thus resulting in stable products. This renders an additional stage of ion activation necessary in order to generate sequence-defining fragment ions. Upon MS3 of the primary base-loss ion, homo-DNA was found to exhibit unspecific backbone dissociation resulting in a balanced distribution of all fragment ion series.

  12. 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).

  13. New hominid fossils from Member 1 of the Swartkrans formation, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Pickering, Travis Rayne; Heaton, Jason L; Clarke, Ronald J; Sutton, Morris B; Brain, C K; Kuman, Kathleen

    2012-05-01

    Member 1 of the Swartkrans Formation is comprised of two sedimentary infills, the Lower Bank (LB) and the Hanging Remnant (HR). Together, the LB and HR preserve fossils of early Homo and Paranthropus robustus, Earlier Stone Age lithic artifacts, purported bone digging tools and butchered animal bones. Collectively, this evidence was the first to establish the co-existence of two early Pleistocene hominid species and also led to inferences of plant root harvesting and meat-eating by one or both of those species. P. robustus is the more abundant of the two hominids at Swartrkrans, represented in Member 1 by hundreds of fossils that derive from at least 99 individuals. Thus, Swartkrans Member 1 stands as the world's single largest repository of that extinct species. Here we add to the Member 1 sample of hominid fossils with descriptions of 14 newly discovered specimens. PMID:22440747

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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)

  3. The leptin system and its expression at different nutritional and pregnant stages in lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus)

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Huixian; Qin, Geng; Zhang, Yanhong; Li, Shuisheng

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Leptin is an essential hormone for the regulation of energy metabolism and food intake in vertebrate animals. To better understand the physiological roles of leptin in nutrient regulation in paternal ovoviviparous fish (family Syngnathidae), the present study cloned the full-length of leptin-a and leptin receptor (lepr) genes in lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus). Results showed that there was a 576-bp intron between two exons in leptin-a gene but no leptin-b gene in seahorse. Although the primary amino acid sequence conservation of seahorse leptin-a was very low, the 3-D structure modeling of seahorse leptin-a revealed strong conservation of tertiary structure with other vertebrates. Seahorse leptin-a mRNA was highly expressed in brain, whereas lepr mRNA was mainly expressed in ovary and gill. Interestingly, both leptin-a and lepr mRNA were expressed in the brood pouch of male seahorse, suggesting the leptin system plays a role during the male pregnancy. Physiological experiments showed that the expression of hepatic leptin-a and lepr mRNA in unfed seahorses was significantly higher than that in those fed 100%, as well as 60%, of their food during the fasting stage, showing that seahorse might initiate the leptin system to regulate its energy metabolism while starving. Moreover, the expression of leptin-a in the brood pouch of pregnant seahorse was significantly upregulated compared with non-pregnant seahorse, whereas the expression of lepr was downregulated, suggesting that the leptin system might be involved in the male pregnancy. In conclusion, the leptin system plays a role in the energy metabolism and food intake, and might provide new insights into molecular regulation of male pregnancy in seahorse. PMID:27628034

  4. Population genomics reveals seahorses (Hippocampus erectus) of the western mid-Atlantic coast to be residents rather than vagrants.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Weaver, Anne H.

    2005-01-01

    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

  11. 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

  12. Visuospatial integration and human evolution: the fossil evidence.

    PubMed

    Bruner, Emiliano; Lozano, Marina; Lorenzo, Carlos

    2016-06-20

    Visuospatial integration concerns the ability to coordinate the inner and outer environments, namely the central nervous system and the outer spatial elements, through the interface of the body. This integration is essential for every basic human activity, from locomotion and grasping to speech or tooling. Visuospatial integration is even more fundamental when dealing with theories on extended mind, embodiment, and material engagement. According to the hypotheses on extended cognition, the nervous system, the body and the external objects work as a single integrated unit, and what we call "mind" is the process resulting from such interaction. Because of the relevance of culture and material culture in humans, important changes in such processes were probably crucial for the evolution of Homo sapiens. Much information in this sense can be supplied by considering issues in neuroarchaeology and cognitive sciences. Nonetheless, fossils and their anatomy can also provide evidence according to changes involving physical and body aspects. In this article, we review three sources of morphological information concerning visuospatial management and fossils: evolutionary neuroanatomy, manipulative behaviors, and hand evolution.

  13. Visuospatial integration and human evolution: the fossil evidence.

    PubMed

    Bruner, Emiliano; Lozano, Marina; Lorenzo, Carlos

    2016-06-20

    Visuospatial integration concerns the ability to coordinate the inner and outer environments, namely the central nervous system and the outer spatial elements, through the interface of the body. This integration is essential for every basic human activity, from locomotion and grasping to speech or tooling. Visuospatial integration is even more fundamental when dealing with theories on extended mind, embodiment, and material engagement. According to the hypotheses on extended cognition, the nervous system, the body and the external objects work as a single integrated unit, and what we call "mind" is the process resulting from such interaction. Because of the relevance of culture and material culture in humans, important changes in such processes were probably crucial for the evolution of Homo sapiens. Much information in this sense can be supplied by considering issues in neuroarchaeology and cognitive sciences. Nonetheless, fossils and their anatomy can also provide evidence according to changes involving physical and body aspects. In this article, we review three sources of morphological information concerning visuospatial management and fossils: evolutionary neuroanatomy, manipulative behaviors, and hand evolution. PMID:26829574

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. NMR structural inference of symmetric homo-oligomers.

    PubMed

    Chandola, Himanshu; Yan, Anthony K; Potluri, Shobha; Donald, Bruce R; Bailey-Kellogg, Chris

    2011-12-01

    Symmetric homo-oligomers represent a majority of proteins, and determining their structures helps elucidate important biological processes, including ion transport, signal transduction, and transcriptional regulation. In order to account for the noise and sparsity in the distance restraints used in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) structure determination of cyclic (C(n)) symmetric homo-oligomers, and the resulting uncertainty in the determined structures, we develop a Bayesian structural inference approach. In contrast to traditional NMR structure determination methods, which identify a small set of low-energy conformations, the inferential approach characterizes the entire posterior distribution of conformations. Unfortunately, traditional stochastic techniques for inference may under-sample the rugged landscape of the posterior, missing important contributions from high-quality individual conformations and not accounting for the possible aggregate effects on inferred quantities from numerous unsampled conformations. However, by exploiting the geometry of symmetric homo-oligomers, we develop an algorithm that provides provable guarantees for the posterior distribution and the inferred mean atomic coordinates. Using experimental restraints for three proteins, we demonstrate that our approach is able to objectively characterize the structural diversity supported by the data. By simulating spurious and missing restraints, we further demonstrate that our approach is robust, degrading smoothly with noise and sparsity. PMID:21718128

  19. 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.

  20. Age of the fossil Dali Man in north-central China deduced from chronostratigraphy of the loess?paleosol sequence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Jule; Jin, Changzhu; Zhu, Yizhi

    2002-11-01

    Dali Man, an archaic type of early Homo sapiens, is of great significance to the origin of Homo sapiens. Achievements have been made during the past decades in the understanding of the fossil human skull as well as the accompanying mammalian fossils and stone artifacts. However, the absolute age of the fossil Dali Man still remains unclear. Based on the magnetic susceptibility of loess sediments and the relationship of terracing process with climatic condition, we correlated the loess sequence and the subjacent terrace alluvium at the Dali Man site with the well-studied loess-paleosol sequence at Luochuan in the central part of the Chinese Loess Plateau. The correlation indicates that the loess-paleosol sequence at the Dali Man site extends down to the paleosol S2, and the underlying fluvial deposits correspond to the loess L3. Because the Dali Man skull appears in the basal gravel layer of the terrace, and because the deposition of the terrace gravels would occur during the transition from S3 paleosol formation to L3 loess accumulation, the age of the fossil Dali Man is inferred to be ca 270 ka, which is equivalent to the age of the boundary between the loess L3 and paleosol S3 on the magnetic susceptibility time series of the Luochuan loess-paleosol sequence.

  1. The early eukaryotic fossil record.

    PubMed

    Javaux, Emmanuelle J

    2007-01-01

    The Precambrian era records the evolution of the domain Eucarya. Although the taxonomy of fossils is often impossible to resolve beyond the level of domain, their morphology and chemistry indicate the evolution of major biological innovations. The late Archean record for eukaryotes is limited to trace amounts of biomarkers. Morphological evidence appears in late Paleoproterozoic and early Mesoproterozoic (1800-1300 Ma) rocks. The moderate diversity of preservable eukaryotic organisms includes cell walls without surface ornament (but with complex ultrastructure), with regularly distributed surface ornamentation, and with irregularly or regularly arranged processes. Collectively, these fossils suggest that eukaryotes with flexible membranes and cytoskeletons existed in mid-Proterozoic oceans. The late Mesoproterozoic-early Neoproterozoic (1300-750 Ma) is a time of diversification and evolution when direct evidence for important biological innovations occurs in the fossil record such as multicellularity, sex, photosynthesis, biomineralization, predation, and heterotrophy. Members of extant clades can be recognized and include bangiophyte red algae, xanthophyte algae, cladophorale green algae, euglyphid, lobose, and filose amoebae and possible fungi. In the late Neoproterozoic, besides more diversification of ornamented fossils, florideophyte red algae and brown algae diversify, and animals take the stage. The record of biological innovations documented by the fossils shows that eukaryotes had evolved most cytological and molecular complexities very early in the Proterozoic but environmental conditions delayed their diversification within clades until oxygen level and predation pressure increased significantly. PMID:17977455

  2. 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).

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Foramen magnum position variation in Pan troglodytes, Plio-Pleistocene hominids, and recent Homo sapiens: implications for recognizing the earliest hominids.

    PubMed

    Ahern, James C M

    2005-07-01

    The anteroposterior position of the foramen magnum distinguishes living Homo sapiens from apes, and has been used as evidence for the hominid status of numerable fossils in the history of human paleontology. During the past decade, foramen magnum position has been cited as evidence of the hominid status of Ardipithecus and Sahelanthropus. Specifically, the basion of Ardpithecus is reported to be inline with the bicarotid chord, while the basion of Sahelanthropus is reported to both touch the biporion chord and intersect the bicarotid chord. In order to assess the effectiveness of anteroposterior foramen magnum position in distinguishing hominids from nonhominid apes, this study examined whether or not the positions of biporion and bicarotid relative to basion sufficiently distinguished Pan troglodytes from recent Homo sapiens and Plio-Pleistocene hominids. The distances from basion to the biporion chord (BSBIP) and from basion to the bicarotid chord (BSBIC) were measured on samples of chimpanzee (n = 69) and recent human (n = 42) crania and a sample of Plio-Pleistocene hominid fossils (n = 8). The data were used to test the hypothesis that BSBIP and BSBIC measurements do not sufficiently distinguish P. troglodytes from hominids. While basion to biporion (BSBIP) does not effectively distinguish P. troglodytes from Plio-Pleistocene hominids and humans when used univariately, basion to bicarotid (BSBIC), when used univariately or bivariately with BSBIP, can be used to test whether or not an unknown specimen is a hominid. These results are used to evaluate the hominid status of Ardipithecus and Sahelanthropus.

  10. 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

  11. Fossils of big bang turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibson, C. H.

    2004-12-01

    A model is proposed connecting turbulence, fossil turbulence, and the big bang origin of the universe. While details are incomplete, the model is consistent with our knowledge of these processes and is supported by observations. Turbulence arises in a hot-big-bang quantum-gravitational-dynamics scenario at Planck scales. Chaotic, eddy-like-motions produce an exothermic Planck particle cascade from 10-35 m at 1032 K to 108 larger, 104 cooler, quark-gluon scales. A Planck-Kerr instability gives high-Reynolds-number (Re 106) turbulent combustion, space-time-energy-entropy and turbulent mixing. Batchelor-Obukhov-Corrsin turbulent-temperature fluctuations are preserved as the first fossil-turbulence by inflation stretching the patterns beyond the horizon ct of causal connection faster than light speed c in time t 10-33 seconds. Fossil-big-bang-temperature-turbulence re-enters the horizon and imprints nucleosynthesis of H-He densities that seed fragmentation by gravity at 1012 s in the low Reynolds number plasma before its transition to gas at t 1013 s and T 3000 K. Multi-scaling coefficients of the cosmic-microwave-background (CMB) temperature anisotropies closely match those for high Reynolds number turbulence, Bershadskii and Sreenivasan 2002, 2003. CMB spectra support the interpretation that big-bang-turbulence-fossils triggered fragmentation of the viscous plasma at supercluster to galaxy mass scales from 1046 to 1042 kg, Gibson 1996, 2000, 2004ab.

  12. 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.

  13. Mitochondrial genomes as living 'fossils'.

    PubMed

    Small, Ian

    2013-04-15

    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.

  14. Fossil power plant systems description

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-01-01

    This single-volume, looseleaf text presents the functions and relationships between each major component and its auxiliaries within a system. The text also describes the relationships between systems. All major components are addressed, and system boundaries are defined for a generic fossil power plant.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Effects of size and locomotor adaptations on the hominid pelvis: evaluation of australopithecine bipedality with a new multivariate method.

