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Sample records for homo erectus fossils

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The Sambungmacan 3 Homo erectus calvaria: a comparative morphometric and morphological analysis.

    PubMed

    Delson, E; Harvati, K; Reddy, D; Marcus, L F; Mowbray, K; Sawyer, G J; Jacob, T; Márquez, S

    2001-04-01

    The Sambungmacan (Sm) 3 calvaria, discovered on Java in 1977, was illegally removed from Indonesia in 1998 and appeared in New York City in early 1999 at the Maxilla & Mandible, Ltd. natural history shop. Here we undertake an analysis of its phylogenetic and systematic position using geometric morphometrics and comparative morphology. The coordinates of points in the sagittal plane from glabella to opisthion were resampled to yield "lines" of 50 semi-landmarks. Coordinates of glabella, bregma, lambda, inion, and opisthion were also collected and analyzed separately. Casts of Homo erectus fossils from Indonesia, China, and Kenya and of "archaic H. sapiens" from Kabwe and Petralona, as well as 10 modern human crania, were used as the primary comparative sample. The modern humans were well separated from the fossils in a graphical superimposition of Procrustes-aligned semi-landmarks as well as in principal component and canonical discriminant analyses. In all of these, Sm 3 falls intermediate between the fossil and modern groups. Morphological comparisons of Sm 3 with a selection of Homo erectus fossils revealed its greatest similarity to specimens from Ngandong and the Sm 1 calvaria. Compared to all other H. erectus, Sm 3 was distinctive in its more vertical supratoral plane, less anteriorly projecting glabella and less sharply angled occiput. In these features it was somewhat similar to modern humans. It is not yet possible to determine if this similarity implies an evolutionary relationship or (more likely) individual or local populational variation. Several features of Sm 3 (small size, gracile supraorbital torus and lack of angular torus, and position in principal component analysis) suggest that it was a female. The use of geometric morphometrics provides a means to statistically test the shapes of such fossils in a manner not easily duplicated by other methods. The intermediate position of Sm 3 between fossil and modern samples in several different subanalyses

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. New reconstruction and morphological description of a Homo erectus cranium: skull IX (Tjg-1993.05) from Sangiran, Central Java.

    PubMed

    Kaifu, Yousuke; Zaim, Yahdi; Baba, Hisao; Kurniawan, Iwan; Kubo, Daisuke; Rizal, Yan; Arif, Johan; Aziz, Fachroel

    2011-09-01

    Skull IX (Tjg-1993.05) was unearthed from the upper stratigraphic zone (Bapang-AG levels) of the hominin-bearing sequence in Sangiran. This remarkably complete cranial specimen of Homo erectus from the early Pleistocene of Java preserves substantial portions of the vault and face. However, the distortion present in the original reconstruction has hampered detailed documentation of its morphological characteristics. We here report a new reconstruction of Skull IX that successfully recovers the original morphology and significantly differs from previous reconstructions. Detailed morphological description and the results of initial comparative analyses based on this new reconstruction are provided. The endocranial volume of Skull IX was measured as 870 cc using micro-CT data. The neurocranium of Skull IX is slightly smaller than the so far recorded smallest cranium from this zone, suggesting this individual was female. In most, but not all, aspects of the cranial vault form, details of the external surface structures, and facial morphology, Skull IX exhibits numerous similarities to the other Bapang-AG H. erectus specimens, indicating that it belonged to the Bapang-AG H. erectus population. Drawing on the expanded fossil sample of this chronoregional H. erectus group, we discuss their evolutionary status, degree of sexual dimorphism, and facial morphological variation in Afro-Asian earlier Homo specimens.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

    Mandibular corpora are well represented in the hominin fossil record, yet few studies have rigorously assessed the utility of mandibular corpus morphology for species recognition, particularly with respect to the linear dimensions that are most commonly available. In this study, we explored the extent to which commonly preserved mandibular corpus morphology can be used to: (i) discriminate among extant hominid taxa and (ii) support species designations among fossil specimens assigned to the genus Homo. In the first part of the study, discriminant analysis was used to test for significant differences in mandibular corpus shape at different taxonomic levels (genus, species and subspecies) among extant hominid taxa (i.e. Homo, Pan, Gorilla, Pongo). In the second part of the study, we examined shape variation among fossil mandibles assigned to Homo (including H. habilis sensu stricto, H. rudolfensis, early African H. erectus/H. ergaster, late African H. erectus, Asian H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens). A novel randomization procedure designed for small samples (and using group 'distinctness values') was used to determine whether shape variation among the fossils is consistent with conventional taxonomy (or alternatively, whether a priori taxonomic groupings are completely random with respect to mandibular morphology). The randomization of 'distinctness values' was also used on the extant samples to assess the ability of the test to recognize known taxa. The discriminant analysis results demonstrated that, even for a relatively modest set of traditional mandibular corpus measurements, we can detect significant differences among extant hominids at the genus and species levels, and, in some cases, also at the subspecies level. Although the randomization of 'distinctness values' test is more conservative than discriminant analysis (based on comparisons with extant specimens), we were able to detect at least four distinct groups among the

  6. 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

  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 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

  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

    2016-06-09

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  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

    2011-12-06

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-09

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

  14. Analytical morphies on mid-sagittal craniograms glabella-opisthocranion of Homo erectus and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis: Fourier parameters and synthesis of mean craniograms.

    PubMed

    Vacca, E; Pesce Delfino, V

    1991-03-01

    Among mathematic procedures used in morphological description, Fourier analysis was indicated as extremely effective in obtaining numerical representations of shape. In order to fully exploit its potentiality in morphology the worked data have to be referred exclusively to the shape of the investigated object and the application of suitable procedures of dimensional normalization are necessary, moreover the significance of the parameters obtained from the analysis must be referable univocally to the morphological datum. In these conditions the numerical characterization of shapes and the relations detectable from different parameters obtained from the description assume the significance of real "analytical morphies". These statements were verified by performing morphological description and comparison, by means of the Fourier harmonic analysis on two groups of mid-sagittal glabella-opisthocranIon craniograms to point out their possible distinctive analytical characteristics: the first group relates to classical neanderthalian group, the second one is made up of asiatic samples of Homo erectus. Some typical patterns of the obtained parameters were discussed and explained in terms of analytical morphies characterizing the given specimens, the traditional morphological classifications were verified and, above all, a numerical description of these samples was obtained.

  15. 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.

  16. Skull diversity in the Homo lineage and the relative position of Homo naledi.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Lauren; Scott, Jill E; Garvin, Heather M; Laird, Myra F; Dembo, Mana; Radovčić, Davorka; Berger, Lee R; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Ackermann, Rebecca R

    2017-03-01

    The discovery of Homo naledi has expanded the range of phenotypic variation in Homo, leading to new questions surrounding the mosaic nature of morphological evolution. Though currently undated, its unique morphological pattern and possible phylogenetic relationships to other hominin taxa suggest a complex evolutionary scenario. Here, we perform geometric morphometric analyses on H. naledi cranial and mandibular remains to investigate its morphological relationship with species of Homo and Australopithecus. We use Generalized Procrustes analysis to place H. naledi within the pattern of known hominin skull diversity, distributions of Procrustes distances among individuals to compare H. naledi and Homo erectus, and neighbor joining trees to investigate the potential phenetic relationships between groups. Our goal is to address a set of hypotheses relating to the uniqueness of H. naledi, its affinity with H. erectus, and the age of the fossils based on skull morphology. Our results indicate that, cranially, H. naledi aligns with members of the genus Homo, with closest affiliations to H. erectus. The mandibular results are less clear; H. naledi closely associates with a number of taxa, including some australopiths. However, results also show that although H. naledi shares similarities with H. erectus, some distances from this taxon - especially small-brained members of this taxon - are extreme. The neighbor joining trees place H. naledi firmly within Homo. The trees based on cranial morphology again indicate a close relationship between H. naledi and H. erectus, whereas the mandibular tree places H. naledi closer to basal Homo, suggesting a deeper antiquity. Altogether, these results emphasize the unique combination of features (H. erectus-like cranium, less derived mandible) defining H. naledi. Our results also highlight the variability within Homo, calling for a greater focus on the cause of this variability, and emphasizing the importance of using the

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. The skull of Homo naledi.

    PubMed

    Laird, Myra F; Schroeder, Lauren; Garvin, Heather M; Scott, Jill E; Dembo, Mana; Radovčić, Davorka; Musiba, Charles M; Ackermann, Rebecca R; Schmid, Peter; Hawks, John; Berger, Lee R; de Ruiter, Darryl J

    2017-03-01

    The species Homo naledi was recently named from specimens recovered from the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star cave system in South Africa. This large skeletal sample lacks associated faunal material and currently does not have a known chronological context. In this paper, we present comprehensive descriptions and metric comparisons of the recovered cranial and mandibular material. We describe 41 elements attributed to Dinaledi Hominin (DH1-DH5) individuals and paratype U.W. 101-377, and 32 additional cranial fragments. The H. naledi material was compared to Plio-Pleistocene fossil hominins using qualitative and quantitative analyses including over 100 linear measurements and ratios. We find that the Dinaledi cranial sample represents an anatomically homogeneous population that expands the range of morphological variation attributable to the genus Homo. Despite a relatively small cranial capacity that is within the range of australopiths and a few specimens of early Homo, H. naledi shares cranial characters with species across the genus Homo, including Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis, Homo erectus, and Middle Pleistocene Homo. These include aspects of cranial form, facial morphology, and mandibular anatomy. However, the skull of H. naledi is readily distinguishable from existing species of Homo in both qualitative and quantitative assessments. Since H. naledi is currently undated, we discuss the evolutionary implications of its cranial morphology in a range of chronological frameworks. Finally, we designate a sixth Dinaledi Hominin (DH6) individual based on a juvenile mandible.

  1. A new skull of early Homo from Dmanisi, Georgia.

    PubMed

    Vekua, Abesalom; Lordkipanidze, David; Rightmire, G Philip; Agusti, Jordi; Ferring, Reid; Maisuradze, Givi; Mouskhelishvili, Alexander; Nioradze, Medea; De Leon, Marcia Ponce; Tappen, Martha; Tvalchrelidze, Merab; Zollikofer, Christoph

    2002-07-05

    Another hominid skull has been recovered at Dmanisi (Republic of Georgia) from the same strata in which hominid remains have been reported previously. The Dmanisi site dated to approximately 1.75 million years ago has now produced craniofacial portions of several hominid individuals, along with many well-preserved animal fossils and quantities of stone artifacts. Although there are certain anatomical differences among the Dmanisi specimens, the hominids do not clearly represent more than one taxon. We assign the new skull provisionally to Homo erectus (=ergaster). The Dmanisi specimens are the most primitive and small-brained fossils to be grouped with this species or any taxon linked unequivocally with genus Homo and also the ones most similar to the presumed habilis-like stem. We suggest that the ancestors of the Dmanisi population dispersed from Africa before the emergence of humans identified broadly with the H. erectus grade.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. The thigh and leg of Homo naledi.

    PubMed

    Marchi, Damiano; Walker, Christopher S; Wei, Pianpian; Holliday, Trenton W; Churchill, Steven E; Berger, Lee R; DeSilva, Jeremy M

    2017-03-01

    This paper describes the 108 femoral, patellar, tibial, and fibular elements of a new species of Homo (Homo naledi) discovered in the Dinaledi chamber of the Rising Star cave system in South Africa. Homo naledi possesses a mosaic of primitive, derived, and unique traits functionally indicative of a bipedal hominin adapted for long distance walking and possibly running. Traits shared with australopiths include an anteroposteriorly compressed femoral neck, a mediolaterally compressed tibia, and a relatively circular fibular neck. Traits shared with Homo include a well-marked linea aspera, anteroposteriorly thick patellae, relatively long tibiae, and gracile fibulae with laterally oriented lateral malleoli. Unique features include the presence of two pillars on the superior aspect of the femoral neck and a tubercular distal insertion of the pes anserinus on the tibia. The mosaic morphology of the H. naledi thigh and leg appears most consistent with a species intermediate between Australopithecus spp. and Homo erectus and, accordingly, may offer insight into the nature of the earliest members of genus Homo. These fossils also expand the morphological diversity of the Homo lower limb, perhaps indicative of locomotor diversity in our genus.

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

    PubMed

    Kimbel, William H; Villmoare, Brian

    2016-07-05

    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'.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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".

  12. 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.

  13. Extreme mobility in the Late Pleistocene? Comparing limb biomechanics among fossil Homo, varsity athletes and Holocene foragers.

    PubMed

    Shaw, Colin N; Stock, Jay T

    2013-04-01

    Descriptions of Pleistocene activity patterns often derive from comparisons of long bone diaphyseal robusticity across contemporaneous fossilized hominins. The purpose of this study is to augment existing understanding of Pleistocene hominin mobility patterns by interpreting fossil variation through comparisons with a) living human athletes with known activity patterns, and b) Holocene foragers where descriptions of group-level activity patterns are available. Relative tibial rigidity (midshaft tibial rigidity (J)/midshaft humeral rigidity (J)) was compared amongst Levantine and European Neandertals, Levantine and Upper Palaeolithic Homo sapiens, Holocene foragers and living human athletes and controls. Cross-country runners exhibit significantly (p<0.05) greater relative tibial rigidity compared with swimmers, and higher values compared with controls. In contrast, swimmers displayed significantly (p<0.05) lower relative tibial rigidity than both runners and controls. While variation exists among all Holocene H. sapiens, highly terrestrially mobile Later Stone Age (LSA) southern Africans and cross-country runners display the highest relative tibial rigidity, while maritime Andaman Islanders and swimmers display the lowest, with controls falling between. All fossil hominins displayed relative tibial rigidity that exceeded, or was similar to, the highly terrestrially mobile Later Stone Age southern Africans and modern human cross-country runners. The more extreme skeletal structure of most Neandertals and Levantine H. sapiens, as well as the odd Upper Palaeolithic individual, appears to reflect adaptation to intense and/or highly repetitive lower limb (relative to upper limb) loading. This loading may have been associated with bipedal travel, and appears to have been more strenuous than that encountered by even university varsity runners, and Holocene foragers with hunting grounds 2000-3000 square miles in size. Skeletal variation among the athletes and foraging

  14. 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.

  15. The vertebrae and ribs of Homo naledi.

    PubMed

    Williams, Scott A; García-Martínez, Daniel; Bastir, Markus; Meyer, Marc R; Nalla, Shahed; Hawks, John; Schmid, Peter; Churchill, Steven E; Berger, Lee R

    2017-03-01

    Hominin evolution featured shifts from a trunk shape suitable for climbing and housing a large gut to a trunk adapted to bipedalism and higher quality diets. Our knowledge regarding the tempo, mode, and context in which these derived traits evolved has been limited, based largely on a small-bodied Australopithecus partial skeleton (A.L. 288-1; "Lucy") and a juvenile Homo erectus skeleton (KNM-WT 15000; "Turkana Boy"). Two recent discoveries, of a large-bodied Australopithecus afarensis (KSD-VP-1/1) and two Australopithecus sediba partial skeletons (MH1 and MH2), have added to our understanding of thorax evolution; however, little is known about thorax morphology in early Homo. Here we describe hominin vertebrae, ribs, and sternal remains from the Dinaledi chamber of the Rising Star cave system attributed to Homo naledi. Although the remains are highly fragmented, the best-preserved specimens-two lower thoracic vertebrae and a lower rib-were found in association and belong to a small-bodied individual. A second lower rib may belong to this individual as well. All four of these individual elements are amongst the smallest known in the hominin fossil record. H. naledi is characterized by robust, relatively uncurved lower ribs and a relatively large spinal canal. We expect that the recovery of additional material from Rising Star Cave will clarify the nature of these traits and shed light on H. naledi functional morphology and phylogeny.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Manzi, Giorgio

    2011-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Ontogeny and phylogeny of the pelvis in Gorilla, Pongo, Pan, Australopithecus and Homo.

    PubMed

    Williams, Frank L'engle; Orban, Rosine

    2007-01-01

    To examine the evolutionary differences between hominoid locomotor systems, a number of observations concerning the growth of the pelvis among the great apes as compared to modern and fossil hominids are reported. We are interested in the size and shape of the coxal bones at different developmental stages across species that may elucidate the relationship between ontogeny and phylogeny (i.e., heterochrony) in the hominoid pelvis. Our hypotheses are: (1) do rates of absolute growth differ?, (2) do rates of relative growth differ?, and (3) does heterochrony explain these differences? Bivariate and multivariate analyses of pelvic dimensions demonstrate both the diversity of species-specific ontogenetic patterns among hominoids, and an unequivocal separation of hominids and the great apes. Heterochrony alone fails to account for the ontogenetic differences between hominids and the great apes. Compared to recent Homo,Australopithecus can be described as 'hyper-human' from the relative size of the ischium, and short but broad ilium. Australopithecus afarensis differs from Australopithecus africanus by its relatively long pubis. In multivariate analyses of ilium shape, the most complete coxal bone attributed to Homo erectus, KNM-ER 3228, falls within the range of juvenile and adult Australopithecus, whereas Broken Hill falls within the range of modern Homo, suggesting that the modern human ilium shape arose rather recently. Among the great apes, patterns of pelvic ontogeny do not exclusively separate the African apes from Pongo.

  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.

  6. 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.

  7. No homo.

    PubMed

    Brown, Joshua R

    2011-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. The upper limb of Homo naledi.

    PubMed

    Feuerriegel, Elen M; Green, David J; Walker, Christopher S; Schmid, Peter; Hawks, John; Berger, Lee R; Churchill, Steven E

    2017-03-01

    The evolutionary transition from an ape-like to human-like upper extremity occurred in the context of a behavioral shift from an upper limb predominantly involved in locomotion to one adapted for manipulation. Selection for overarm throwing and endurance running is thought to have further shaped modern human shoulder girdle morphology and its position about the thorax. Homo naledi (Dinaledi Chamber, Rising Star Cave, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa) combines an australopith-like cranial capacity with dental characteristics akin to early Homo. Although the hand, foot, and lower limb display many derived morphologies, the upper limb retains many primitive traits. Here, we describe the H. naledi upper extremity (excluding the hand) in detail and in a comparative context to evaluate the diversity of clavicular, scapular, humeral, radial, and ulnar morphology among early hominins and later Homo. Homo naledi had a scapula with a markedly cranially-oriented glenoid, a humerus with extremely low torsion, and an australopith-like clavicle. These traits indicate that the H. naledi scapula was situated superiorly and laterally on the thorax. This shoulder girdle configuration is more similar to that of Australopithecus and distinct from that of modern humans, whose scapulae are positioned low and dorsally about the thorax. Although early Homo erectus maintains many primitive clavicular and humeral features, its derived scapular morphology suggests a loss of climbing adaptations. In contrast, the H. naledi upper limb is markedly primitive, retaining morphology conducive to climbing while lacking many of the derived features related to effective throwing or running purported to characterize other members of early Homo.

  13. 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

  14. Postcranial robusticity in Homo. III: Ontogeny.

    PubMed

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

    1994-01-01

    The influence of developmental factors on long-bone cross-sectional geometry and articular size in modern humans is investigated using two approaches: (1) an analysis of the effects of increased mechanical loading on long-bone structure when applied during different developmental periods, using data collected for a study of upper limb bone bilateral asymmetry in professional tennis players; and (2) an analysis of the relative timing of age changes in femoral dimensions among juveniles from the Pecos Pueblo Amerindian archaeological sample. Results of these analyses are used to interpret the femoral morphology of three pre-Recent Homo juveniles--the H. erectus KNM-WT 15000 and the archaic H. sapiens La Ferrassie 6 and Teshik-Tash 1--as well as observed differences in postcranial morphology between adult Recent and earlier Homo (Ruff et al., 1993). Our findings indicate the following: (1) There are age-related changes in long-bone diaphyseal envelope sensitivity to increased mechanical loading, with the periosteal envelope more responsive prior to mid-adolescence, and the endosteal envelope more responsive thereafter. The periosteal expansion and endosteal contraction of the diaphysis documented earlier for adult pre-Recent Homo relative to Recent humans (Ruff et al., 1993) is thus consistent with a developmental response to increased mechanical loading applied throughout life. The relatively large medullary cavity in the 11-12-year-old KNM-WT 15000 femur is also consistent with this model. However, the two archaic H. sapiens juveniles show relatively small medullary cavities, possibly indicating a modified developmental pattern in this group. (2) Articulations follow a growth pattern similar to that of long-bone length (and stature), while cross-sectional diaphyseal dimensions (cortical area, second moments of area) show a contrasting growth pattern, with slower initial growth from childhood through mid-adolescence, followed by a "catch-up" period that continues

  15. Craniofacial morphology of Homo floresiensis: description, taxonomic affinities, and evolutionary implication.

    PubMed

    Kaifu, Yousuke; Baba, Hisao; Sutikna, Thomas; Morwood, Michael J; Kubo, Daisuke; Saptomo, E Wahyu; Jatmiko; Awe, Rokhus Due; Djubiantono, Tony

    2011-12-01

    This paper describes in detail the external morphology of LB1/1, the nearly complete and only known cranium of Homo floresiensis. Comparisons were made with a large sample of early groups of the genus Homo to assess primitive, derived, and unique craniofacial traits of LB1 and discuss its evolution. Principal cranial shape differences between H. floresiensis and Homo sapiens are also explored metrically. The LB1 specimen exhibits a marked reductive trend in its facial skeleton, which is comparable to the H. sapiens condition and is probably associated with reduced masticatory stresses. However, LB1 is craniometrically different from H. sapiens showing an extremely small overall cranial size, and the combination of a primitive low and anteriorly narrow vault shape, a relatively prognathic face, a rounded oval foramen that is greatly separated anteriorly from the carotid canal/jugular foramen, and a unique, tall orbital shape. Whereas the neurocranium of LB1 is as small as that of some Homo habilis specimens, it exhibits laterally expanded parietals, a weak suprameatal crest, a moderately flexed occipital, a marked facial reduction, and many other derived features that characterize post-habilis Homo. Other craniofacial characteristics of LB1 include, for example, a relatively narrow frontal squama with flattened right and left sides, a marked frontal keel, posteriorly divergent temporal lines, a posteriorly flexed anteromedial corner of the mandibular fossa, a bulbous lateral end of the supraorbital torus, and a forward protruding maxillary body with a distinct infraorbital sulcus. LB1 is most similar to early Javanese Homo erectus from Sangiran and Trinil in these and other aspects. We conclude that the craniofacial morphology of LB1 is consistent with the hypothesis that H. floresiensis evolved from early Javanese H. erectus with dramatic island dwarfism. However, further field discoveries of early hominin skeletal remains from Flores and detailed analyses of the

  16. 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.

  17. The origin and evolution of Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Stringer, Chris

    2016-07-05

    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'.

  18. Parental care improves immunity in the seahorse (Hippocampus erectus).

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

    In the present study, the sexual dimorphism in immune response in the seahorse Hippocampus erectus in which males compete for mates and invest heavily in parental care was assessed. Variability in immunocompetence in virginal seahorses with differing levels of sexual maturity (i.e., immaturity, early maturity and maturity) and with different mating statuses (i.e., virginal, experienced mating failure and experienced mating success) were analyzed by evaluating immune parameters in the plasma. Additionally, ultrastructural characteristics of the inner epithelium of the brood pouch were compared between males that had experienced mating failure and those that had succeeded. Generally, immunity in sexually mature virgin males was greater than in females, and mating competition significantly reduced males' immunity. However, parental care gave males stronger immune and metabolic abilities and resulted in their immunity significantly rebounding after a successful mating. The present study quantitatively clarifies, for the first time, how parental care and mating competition jointly affect immunity. Moreover, previous findings that females display more efficient immune defenses than males in conventional species (i.e., males are as competitor and females as care giver) and that males' immunity is higher than females' in the pipefish (i.e., females are as competitor and males as care giver) in combination with the present results indicate that parental care is a key factor for sexual dimorphism in immunity. The care-giving sex has strong immunity regardless of the sex in charge of mating competition or not.

  19. 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.

  20. Homo economicus belief inhibits trust.

    PubMed

    Xin, Ziqiang; Liu, Guofang

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. "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)

  3. 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,…

  4. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-04

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Paleoanthropology. Early Homo at 2.8 Ma from Ledi-Geraru, Afar, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Villmoare, Brian; Kimbel, William H; Seyoum, Chalachew; Campisano, Christopher J; DiMaggio, Erin N; Rowan, John; Braun, David R; Arrowsmith, J Ramón; Reed, Kaye E

    2015-03-20

    Our understanding of the origin of the genus Homo has been hampered by a limited fossil record in eastern Africa between 2.0 and 3.0 million years ago (Ma). Here we report the discovery of a partial hominin mandible with teeth from the Ledi-Geraru research area, Afar Regional State, Ethiopia, that establishes the presence of Homo at 2.80 to 2.75 Ma. This specimen combines primitive traits seen in early Australopithecus with derived morphology observed in later Homo, confirming that dentognathic departures from the australopith pattern occurred early in the Homo lineage. The Ledi-Geraru discovery has implications for hypotheses about the timing and place of origin of the genus Homo.

  12. 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

  13. Australopithecus sediba and the earliest origins of the genus Homo.

    PubMed

    Berger, Lee

    2012-01-01

    Discovered in 2008, the site of Malapa has yielded a remarkable assemblage of early hominin remains attributed to the species Australopithecus sediba. The species shows unexpected and unpredicted mosaicism in its anatomy. Several commentators have questioned the specific status of Au. sediba arguing that it does not exceed the variation of Au. africanus. This opinion however, does not take into account that Au. sediba differs from Au. africanus in both craniodental and postcranial characters to a greater degree than Au.africanus differs from Au. afarensis in these same characters. Au. sediba has also been questioned as a potential ancestor of the genus Homo due to the perception that earlier specimens of the genus have been found than the c198 Ma date of the Malapa sample. This opinion however, does not take into account either the poor condition of these fossils, as well as the numerous problems with both the criteria used to associate them with the genus Homo, nor the questionable provenance of each of these specimens. This argument also does not acknowledge that Malapa is almost certainly not the first chronological appearance of Au. sediba, it is only the first known fossil occurrence. Au. sediba should therefore be considered a strong potential candidate ancestor of the genus Homo until better preserved specimens are discovered that would refute such a hypothesis.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    2011-09-09

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. A trimethoxyellagic acid glucuronide from Conocarpus erectus leaves: isolation, characterization and assay of antioxidant capacity.

    PubMed

    Ayoub, Nahla A

    2010-03-01

    The new trimethoxy-ellagic glycoside, 3,3',4'-tri-O-methylellagic acid 4-O-beta-glucupyranuronide and twelve known phenolics were isolated from the leaves of Conocarpus erectus L. (Combretaceae). Structures of all compounds were determined on the basis of spectroscopic methods and chemical degradation. The new compound, together with four of the isolated known constituents and the plant extract itself, showed potent inhibitory effect against reactive oxygen species attack on salicylic acid in a dose-dependent manner adopting xanthine/hypoxanthine oxidase assay.

