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Sample records for bahrelghazali mio-pliocene hominids

  1. MIO-PLIOCENE CRUSTACEANS FROM THE CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN

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    JUAN FRANCISCO BETANCORT

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available There are few previous references to fossil crustaceans for the Neogene marine layers of the Canary Islands (Spain. The Mio-Pliocene marine sedimentary layers in the eastern islands (Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote were previously characterised by the presence of numerous fossil fauna, mainly anthozoans and molluscs, which correspond to an equatorial-typepalaeoclimate, warmer than the present climate. This Mio-Pliocene transition dated between 9.3 and 4.1 Ma. In this paper, 12 fossil crustacean taxa are identified and classified, including decapods and barnacles: Balanus concavus Bronn, 1831, Balanus spongicola Brown, 1827, Balanus perforatus Bruguière, 1789, Chenolobia testudinaria Linnè, 1767, Tetraclita cf. rubescens Darwin, 1854, Callianassa matsoni Rathbun, 1935, Callianassa sp., Upogebia sp, Eriphia aff. verrucosa (Forskal, 1775 , Maja sp., Scylla michelini Milne-Edwards, 1861 and Ocypode sp. Some of these taxa mean new references for the Atlantic islands and the North African Atlantic and definitely enlarge the palaeographic distribution of Neogene crustaceans beyond the Mediterranean region, extending it to the North Atlantic. Particularly significant are the presence of Tetraclita cf. rubescens ,this being the first reported fossil occurrence of this barnacle outside the North America Pacific coasts, and Chenolobia testudinaria , indicating for the first time the existence of marine turtles in these islands during the Neogene. These results are coherent with previous research hypothesising the existence of a flow of surface water between the Pacific and Atlantic in the Mio-Pliocene transition (Central American Seaway, CAS which explains the arrival of organisms, in larval stage, from Central America to the Canary Islands.

  2. Giant bunodont Lutrinae from the Mio-Pliocene of Kenya and Uganda

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    Pickford, M.

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Three new species of bunodont otters are described from the Mio-Pliocene of East Africa. They are provisionally attributed to the genus Sivaonyx Pilgrim, 1931. The species described are Sivaonyx soriae, nov. sp. and Sivaonyx senutae nov. sp. from the Latest Miocene Lukeino Formation (Kenya and Sivaonyx kamuhangirei nov. sp. from the Pliocene of Kazinga and Warwire (Uganda. Additional material of the species Sivaonyx ekecaman (Werdelin, 2003 is described from Sagatia, Mabaget Formation (Kenya. The systematics of the new tribe Enhydriodontini are discussed and we report the presence of evolutionary tendencies in the bunodont African otters: increase in body size, modification of the carnassial teeth. In particular in the P4/ the protocone becomes well separated from the paracone, at the same time that an anterior valley develops.Se describen tres nuevas especies de nutrias bunodontas del Mio-plioceno de Africa oriental. Provisionalmente se adscriben al género Sivaonyx Pilgrim 1931. Las especies descritas son Sivaonyx soriae nov. sp y Sivaonyx senutae nov. sp. del Mioceno final de la formación Lukeino (Kenia, y Sivaonyx kamuhangirei nov. sp del Plioceno de Kazinga y Warwire (Uganda. También se describen nuevos fósiles de Sagatia, formación Magabet (Kenia atribuibles a la especie Sivaonyx ekecaman (Werdelin, 2003. Se discute la sistemática de la nueva tribu Enhydriotini y se señala la presencia de dos tendencias evolutivas en las nutrias bunodontas africanas: incremento de talla y modificación de las carniceras. Especialmente del P4/ en el que el protocono se va separando del paracono, al mismo tiempo que se desarrolla un valle en posición anterior.

  3. Depositional Environment of Mio-Pliocene Siwalik Sedimentary Strata from the Darjeeling Himalayan Foothills, India: A Palynological Approach.