    PubMed

    Berge, C; Kazmierczak, J B

    1986-01-01

    Three pelves and eight innominate bones belonging to the fossil species, Australopithecus africanus, Australopithecus robustus, Homo erectus, and Homo sapiens, have been studied biometrically and compared with those of recent humans and apes. A new method of logarithmic factorial analysis suppresses both the size effects and the size reference on pelvic proportions. In combination with principal component analysis it allows specializations to be dissociated from allometrical variations. Some morphological differences on the hominid pelvis prove to be mainly allometric. However, the pelvic morphology of australopithecines is clearly differentiated from that of the genus Homo (including H. erectus, OH 28, KNMER 3227). A. africanus (Sts 14, MLD 7, AL 288) is nearer the humans than is A. robustus (SK 50, SK 3155), which appears to be more specialized in the australopithecine lineage. The pelvic morphology of A. africanus, as integrated with the articular pelvic-femoral link, appears to be biometrically equivalent to that of humans. PMID:3104176

  18. Bayesian analysis of a morphological supermatrix sheds light on controversial fossil hominin relationships

    PubMed Central

    Dembo, Mana; Matzke, Nicholas J.; Mooers, Arne Ø.; Collard, Mark

    2015-01-01

    The phylogenetic relationships of several hominin species remain controversial. Two methodological issues contribute to the uncertainty—use of partial, inconsistent datasets and reliance on phylogenetic methods that are ill-suited to testing competing hypotheses. Here, we report a study designed to overcome these issues. We first compiled a supermatrix of craniodental characters for all widely accepted hominin species. We then took advantage of recently developed Bayesian methods for building trees of serially sampled tips to test among hypotheses that have been put forward in three of the most important current debates in hominin phylogenetics—the relationship between Australopithecus sediba and Homo, the taxonomic status of the Dmanisi hominins, and the place of the so-called hobbit fossils from Flores, Indonesia, in the hominin tree. Based on our results, several published hypotheses can be statistically rejected. For example, the data do not support the claim that Dmanisi hominins and all other early Homo specimens represent a single species, nor that the hobbit fossils are the remains of small-bodied modern humans, one of whom had Down syndrome. More broadly, our study provides a new baseline dataset for future work on hominin phylogeny and illustrates the promise of Bayesian approaches for understanding hominin phylogenetic relationships. PMID:26202999

  19. 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

  20. Bayesian analysis of a morphological supermatrix sheds light on controversial fossil hominin relationships.

    PubMed

    Dembo, Mana; Matzke, Nicholas J; Mooers, Arne Ø; Collard, Mark

    2015-08-01

    The phylogenetic relationships of several hominin species remain controversial. Two methodological issues contribute to the uncertainty-use of partial, inconsistent datasets and reliance on phylogenetic methods that are ill-suited to testing competing hypotheses. Here, we report a study designed to overcome these issues. We first compiled a supermatrix of craniodental characters for all widely accepted hominin species. We then took advantage of recently developed Bayesian methods for building trees of serially sampled tips to test among hypotheses that have been put forward in three of the most important current debates in hominin phylogenetics--the relationship between Australopithecus sediba and Homo, the taxonomic status of the Dmanisi hominins, and the place of the so-called hobbit fossils from Flores, Indonesia, in the hominin tree. Based on our results, several published hypotheses can be statistically rejected. For example, the data do not support the claim that Dmanisi hominins and all other early Homo specimens represent a single species, nor that the hobbit fossils are the remains of small-bodied modern humans, one of whom had Down syndrome. More broadly, our study provides a new baseline dataset for future work on hominin phylogeny and illustrates the promise of Bayesian approaches for understanding hominin phylogenetic relationships.

  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

  2. Oldest Homo and Pliocene biogeography of the Malawi Rift.

    PubMed

    Schrenk, F; Bromage, T G; Betzler, C G; Ring, U; Juwayeyi, Y M

    1993-10-28

    The Malawi Rift and Pliocene palaeofaunas, which include a hominid mandible attributed to Homo rudolfensis, provide a biogeographical link between the better known Plio-Pleistocene faunal records of East and Southern Africa. The Malawi Rift is in a latitudinal position suitable for recording any hominid and faunal dispersion towards the Equator that was brought on by increased aridity of the Late Pliocene African landscape. The evidence suggests that Pliocene hominids originated in the eastern African tropical domain and dispersed to southern Africa only during more favourable ecological circumstances.

  3. Age and context of the oldest known hominin fossils from Flores.

    PubMed

    Brumm, Adam; van den Bergh, Gerrit D; Storey, Michael; Kurniawan, Iwan; Alloway, Brent V; Setiawan, Ruly; Setiyabudi, Erick; Grün, Rainer; Moore, Mark W; Yurnaldi, Dida; Puspaningrum, Mika R; Wibowo, Unggul P; Insani, Halmi; Sutisna, Indra; Westgate, John A; Pearce, Nick J G; Duval, Mathieu; Meijer, Hanneke J M; Aziz, Fachroel; Sutikna, Thomas; van der Kaars, Sander; Flude, Stephanie; Morwood, Michael J

    2016-06-08

    Recent excavations at the early Middle Pleistocene site of Mata Menge in the So'a Basin of central Flores, Indonesia, have yielded hominin fossils attributed to a population ancestral to Late Pleistocene Homo floresiensis. Here we describe the age and context of the Mata Menge hominin specimens and associated archaeological findings. The fluvial sandstone layer from which the in situ fossils were excavated in 2014 was deposited in a small valley stream around 700 thousand years ago, as indicated by (40)Ar/(39)Ar and fission track dates on stratigraphically bracketing volcanic ash and pyroclastic density current deposits, in combination with coupled uranium-series and electron spin resonance dating of fossil teeth. Palaeoenvironmental data indicate a relatively dry climate in the So'a Basin during the early Middle Pleistocene, while various lines of evidence suggest the hominins inhabited a savannah-like open grassland habitat with a wetland component. The hominin fossils occur alongside the remains of an insular fauna and a simple stone technology that is markedly similar to that associated with Late Pleistocene H. floresiensis.

  4. Age and context of the oldest known hominin fossils from Flores.

    PubMed

    Brumm, Adam; van den Bergh, Gerrit D; Storey, Michael; Kurniawan, Iwan; Alloway, Brent V; Setiawan, Ruly; Setiyabudi, Erick; Grün, Rainer; Moore, Mark W; Yurnaldi, Dida; Puspaningrum, Mika R; Wibowo, Unggul P; Insani, Halmi; Sutisna, Indra; Westgate, John A; Pearce, Nick J G; Duval, Mathieu; Meijer, Hanneke J M; Aziz, Fachroel; Sutikna, Thomas; van der Kaars, Sander; Flude, Stephanie; Morwood, Michael J

    2016-06-01

    Recent excavations at the early Middle Pleistocene site of Mata Menge in the So'a Basin of central Flores, Indonesia, have yielded hominin fossils attributed to a population ancestral to Late Pleistocene Homo floresiensis. Here we describe the age and context of the Mata Menge hominin specimens and associated archaeological findings. The fluvial sandstone layer from which the in situ fossils were excavated in 2014 was deposited in a small valley stream around 700 thousand years ago, as indicated by (40)Ar/(39)Ar and fission track dates on stratigraphically bracketing volcanic ash and pyroclastic density current deposits, in combination with coupled uranium-series and electron spin resonance dating of fossil teeth. Palaeoenvironmental data indicate a relatively dry climate in the So'a Basin during the early Middle Pleistocene, while various lines of evidence suggest the hominins inhabited a savannah-like open grassland habitat with a wetland component. The hominin fossils occur alongside the remains of an insular fauna and a simple stone technology that is markedly similar to that associated with Late Pleistocene H. floresiensis. PMID:27279222

  5. 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

  6. Revised stratigraphy of Area 123, Koobi Fora, Kenya, and new age estimates of its fossil mammals, including hominins.

    PubMed

    Gathogo, Patrick N; Brown, Francis H

    2006-11-01

    Recent geologic study shows that all hominins and nearly all other published mammalian fossils from Paleontological Collection Area 123, Koobi Fora, Kenya, derive from levels between the KBS Tuff (1.87+/-0.02 Ma) and the Lower Ileret Tuff (1.53+/-0.01 Ma). More specifically, the fossils derive from 53 m of section below the Lower Ileret Tuff, an interval in which beds vary markedly laterally, especially those units containing molluscs and algal stromatolites. The upper Burgi Member (approximately 2.00-1.87 Ma) crops out only in the southwestern part of Area 123. Adjacent Area 110 contains larger exposures of the member, and there the KBS Tuff is preserved as an airfall ash in lacustrine deposits and also as a fluvially redeposited ash. We observed no mammalian fossils in situ in this member in Area 123, but surface specimens have been documented in some monographic treatments. Fossil hominins from Area 123 were attributed to strata above the KBS Tuff in the 1970s, but later they were assigned to strata below the KBS Tuff (now called the upper Burgi Member). This study definitively places the Area 123 hominins in the KBS Member. Most of these hominins are between 1.60 and 1.65 myr in age, but the youngest may date to only 1.53 Ma, and the oldest, to 1.75 Ma. All are 0.15-0.30 myr younger than previously estimated. The new age estimates, in conjunction with published taxonomic attributions of fossils, suggest that at least two species of Homo coexisted in the region along with A. boisei until at least 1.65 Ma. Comparison of crania KNM-ER 1813 and KNM-ER 1470, which were believed to be of comparable age, is at the focus of the debate over whether Homo habilis sensu lato is in fact composed of two species: Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis. These two crania are separated in time by approximately 0.25 myr, and therefore, arguments for their conspecificity no longer need to confront the issue of unusually high contemporaneous variation within a single species. PMID

  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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Cycads: fossil evidence of late paleozoic origin.

    PubMed

    Mamay, S H

    1969-04-18

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. The human cranial remains from Gran Dolina Lower Pleistocene site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

    PubMed

    Arsuaga, J L; Martínez, I; Lorenzo, C; Gracia, A; Muñoz, A; Alonso, O; Gallego, J

    1999-01-01

    In this article we study the cranial remains of the late Lower Pleistocene human fossils from Gran Dolina (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain), assigned to the new species Homo antecessor. The cranial remains belong to at least five individuals, both juveniles and adults. The most outstanding feature is the totally modern human morphology of the very complete face ATD6-69, representing the earliest occurrence of the modern face in the fossil record. The Gran Dolina fossils show in the face a suite of modern human apomorphies not found in earlier hominids nor in contemporary or earlier Homo erectus fossils. There are also traits in the Gran Dolina fossils shared with both Neandertals and modern humans, which reinforce the hypothesis that Neandertals and modern humans form a clade, and that the Gran Dolina fossils are a common ancestor to both lineages. PMID:10496996

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  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. Homo-DNA templated chemistry and its application to nucleic acid sensing.

    PubMed

    Stoop, Matthias; Leumann, Christian J

    2011-07-14

    We have investigated the homo-DNA templated Staudinger reduction of the profluorophore rhodamine azide and have applied this reaction to the detection of natural DNA with a hybrid homo-DNA/DNA molecular beacon. In this system the sensing and the reporting unit are bioorthogonal to each other which facilitates sequence design and increases fidelity.

  2. 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

  3. 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).

  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. Inferring hominoid and early hominid phylogeny using craniodental characters: the role of fossil taxa.

    PubMed

    Strait, David S; Grine, Frederick E

    2004-12-01

    Recent discoveries of new fossil hominid species have been accompanied by several phylogenetic hypotheses. All of these hypotheses are based on a consideration of hominid craniodental morphology. However, Collard and Wood (2000) suggested that cladograms derived from craniodental data are inconsistent with the prevailing hypothesis of ape phylogeny based on molecular data. The implication of their study is that craniodental characters are unreliable indicators of phylogeny in hominoids and fossil hominids but, notably, their analysis did not include extinct species. We report here on a cladistic analysis designed to test whether the inclusion of fossil taxa affects the ability of morphological characters to recover the molecular ape phylogeny. In the process of doing so, the study tests both Collard and Wood's (2000) hypothesis of character reliability, and the several recently proposed hypotheses of early hominid phylogeny. One hundred and ninety-eight craniodental characters were examined, including 109 traits that traditionally have been of interest in prior studies of hominoid and early hominid phylogeny, and 89 craniometric traits that represent size-corrected linear dimensions measured between standard cranial landmarks. The characters were partitioned into two data sets. One set contained all of the characters, and the other omitted the craniometric characters. Six parsimony analyses were performed; each data set was analyzed three times, once using an ingroup that consisted only of extant hominoids, a second time using an ingroup of extant hominoids and extinct early hominids, and a third time excluding Kenyanthropus platyops. Results suggest that the inclusion of fossil taxa can play a significant role in phylogenetic analysis. Analyses that examined only extant taxa produced most parsimonious cladograms that were inconsistent with the ape molecular tree. In contrast, analyses that included fossil hominids were consistent with that tree. This consistency

  6. Fossil energy biotechnology: A research needs assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1993-11-01

    The Office of Program Analysis of the U.S. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Peña-Melián, Angel; Rosas, Antonio; García-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 Sidrón 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 Sidrón occipital specimens look similar to those observed in modern H. sapiens.

  8. Genomic differentiation of Neanderthals and anatomically modern man allows a fossil-DNA-based classification of morphologically indistinguishable hominid bones.