  19. 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

  20. 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)

  1. Dental topography and diets of Australopithecus afarensis and early Homo.

    PubMed

    Ungar, Peter

    2004-05-01

    Diet is key to understanding the paleoecology of early hominins. We know little about the diets of these fossil taxa, however, in part because of a limited fossil record, and in part because of limitations in methods available to infer their feeding adaptations. This paper applies a new method, dental topographic analysis, to the inference of diet from fossil hominin teeth. This approach uses laser scanning to generate digital 3D models of teeth and geographic information systems software to measure surface attributes, such as slope and occlusal relief. Because it does not rely on specific landmarks that change with wear, dental topographic analysis allows measurement and comparison of variably worn teeth, greatly increasing sample sizes compared with techniques that require unworn teeth. This study involved comparison of occlusal slope and relief of the lower second molars of Australopithecus afarensis (n=15) and early Homo (n=8) with those of Gorilla gorilla gorilla (n=47) and Pan troglodytes troglodytes (n=54). Results indicate that while all groups show reduced slope and relief in progressively more worn specimens, there are consistent differences at given wear stages among the taxa. Early Homo shows steeper slopes and more relief than chimpanzees, whereas A. afarensis shows less slope and relief than any of the other groups. The differences between the two hominin taxa are on the same order as those between the extant apes, suggesting similar degrees of difference in diet. Because these chimpanzees and gorillas differ mostly in fallback foods where they are sympatric, results suggest that the early hominins may likewise have differed mostly in fallback foods, with A. afarensis emphasizing harder, more brittle foods, and early Homo relying on tougher, more elastic foods.

  2. New dates for the Fontéchevade (Charente, France) Homo remains.

    PubMed

    Chase, Philip G; Debénath, André; Dibble, Harold L; McPherron, Shannon P; Schwarcz, Henry P; Stafford, Thomas W; Tournepiche, Jean-François

    2007-02-01

    Homo I from the site of Fontéchevade, France, has long been an anomaly in the European fossil record. The specimen is a fragment of human frontal bone that lacks a supraorbital torus and appears to belong to an anatomically modern Homo sapiens. However, the level from which it was recovered in 1947 was dated on the basis of associated faunal and lithic material to the last interglacial or earlier. As a result, Homo I has been interpreted, among other things, as a representative of a pre-sapiens lineage in Europe. This paper reports on recent ESR and radiocarbon dates that indicate that the specimen almost certainly dates to oxygen isotope stage 3, which brings it in line with other evidence for the entry of modern Homo sapiens into Europe.

  3. A complete skull from Dmanisi, Georgia, and the evolutionary biology of early Homo.

    PubMed

    Lordkipanidze, David; Ponce de León, Marcia S; Margvelashvili, Ann; Rak, Yoel; Rightmire, G Philip; Vekua, Abesalom; Zollikofer, Christoph P E

    2013-10-18

    The site of Dmanisi, Georgia, has yielded an impressive sample of hominid cranial and postcranial remains, documenting the presence of Homo outside Africa around 1.8 million years ago. Here we report on a new cranium from Dmanisi (D4500) that, together with its mandible (D2600), represents the world's first completely preserved adult hominid skull from the early Pleistocene. D4500/D2600 combines a small braincase (546 cubic centimeters) with a large prognathic face and exhibits close morphological affinities with the earliest known Homo fossils from Africa. The Dmanisi sample, which now comprises five crania, provides direct evidence for wide morphological variation within and among early Homo paleodemes. This implies the existence of a single evolving lineage of early Homo, with phylogeographic continuity across continents.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-20

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

    2010-04-09

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Although some primates, including chimpanzees, throw objects occasionally1,2, only humans regularly throw projectiles with high speed and great accuracy. Darwin noted that humans’ unique throwing abilities, made possible when bipedalism emancipated the arms, enabled foragers to effectively hunt using projectiles3. 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 on when, how, and why hominins evolved the ability to generate high-speed throws4-8. Here, we show using experimental studies of throwers that human 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 two million years ago in the species Homo erectus. Given archaeological evidence that suggests hunting activity intensified around this time9, we conclude that selection for throwing in order to hunt likely played an important role in the evolution of the human genus. PMID:23803849

  19. Earliest evidence of modern human life history in North African early Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Smith, Tanya M; Tafforeau, Paul; Reid, Donald J; Grün, Rainer; Eggins, Stephen; Boutakiout, Mohamed; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2007-04-10

    Recent developmental studies demonstrate that early fossil hominins possessed shorter growth periods than living humans, implying disparate life histories. Analyses of incremental features in teeth provide an accurate means of assessing the age at death of developing dentitions, facilitating direct comparisons with fossil and modern humans. It is currently unknown when and where the prolonged modern human developmental condition originated. Here, an application of x-ray synchrotron microtomography reveals that an early Homo sapiens juvenile from Morocco dated at 160,000 years before present displays an equivalent degree of tooth development to modern European children at the same age. Crown formation times in the juvenile's macrodont dentition are higher than modern human mean values, whereas root development is accelerated relative to modern humans but is less than living apes and some fossil hominins. The juvenile from Jebel Irhoud is currently the oldest-known member of Homo with a developmental pattern (degree of eruption, developmental stage, and crown formation time) that is more similar to modern H. sapiens than to earlier members of Homo. This study also underscores the continuing importance of North Africa for understanding the origins of human anatomical and behavioral modernity. Corresponding biological and cultural changes may have appeared relatively late in the course of human evolution.

  20. [Wearing of the teeth in Australopithecus afarensis: microscopic examination of the superior canine/lower first premolar complex].

    PubMed

    Puech, P F; Albertini, H

    1983-01-01

    Microwear details on teeth of the complex C/P3 of Australopithecus afarensis from Hadar have been found on other Hominids like Homo erectus from Java and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. The description provides valuable information about occlusal mechanics and diets of fossil species.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Fossilized bioelectric wire - the trace fossil Trichichnus.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-16

    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".

  9. Fossilized bioelectric wire - the trace fossil Trichichnus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  10. Fossilized bioelectric wire - the trace fossil Trichichnus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. A fossil hominoid proximal femur from Kikorongo Crater, southwestern Uganda.

    PubMed

    DeSilva, Jeremy; Shoreman, Eleanor; MacLatchy, Laura

    2006-06-01

    The external morphology of a fragmentary right proximal femur from southwestern Uganda is described here. Discovered in the Kikorongo Crater of Queen Elizabeth National Park in 1961, this specimen was informally assigned to Homo sapiens (although never described) and tentatively dated to the late Pleistocene. However, because aspects of the external morphology of the femur align the fossil with the African great apes, we suggest that the Kikorongo femur may be the first postcranial fossil of the genus Pan. Like the African apes, the Kikorongo specimen lacks both an obturator externus groove and an intertrochanteric line. It has a short femoral neck with a circular cross section, and a narrow and deep superior notch. Using resampling statistics and discriminant function analysis, the Kikorongo femur clustered with the genus Pan, as opposed to Gorilla or Homo. However, if the specimen is from Pan, it would be large for this taxon. Furthermore, features that clearly distinguish the external morphology of Plio-Pleistocene hominin proximal femora from African ape femora, such as the shape of the femoral neck in cross section and femoral neck length, have converged in Holocene humans and African apes. Unfortunately, the internal morphology of the femoral neck of the Kikorongo fossil was not discernable. Although we hypothesize that the Kikorongo femur is from the genus Pan, there is such variability in the proximal femora of modern humans that, although it would be an unusual human, it remains possible that this fossil represents H. sapiens.

  18. 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…

  19. Tropical forests and the genus Homo.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Patrick; Boivin, Nicole; Lee-Thorp, Julia; Petraglia, Michael; Stock, Jay

    2016-11-01

    Tropical forests constitute some of the most diverse and complex terrestrial ecosystems on the planet. From the Miocene onward, they have acted as a backdrop to the ongoing evolution of our closest living relatives, the great apes, and provided the cradle for the emergence of early hominins, who retained arboreal physiological adaptations at least into the Late Pliocene. There also now exists growing evidence, from the Late Pleistocene onward, for tool-assisted intensification of tropical forest occupation and resource extraction by our own species, Homo sapiens. However, between the Late Pliocene and Late Pleistocene there is an apparent gap in clear and convincing evidence for the use of tropical forests by hominins, including early members of our own genus. In discussions of Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene hominin evolution, including the emergence and later expansion of Homo species across the globe, tropical forest adaptations tend to be eclipsed by open, savanna environments. Thus far, it is not clear whether this Early-Middle Pleistocene lacuna in Homo-rainforest interaction is real and representative of an adaptive shift with the emergence of our species or if it is simply reflective of preservation bias.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Infrared Spectra of Fossils,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    fossil’s surface is accessible to the analyzing beams. The technique is potentially valuable for the examination of special samples of palaeontological and archaeological interest. Keywords include: Photothermal effect.

  5. Natural Product Molecular Fossils.

    PubMed

    Falk, Heinz; Wolkenstein, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    The natural products synthesized by organisms that were living a long time ago gave rise to their molecular fossils. These can consist of either the original unchanged compounds or they may undergo peripheral transformations in which their skeletons remain intact. In cases when molecular fossils can be traced to their organismic source, they are termed "geological biomarkers".This contribution describes apolar and polar molecular fossils and, in particular biomarkers, along the lines usually followed in organic chemistry textbooks, and points to their bioprecursors when available. Thus, the apolar compounds are divided in linear and branched alkanes followed by alicyclic compounds and aromatic and heterocyclic molecules, and, in particular, the geoporphyrins. The polar molecular fossils contain as functional groups or constituent units ethers, alcohols, phenols, carbonyl groups, flavonoids, quinones, and acids, or are polymers like kerogen, amber, melanin, proteins, or nucleic acids. The final sections discuss the methodology used and the fundamental processes encountered by the biomolecules described, including diagenesis, catagenesis, and metagenesis.

  6. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    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.

  8. Plasma levels of immune factors and sex steroids in the male seahorse Hippocampus erectus during a breeding cycle.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-14

    To better understand the endocrine- and immune-response pattern during reproduction in a fish species having parental care behaviors and also to accumulate the endocrine- and immune-related data for future explanations of the low reproductive efficiency in seahorse species, the variations of immune factors and sex steroids in the plasma of the male lined seahorse Hippocampus erectus at different breeding stages, i.e., pre-pregnancy, pregnancy (early, middle, and late periods), and post-pregnancy, were investigated in the present study. The immune factors included monocytes/leucocytes (M/L), leucocyte phagocytic rate (LPR), immunoglobulin M (Ig M), interleukin-2 (IL-2), interferon-α (IFN-α), and lysozyme (LZM). The sex steroids included testosterone (T), 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT), 11β-hydroxytestosterone (11β-OHT), 17α-methyltestosterone (17α-MT), 17β-estradiol (E2), and 17α-hydroxy-20β-dihydroprogesterone (17α-20β-P). Moreover, the immune metabolic activity of epithelium cells in the brood pouch at different breeding stages was also analyzed through ultrastructural observations of the abundance of cytoplasmic granules, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, lysosomes, and exocytosis. The results show that a higher immune level was observed during pregnancy, particularly in the early and middle periods, and a lower immune level was noted during pre-pregnancy. Correspondingly, the epithelium cells in the brood pouch also showed a stronger immune metabolic activity during pregnancy and weaker activity during pre-pregnancy. Four sex steroids of T, 11β-OHT, 17α-MT, and E2 were higher during pre-pregnancy and lower during post-pregnancy, whereas 11-KT and 17α-20β-P, which were positively correlated with part immune factors, were higher during pregnancy. No negative correlations between sex steroids and immune factors were observed. In conclusion, the higher immune competence during pregnancy may indicate that parental care could improve immunity, which may

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Trace Fossil Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasiotis, Stephen T.

    2009-05-01

    Today, the study of trace fossils—ichnology—is an important subdiscipline of geology at the interface of paleontology and sedimentology, mostly because of the efforts of Adolf Seilacher. His ability to synthesize various aspects of ichnology and produce a hierarchy of marine ichna and sedimentary facies has made ichnology useful worldwide in interpreting paleodiversity, rates of sedimentation, oxygenation of bottom water and sediment pore water, and depositional energy. Seilacher's book Trace Fossil Analysis provides a glimpse into the mind, methodology, and insights of the father of modern ichnology, generated from his course notes as a professor and a guest lecturer. The title sounds misleading—readers looking for up-to-date principles and approaches to trace fossil analysis in marine and continental strata will be disappointed. In his preface, however, Seilacher clearly gives direction for the use of his text: “This is a course book—meaning that it is intended to confer not knowledge, but skill.” Thus, it is not meant as a total compilation of all trace fossils, ichnotaxonomy, ichnological interpretations, applications, or the most relevant and up-to-date references. Rather, it takes the reader on a personal journey, explaining how trace fossils are understood in the context of their three-dimensional (3-D) morphology and sedimentary facies.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Salter, Caroline E; O'Donnell, Kerry; Sutton, Deanna A; Marancik, David P; Knowles, Susan; Clauss, Tonya M; Berliner, Aimee L; Camus, Alvin C

    2012-10-10

    During a 4 mo epizootic, 100% of 152 lined seahorses Hippocampus erectus in 3 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, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA, for diagnostic evaluation. Microscopically, lesions in 11 seahorses included multifocal epithelial necrosis and ulceration associated with 2 to 7 µm diameter, branching, septate fungal hyphae, typically accompanied by deeper infiltration into underlying skeletal muscle. Angioinvasion, with vascular thrombosis and tissue infarction, was a prominent feature in multiple animals. Fungal invasion of one or more internal organs was observed in 4 animals. Hyphae appeared to course freely through tissues and elicited little or no inflammatory response. Fusariosis has been reported sporadically in fish and other aquatic organisms, but identification has often been limited to the genus level based solely on morphologic features. Morphologic characteristics of the fungus isolated from this case were consistent with the Fusarium solani species complex (FSSC), which includes over 50 members that can only be identified definitively using DNA sequence data. A 3-locus typing scheme identified the isolate as a distinct species/haplotype, designated FSSC 12-a, belonging to a specific lineage that appears adapted to aquatic environments and disease in marine animals. Empirical treatment with itraconazole failed to stop mortalities, and subsequent in vitro antifungal susceptibility data explained a lack of clinical efficacy for this agent. Effective treatment in human medicine has similarly been limited by poor susceptibility to several classes of antifungal compounds.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  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. The largest fossil rodent.

    PubMed

    Rinderknecht, Andrés; Blanco, R Ernesto

    2008-04-22

    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 1000kg 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 (4-2Myr ago), and the proposed palaeoenvironment where this rodent lived was characterized as an estuarine or deltaic system with forest communities.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

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

    PubMed

    Gallagher, Andrew

    2014-10-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Cycles in fossil diversity.

    PubMed

    Rohde, Robert A; Muller, Richard A

    2005-03-10

    It is well known that the diversity of life appears to fluctuate during the course of the Phanerozoic, the eon during which hard shells and skeletons left abundant fossils (0-542 million years ago). Here we show, using Sepkoski's compendium of the first and last stratigraphic appearances of 36,380 marine genera, a strong 62 +/- 3-million-year cycle, which is particularly evident 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 the contributions of environmental factors, and possible causes.

  10. Crystal structure of Homo sapiens kynureninase.

    PubMed

    Lima, Santiago; Khristoforov, Roman; Momany, Cory; Phillips, Robert S

    2007-03-13

    Kynureninase is a member of a large family of catalytically diverse but structurally homologous pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) dependent enzymes known as the aspartate aminotransferase superfamily or alpha-family. The Homo sapiens and other eukaryotic constitutive kynureninases preferentially catalyze the hydrolytic cleavage of 3-hydroxy-l-kynurenine to produce 3-hydroxyanthranilate and l-alanine, while l-kynurenine is the substrate of many prokaryotic inducible kynureninases. The human enzyme was cloned with an N-terminal hexahistidine tag, expressed, and purified from a bacterial expression system using Ni metal ion affinity chromatography. Kinetic characterization of the recombinant enzyme reveals classic Michaelis-Menten behavior, with a Km of 28.3 +/- 1.9 microM and a specific activity of 1.75 micromol min-1 mg-1 for 3-hydroxy-dl-kynurenine. Crystals of recombinant kynureninase that diffracted to 2.0 A were obtained, and the atomic structure of the PLP-bound holoenzyme was determined by molecular replacement using the Pseudomonas fluorescens kynureninase structure (PDB entry 1qz9) as the phasing model. A structural superposition with the P. fluorescens kynureninase revealed that these two structures resemble the "open" and "closed" conformations of aspartate aminotransferase. The comparison illustrates the dynamic nature of these proteins' small domains and reveals a role for Arg-434 similar to its role in other AAT alpha-family members. Docking of 3-hydroxy-l-kynurenine into the human kynureninase active site suggests that Asn-333 and His-102 are involved in substrate binding and molecular discrimination between inducible and constitutive kynureninase substrates.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García, Nuria; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2011-06-01

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

  14. On dental wear, dental work, and oral health in the type specimen (LB1) of Homo floresiensis.

    PubMed

    Jungers, William L; Kaifu, Yousuke

    2011-06-01

    The claim that the lower left first mandibular molar of LB1, the type specimen of Homo floresiensis, displays endodontic work, and a filling is assessed by digital radiography and micro-CT scanning. The M(1) tooth crown is heavily worn and exhibits extensive dentine exposure that is stained white, but there is no trace of endodontic treatment or a dental filling in this Indonesian fossil dated to 17.1-19.0 kya. Dental calculus (commonly observed in foragers) is present on the teeth of LB1, but there are no observable caries. The pattern of dental attrition in the mandibles of both LB1/2 and LB6/1 (moderate to extensive flat wear across the entire arch) is consistent with that seen in Plio-Pleistocene Homo fossils and in modern hunter-gatherers, and is not typical of most agriculturalists. We conclude that the dental-work and farming hypotheses are falsified and therefore irrelevant to the debate over the taxonomy and phylogeny of H. floresiensis.

  15. Geometric morphometrics and paleoneurology: brain shape evolution in the genus Homo.

    PubMed

    Bruner, Emiliano

    2004-11-01

    Paleoneurology concerns the study and analysis of fossil endocasts. Together with cranial capacity and discrete anatomical features, shape can be analysed to consider the spatial relationships between structures and to investigate the endocranial structural system. A sample of endocasts from fossil specimens of the genus Homo has been analysed using traditional metrics and 2D geometric morphometrics based on lateral projections of endocranial shape. The maximum and frontal widths show a size-related pattern of variation shared by all the taxa considered. Furthermore, as cranial capacity increases in the non-modern morphotypes there is a general endocranial vertical stretching (mainly centred at the anterior ascending circumvolution) with flattening and relative shortening of the parietal areas. This pattern could have involved some structural stress between brain development and vault bones at the parietal midsagittal profile in the heavy encephalised Neandertals. In contrast, modern humans show a species-specific neomorphic hypertrophy of the parietal volumes, leading to a dorsal growth and ventral flexion (convolution) and consequent globularity of the whole structure. Brain tensors such as the falx cerebri have been hypothesised to represent one of the main physical constraints on morphogenetic trajectories, with additional influences from cranial base structures. The neurofunctional inferences discussed here stress the role of the parietal areas in the visuo-spatial coordination and integration, which can be involved in higher cerebral functions and related to conceptual thinking.

  16. 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).

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Mounier, Aurélien; Marchal, François; Condemi, Silvana

    2009-03-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Fossilization of melanosomes via sulfurization.

    PubMed

    McNamara, Maria E; van Dongen, Bart E; Lockyer, Nick P; Bull, Ian D; Orr, Patrick J

    2016-05-01

    Fossil melanin granules (melanosomes) are an important resource for inferring the evolutionary history of colour and its functions in animals. The taphonomy of melanin and melanosomes, however, is incompletely understood. In particular, the chemical processes responsible for melanosome preservation have not been investigated. As a result, the origins of sulfur-bearing compounds in fossil melanosomes are difficult to resolve. This has implications for interpretations of original colour in fossils based on potential sulfur-rich phaeomelanosomes. Here we use pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry (Py-GCMS), fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) to assess the mode of preservation of fossil microstructures, confirmed as melanosomes based on the presence of melanin, preserved in frogs from the Late Miocene Libros biota (NE Spain). Our results reveal a high abundance of organosulfur compounds and non-sulfurized fatty acid methyl esters in both the fossil tissues and host sediment; chemical signatures in the fossil tissues are inconsistent with preservation of phaeomelanin. Our results reflect preservation via the diagenetic incorporation of sulfur, i.e. sulfurization (natural vulcanization), and other polymerization processes. Organosulfur compounds and/or elevated concentrations of sulfur have been reported from melanosomes preserved in various invertebrate and vertebrate fossils and depositional settings, suggesting that preservation through sulfurization is likely to be widespread. Future studies of sulfur-rich fossil melanosomes require that the geochemistry of the host sediment is tested for evidence of sulfurization in order to constrain interpretations of potential phaeomelanosomes and thus of original integumentary colour in fossils.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Weaver, Anne H

    2005-03-08

    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.

  14. 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

  15. Do co-occurring plant species adapt to one another? The response of Bromus erectus to the presence of different Thymus vulgaris chemotypes.

    PubMed

    Ehlers, Bodil K; Thompson, John

    2004-11-01

    Local modification of the soil environment by individual plants may affect the performance and composition of associated plant species. The aromatic plant Thymus vulgaris has the potential to modify the soil through leaching of water-soluble compounds from leaves and litter decomposition. In southern France, six different thyme chemotypes can be distinguished based on the dominant monoterpene in the essential oil, which is either phenolic or non-phenolic in structure. We examine how soils from within and away from thyme patches in sites dominated by either phenolic or non-phenolic chemotypes affect germination, growth and reproduction of the associated grass species Bromus erectus. To do so, we collected seeds of B. erectus from three phenolic and three non-phenolic sites. Seeds and seedlings were grown on soils from these sites in a reciprocal transplant type experiment in the glasshouse. Brome of non-phenolic origin performed significantly better on its home soil than on soil from a different non-phenolic or a phenolic site. This response to local chemotypes was only observed on soil collected directly underneath thyme plants and not on soil in the same site (<5 m away) but where no thyme plants were present. This is preliminary evidence that brome plants show an adaptive response to soil modifications mediated by the local thyme chemotypes. Reproductive effort was consistently higher in brome of phenolic origin than in brome of non-phenolic origin (on both thyme- and grass-soil), indicating that life-history variation may be related to environmental factors which also contribute to the spatial differentiation of thyme chemotypes. Moreover, we found that brome growing on thyme-soil in general was heavier than when growing on grass-soil, regardless of the origin of the brome plants. This is concordant with thyme-soil containing higher amounts of organic matter and nitrogen than grass-soil. Our results indicate that patterns of genetic differentiation and local

  16. 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).

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Quantitative three-dimensional shape analysis of the proximal hallucial metatarsal articular surface in Homo, Pan, Gorilla, and Hylobates.

    PubMed

    Proctor, Daniel J; Broadfield, Douglas; Proctor, Kristopher

    2008-02-01

    Multidimensional morphometrics is used to compare the proximal articular surface of the first metatarsal between Homo, Pan, Gorilla, Hylobates, and the hominin fossils A.L. 333-54 (A. afarensis), SKX 5017 (P. robustus), and OH 8 (H. habilis). Statistically significant differences in articular surface morphology exist between H. sapiens and the apes, and between ape groups. Ape groups are characterized by greater surface depth, an obliquely curved articular surface through the dorso-lateral and medio-plantar regions, and a wider medio-lateral surface relative to the dorso-plantar height. The OH 8 articular surface is indistinguishable from H. sapiens, while A.L. 333-54 and SKX 5017 more closely resemble the apes. P. robustus and A. afarensis exhibit ape-like oblique curvature of the articular surface.

  20. Palaeobiology: Argentinian unhatched pterosaur fossil.

    PubMed

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

    2004-12-02

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Rule Fossilization: A Tentative Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vigil, Neddy A.; Oller, John W.

    1976-01-01

    A cybernetic model of factors involved in the fossilization of grammatical and lexical forms in learner grammars is offered. A distinction is made between affective and cognitive dimensions of a multidimensional channel of human communication; and the effect of expected and unexpected feedback on these two dimensions is discussed. (Author/POP)

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

    Context. Fossil groups (FG) are expected to be the final product of galaxy merging within galaxy groups. In simulations, they are predicted to assemble their mass at high redshift. This early formation allows for the innermost M∗ galaxies to merge into a massive central galaxy. Then, they are expected to maintain their fossil status because of the few interactions with the large-scale structure. In this context, the magnitude gap between the two brightest galaxies of the system is considered a good indicator of its dynamical status. As a consequence, the systems with the largest gaps should be dynamically relaxed. Aims: In order to examine the dynamical status of these systems, we systematically analyze, for the first time, the presence of galaxy substructures in a sample of 12 spectroscopically-confirmed fossil systems with redshift z ≤ 0.25. Methods: We apply a number of tests to investigate the substructure in fossil systems in the two-dimensional space of projected positions out to R200. Moreover, for a subsample of five systems with at least 30 spectroscopically-confirmed members we also analyze the substructure in the velocity and in the three-dimensional velocity-position spaces. Additionally, we look for signs of recent mergers in the regions around the central galaxies. Results: We find that an important fraction of fossil systems show substructure. The fraction depends critically on the adopted test, since each test is more sensitive to a particular type of substructure. Conclusions: Our interpretation of the results is that fossil systems are not, in general, as relaxed as expected from simulations. Our sample of 12 spectroscopically-confirmed fossil systems need to be extended to compute an accurate fraction, but our conclusion is that this fraction is similar to the fraction of substructure detected in nonfossil clusters. This result points out that the magnitude gap alone is not a good indicator of the dynamical status of a system. However, the

  7. A Biological Time Capsule. Fossil Fish.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dolph, Gary E.; Dolph, Laura L.

    1990-01-01

    Described is an activity where students prepare high-quality fossil specimens to demonstrate the theory of evolution. The technique needed for fossil removal, the geologic and paleoclimatic setting, and the fish morphology are discussed. (KR)

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Looking at Fossils in New Ways

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flannery, Maura C.

    2005-01-01

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

  11. 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. 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.

  13. Clustering fossils in solid inflation

    SciTech Connect

    Akhshik, Mohammad

    2015-05-01

    In solid inflation the single field non-Gaussianity consistency condition is violated. As a result, the long tenor perturbation induces observable clustering fossils in the form of quadrupole anisotropy in large scale structure power spectrum. In this work we revisit the bispectrum analysis for the scalar-scalar-scalar and tensor-scalar-scalar bispectrum for the general parameter space of solid. We consider the parameter space of the model in which the level of non-Gaussianity generated is consistent with the Planck constraints. Specializing to this allowed range of model parameter we calculate the quadrupole anisotropy induced from the long tensor perturbations on the power spectrum of the scalar perturbations. We argue that the imprints of clustering fossil from primordial gravitational waves on large scale structures can be detected from the future galaxy surveys.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

    2016-06-09

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-07

    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.

  20. Shared pattern of endocranial shape asymmetries among great apes, anatomically modern humans, and fossil hominins.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. THE NATURE OF FOSSIL GALAXY GROUPS: ARE THEY REALLY FOSSILS?

    SciTech Connect

    La Barbera, F.; Sorrentino, G.; De Carvalho, R. R.; De la Rosa, I. G.; Gal, R. R.; Kohl-Moreira, J. L.

    2009-04-15

    We use SDSS-DR4 photometric and spectroscopic data out to redshift z {approx} 0.1 combined with ROSAT All Sky Survey X-ray data to produce a sample of 25 fossil groups (FGs), defined as bound systems dominated by a single, luminous elliptical galaxy with extended X-ray emission. We examine possible biases introduced by varying the parameters used to define the sample, and the main pitfalls are also discussed. The spatial density of FGs, estimated via the V/V {sub MAX} test, is 2.83 x 10{sup -6} h {sup 3} {sub 75} Mpc{sup -3} for L{sub X} > 0.89 x 10{sup 42} h {sup -2} {sub 75} erg s{sup -1} consistent with Vikhlinin et al., who examined an X-ray overluminous elliptical galaxy sample (OLEG). We compare the general properties of FGs identified here with a sample of bright field ellipticals generated from the same data set. These two samples show no differences in the distribution of neighboring faint galaxy density excess, distance from the red sequence in the color-magnitude diagram, and structural parameters such as a {sub 4} and internal color gradients. Furthermore, examination of stellar populations shows that our 25 FGs have similar ages, metallicities, and {alpha}-enhancement as the bright field ellipticals, undermining the idea that these systems represent fossils of a physical mechanism that occurred at high redshift. Our study reveals no difference between FGs and field ellipticals, suggesting that FGs might not be a distinct family of true fossils, but rather the final stage of mass assembly in the universe.