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    Sandip More

    Full Text Available A rich and diverse palynoassemblage recovered from the Churanthi River section (26°53' 59.3" N, 88°34' 17.2" E, Darjeeling foothills Eastern Himalaya, has yielded 87 species assigned to 69 genera. The palynoassemblage is rich in angiosperm taxa (45.63% followed by gymnosperms (0.45%, pteridophytes (18.49% and fungal remains (23.88%. Based on their nearest living relatives, a wet evergreen to semi-evergreen forest under a humid tropical to sub-tropical environment during the Mio-Pliocene age has been suggested. A lot of angiosperms such as Palaeosantalaceaepites, Araliaceoipollenites, Malvacearampollis, Zonocostites, Neocouperipollis, Dicolpopollis, Palmidites, Palmaepollenites, isolated salt glands of mangrove plant leaves (Heliospermopsis and Mediaverrunites type of fungal spores, along with ichnofossils like Planolites, Palaeophycus, Skolithos, Rosselia, Ophiomorpha and Teichichnus associated with rippled mudstone-siltstone suggest an environment strongly influenced by brackish water. Primary sedimentary structures in the associated strata indicate strong wave agitation common in shallow marine setting. Some high elevation components (5.14% such as Alnipollenites, cf. Corylus (Betulaceae, Juglanspollenites, Engelhardtioipollenites (Juglandaceae, Quercoides, Cupuliferoidaepollenites, Lithocarpus, Castanopsis (Fagaceae, Abietineaepollenites (Pinaceae represent hinterland vegetation possibly transported to the prograding deltaic coastline by the rivers. Reworked palynotaxa (Striatopodocarpites sp., Striatites sp., Faunipollenites sp., Circumstriatites sp., Crescentipollenites sp., Cuneatisporites sp., Parasaccites sp., Scheuringipollenites sp., Rhizomaspora sp., Marsupipollenites sp., Lophotriletes sp. of Permian age have also been recorded in the palynoassemblage (11.55% indicating the abundance of Permian Gondwana strata in the source area.

  4. Soft-sediment deformation structures in the Mio-Pliocene Misaki Formation within alternating deep-sea clays and volcanic ashes (Miura Peninsula, Japan)

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    Mazumder, Rajat; van Loon, A. J. (Tom); Malviya, Vivek P.; Arima, Makoto; Ogawa, Yujuro

    2016-10-01

    The Mio-Pliocene Misaki Formation of the Miura Group (Miura Peninsula, Japan) shows an extremely wide variety of soft-sediment deformation structures. The most common deformation structures are load casts and associated flame structures, dish-and-pillar structures, synsedimentary faults, multilobated convolutions, chaotic deformation structures, sedimentary veins and dykes, and large-scale slides and slump scars. The formation, which accumulated in a deep-sea environment (2000-3000 m), is well exposed in and around Jogashima; it consists of relative thin (commonly dm-scale) alternations of deep-marine fine-grained sediments and volcanic ejecta that are, as a rule, coarse-grained. Since the formation represents fore-arc deposits of the Izu-Bonin and the Honsu arc collision zone, it might be expected that tectonic activity also played a role as a trigger of the soft-sediment deformation structures that abound in these sediments. This is indicated, indeed, by the abundance of soft-sediment deformations over large lateral distances that occur in numerous beds that are sandwiched between undeformed beds. On the basis of their characteristics and the geological context, these layers can be explained satisfactorily only by assuming deformation triggered by seismicity, which must be related to the Izu-Bonin and Honsu arc collision. The layers thus form deep-marine seismites.

  5. Rodent faunas of the Mio-Pliocene continental sediments of the Teruel-Alfambra region, Spain

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    Weerd, A. van de

    1976-01-01

    In the large inland basin of Teruel-Calatayud the area around the town of Teruel is well known for its numerous remains of fossil mammals. They are found in Upper Miocene and Pliocene deposits, and some groups have already been studied in detail. Simultaneous with the collecting of fossil smaller ma

  6. Revision of the Mio-Pliocene bunodont otter-like mammals of the Indian Subcontinent

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    Pickford, M.

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available A revision of the Enhydriodontini of the Indian Subcontinent is undertaken on the basis of previously described and recently collected bunodont otter-like fossils from the sub-Himalayan Siwalik Group. It is confirmed that, with the passage of geological time spanning the period 13 – 3 Ma, there occurred a progressive increase in body size, a reduction of the anterior part of the premolar row and an increase in degree of cheek tooth bunodonty and cusp mastoidization. Functional analysis of a snout with a partly preserved incisor battery of Enhydriodon sivalensis, reveals that it was probably a molluscivore, preying principally on bivalves, while other species of enhydriodonts were more likely to have been piscivores and cancrivores. One new species of Sivaonyx is described from the base of the Late Miocene of Pakistan. Bunodont otter-like mammals from Eurasia, Africa and North America are briefly discussed in light of the revision of the Indo-Pakistan ones. The origins and phylogenetic relationships of these mammals remains obscure. The major differences in dental anatomy indicate that these Old World otter-like mammals should not be classified in Enhydrini, but in a tribe of their own Enhydriodontini new tribe.La revisión de los Enhydriontinos del subcontinente Indio se aborda, tanto en base a los fósiles de nutrias bunodontas previamente descritos, como a los hallazgos recientemente realizados en el Grupo de los Siwaliks en el sub-Himalaya. Se confirma que durante el período de tiempo comprendido entre los 13 a 3 Ma hubo un progresivo incremento en la talla corporal, una reducción de la parte anterior de la serie premolar y un incremento en el grado de bunodoncia y mastoidización de las cúspides de los dientes. El análisis funcional de un hocico de Enhydriodon sivalensis con la batería de incisivos parcialmente conservados revela que esta especie fue parcialmente malacófaga, alimentándose principalmente de bivalvos, mientras que otras especies de enhydriontinos fueron más piscívoras y cancrívoras. En el trabajo también se describe una nueva especie de Sivaonyx procedente de la base del Mioceno Terminal de Paquistán. Los mamíferos bunodontos de tipo nutria de Eurasia, África y América del Norte son brevemente discutidos a la luz de la revisión realizada para las formas paquistaníes. El origen y relaciones filogenéticas de estos mamíferos permanecen oscuros. Las importantes diferencias en anatomía dental indican que estos mamíferos de tipo nutria del Viejo Mundo no deberían ser clasificados como Enhydrini, sino en una tribu propia, Enhydriodontini nueva tribu.