    PubMed Central

    Scholz, M; Bachmann, L; Nicholson, G J; Bachmann, J; Giddings, I; Rüschoff-Thale, B; Czarnetzki, A; Pusch, C M

    2000-01-01

    Southern blot hybridizations of genomic DNA were introduced as a relatively simple fossil-DNA-based approach to classify remains of Neanderthals. When hybridized with genomic DNA of either human or Neanderthal origin, DNA extracted from two Neanderthal finds-the Os parietale, from Warendorf-Neuwarendorf, Germany, and a clavicula, from Krapina, Croatia-was shown to yield hybridization signals that differ by at least a factor of two compared to the signals obtained with the use of fossil DNA of an early Homo sapiens from the Vogelherd cave (Stetten I), Germany. When labeled chimpanzee DNA was used as a probe, Neanderthal and human DNA, however, revealed hybridization signals of similar intensity. Thus, the genome of Neanderthals is expected to differ significantly from the genome of anatomically modern man, because of the contrasting composition of repetitive DNA. These data support the hypothesis that Neanderthals were not ancestors of anatomically modern man. PMID:10788336

  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

  10. Non-random distribution of homo-repeats: links with biological functions and human diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lobanov, Michail Yu.; Klus, Petr; Sokolovsky, Igor V.; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano; Galzitskaya, Oxana V.

    2016-01-01

    The biological function of multiple repetitions of single amino acids, or homo-repeats, is largely unknown, but their occurrence in proteins has been associated with more than 20 hereditary diseases. Analysing 122 bacterial and eukaryotic genomes, we observed that the number of proteins containing homo-repeats is significantly larger than expected from theoretical estimates. Analysis of statistical significance indicates that the minimal size of homo-repeats varies with amino acid type and proteome. In an attempt to characterize proteins harbouring long homo-repeats, we found that those containing polar or small amino acids S, P, H, E, D, K, Q and N are enriched in structural disorder as well as protein- and RNA-interactions. We observed that E, S, Q, G, L, P, D, A and H homo-repeats are strongly linked with occurrence in human diseases. Moreover, S, E, P, A, Q, D and T homo-repeats are significantly enriched in neuronal proteins associated with autism and other disorders. We release a webserver for further exploration of homo-repeats occurrence in human pathology at http://bioinfo.protres.ru/hradis/. PMID:27256590

  11. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    KrishnaKumar, V.; Barathi, D.; Mathammal, R.; Balamani, J.; Jayamani, N.

    2014-03-01

    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 1H and 13C NMR spectra have been recorded and 1H and 13C 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).

  13. Precambrian biota: protistan origin of trace fossils?

    PubMed

    Pawlowski, Jan; Gooday, Andrew J

    2009-01-13

    Some Precambrian trace fossils have been presented as evidence for the early origin of bilaterians; the recent finding that large amoeboid protists leave macroscopic traces at the bottom of the deep ocean questions the metazoan nature of early trace fossils, stressing the importance of single-cell organisms in Precambrian biota.

  14. Do alternative energy sources displace fossil fuels?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    York, Richard

    2012-06-01

    A fundamental, generally implicit, assumption of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports and many energy analysts is that each unit of energy supplied by non-fossil-fuel sources takes the place of a unit of energy supplied by fossil-fuel sources. However, owing to the complexity of economic systems and human behaviour, it is often the case that changes aimed at reducing one type of resource consumption, either through improvements in efficiency of use or by developing substitutes, do not lead to the intended outcome when net effects are considered. Here, I show that the average pattern across most nations of the world over the past fifty years is one where each unit of total national energy use from non-fossil-fuel sources displaced less than one-quarter of a unit of fossil-fuel energy use and, focusing specifically on electricity, each unit of electricity generated by non-fossil-fuel sources displaced less than one-tenth of a unit of fossil-fuel-generated electricity. These results challenge conventional thinking in that they indicate that suppressing the use of fossil fuel will require changes other than simply technical ones such as expanding non-fossil-fuel energy production.

  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. Species-specific proteins in fossils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowenstein, Jerold M.

    1980-07-01

    With a solid-phase radioimmunoassay it has been possible to detect species-specific collagen and albumin in fossils as old as 1.9 million years. This technique may provide new data on the genetic relations of fossil species to each other and to living forms.

  17. The non-uniformity of fossil preservation.

    PubMed

    Holland, Steven M

    2016-07-19

    The fossil record provides the primary source of data for calibrating the origin of clades. Although minimum ages of clades are given by the oldest preserved fossil, these underestimate the true age, which must be bracketed by probabilistic methods based on multiple fossil occurrences. Although most of these methods assume uniform preservation rates, this assumption is unsupported over geological timescales. On geologically long timescales (more than 10 Myr), the origin and cessation of sedimentary basins, and long-term variations in tectonic subsidence, eustatic sea level and sedimentation rate control the availability of depositional facies that preserve the environments in which species lived. The loss of doomed sediments, those with a low probability of preservation, imparts a secular trend to fossil preservation. As a result, the fossil record is spatially and temporally non-uniform. Models of fossil preservation should reflect this non-uniformity by using empirical estimates of fossil preservation that are spatially and temporally partitioned, or by using indirect proxies of fossil preservation. Geologically, realistic models of preservation will provide substantially more reliable estimates of the origination of clades.This article is part of the themed issue 'Dating species divergences using rocks and clocks'. PMID:27325828

  18. Precambrian biota: protistan origin of trace fossils?

    PubMed

    Pawlowski, Jan; Gooday, Andrew J

    2009-01-13

    Some Precambrian trace fossils have been presented as evidence for the early origin of bilaterians; the recent finding that large amoeboid protists leave macroscopic traces at the bottom of the deep ocean questions the metazoan nature of early trace fossils, stressing the importance of single-cell organisms in Precambrian biota. PMID:19138588

  19. The non-uniformity of fossil preservation.

    PubMed

    Holland, Steven M

    2016-07-19

    The fossil record provides the primary source of data for calibrating the origin of clades. Although minimum ages of clades are given by the oldest preserved fossil, these underestimate the true age, which must be bracketed by probabilistic methods based on multiple fossil occurrences. Although most of these methods assume uniform preservation rates, this assumption is unsupported over geological timescales. On geologically long timescales (more than 10 Myr), the origin and cessation of sedimentary basins, and long-term variations in tectonic subsidence, eustatic sea level and sedimentation rate control the availability of depositional facies that preserve the environments in which species lived. The loss of doomed sediments, those with a low probability of preservation, imparts a secular trend to fossil preservation. As a result, the fossil record is spatially and temporally non-uniform. Models of fossil preservation should reflect this non-uniformity by using empirical estimates of fossil preservation that are spatially and temporally partitioned, or by using indirect proxies of fossil preservation. Geologically, realistic models of preservation will provide substantially more reliable estimates of the origination of clades.This article is part of the themed issue 'Dating species divergences using rocks and clocks'.

  20. 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.

  1. Radio properties of fossil galaxy groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miraghaei, H.; Khosroshahi, H. G.

    2016-09-01

    We study 1.4 GHz radio properties of a sample of fossil galaxy groups using GMRT radio observations and the FIRST survey catalog. Fossil galaxy groups, having no recent major mergers in their dominant galaxies and also group scale mergers, give us the opportunity to investigate the effect of galaxy merger on AGN activity. In this work, we compare the radio properties of a rich sample of fossil groups with a sample of normal galaxy groups and clusters and show that the brightest group galaxies in fossil groups are under luminous at 1.4 GHz, relative to the general population of the brightest group galaxies, indicating that the dynamically relaxed nature of fossil groups has influenced the AGN activity in their dominant galaxy.

  2. Fossil skulls reveal that blood flow rate to the brain increased faster than brain volume during human evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seymour, Roger S.; Bosiocic, Vanya; Snelling, Edward P.

    2016-08-01

    The evolution of human cognition has been inferred from anthropological discoveries and estimates of brain size from fossil skulls. A more direct measure of cognition would be cerebral metabolic rate, which is proportional to cerebral blood flow rate (perfusion). The hominin cerebrum is supplied almost exclusively by the internal carotid arteries. The sizes of the foramina that transmitted these vessels in life can be measured in hominin fossil skulls and used to calculate cerebral perfusion rate. Perfusion in 11 species of hominin ancestors, from Australopithecus to archaic Homo sapiens, increases disproportionately when scaled against brain volume (the allometric exponent is 1.41). The high exponent indicates an increase in the metabolic intensity of cerebral tissue in later Homo species, rather than remaining constant (1.0) as expected by a linear increase in neuron number, or decreasing according to Kleiber's Law (0.75). During 3 Myr of hominin evolution, cerebral tissue perfusion increased 1.7-fold, which, when multiplied by a 3.5-fold increase in brain size, indicates a 6.0-fold increase in total cerebral blood flow rate. This is probably associated with increased interneuron connectivity, synaptic activity and cognitive function, which all ultimately depend on cerebral metabolic rate.

  3. 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.

  4. Basicranial anatomy of Plio-Pleistocene hominids from East and South Africa.

    PubMed

    Dean, M C; Wood, B A

    1982-10-01

    The results of a metrical analysis of the basicranium of 19 Plio-Pleistocene fossil hominid crania are presented. The sample includes crania attributed to Australopithecus africanus, Australopithecus boisei, and robustus, and Homo erectus as well as crania whose attribution is still under discussion. These results confirm significant differences between the cranial base patterns of the "gracile" and "robust" australopithecines and the three crania attributed to Homo erectus have a pattern which resembles that of modern humans. None of the crania examined from East Africa sites have base patterns which resemble that of the "gracile" australopithecines. The crania KNM-ER 407 and 732 have patterns which are compatible with them being smaller-bodied females of Australopithecus boisei; KNM-ER 1470 and 1813 have base patterns which most closely resemble that of Homo erectus. The cranial base pattern of KNM-ER 1805 is compatible with its inclusion in either Australopithecus boisei or Homo. When account is taken of the immaturity of Taung, the evidence of its cranial base pattern suggests that if it had reached adulthood it would have resembled the "gracile" australopithecine crania from Sterkfontein and Makapansgat.

  5. Basicranial anatomy of Plio-Pleistocene hominids from East and South Africa.

    PubMed

    Dean, M C; Wood, B A

    1982-10-01

    The results of a metrical analysis of the basicranium of 19 Plio-Pleistocene fossil hominid crania are presented. The sample includes crania attributed to Australopithecus africanus, Australopithecus boisei, and robustus, and Homo erectus as well as crania whose attribution is still under discussion. These results confirm significant differences between the cranial base patterns of the "gracile" and "robust" australopithecines and the three crania attributed to Homo erectus have a pattern which resembles that of modern humans. None of the crania examined from East Africa sites have base patterns which resemble that of the "gracile" australopithecines. The crania KNM-ER 407 and 732 have patterns which are compatible with them being smaller-bodied females of Australopithecus boisei; KNM-ER 1470 and 1813 have base patterns which most closely resemble that of Homo erectus. The cranial base pattern of KNM-ER 1805 is compatible with its inclusion in either Australopithecus boisei or Homo. When account is taken of the immaturity of Taung, the evidence of its cranial base pattern suggests that if it had reached adulthood it would have resembled the "gracile" australopithecine crania from Sterkfontein and Makapansgat. PMID:6816071

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. The Omo-Turkana Basin fossil hominins and their contribution to our understanding of human evolution in Africa.

    PubMed

    Wood, Bernard; Leakey, Meave

    2011-01-01

    The Omo-Turkana Basin, including the hominin fossil sites around Lake Turkana and the sites along the lower reaches of the Omo River, has made and continues to make an important contribution to improving our murky understanding of human evolution. This review highlights the various ways the Omo-Turkana Basin fossil record has contributed to, and continues to challenge, interpretations of human evolution. Despite many diagrams that look suspiciously like comprehensive hypotheses about human evolutionary history, any sensible paleoanthropologist knows that the early hominin fossil record is too meager to do anything other than offer very provisional statements about hominin taxonomy and phylogeny. If history tells us anything, it is that we still have much to learn about the hominin clade. Thus, we summarize the current state of knowledge of the hominin species represented at the Omo-Turkana Basin sites. We then focus on three specific topics for which the fossil evidence is especially relevant: the origin and nature of Paranthropus; the origin and nature of early Homo; and the ongoing debate about whether the pattern of human evolution is more consistent with speciation by cladogenesis, with greater taxonomic diversity or with speciation by anagenetic transformation, resulting in less taxonomic diversity and a more linear interpretation of human evolutionary history. PMID:22170695

  9. 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.

  10. The long and winding road to the structure of homo-DNA.

    PubMed

    Egli, Martin; Lubini, Paolo; Pallan, Pradeep S

    2007-01-01

    Homo-DNA ((4'-->6')-linked oligo-2',3'-dideoxy-beta-D-glucopyranose nucleic acid) constitutes the earliest synthetic model system whose pairing properties have been studied within an etiology of nucleic acid structure. Its conception as part of a program directed at a rationalization of Nature's selection of pentoses over other candidates as the carbohydrate building block in the genetic material was motivated by the question: why pentose and not hexose? Homo-DNA forms an autonomous pairing system and its duplexes are entropically stabilized relative to DNA duplexes. Moreover, the base pairing priorities in homo-DNA duplexes differ from those in DNA. A deeper understanding of the particular properties of homo-DNA requires knowledge of its structure. Although diffraction data for crystals of a homo-DNA octamer duplex were available to medium resolution in the mid-1990s, it took another decade for the structure to be solved. In this tutorial Review we describe the odyssey from the crystallization to the final structure determination with its many failures and disappointments and the development of selenium chemistry to derivatize nucleic acids for crystallographic phasing. More than fifty years after the discovery of the DNA double helix, the story of homo-DNA also provides a demonstration of the limits of theoretical models and offers a fresh view of fundamental issues in regard to the natural nucleic acids, such as the origins of antiparallel pairing and helicality.