  2. Direct evidence for the Homo-Pan clade.

    PubMed

    Wimmer, Rainer; Kirsch, Stefan; Rappold, Gudrun A; Schempp, Werner

    2002-01-01

    For a long time, the evolutionary relationship between human and African apes, the 'trichotomy problem', has been debated with strong differences in opinion and interpretation. Statistical analyses of different molecular DNA data sets have been carried out and have primarily supported a Homo-Pan clade. An alternative way to address this question is by the comparison of evolutionarily relevant chromosomal breakpoints. Here, we made use of a P1-derived artificial chromosome (PAC)/bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) contig spanning approximately 2.8 Mb on the long arm of the human Y chromosome, to comparatively map individual PAC clones to chromosomes from great apes, gibbons, and two species of Old World monkeys by fluorescence in-situ hybridization. During our search for evolutionary breakpoints on the Y chromosome, it transpired that a transposition of an approximately 100-kb DNA fragment from chromosome 1 onto the Y chromosome must have occurred in a common ancestor of human, chimpanzee and bonobo. Only the Y chromosomes of these three species contain the chromosome-1-derived fragment; it could not be detected on the Y chromosomes of gorillas or the other primates examined. Thus, this shared derived (synapomorphic) trait provides clear evidence for a Homo-Pan clade independent of DNA sequence analysis.

  3. Structural basis of homo- and heterotrimerization of collagen I

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Urvashi; Carrique, Loïc; Vadon-Le Goff, Sandrine; Mariano, Natacha; Georges, Rainier-Numa; Delolme, Frederic; Koivunen, Peppi; Myllyharju, Johanna; Moali, Catherine; Aghajari, Nushin; Hulmes, David J. S.

    2017-01-01

    Fibrillar collagen molecules are synthesized as precursors, procollagens, with large propeptide extensions. While a homotrimeric form (three α1 chains) has been reported in embryonic tissues as well as in diseases (cancer, fibrosis, genetic disorders), collagen type I usually occurs as a heterotrimer (two α1 chains and one α2 chain). Inside the cell, the role of the C-terminal propeptides is to gather together the correct combination of three α chains during molecular assembly, but how this occurs for different forms of the same collagen type is so far unknown. Here, by structural and mutagenic analysis, we identify key amino acid residues in the α1 and α2 C-propeptides that determine homo- and heterotrimerization. A naturally occurring mutation in one of these alters the homo/heterotrimer balance. These results show how the C-propeptide of the α2 chain has specifically evolved to permit the appearance of heterotrimeric collagen I, the major extracellular building block among the metazoa. PMID:28281531

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Homo quintadus, computers and ROOMS (repetitive ocular orthopedic motion stress).

    PubMed

    Grant, A H

    1990-04-01

    Inherent conflict exists between computer systems and ocular physiology of Homo quintadus. Adverse ocular side effects of excessive saccades, excyclotorsion, supraduction, excessive field-of-fixation usage, capitas extension, astigmatic changes, otostatic reflex mismatching, and needless orthopedic malfunctions are imposed upon computer operators. Although the orthopedic dysfunctions are commonly grouped under the heading of Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI), the inextricable linkage to poor ocular-neurological function argues for postulation of a broader schema entitled Repetitive Ocular Orthopedic Motion Stress (ROOMS). Concepts of good tool usage, total tactile familiarity, total proprioceptive familiarity, and visual cone-of-comfort clash with the installed-equipment base and indicate need for an integrated computer work station to facilitate near covisualization of screen/keyboard and to afford freedom-of-choice for optimal hand/eye synchronicity. The advocacy of computer operators' needs by user-welfare groups, universities, labor unions, and government agencies are portents for achieving genuine improvements.

  9. 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).

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Scott, Jeremiah E; Lockwood, Charles A

    2004-12-01

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

  15. 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

  16. The original colours of fossil beetles.

    PubMed

    McNamara, Maria E; Briggs, Derek E G; Orr, Patrick J; Noh, Heeso; Cao, Hui

    2012-03-22

    Structural colours, the most intense, reflective and pure colours in nature, are generated when light is scattered by complex nanostructures. Metallic structural colours are widespread among modern insects and can be preserved in their fossil counterparts, but it is unclear whether the colours have been altered during fossilization, and whether the absence of colours is always real. To resolve these issues, we investigated fossil beetles from five Cenozoic biotas. Metallic colours in these specimens are generated by an epicuticular multi-layer reflector; the fidelity of its preservation correlates with that of other key cuticular ultrastructures. Where these other ultrastructures are well preserved in non-metallic fossil specimens, we can infer that the original cuticle lacked a multi-layer reflector; its absence in the fossil is not a preservational artefact. Reconstructions of the original colours of the fossils based on the structure of the multi-layer reflector show that the preserved colours are offset systematically to longer wavelengths; this probably reflects alteration of the refractive index of the epicuticle during fossilization. These findings will allow the former presence, and original hue, of metallic structural colours to be identified in diverse fossil insects, thus providing critical evidence of the evolution of structural colour in this group.

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Atomic force microscopy of Precambrian microscopic fossils.

    PubMed

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

    2002-07-09

    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. Atomic force microscopy of Precambrian microscopic fossils

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

    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 ≈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 ≈200-nm-sized angular platelets of polycyclic aromatic kerogen. Together, AFM and laser-Raman spectroscopy provide means by which to elucidate the submicron-scale structure of individual microscopic fossils, investigate the geochemical maturation of ancient organic matter, and, potentially, distinguish true fossils from pseudofossils and probe the mechanisms of fossil preservation by silica permineralization. PMID:12089337

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Postnatal temporal bone ontogeny in Pan, Gorilla, and Homo, and the implications for temporal bone ontogeny in Australopithecus afarensis.

    PubMed

    Terhune, Claire E; Kimbel, William H; Lockwood, Charles A

    2013-08-01

    Assessments of temporal bone morphology have played an important role in taxonomic and phylogenetic evaluations of fossil taxa, and recent three-dimensional analyses of this region have supported the utility of the temporal bone for testing taxonomic and phylogenetic hypotheses. But while clinical analyses have examined aspects of temporal bone ontogeny in humans, the ontogeny of the temporal bone in non-human taxa is less well documented. This study examines ontogenetic allometry of the temporal bone in order to address several research questions related to the pattern and trajectory of temporal bone shape change during ontogeny in the African apes and humans. We further apply these data to a preliminary analysis of temporal bone ontogeny in Australopithecus afarensis. Three-dimensional landmarks were digitized on an ontogenetic series of specimens of Homo sapiens, Pan troglodytes, Pan paniscus, and Gorilla gorilla. Data were analyzed using geometric morphometric methods, and shape changes throughout ontogeny in relation to size were compared. Results of these analyses indicate that, despite broadly similar patterns, African apes and humans show marked differences in development of the mandibular fossa and tympanic portions of the temporal bone. These findings indicate divergent, rather than parallel, postnatal ontogenetic allometric trajectories for temporal bone shape in these taxa. The pattern of temporal bone shape change with size exhibited by A. afarensis showed some affinities to that of humans, but was most similar to extant African apes, particularly Gorilla.

  6. Clean Fossil Energy Conversion Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, L.-S.

    2007-03-01

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

  7. Fossil oak galls preserve ancient multitrophic interactions.

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-07

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

  8. 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.

  9. N2 HOMO-1 orbital cross section revealed through high-order-harmonic generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troß, Jan; Ren, Xiaoming; Makhija, Varun; Mondal, Sudipta; Kumarappan, Vinod; Trallero-Herrero, Carlos A.

    2017-03-01

    We measure multi-orbital contributions to high harmonic generation from aligned nitrogen. We show that the change in revival structure in the cutoff harmonics has a counterpart in the angular distribution when a lower-lying orbital contributes to the harmonic yield. This angular distribution is directly observed in the laboratory without any further deconvolution. Because of the high degree of alignment we are able to distinguish angular contributions of the highest occupied molecular orbital 1 (HOMO-1) orbital from angle-dependent spectroscopic features of the HOMO. In particular, we are able to make a direct comparison with the cross section of the HOMO-1 orbital in the extreme ultraviolet region.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Bosiocic, Vanya

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27853608

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. [The emergence of obstetrical mechanism: From Lucy to Homo sapiens].

    PubMed

    Frémondière, P; Thollon, L; Marchal, F

    2017-03-01

    The evolutionary history of modern birth mechanism is now a renewed interest in obstetrical papers. The purpose of this work is to review the literature in paleo-obstetrical field. Our analysis focuses on paleo-obstetrical hypothesis, from 1960 to the present day, based on the reconstruction of fossil pelvis. Indeed, these pelvic reconstructions usually provide an opportunity to make an obstetrical assumption in our ancestors. In this analysis, we show that modern birth mechanism takes place during the emergence of our genus 2 million years ago. References are made to human specificities related to obstetrical mechanism: exclusive bipedalism, increase of brain size at birth, metabolic cost of the pregnancy and deep trophoblastic implantation.

  17. Quaternary fossil fish from the Kibish Formation, Omo Valley, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Trapani, Josh

    2008-09-01

    The late Quaternary Kibish Formation of the Omo Valley, southwestern Ethiopia, preserves environments reflecting a history of fluctuations in the level of nearby Lake Turkana over the past 200,000 years. The Kibish Formation has yielded a diverse mammalian fauna (as well as birds and crocodiles), stone tools, and the oldest anatomically modern Homo sapiens. Fish, the most common vertebrate fossils in this unit, are reported in this study. Catfish (especially clariids and Synodontis) and Nile perch (Lates niloticus) predominate, but the gymnarchid Gymnarchus, a cyprinid (Barbus), tigerfish (Hydrocynus), pufferfish (Tetraodon), and other catfish are also present. In total, nine teleost genera are found in the Kibish Formation, representing a subset of the 37 genera that constitute the modern Omo-Turkana ichthyofauna. Several taxa present in the modern fauna, including Polypterus and members of the family Cichlidae, are not found in the Kibish deposits. Most specimens are preserved as disarticulated or broken skeletal elements, but some preservation of articulated elements (e.g., sets of vertebrae, crania with lower jaws or cleithra) also occurs. Many of the catfish and Nile perch specimens are larger than the largest reported from the modern river or lake. Faunas of Kibish Members I and III closely resemble one another; the fauna from Member IV contains only the three most common taxa (Clarias, Synodontis, Lates), though this may result from insufficient sampling. Barbed bone points have been collected from the upper part of the formation, indicating a long association between the human inhabitants and the fish fauna of the Omo Valley.

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

    PubMed

    Cherif, Alhaji; Barley, Kamal; Hurtado, Marcel

    2016-03-01

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

  19. 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)

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The fossil record of the sixth extinction.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Phase identification and quantification in a devitrified glass using homo- and heteronuclear solid-state NMR.

    PubMed

    Tricot, Grégory; Delevoye, Laurent; Palavit, Gérard; Montagne, Lionel

    2005-11-14

    A complex mixture resulting from the devitrification of an aluminophosphate glass has been studied for the first time using a combination of homo- and heteronuclear solid-state NMR sequences that offers the advantage of subsequent quantification.

  5. Identification of immunoreactive material in mammoth fossils.

    PubMed

    Schweitzer, Mary; Hill, Christopher L; Asara, John M; Lane, William S; Pincus, Seth H

    2002-12-01

    The fossil record represents a history of life on this planet. Attempts to obtain molecular information from this record by analysis of nucleic acids found within fossils of extreme age have been unsuccessful or called into question. However, previous studies have demonstrated the long-term persistence of peptides within fossils and have used antibodies to extant proteins to demonstrate antigenic material. In this study we address two questions: Do immunogenic/antigenic materials persist in fossils? and; Can fossil material be used to raise antibodies that will cross-react with extant proteins? We have used material extracted from a well-preserved 100000-300000-year-old mammoth skull to produce antisera. The specificity of the antisera was tested by ELISA, western blotting, and immunohistochemistry. It was demonstrated that antisera reacted specifically with the fossils and not the surrounding sediments. Reactivity of antisera with modern proteins and tissues was also demonstrated, as was the ability to detect evolutionary relationships via antibody-antigen interactions. Mass spectrometry demonstrated the presence of amino acids and specific peptides within the fossil. Peptides were purified by anion-exchange chromatography and sequenced by tandem mass spectrometry. The collagen-derived peptides may have been the source of at least some of the immunologic reactivity, but the antisera identified molecules that were not observed by mass spectrometry, indicating that immunologic methods may have greater sensitivity. Although the presence of peptides and amino acids was demonstrated, the exact nature of the antigenic material was not fully clarified. This report demonstrates that antibodies may be used to obtain information from the fossil record.

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Synthesis of novel homo-N-nucleoside analogs composed of a homo-1,4-dioxane sugar analog and substituted 1,3,5-triazine base equivalents.

    PubMed

    Yu, Qiang; Schwidom, Dirk; Exner, Alexander; Carlsen, Per

    2008-12-10

    Enantioselective syntheses from dimethyl tartrate of 1,3,5-triazine homo-N-nucleoside analogs, containing a 1,4-dioxane moiety replacing the sugar unit in natural nucleosides, were accomplished. The triazine heterocycle in the nucleoside analogs was further substituted with combinations of NH(2), OH and Cl in the 2,4-triazine positions.

  13. 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.

  14. 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).

  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. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The relationship between homosexuality, internalized homo-negativity, and mental health in men who have sex with men.

    PubMed

    Rosser, B R Simon; Bockting, Walter O; Ross, Michael W; Miner, Michael H; Coleman, Eli

    2008-01-01

    Whether homosexuality or internalized homo-negativity is the critical variable affecting the mental health of men who have sex with men has long been debated. As part of a larger study, 422 Midwestern homosexual men completed questionnaires examining degree of homosexuality, internalized homo-negativity, and depression. Logistic regression modeling identified internalized homo-negativity, but not degree of homosexuality, as significantly associated with greater adjustment depression (OR = 1.5), major depression (OR = 2.6), dysthymia (OR = 1.5), and likelihood of being in therapy (OR = 1.4). Internalized homo-negativity was also negatively associated with overall sexual health, psychosexual maturation, comfort with sexual orientation, "outness," and peer socialization. Internalized homo-negativity, not homosexuality, appears associated with negative health outcomes. Providers should promote sexual health and avoid interventions that reinforce internalized homo-negativity.

  1. 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.

  2. Fossils of parasites: what can the fossil record tell us about the evolution of parasitism?

    PubMed

    Leung, Tommy L F

    2017-02-01

    Parasites are common in many ecosystems, yet because of their nature, they do not fossilise readily and are very rare in the geological record. This makes it challenging to study the evolutionary transition that led to the evolution of parasitism in different taxa. Most studies on the evolution of parasites are based on phylogenies of extant species that were constructed based on morphological and molecular data, but they give us an incomplete picture and offer little information on many important details of parasite-host interactions. The lack of fossil parasites also means we know very little about the roles that parasites played in ecosystems of the past even though it is known that parasites have significant influences on many ecosystems. The goal of this review is to bring attention to known fossils of parasites and parasitism, and provide a conceptual framework for how research on fossil parasites can develop in the future. Despite their rarity, there are some fossil parasites which have been described from different geological eras. These fossils include the free-living stage of parasites, parasites which became fossilised with their hosts, parasite eggs and propagules in coprolites, and traces of pathology inflicted by parasites on the host's body. Judging from the fossil record, while there were some parasite-host relationships which no longer exist in the present day, many parasite taxa which are known from the fossil record seem to have remained relatively unchanged in their general morphology and their patterns of host association over tens or even hundreds of millions of years. It also appears that major evolutionary and ecological transitions throughout the history of life on Earth coincided with the appearance of certain parasite taxa, as the appearance of new host groups also provided new niches for potential parasites. As such, fossil parasites can provide additional data regarding the ecology of their extinct hosts, since many parasites have

  3. Hydrogen consumption in microbial electrochemical systems (MXCs): the role of homo-acetogenic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Parameswaran, Prathap; Torres, César I; Lee, Hyung-Sool; Rittmann, Bruce E; Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa

    2011-01-01

    Homo-acetogens in the anode of a microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) fed with H(2) as sole electron donor allowed current densities similar to acetate-fed biofilm anodes (∼10 A/m(2)). Evidence for homo-acetogens included accumulation of acetate at high concentrations (up to 18 mM) in the anode compartment; detection of formate, a known intermediate during reductive acetogenesis by the acetyl-CoA pathway; and detection of formyl tetrahydrofolate synthetase (FTHFS) genes by quantitative real-time PCR. Current production and acetate accumulation increased in parallel in batch and continuous mode, while both values decreased simultaneously at short hydraulic retention times (1h) in the anode compartment, which limited suspended homo-acetogens. Acetate produced by homo-acetogens accounted for about 88% of the current density of 10A/m(2), but the current density was sustained at 4A/m(2) at short hydraulic retention time because of a robust partnership of homo-acetogens and anode respiring bacteria (ARB) in the biofilm anode.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Comparative skeletal features between Homo floresiensis and patients with primary growth hormone insensitivity (Laron Syndrome).

    PubMed

    Hershkovitz, Israel; Kornreich, Liora; Laron, Zvi

    2007-10-01

    Comparison between the skeletal remains of Homo floresiensis and the auxological and roentgenological findings in a large Israeli cohort of patients with Laron Syndrome (LS, primary or classical GH insensitivity or resistance) revealed striking morphological similarities, including extremely small stature and reduced cranial volume. LS is an autosomal recessive disease caused by a molecular defect of the Growth Hormone (GH) receptor or in the post-receptor cascades. Epidemiological studies have shown that LS occurs more often in consanguineous families and isolates, and it has been described in several countries in South East Asia. It is our conclusion that the findings from the island of Flores, which were attributed to a new species of the genus Homo, may in fact represent a local, highly inbred, Homo sapiens population in whom a mutation for the GH receptor had occurred.

  10. 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.

  11. Global and local processing in adult humans (Homo sapiens), 5-year-old children (Homo sapiens), and adult cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus).

    PubMed

    Neiworth, Julie J; Gleichman, Amy J; Olinick, Anne S; Lamp, Kristen E

    2006-11-01

    This study compared adults (Homo sapiens), young children (Homo sapiens), and adult tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) while they discriminated global and local properties of stimuli. Subjects were trained to discriminate a circle made of circle elements from a square made of square elements and were tested with circles made of squares and squares made of circles. Adult humans showed a global bias in testing that was unaffected by the density of the elements in the stimuli. Children showed a global bias with dense displays but discriminated by both local and global properties with sparse displays. Adult tamarins' biases matched those of the children. The striking similarity between the perceptual processing of adult monkeys and humans diagnosed with autism and the difference between this and normatively developing human perception is discussed.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Fossils of reionization in the local group

    SciTech Connect

    Gnedin, Nickolay Y.; Kravtsov, Andrey V.; /KICP, Chicago /Chicago U., EFI /Chicago U., Astron. Astrophys. Ctr.

    2006-01-01

    We use a combination of high-resolution gas dynamics simulations of high-redshift dwarf galaxies and dissipationless simulations of a Milky Way sized halo to estimate the expected abundance and spatial distribution of the dwarf satellite galaxies that formed most of their stars around z {approx} 8 and evolved only little since then. Such galaxies can be considered as fossils of the reionization era, and studying their properties could provide a direct window into the early, pre-reionization stages of galaxy formation. We show that 5-15% of the objects existing at z {approx} 8 do indeed survive until the present in the MW like environment without significant evolution. This implies that it is plausible that the fossil dwarf galaxies do exist in the Local Group. Because such galaxies form their stellar systems early during the period of active merging and accretion, they should have spheroidal morphology regardless of their current distance from the host galaxy. We show that both the expected luminosity function and spatial distribution of dark matter halos which are likely to host fossil galaxies agree reasonably well with the observed distributions of the luminous (L{sub V} > 10{sup 6} Lsun) Local Group fossil candidates near the host galaxy (d<200 kpc). However, the predicted abundance is substantially larger (by a factor of 2-3) for fainter galaxies (L{sub V} < 10{sup 6} Lsun) at larger distances (d>300 kpc). We discuss several possible explanations for this discrepancy.

  15. 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)

  16. 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)

  17. Paranasal pneumatization in extant and fossil Cercopithecoidea.

    PubMed

    Rae, Todd C

    2008-03-01

    Unlike most primates, extant cercopithecoids lack maxillary sinuses, which are pneumatic spaces in the facial skeleton lateral of the nasal cavity proper. Character state analysis of living cercopithecoids across well-supported topologies suggests that the sinus was lost at the origin of the superfamily, only to have evolved again convergently in extant macaques. Recent work has shown that a) the 'early loss' hypothesis is supported by the lack of any pneumatization in Victoriapithecus, a stem cercopithecoid, b) like extant macaques, the fossil cercopithecine Paradolichopithecus shows evidence of presence of the maxillary sinus (MS), and c) unlike extant colobines, the fossil colobine Libypithecus also possesses a maxillary sinus. To more fully assess the pattern of cercopithecoid sinus evolution, fossil taxa from both subfamilies (Colobinae, Cercopithecinae) were examined both visually and by computed tomography (CT). The observations were evaluated according to standard anatomical criteria for defining sinus spaces, and compared with data from all extant Old World monkey genera. Most taxa examined conformed to the pattern already discerned from extant cercopithecoids. Maxillary sinus absence in Theropithecus oswaldi, Mesopithecus, and Rhinocolobus is typical for all extant cercopithecids except Macaca. The fossil macaque Macaca majori possesses a well-developed maxillary sinus, as do all living species of the genus. Cercopithecoides, on the other hand, differs from all extant colobines in possessing a maxillary sinus. Thus, paranasal pneumatization has reemerged a minimum of two and possibly three times in cercopithecoids. The results suggest that maxillary sinus absence in cercopithecoids is due to suppression, rather than complete loss.

  18. On the fossil record of the Gekkota.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  19. Solid modeling of fossil small mammal teeth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  20. Geoscience: Fossil raindrops and ancient air

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassata, William S.; Renne, Paul R.

    2012-04-01

    An analysis of fossil imprints of ancient raindrops suggests that the density of the atmosphere 2.7 billion years ago was much the same as that today. This result casts fresh light on a long-standing palaeoclimate paradox. See Letter p.359

  1. Learning about Fossil Formation by Classroom Simulation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schlenker, Richard M.; Yoshida, Sarah J.

    1991-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. New blue emissive conjugated small molecules with low lying HOMO energy levels for optoelectronic applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trupthi Devaiah, C.; Hemavathi, B.; Ahipa, T. N.

    2017-03-01

    Versatile conjugated small molecules bearing cyanopyridone core (CP1-5), composed of various donor/acceptor moieties at position - 4 and - 6 have been designed, developed and characterized. Their solvatochromic studies were conducted and analyzed using Lippert-Mataga, Kamlet-Taft and Catalan solvent scales and interesting results were obtained. The polarizability/dipolarity of the solvent greatly influenced the spectra. The electrochemical studies were carried out using cyclic voltammetry to calculate the HOMO-LUMO energy levels. The study revealed that the synthesized conjugated small molecules possess low lying HOMO energy levels which can be exploited for application in various fields of optoelectronics.

  5. Late Pliocene Homo and hominid land use from Western Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Blumenschine, Robert J; Peters, Charles R; Masao, Fidelis T; Clarke, Ronald J; Deino, Alan L; Hay, Richard L; Swisher, Carl C; Stanistreet, Ian G; Ashley, Gail M; McHenry, Lindsay J; Sikes, Nancy E; Van Der Merwe, Nikolaas J; Tactikos, Joanne C; Cushing, Amy E; Deocampo, Daniel M; Njau, Jackson K; Ebert, James I

    2003-02-21

    Excavation in the previously little-explored western portion of Olduvai Gorge indicates that hominid land use of the eastern paleobasin extended at least episodically to the west. Finds included a dentally complete Homo maxilla (OH 65) with lower face, Oldowan stone artifacts, and butchery-marked bones dated to be between 1.84 and 1.79 million years old. The hominid shows strong affinities to the KNM ER 1470 cranium from Kenya (Homo rudolfensis), a morphotype previously unrecognized at Olduvai. ER 1470 and OH 65 can be accommodated in the H. habilis holotype, casting doubt on H. rudolfensis as a biologically valid taxon.

  6. Exceptional fossil preservation and the cambrian explosion.

    PubMed

    Butterfield, Nicholas J

    2003-02-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. [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.

  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. Similar Pathogen Targets in Arabidopsis thaliana and Homo sapiens Protein Networks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-21

    transduction components between organelle such as the nucleus and mitochondria as the cell strives to maintain homeostasis. Many of these communication... Similar Pathogen Targets in Arabidopsis thaliana and Homo sapiens Protein Networks Paulo Shakarian1*, J. Kenneth Wickiser2 1 Paulo Shakarian...pathogens on host protein networks for humans and Arabidopsis - noting striking similarities . Specifically, we preform k-shell decomposition analysis on

  12. Molecular beacons with a homo-DNA stem: improving target selectivity

    PubMed Central

    Crey-Desbiolles, Caroline; Ahn, Dae-Ro; Leumann, Christian J.

    2005-01-01

    Molecular beacons (MBs) are stem–loop DNA probes used for identifying and reporting the presence and localization of nucleic acid targets in vitro and in vivo via target-dependent dequenching of fluorescence. A drawback of conventional MB design is present in the stem sequence that is necessary to keep the MBs in a closed conformation in the absence of a target, but that can participate in target binding in the open (target-on) conformation, giving rise to the possibility of false-positive results. In order to circumvent these problems, we designed MBs in which the stem was replaced by an orthogonal DNA analog that does not cross-pair with natural nucleic acids. Homo-DNA seemed to be specially suited, as it forms stable adenine-adenine base pairs of the reversed Hoogsteen type, potentially reducing the number of necessary building blocks for stem design to one. We found that MBs in which the stem part was replaced by homo-adenylate residues can easily be synthesized using conventional automated DNA synthesis. As conventional MBs, such hybrid MBs show cooperative hairpin to coil transitions in the absence of a DNA target, indicating stable homo-DNA base pair formation in the closed conformation. Furthermore, our results show that the homo-adenylate stem is excluded from DNA target binding, which leads to a significant increase in target binding selectivity. PMID:15879349

  13. Separation of fossil resin from northeast China coal

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, H.; Cao, J.; Huang, B.; Zhang, R.Z.; Xia, Q.

    1997-12-31

    Some coalfields in China contain macroscopic fossil resins. These fossil resins have not been recovered commercially. The distribution of fossil resin in coal from northeast China was characterized before recovering it by flotation and gravity separation. The fossil resin particles whose weight accounted for more than 99% of all fossil resin in the sample were larger than 0.125mm. A concentrate product that contained almost 100% fossil resin at a recovery of more than 88% was obtained from a feed containing 1.72% fossil resin using a shaking table followed by float-sink separation with a sodium chloride solution (1.1g/ml). By conventional single stage flotation, a fossil resin concentrate containing 48% fossil resin at a recovery of 95% was obtained from a feed containing 11.4% fossil resin. Adjusting the pH of the slurry with HCl or CaO before flotation did not improve the selectivity of flotation for fossil resin appreciably. Treating the feed with H{sub 2}O{sub 2} solution before flotation increased the grade of the concentrate to a certain extent, but decreased the recovery of fossil resin greatly.