  7. Cladistics and the hominid fossil record.

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    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.

  8. Flores hominid: new species or microcephalic dwarf?

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    Martin, Robert D; Maclarnon, Ann M; Phillips, James L; Dobyns, William B

    2006-11-01

    The proposed new hominid "Homo floresiensis" is based on specimens from cave deposits on the Indonesian island Flores. The primary evidence, dated at approximately 18,000 y, is a skull and partial skeleton of a very small but dentally adult individual (LB1). Incomplete specimens are attributed to eight additional individuals. Stone tools at the site are also attributed to H. floresiensis. The discoverers interpreted H. floresiensis as an insular dwarf derived from Homo erectus, but others see LB1 as a small-bodied microcephalic Homo sapiens. Study of virtual endocasts, including LB1 and a European microcephalic, purportedly excluded microcephaly, but reconsideration reveals several problems. The cranial capacity of LB1 ( approximately 400 cc) is smaller than in any other known hominid < 3.5 Ma and is far too small to derive from Homo erectus by normal dwarfing. By contrast, some associated tools were generated with a prepared-core technique previously unknown for H. erectus, including bladelets otherwise associated exclusively with H. sapiens. The single European microcephalic skull used in comparing virtual endocasts was particularly unsuitable. The specimen was a cast, not the original skull (traced to Stuttgart), from a 10-year-old child with massive pathology. Moreover, the calotte does not fit well with the rest of the cast, probably being a later addition of unknown history. Consideration of various forms of human microcephaly and of two adult specimens indicates that LB1 could well be a microcephalic Homo sapiens. This is the most likely explanation for the incongruous association of a small-brained recent hominid with advanced stone tools.

  9. Sawfishes and Other Elasmobranch Assemblages from the Mio-Pliocene of the South Caribbean (Urumaco Sequence, Northwestern Venezuela)

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    2015-01-01

    The Urumaco stratigraphic sequence, western Venezuela, preserves a variety of paleoenvironments that include terrestrial, riverine, lacustrine and marine facies. A wide range of fossil vertebrates associated with these facies supports the hypothesis of an estuary in that geographic area connected with a hydrographic system that flowed from western Amazonia up to the Proto-Caribbean Sea during the Miocene. Here the elasmobranch assemblages of the middle Miocene to middle Pliocene section of the Urumaco sequence (Socorro, Urumaco and Codore formations) are described. Based on new findings, we document at least 21 taxa of the Lamniformes, Carcharhiniformes, Myliobatiformes and Rajiformes, and describe a new carcharhiniform species (†Carcharhinus caquetius sp. nov.). Moreover, the Urumaco Formation has a high number of well-preserved fossil Pristis rostra, for which we provide a detailed taxonomic revision, and referral in the context of the global Miocene record of Pristis as well as extant species. Using the habitat preference of the living representatives, we hypothesize that the fossil chondrichthyan assemblages from the Urumaco sequence are evidence for marine shallow waters and estuarine habitats. PMID:26488163

  10. Stepping out: a computer simulation of hominid dispersal from Africa.

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    Mithen, Steven; Reed, Melissa

    2002-10-01

    A succession of new discoveries and the recent application of new dating methods provide strong evidence that Eurasia was colonized soon after 2.0m.y.a. In light of this new evidence many scenarios have been proposed regarding the influence of glacial/interglacial cycles on hominid dispersal, the role of mountain chains and deserts as barriers, the significance of land bridges and the possibility of sea-crossings. Such factors have been proposed to explain the apparent early arrival of hominids in East Asia and relatively late arrival in Europe, although the evidence in both regions remains open to various interpretations. While it is relatively easy to propose environmental factors that may have influenced dispersal patterns, it is more difficult to evaluate such proposals and to establish what the combined impact of several factors might have been. Moreover, the role of historical contingency in creating the observed pattern of dispersal has yet to be considered. This paper describes a computer simulation model of hominid dispersal which seeks to provide a means to evaluate environmental and ecological factors in hominid dispersal. It creates probability distributions for arrival dates at six key localities and compares these with current estimates from the archaeological and fossil records. It uses these to support some of the current arguments about dispersal and to challenge others.