  11. Molecular characterization of the homo-phytochelatin synthase of soybean Glycine max: relation to phytochelatin synthase.

    PubMed

    Oven, Matjaz; Page, Jonathan E; Zenk, Meinhart H; Kutchan, Toni M

    2002-02-15

    The phytochelatin homologs homo-phytochelatins are heavy metal-binding peptides present in many legumes. To study the biosynthesis of these compounds, we have isolated and functionally expressed a cDNA GmhPCS1 encoding homo-phytochelatin synthase from Glycine max, a plant known to accumulate homo-phytochelatins rather than phytochelatins upon the exposure to heavy metals. The catalytic properties of GmhPCS1 were compared with the phytochelatin synthase AtPCS1 from Arabidopsis thaliana. When assayed only in the presence of glutathione, both enzymes catalyzed phytochelatin formation. GmhPCS1 accepted homoglutathione as the sole substrate for the synthesis of homo-phytochelatins whereas AtPCS1 did not. Homo-phytochelatin synthesis activity of both recombinant enzymes was significantly higher when glutathione was included in the reaction mixture. The incorporation of both glutathione and homoglutathione into homo-phytochelatin, n = 2, was demonstrated using GmhPCS1 and AtPCS1. In addition to bis(glutathionato)-metal complexes, various other metal-thiolates were shown to contribute to the activation of phytochelatin synthase. These complexes were not accepted as substrates by the enzyme, thereby suggesting that a recently proposed model of activation cannot fully explain the catalytic mechanism of phytochelatin synthase (Vatamaniuk, O. K., Mari, S., Lu, Y. P., and Rea, P. A. (2000) J. Biol. Chem. 275, 31451-31459). PMID:11706029

  12. The long and winding road to the structure of homo-DNA.

    PubMed

    Egli, Martin; Lubini, Paolo; Pallan, Pradeep S

    2007-01-01

    Homo-DNA ((4'-->6')-linked oligo-2',3'-dideoxy-beta-D-glucopyranose nucleic acid) constitutes the earliest synthetic model system whose pairing properties have been studied within an etiology of nucleic acid structure. Its conception as part of a program directed at a rationalization of Nature's selection of pentoses over other candidates as the carbohydrate building block in the genetic material was motivated by the question: why pentose and not hexose? Homo-DNA forms an autonomous pairing system and its duplexes are entropically stabilized relative to DNA duplexes. Moreover, the base pairing priorities in homo-DNA duplexes differ from those in DNA. A deeper understanding of the particular properties of homo-DNA requires knowledge of its structure. Although diffraction data for crystals of a homo-DNA octamer duplex were available to medium resolution in the mid-1990s, it took another decade for the structure to be solved. In this tutorial Review we describe the odyssey from the crystallization to the final structure determination with its many failures and disappointments and the development of selenium chemistry to derivatize nucleic acids for crystallographic phasing. More than fifty years after the discovery of the DNA double helix, the story of homo-DNA also provides a demonstration of the limits of theoretical models and offers a fresh view of fundamental issues in regard to the natural nucleic acids, such as the origins of antiparallel pairing and helicality. PMID:17173143

  13. Cycling operation of fossil plants

    SciTech Connect

    Bhatnagar, U.S.; Weiss, M.D.; White, W.H. ); Buchanan, T.L.; Harvey, L.E.; Shewchuk, P.K.; Weinstein, R.E. )

    1991-05-01

    This report presents a methodology for examining the economic feasibility of converting fossil power plants from baseload to cycling service. It employs this approach to examine a proposed change of Pepco's Potomac River units 3, 4, and 5 from baseload operation of two-shift cycling. The project team first reviewed all components and listed potential cycling effects involved in the conversion of Potomac River units 3, 4, and 5. They developed general cycling plant screening criteria including the number of hot, warm, or cold restart per year and desired load ramp rates. In addition, they evaluated specific limitations on the boiler, turbine, and the balance of plant. They estimated the remaining life of the facility through component evaluation and boiler testing and also identified and prioritized potential component deficiencies by their impact on key operational factors: safety, heat rate, turn down, startup/shutdown time, and plant availability. They developed solutions to these problems; and, since many solutions mitigate more than one problem, they combined and reprioritized these synergistic solutions. Economic assessments were performed on all solutions. 13 figs., 20 tabs.

  14. 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.

  15. Selective Preservation of Fossil Ghost Fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meacham, Amanda

    2016-04-01

    A unique type of fossil fish preservation has been discovered in the Angelo Member (Fossil Lake) of the Green River Formation. The Angelo Member is a predominately evaporative deposit dominated by dolomite, but contains facies of fossiliferous laminated calcimicrite. Fossil fish occurring in two beds conspicuously lack bones. Fish in the lower bed are only preserved as organic material, including skin, pigments, and eyes. Fish in the upper bed have three-dimensional etching where bones once existed but also contain skin, pigments, and eyes. The top third of the upper bed often contains calcite crystals that are pseudomorphs after trona and possibly halite. Preliminary mineralogical analysis and mapping of evaporate facies suggests that this unique preservation may be related to lake geochemical conditions, such as high pH and alkalinity. To our knowledge, this is the first time this type of preservation has been observed and studied. Fossils and sediments within these beds are being studied both vertically and laterally through the one-meter thick sequence containing the fossil fish using XRD, isotopic, SEM, thin section, and total organic carbon analysis. Nine quarries, 0.5-1 meter square, were excavated for both fossils and rock samples along with 17 additional rock sample locations across an approximately 25-kilometer square region. This investigation has the capability of reconstructing the paleoenvironment and lake chemistry of Fossil Lake during the deposition of the "ghost-fish" beds and solving the mystery of the "missing bones" and the unusual process of preservation.

  16. 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

  17. Bayesian phylogenetic estimation of fossil ages

    PubMed Central

    Drummond, Alexei J.; Stadler, Tanja

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances have allowed for both morphological fossil evidence and molecular sequences to be integrated into a single combined inference of divergence dates under the rule of Bayesian probability. In particular, the fossilized birth–death tree prior and the Lewis-Mk model of discrete morphological evolution allow for the estimation of both divergence times and phylogenetic relationships between fossil and extant taxa. We exploit this statistical framework to investigate the internal consistency of these models by producing phylogenetic estimates of the age of each fossil in turn, within two rich and well-characterized datasets of fossil and extant species (penguins and canids). We find that the estimation accuracy of fossil ages is generally high with credible intervals seldom excluding the true age and median relative error in the two datasets of 5.7% and 13.2%, respectively. The median relative standard error (RSD) was 9.2% and 7.2%, respectively, suggesting good precision, although with some outliers. In fact, in the two datasets we analyse, the phylogenetic estimate of fossil age is on average less than 2 Myr from the mid-point age of the geological strata from which it was excavated. The high level of internal consistency found in our analyses suggests that the Bayesian statistical model employed is an adequate fit for both the geological and morphological data, and provides evidence from real data that the framework used can accurately model the evolution of discrete morphological traits coded from fossil and extant taxa. We anticipate that this approach will have diverse applications beyond divergence time dating, including dating fossils that are temporally unconstrained, testing of the ‘morphological clock', and for uncovering potential model misspecification and/or data errors when controversial phylogenetic hypotheses are obtained based on combined divergence dating analyses. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Dating species divergences

  18. Bayesian phylogenetic estimation of fossil ages.

    PubMed

    Drummond, Alexei J; Stadler, Tanja

    2016-07-19

    Recent advances have allowed for both morphological fossil evidence and molecular sequences to be integrated into a single combined inference of divergence dates under the rule of Bayesian probability. In particular, the fossilized birth-death tree prior and the Lewis-Mk model of discrete morphological evolution allow for the estimation of both divergence times and phylogenetic relationships between fossil and extant taxa. We exploit this statistical framework to investigate the internal consistency of these models by producing phylogenetic estimates of the age of each fossil in turn, within two rich and well-characterized datasets of fossil and extant species (penguins and canids). We find that the estimation accuracy of fossil ages is generally high with credible intervals seldom excluding the true age and median relative error in the two datasets of 5.7% and 13.2%, respectively. The median relative standard error (RSD) was 9.2% and 7.2%, respectively, suggesting good precision, although with some outliers. In fact, in the two datasets we analyse, the phylogenetic estimate of fossil age is on average less than 2 Myr from the mid-point age of the geological strata from which it was excavated. The high level of internal consistency found in our analyses suggests that the Bayesian statistical model employed is an adequate fit for both the geological and morphological data, and provides evidence from real data that the framework used can accurately model the evolution of discrete morphological traits coded from fossil and extant taxa. We anticipate that this approach will have diverse applications beyond divergence time dating, including dating fossils that are temporally unconstrained, testing of the 'morphological clock', and for uncovering potential model misspecification and/or data errors when controversial phylogenetic hypotheses are obtained based on combined divergence dating analyses.This article is part of the themed issue 'Dating species divergences using

  19. Bayesian phylogenetic estimation of fossil ages.

    PubMed

    Drummond, Alexei J; Stadler, Tanja

    2016-07-19

    Recent advances have allowed for both morphological fossil evidence and molecular sequences to be integrated into a single combined inference of divergence dates under the rule of Bayesian probability. In particular, the fossilized birth-death tree prior and the Lewis-Mk model of discrete morphological evolution allow for the estimation of both divergence times and phylogenetic relationships between fossil and extant taxa. We exploit this statistical framework to investigate the internal consistency of these models by producing phylogenetic estimates of the age of each fossil in turn, within two rich and well-characterized datasets of fossil and extant species (penguins and canids). We find that the estimation accuracy of fossil ages is generally high with credible intervals seldom excluding the true age and median relative error in the two datasets of 5.7% and 13.2%, respectively. The median relative standard error (RSD) was 9.2% and 7.2%, respectively, suggesting good precision, although with some outliers. In fact, in the two datasets we analyse, the phylogenetic estimate of fossil age is on average less than 2 Myr from the mid-point age of the geological strata from which it was excavated. The high level of internal consistency found in our analyses suggests that the Bayesian statistical model employed is an adequate fit for both the geological and morphological data, and provides evidence from real data that the framework used can accurately model the evolution of discrete morphological traits coded from fossil and extant taxa. We anticipate that this approach will have diverse applications beyond divergence time dating, including dating fossils that are temporally unconstrained, testing of the 'morphological clock', and for uncovering potential model misspecification and/or data errors when controversial phylogenetic hypotheses are obtained based on combined divergence dating analyses.This article is part of the themed issue 'Dating species divergences using

  20. Further morphological evidence on South African earliest Homo lower postcanine dentition: Enamel thickness and enamel dentine junction.

    PubMed

    Pan, Lei; Dumoncel, Jean; de Beer, Frikkie; Hoffman, Jakobus; Thackeray, John Francis; Duployer, Benjamin; Tenailleau, Christophe; Braga, José

    2016-07-01

    The appearance of the earliest members of the genus Homo in South Africa represents a key event in human evolution. Although enamel thickness and enamel dentine junction (EDJ) morphology preserve important information about hominin systematics and dietary adaptation, these features have not been sufficiently studied with regard to early Homo. We used micro-CT to compare enamel thickness and EDJ morphology among the mandibular postcanine dentitions of South African early hominins (N = 30) and extant Homo sapiens (N = 26), with special reference to early members of the genus Homo. We found that South African early Homo shows a similar enamel thickness distribution pattern to modern humans, although three-dimensional average and relative enamel thicknesses do not distinguish australopiths, early Homo, and modern humans particularly well. Based on enamel thickness distributions, our study suggests that a dietary shift occurred between australopiths and the origin of the Homo lineage. We also observed that South African early Homo postcanine EDJ combined primitive traits seen in australopith molars with derived features observed in modern human premolars. Our results confirm that some dental morphological patterns in later Homo actually occurred early in the Homo lineage, and highlight the taxonomic value of premolar EDJ morphology in hominin species.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. Microbial Fossils Detected in Desert Varnish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-03-01

    Desert varnish, a mixture of clays, Mn-oxides, and Fe-oxides, is a potential terrestrial analogue to Martian hematite. A scanning electron microscopic examination of samples from Pilbara, Australia revealed evidence of microbial fossilization.

  6. Evolution: Fossil Ears and Underwater Sonar.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Olivier

    2016-08-22

    A key innovation in the history of whales was the evolution of a sonar system together with high-frequency hearing. Fossils of an archaic toothed whale's inner ear bones provide clues for a stepwise emergence of underwater echolocation ability.

  7. 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.

  8. Comparative analyses of quaternary arrangements in homo-oligomeric proteins in superfamilies: Functional implications.