  14. Identification of Common Fossil Organisms for Introductory Geology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Larry Eugene; Eves, Robert Leo

    1988-01-01

    Provides a format for the identification of fossils when introducing geologic time in the laboratory. Presents an organization of fossils into three major groups based on radial, bilateral, and no apparent symmetry. States that this method reinforces student learning and provides for an orderly approach to fossils. (RT)

  15. 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.

  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. Structural coloration in a fossil feather

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Transitional fossils and the origin of turtles.

    PubMed

    Lyson, Tyler R; Bever, Gabe S; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Joyce, Walter G; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2010-12-23

    The origin of turtles is one of the most contentious issues in systematics with three currently viable hypotheses: turtles as the extant sister to (i) the crocodile-bird clade, (ii) the lizard-tuatara clade, or (iii) Diapsida (a clade composed of (i) and (ii)). We reanalysed a recent dataset that allied turtles with the lizard-tuatara clade and found that the inclusion of the stem turtle Proganochelys quenstedti and the 'parareptile' Eunotosaurus africanus results in a single overriding morphological signal, with turtles outside Diapsida. This result reflects the importance of transitional fossils when long branches separate crown clades, and highlights unexplored issues such as the role of topological congruence when using fossils to calibrate molecular clocks.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. The Cambrian radiation of shelly fossils.

    PubMed

    Rozanov, A Y

    1992-03-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Adaptation, plant evolution, and the fossil record.

    PubMed

    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

  5. 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.

  6. The Undead: Fossil Galaxy Alive Again

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berglund, Kallan; Wilcots, Eric M.

    2015-01-01

    This project investigates the formation and evolution of fossil galaxies, specifically the history of active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity as it relates to galaxy mergers. We used low-frequency radio data from the J-VLA radio telescope's new P-band receivers [300-350MHz] to observe fossil galaxy J171811.93+563956.1 (referenced as FG30) at a red-shift of z=0.114. This galaxy was selected for its strong X-ray emission from the surrounding IGM, because it is indicative of an AGN. After cleaning and calibrating the data using CASA, images were generated to map the intensity of radio emission, revealing that FG30 is nearly a point source and lacks any prominent AGN jets. Analysis of the SDSS optical spectrum of FG30 revealed strong evidence of shocks. We believe that past AGN activity heated the intergalactic medium (IGM) to produce the strong X-ray emission, though the jets have been dormant for long enough that the IGM filled in the regions previously cleared by jets. The density of new material is now causing strong shocks when hit by newly restarted jets. This implies the start of a new epoch of AGN activity for FG30, which was most likely caused by a recent galaxy merger. This observation demonstrates that not all fossil groups have been quiescent, as the dominant theories suggested.*This work was supported by the National Science Foundation's REU program through NSF Award AST-1004881.

  7. Replacement of fossil fuels by hydrogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahlberg, R.

    The replacement of fossil fuels by solar hydrogen plantations is considered. A model is proposed in which ten plantation families, situated in suitable deserted zones of the world after the year 2000, would generate enough electrical energy to produce solar cells and materials for the construction of ten new plantations within a decade. The technological growth process for identical solar plantation units could be completed about 50 years after construction of the first plantation. All ten plantation families would, by using their electrical energy for the electrolysis of water, generate an amount of hydrogen per year which is four to five times the energy of the world's present annual consumption of oil. This concept envisions the global replacement of fossil fuels by hydrogen within a period consistent with the remaining time span of fossil fuel availability. Storage and transportation of hydrogen would be economical, and the energy produced would not present any environmental problems. Advantages with respect to gains in international cooperation, world peace, and world economy are also discussed.

  8. 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

  9. Exploring macroevolution using modern and fossil data.

    PubMed

    Benton, Michael J

    2015-07-07

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Fossil avian eggshell preserves ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    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

    2010-07-07

    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.

  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. Traversing the mountaintop: world fossil fuel production to 2050

    PubMed Central

    Nehring, Richard

    2009-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Distinguishing heat from light in debate over controversial fossils.

    PubMed

    Donoghue, Philip C J; Purnell, Mark A

    2009-02-01

    Fossil organisms offer our only direct insight into how the distinctive body plans of extant organisms were assembled. However, realizing the potential evolutionary significance of fossils can be hampered by controversy over their interpretation. Here, as a guide to evaluating palaeontological debates, we outline the process and pitfalls of fossil interpretation. The physical remains of controversial fossils should be reconstructed before interpreting homologies, and choice of interpretative model should be explicit and justified. Extinct taxa lack characters diagnostic of extant clades because the characters had not yet evolved, because of secondary loss, or because they have rotted away. The latter, if not taken into account, will lead to the spurious assignment of fossils to basally branching clades. Conflicting interpretations of fossils can often be resolved by considering all the steps in the process of anatomical analysis and phylogenetic placement, although we must accept that some fossil organisms are simply too incompletely preserved for their evolutionary significance to be realized.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Biased versus unbiased randomness in homo-polymers and copolymers of amino acids in the prebiotic world.

    PubMed

    Mosqueira, Fernando G; Negron, Alicia; Ramos, Sergio; Polanco, Carlos

    2012-01-01

    The polymerization of amino acids under anhydrous prebiotic conditions was first studied several decades ago. Here we use a stochastic model stressing the relevant role of the polarity of amino acids in the formation of oligopeptides in a prebiotic milieu. Our goal is to outline the predominance of co-polypeptides over homo-polypeptides, resulting not only from the randomness, but also from polarity properties of amino acids. Our results conclude that there was a higher probability of the formation of co-polypeptides than of homo-polymers. Besides, we may hypothesize that the former would have a more ample spectrum of possible chemical functions than homo-polypeptides.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Atmospheric CO2 from fossil plant cuticles.

    PubMed

    Kerp, Hans

    2002-01-03

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Modeling of advanced fossil fuel power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zabihian, Farshid

    The first part of this thesis deals with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil fuel-fired power stations. The GHG emission estimation from fossil fuel power generation industry signifies that emissions from this industry can be significantly reduced by fuel switching and adaption of advanced power generation technologies. In the second part of the thesis, steady-state models of some of the advanced fossil fuel power generation technologies are presented. The impacts of various parameters on the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) overpotentials and outputs are investigated. The detail analyses of operation of the hybrid SOFC-gas turbine (GT) cycle when fuelled with methane and syngas demonstrate that the efficiencies of the cycles with and without anode exhaust recirculation are close, but the specific power of the former is much higher. The parametric analysis of the performance of the hybrid SOFC-GT cycle indicates that increasing the system operating pressure and SOFC operating temperature and fuel utilization factor improves cycle efficiency, but the effects of the increasing SOFC current density and turbine inlet temperature are not favourable. The analysis of the operation of the system when fuelled with a wide range of fuel types demonstrates that the hybrid SOFC-GT cycle efficiency can be between 59% and 75%, depending on the inlet fuel type. Then, the system performance is investigated when methane as a reference fuel is replaced with various species that can be found in the fuel, i.e., H2, CO2, CO, and N 2. The results point out that influence of various species can be significant and different for each case. The experimental and numerical analyses of a biodiesel fuelled micro gas turbine indicate that fuel switching from petrodiesel to biodiesel can influence operational parameters of the system. The modeling results of gas turbine-based power plants signify that relatively simple models can predict plant performance with acceptable accuracy. The unique

  12. 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.

  13. Synthesis and antiproliferative activity of C-homo-lactam derivatives of 7-deoxycholic acid.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yanmin; Cui, Jianguo; Chen, Sijing; Gan, Chunfang; Yao, Qiucui; Lin, Qifu

    2013-04-01

    Using deoxycholic acid as starting materials, a series of 12a-aza-C-homo-12-one 7-deoxycholic acid derivatives were synthesized The antiproliferative activity of the synthesized compounds against some carcinoma cell lines was investigated. The results showed that some 12-oxy-12a-aza-C-homo-7-deoxycholic acid derivatives displayed distinct cytotoxicity to HeLa (human cervical carcinoma) and Tu 686 (laryngocarcinoma) tumor cell lines. In particular, the IC50 values of the compounds 6 and 7 against Tu 686 cells are 16.7 and 19.8 μM/L respectively. The information obtained from the studies may be useful for the design of novel chemotherapeutic drugs.

  14. Synthesis and cytotoxicity of A-homo-lactam derivatives of cholic acid and 7-deoxycholic acid.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yanmin; Chen, Sijing; Cui, Jianguo; Gan, Chunfang; Liu, Zhiping; Wei, Yingliang; Song, Huachan

    2011-06-01

    Using cholic acid and deoxycholic acid as starting materials, a series of 3-aza-A-homo-4-one bile acid and 7-deoxycholic acid derivatives were synthesized by the esterification, oxidation, reduction, oximation and Beckman rearrangement etc. The cytotoxicity of the synthesized compounds against MGC 7901 (human ventriculi carcinoma cell line), hela (human cervical carcinoma cell line), SMMC 7404 (human liver carcinoma cell line) were investigated. The results showed that bile acid and 7-deoxycholic-acid derivatives with 3-aza-A-homo-4-one configuration bearing a 6-hydroximino or 12-hydroximino group displayed a distinct cytotoxicity to Hela tumor cell line. In particular, the IC(50) values of the compounds 6 and 13 were 14.3 and 24.3 μmol/L against Hela human tumor cell line respectively. The information obtained from the studies may be useful for the design of novel chemotherapeutic drugs.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. The HOMO Nodal Arrangement in Polychromophoric Molecules and Assemblies Controls the Interchromophoric Electronic Coupling.

    PubMed

    Talipov, Marat R; Navale, Tushar S; Rathore, Rajendra

    2015-11-23

    Triptycenes spontaneously assemble into two-dimensional networks in which long-range charge transport is facilitated by the extensive electronic coupling through the triptycene framework (intramolecularly) and by cofacial π-stacking (intermolecularly). While designing and synthesizing next-generation triptycenes containing polyaromatic chromophores, the electronic coupling amongst the chromophores was observed to be highly dependent on the nature and position of the substituents. Herein, we demonstrate using hexaalkoxytriptycenes that the electronic coupling amongst the chromophores is switched on and off by a simple repositioning of the substituents, which alters the nodal arrangement of the HOMOs of the individual chromophores. A visual inspection of the HOMOs can thus provide a ready evaluation of the electronic coupling in polychromophoric molecules/assemblies, and will serve as an important tool for the rational design of modern charge-transport materials.

  18. Homo- and Heteronuclear Multiple-Quantum Filters for Measurement of NMR Isotope Shifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wooten, E. W.; Dua, R. K.; Dotson, G. D.; Woodard, R. W.

    The measurement of NMR isotope shifts as mechanistic probes can be complicated by mixtures of isotopomers. Homo- and heteronuclear NMR techniques based on multiple-quantum filtration are presented and shown to be a useful aid in measuring such shifts. The effects of 1H/ 2H substitution and 16O/ 18O substitution on the nuclear shielding of 1H, 13C, and 31P in a multiply labeled phosphoenolpyruvate are measured and interpreted qualitatively in terms of their rovibrational origins.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Enantioselective intramolecular aldehyde α-alkylation with simple olefins: direct access to homo-ene products.

    PubMed

    Comito, Robert J; Finelli, Fernanda G; MacMillan, David W C

    2013-06-26

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

  2. 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.

  3. Synthesis of rigid homo- and heteroditopic nucleobase-terminated molecules incorporating adenine and/or thymine.

    PubMed

    Jacobsen, Mikkel F; Andersen, Casper S; Knudsen, Martin M; Gothelf, Kurt V

    2007-07-19

    A series of homo- and heteroditopic thymine- and/or adenine-terminated molecules incorporating rigid aryl or oligo(phenylene ethynylene) linkers has been efficiently synthesized. The key steps involved in the synthesis are the construction of the N-arylated nucleobases using the Chan-Lam-Evans-modified Ullman coupling and their further elaboration using the Sonogashira coupling. Furthermore, the synthesis of a rigid tripodal thymine derivative is reported.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Manzi, Giorgio

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Shotgun microbial profiling of fossil remains.

    PubMed

    Der Sarkissian, C; Ermini, L; Jónsson, H; Alekseev, A N; Crubezy, E; Shapiro, B; Orlando, L

    2014-04-01

    Millions to billions of DNA sequences can now be generated from ancient skeletal remains thanks to the massive throughput of next-generation sequencing platforms. Except in cases of exceptional endogenous DNA preservation, most of the sequences isolated from fossil material do not originate from the specimen of interest, but instead reflect environmental organisms that colonized the specimen after death. Here, we characterize the microbial diversity recovered from seven c. 200- to 13 000-year-old horse bones collected from northern Siberia. We use a robust, taxonomy-based assignment approach to identify the microorganisms present in ancient DNA extracts and quantify their relative abundance. Our results suggest that molecular preservation niches exist within ancient samples that can potentially be used to characterize the environments from which the remains are recovered. In addition, microbial community profiling of the seven specimens revealed site-specific environmental signatures. These microbial communities appear to comprise mainly organisms that colonized the fossils recently. Our approach significantly extends the amount of useful data that can be recovered from ancient specimens using a shotgun sequencing approach. In future, it may be possible to correlate, for example, the accumulation of postmortem DNA damage with the presence and/or abundance of particular microbes.

  10. Cladistics and the hominid fossil record.

    PubMed

    Trinkaus, E

    1990-09-01

    Cladistic methodology has become common in phylogenetic analyses of the hominid fossil record. Even though it has correctly placed emphasis on morphology for the primary determination of affinities between groups and on explicit statements regarding traits and methods employed in making phylogenetic assessments, cladistics nonetheless has limitations when applied to the hominid fossil record. These include 1) the uncritical assumption of parsimony, 2) uncertainties in the identification of homoplasies, 3) difficulties in the appropriate delimitation of samples for analysis, 4) failure to account for normal patterns of variation, 5) methodological problems with the appropriate identification of morphological traits involving issues of biological relevance, intercorrelation, primary versus secondary characters, and the use of continuous variables, 6) issues of polarity identification, and 7) problems in hypothesis testing. While cladistics has focused attention on alternative phylogenetic reconstructions in hominid paleontology and on explicit statements regarding their morphological and methodological underpinnings, its biological limitations are too abundant for it to be more than a heuristic device for the preliminary ordering of complex human paleontological and neonatological data.

  11. The environmental dilemma of fossil fuels

    SciTech Connect

    MacCracken, M.C.

    1992-04-01

    The increasing atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide poses an environmental dilemma for fossil fuel energy generation that, unlike other related emissions, cannot be resolved by control technologies alone. Although fossil fuels presently provide the most cost-effective global energy source, and model projections suggest that their use is initiating climatic changes which, while quite uncertain, may induce significant, counter-balancing impacts to water resources, coastal resources, ecological systems, and possibly agricultural production. The climate model indicate that the warming should have begun, and there is some evidence for this occurring, but at a less rapid and more uneven rate than projected. In addition, different climate models are not yet in agreement in their latitudinal or regional predictions, and it will likely require a decade or more for such agreement to develop as high performance computers become available for addressing this grand challenge'' problem. Thus, in addition to the prospect for climatic change, the uncertainties of the changes and associated impacts contribute to the dilemma of dealing with the issue. Further, the problem is pervasive and international scope, with different countries and peoples having differing perspectives of technology, development, and environmental responsibility. Dealing with this issue will thus require creativity, commitment, and flexibility.

  12. The environmental dilemma of fossil fuels

    SciTech Connect

    MacCracken, M.C.

    1992-04-01

    The increasing atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide poses an environmental dilemma for fossil fuel energy generation that, unlike other related emissions, cannot be resolved by control technologies alone. Although fossil fuels presently provide the most cost-effective global energy source, and model projections suggest that their use is initiating climatic changes which, while quite uncertain, may induce significant, counter-balancing impacts to water resources, coastal resources, ecological systems, and possibly agricultural production. The climate model indicate that the warming should have begun, and there is some evidence for this occurring, but at a less rapid and more uneven rate than projected. In addition, different climate models are not yet in agreement in their latitudinal or regional predictions, and it will likely require a decade or more for such agreement to develop as high performance computers become available for addressing this ``grand challenge`` problem. Thus, in addition to the prospect for climatic change, the uncertainties of the changes and associated impacts contribute to the dilemma of dealing with the issue. Further, the problem is pervasive and international scope, with different countries and peoples having differing perspectives of technology, development, and environmental responsibility. Dealing with this issue will thus require creativity, commitment, and flexibility.

  13. Fossil Fuel Biomarkers in Sewage Sludges: Environmental Significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Payet, C.; Bryselbout, C.; Morel, J.-L.; Lichtfouse, E.

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. A cranium for the earliest Europeans: phylogenetic position of the hominid from Ceprano, Italy.

    PubMed

    Manzi, G; Mallegni, F; Ascenzi, A

    2001-08-14

    The human fossil evidence unequivocally pertaining to the first inhabitants of Europe at present includes the sample from Atapuerca-TD6 (Spain) and the incomplete adult calvaria discovered near Ceprano, in Southern Latium (Italy). On the basis of regional correlations and a series of absolute dates, the age of the Ceprano hominid is estimated to range between 800 and 900 kilo-annum (ka). In addition, the association with archaic (Mode 1) Paleolithic findings from the same area is suggested. After the completed reconstruction of the calvaria, we present here a new study dealing with the general and more detailed aspects of the morphology displayed by Ceprano, in comparison to fossil samples ranging between Early and Middle Pleistocene. According to our results, cranial features indicate that Ceprano represents a unique morphological bridge between the clade Homo ergaster/erectus and later Middle Pleistocene specimens commonly referred to Homo heidelbergensis (and/or to Homo rhodesiensis), particularly those belonging to the African fossil record that ultimately relates to the origin of modern humans. In conclusion, given its geographical, chronological, and phylogenetic position, an attribution to the species Homo antecessor is considered, although the sample from Atapuerca-TD6 is not directly comparable to Ceprano. Alternatively, a new species-ancestral to later European and African hominines-should be named to accommodate such a unique fossil specimen.

  16. 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%.

  17. Calibrating the Tree of Life: fossils, molecules and evolutionary timescales

    PubMed Central

    Forest, Félix

    2009-01-01

    Background Molecular dating has gained ever-increasing interest since the molecular clock hypothesis was proposed in the 1960s. Molecular dating provides detailed temporal frameworks for divergence events in phylogenetic trees, allowing diverse evolutionary questions to be addressed. The key aspect of the molecular clock hypothesis, namely that differences in DNA or protein sequence between two species are proportional to the time elapsed since they diverged, was soon shown to be untenable. Other approaches were proposed to take into account rate heterogeneity among lineages, but the calibration process, by which relative times are transformed into absolute ages, has received little attention until recently. New methods have now been proposed to resolve potential sources of error associated with the calibration of phylogenetic trees, particularly those involving use of the fossil record. Scope and Conclusions The use of the fossil record as a source of independent information in the calibration process is the main focus of this paper; other sources of calibration information are also discussed. Particularly error-prone aspects of fossil calibration are identified, such as fossil dating, the phylogenetic placement of the fossil and the incompleteness of the fossil record. Methods proposed to tackle one or more of these potential error sources are discussed (e.g. fossil cross-validation, prior distribution of calibration points and confidence intervals on the fossil record). In conclusion, the fossil record remains the most reliable source of information for the calibration of phylogenetic trees, although associated assumptions and potential bias must be taken into account. PMID:19666901

  18. Energy properties of solid fossil fuels and solid biofuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holubcik, Michal; Kolkova, Zuzana; Jandacka, Jozef

    2016-06-01

    The paper deals about the problematic of energy properties of solid biofuels in comparison with solid fossil fuels. Biofuels are alternative to fossil fuels and their properties are very similar. During the experiments were done in detail experiments to obtain various properties of spruce wood pellets and wheat straw pellets like biofuels in comparison with brown coal and black coal like fossil fuels. There were tested moisture content, volatile content, fixed carbon content, ash content, elementary analysis (C, H, N, S content) and ash fusion temperatures. The results show that biofuels have some advantages and also disadvantages in comparison with solid fossil fuels.

  19. Reconstructing Carotenoid-Based and Structural Coloration in Fossil Skin.

    PubMed

    McNamara, Maria E; Orr, Patrick J; Kearns, Stuart L; Alcalá, Luis; Anadón, Pere; Peñalver, Enrique

    2016-04-25

    Evidence of original coloration in fossils provides insights into the visual communication strategies used by ancient animals and the functional evolution of coloration over time [1-7]. Hitherto, all reconstructions of the colors of reptile integument and the plumage of fossil birds and feathered dinosaurs have been of melanin-based coloration [1-6]. Extant animals also use other mechanisms for producing color [8], but these have not been identified in fossils. Here we report the first examples of carotenoid-based coloration in the fossil record, and of structural coloration in fossil integument. The fossil skin, from a 10 million-year-old colubrid snake from the Late Miocene Libros Lagerstätte (Teruel, Spain) [9, 10], preserves dermal pigment cells (chromatophores)-xanthophores, iridophores, and melanophores-in calcium phosphate. Comparison with chromatophore abundance and position in extant reptiles [11-15] indicates that the fossil snake was pale-colored in ventral regions; dorsal and lateral regions were green with brown-black and yellow-green transverse blotches. Such coloration most likely functioned in substrate matching and intraspecific signaling. Skin replicated in authigenic minerals is not uncommon in exceptionally preserved fossils [16, 17], and dermal pigment cells generate coloration in numerous reptile, amphibian, and fish taxa today [18]. Our discovery thus represents a new means by which to reconstruct the original coloration of exceptionally preserved fossil vertebrates.

  20. Looking for Fossil Bacteria in Martian Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westall, F.; Walsh, M. M.; Mckay, D. D.; Wentworth, S.; Gibson, E. K.; Steele, A.; Toporski, J.; Lindstrom, D.; Martinez, R.; Allen, C. C.

    1999-01-01

    The rationale for looking for prokaryote fossils in Martian materials is based on our present understanding of the environmental evolution of that planet in comparison to the history of the terrestrial environments and the development and evolution of life on Earth. On Earth we have clear, albeit indirect, evidence of life in 3.8 b.y.-old rocks from Greenland and the first morphological fossils in 3.3-3.5 b.y.-old cherts from South Africa and Australia. In comparison, Mars, being smaller, probably cooled down after initial aggregation faster than the Earth. Consequently, there could have been liquid water on its surface earlier than on Earth. With a similar exogenous and endogenous input of organics and life-sustaining nutrients as is proposed for the Earth, life could have arisen on that planet, possibly slightly earlier dm it did on Earth. Whereas on Earth liquid water has remained at the surface of the planet since about 4.4 b.y. (with some possible interregnums caused by planet-sterilising impacts before 3.8. b.y. and perhaps a number of periods of a totally frozen Earth, this was not the case with Mars. Although it is not known exactly when surficial water disappeared from the surface, there would have been sufficient time for life to have developed into something similar to the terrestrial prokaryote stage. However, given the earlier environmental deterioration, it is unlikely that it evolved into the eukaryote stage and even evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis may not have been reached. Thus, the impetus of research is on single celled life simnilar to prokaryotes. We are investigating a number of methods of trace element analysis with respect to the Early Archaean microbial fossils. Preliminary neutron activation analysis of carbonaceous layers in the Early Archaean cherts from South Africa and Australia shows some partitioning of elements such as As, Sb, Cr with an especial enrichment of lanthanides in a carbonaceous-rich banded iron sediment . More

  1. "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…

  2. Paleophysiology: From Fossils to the Future.

    PubMed

    Vermeij, Geerat J

    2015-10-01

    Future environments may resemble conditions that have not existed for millions of years. To assess the adaptive options available to organisms evolving under such circumstances, it is instructive to probe paleophysiology, the ways in which ancient life coped with its physical and chemical surroundings. To do this, we need reliable proxies that are based on fundamental principles, quantitatively verified in living species, and observable in fossil remains. Insights have already come from vertebrates and plants, and others will likely emerge for marine animals if promising proxies are validated. Many questions remain about the circumstances for the evolution of environmental tolerances, metabolic rates, biomineralization, and physiological responses to interacting species, and about how living organisms will perform under exceptional conditions.

  3. Paleoarchean trace fossils in altered volcanic glass.

    PubMed

    Staudigel, Hubert; Furnes, Harald; DeWit, Maarten

    2015-06-02

    Microbial corrosion textures in volcanic glass from Cenozoic seafloor basalts and the corresponding titanite replacement microtextures in metamorphosed Paleoarchean pillow lavas have been interpreted as evidence for a deep biosphere dating back in time through the earliest periods of preserved life on earth. This interpretation has been recently challenged for Paleoarchean titanite replacement textures based on textural and geochronological data from pillow lavas in the Hooggenoeg Complex of the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa. We use this controversy to explore the strengths and weaknesses of arguments made in support or rejection of the biogenicity interpretation of bioalteration trace fossils in Cenozoic basalt glasses and their putative equivalents in Paleoarchean greenstones. Our analysis suggests that biogenicity cannot be taken for granted for all titanite-based textures in metamorphosed basalt glass, but a cautious and critical evaluation of evidence suggests that biogenicity remains the most likely interpretation for previously described titanite microtextures in Paleoarchean pillow lavas.

  4. Microbial biocatalyst developments to upgrade fossil fuels.

    PubMed

    Kilbane, John J

    2006-06-01

    Steady increases in the average sulfur content of petroleum and stricter environmental regulations concerning the sulfur content have promoted studies of bioprocessing to upgrade fossil fuels. Bioprocesses can potentially provide a solution to the need for improved and expanded fuel upgrading worldwide, because bioprocesses for fuel upgrading do not require hydrogen and produce far less carbon dioxide than thermochemical processes. Recent advances have demonstrated that biodesulfurization is capable of removing sulfur from hydrotreated diesel to yield a product with an ultra-low sulfur concentration that meets current environmental regulations. However, the technology has not yet progressed beyond laboratory-scale testing, as more efficient biocatalysts are needed. Genetic studies to obtain improved biocatalysts for the selective removal of sulfur and nitrogen from petroleum provide the focus of current research efforts.

  5. The future of oil: unconventional fossil fuels.

    PubMed

    Chew, Kenneth J

    2014-01-13

    Unconventional fossil hydrocarbons fall into two categories: resource plays and conversion-sourced hydrocarbons. Resource plays involve the production of accumulations of solid, liquid or gaseous hydro-carbons that have been generated over geological time from organic matter in source rocks. The character of these hydrocarbons may have been modified subsequently, especially in the case of solids and extra-heavy liquids. These unconventional hydrocarbons therefore comprise accumulations of hydrocarbons that are trapped in an unconventional manner and/or whose economic exploitation requires complex and technically advanced production methods. This review focuses primarily on unconventional liquid hydro-carbons. The future potential of unconventional gas, especially shale gas, is also discussed, as it is revolutionizing the energy outlook in North America and elsewhere.

  6. Rates of speciation in the fossil record.

    PubMed Central

    Sepkoski, J J

    1998-01-01

    Data from palaeontology and biodiversity suggest that the global biota should produce an average of three new species per year. However, the fossil record shows large variation around this mean. Rates of origination have declined through the Phanerozoic. This appears to have been largely a function of sorting among higher taxa (especially classes), which exhibit characteristic rates of speciation (and extinction) that differ among them by nearly an order of magnitude. Secular decline of origination rates is hardly constant, however; many positive deviations reflect accelerated speciation during rebounds from mass extinctions. There has also been general decline in rates of speciation within major taxa through their histories, although rates have tended to remain higher among members in tropical regions. Finally, pulses of speciation appear sometimes to be associated with climate change, although moderate oscillations of climate do not necessarily promote speciation despite forcing changes in species' geographical ranges. PMID:11541734

  7. Hygroscopic motions of fossil conifer cones

    PubMed Central

    Poppinga, Simon; Nestle, Nikolaus; Šandor, Andrea; Reible, Bruno; Masselter, Tom; Bruchmann, Bernd; Speck, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Conifer cones represent natural, woody compliant structures which move their scales as passive responses to changes in environmental humidity. Here we report on water-driven opening and closing motions in coalified conifer cones from the Eemian Interglacial (approx. 126,000–113,000 years BP) and from the Middle Miocene (approx. 16.5 to 11.5 million years BP). These cones represent by far the oldest documented evidence of plant parts showing full functionality of such passive hydraulically actuated motion. The functional resilience of these structures is far beyond the biological purpose of seed dispersal and protection and is because of a low level of mineralization of the fossils. Our analysis emphasizes the functional-morphological integrity of these biological compliant mechanisms which, in addition to their biological fascination, are potentially also role models for resilient and maintenance-free biomimetic applications (e.g., adaptive and autonomously moving structures including passive hydraulic actuators). PMID:28074936

  8. Rates of speciation in the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

    Data from palaeontology and biodiversity suggest that the global biota should produce an average of three new species per year. However, the fossil record shows large variation around this mean. Rates of origination have declined through the Phanerozoic. This appears to have been largely a function of sorting among higher taxa (especially classes), which exhibit characteristic rates of speciation (and extinction) that differ among them by nearly an order of magnitude. Secular decline of origination rates is hardly constant, however; many positive deviations reflect accelerated speciation during rebounds from mass extinctions. There has also been general decline in rates of speciation within major taxa through their histories, although rates have tended to remain higher among members in tropical regions. Finally, pulses of speciation appear sometimes to be associated with climate change, although moderate oscillations of climate do not necessarily promote speciation despite forcing changes in species' geographical ranges.

  9. FAST FOSSIL ROTATION OF NEUTRON STAR CORES

    SciTech Connect

    Melatos, A.

    2012-12-10

    It is argued that the superfluid core of a neutron star super-rotates relative to the crust, because stratification prevents the core from responding to the electromagnetic braking torque, until the relevant dissipative (viscous or Eddington-Sweet) timescale, which can exceed {approx}10{sup 3} yr and is much longer than the Ekman timescale, has elapsed. Hence, in some young pulsars, the rotation of the core today is a fossil record of its rotation at birth, provided that magnetic crust-core coupling is inhibited, e.g., by buoyancy, field-line topology, or the presence of uncondensed neutral components in the superfluid. Persistent core super-rotation alters our picture of neutron stars in several ways, allowing for magnetic field generation by ongoing dynamo action and enhanced gravitational wave emission from hydrodynamic instabilities.

  10. Hygroscopic motions of fossil conifer cones.

    PubMed

    Poppinga, Simon; Nestle, Nikolaus; Šandor, Andrea; Reible, Bruno; Masselter, Tom; Bruchmann, Bernd; Speck, Thomas

    2017-01-11

    Conifer cones represent natural, woody compliant structures which move their scales as passive responses to changes in environmental humidity. Here we report on water-driven opening and closing motions in coalified conifer cones from the Eemian Interglacial (approx. 126,000-113,000 years BP) and from the Middle Miocene (approx. 16.5 to 11.5 million years BP). These cones represent by far the oldest documented evidence of plant parts showing full functionality of such passive hydraulically actuated motion. The functional resilience of these structures is far beyond the biological purpose of seed dispersal and protection and is because of a low level of mineralization of the fossils. Our analysis emphasizes the functional-morphological integrity of these biological compliant mechanisms which, in addition to their biological fascination, are potentially also role models for resilient and maintenance-free biomimetic applications (e.g., adaptive and autonomously moving structures including passive hydraulic actuators).

  11. Fast Fossil Rotation of Neutron Star Cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melatos, A.

    2012-12-01

    It is argued that the superfluid core of a neutron star super-rotates relative to the crust, because stratification prevents the core from responding to the electromagnetic braking torque, until the relevant dissipative (viscous or Eddington-Sweet) timescale, which can exceed ~103 yr and is much longer than the Ekman timescale, has elapsed. Hence, in some young pulsars, the rotation of the core today is a fossil record of its rotation at birth, provided that magnetic crust-core coupling is inhibited, e.g., by buoyancy, field-line topology, or the presence of uncondensed neutral components in the superfluid. Persistent core super-rotation alters our picture of neutron stars in several ways, allowing for magnetic field generation by ongoing dynamo action and enhanced gravitational wave emission from hydrodynamic instabilities.

  12. Hygroscopic motions of fossil conifer cones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poppinga, Simon; Nestle, Nikolaus; Šandor, Andrea; Reible, Bruno; Masselter, Tom; Bruchmann, Bernd; Speck, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Conifer cones represent natural, woody compliant structures which move their scales as passive responses to changes in environmental humidity. Here we report on water-driven opening and closing motions in coalified conifer cones from the Eemian Interglacial (approx. 126,000–113,000 years BP) and from the Middle Miocene (approx. 16.5 to 11.5 million years BP). These cones represent by far the oldest documented evidence of plant parts showing full functionality of such passive hydraulically actuated motion. The functional resilience of these structures is far beyond the biological purpose of seed dispersal and protection and is because of a low level of mineralization of the fossils. Our analysis emphasizes the functional-morphological integrity of these biological compliant mechanisms which, in addition to their biological fascination, are potentially also role models for resilient and maintenance-free biomimetic applications (e.g., adaptive and autonomously moving structures including passive hydraulic actuators).

  13. Paleoarchean trace fossils in altered volcanic glass

    PubMed Central

    Staudigel, Hubert; Furnes, Harald; DeWit, Maarten

    2015-01-01

    Microbial corrosion textures in volcanic glass from Cenozoic seafloor basalts and the corresponding titanite replacement microtextures in metamorphosed Paleoarchean pillow lavas have been interpreted as evidence for a deep biosphere dating back in time through the earliest periods of preserved life on earth. This interpretation has been recently challenged for Paleoarchean titanite replacement textures based on textural and geochronological data from pillow lavas in the Hooggenoeg Complex of the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa. We use this controversy to explore the strengths and weaknesses of arguments made in support or rejection of the biogenicity interpretation of bioalteration trace fossils in Cenozoic basalt glasses and their putative equivalents in Paleoarchean greenstones. Our analysis suggests that biogenicity cannot be taken for granted for all titanite-based textures in metamorphosed basalt glass, but a cautious and critical evaluation of evidence suggests that biogenicity remains the most likely interpretation for previously described titanite microtextures in Paleoarchean pillow lavas. PMID:26038543

  14. Fossil Groups in the Local Universe

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    OSullivan, Ewan

    2005-01-01

    The two galaxies observed as part of this project were originally selected as fossil group candidates because of their isolation from other galaxies and their apparent high X-ray luminosity and extended X-ray emission. However, the X-ray data available was minimal, being drawn from the ROSAT All-Sky Survey. We have performed an initial analysis of the XMM data from both galaxies and found that their gaseous halos are smaller, cooler, and less luminous than expected. In the case of NGC 57, the RASS estimate of extent and luminosity was biased because of a previously unidentified background group which is visible in the XMM data to one side of the galaxy. In the case of IC 153 1, the contribution from background point sources near the galaxy appears to be to blame. This suggests that both galaxies should be reclassified as isolated ellipticals. Such systems are very rare, and currently poorly understood; for comparison, there are now 6-10 known fossil groups, but only one isolated elliptical with useful X-ray data. We are currently re-analyzing the data for the two galaxies to take advantage of the calibration improvements of SAS 6.1, and to include calculations of the mass profiles of the two systems. A paper is currently in preparation dealing with the X-ray properties and environment of the galaxies, and we expect to submit this to the Astrophysical Journal within the next two months. Multi-band optical imaging of the field surrounding NGC 57 has been acquired to confirm its isolated status and provide more information on the background group. IC 1531 was accepted as a target in Chandra cycle 6 as part of a related proposal, and we intend to add this new observation to our XMM data when it becomes available. A second paper is planned to include the results of this combined analysis.

  15. Viroids: "living fossils" of primordial RNAs?

    PubMed

    Diener, Theodor O

    2016-03-25

    The discovery of the viroid in 1971, which initiated the third major expansion of the biosphere towards smaller living entities-after discovery of the "subvisual" microorganisms in 1675 and that of the "submicroscopic" viruses in 1892-has been officially endorsed by the International Committee on Virus Taxonomy as a new order called subviral agents.In 1989, I proposed that, based on their respective molecular properties, viroids are more plausible "living fossils" of the hypothetical RNA World (widely assumed to have existed prior to the evolution of DNA or proteins) than are intron-derived RNAs, which were, at that time, suggested as putative survivors. There were few citations of my proposal-and virtually none of viroids-beyond plant virology unil 1994, when Cheles-Flores critically examined the hypothesis and pointed out a serious difficulty, as well as a process by which this difficulty could be overcome. In 2013, when investigations by Koonin and Dolja revealed that of extant RNAs, viroids "strikingly" display some of the molecular properties posited for the earliest evolving, selfish RNAs (primordial RNAs), but, because extant organisms, aside from higher plants, appear not to harbor viroids, they cannot be regarded as primordial fossils, but appear to have evolved post LUCA (the Last Universal Common Ancestor). Here, I review whether some evidence nevertheless is compatible with the original postulate of the 1989 hypothesis. My analysis reveals no unequivocal evidence for an ancient origin of viroids, but suggests, alternatively, that viroids may have evolved de novo more recently, probably by novel processes similar to those suggested by each reviewer.These results are important, because they help illuminate a little understood period of abiogenesis--after the abiotic synthesis of life's chemical building blocks, which is, in principle, understood, and before the evolution of DNA and proteins in the late RNA World.

  16. Profound 62 Myr Cycle in Fossil Diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muller, R. A.; Rohde, R. A.

    2004-12-01

    By combining the Sepkoski Compendium of Marine Fossil Genera with the new ICS 2004 geologic time scale, we have shown that the fossil record contains a 62 +/- 3 Myr cycle in the diversity of genera. This cycle has a very high statistical significance and while the associated changes in diversity are frequently gradual, all of the sharp drops known as major mass extinctions have occurred during declining phases of this cycle. This suggests that the timing or magnitude of these extinctions has been influenced by this periodic process; however, it remains unclear whether extinction events actually cause the cycle. While, we cannot explain the origin of the 62 Myr cycle, we believe it indicates a profound influence of some periodic physical process on Earth's environment throughout at least the last 540 Myr. In addition, the diversity data contain a statistically ambiguous 140 +/- 15 Myr cycle which could be due to changes of the same frequency reported in climate and cosmic rays. While all major mass extinctions seem to bear some relation to this cycle, we also find that the Permian-Triassic extinction was qualitatively unique. This extinction, the most severe in Earth's history, had substantial impact on classes of organisms that were historically resistant to the 62 Myr changes. This suggests that the processes leading to the P-T extinction may have included factors that were unique to that point in the Phanerozoic. It should be noted that the 62 Myr hypothesis is originally due to Thomson (Thomson KS, Nature 261, 578-580 (1976); Devs. in Palaeo. and Strat. 5, 377-404 (1977)) and Ager (Ager DV, Proc. Geologists' Assoc. 87, 131-159 (1977)), though their work has largely been forgotten. At the time of this submission, our revival of the 62 Myr hypothesis and related analysis is currently undergoing peer review at Nature.

  17. Fossil Leaves and Fossil Leaf n-Alkanes: Reconstructing the First Closed Canopied Rainforests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, H. V.; Freeman, K. H.

    2013-12-01

    Although the age and location is disputed, the rise of the first closed-canopy forest is likely linked with the expansion of angiosperms in the late Cretacous or early Cenozoic. The carbon isotope 'canopy effect' reflects the extent of canopy closure, and is well documented in δ13C values of the leaves and leaf lipids in modern forests. To test the extent of canopy closure among the oldest documented angiosperm tropical forests, we analyzed isotopic characteristics of leaf fossils and leaf waxes from the Guaduas and Cerrejón Formations. The Guaduas Fm. (Maastrichtian) contains some of the earliest angiosperm fossils in the Neotropics, and both leaf morphology and pollen records at this site suggest an open-canopy structure. The Cerrejón Fm. (Paleocene) contains what are believed to be the first recorded fossil leaves from a closed-canopy forest. We analyzed the bulk carbon isotope content (δ13Cleaf) of 199 fossil leaves, as well as the n-alkane concentration and chain-length distribution, and δ13C of alkanes (δ13Clipid) of 73 fossil leaves and adjacent sediment samples. Fossil leaves are dominated by eudicots and include ten modern plant families (Apocynaceae, Bombaceae, Euphorbaceae, Fabaceae, Lauraceae, Malvaceae, Meliaceae, Menispermaceae, Moraceae, Sapotaceae). We interpreted extent of canopy coverage based on the range of δ13Cleaf values. The narrow range of δ13C values in leaves from the Guaduas Fm (2.7‰) is consistent with an open canopy. A significantly wider range in values (6.3‰) suggests a closed-canopy signature for site 0315 of the Cerrejón Fm,. In contrast, at Site 0318, a lacustrine deposit, leaves had a narrow range (3.3‰) in δ13C values, and this is not consistent with a closed-canopy, but is consistent with leaf assemblages from a forest edge. Leaves that accumulate in lake sediments tend to be biased toward plants living at the lake edge, which do not experience closed-canopy conditions, and do not express the isotopic

  18. Dataset for analysing the relationships among economic growth, fossil fuel and non-fossil fuel consumption.

    PubMed

    Asafu-Adjaye, John; Byrne, Dominic; Alvarez, Maximiliano

    2017-02-01

    The data presented in this article are related to the research article entitled 'Economic Growth, Fossil Fuel and Non-Fossil Consumption: A Pooled Mean Group Analysis using Proxies for Capital' (J. Asafu-Adjaye, D. Byrne, M. Alvarez, 2016) [1]. This article describes data modified from three publicly available data sources: the World Bank׳s World Development Indicators (http://databank.worldbank.org/data/reports.aspx?source=world-development-indicators), the U.S. Energy Information Administration׳s International Energy Statistics (http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/IEDIndex3.cfm?tid=44&pid=44&aid=2) and the Barro-Lee Educational Attainment Dataset (http://www.barrolee.com). These data can be used to examine the relationships between economic growth and different forms of energy consumption. The dataset is made publicly available to promote further analyses.

  19. Special Creation and the Fossil Record: The Central Fallacy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Kenneth R.

    1982-01-01

    Fossil records are used to point out two major flaws in the scientific creationist theory: (1) factual evidence does not support the theory, and (2) the creationists' own characterization of the fossil record contradicts their theory. Claims that creationists avoid discussing specifics about their model because of weaknesses. (DC)

  20. Implication of IL Fossilization in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wei, Xueping

    2008-01-01

    Since the phenomenon of fossilization in interlanguage is proposed by Selinker in 1972, it has drawn much attention and commonly acknowledged at home and abroad. This paper introduces the definition, classification, presentation, and causal factors of fossilization in an attempt to help Chinese students better understand the phenomenon and avoid…

  1. Reconceptualizing Fossilization in Second Language Acquisition: A Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fidler, Ashley

    2006-01-01

    In recent fossilization literature, two problems have been raised repeatedly (e.g. Han, 2003; Long, 2003; Birdsong, 2004). First, the term "fossilization" lacks a unified definition and, second, it has not been adequately described empirically. The works reviewed here seek to address this situation. Han (2004) describes a conceptual framework…

  2. The health effects of fossil fuel derived particles.

    PubMed

    Grigg, J

    2002-02-01

    Over the past 10 years there has been increasing evidence that particles generated by the combustion of fossil fuels adversely affect health. To what extent should paediatricians be concerned about particle pollution? This review assesses what we know, and what we still need to know about the health effects of fossil fuel particles.

  3. Changing Concepts of the Nature and Significance of Fossils.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gregory, Joseph T.

    1984-01-01

    Provides information on early written accounts of fossils and contrasts historical phases regarding their organic or inorganic origin. Topic areas discussed include the deluge as a stimulant to geological investigation, stratigraphic sequences and earth history, extinction, faunal succession and organic evolution, and fossil evidence of…

  4. The Great Fossil Fiasco: Teaching about Peer Review.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gift, Nancy; Krasny, Marianne

    2003-01-01

    Describes a lesson that engages middle school students in learning about peer review. Uses the article "Archaeoraptor Fossil Trail," which was published in the November, 1999 issue of "National Geographic" as an example of a real life story of how peer review forces scientists to critically re-examine a fossil discovery. (SOE)

  5. Divesting from Fossil Fuels Makes Sense Morally… and Financially

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cleveland, Cutler J.; Reibstein, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Should university endowments divest from fossil fuels? A public discussion of this question has seen some university presidents issuing statements that they would not divest--that investments should not be used for "political action." Many universities hold large endowments that have significant positions in fossil fuel companies or…

  6. World catalog of extant and fossil Corethrellidae (Diptera).

    PubMed

    Borkent, Art

    2014-05-20

    A world catalog of extant and fossil frog-biting midges (Diptera: Corethrellidae) provides full type information, known life stages, and distribution of each species. There are 105 extant and seven fossil species of Corethrellidae but unnamed species are known from Costa Rica, Colombia and Madagascar. New information on types and other important specimens are provided.

  7. Investigating the cores of fossil systems with Chandra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bharadwaj, V.; Reiprich, T. H.; Sanders, J. S.; Schellenberger, G.

    2016-01-01

    Aims: We aim to systematically investigate the cores of a sample of fossil galaxy groups and clusters ("fossil systems"), using Chandra data, to see what hints they can offer about the properties of the intracluster medium in these particular objects. Methods: We chose a sample of 17 fossil systems from literature with archival Chandra data and determined the cool-core fraction for fossils via three observable diagnostics, namely the central cooling time, cuspiness, and concentration parameter. We quantified the dynamical state of the fossils by the X-ray peak/brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) separation, and the X-ray peak/emission weighted centre separation. We also investigated the X-ray emission coincident with the brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) to detect the presence of potential thermal coronae. A deprojection analysis was performed for fossils with z< 0.05 to resolve subtle temperature structures, and to obtain the cooling time and entropy profiles. We also investigated the LX - T relation for fossils from the 400d catalogue to test whether the scaling relation deviates from what is typically observed for other groups. Results: Most fossils are identified as cool-core objects via at least two cool-core diagnostics with the population of weak cool-core fossils being the highest. All fossils have their dominant elliptical galaxy within 50 kpc of the X-ray peak, and most also have the emission weighted centre within that distance. We do not see clear indications of an X-ray corona associated with the BCG unlike coronae observed for some other clusters. Fossils lack universal temperature profiles, with some low-temperature objects generally not showing features that are expected for ostensibly relaxed objects with a cool-core. The entropy profiles of the z< 0.05 fossil systems can be described well by a power law with shallower indices than what is expected for pure gravitational processes. Finally, the fossils LX - T relation shows indications of an elevated

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  10. Molecular Determinants of Arenavirus Z Protein Homo-Oligomerization and L Polymerase Binding▿

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rupprecht, C E; Burgess, G W

    2015-05-01

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

  12. Synthesizing and databasing fossil calibrations: divergence dating and beyond.

    PubMed

    Ksepka, Daniel T; Benton, Michael J; Carrano, Matthew T; Gandolfo, Maria A; Head, Jason J; Hermsen, Elizabeth J; Joyce, Walter G; Lamm, Kristin S; Patané, José S L; Phillips, Matthew J; Polly, P David; Van Tuinen, Marcel; Ware, Jessica L; Warnock, Rachel C M; Parham, James F

    2011-12-23

    Divergence dating studies, which combine temporal data from the fossil record with branch length data from molecular phylogenetic trees, represent a rapidly expanding approach to understanding the history of life. National Evolutionary Synthesis Center hosted the first Fossil Calibrations Working Group (3-6 March, 2011, Durham, NC, USA), bringing together palaeontologists, molecular evolutionists and bioinformatics experts to present perspectives from disciplines that generate, model and use fossil calibration data. Presentations and discussions focused on channels for interdisciplinary collaboration, best practices for justifying, reporting and using fossil calibrations and roadblocks to synthesis of palaeontological and molecular data. Bioinformatics solutions were proposed, with the primary objective being a new database for vetted fossil calibrations with linkages to existing resources, targeted for a 2012 launch.

  13. [Infrared spectroscopy and XRD studies of coral fossils].

    PubMed

    Chen, Quan-li; Zhou, Guan-min; Yin, Zuo-wei

    2012-08-01

    Coral fossil is an old remain of multicellular animal on the earth, and formed by various geological processes. The structural characteristics and compositions of the coral fossils with different color and radial texture on the surface were studied by infrared absorption spectroscopy and X-ray powder diffraction analyses. The results show that the studied coral fossils mainly are composed of SiO2, and the radial microstructure characterized by the calcareous coral cross-section is preserved. It is formed by metasomatism by SiO2. The infrared absorption spectra of the coral fossil with different color and texture are essentially the same, showing typical infrared absorption spectra of the quartz jade. XRD analysis shows that the main components of the coral fossils with different color and texture are consistent and mainly composed of SiO2 with a trace amount of other minerals and without CaCO3.

  14. The earliest fossil record of the animals and its significance.

    PubMed

    Budd, Graham E

    2008-04-27

    The fossil record of the earliest animals has been enlivened in recent years by a series of spectacular discoveries, including embryos, from the Ediacaran to the Cambrian, but many issues, not least of dating and interpretation, remain controversial. In particular, aspects of taphonomy of the earliest fossils require careful consideration before pronouncements about their affinities. Nevertheless, a reasonable case can now be made for the extension of the fossil record of at least basal animals (sponges and perhaps cnidarians) to a period of time significantly before the beginning of the Cambrian. The Cambrian explosion itself still seems to represent the arrival of the bilaterians, and many new fossils in recent years have added significant data on the origin of the three major bilaterian clades. Why animals appear so late in the fossil record is still unclear, but the recent trend to embrace rising oxygen levels as being the proximate cause remains unproven and may even involve a degree of circularity.

  15. Synthesizing and databasing fossil calibrations: divergence dating and beyond

    PubMed Central

    Ksepka, Daniel T.; Benton, Michael J.; Carrano, Matthew T.; Gandolfo, Maria A.; Head, Jason J.; Hermsen, Elizabeth J.; Joyce, Walter G.; Lamm, Kristin S.; Patané, José S. L.; Phillips, Matthew J.; Polly, P. David; Van Tuinen, Marcel; Ware, Jessica L.; Warnock, Rachel C. M.; Parham, James F.

    2011-01-01

    Divergence dating studies, which combine temporal data from the fossil record with branch length data from molecular phylogenetic trees, represent a rapidly expanding approach to understanding the history of life. National Evolutionary Synthesis Center hosted the first Fossil Calibrations Working Group (3–6 March, 2011, Durham, NC, USA), bringing together palaeontologists, molecular evolutionists and bioinformatics experts to present perspectives from disciplines that generate, model and use fossil calibration data. Presentations and discussions focused on channels for interdisciplinary collaboration, best practices for justifying, reporting and using fossil calibrations and roadblocks to synthesis of palaeontological and molecular data. Bioinformatics solutions were proposed, with the primary objective being a new database for vetted fossil calibrations with linkages to existing resources, targeted for a 2012 launch. PMID:21525049

  16. Fossil-energy program. Progress report for June 1981

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-08-01

    This report - the eighty-third of series - is a compendium of monthly progress reports for the ORNL research and development programs that are in support of the increased utilization of coal and other fossil fuel alternatives as sources of clean energy. The projects reported this month include those for coal conversion development, chemical research and development, materials technology, component development and process evaluation, technical support to major liquefaction projects, process analysis and engineering evaluations, fossil energy environmental analysis, flue gas desulfurization, coal preparation waste utilization, atmospheric fluidized bed coal combustor for cogeneration, TVA FBC demonstration plant program technical support, PFBC systems analysis, fossil fuel applications assessments, performance assurance system support for fossil energy projects, international energy technology assessment, generalized equilibrium models for liquid and gaseous fuel supplies, analyses of coal production goals, and fossil energy information center.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  18. Pygmoid Australomelanesian Homo sapiens skeletal remains from Liang Bua, Flores: population affinities and pathological abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Jacob, T; Indriati, E; Soejono, R P; Hsü, K; Frayer, D W; Eckhardt, R B; Kuperavage, A J; Thorne, A; Henneberg, M

    2006-09-05

    Liang Bua 1 (LB1) exhibits marked craniofacial and postcranial asymmetries and other indicators of abnormal growth and development. Anomalies aside, 140 cranial features place LB1 within modern human ranges of variation, resembling Australomelanesian populations. Mandibular and dental features of LB1 and LB6/1 either show no substantial deviation from modern Homo sapiens or share features (receding chins and rotated premolars) with Rampasasa pygmies now living near Liang Bua Cave. We propose that LB1 is drawn from an earlier pygmy H. sapiens population but individually shows signs of a developmental abnormality, including microcephaly. Additional mandibular and postcranial remains from the site share small body size but not microcephaly.

  19. Remote enantioselective Friedel-Crafts alkylations of furans through HOMO activation.

    PubMed

    Li, Jun-Long; Yue, Cai-Zhen; Chen, Peng-Qiao; Xiao, You-Cai; Chen, Ying-Chun

    2014-05-19

    Catalytic asymmetric Friedel-Crafts alkylation is a powerful protocol for constructing a chiral C(sp(2))-C(sp(3)) bond. Most previous examples rely on LUMO activation of the electrophiles using chiral catalysts with subsequent attack by electron-rich arenes. Presented herein is an alternative strategy in which the HOMO of the aromatic π system of 2-furfuryl ketones is raised through the formation of a formal trienamine species using a chiral primary amine. Exclusive regioselective alkylation at the 5-position occurred with alkylidenemalononitriles, and high reactivity and excellent enantioselectivity (up to 95% ee) was obtained by this remote activation.

  20. Tuning the HOMO and LUMO energy levels of organic chromophores for dye sensitized solar cells.

    PubMed

    Hagberg, Daniel P; Marinado, Tannia; Karlsson, Karl Martin; Nonomura, Kazuteru; Qin, Peng; Boschloo, Gerrit; Brinck, Tore; Hagfeldt, Anders; Sun, Licheng

    2007-12-07

    A series of organic chromophores have been synthesized in order to approach optimal energy level composition in the TiO2-dye-iodide/triiodide system in the dye-sensitized solar cells. HOMO and LUMO energy level tuning is achieved by varying the conjugation between the triphenylamine donor and the cyanoacetic acid acceptor. This is supported by spectral and electrochemical experiments and TDDFT calculations. These results show that energetic tuning of the chromophores was successful and fulfilled the thermodynamic criteria for dye-sensitized solar cells, electrical losses depending on the size and orientation of the chromophores were observed.