    PubMed

    Sudha, Govindarajan; Srinivasan, Narayanaswamy

    2016-09-01

    A comprehensive analysis of the quaternary features of distantly related homo-oligomeric proteins is the focus of the current study. This study has been performed at the levels of quaternary state, symmetry, and quaternary structure. Quaternary state and quaternary structure refers to the number of subunits and spatial arrangements of subunits, respectively. Using a large dataset of available 3D structures of biologically relevant assemblies, we show that only 53% of the distantly related homo-oligomeric proteins have the same quaternary state. Considering these homologous homo-oligomers with the same quaternary state, conservation of quaternary structures is observed only in 38% of the pairs. In 36% of the pairs of distantly related homo-oligomers with different quaternary states the larger assembly in a pair shows high structural similarity with the entire quaternary structure of the related protein with lower quaternary state and it is referred as "Russian doll effect." The differences in quaternary state and structure have been suggested to contribute to the functional diversity. Detailed investigations show that even though the gross functions of many distantly related homo-oligomers are the same, finer level differences in molecular functions are manifested by differences in quaternary states and structures. Comparison of structures of biological assemblies in distantly and closely related homo-oligomeric proteins throughout the study differentiates the effects of sequence divergence on the quaternary structures and function. Knowledge inferred from this study can provide insights for improved protein structure classification and function prediction of homo-oligomers. Proteins 2016; 84:1190-1202. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Reconciling molecular phylogenies with the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Morlon, Hélène; Parsons, Todd L; Plotkin, Joshua B

    2011-09-27

    Historical patterns of species diversity inferred from phylogenies typically contradict the direct evidence found in the fossil record. According to the fossil record, species frequently go extinct, and many clades experience periods of dramatic diversity loss. However, most analyses of molecular phylogenies fail to identify any periods of declining diversity, and they typically infer low levels of extinction. This striking inconsistency between phylogenies and fossils limits our understanding of macroevolution, and it undermines our confidence in phylogenetic inference. Here, we show that realistic extinction rates and diversity trajectories can be inferred from molecular phylogenies. To make this inference, we derive an analytic expression for the likelihood of a phylogeny that accommodates scenarios of declining diversity, time-variable rates, and incomplete sampling; we show that this likelihood expression reliably detects periods of diversity loss using simulation. We then study the cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), a group for which standard phylogenetic inferences are strikingly inconsistent with fossil data. When the cetacean phylogeny is considered as a whole, recently radiating clades, such as the Balaneopteridae, Delphinidae, Phocoenidae, and Ziphiidae, mask the signal of extinctions. However, when isolating these groups, we infer diversity dynamics that are consistent with the fossil record. These results reconcile molecular phylogenies with fossil data, and they suggest that most extant cetaceans arose from four recent radiations, with a few additional species arising from clades that have been in decline over the last ~10 Myr. PMID:21930899

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Köhler, Meike; Moyà-Solà, Salvador

    2009-12-01

    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 approximately 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. African fossil tali: further multivariate morphometric studies.

    PubMed

    Lisowski, F P; Albrecht, G H

    1976-07-01

    Analysis of measurements from the tali of 21 individual fossil primates from Africa shows that the specimens fall into five clearly defined groups. Accordingly, these specimens have been included as groups along with extant species in a subsequent canonical analysis thus allowing the fossils to play their part in the determination of the canonical separations. The results of this procedure show that the five fossil groups lie in a part of the canonical space not occupied by any extant African primate. Their positions are between the envelope of Asiatic apes (Hylobates and Pongo) and the envelope of African forms near the edge which contains Pan and Papio. One fossil group is so similar to Hylobates that its talus may have functioned in locomotion in a parallel manner. Others lie near to Pongo in directions proceeding towards Pan and Papio and it is possible that this similarity may indicate remnants of morphological adaptation for climbing in these fossils. At the same time, however, individual specimens are closer to one or another of the extant groups and this considerable spread suggests that the locomotor adaptations as evidenced by talar morphology, of the primate fauna in Africa, may have been very different from those of the present day. This would not the inconsistent with the different habitats, floras and non-primate faunas that may have characterized the East African scene at these earlier times. Particular fossils from Olduvai and Kromdraai that are supposed to be australopithecine and therefore bipeds, are confirmed (Oxnard, '72; Lisowski et al., '74) as being totally different from man in their talar morphology and essentially rather similar to the majority of the other fossil tali examined. PMID:961834

  20. Paleomagnetic dates of hominid remains from Yuanmou, China, and other Asian sites.

    PubMed

    Hyodo, Masayuki; Nakaya, Hideo; Urabe, Atsushi; Saegusa, Haruo; Shunrong, Xue; Jiyun, Yin; Xuepin, Ji

    2002-07-01

    Two hominid upper central incisors found in the Yuanmou Basin in southwest China in 1965 have affinities with Homo erectus fossils from Zhoukoudian, but exhibit primitive features. The Yuanmou hominid remains are alleged to be coeval with or older than African specimens dated at about 1.8 m.y.a. Recent age refinements of geomagnetic short reversal events and excursions permit assigning the Yuanmou hominid-bearing bed to the early Brunhes chron (about 0.7 m.y.a.). Magnetochronological assessments confirm that the Lantian calotte which has been dated to about 1.2 m.y.a., is the oldest reliable evidence for the emergence of Homo in eastern Asia as well as China, and that hominid fossils from Sangiran and Mojokerto, Java, do not exceed 1.1 Ma in age. These results refute the view that the genus Homo migrated into eastern Asia in the late Pliocene or the earliest Pleistocene. PMID:12098208

  1. 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).

  2. Actions of picrotoxinin analogues on an expressed, homo-oligomeric GABA receptor of Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Shirai, Y; Hosie, A M; Buckingham, S D; Holyoke, C W; Baylis, H A; Sattelle, D B

    1995-04-01

    The actions of picrotoxinin and four of its analogues were tested on a Drosophila melanogaster homo-oligomeric GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptor formed when RDL (resistance to dieldrin) subunits were expressed in Xenopus oocytes. In agreement with previously reported studies on native insect GABA receptors and native expressed vertebrate GABA receptors, acetylation of the bridgehead hydroxyl group (picrotoxinin acetate) greatly reduced the activity of the molecule, but surprisingly, substitution with flourine at the same position also reduced the activity. Conversion of the terminal isopropenyl group to an acetyl (alpha-picrotoxinone) or hydration of the double bond (picrotin) also reduced activity, in agreement with findings for native insect and mammalian receptors. The present results suggest that interactions of convulsants with homo-oligomeric and multimeric GABA receptors are qualitatively similar. Thus, the RDL homo-oligomer exhibits a pharmacological profile for picrotoxinin analogues resembling that of native GABA receptors. PMID:7603613

  3. Significance of some previously unrecognized apomorphies in the nasal region of Homo neanderthalensis.

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, J H; Tattersall, I

    1996-01-01

    For many years, the Neanderthals have been recognized as a distinctive extinct hominid group that occupied Europe and western Asia between about 200,000 and 30,000 years ago. It is still debated, however, whether these hominids belong in their own species, Homo neanderthalensis, or represent an extinct variant of Homo sapiens. Our ongoing studies indicate that the Neanderthals differ from modern humans in their skeletal anatomy in more ways than have been recognized up to now. The purpose of this contribution is to describe specializations of the Neanderthal internal nasal region that make them unique not only among hominids but possibly among terrestrial mammals in general as well. These features lend additional weight to the suggestion that Neanderthals are specifically distinct from Homo sapiens. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 PMID:8855270

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-14

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. A fungal analog for newfoundland ediacaran fossils?

    PubMed

    Peterson, Kevin J; Waggoner, Ben; Hagadorn, James W

    2003-02-01

    We propose that some of the more conspicuous Ediacaran fossils from the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland, including Aspidella, Charnia, and Charniodiscus, were biologically similar to members of the Kingdom Fungi. These organisms were multicellular or multinuclear, lived below the photic zone, could not move or defoul themselves, did not exhibit taphonomic shrinkage, and were not transported or moved. Aspidella, in particular, appears to exhibit indeterminate growth without a maximum size constraint, and appears to show growth zonations similar to modern mycelia. Other fossils from this deposit exhibit a fractal-like growth pattern. Together, these features falsify algal, lichen, and metazoan interpretations of these fossils, yet reflect characteristics of modern fungal mycelia. We emphasize that although no Mistaken Point fossil appears to be a metazoan, not all of the Mistaken Point taxa, and not all of the Ediacaran organisms in general, can reasonably be interpreted using a fungal analogy. Furthermore, the hypothesis that these fossils were functionally fungus-like need not imply that the organisms were members of the crown-group Fungi. We propose further tests for evaluating both this functional hypothesis and the phylogenetic hypothesis that these organisms were members of the total-group Fungi.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Fossil mammoths from Santa Cruz Island, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cushing, John; Daily, Marla; Noble, Elmer; Louise Roth, V.; Wenner, Adrian

    1984-05-01

    Mammoth remains on Santa Cruz Island, one of the four Northern Channel Islands of California, are very sparse, in marked contrast to those reported from Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands of the same island group. A probable major reason for this scarcity is that Quaternary deposits are greatly restricted on Santa Cruz Island. It is proposed, contrary to popular opinion, that fossils found on Santa Cruz Island were derived from animals which died on the island, and were not transported there by humans. Reasons for this conclusion are that the size and geological context of the fossils are similar to those of the largest mammoth fossils of Santa Rosa Island, and that, in spite of extensive investigations by many persons, mammoth remains have not been found in middens, either on the islands or on the adjacent mainland.

  13. Eumetazoan fossils in terminal proterozoic phosphorites?

    PubMed

    Xiao, S; Yuan, X; Knoll, A H

    2000-12-01

    Phosphatic sedimentary rocks preserve a record of early animal life different from and complementary to that provided by Ediacaran fossils in terminal Proterozoic sandstones and shales. Phosphorites of the Doushantuo Formation, South China, contain eggs, egg cases, and stereoblastulae that document animals of unspecified phylogenetic position; small fossils containing putative spicules may specifically record the presence of sponges. Microfossils recently interpreted as the preserved gastrulae of cnidarian and bilaterian metazoans can alternatively be interpreted as conventional algal cysts and/or egg cases modified by diagenetic processes known to have had a pervasive influence on Doushantuo phosphorites. Regardless of this interpretation, evidence for Doushantuo eumetazoans is provided by millimeter-scale tubes that display tabulation and apical budding characteristic of some Cnidaria, especially the extinct tabulates. Like some Ediacaran remains, these small, benthic, colonial fossils may represent stem-group eumetazoans or stem-group cnidarians that lived in the late Proterozoic ocean. PMID:11095754

  14. Education Program on Fossil Resources Including Coal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Usami, Masahiro

    Fossil fuels including coal play a key role as crucial energies in contributing to economic development in Asia. On the other hand, its limited quantity and the environmental problems causing from its usage have become a serious global issue and a countermeasure to solve such problems is very much demanded. Along with the pursuit of sustainable development, environmentally-friendly use of highly efficient fossil resources should be therefore, accompanied. Kyushu-university‧s sophisticated research through long years of accumulated experience on the fossil resources and environmental sectors together with the advanced large-scale commercial and empirical equipments will enable us to foster cooperative research and provide internship program for the future researchers. Then, this program is executed as a consignment business from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry from 2007 fiscal year to 2009 fiscal year. The lecture that uses the textbooks developed by this program is scheduled to be started a course in fiscal year 2010.

  15. Fossil evidence of the zygomycetous fungi.

    PubMed

    Krings, M; Taylor, T N; Dotzler, N

    2013-06-01

    Molecular clock data indicate that the first zygomycetous fungi occurred on Earth during the Precambrian, however, fossil evidence of these organisms has been slow to accumulate. In this paper, the fossil record of the zygomycetous fungi is compiled, with a focus on structurally preserved Carboniferous and Triassic fossils interpreted as zygosporangium-gametangia complexes and resembling those of modern Endogonales. Enigmatic microfossils from the Precambrian to Cenozoic that have variously been interpreted as, or compared to, zygomycetous fungi are also discussed. Among these, the spherical structures collectively termed 'sporocarps' are especially interesting because of their complex investments and abundance in certain Carboniferous and Triassic rocks. Circumstantial evidence suggests that at least some 'sporocarp' types represent mantled zygosporangia. Zygomycetous fungi probably were an important element in terrestrial paleoecosystems at least by the Carboniferous. PMID:24027344

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Eumetazoan fossils in terminal proterozoic phosphorites?

    PubMed

    Xiao, S; Yuan, X; Knoll, A H

    2000-12-01

    Phosphatic sedimentary rocks preserve a record of early animal life different from and complementary to that provided by Ediacaran fossils in terminal Proterozoic sandstones and shales. Phosphorites of the Doushantuo Formation, South China, contain eggs, egg cases, and stereoblastulae that document animals of unspecified phylogenetic position; small fossils containing putative spicules may specifically record the presence of sponges. Microfossils recently interpreted as the preserved gastrulae of cnidarian and bilaterian metazoans can alternatively be interpreted as conventional algal cysts and/or egg cases modified by diagenetic processes known to have had a pervasive influence on Doushantuo phosphorites. Regardless of this interpretation, evidence for Doushantuo eumetazoans is provided by millimeter-scale tubes that display tabulation and apical budding characteristic of some Cnidaria, especially the extinct tabulates. Like some Ediacaran remains, these small, benthic, colonial fossils may represent stem-group eumetazoans or stem-group cnidarians that lived in the late Proterozoic ocean.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Scatological origin of microvertebrate fossil accumulations.

    PubMed

    Mellett, J S

    1974-07-26

    Small-mammal bone found in Recent carnivore droppings (scat) is identical in appearance with that in many Mesozoic and Tertiary microvertebrate fossil collections. Such fossil specimens passed into or through the digestive tracts of carnivores before being left as scat that was later reworked into sedimentary rocks. The term "coprocoenosis" is proposed for such an assemblage. Caution is urged in drawing conclusions about the composition of paleocommunities because carnivores can catch prey representing several different communities and leave a mixed assemblage in a particular depositional environment.