  1. Continuous flow room temperature reductive aqueous homo-coupling of aryl halides using supported Pd catalysts

    PubMed Central

    Feiz, Afsaneh; Bazgir, Ayoob; Balu, Alina M.; Luque, Rafael

    2016-01-01

    A convenient and environmentally friendly protocol for the preparation of biaryls at room temperature under continuous flow conditions is reported. A simple reductive homo-coupling Ullmann-type reaction was performed in an H-Cube mini using commercially available supported Pd catalysts under mild reaction conditions, with quantitative conversion to target products. Commercial Pd catalysts were found to be highly stable under the investigated reaction conditions, with a minimum Pd leaching into solution after several reaction runs (ca. 20 h on stream). PMID:27600989

  2. Brief communication: "Pathological" deformation in the skull of LB1, the type specimen of Homo floresiensis.

    PubMed

    Kaifu, Yousuke; Baba, Hisao; Kurniawan, Iwan; Sutikna, Thomas; Saptomo, E Wahyu; Jatmiko; Awe, Rokhus Due; Kaneko, Tsuyoshi; Aziz, Fachroel; Djubiantono, Tony

    2009-09-01

    If the holotype of Homo floresiensis, LB1, suffered from a severe developmental pathology, this could undermine its status as the holotype of a new species. One of the proposed pathological indicators that still remains untested is asymmetric distortion in the skull of LB1 (Jacob et al.: Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103 (2006) 13421-13426). Here, we present evidence that LB1 exhibits antemortem craniofacial deformities that are consistent with posterior deformational (positional) plagiocephaly. This is a relatively common condition in modern people with no serious associated health problems and does not represent a severe developmental abnormality in LB1.

  3. Divergence time estimates of mammals from molecular clocks and fossils: relevance of new fossil finds from India.

    PubMed

    Prasad, G V R

    2009-11-01

    This paper presents a brief review of recent advances in the classification of mammals at higher levels using fossils and molecular clocks. It also discusses latest fossil discoveries from the Cretaceous - Eocene (66-55 m.y.) rocks of India and their relevance to our current understanding of placental mammal origins and diversifications.

  4. Fossilized excreta associated to dinosaurs in Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Souto, P. R. F.; Fernandes, M. A.

    2015-01-01

    This work provides an updated register of the main occurrences of fossilized excreta (coprolites and urolites) associated with dinosaurs found in the Brazil. The goal is to provide a relevant guide to the interpretation of the environment in the context of Gondwana. In four geographic areas, the excreta are recovered from Cretaceous sedimentary deposits in outcrops of the Bauru and São Luis basins and the Upper Jurassic aeolian deposits of the Parana Basin in the state of São Paulo. The coprolites were analyzed by X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence methods. The results of these analyses reveal compositions that differ from the surrounding matrix, indicating a partial substitution of the organic material due to the feeding habits of the producers. Additionally, we describe the urolite excavations in epirelief and hyporelief, the result of gravitational flow the impact from urine jets on sand. These are associated with ornithopod and theropod dinosaur footprints preserved in the aeolian flagstones of the Botucatu Formation, Parana Basin.

  5. Origin of Metazoa: sponges as living fossils.

    PubMed

    Müller, W E

    1998-01-01

    The phylogenetic position of the phylum Porifera (sponges) is at the base of the kingdom Metazoa. During the past few years not only rDNA sequences but--and this was a major advance--even cDNAs/genes have been isolated and characterized from sponges, especially from the marine demosponge Geodia cydonium, which code for proteins. The analyses of their deduced amino acid sequences allowed a molecular biological approach to solve the problem of monophyly of Metazoa. Molecules of the extracellular matrix/basal lamina, with the integrin receptor, fibronectin, and galectin as prominent examples, cell-surface receptors (tyrosine kinase receptor), elements of sensory systems (crystallin, metabotropic glutamate receptor), and homologs/modules of an immune system (immunoglobulin like molecules, scavenger receptor cysteine-rich, and short consensus repeats, rhesus system) classify the Porifera as true Metazoa. As living fossils, provided with simple, primordial molecules allowing cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion as well as processes of signal transduction as known in a more complex manner from higher Metazoa, they also show peculiarities not known in other metazoan phyla. Tissues of sponges are rich in telomerase activity, suggesting a high plasticity in the determination of cell lineages. It is concluded that molecular biological studies with sponges as model will not only help to understand the evolution of Protoctista to Metazoa but also the complex, hierarchial regulatory network of cells in higher Metazoa.

  6. Origin of Metazoa: Sponges as Living Fossils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Werner E. G.

    1998-01-01

    , which code for proteins. The analyses of their deduced amino acid sequences allowed a molecular biological approach to solve the problem of monophyly of Metazoa. Molecules of the extracellular matrix/basal lamina, with the integrin receptor, fibronectin, and galectin as prominent examples, cell-surface receptors (tyrosine kinase receptor), elements of sensory systems (crystallin, metabotropic glutamate receptor), and homologs/modules of an immune system (immunoglobulin like molecules, scavenger receptor cysteine-rich, and short consensus repeats, rhesus system) classify the Porifera as true Metazoa. As living fossils, provided with simple, primordial molecules allowing cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion as well as processes of signal transduction as known in a more complex manner from higher Metazoa, they also show peculiarities not known in other metazoan phyla. Tissues of sponges are rich in telomerase activity, suggesting a high plasticity in the determination of cell lineages. It is concluded that molecular biological studies with sponges as model will not only help to understand the evolution of Protoctista to Metazoa but also the complex, hierarchial regulatory network of cells in higher Metazoa.

  7. Modeling neck mobility in fossil turtles.

    PubMed

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Hinz, Juliane K; Gumpenberger, Michaela; Volpato, Virginie; Natchev, Nikolay; Joyce, Walter G

    2015-05-01

    Turtles have the unparalleled ability to retract their heads and necks within their shell but little is known about the evolution of this trait. Extensive analysis of neck mobility in turtles using radiographs, CT scans, and morphometry reveals that basal turtles possessed less mobility in the neck relative to their extant relatives, although the anatomical prerequisites for modern mobility were already established. Many extant turtles are able to achieve hypermobility by dislocating the central articulations, which raises cautions about reconstructing the mobility of fossil vertebrates. A 3D-model of the Late Triassic turtle Proganochelys quenstedti reveals that this early stem turtle was able to retract its head by tucking it sideways below the shell. The simple ventrolateral bend seen in this stem turtle, however, contrasts with the complex double-bend of extant turtles. The initial evolution of neck retraction therefore occurred in a near-synchrony with the origin of the turtle shell as a place to hide the unprotected neck. In this early, simplified retraction mode, the conical osteoderms on the neck provided further protection.

  8. Antelope-Fossil Rebuild Project : Environmental Assessment.

    SciTech Connect

    United States. Bonneville Power Administration.

    1992-04-01

    The Columbia Power Cooperative Association (CPCA), Monument, Oregon, proposes to upgrade a 69-kV transmission line in Wasco and Wheeler Counties, Oregon, between the Antelope Substation and the Bonneville Power Administration`s (BPA) Fossil Substation. The project involves rebuilding and reconductoring 23.2 miles of transmission line, including modifying it for future use at 115 kV. Related project activities will include setting new wood pole structures, removing and disposing of old structures, conductors, and insulators, and stringing new conductor, all within the existing right-of-way. No new access roads will be required. A Borrower`s Environmental Report was prepared for the 1992--1993 Work Plan for Columbia Power Cooperative Association in March 1991. This report investigated cultural resources, threatened or endangered species, wetlands, and floodplains, and other environmental issues, and included correspondence with appropriate Federal, state, and local agencies. The report was submitted to the Rural Electrification Administration for their use in preparing their environmental documentation for the project.

  9. Antelope-Fossil Rebuild Project : Environmental Assessment.

    SciTech Connect

    United States. Bonneville Power Administration.

    1992-04-01

    The Columbia Power Cooperative Association (CPCA), Monument, Oregon, proposes to upgrade a 69-kV transmission line in Wasco and Wheeler Counties, Oregon, between the Antelope Substation and the Bonneville Power Administration's (BPA) Fossil Substation. The project involves rebuilding and reconductoring 23.2 miles of transmission line, including modifying it for future use at 115 kV. Related project activities will include setting new wood pole structures, removing and disposing of old structures, conductors, and insulators, and stringing new conductor, all within the existing right-of-way. No new access roads will be required. A Borrower's Environmental Report was prepared for the 1992--1993 Work Plan for Columbia Power Cooperative Association in March 1991. This report investigated cultural resources, threatened or endangered species, wetlands, and floodplains, and other environmental issues, and included correspondence with appropriate Federal, state, and local agencies. The report was submitted to the Rural Electrification Administration for their use in preparing their environmental documentation for the project.

  10. The relative biostratigraphic values of fossils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brower, James C.

    The three primary biostratigraphic attributes of fossils comprise, geographical range, facies distribution, and vertical range. All attributes can be quantified in several manners. Relative biostratigraphic value ( RBV) represents the amount of information which can be gained from observing the presence of a selected species. Several measures are available, three of which are discussed here. RBV1 weights all three attributes equally and this index is a comprise between time-stratigraphic correlation and establishing the persistence of a particular biofacies. RBV2 assigns double weight to the vertical range compared to the other two parameters; this index is designed to identify species that are useful for time correlation. For some data sets a reasonable estimate, RBV3, can be obtained solely from the vertical range. The biostratigraphic attributes and RBV's can be applied in several manners. Examples are: to determine the relations between the parameters, comparison of the biostratigraphic properties of different data sets and groups of taxa, use RBV's as weighting functions, and to select subsets of taxa with high RBV's for correlation.

  11. Fossil evidence for the early ant evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrichot, Vincent; Lacau, Sébastien; Néraudeau, Didier; Nel, André

    2008-02-01

    Ants are one of the most studied insects in the world; and the literature devoted to their origin and evolution, systematics, ecology, or interactions with plants, fungi and other organisms is prolific. However, no consensus yet exists on the age estimate of the first Formicidae or on the origin of their eusociality. We review the fossil and biogeographical record of all known Cretaceous ants. We discuss the possible origin of the Formicidae with emphasis on the most primitive subfamily Sphecomyrminae according to its distribution and the Early Cretaceous palaeogeography. And we review the evidence of true castes and eusociality of the early ants regarding their morphological features and their manner of preservation in amber. The mid-Cretaceous amber forest from south-western France where some of the oldest known ants lived, corresponded to a moist tropical forest close to the shore with a dominance of gymnosperm trees but where angiosperms (flowering plants) were already diversified. This palaeoenvironmental reconstruction supports an initial radiation of ants in forest ground litter coincident with the rise of angiosperms, as recently proposed as an ecological explanation for their origin and successful evolution.

  12. Renewable hydrogen production for fossil fuel processing

    SciTech Connect

    Greenbaum, E.

    1994-09-01

    The objective of this mission-oriented research program is the production of renewable hydrogen for fossil fuel processing. This program will build upon promising results that have been obtained in the Chemical Technology Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory on the utilization of intact microalgae for photosynthetic water splitting. In this process, specially adapted algae are used to perform the light-activated cleavage of water into its elemental constituents, molecular hydrogen and oxygen. The great potential of hydrogen production by microalgal water splitting is predicated on quantitative measurement of their hydrogen-producing capability. These are: (1) the photosynthetic unit size of hydrogen production; (2) the turnover time of photosynthetic hydrogen production; (3) thermodynamic efficiencies of conversion of light energy into the Gibbs free energy of molecular hydrogen; (4) photosynthetic hydrogen production from sea water using marine algae; (5) the original development of an evacuated photobiological reactor for real-world engineering applications; (6) the potential for using modern methods of molecular biology and genetic engineering to maximize hydrogen production. The significance of each of these points in the context of a practical system for hydrogen production is discussed. This program will be enhanced by collaborative research between Oak Ridge National Laboratory and senior faculty members at Duke University, the University of Chicago, and Iowa State University. The special contribution that these organizations and faculty members will make is access to strains and mutants of unicellular algae that will potentially have useful properties for hydrogen production by microalgal water splitting.

  13. Biochar, a substitute for fossil fuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Supriya, Akankshya; Samantray, R.; Mishra, S. C.

    2017-02-01

    The present piece of research is envisaged for the possibilities and usefulness of coco peat (coir dust) which is generally not considered for usefulness. Pyrolysis of coco peat was done at two different temperatures to obtain biochars and their properties were investigated. Proximate analysis gave the fixed carbon content which gave a good value for the required purpose. Characterization techniques like Scanning Electron Microscopy, X-Ray Diffraction and Fourier Transform Infra-Red Spectroscopy were employed. It was observed that depending on the pyrolysis temperature and conditions, new substances formed, the diffraction peaks changed and also there were major changes in functional groups. The cross-links were found to disintegrate with increasing temperature. The peaks unveiled the presence of silicon carbide in the biochar pyrolysed at 1000ºC. The change in the functional groups with increase in temperature manifested higher aromaticity which is an important attribute of fuels viz. petroleum, etc. Thus the present investigation can open up a new era for processing biochar from unutilized biowaste for its use as an alternative to fossil fuels.

  14. Amino acids in modern and fossil woods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, C.; Bada, J. L.; Peterson, E.

    1976-01-01

    The amino acid composition and the extent of racemization in several modern and fossil woods are reported. The method of analysis is described, and data are presented on the total amino acid concentration, the amino acid ratios, and the enantiomeric ratios in each sample. It is found that the amino acid concentration per gram of dry wood decreases with age of the sample, that the extent of racemization increases with increasing age, and that the amounts of aspartic acid, threonine, and serine decrease relative to valine with increasing age. The relative racemization rates of amino acids in wood, bone, and aqueous solution are compared, and it is shown that racemization in wood is much slower than in bone or aqueous solution. Racemization results for woods from the Kalambo Falls area of Zambia are used to calculate a minimum age of 110,000 years for the transition between the Sangoan and Acheulian industries at that site. This result is shown to be consistent with numerous radiometric dates for older Acheulian sites in Africa and to compare well with geologically inferred dates for the beginning of the Eemian and the end of the Acheulian industry in southern Africa.

  15. Fusion to a homo-oligomeric scaffold allows cryo-EM analysis of a small protein

    PubMed Central

    Coscia, Francesca; Estrozi, Leandro F.; Hans, Fabienne; Malet, Hélène; Noirclerc-Savoye, Marjolaine; Schoehn, Guy; Petosa, Carlo

    2016-01-01

    Recent technical advances have revolutionized the field of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). However, most monomeric proteins remain too small (<100 kDa) for cryo-EM analysis. To overcome this limitation, we explored a strategy whereby a monomeric target protein is genetically fused to a homo-oligomeric scaffold protein and the junction optimized to allow the target to adopt the scaffold symmetry, thereby generating a chimeric particle suitable for cryo-EM. To demonstrate the concept, we fused maltose-binding protein (MBP), a 40 kDa monomer, to glutamine synthetase, a dodecamer formed by two hexameric rings. Chimeric constructs with different junction lengths were screened by biophysical analysis and negative-stain EM. The optimal construct yielded a cryo-EM reconstruction that revealed the MBP structure at sub-nanometre resolution. These findings illustrate the feasibility of using homo-oligomeric scaffolds to enable cryo-EM analysis of monomeric proteins, paving the way for applying this strategy to challenging structures resistant to crystallographic and NMR analysis. PMID:27485862

  16. Induction and Consolidation of Calcium-Based Homo- and Heterosynaptic Potentiation and Depression

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yinyun; Kulvicius, Tomas; Tetzlaff, Christian

    2016-01-01

    The adaptive mechanisms of homo- and heterosynaptic plasticity play an important role in learning and memory. In order to maintain plasticity-induced changes for longer time scales (up to several days), they have to be consolidated by transferring them from a short-lasting early-phase to a long-lasting late-phase state. The underlying processes of this synaptic consolidation are already well-known for homosynaptic plasticity, however, it is not clear whether the same processes also enable the induction and consolidation of heterosynaptic plasticity. In this study, by extending a generic calcium-based plasticity model with the processes of synaptic consolidation, we show in simulations that indeed heterosynaptic plasticity can be induced and, furthermore, consolidated by the same underlying processes as for homosynaptic plasticity. Furthermore, we show that by local diffusion processes the heterosynaptic effect can be restricted to a few synapses neighboring the homosynaptically changed ones. Taken together, this generic model reproduces many experimental results of synaptic tagging and consolidation, provides several predictions for heterosynaptic induction and consolidation, and yields insights into the complex interactions between homo- and heterosynaptic plasticity over a broad variety of time (minutes to days) and spatial scales (several micrometers). PMID:27560350

  17. The TCP1γ subunit of Leishmania donovani forms a biologically active homo-oligomeric complex.

    PubMed

    Bhaskar; Mitra, Kalyan; Kuldeep, Jitendra; Siddiqi, Mohammad Imran; Goyal, Neena

    2015-12-01

    Chaperonins are a class of molecular chaperons that encapsulate nascent or stress-denatured proteins and assist their intracellular assembly and folding in an ATP-dependent manner. The ubiquitous eukaryotic chaperonin, TCP1 ring complex is a hetero-oligomeric complex comprising two rings, each formed of eight subunits that may have distinct substrate recognition and ATP hydrolysis properties. In Leishmania, only the TCP1γ subunit has been cloned and characterized. It exhibited differential expression at various growth stages of promastigotes. In the present study, we expressed the TCP1γ subunit in Escherichia coli to investigate whether it forms chaperonin-like complexes and plays a role in protein folding. LdTCP1γ formed high-molecular-weight complexes within E. coli cells as well as in Leishmania cell lysates. The recombinant protein is arranged into two back-to-back rings of seven subunits each, as predicted by homology modelling and observed by negative staining electron microscopy. This morphology is consistent with that of the oligomeric double-ring group I chaperonins found in mitochondria. The LdTCP1γ homo-oligomeric complex hydrolysed ATP, and was active as assayed by luciferase refolding. Thus, the homo-oligomer performs chaperonin reactions without partner subunit(s). Further, co-immunoprecipitation studies revealed that LdTCP1γ interacts with actin and tubulin proteins, suggesting that the complex may have a role in maintaining the structural dynamics of the cytoskeleton of parasites.

  18. Nasal septal and premaxillary developmental integration: implications for facial reduction in Homo.

    PubMed

    Holton, Nathan E; Franciscus, Robert G; Marshall, Steven D; Southard, Thomas E; Nieves, Mary Ann

    2011-01-01

    The influence of the chondrocranium in craniofacial development and its role in the reduction of facial size and projection in the genus Homo is incompletely understood. As one component of the chondrocranium, the nasal septum has been argued to play a significant role in human midfacial growth, particularly with respect to its interaction with the premaxilla during prenatal and early postnatal development. Thus, understanding the precise role of nasal septal growth on the facial skeleton is potentially informative with respect to the evolutionary change in craniofacial form. In this study, we assessed the integrative effects of the nasal septum and premaxilla by experimentally reducing facial length in Sus scrofa via circummaxillary suture fixation. Following from the nasal septal-traction model, we tested the following hypotheses: (1) facial growth restriction produces no change in nasal septum length; and (2) restriction of facial length produces compensatory premaxillary growth due to continued nasal septal growth. With respect to hypothesis 1, we found no significant differences in septum length (using the vomer as a proxy) in our experimental (n = 10), control (n = 9) and surgical sham (n = 9) trial groups. With respect to hypothesis 2, the experimental group exhibited a significant increase in premaxilla length. Our hypotheses were further supported by multivariate geometric morphometric analysis and support an integrative relationship between the nasal septum and premaxilla. Thus, continued assessment of the growth and integration of the nasal septum and premaxilla is potentially informative regarding the complex developmental mechanisms that underlie facial reduction in genus Homo evolution.

  19. Initiation of the microgene polymerization reaction with non-repetitive homo-duplexes

    SciTech Connect

    Itsko, Mark Zaritsky, Arieh; Rabinovitch, Avinoam; Ben-Dov, Eitan

    2008-04-11

    Microgene Polymerization Reaction (MPR) is used as an experimental system to artificially simulate evolution of short, non-repetitive homo-duplex DNA into multiply-repetitive products that can code for functional proteins. Blunt-end ligation by DNA polymerase is crucial in expansion of homo-duplexes (HDs) into head-to-tail multiple repeats in MPR. The propagation mechanism is known, but formation of the initial doublet (ID) by juxtaposing two HDs and polymerization through the gap has been ambiguous. Initiation events with pairs of HDs using Real-Time PCR were more frequent at higher HD concentrations and slightly below the melting temperature. A process molecularity of about 3.1, calculated from the amplification efficiency and the difference in PCR cycles at which propagation was detected at varying HD concentrations, led to a simple mechanism for ID formation: the gap between two HDs is bridged by a third. Considering thermodynamic aspects of the presumed intermediate 'nucleation complex' can predict relative propensity for the process with other HDs.

  20. Homo-coupling of terminal alkynes on a noble metal surface.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yi-Qi; Kepčija, Nenad; Kleinschrodt, Martin; Diller, Katharina; Fischer, Sybille; Papageorgiou, Anthoula C; Allegretti, Francesco; Björk, Jonas; Klyatskaya, Svetlana; Klappenberger, Florian; Ruben, Mario; Barth, Johannes V

    2012-01-01

    The covalent linking of acetylenes presents an important route for the fabrication of novel carbon-based scaffolds and two-dimensional materials distinct from graphene. To date few attempts have been reported to implement this strategy at well-defined interfaces or monolayer templates. Here we demonstrate through real space direct visualization and manipulation in combination with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and density functional theory calculations the Ag surface-mediated terminal alkyne C(sp)-H bond activation and concomitant homo-coupling in a process formally reminiscent of the classical Glaser-Hay type reaction. The alkyne homo-coupling takes place on the Ag(111) noble metal surface in ultrahigh vacuum under soft conditions in the absence of conventionally used transition metal catalysts and with volatile H(2) as the only by-product. With the employed multitopic ethynyl species, we demonstrate a hierarchic reaction pathway that affords discrete compounds or polymeric networks featuring a conjugated backbone. This presents a new approach towards on-surface covalent chemistry and the realization of two-dimensional carbon-rich or all-carbon polymers.

  1. The Apaf-1 apoptosome induces formation of caspase-9 homo- and heterodimers with distinct activities

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Chu-Chiao; Lee, Sunhee; Malladi, Srinivas; Chen, Miao-Der; Mastrandrea, Nicholas J.; Zhang, Zhiwen; Bratton, Shawn B.

    2016-01-01

    According to dogma, initiator caspases are activated through proximity-induced homodimerization, but some studies infer that during apoptosis caspase-9 may instead form a holoenzyme with the Apaf-1 apoptosome. Using several biochemical approaches, including a novel site-specific crosslinking technique, we provide the first direct evidence that procaspase-9 homodimerizes within the apoptosome, markedly increasing its avidity for the complex and inducing selective intramolecular cleavage at Asp-315. Remarkably, however, procaspase-9 could also bind via its small subunit to the NOD domain in Apaf-1, resulting in the formation of a heterodimer that more efficiently activated procaspase-3. Following cleavage, the intersubunit linker (and associated conformational changes) in caspase-9-p35/p12 inhibited its ability to form homo- and heterodimers, but feedback cleavage by caspase-3 at Asp-330 removed the linker entirely and partially restored activity to caspase-9-p35/p10. Thus, the apoptosome mediates the formation of caspase-9 homo- and heterodimers, both of which are impacted by cleavage and contribute to its overall function. PMID:27882936

  2. BMI1 regulates PRC1 architecture and activity through homo- and hetero-oligomerization

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Felicia; Cho, Hyo Je; Shukla, Shirish; He, Shihan; Harris, Ashley; Boytsov, Bohdan; Jaremko, Łukasz; Jaremko, Mariusz; Demeler, Borries; Lawlor, Elizabeth R.; Grembecka, Jolanta; Cierpicki, Tomasz

    2016-01-01

    BMI1 is a core component of the polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1) and emerging data support a role of BMI1 in cancer. The central domain of BMI1 is involved in protein–protein interactions and is essential for its oncogenic activity. Here, we present the structure of BMI1 bound to the polyhomeotic protein PHC2 illustrating that the central domain of BMI1 adopts an ubiquitin-like (UBL) fold and binds PHC2 in a β-hairpin conformation. Unexpectedly, we find that the UBL domain is involved in homo-oligomerization of BMI1. We demonstrate that both the interaction of BMI1 with polyhomeotic proteins and homo-oligomerization via UBL domain are necessary for H2A ubiquitination activity of PRC1 and for clonogenic potential of U2OS cells. Here, we also emphasize need for joint application of NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography to determine the overall structure of the BMI1–PHC2 complex. PMID:27827373

  3. Organic preservation of fossil musculature with ultracellular detail

    PubMed Central

    McNamara, Maria; Orr, Patrick J.; Kearns, Stuart L.; Alcalá, Luis; Anadón, Pere; Peñalver-Mollá, Enrique

    2010-01-01

    The very labile (decay-prone), non-biomineralized, tissues of organisms are rarely fossilized. Occurrences thereof are invaluable supplements to a body fossil record dominated by biomineralized tissues, which alone are extremely unrepresentative of diversity in modern and ancient ecosystems. Fossil examples of extremely labile tissues (e.g. muscle) that exhibit a high degree of morphological fidelity are almost invariably replicated by inorganic compounds such as calcium phosphate. There is no consensus as to whether such tissues can be preserved with similar morphological fidelity as organic remains, except when enclosed inside amber. Here, we report fossilized musculature from an approximately 18 Myr old salamander from lacustrine sediments of Ribesalbes, Spain. The muscle is preserved organically, in three dimensions, and with the highest fidelity of morphological preservation yet documented from the fossil record. Preserved ultrastructural details include myofilaments, endomysium, layering within the sarcolemma, and endomysial circulatory vessels infilled with blood. Slight differences between the fossil tissues and their counterparts in extant amphibians reflect limited degradation during fossilization. Our results provide unequivocal evidence that high-fidelity organic preservation of extremely labile tissues is not only feasible, but likely to be common. This is supported by the discovery of similarly preserved tissues in the Eocene Grube Messel biota. PMID:19828545

  4. Fossil Ionized Bubbles around Dead Quasars during Reionization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furlanetto, Steven R.; Haiman, Zoltán; Oh, S. Peng

    2008-10-01

    One of the most dramatic signatures of the reionization era may be the enormous ionized bubbles around luminous quasars (with radii reaching ~40 comoving Mpc), which may survive as "fossil" ionized regions long after their source shuts off. Here we study how the inhomogeneous intergalactic medium (IGM) evolves inside such fossils. The average recombination rate declines rapidly with time, and the brief quasar episode significantly increases the mean free path inside the fossil bubbles. As a result, even a weak ionizing background generated by galaxies inside the fossil can maintain it in a relatively highly and uniformly ionized state. For example, galaxies that would ionize 20%-30% of hydrogen in a random patch of the IGM can maintain 80%-90% ionization inside the fossil for a duration much longer than the average recombination time in the IGM. Quasar fossils at zlesssim 10 thus retain their identity for nearly a Hubble time and appear "gray," distinct from both the average IGM (which has a "Swiss cheese" ionization topology and a lower mean ionized fraction) and the fully ionized bubbles around active quasars. More distant fossils, at zgtrsim 10, have a weaker galaxy-generated ionizing background and a higher gas density, so they can attain a Swiss cheese topology similar to the rest of the IGM, but with a smaller contrast between the ionized bubbles and the partially neutral regions separating them. Analogous He III fossils should exist around the epoch of He II/He III reionization at z ~ 3, although rapid recombination inside the He III fossils is more common. Our model of inhomogeneous recombination also applies to "double-reionization" models and shows that a nonmonotonic reionization history is even more unlikely than previously thought.

  5. Ontogeny and phylogeny of femoro-tibial characters in humans and hominid fossils: functional influence and genetic determinism.