  9. 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...

  10. 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…

  11. Brief communication: evidence bearing on the status of Homo habilis at Olduvai Gorge.

    PubMed

    Susman, Randall L

    2008-11-01

    Students of the early hominin career have debated the status of Homo habilis since its discovery in 1960. Today discussion centers on which specimens should be included in the species and what constitutes the holotype. Recent reviews of early Homo suggest that the Olduvai Hominid 8 foot may sample Paranthropus while the OH 7 skull bones, mandible, and hand sample H. habilis. Moreover, some suggest that while H. habilis in Middle Bed I at Olduvai is craniodentally Homo-like, the postcranial skeleton of H. habilis is more like that of Australopithecus. Evidence presented here indicates not only that OH 7 and OH 8 represent H. habilis but also that they come from a single individual. The association of OH 35 with OH 7 and OH 8 is less certain. Morphological, pathological, and taphonomic evidence favors the inclusion of OH 35 in the holotype. However, stratigraphic evidence suggests that OH 35 and OH 8 are not coterminous. With or without OH 35, the holotype of H. habilis ranks as one of the most complete early hominin skeletons and the most complete and functionally informative specimen of early Homo. PMID:18661473

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Can extinction rates be estimated without fossils?

    PubMed

    Paradis, Emmanuel

    2004-07-01

    There is considerable interest in the possibility of using molecular phylogenies to estimate extinction rates. The present study aims at assessing the statistical performance of the birth-death model fitting approach to estimate speciation and extinction rates by comparison to the approach considering fossil data. A simulation-based approach was used. The diversification of a large number of lineages was simulated under a wide range of speciation and extinction rate values. The estimators obtained with fossils performed better than those without fossils. In the absence of fossils (e.g. with a molecular phylogeny), the speciation rate was correctly estimated in a wide range of situations; the bias of the corresponding estimator was close to zero for the largest trees. However, this estimator was substantially biased when the simulated extinction rate was high. On the other hand the estimator of extinction rate was biased in a wide range of situations. Surprisingly, this bias was lesser with medium-sized trees. Some recommendations for interpreting results from a diversification analysis are given.

  16. Evolution: Fossil Ears and Underwater Sonar.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Olivier

    2016-08-22

    A key innovation in the history of whales was the evolution of a sonar system together with high-frequency hearing. Fossils of an archaic toothed whale's inner ear bones provide clues for a stepwise emergence of underwater echolocation ability. PMID:27554653

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

  20. Fundamentals of fossil simulator instructor training

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-01-01

    This single-volume, looseleaf text introduces the beginning instructor to fundamental instructor training principles, and then shows how to apply those principles to fossil simulator training. Topics include the fundamentals of classroom instruction, the learning process, course development, and the specifics of simulator training program development.

  1. 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.

  2. From Fossils to Facts to Stories.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hungerford, Harold R.; Steinruck, Yvonne Siv

    1978-01-01

    Eight steps are outlined for presenting a combined science/language experience unit to primary students, in which the children observe and discuss a phenomenon and dictate a group report. Sample projects with fossils, magnets, and air pressure are described. (SJL)

  3. 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)

  4. Fossil fuels supplies modeling and research

    SciTech Connect

    Leiby, P.N.

    1996-06-01

    The fossil fuel supplies modeling and research effort focuses on models for US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) planning and management. Topics covered included new SPR oil valuation models, updating models for SPR risk analysis, and fill-draw planning. Another task in this program area is the development of advanced computational tools for three-dimensional seismic analysis.

  5. The natural history of the helicoidal occlusal plane and its evolution in early Homo.

    PubMed

    Tobias, P V

    1980-08-01

    In modern man the pitch of the occlusal plane may vary along the tooth-row. When anterior cheek-teeth show a plane sloping upward palatally, whilst that on posterior cheek-teeth slopes upward buccally, there results a twisted or helicoidal occlusal plane (Ackermann). Several hypotheses have been proposed for the structural basis of the helicoidal occlusal plane. Campbell's proposal ('25) has gained widest acceptance, namely that the helicoid results from anteroposterior differences in upper and lower alveolar arch width. In the early 1960s, while studying the Olduvai hominids assigned to Homo habilis, the author noted changing occlusal slopes along the tooth-row and a slight helicoid, although these featues had not been noted in other early hominids. Subsequently, Wallace showed a total absence of the helicoid from South African australopithecines, and its presence in Swartkrans Homo, SK 45 and SK 80. Recent studies confirm the presence of the helicoid in all available specimens of H. habilis, including Stw 53 found at Sterkfontein in 1976. Hence, this trait may distinguish between Australopithecus and early Homo. Measurements of the maxillary arch widths have shown that, whereas in Australopithecus arch widths increase to a maximum at M3, in early Homo maxillary arch widths are greatest at M2. The decline in posterior maxillary arch width is part of a general reduction of that region. Thus despite striking elongation of premolars and M1 in early Homo, M2 and M3 are mesiodistally abbreviated. It is hypothesized that the onset of posterior arch reduction, with the appearance of a helicoid, was a structural and functional concomitant of the transition from the presumed australopithecine ancestor to H. habilis. PMID:6774617

  6. Using Isotopes to Reconstruct Mammalian Diet, Migration and Paleoenvironment for Hominin Sites in Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wershow, H.; Janssen, R.; Vonhof, H.; Lubbe, J. V. D.; Joordens, J. J.; Koutamanis, D. S.; Puspaningrum, M. R.; de Vos, J.; Reijmer, J.

    2015-12-01

    Climate plays a prominent role in ecosystem development in the biodiversity hotspot Sundaland (Malaysia and western Indonesia) throughout the Quaternary. Recurrent isolation and connection of the islands to mainland Asia due to sea level fluctuations has enabled repeated biotic migrations and encouraged genetic speciation. These migration waves also brought Homo erectus to Java. Together with extensive and well-documented collections of other terrestrial species, these hominin fossils form faunal assemblages of which the paleoenvironmental and paleogeographical background is poorly known. Using carbon, oxygen and strontium isotopes, we have reconstructed the paleoenvironmental and paleoecological conditions of several Holocene and Pleistocene fossil sites on Sumatra and Java, Indonesia. Carbon (∂13C) and oxygen (∂18O) isotope analysis of well-preserved herbivore teeth enamel reveals a marked contrast between C3-dominated diets in warmer periods, and C4-dominated diets in cooler periods, reflecting the distinct changes in Sundaland vegetation cover between glacials and interglacials. These isotope patterns allow us to assign the appropriate climatic background to some of the older fossil assemblages from Java, for which dating uncertainty does not allow direct assignment to glacial or interglacial conditions. The stable isotope signatures of herbivores from Trinil and Sangiran, sites well-known for the fossil occurrence of Homo erectus, indicate glacial conditions. The isotope data of several H. erectus fossils from these sites seem to be in line with such an interpretation. Furthermore, we applied strontium (87Sr/86Sr) isotope analyses to a sample subset. The preliminary data show distinct Sr-isotope ratios for different sites, providing clues for the applicability of this isotope technique in detecting climate-related mobility of Sundaland fossil faunas.

  7. Models of diffusion-limited uptake of trace elements in fossils and rates of fossilization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohn, Matthew J.

    2008-08-01

    Many fossils are assumed to take up trace elements by a process of combined diffusion plus adsorption (DA), yet in principle composition profiles can be explained by several different diffusion-limited processes, including diffusion plus reaction or recrystallization (DR) and double-medium diffusion (DMD). The DA and DMD models are supported by REE and U composition profiles across fossil teeth, measured by laser-ablation ICP-MS, that show error-function - like diffusion profiles into enamel from the dentine-enamel interface and concentrations in the interior of enamel that are at original biogenic levels or higher. Published composition and age profiles in some Pleistocene bones may be better explained by a DR model. All three diffusion models imply linear behavior between age and distance squared, vastly simplifying U-series dating methods for Pleistocene fossils. Modeled uptake rates for fossil teeth yield a strict minimum bound on durations of about one decade to one century. The similarity of diffusion profiles in teeth, irrespective of depositional ages ranging from ˜30 ka to >30 Ma, implies that uptake occurred quickly, with a maximum duration of a few tens of kyr for typical fossil enamel; faster uptake is implied for typical fossil bone and dentine. Disparities in these uptake estimates compared to some archeological bone may reflect sampling and preservation bias for paleontological vs. archeological materials.

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

    PubMed

    Li, Qiang; Ni, Xijun

    2016-01-14

    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.

  9. 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

  10. [Raman spectra of fossil dinosaurs from different regions].

    PubMed

    Yang, Qun; Wang, Yi-lin

    2007-12-01

    Raman microscopic spectra in the higher wave number region were obtained from 7 fossil dinosaurs specimens from different regions. The specimens of fossil dinosaurs are different parts of bone. The Raman spectra of fossil dinosaurs indicate the high similarity among peak positions of different fossil dinosaurs; but important differences exist in the spectral peak figures. In the wave number region of 1000-1800 cm(-1) the Raman spectra of the same bone part fossils from different regions are very similar, example similarities between spectra of Lufeing backbone head and Yua nmou backbone head; Lufeng limb bone and Wuding limb bone. There are relations between the same bone part spectra of different fossil dinosaurs. The characteristic does not relate to regions. Raman spectra of fossil dinosaurs cannot be used to distinguish fossil source, although the part of bone can be used as an indicator to narrow the range of possible geographical origins.

  11. The living fossil of human judgment.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Michael

    2014-06-01

    Although the biases and anomalies characterizing psychometric data should serve as conclusive evidence of systematic flaws in scientific methodology, these problems are usually ignored, which reduces empirical psychology to the closed system of its error theory. However, psychometric scores are ambiguous, and response-shifts and fluctuating validities point to fundamental differences in what the measuring-apparatus questionnaire records and how the measuring-apparatus person judges. Therefore, empirical methods fail when psychology requires evidence-based knowledge about cognitive processes and phenomena. Correcting these flaws requires a reassessment of basic scientific premises and careful consideration of Homo sapiens' biosemiotic heuristics. Based on comprehensive biopsychosocial, data, the author reconstructs the evolutionary axioms of self-referenced cognitions and reveals what is usually obscured by the axioms of normal science. He substantiates the need for a paradigm shift toward basic bio-cultural principles and an evolutionary understanding of human thinking and behavior. PMID:24615167

  12. Probe into the Internal Mechanism of Interlanguage Fossilization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Qian

    2009-01-01

    Interlanguage fossilization is normal for second language acquisition. It is also a hotspot for studies on theory of foreign language acquisition. Many reasons cause the interlanguage fossilization. This paper probes into the internal mechanism of interlanguage fossilization from five aspects, namely the physiological aspect, the psychological…

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Cassini State Transitions with a Fossil Figure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuyama, Isamu; Tuttle Keane, James

    2016-10-01

    The Moon has experienced large obliquity variations during Cassini state transitions which greatly impact tidal heating, and the long-term stability of polar volatiles. It has been known for centuries that the lunar rotational and tidal bulges are much larger than expected. The South Pole-Aitken basin can explain a large fraction of the excess deformation. Accounting for the contribution of this basin (and other large basins), the remaining excess deformation arises due to a fossil figure established when the Moon orbited much closer to Earth than it does today. Previous studies assume that the present, excess deformation is entirely preserved throughout Cassini state transitions. This ignores basin contributions to the excess deformation, and requires an interior with infinite rigidity. We consider Cassini state transition models that take into account basin contributions to the excess deformation, and the effect of finite rigidity on the fossil figure.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Life optimization for fossil fuel power plants

    SciTech Connect

    McNaughton, W.P.; Richman, R.H. ); Parker, J.D.; McMinn, A. ); Bell, R.J. ); McCabe, P.; Leake, W.H. Jr. ); Dimmer, J.P.; Damon, J.E. ); Brusger, E.C.; Farber, M.

    1990-11-01

    During 1985 and 1986, EPRI funded several major studies of aging fossil-fuel power plants. These were aimed both at evaluation and planning on the plant level (life optimization), and condition assessment of individual components (life assessment). The experience gained during the execution of these projects, along with available international experience on the optimized use of existing power plants, was integrated in Generic Guidelines for the Life Extension of Fossil Fuel Power Plants,'' issued in November 1986 (CS-4778). These guidelines advocated the assessment of residual component life in increasingly detailed stages, the phased evaluation and refurbishment of equipment, the importance of integrated planning, and the requirement for application of data management techniques. To extend the procedures and methods presented in those generic guidelines, and to demonstrate the potential benefits of a formalized approach to the consideration of fossil fuel power plant evaluation, the Electric Power Research Institute initiated a technology transfer demonstration project, RP2596-10. This report provides a summary of the activities in that demonstration project. One of the tools that was developed during the project was a compilation of the condition assessment of 25 critical and major components. This report includes an overview of the Component Condition Assessment Guidelines, as well as other tools and analysis methods that were developed during the project. The project also served as a review of the application of the methods and procedures presented in the basic guidelines document; therefore, this report also includes an evaluation and suggested refinements of the generic guidelines.

  5. 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.