    PubMed

    Tardieu, C

    1999-11-01

    Three different human femoro-tibial characters are selected as functionally relevant and derived hominid characters: femoral bicondylar angle, shape of the femoral distal epiphysis, and the tibial insertion of the lateral meniscus. The timing and mode of formation of these characters are investigated during human ontogeny and are shown to differ considerably. The available hominid fossils (Australopithecus afarensis and early Homo) are interpreted in the light of this ontogenetic analysis with the conclusion that, during hominid evolution, different modes of selection of these features must have occurred. In modern humans, the femoral bicondylar angle proves to be an epigenetic functional feature, which develops during early childhood growth. It is present in all australopithecines and we suggest that it developed following a change in their locomotor behavior and not upon a genomic change: the early practice of bipedal walking, with adducted knee joints, in the locomotor repertoire of infant australopithecines, was sufficient to promote this angle. Later in hominid evolution, the knee joint evolved from having a single insertion of the lateral meniscus on the tibia to a double one. While Australopithecus afarensis exhibits a single insertion, early Homo clearly exhibits a double insertion of the lateral meniscus on the tibia. The double insertion restricts the mobility of the meniscus on the tibial plateau, indicating a habitual practice of full extension movements of the knee joint. Among modern humans, the posterior insertion of the lateral meniscus appears early in fetal life. Consequently in early Homo, this new selected feature developed directly as a result of a genomic change. The derived shape of human distal femoral epiphysis includes a prominence of the lateral lip of the femoral trochlea, an elliptical profile of the lateral condyle, and an anteroposterior lengthening of the epiphysis. Analysis of human fetal and neonatal distal epiphyses shows that the

  6. Structure and evolution of fossil H II regions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccray, R.; Schwarz, J.

    1971-01-01

    The structure and evolution of a fossil H II region created by a burst of ionizing radiation from a supernova is considered. The cooling time scale for the shell is about 10 to the 6th power years. Superposition of million-year-old fossil H II regions may account for the temperature and ionization of the interstellar medium. Fossil H II regions are unstable to growth of thermal condensations. Highly ionized filamentary structures form and dissipate in about 10,000 years. Partially ionized clouds form and dissipate in about 10 to the 6th power years.

  7. Estimating times of extinction in the fossil record

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Charles R.

    2016-01-01

    Because the fossil record is incomplete, the last fossil of a taxon is a biased estimate of its true time of extinction. Numerous methods have been developed in the palaeontology literature for estimating the true time of extinction using ages of fossil specimens. These methods, which typically give a confidence interval for estimating the true time of extinction, differ in the assumptions they make and the nature and amount of data they require. We review the literature on such methods and make some recommendations for future directions. PMID:27122005

  8. Fossil proboscidea and edentata of the San Pedro Valley, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gidley, James Williams

    1926-01-01

    A preliminary report on the fossil vertebrates of the San Pedro Valley, Ariz., collected by Kirk Bryan and me in the winter of 1920 and 1921 was published in 1922. This report includes a brief statement regarding the geology of the locality and a preliminary list of fossil vertebrates obtained by the expedition of 1921, with descriptions of the rodents and rabbits. Two additional papers on this interesting fauna have also appeared, one on the turtles by C.W. Gilmore and one on the birds by Alexander Wetmore. The present contribution deals with the proboscideans and edentates and gives a somewhat fuller discussion of the geology of the fossil-bearing beds.

  9. Zeolites replacing plant fossils in the Denver formation, Lakewood, Colorado.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Modreski, P.J.; Verbeek, E.R.; Grout, M.A.

    1984-01-01

    Well-developed crystals of heulandite and stilbite, within fossil wood, occur in sedimentary rocks in Lakewood, Jefferson County. The rocks belong to the Denver formation, a locally fossiliferous deposit of fluvial claystone, siltstone, sandstone and conglomerate, containing some volcanic mudflows (andesitic) of late Cretaceous to Palaeocene age. Altered volcanic glass released Na and Ca into the ground-water and subsequently zeolites were crystallized in the open spaces between grains and within fossil plant structures. Minor pyrite, quartz (jasper), calcite and apatite also occur as replacements of fossil wood. Similar zeolite occurrences in other areas are reviewed.-R.S.M.

  10. Cranial vault shape in fossil hominids: Fourier descriptors in norma lateralis.

    PubMed

    Lestrel, P E; Ohtsuki, F; Wolfe, C A

    2010-10-01

    Two major views of human evolution have elicited considerable controversy. These are: [1] the "out of Africa" hypothesis and [2] the "multiregional" hypothesis. This paper is an attempt to try to reconcile these two scenarios using hominid cranial vault data. Elliptical Fourier functions (EFFs) were used to describe, in visual and numerical terms, the shape of the human cranial vault in norma lateralis. Using jpeg images, contours of the cranial vault of a large sample of hominid specimens were pre-processed in Photoshop CS and rotated in 2D space (positional-orientation) so that a line drawn from nasion to porion was horizontal. The cranial vault image was then digitized with 72 closely-spaced points and submitted to a specially written routine that computed EFFs normalized by scaling (size-standardization). This ensured that the representation was invariant with respect to starting point, size and orientation. Statistically significant differences were found between the H. sapiens sample and both the H. erectus and H. neanderthalensis samples. In contrast, there were no statistically significant differences between the H. erectus and H. neanderthalensis groups, leading to three conclusions: [1] the similarity in cranial vault shape between H. erectus and H. neanderthalensis suggests a single gradually evolving lineage; [2] The taxon H. heidelbergensis can be embedded into the H. erectus→H. neanderthalensis line; and [3] H. sapiens seems to be a separate evolutionary development and is considered here either as a separate species or as a possible example of an allopatric semispecies (Grant, 1977). The results here suggest that human evolution over the last 2 Ma may turn out to be neither totally multiregional or simply out of Africa but rather represents a considerably more complicated picture.

  11. Fossil Fuel Emission Verification Modeling at LLNL

    SciTech Connect

    Cameron-Smith, P; Kosovic, B; Guilderson, T; Monache, L D; Bergmann, D

    2009-08-06

    We have an established project at LLNL to develop the tools needed to constrain fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions using measurements of the carbon-14 isotope in atmospheric samples. In Figure 1 we show the fossil fuel plumes from Los Angeles and San Francisco for two different weather patterns. Obviously, a measurement made at any given location is going to depend on the weather leading up to the measurement. Thus, in order to determine the GHG emissions from some region using in situ measurements of those GHGs, we use state-of-the-art global and regional atmospheric chemistry-transport codes to simulate the plumes: the LLNL-IMPACT model (Rotman et al., 2004) and the WRFCHEM community code (http://www.wrf-model.org/index.php). Both codes can use observed (aka assimilated) meteorology in order to recreate the actual transport that occurred. The measured concentration of each tracer at a particular spatio-temporal location is a linear combination of the plumes from each region at that location (for non-reactive species). The challenge is to calculate the emission strengths for each region that fit the observed concentrations. In general this is difficult because there are errors in the measurements and modeling of the plumes. We solve this inversion problem using the strategy illustrated in Figure 2. The Bayesian Inference step combines the a priori estimates of the emissions, and their uncertainty, for each region with the results of the observations, and their uncertainty, and an ensemble of model predicted plumes for each region, and their uncertainty. The result is the mathematical best estimate of the emissions and their errors. In the case of non-linearities, or if we are using a statistical sampling technique such as a Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique, then the process is iterated until it converges (ie reaches stationarity). For the Bayesian inference we can use both a direct inversion capability, which is fast but requires assumptions of linearity and

  12. Interfacial properties of α / β-Bi2O3 homo-junction from first-principles calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Qiu-Yi; Zhao, Zong-Yan

    2015-10-01

    To construct hetero-/homo-junction is an effective way to improve the performance of photocatalyst. However, some basic and important issues about the underlying mechanism of this strategy still need to be further confirmed and explained. In the present work, the interfacial properties of α / β-Bi2O3 composite photocatalyst with homo-junction are in-depth investigated by density functional theory calculations. Owing to partially saturated dangling bonds, the electronic structure of interface model exhibits both the features of bulk and surface models. Importantly, the interfacial states are mainly arising from the layer of β-Bi2O3@Interface. At the interface of α / β-Bi2O3 homo-junction, the energy bands of β-Bi2O3 are relatively down-shifting compared with those of α-Bi2O3, resulting in form the staggered gaps (type II), which is very favorable for the improvement of photocatalytic performance. Moreover, the built-in electric field of homo-junction points from β-Bi2O3 layer to α-Bi2O3 layer under equilibrium, so the photon-generated electron-hole pairs can be spatially separated by the α / β-Bi2O3 homo-junction. Furthermore, to construct α / β-Bi2O3 homo-junction not only keep the advantageous of visible-light absorption of β-Bi2O3, but also improve the visible-light absorption of α-Bi2O3.

  13. U Pb dating of fossil enamel from the Swartkrans Pleistocene hominid site, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balter, Vincent; Blichert-Toft, Janne; Braga, José; Telouk, Philippe; Thackeray, Francis; Albarède, Francis

    2008-03-01

    We demonstrate that young fossil enamel older than the range of the U-series (˜ 300 ka) can be dated by the U-Pb methods using new models of U and Pb loss and uptake. Contrary to the current hypothesis of U uptake that only considers the adsorption/diffusion mechanism, we here develop a complete time-dependent model which takes gains and losses of the most critical nuclides (238U, 234U, and 230Th) into account, both during chemical (dissolved U) and physical (Th and U α-recoil) processes. Lead is assumed to be a mixture between two components of common Pb and a radiogenic component; the proportions of these components are calculated from the Pb isotope abundances and U/Pb ratios. We apply this new U-Pb method to bovid enamel from the Swartkrans Cave (Gauteng Province, South Africa). This cave has yielded abundant early Pleistocene hominid remains attributed to Paranthropus and Homo as well as various associated archaeological vestiges. Biochronological comparisons with East Africa have provided age estimates ranging between 1.8 and 1.0 Ma, which, however, remain poorly constrained. After correction for initial 234U disequilibrium and further 238U loss, the U and Pb isotope data yield ages of 1.83 ± 1.38, 1.36 ± 0.29, and 0.83 ± 0.21 Ma for the three stratigraphic units, Members 1, 2, and 3, respectively. We discuss the consequences of these radiometric results for hominid evolution in South Africa.

  14. Fossil Footprints: How Fast Was That Dinosaur Moving?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caton, Randall; Otts, Charlotte

    1999-01-01

    Describes an activity in which students construct relationships between their leg lengths, stride lengths, and movements in order to estimate the speeds of the dinosaurs that made various fossilized tracks. (WRM)

  15. From Fossil Parasitoids to Vectors: Insects as Parasites and Hosts.

    PubMed

    Nagler, Christina; Haug, Joachim T

    2015-01-01

    Within Metazoa, it has been proposed that as many as two-thirds of all species are parasitic. This propensity towards parasitism is also reflected within insects, where several lineages independently evolved a parasitic lifestyle. Parasitic behaviour ranges from parasitic habits in the strict sense, but also includes parasitoid, phoretic or kleptoparasitic behaviour. Numerous insects are also the host for other parasitic insects or metazoans. Insects can also serve as vectors for numerous metazoan, protistan, bacterial and viral diseases. The fossil record can report this behaviour with direct (parasite associated with its host) or indirect evidence (insect with parasitic larva, isolated parasitic insect, pathological changes of host). The high abundance of parasitism in the fossil record of insects can reveal important aspects of parasitic lifestyles in various evolutionary lineages. For a comprehensive view on fossil parasitic insects, we discuss here different aspects, including phylogenetic systematics, functional morphology and a direct comparison of fossil and extant species.

  16. Instrumentation and Control for Fossil-Energy Processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mark, A., Jr.

    1984-01-01

    Instrumentation and control requirements for fossil-energy processes discussed in working document. Published to foster advancement of instrumentation and control technology by making equipment suppliers and others aware of specifications, needs, and potential markets.

  17. Genetic and Fossil Evidence for the Origin of Modern Humans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stringer, C. B.; Andrews, P.

    1988-01-01

    Discusses how genetic data on present human population relationships and data from the Pleistocene fossil hominid record are being used to compare two contrasting models for the origin of modern humans. (TW)

  18. Legislative and Regulatory Timeline for Fossil Fuel Combustion Wastes

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This timeline walks through the history of fossil fuel combustion waste regulation since 1976 and includes information such as regulations, proposals, notices, amendments, reports and meetings and site visits conducted.

  19. View of Irving Powerhouse. Looking across Fossil Creek (westsouthwest) ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    View of Irving Powerhouse. Looking across Fossil Creek (west-southwest) - Childs-Irving Hydroelectric Project, Irving System, Irving Powerhouse, Forest Service Road 708/502, Camp Verde, Yavapai County, AZ

  20. What's in the Biota Bag? Examining Australian Fossil Biota.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Rooy, Wilhelmina

    2002-01-01

    Describes a classroom activity in which candy is used to represent some Australian fossils with students asked to examine specimens and locate on a map of Australia where it might have been discovered. (Author/MM)

  1. Proceedings of the fourth annual conference on fossil energy materials

    SciTech Connect

    Judkins, R.R.; Braski, D.N.

    1990-08-01

    The Fourth Annual Conference on Fossil Energy Materials was held in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on may 15--17, 1990. The meeting was sponsored by the US Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy through the Advanced Research and Technology Development (AR TD) Materials Program, and ASM International. The objective of the AR TD Materials Program is to conduct research and development on materials for longer-term fossil energy applications as well as for generic needs of various fossil fuel technologies. The work is divided into the following categories: (1) Ceramics, (2) New Alloys, (3) Corrosion and Erosion, and (4) Technology Assessment and Technology Transfer. Individual projects are processed separately for the data bases.

  2. Fossil evidence of water lilies (Nymphaeales) in the Early Cretaceous.

    PubMed

    Friis, E M; Pedersen, K R; Crane, P R

    2001-03-15

    Phylogenetic analyses have identified the water lilies (Nymphaeales: Cabombaceae and Nymphaeaceae), together with four other small groups of flowering plants (the 'ANITA clades': Amborellaceae, Illiciales, Trimeniaceae, Austrobaileyaceae), as the first diverging lineages from the main branch of the angiosperm phylogenetic tree, but evidence of these groups in the earliest phases of the angiosperm fossil record has remained elusive. Here we report the earliest unequivocal evidence, based on fossil floral structures and associated pollen, of fossil plants related to members of the ANITA clades. This extends the history of the water lilies (Nymphaeales) back to the Early Cretaceous (125-115 million years) and into the oldest fossil assemblages that contain unequivocal angiosperm stamens and carpels. This discovery adds to the growing congruence between results from molecular-based analyses of relationships among angiosperms and the palaeobotanical record. It is also consistent with previous observations that the flowers of early angiosperms were generally very small compared with those of their living relatives.

  3. MUNICIPAL WASTE COMBUSTION ASSESSMENT: FOSSIL FUEL CO-FIRING

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report identifies refuse derived fuel (RDF) processing operations and various RDF types; describes such fossil fuel co-firing techniques as coal fired spreader stokers, pulverized coal wall fired boilers, pulverized coal tangentially fired boilers, and cyclone fired boilers; ...

  4. Formative Assessment Probes: Mountaintop Fossil: A Puzzling Phenomenon

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keeley, Page

    2015-01-01

    This column focuses on promoting learning through assessment. This month's issue describes using formative assessment probes to uncover several ways of thinking about the puzzling discovery of a marine fossil on top of a mountain.

  5. Freshwater Fossil Pearls from the Nihewan Basin, Early Early Pleistocene

    PubMed Central

    Li, Su-Ping; Yao, Pei-Yi; Li, Jin-Feng; Ferguson, David Kay; Min, Long-Rui; Chi, Zhen-Qing; Wang, Yong; Yao, Jian-Xin; Sha, Jin-Geng

    2016-01-01

    Fossil blister pearls attached to the shells of an Anodonta mollusk from China, early Early Pleistocene, are reported here for the first time. The pearls were investigated in detail using a variety of methods. Micro-CT scanning of the fossil pearls was carried out to discover the inner structure and the pearl nucleus. Using CTAn software, changes in the gray levels of the biggest pearl, which reflect the changing density of the material, were investigated. The results provide us with some clues on how these pearls were formed. Sand grains, shell debris or material with a similar density could have stimulated the development of these pearls. X-ray diffraction analysis of one fossil pearl and the shell to which it was attached reveals that only aragonite exists in both samples. The internal structures of our fossil shells and pearls were investigated using a Scanning Electron Microscope. These investigations throw some light on pearl development in the past. PMID:27760154

  6. The Flores speleothem carbon isotope record: vegetation, volcanism and the demise of Homo floresiensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scroxton, N.; Gagan, M. K.; Ayliffe, L. K.; Hantoro, W. S.; Hellstrom, J. C.; Cheng, H.; Edwards, R. L.; Zhao, J. X.; Suwargadi, B. W.; Scott-Gagan, H.; Cowley, J. A.; Rifai, H.

    2015-12-01

    The last surviving non-human member of the Homo genus: Homo floresiensis, disappeared from the stratigraphic record in Liang Bua cave, Flores, Indonesia, between 17 and 10 kyr BP (Roberts et al. 2009, J. Hum. Evol.). The cause of the disappearance (e.g. climate change, volcanic catastrophe or human competition) has not been established. Here, we present a new 92,000-year long speleothem δ13C record for Liang Luar cave, 800m South of Liang Bua. Our record acts as a proxy for local environmental and vegetation health throughout H. floresiensis' occupation of the area. The Liang Luar speleothem δ13C record is primarily a record of vegetation productivity and soil respiration rates, highlighting local ecological responses to changing regional and global climate forcings such as temperature, atmospheric pCO2 and precipitation amount. Changes in speleothem δ13C can largely be considered an environmental response to climate change. Events that caused significant harm to the local environment and H. floresiensis are likely to be outside the natural range of variability: being quick enough or extreme enough that adaptation to new conditions is not possible. We identify disturbances to the vegetation system using two indicators in the speleothem record. 1) Abrupt positive δ13C excursions which indicate periods of reduced vegetative activity. 2) A loss of correlation between the δ13C and δ18O records, indicating that precipitation is no longer a dominant control on vegetation productivity. The largest (8‰) and longest (7 kyr) abrupt positive excursion, the 68 kyr event, sees positive speleothem δ13C values, due to increased bedrock contribution and/or C4 vegetation at this time. Crucially a H. floresiensis occupation interval dates to this period. The largest abrupt deterioration in vegetation (positive δ13C excursion) between 17 and 10 kyr BP is a 1 in 5kyr occurrence - An event of a magnitude that was likely encountered and survived by H. floresiensis multiple

  7. Hydrogen production econometric studies. [hydrogen and fossil fuels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howell, J. R.; Bannerot, R. B.

    1975-01-01

    The current assessments of fossil fuel resources in the United States were examined, and predictions of the maximum and minimum lifetimes of recoverable resources according to these assessments are presented. In addition, current rates of production in quads/year for the fossil fuels were determined from the literature. Where possible, costs of energy, location of reserves, and remaining time before these reserves are exhausted are given. Limitations that appear to hinder complete development of each energy source are outlined.

  8. New burgess shale fossil sites reveal middle cambrian faunal complex.

    PubMed

    Collins, D; Briggs, D; Morris, S C

    1983-10-14

    Soft-bodied and lightly sclerotized Burgess shale fossils have been found at more than a dozen new localities in an area extending for 20 kilometers along the front of the Cathedral Escarpment in the Middle Cambrian Stephen Formation of the Canadian Rockies. Five different fossil assemblages from four stratigraphic levels have been recognized. These assemblages represent distinct penecontemporaneous marine communities that together make up a normal fore-reef faunal complex.

  9. Geological setting of U.S. fossil fuels.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Masters, C.D.; Mast, R.F.

    1987-01-01

    The USA has a special position in terms of fossil fuel development. Not only is it one of the most important nations in terms of resources of oil, gas and coal, but it has also been by far the dominant producer and consumer. In this thorough review of the regional geological environments in which fossil fuels formed in the USA, the authors point to a variety of models of resource occurrence of global interest.-Authors

  10. ABSTRACTS: Seventh annual conference on fossil energy materials

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-06-01

    Objective of the Advanced Research and Technology Development materials program is to conduct R and D on materials for fossil energy applications (coal processing, coal liquefaction, gasification, heat engines and recovery, combustion systems, fuel cells). Research is aimed at better understanding of materials in fossil energy environments and development of new materials for improvement of plant operations and reliability. Abstracts are given of 37 papers on ceramics/composites, intermetallics (iron aluminides, etc.), and advanced austenitics. (DLC)

  11. ABSTRACTS: Seventh annual conference on fossil energy materials

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-01-01

    Objective of the Advanced Research and Technology Development materials program is to conduct R and D on materials for fossil energy applications (coal processing, coal liquefaction, gasification, heat engines and recovery, combustion systems, fuel cells). Research is aimed at better understanding of materials in fossil energy environments and development of new materials for improvement of plant operations and reliability. Abstracts are given of 37 papers on ceramics/composites, intermetallics (iron aluminides, etc.), and advanced austenitics. (DLC)

  12. Instrumentation and control for fossil-energy processes

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-09-01

    The 1982 symposium on instrumentation and control for fossil energy processes was held June 7 through 9, 1982, at Adam's Mark Hotel, Houston, Texas. It was sponsored by the US Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy; Argonne National Laboratory; and the Society for Control and Instrumentation of Energy Processes. Fifty-two papers have been entered individually into EDB and ERA; eleven papers had been entered previously from other sources. (LTN)

  13. Proceedings of the Eight Annual Conference on Fossil Energy Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Cole, N.C.; Judkins, R.R.

    1994-08-01

    Objective of the meeting was to conduct R and D on materials for longer-term fossil energy applications as well as for generic needs of various fossil fuel technologies. The work is divided into ceramics, new alloys, corrosion, and technology assessment/transfer. The 39 papers are arranged under the session headings: ceramics, ceramics and new alloys, and intermetallics and advanced austenitics; a workshop on new materials development and applications is summarized briefly. The papers are processed separately for the data base.

  14. Fossil Energy Advanced Research and Technology Development Materials Program

    SciTech Connect

    Cole, N.C.; Judkins, R.R.

    1992-12-01

    Objective of this materials program is to conduct R and D on materials for fossil energy applications with focus on longer-term and generic needs of the various fossil fuel technologies. The projects are organized according to materials research areas: (1) ceramics, (2) new alloys: iron aluminides, advanced austenitics and chromium niobium alloys, and (3) technology development and transfer. Separate abstracts have been prepared.

  15. In situ laser-Raman imagery of precambrian microscopic fossils.

    PubMed

    Kudryavtsev, A B; Schopf, J W; Agresti, D G; Wdowiak, T J

    2001-01-30

    Laser-Raman imagery is a sensitive, noninvasive, and nondestructive technique that can be used to correlate directly chemical composition with optically discernable morphology in ancient carbonaceous fossils. By affording means to investigate the molecular makeup of specimens ranging from megascopic to microscopic, it holds promise for providing insight into aspects of organic metamorphism and biochemical evolution, and for clarifying the nature of ancient minute fossil-like objects of putative but uncertain biogenicity.

  16. Giving the early fossil record of sponges a squeeze.

    PubMed

    Antcliffe, Jonathan B; Callow, Richard H T; Brasier, Martin D

    2014-11-01

    Twenty candidate fossils with claim to be the oldest representative of the Phylum Porifera have been re-analysed. Three criteria are used to assess each candidate: (i) the diagnostic criteria needed to categorize sponges in the fossil record; (ii) the presence, or absence, of such diagnostic features in the putative poriferan fossils; and (iii) the age constraints for the candidate fossils. All three criteria are critical to the correct interpretation of any fossil and its placement within an evolutionary context. Our analysis shows that no Precambrian fossil candidate yet satisfies all three of these criteria to be a reliable sponge fossil. The oldest widely accepted candidate, Mongolian silica hexacts from c. 545 million years ago (Ma), are here shown to be cruciform arsenopyrite crystals. The oldest reliable sponge remains are siliceous spicules from the basal Cambrian (Protohertzina anabarica Zone) Soltanieh Formation, Iran, which are described and analysed here in detail for the first time. Extensive archaeocyathan sponge reefs emerge and radiate as late as the middle of the Fortunian Stage of the Cambrian and demonstrate a gradual assembly of their skeletal structure through this time coincident with the evolution of other metazoan groups. Since the Porifera are basal in the Metazoa, their presence within the late Proterozoic has been widely anticipated. Molecular clock calibration for the earliest Porifera and Metazoa should now be based on the Iranian hexactinellid material dated to c. 535 Ma. The earliest convincing fossil sponge remains appeared at around the time of the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary, associated with the great radiation events of that interval.

  17. World catalog of extant and fossil Chaoboridae (Diptera).

    PubMed

    Borkent, Art

    2014-05-20

    A world catalog of extant and fossil Chaoboridae provides full type information, distribution of each species, references to keys, references to latest descriptions of each species, and summaries of bionomic information.  There are 51 extant species in six genera and 41 fossil species (2 unplaced) in 19 genera, two of which are extant. Chaoborus lanei (Belkin, Heinemann & Page) is a new synonym of C. braziliensis (Theobald) and C. annulatus Cook is a new synonym of C. festivus Dyar & Shannon.

  18. Satellite sensing of submerged fossil turbulence and zombie turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibson, Carl H.

    2004-11-01

    Surface brightness anomalies from a submerged municipal wastewater outfall trapped by buoyancy in an area 0.1 km^2 are surprisingly detected from space satellites in areas > 200 km^2. How is this possible? Microstructure measurements near the outfall diffuser reveal enhanced turbulence and temperature dissipation rates above the 50 m trapping depth. Near-vertical radiation of internal waves by fossil and zombie turbulence microstructure patches produce wind ripple smoothing with 30-50 m internal wave patterns in surface Fourier brightness anomalies near the outfall. Detections at 10-14 km distances are at 100-220 m bottom boundary layer (BBL) fossil turbulence scales. Advected outfall fossils form zombie turbulence patches in internal wave patterns as they extract energy, vorticity, turbulence and ambient vertical internal wavelength information as their density gradients are tilted by the waves. As the zombies fossilize, patterned energy radiates near-vertically to produce the detected Fourier anomalies. Zombie turbulence patches beam extracted energy in a preferred direction with a special frequency, like energized metastable molecules in a chemical maser. Thus, kilowatts to produce the submerged field of advected fossil outfall turbulence patches are amplified by beamed zombie turbulence maser action (BZTMA) into megawatts of turbulence dissipation to affect sea surface brightness on wide surface areas using gigawatts of BBL fossil turbulence wave energy available.

  19. Embryo fossilization is a biological process mediated by microbial biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Raff, Elizabeth C.; Schollaert, Kaila L.; Nelson, David E.; Donoghue, Philip C. J.; Thomas, Ceri-Wyn; Turner, F. Rudolf; Stein, Barry D.; Dong, Xiping; Bengtson, Stefan; Huldtgren, Therese; Stampanoni, Marco; Chongyu, Yin; Raff, Rudolf A.

    2008-01-01

    Fossilized embryos with extraordinary cellular preservation appear in the Late Neoproterozoic and Cambrian, coincident with the appearance of animal body fossils. It has been hypothesized that microbial processes are responsible for preservation and mineralization of organic tissues. However, the actions of microbes in preservation of embryos have not been demonstrated experimentally. Here, we show that bacterial biofilms assemble rapidly in dead marine embryos and form remarkable pseudomorphs in which the bacterial biofilm replaces and exquisitely models details of cellular organization and structure. The experimental model was the decay of cleavage stage embryos similar in size and morphology to fossil embryos. The data show that embryo preservation takes place in 3 distinct steps: (i) blockage of autolysis by reducing or anaerobic conditions, (ii) rapid formation of microbial biofilms that consume the embryo but form a replica that retains cell organization and morphology, and (iii) bacterially catalyzed mineralization. Major bacterial taxa in embryo decay biofilms were identified by using 16S rDNA sequencing. Decay processes were similar in different taphonomic conditions, but the composition of bacterial populations depended on specific conditions. Experimental taphonomy generates preservation states similar to those in fossil embryos. The data show how fossilization of soft tissues in sediments can be mediated by bacterial replacement and mineralization, providing a foundation for experimentally creating biofilms from defined microbial species to model fossilization as a biological process. PMID:19047625

  20. Survival of fossils under extreme shocks induced by hypervelocity impacts

    PubMed Central

    Burchell, M. J.; McDermott, K. H.; Price, M. C.; Yolland, L. J.