  6. Combining metabolic engineering and biocompatible chemistry for high-yield production of homo-diacetyl and homo-(S,S)-2,3-butanediol.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jianming; Chan, Siu Hung Joshua; Brock-Nannestad, Theis; Chen, Jun; Lee, Sang Yup; Solem, Christian; Jensen, Peter Ruhdal

    2016-07-01

    Biocompatible chemistry is gaining increasing attention because of its potential within biotechnology for expanding the repertoire of biological transformations carried out by enzymes. Here we demonstrate how biocompatible chemistry can be used for synthesizing valuable compounds as well as for linking metabolic pathways to achieve redox balance and rescued growth. By comprehensive rerouting of metabolism, activation of respiration, and finally metal ion catalysis, we successfully managed to convert the homolactic bacterium Lactococcus lactis into a homo-diacetyl producer with high titer (95mM or 8.2g/L) and high yield (87% of the theoretical maximum). Subsequently, the pathway was extended to (S,S)-2,3-butanediol (S-BDO) through efficiently linking two metabolic pathways via chemical catalysis. This resulted in efficient homo-S-BDO production with a titer of 74mM (6.7g/L) S-BDO and a yield of 82%. The diacetyl and S-BDO production rates and yields obtained are the highest ever reported, demonstrating the promising combination of metabolic engineering and biocompatible chemistry as well as the great potential of L. lactis as a new production platform. PMID:26969254

  7. Combining metabolic engineering and biocompatible chemistry for high-yield production of homo-diacetyl and homo-(S,S)-2,3-butanediol.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jianming; Chan, Siu Hung Joshua; Brock-Nannestad, Theis; Chen, Jun; Lee, Sang Yup; Solem, Christian; Jensen, Peter Ruhdal

    2016-07-01

    Biocompatible chemistry is gaining increasing attention because of its potential within biotechnology for expanding the repertoire of biological transformations carried out by enzymes. Here we demonstrate how biocompatible chemistry can be used for synthesizing valuable compounds as well as for linking metabolic pathways to achieve redox balance and rescued growth. By comprehensive rerouting of metabolism, activation of respiration, and finally metal ion catalysis, we successfully managed to convert the homolactic bacterium Lactococcus lactis into a homo-diacetyl producer with high titer (95mM or 8.2g/L) and high yield (87% of the theoretical maximum). Subsequently, the pathway was extended to (S,S)-2,3-butanediol (S-BDO) through efficiently linking two metabolic pathways via chemical catalysis. This resulted in efficient homo-S-BDO production with a titer of 74mM (6.7g/L) S-BDO and a yield of 82%. The diacetyl and S-BDO production rates and yields obtained are the highest ever reported, demonstrating the promising combination of metabolic engineering and biocompatible chemistry as well as the great potential of L. lactis as a new production platform.

  8. Alleged synapomorphy of the M1/I1 eruption pattern in robust australopithecines and Homo: evidence from high-resolution computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Conroy, G C

    1988-04-01

    Ever since Broom and Robinson (1951) published their claim that the eruption pattern of permanent incisors in robust australopithecines was most similar to that of modern man and different from that of gracile australopithecines and apes, the accuracy of this observation has been the subject of periodic debate (e.g., Wallace: Ph.D. thesis, 1972; Dean: Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 67:251-257, 1985; Grine: Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 72:353-359, 1987). Part of the problem is that the developing incisors in one of the specimens most crucial to this argument (SK61) are difficult to visualize clearly by conventional radiographic techniques because of the heavy mineralization in the fossil. This study reanalyzes SK 61 by high-resolution computed tomography in order to contribute to the final resolution of its incisor development. Grine's (op. cit.) assessment of the incisors as the deciduous ones, not the permanent ones, is fully confirmed. This fact, in conjunction with the observation that permanent incisor root formation had only just commenced in this specimen, further weakens the argument of M1/I1 eruption pattern synapomorphy between Homo and robust australopithecines.

  9. [The modification of a radiation lesion with 9a-homo-13-thiaprostanoids].

    PubMed

    Kuz'mitskiĭ, B B; Dad'kov, I G; Golubeva, M B; Nasek, V M; Khlebnikova, T S; Petrusevich, I I; Lakhvich, F A

    1996-01-01

    The radioprotective properties of 12 compounds of 9a-homo-13-thiaprostanoid series were investigated under gamma irradiation using the molecular model of beta-carotene radio-oxidation in oleic acid in vitro, erythrocyte radiomimetic model in ex vivo-in vitro system as well as in vivo radiation damage in mice. Most of these compounds stimulated the radio-oxidation of beta-carotene, however in this model two prostanoids with natural alpha-chain displayed radioprotective properties. Expressed membrane stabilizing effect of two 9a-homo-13-thiaprostanoid nor-analogues was revealed in radiomimetic model experiments. Two 10, 10-dimethyl-13-thiaprostanoids raised animal radioresistance during in vivo experiments.

  10. Polymerization or Cyclic Dimerization: Solvent Dependent Homo-Coupling of Terminal Alkynes at HOPG Surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xuemei; Liao, Lingyan; Wang, Shuai; Hu, Fangyun; Wang, Chen; Zeng, Qingdao

    2014-01-01

    Surface reactivity has become one of the most important issues in surface chemistry over the past few years. In this work, we, for the first time, have investigated the homo-coupling of a special terminal alkyne derivative on the highly oriented pyrolitic graphite (HOPG) surface. Using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) technique, we have found that such coupling reaction seriously depends on the supramolecular assembly of the monomer on the studied substrate, whereas the latter appears an obvious solvent effect. As a result, the reaction in our system undergoes polymerization and cyclic dimerization process in 1-phenyloctane and 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene, respectively. That is to say, the solvent effect can be extended from the two-dimensional (2D) supramolecular self-assembly to surface chemical reactions, and the selective homo-coupling has been successfully achieved at the solid/liquid interface.

  11. Polymerization or cyclic dimerization: solvent dependent homo-coupling of terminal alkynes at HOPG surface.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xuemei; Liao, Lingyan; Wang, Shuai; Hu, Fangyun; Wang, Chen; Zeng, Qingdao

    2014-01-01

    Surface reactivity has become one of the most important issues in surface chemistry over the past few years. In this work, we, for the first time, have investigated the homo-coupling of a special terminal alkyne derivative on the highly oriented pyrolitic graphite (HOPG) surface. Using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) technique, we have found that such coupling reaction seriously depends on the supramolecular assembly of the monomer on the studied substrate, whereas the latter appears an obvious solvent effect. As a result, the reaction in our system undergoes polymerization and cyclic dimerization process in 1-phenyloctane and 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene, respectively. That is to say, the solvent effect can be extended from the two-dimensional (2D) supramolecular self-assembly to surface chemical reactions, and the selective homo-coupling has been successfully achieved at the solid/liquid interface.

  12. Polymerization or Cyclic Dimerization: Solvent Dependent Homo-Coupling of Terminal Alkynes at HOPG Surface

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xuemei; Liao, Lingyan; Wang, Shuai; Hu, Fangyun; Wang, Chen; Zeng, Qingdao

    2014-01-01

    Surface reactivity has become one of the most important issues in surface chemistry over the past few years. In this work, we, for the first time, have investigated the homo-coupling of a special terminal alkyne derivative on the highly oriented pyrolitic graphite (HOPG) surface. Using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) technique, we have found that such coupling reaction seriously depends on the supramolecular assembly of the monomer on the studied substrate, whereas the latter appears an obvious solvent effect. As a result, the reaction in our system undergoes polymerization and cyclic dimerization process in 1-phenyloctane and 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene, respectively. That is to say, the solvent effect can be extended from the two-dimensional (2D) supramolecular self-assembly to surface chemical reactions, and the selective homo-coupling has been successfully achieved at the solid/liquid interface. PMID:24469357

  13. Life as a Cosmic Phenomenon: 2. the Panspermic Trajectory of Homo Sapiens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tokoro, Gensuke; Wickramasinghe, N. Chandra

    We discuss the origin and evolution of Homo sapiens in a cosmic context, and in relation to the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe theory of panspermia for which there is now overwhelming evidence. It is argued that the first bacteria (archea) incident on the Earth via the agency of comets 3.8-4 billion years ago continued at later times to be augmented by viral genes (DNA, RNA) from space that eventually led to the evolutionary patterns we see in present-day biology. We argue that the current evolutionary status of Homo sapiens as well as its future trajectory is circumscribed by evolutionary processes that were pre-determined on a cosmic scale -- over vast distances and enormous spans of cosmic time. Based on this teleological hypothesis we postulate that two distinct classes of cosmic viruses (cosmic viral genes) are involved in accounting for the facts relating to the evolution of life.

  14. HOMO band dispersion of crystalline rubrene: Effects of self-energy corrections within the GW approximation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanagisawa, Susumu; Morikawa, Yoshitada; Schindlmayr, Arno

    2013-09-01

    We investigate the band dispersion and relevant electronic properties of rubrene single crystals within the GW approximation. Due to the self-energy correction, the dispersion of the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) band increases by 0.10 eV compared to the dispersion of the Kohn-Sham eigenvalues within the generalized gradient approximation, and the effective hole mass consequently decreases. The resulting value of 0.90 times the electron rest mass along the Γ-Y direction in the Brillouin zone is closer to experimental measurements than that obtained from density-functional theory. The enhanced bandwidth is explained in terms of the intermolecular hybridization of the HOMO(Y) wave function along the stacking direction of the molecules. Overall, our results support the bandlike interpretation of charge-carrier transport in rubrene.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Post-Cranial Skeletons of Hypothyroid Cretins Show a Similar Anatomical Mosaic as Homo floresiensis

    PubMed Central

    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

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-27

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. A voyage into the synthesis and photophysics of homo- and heterobinuclear ensembles of phthalocyanines and porphyrins.

    PubMed

    de la Torre, Gema; Bottari, Giovanni; Sekita, Michael; Hausmann, Anita; Guldi, Dirk M; Torres, Tomás

    2013-10-21

    The remarkable properties of both phthalocyanines and porphyrins as individual building blocks have motivated the synthesis and study of homo- and heterobinuclear conjugates as light-harvesting systems. These planar chromophores share important electronic features such as high molar absorption coefficients, rich redox chemistry and interesting photoinduced energy and/or electron transfer abilities. In addition, some of these properties can be tuned by the introduction of different peripheral substituents and metal centres. In this review, we present relevant synthetic strategies for the preparation of covalent and supramolecular, homo- and heterobinuclear systems based on phthalocyanine and porphyrin chromophores, leading to a variety of architectures. In such systems, the degree of electronic interaction between the components is highly dependent on the electronic features of the two macrocycles, their linkage, and the molecular topology of the ensemble. In addition, incorporation of electroactive units into these binuclear systems has been pursued, affording multicomponent, donor-acceptor conjugates. In-depth photophysical characterization of the ground- and excited-state features of many of these homo- and heterobinuclear phthalocyanine and/or porphyrin ensembles has also been presented. Particular attention has been paid to understand the fundamental dynamics of the energy transfer and charge separation processes of these systems. This review intends to offer a general overview of the preparation of this class of compounds and the study of their photophysical properties which clearly show their potentiality as model compounds of light-harvesting complexes.

  8. 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.

  9. Fluorescence anisotropy imaging microscopy for homo-FRET in living cells.

    PubMed

    Tramier, Marc; Coppey-Moisan, Maïté

    2008-01-01

    In this chapter, we present the basic physical principles of the fluorescence anisotropy imaging microscopy (FAIM) and its application to study FP-tagged protein dynamics and interaction in live cells. The Förster mechanism of electronic energy transfer can occur between like chromophores (homo-fluorescence resonance energy transfer, homo-FRET) inducing fluorescence depolarization and can be monitored by fluorescence anisotropy. The energy transfer rate is fast compared to the rotational time of proteins, and therefore its detection as a fast depolarization process in the fluorescence anisotropy can be easily discriminated from rotational motion. Quantitative analysis of fluorescence anisotropy decays provides information on structural parameters: distance between the two interacting chromophores and spatial orientation between the chromophores within dimeric proteins. Fluorescence anisotropy decay is not easy to measure in living cells under the microscope and the instrumentations are necessarily sophisticated. In contrast, any type of microscope can be used to measure the steady-state anisotropy. Interestingly, two-photon excitation steady-state FAIM is a powerful tool for qualitative analysis of macromolecule interactions in living cells and can be used easily for time-lapse homo-FRET.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-12-14

    The electronic structure of [6,6]-phenyl C{sub 61} 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.

  11. Enhanced mobility electrons at the monolayer / multilayer MoS2 homo-interface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Y.; Lenferink, E. J.; Stanev, T.; Stern, N. P.

    2015-03-01

    Energy band alignment at interface of heterostructures can give rise to non-trivial local electronic structure and charge states with low dimensionality. In transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs), the optical band gap depends on the number of 2D crystal layers, transitioning from 1.29 eV in bulk to 1.88 eV for a monolayer of MoS2, for example, and providing the possibility to create unusual charge state at the monolayer/multilayer homo-interface. Here, we examine the boundaries between MoS2 monolayers and multilayers using scanning photocurrent microscopy and gate-dependent transport. Enhanced photocurrent and conductance were observed at the 1D homo-interface, which can be explained as accumulated carriers in the bent-band region of the junction. Our heterojunction modeling suggests a high local carrier density and enhanced mobility at the homo-interface. Our work presents an opportunity to achieve a 1D electron state in a homojunction and a pathway to break the mobility limit of TMDC monolayer transistors. This work was supported by the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern and the U.S. Department of Energy (DE-SC0012130). N.P.S. acknowledges support as an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow.

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. Aestivation in the fossil record: evidence from ichnology.

    PubMed

    Hembree, Daniel I

    2010-01-01

    Aestivation is a physiological and behavioral response to high temperature or low moisture conditions. Therefore, it is typically not considered to be capable of being preserved in the fossil record. However, most aestivating organisms produce a burrow to protect themselves from the harmful environmental conditions that trigger aestivation. These structures can be preserved in the rock record as trace fossils. While trace fossils are abundant in the continental fossil record, few are definitively associated with aestivation. Interpreting aestivation behavior from fossil burrows requires a detailed examination and interpretation of the surrounding sedimentary rocks and comparisons with taxonomically and ecologically similar extant organisms. Currently, only four types of aestivation structures are recognized in the fossil record: Pleistocene earthworm chambers, Devonian to Cretaceous lungfish burrows, Permian lysorophid burrows, and Permian to Triassic dicynodont burrows. The trace fossil evidence suggests that aestivation evolved independently among continental organisms in several clades during the middle to late Paleozoic.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Atmospheric CO2 from fossil plant cuticles.

    PubMed

    Kerp, Hans

    2002-01-01

    Plants respond to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels by regulating the number of stomata in their leaves. In his reconstruction of a continuous, 300-million-year record of atmospheric CO2, Retallack bases his curve on stomatal counts of fossil plant cuticles taken from published micrographs. However, the preservation of cuticles from Permian times is generally too fragmentary for the stomatal index to be reliably determined, the micrographs used could have biased the results, and there are important errors in the supplementary data - all of which cast doubt on the Permian part of Retallack's record.

  1. 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.

  2. Comparing amber fossil assemblages across the Cenozoic.

    PubMed

    Penney, David; Langan, A Mark

    2006-06-22

    To justify faunistic comparisons of ambers that differ botanically, geographically and by age, we need to determine that resins sampled uniformly. Our pluralistic approach, analysing size distributions of 671 fossilized spider species from different behavioural guilds, demonstrates that ecological information about the communities of two well-studied ambers is retained. Several lines of evidence show that greater structural complexity of Baltic compared to Dominican amber trees explains the presence of larger web-spinners. No size differences occur in active hunters. Consequently, we demonstrate for the first time that resins were trapping organisms uniformly and that comparisons of amber palaeoecosystem structure across deep time are possible.

  3. Comparing amber fossil assemblages across the Cenozoic

    PubMed Central

    Penney, David; Langan, A. Mark

    2006-01-01

    To justify faunistic comparisons of ambers that differ botanically, geographically and by age, we need to determine that resins sampled uniformly. Our pluralistic approach, analysing size distributions of 671 fossilized spider species from different behavioural guilds, demonstrates that ecological information about the communities of two well-studied ambers is retained. Several lines of evidence show that greater structural complexity of Baltic compared to Dominican amber trees explains the presence of larger web-spinners. No size differences occur in active hunters. Consequently, we demonstrate for the first time that resins were trapping organisms uniformly and that comparisons of amber palaeoecosystem structure across deep time are possible. PMID:17148379

  4. Fossil Diatoms in a New Carbonaceous Meteorite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wickramasinghe, N. C.; Wallis, J.; Wallis, D. H.; Samaranayake, Anil

    2013-01-01

    We report the discovery for the first time of diatom frustules in a carbonaceous meteorite that fell in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka on 29 December 2012. Contamination is excluded by the circumstance that the elemental abundances within the structures match closely with those of the surrounding matrix. There is also evidence of structures morphologically similar to red rain cells that may have contributed to the episode of red rain that followed within days of the meteorite fall. The new data on "fossil" diatoms provide strong evidence to support the theory of cometary panspermia.

  5. 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.

    1994-10-01

    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 gasifiers and combustors; (2) further develop a set of comprehensive codes; and (3) apply these codes to model various types of combustors and gasifiers (fixed-bed, transport reactor, and fluidized-bed for coal and gas turbines for natural gas).

  6. Molecules, fossils, and the origin of tetrapods.

    PubMed

    Meyer, A; Dolven, S I

    1992-08-01

    Since the discovery of the coelacanth, Latimeria chalumnae, more than 50 years ago, paleontologists and comparative morphologists have debated whether coelacanths or lungfishes, two groups of lobe-finned fishes, are the closest living relatives of land vertebrates (Tetrapoda). Previously, Meyer and Wilson (1990) determined partial DNA sequences from two conservative mitochondrial genes and found support for a close relationship of lungfishes to tetrapods. We present additional DNA sequences from the 12S rRNA mitochondrial gene for three species of the two lineages of lungfishes that were not represented in the first study: Protopterus annectens and Protopterus aethiopicus from Africa and Neoceratodus forsteri (kindly provided by B. Hedges and L. Maxson) from Australia. This extended data set tends to group the two lepidosirenid lungfish lineages (Lepidosiren and Protopterus) with Neoceratodus as their sister group. All lungfishes seem to be more closely related to tetrapods than the coelacanth is. This result appears to rule out the possibility that the coelacanth lineage gave rise to land vertebrates. The common ancestor of lungfishes and tetrapods might have possessed multiple morphological traits that are shared by lungfishes and tetrapods [Meyer and Wilson (1990) listed 14 such traits]. Those traits that seem to link Latimeria and tetrapods are arguably due to convergent evolution or reversals and not to common descent. In this way, the molecular tree facilitates an evolutionary interpretation of the morphological differences among the living forms. We recommended that the extinct groups of lobe-finned fishes be placed onto the molecular tree that has lungfishes and not the coelacanth more closely related to tetrapods. The placement of fossils would help to further interpret the sequence of morphological events and innovations associated with the origin of tetrapods but appears to be problematic because the quality of fossils is not always high enough, and

  7. Biomarkers and Microbial Fossils In Antarctic Rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wierzchos, J.; Ascaso, C.

    Lithobiontic microbial communities living within Antarctic rocks are an example of survival in an extremely cold and dry environment. Any unfavourable change in ex- ternal conditions can result in the death and disappearance of microscopic organisms, and this may be followed by the appearance of trace biomarkers and microbial fossils. The extinction of these microorganisms in some zones of the Ross Desert, probably provoked by the hostile environment, might be considered a good terrestrial analogue of the first stage of the disappearance of possible life on early Mars. Granite samples from maritime Antarctica (Granite Harbour) and sandstone rocks from the continental Ross Desert were collected with the aim of searching for biomarkers and microbial fossils at the microscopic level of observation. To this end, a novel in situ applica- tion of scanning electron microscopy with backscattered electron imaging was com- bined with the simultaneous use of X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy techniques. Our findings confirm the existence of inorganic biomarkers in the form of physico- chemically bioweathered minerals within the granitic rocks. The presence of Fe-rich diagenetic minerals, such as iron hydroxide nanocrystals and biogenic clays around chasmoendolithic hyphae and bacterial cells was also observed. Others biomarkers, including inorganic deposits such as calcium oxalates and silica accumulations, are clear signs of endolithic microorganism activity. The interior of the sandstone rocks (Ross Desert, Mt. Fleming) reveal the presence of microbial fossils of algae and other endolithic microorganisms. These microbial fossils, detected for the first time within Antarctic rocks, contain well preserved and morphologically distinguishable relics of ultrastructural cytoplasm elements, such as cell walls, chloroplast membranes, and oc- casionally, pyrenoids and traces of organic matter. These structures are similar to those observed in live cells also found in Antarctic

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Taxonomy and fossils: a critical appraisal.

    PubMed

    Forey, Peter L; Fortey, Richard A; Kenrick, Paul; Smith, Andrew B

    2004-04-29

    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

  13. 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

  14. Taxonomy and fossils: a critical appraisal.

    PubMed

    Forey, Peter L; Fortey, Richard A; Kenrick, Paul; Smith, Andrew B

    2004-04-29

    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.

  15. "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…

  16. Assessing the quality of molecular divergence time estimates by fossil calibrations and fossil-based model selection.

    PubMed Central

    Near, Thomas J; Sanderson, Michael J

    2004-01-01

    Estimates of species divergence times using DNA sequence data are playing an increasingly important role in studies of evolution, ecology and biogeography. Most work has centred on obtaining appropriate kinds of data and developing optimal estimation procedures, whereas somewhat less attention has focused on the calibration of divergences using fossils. Case studies with multiple fossil calibration points provide important opportunities to examine the divergence time estimation problem in new ways. We discuss two cross-validation procedures that address different aspects of inference in divergence time estimation. 'Fossil cross-validation' is a procedure used to identify the impact of different individual calibrations on overall estimation. This can identify fossils that have an exceptionally large error effect and may warrant further scrutiny. 'Fossil-based model cross-validation' is an entirely different procedure that uses fossils to identify the optimal model of molecular evolution in the context of rate smoothing or other inference methods. Both procedures were applied to two recent studies: an analysis of monocot angiosperms with eight fossil calibrations and an analysis of placental mammals with nine fossil calibrations. In each case, fossil calibrations could be ranked from most to least influential, and in one of the two studies, the fossils provided decisive evidence about the optimal molecular evolutionary model. PMID:15519966

  17. 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.

  18. Fossil fuel biomarkers in sewage sludges: environmental significance

    PubMed

    Payet; Bryselbout; Morel; Lichtfouse

    1999-10-01

    Fossil fuel biomarkers, or "molecular fossils," are specific organic substances found in coals, petroleums, and sedimentary rocks. They are formed during millions of years of sedimentary burial by geochemical alteration of biological molecules, such as cholesterol, under the effect of biodegradation, temperature, pressure, and mineral catalysis, to produce geochemically mature molecules, for example, aromatic steroids (Fig. 1). Since fossil fuel biomarkers have a very specific molecular structure betraying fossil fuel sources, such markers should be useful in assessing the fossil fuel contamination of various modern media such as soils, plants, waters, and modern sediments. Here the identification of fossil fuel biomarkers of high geothermal maturity in sewage sludges provides evidence of the contamination of sludges by petroleum products. The most likely sources of contamination are contaminated vegetal food, road dust, and soil particles carried by rain water.http://link. springer.de/link/service/journals/00114/bibs/9086010/90860484. htm

  19. Body size and its consequences: allometry and the lower limb length of Liang Bua 1 (Homo floresiensis).

    PubMed

    Holliday, Trenton W; Franciscus, Robert G

    2009-09-01

    Bivariate femoral length allometry in recent humans, Pan, and Gorilla is investigated with special reference to the diminutive Liang Bua (LB) 1 specimen (the holotype of Homo floresiensis) and six early Pleistocene femora referred to the genus Homo. Relative to predicted body mass, Pan and Gorilla femora show strong negative length allometry while recent human femora evince isometry to positive allometry, depending on sample composition and line-fitting technique employed. The allometric trajectories of Pan and Homo show convergence near the small body size range of LB 1, such that LB 1 manifests a low percentage deviation (d(yx) of Smith [1980]) from the Pan allometric trajectory and falls well within the 95% confidence limits around the Pan individuals (but also outside the 95% confidence limits for recent Homo). In contrast, the six early Pleistocene Homo femora, belonging to larger individuals, show much greater d(yx) values from both Pan and Gorilla and fall well above the 95% confidence limits for these taxa. All but one of these Pleistocene Homo specimens falls within the 95% confidence limits of the recent human sample. Similar results are obtained when femoral length is regressed on femoral head diameter in unlogged bivariate space. Regardless of the ultimate taxonomic status of LB 1, these findings are consistent with a prediction made by us (Franciscus and Holliday, 1992) that hominins in the small body size range of A.L. 288-1 ("Lucy"), including members of the genus Homo, will tend to possess short, ape-like lower limbs as a function of body size scaling.

  20. A Critical Evaluation of the Down Syndrome Diagnosis for LB1, Type Specimen of Homo floresiensis

    PubMed Central

    Baab, Karen L.; Brown, Peter; Falk, Dean; Richtsmeier, Joan T.; Hildebolt, Charles F.; Smith, Kirk; Jungers, William

    2016-01-01

    The Liang Bua hominins from Flores, Indonesia, have been the subject of intense scrutiny and debate since their initial description and classification in 2004. These remains have been assigned to a new species, Homo floresiensis, with the partial skeleton LB1 as the type specimen. The Liang Bua hominins are notable for their short stature, small endocranial volume, and many features that appear phylogenetically primitive relative to modern humans, despite their late Pleistocene age. Recently, some workers suggested that the remains represent members of a small-bodied island population of modern Austro-Melanesian humans, with LB1 exhibiting clinical signs of Down syndrome. Many classic Down syndrome signs are soft tissue features that could not be assessed in skeletal remains. Moreover, a definitive diagnosis of Down syndrome can only be made by genetic analysis as the phenotypes associated with Down syndrome are variable. Most features that contribute to the Down syndrome phenotype are not restricted to Down syndrome but are seen in other chromosomal disorders and in the general population. Nevertheless, we re-evaluated the presence of those phenotypic features used to support this classification by comparing LB1 to samples of modern humans diagnosed with Down syndrome and euploid modern humans using comparative morphometric analyses. We present new data regarding neurocranial, brain, and symphyseal shape in Down syndrome, additional estimates of stature for LB1, and analyses of inter- and intralimb proportions. The presence of cranial sinuses is addressed using CT images of LB1. We found minimal congruence between the LB1 phenotype and clinical descriptions of Down syndrome. We present important differences between the phenotypes of LB1 and individuals with Down syndrome, and quantitative data that characterize LB1 as an outlier compared with Down syndrome and non-Down syndrome groups. Homo floresiensis remains a phenotypically unique, valid species with its roots