    2014-01-01

    Experimental data are shown for survival of fossilized diatoms undergoing shocks in the GPa range. The results were obtained from hypervelocity impact experiments which fired fossilized diatoms frozen in ice into water targets. After the shots, the material recovered from the target water was inspected for diatom fossils. Nine shots were carried out, at speeds from 0.388 to 5.34 km s−1, corresponding to mean peak pressures of 0.2–19 GPa. In all cases, fragmented fossilized diatoms were recovered, but both the mean and the maximum fragment size decreased with increasing impact speed and hence peak pressure. Examples of intact diatoms were found after the impacts, even in some of the higher speed shots, but their frequency and size decreased significantly at the higher speeds. This is the first demonstration that fossils can survive and be transferred from projectile to target in hypervelocity impacts, implying that it is possible that, as suggested by other authors, terrestrial rocks ejected from the Earth by giant impacts from space, and which then strike the Moon, may successfully transfer terrestrial fossils to the Moon. PMID:25071234

  1. Survival of fossils under extreme shocks induced by hypervelocity impacts.

    PubMed

    Burchell, M J; McDermott, K H; Price, M C; Yolland, L J

    2014-08-28

    Experimental data are shown for survival of fossilized diatoms undergoing shocks in the GPa range. The results were obtained from hypervelocity impact experiments which fired fossilized diatoms frozen in ice into water targets. After the shots, the material recovered from the target water was inspected for diatom fossils. Nine shots were carried out, at speeds from 0.388 to 5.34 km s(-1), corresponding to mean peak pressures of 0.2-19 GPa. In all cases, fragmented fossilized diatoms were recovered, but both the mean and the maximum fragment size decreased with increasing impact speed and hence peak pressure. Examples of intact diatoms were found after the impacts, even in some of the higher speed shots, but their frequency and size decreased significantly at the higher speeds. This is the first demonstration that fossils can survive and be transferred from projectile to target in hypervelocity impacts, implying that it is possible that, as suggested by other authors, terrestrial rocks ejected from the Earth by giant impacts from space, and which then strike the Moon, may successfully transfer terrestrial fossils to the Moon.

  2. Integrating fossils with molecular phylogenies improves inference of trait evolution.

    PubMed

    Slater, Graham J; Harmon, Luke J; Alfaro, Michael E

    2012-12-01

    Comparative biologists often attempt to draw inferences about tempo and mode in evolution by comparing the fit of evolutionary models to phylogenetic comparative data consisting of a molecular phylogeny with branch lengths and trait measurements from extant taxa. These kinds of approaches ignore historical evidence for evolutionary pattern and process contained in the fossil record. In this article, we show through simulation that incorporation of fossil information dramatically improves our ability to distinguish among models of quantitative trait evolution using comparative data. We further suggest a novel Bayesian approach that allows fossil information to be integrated even when explicit phylogenetic hypotheses are lacking for extinct representatives of extant clades. By applying this approach to a comparative dataset comprising body sizes for caniform carnivorans, we show that incorporation of fossil information not only improves ancestral state estimates relative to those derived from extant taxa alone, but also results in preference of a model of evolution with trend toward large body size over alternative models such as Brownian motion or Ornstein-Uhlenbeck processes. Our approach highlights the importance of considering fossil information when making macroevolutionary inference, and provides a way to integrate the kind of sparse fossil information that is available to most evolutionary biologists.

  3. Three new human skulls from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site in Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain.

    PubMed

    Arsuaga, J L; Martínez, I; Gracia, A; Carretero, J M; Carbonell, E

    1993-04-08

    Three important fossil hominids were found in July 1992 in the Middle Pleistocene cave site called Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Northern Spain). One is a complete calvaria (cranium 4), the second a virtually complete cranium (cranium 5), the third represents a more fragmentary cranium of an immature individual (cranium 6). There is a large difference in size between the two adult specimens (for example endocranial volume 1,125 cm3 versus 1,390 cm3). The Atapuerca human remains are dated to > 300,000 years. The Atapuerca cranial sample fits within the 'archaic Homo sapiens' group, but is well differentiated from the Asian Homo erectus group. The extensive Atapuerca human collection is the most complete sample of Middle Pleistocene humans yet discovered from one site, and appears to document an early stage in Neanderthal evolution.

  4. Who Was Helping? The Scope for Female Cooperative Breeding in Early Homo

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Adrian Viliami; Hinde, Katie; Newson, Lesley

    2013-01-01

    Derived aspects of our human life history, such as short interbirth intervals and altricial newborns, have been attributed to male provisioning of nutrient-rich meat within monogamous relationships. However, many primatologists and anthropologists have questioned the relative importance of pair-bonding and biparental care, pointing to evidence that cooperative breeding better characterizes human reproductive and child-care relationships. We present a mathematical model with empirically-informed parameter ranges showing that natural selection favors cooperation among mothers over a wide range of conditions. In contrast, our analysis provides a far more narrow range of support for selection favoring male coalition-based monogamy over more promiscuous independent males, suggesting that provisioning within monogamous relationships may fall short of explaining the evolution of Homo life history. Rather, broader cooperative networks within and between the sexes provide the primary basis for our unique life history. PMID:24367605

  5. Diastereoselective anodic hetero- and homo-coupling of menthol-, 8-methylmenthol- and 8-phenylmenthol-2-alkylmalonates

    PubMed Central

    Letzel, Matthias C; Fröhlich, Roland

    2017-01-01

    Diastereoselective radical coupling was achieved with chiral auxiliaries. The radicals were generated by anodic decarboxylation of five malonic acid derivatives. These were prepared from benzyl malonates and four menthol auxiliaries. Coelectrolyses with 3,3-dimethylbutanoic acid in methanol at platinum electrodes in an undivided cell afforded hetero-coupling products in 22–69% yield with a diastereoselectivity ranging from 5 to 65% de. Electrolyses without a coacid led to diastereomeric homo-coupling products in 21–50% yield with ratios of diastereomers being 1.17:2.00:0.81 to 7.03:2.00. The stereochemistry of the new stereogenic centers was confirmed by X-ray structure analysis and 13C NMR data. PMID:28179946

  6. Structural and quantum chemical analysis of exciton coupling in homo- and heteroaggregate stacks of merocyanines

    PubMed Central

    Bialas, David; Zitzler-Kunkel, André; Kirchner, Eva; Schmidt, David; Würthner, Frank

    2016-01-01

    Exciton coupling is of fundamental importance and determines functional properties of organic dyes in (opto-)electronic and photovoltaic devices. Here we show that strong exciton coupling is not limited to the situation of equal chromophores as often assumed. Quadruple dye stacks were obtained from two bis(merocyanine) dyes with same or different chromophores, respectively, which dimerize in less-polar solvents resulting in the respective homo- and heteroaggregates. The structures of the quadruple dye stacks were assigned by NMR techniques and unambiguously confirmed by single-crystal X-ray analysis. The heteroaggregate stack formed from the bis(merocyanine) bearing two different chromophores exhibits remarkably different ultraviolet/vis absorption bands compared with those of the homoaggregate of the bis(merocyanine) comprising two identical chromophores. Quantum chemical analysis based on an extension of Kasha's exciton theory appropriately describes the absorption properties of both types of stacks revealing strong exciton coupling also between different chromophores within the heteroaggregate. PMID:27680284

  7. Structural and quantum chemical analysis of exciton coupling in homo- and heteroaggregate stacks of merocyanines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bialas, David; Zitzler-Kunkel, André; Kirchner, Eva; Schmidt, David; Würthner, Frank

    2016-09-01

    Exciton coupling is of fundamental importance and determines functional properties of organic dyes in (opto-)electronic and photovoltaic devices. Here we show that strong exciton coupling is not limited to the situation of equal chromophores as often assumed. Quadruple dye stacks were obtained from two bis(merocyanine) dyes with same or different chromophores, respectively, which dimerize in less-polar solvents resulting in the respective homo- and heteroaggregates. The structures of the quadruple dye stacks were assigned by NMR techniques and unambiguously confirmed by single-crystal X-ray analysis. The heteroaggregate stack formed from the bis(merocyanine) bearing two different chromophores exhibits remarkably different ultraviolet/vis absorption bands compared with those of the homoaggregate of the bis(merocyanine) comprising two identical chromophores. Quantum chemical analysis based on an extension of Kasha's exciton theory appropriately describes the absorption properties of both types of stacks revealing strong exciton coupling also between different chromophores within the heteroaggregate.

  8. Living in an adaptive world: Genomic dissection of the genus Homo and its immune response.

    PubMed

    Quach, Hélène; Quintana-Murci, Lluis

    2017-04-03

    More than a decade after the sequencing of the human genome, a deluge of genome-wide population data are generating a portrait of human genetic diversity at an unprecedented level of resolution. Genomic studies have provided new insight into the demographic and adaptive history of our species, Homo sapiens, including its interbreeding with other hominins, such as Neanderthals, and the ways in which natural selection, in its various guises, has shaped genome diversity. These studies, combined with functional genomic approaches, such as the mapping of expression quantitative trait loci, have helped to identify genes, functions, and mechanisms of prime importance for host survival and involved in phenotypic variation and differences in disease risk. This review summarizes new findings in this rapidly developing field, focusing on the human immune response. We discuss the importance of defining the genetic and evolutionary determinants driving immune response variation, and highlight the added value of population genomic approaches in settings relevant to immunity and infection.

  9. Molecular Dynamics Simulations of l-RNA Involving Homo- and Heterochiral Complexes.

    PubMed

    Dudek, Marta; Trylska, Joanna

    2017-03-14

    l-RNA is a mirror image of the naturally occurring d-RNA. We present the first simulations of l-RNA/d-RNA complexes in the AMBER ff10 force field that we modified to account for l-ribonucleotides. To validate the modifications we performed molecular dynamics simulations of several homo- and heterochiral RNA complexes. We did not observe any canonical base pairing in the l-/d-systems, but we found many repeatable geometric patterns that suggest possible structural motifs between the heterochiral RNA strands. The microscopic picture of l-RNA/d-RNA interface could help formulate the rules for designing l-RNAs with desired affinity toward specific d-RNA motifs.

  10. Opposing Extremes of Zygomatic Bone Morphology: Australopithecus Boisei versus Homo Neanderthalensis.

    PubMed

    Rak, Yoel; Marom, Assaf

    2017-01-01

    The lateral margin of the zygomatic bone of Australopithecus boisei flares both anteriorly and laterally. As a result, the bone loses the suspensory bracing of the facial frame and is transformed into a visor-like structure that supports itself and gains its rigidity from its shape. The coronally oriented bony plates and the outline of the facial mask help the A. boisei face resist the effect of the visor-like structure, which tends to pull the bone plates of the face away from the midline. On the other hand, the nearly sagittal orientation of the zygomatic bone in Homo neanderthalensis helps the face resist torque and bending forces, which themselves stem from the positioning of the bite point on the anterior teeth. Although the zygomatic bones of these two taxa are highly specialized, they differ fundamentally from each other. Anat Rec, 300:152-159, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Construction of a constitutively expressed homo-fermentative pathway in Lactobacillus brevis.

    PubMed

    Guo, Wei; He, Ronglin; Ma, Lijuan; Jia, Wendi; Li, Demao; Chen, Shulin

    2014-08-01

    Lactobacillus brevis is a promising lactic acid producing strain that simultaneously utilizes glucose and xylose from lignocellulosic hydrolysate without carbon catabolic repression and inhibition. The production of by-products acetic acid and ethanol has been the major drawback of this strain. Two genes, pfkA (fructose-6-phosphate kinase [PFK]) and fbaA (fructose-1,6-biphosphate aldolase [FBA]), that encode the key enzymes of the EMP/glycolytic pathway from Lactobacillus rhamnosus, were fused to the downstream of the strong promoter P32 and expressed in L. brevis s3f4 as a strategy to minimize the formation of by-products. By expressing the two enzymes, a homo-fermentative pathway for lactic acid production was constructed. The lactic acid yields achieved from glucose in the transformants were 1.12 and 1.16 mol/mol, which is higher than that of the native strain (0.74 mol/mol). However, the lactic acid yield from xylose in the transformants stayed the same as that of the native strain. Enzyme assay indicated that the activity of the foreign protein FBA in the transformants was much higher than that of the native strains, but was ten times lower than that in L. rhamnosus. This result was consistent with the metabolic flux analysis, which indicated that the conversion efficiency of the expressed PFK and FBA was somewhat low. Less than 20 % of the carbons accumulated in the form of fructose-6-phosphate were converted into glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate (GAP) by the expressed PFK and FBA. Metabolic flux analysis also indicated that the enzyme phosphoketolase (XPK) played an important role in splitting the carbon flow from the pentose phosphate pathway to the phosphoketolase pathway. This study suggested that the lactic acid yield of L. brevis could be improved by constructing a homo-fermentative pathway.

  12. Nonlinear Socio-Ecological Dynamics and First Principles ofCollective Choice Behavior of ``Homo Socialis"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonis, M.

    Socio-ecological dynamics emerged from the field of Mathematical SocialSciences and opened up avenues for re-examination of classical problems of collective behavior in Social and Spatial sciences. The ``engine" of this collective behavior is the subjective mental evaluation of level of utilities in the future, presenting sets of composite socio-economic-temporal-locational advantages. These dynamics present new laws of collective multi-population behavior which are the meso-level counterparts of the utility optimization individual behavior. The central core of the socio-ecological choice dynamics includes the following first principle of the collective choice behavior of ``Homo Socialis" based on the existence of ``collective consciousness": the choice behavior of ``Homo Socialis" is a collective meso-level choice behavior such that the relative changes in choice frequencies depend on the distribution of innovation alternatives between adopters of innovations. The mathematical basis of the Socio-Ecological Dynamics includes two complementary analytical approaches both based on the use of computer modeling as a theoretical and simulation tool. First approach is the ``continuous approach" --- the systems of ordinary and partial differential equations reflecting the continuous time Volterra ecological formalism in a form of antagonistic and/or cooperative collective hyper-games between different sub-sets of choice alternatives. Second approach is the ``discrete approach" --- systems of difference equations presenting a new branch of the non-linear discrete dynamics --- the Discrete Relative m-population/n-innovations Socio-Spatial Dynamics (Dendrinos and Sonis, 1990). The generalization of the Volterra formalism leads further to the meso-level variational principle of collective choice behavior determining the balance between the resulting cumulative social spatio-temporal interactions among the population of adopters susceptible to the choice alternatives and the

  13. Dynamic similarity predicts gait parameters for Homo floresiensis and the Laetoli hominins.

    PubMed

    Vaughan, Christopher L; Blaszczyk, Maria B

    2008-01-01

    Late in 2004, the skeletal remains of a pygmy-sized hominin recovered from a cave on the Indonesian island of Flores were first documented, with the authors concluding that the "postcranial anatomy [was] consistent with human-like obligate bipedalism" (Brown et al. [2004]: Nature 431:1055-1061). We have assumed that Homo floresiensis, who was estimated to be 18,000-years-old, walked with a gait pattern that was dynamically similar to modern man. The dynamic similarity hypothesis was also applied to the Australopithecines that left their footprints at Laetoli 4-million-years ago. According to this hypothesis, dimensionless gait parameters can be used in combination with known leg length or step length to calculate velocity of bipedal locomotion. We have gathered data on 20 extant modern humans to calculate the standard estimates of error when predicting gait parameters. We predict that the Homo floresiensis specimen walked at a velocity of 1.11 +/- 0.14 m/s. For the Laetoli footprints, the velocity for Track 1 was estimated to be 1.03 +/- 0.12 m/s and for Track 2 to be 1.14 +/- 0.12 m/s. These latter values for Australopithecines are greater than prior analyses, but are in good agreement with more recent work based on evolutionary robotics. Since modern man walks at 1.44 +/- 0.14 m/s, our results suggest that, despite their diminutive size, these ancient hominins were capable of ranging across a wide geographical area.

  14. Chronology for the Cueva Victoria fossil site (SE Spain): Evidence for Early Pleistocene Afro-Iberian dispersals.

    PubMed

    Gibert, Luis; Scott, Gary R; Scholz, Denis; Budsky, Alexander; Ferràndez, Carles; Ribot, Francesc; Martin, Robert A; Lería, María

    2016-01-01

    Cueva Victoria has provided remains of more than 90 species of fossil vertebrates, including a hominin phalanx, and the only specimens of the African cercopithecid Theropithecus oswaldi in Europe. To constrain the age of the vertebrate remains we used paleomagnetism, vertebrate biostratigraphy and (230)Th/U dating. Normal polarity was identified in the non-fossiliferous lowest and highest stratigraphic units (red clay and capping flowstones) while reverse polarity was found in the intermediate stratigraphic unit (fossiliferous breccia). A lower polarity change occurred during the deposition of the decalcification clay, when the cave was closed and karstification was active. A second polarity change occurred during the capping flowstone formation, when the upper galleries were filled with breccia. The mammal association indicates a post-Jaramillo age, which allows us to correlate this upper reversal with the Brunhes-Matuyama boundary (0.78 Ma). Consequently, the lower reversal (N-R) is interpreted as the end of the Jaramillo magnetochron (0.99 Ma). These ages bracket the age of the fossiliferous breccia between 0.99 and 0.78 Ma, suggesting that the capping flowstone was formed during the wet Marine Isotopic Stage 19, which includes the Brunhes-Matuyama boundary. Fossil remains of Theropithecus have been only found in situ ∼1 m below the B/M boundary, which allows us to place the arrival of Theropithecus to Cueva Victoria at ∼0.9-0.85 Ma. The fauna of Cueva Victoria lived during a period of important climatic change, known as the Early-Middle Pleistocene Climatic Transition. The occurrence of the oldest European Acheulean tools at the contemporaneous nearby site of Cueva Negra suggest an African dispersal into SE Iberia through the Strait of Gibraltar during MIS 22, when sea-level was ∼100 m below its present position, allowing the passage into Europe of, at least, Theropithecus and Homo bearing Acheulean technology.

  15. Fossil and non-fossil source contributions to atmospheric carbonaceous aerosols during extreme spring grassland fires in Eastern Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulevicius, Vidmantas; Byčenkienė, Steigvilė; Bozzetti, Carlo; Vlachou, Athanasia; Plauškaitė, Kristina; Mordas, Genrik; Dudoitis, Vadimas; Abbaszade, Gülcin; Remeikis, Vidmantas; Garbaras, Andrius; Masalaite, Agne; Blees, Jan; Fröhlich, Roman; Dällenbach, Kaspar R.; Canonaco, Francesco; Slowik, Jay G.; Dommen, Josef; Zimmermann, Ralf; Schnelle-Kreis, Jürgen; Salazar, Gary A.; Agrios, Konstantinos; Szidat, Sönke; El Haddad, Imad; Prévôt, André S. H.

    2016-05-01

    In early spring the Baltic region is frequently affected by high-pollution events due to biomass burning in that area. Here we present a comprehensive study to investigate the impact of biomass/grass burning (BB) on the evolution and composition of aerosol in Preila, Lithuania, during springtime open fires. Non-refractory submicron particulate matter (NR-PM1) was measured by an Aerodyne aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ACSM) and a source apportionment with the multilinear engine (ME-2) running the positive matrix factorization (PMF) model was applied to the organic aerosol fraction to investigate the impact of biomass/grass burning. Satellite observations over regions of biomass burning activity supported the results and identification of air mass transport to the area of investigation. Sharp increases in biomass burning tracers, such as levoglucosan up to 683 ng m-3 and black carbon (BC) up to 17 µg m-3 were observed during this period. A further separation between fossil and non-fossil primary and secondary contributions was obtained by coupling ACSM PMF results and radiocarbon (14C) measurements of the elemental (EC) and organic (OC) carbon fractions. Non-fossil organic carbon (OCnf) was the dominant fraction of PM1, with the primary (POCnf) and secondary (SOCnf) fractions contributing 26-44 % and 13-23 % to the total carbon (TC), respectively. 5-8 % of the TC had a primary fossil origin (POCf), whereas the contribution of fossil secondary organic carbon (SOCf) was 4-13 %. Non-fossil EC (ECnf) and fossil EC (ECf) ranged from 13-24 and 7-13 %, respectively. Isotope ratios of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes were used to distinguish aerosol particles associated with solid and liquid fossil fuel burning.

  16. Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Conference on Fossil Energy Materials. Fossil Energy AR and TD Materials Program

    SciTech Connect

    Cole, N.C.; Judkins, R.R.

    1993-07-01

    Objective of the AR&TD Materials Program is to conduct research and development on materials for longer-term fossil energy applications as well as for generic needs of various fossil fuel technologies. The 37 papers are arranged into 3 sessions: ceramics, new alloys/intermetallics, and new alloys/advanced austenitics. Selected papers have been indexed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  17. Fossil and non-fossil source contributions to atmospheric carbonaceous aerosols during extreme spring grassland fires in Eastern Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulevicius, V.; Byčenkienė, S.; Bozzetti, C.; Vlachou, A.; Plauškaitė, K.; Mordas, G.; Dudoitis, V.; Abbaszade, G.; Remeikis, V.; Garbaras, A.; Masalaite, A.; Blees, J.; Fröhlich, R.; Dällenbach, K. R.; Canonaco, F.; Slowik, J. G.; Dommen, J.; Zimmermann, R.; Schnelle-Kreis, J.; Salazar, G. A.; Agrios, K.; Szidat, S.; El Haddad, I.; Prévôt, A. S. H.

    2015-09-01

    In early spring the Baltic region is frequently affected by high pollution events due to biomass burning in that area. Here we present a comprehensive study to investigate the impact of biomass/grass burning (BB) on the evolution and composition of aerosol in Preila, Lithuania, during springtime open fires. Non-refractory submicron particulate matter (NR-PM1) was measured by an Aerodyne aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ACSM) and a source apportionment with the multilinear engine (ME-2) running the positive matrix factorization (PMF) model was applied to the organic aerosol fraction to investigate the impact of biomass/grass burning. Satellite observations over regions of biomass burning activity supported the results and identification of air mass transport to the area of investigation. Sharp increases in biomass burning tracers, such as levoglucosan up to 683 ng m-3 and black carbon (BC) up to 17 μg m-3 were observed during this period. A further separation between fossil and non-fossil primary and secondary contributions was obtained by coupling ACSM PMF results and radiocarbon (14C) measurements of the elemental (EC) and organic (OC) carbon fractions. Non-fossil organic carbon (OCnf) was the dominant fraction of PM1, with the primary (POCnf) and secondary (SOCnf) fractions contributing 26-44 % and 13-23 % to the TC, respectively. 5-8 % of the TC had a primary fossil origin (POCf), whereas the contribution of fossil secondary organic carbon (SOCf) was 4-13 %. Non-fossil EC (ECnf) and fossil EC (ECf) ranged from 13-24 % and 7-12 %, respectively. Isotope ratio of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes were used to distinguish aerosol particles associated with solid and liquid fossil fuel burning.

  18. The Fossils of the First Galaxies in the Local Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bovill, Mia Sauda

    We argue that, at least a fraction of the newly discovered population of ultra-faint dwarfs in the Local Group constitute the fossil relics of a once ubiquitous population of dwarf galaxies formed before reionization with maximum circular velocities, vmax < 20 km s -1, where vmax ˜ M 1/3. To follow the evolution and distribution of the fossils of the first galaxies on Local Volume, 5 - 10 Mpc, scales, we have developed a new method for generating initial conditions for ΛCDM N-body simulations which provides the necessary dynamic range. The initial distribution of particles represents the position, velocity and mass distribution of the dark and luminous ha- los extracted from pre-reionization simulations. We find that ultra-faint dwarfs have properties compatible with well preserved fossils of the first galaxies and are able to reproduce the observed luminosity-metallicity relation. However, because the brightest pre-reionization dwarfs form preferentially in overdense regions, they have merged into non-fossil halos with vmax > 20-30 km s-1. Hence, we find a luminosity threshold of true-fossils of 106 Lsolar, casting doubts on the classification of some classical dSphs as fossils. We also argue that the ultra-faints at R < 50 kpc, have had their stellar properties significantly modified by tides, and that a large population of fossils remains undetected due to log(Sigma V) < -1.4. Next, we show that fossils of the first galaxies have galactocentric distributions and cumulative luminosity func- tions consistent with observations. We predict there are ˜ 300 luminous satellites orbiting within Rvir of the Milky Way, ˜ 50-70% of which are fossils. Despite our multidimensional agreement at low luminosities, our primordial model produces an overabundance of bright dwarf satellites (LV > 105 Lsolar), with this "bright satellite problem" most evident in the outer parts of the Milky Way. We estimate that, although relatively bright (LV > 105 Lsolar), these ghostly

  19. Combining phylogenomics and fossils in higher-level squamate reptile phylogeny: molecular data change the placement of fossil taxa.

    PubMed

    Wiens, John J; Kuczynski, Caitlin A; Townsend, Ted; Reeder, Tod W; Mulcahy, Daniel G; Sites, Jack W

    2010-12-01

    Molecular data offer great potential to resolve the phylogeny of living taxa but can molecular data improve our understanding of relationships of fossil taxa? Simulations suggest that this is possible, but few empirical examples have demonstrated the ability of molecular data to change the placement of fossil taxa. We offer such an example here. We analyze the placement of snakes among squamate reptiles, combining published morphological data (363 characters) and new DNA sequence data (15,794 characters, 22 nuclear loci) for 45 living and 19 fossil taxa. We find several intriguing results. First, some fossil taxa undergo major changes in their phylogenetic position when molecular data are added. Second, most fossil taxa are placed with strong support in the expected clades by the combined data Bayesian analyses, despite each having >98% missing cells and despite recent suggestions that extensive missing data are problematic for Bayesian phylogenetics. Third, morphological data can change the placement of living taxa in combined analyses, even when there is an overwhelming majority of molecular characters. Finally, we find strong but apparently misleading signal in the morphological data, seemingly associated with a burrowing lifestyle in snakes, amphisbaenians, and dibamids. Overall, our results suggest promise for an integrated and comprehensive Tree of Life by combining molecular and morphological data for living and fossil taxa.

  20. Hawaii energy strategy project 2: Fossil energy review. Task 2: Fossil energy in Hawaii

    SciTech Connect

    Breazeale, K.; Yamaguchi, N.D.; Keeville, H.

    1993-12-01

    In Task 2, the authors establish a baseline for evaluating energy use in Hawaii, and examine key energy and economic indicators. They provide a detailed look at fossil energy imports by type, current and possible sources of oil, gas and coal, quality considerations, and processing/transformation. They present time series data on petroleum product consumption by end-use sector, though they caution the reader that the data is imperfect. They discuss fuel substitutability to identify those end-use categories that are most easily switched to other fuels. They then define and analyze sequential scenarios of fuel substitution in Hawaii and their impacts on patterns of demand. They also discuss energy security--what it means to Hawaii, what it means to neighboring economies, whether it is possible to achieve energy security. 95 figs., 48 tabs.