  11. Palaeodemography of the Atapuerca-SH Middle Pleistocene hominid sample.

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    Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Nicolás, M E

    1997-01-01

    We report here on the palaeodemographic analysis of the hominid sample recovered to date from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) Middle Pleistocene cave site in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain). The analysis of the mandibular, maxillary, and dental remains has made it possible to estimate that a minimum of 32 individuals, who probably belonged to the same biological population, are represented in the current SH human hypodigm. The remains of nine-individuals are assigned to males, and nine to females, suggesting that a 1:1 sex ratio characterizes this hominid sample. The survivorship curve shows a low representation of infants and children, a high mortality among the adolescents and prime-age adults, and a low older adult mortality. Longevity was probably no greater than 40 years. This mortality pattern (adolescents and adults); which in some aspects resembles that observed in Neandertals, is quite different from those reported for recent foraging human groups. The adult age-at-death distribution of the SH hominid sample appears to be neither the consequence of underaging the older adults, nor of differential preservation or of the recognition of skeletal remains. Thus if we accept that they had a life history pattern similar to that of modern humans there would appear to be a clear contradiction between the demographic distribution and the demographic viability of the population represented by the SH hominid fossils. The possible representational bias of the SH hominid sample, as well as some aspects of the reproductive biology of the Pleistocene populations are also discussed.

  12. Enamel hypoplasia in the middle pleistocene hominids from Atapuerca (Spain).

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    Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Pérez, P J

    1995-03-01

    The prevalence and chronology of enamel hypoplasias were studied in a hominid dental sample from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) Middle Pleistocene site at the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, northern Spain). A total of 89 permanent maxillary teeth, 143 permanent mandibular teeth, and one deciduous lower canine, belonging to a minimum of 29 individuals, were examined. Excluding the antimeres (16 maxillary and 37 mandibular cases) from the sample, the prevalence of hypoplasias in the permanent dentition is 12.8% (23/179), whereas the deciduous tooth also showed an enamel defect. No statistically significant differences were found between both arcades and between the anterior and postcanine teeth for the prevalence of hypoplasias. In both the maxilla and the mandible the highest frequency of enamel hypoplasias was recorded in the canines. Only one tooth (a permanent upper canine) showed two different enamel defects, and most of the hypoplasias were expressed as faint linear horizontal defects. Taking into account the limitations that the incompleteness of virtually all permanent dentitions imposes, we have estimated that the frequency by individual in the SH hominid sample was not greater than 40%. Most of the hypoplasias occurred between birth and 7 years (N = 18, X = 3.5, SD = 1.3). Both the prevalence and severity of the hypoplasias of the SH hominid sample are significantly less than those of a large Neandertal sample. Furthermore, prehistoric hunter-gatherers and historic agricultural and industrial populations exhibit a prevalence of hypoplasias generally higher than that of the SH hominids. Implications for the survival strategies and life quality of the SH hominids are also discussed.

  13. Posterior dental size reduction in hominids: the Atapuerca evidence.

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    Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Nicolas, M E

    1995-04-01

    In order to reassess previous hypotheses concerning dental size reduction of the posterior teeth during Pleistocene human evolution, current fossil dental evidence is examined. This evidence includes the large sample of hominid teeth found in recent excavations (1984-1993) in the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene cave site of the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain). The lower fourth premolars and molars of the Atapuerca hominids, probably older than 300 Kyr, have dimensions similar to those of modern humans. Further, these hominids share the derived state of other features of the posterior teeth with modern humans, such as a similar relative molar size and frequent absence of the hypoconulid, thus suggesting a possible case of parallelism. We believe that dietary changes allowed size reduction of the posterior teeth during the Middle Pleistocene, and the present evidence suggests that the selective pressures that operated on the size variability of these teeth were less restrictive than what is assumed by previous models of dental reduction. Thus, the causal relationship between tooth size decrease and changes in food-preparation techniques during the Pleistocene should be reconsidered. Moreover, the present evidence indicates that the differential reduction of the molars cannot be explained in terms of restriction of available growth space. The molar crown area measurements of a modern human sample were also investigated. The results of this study, as well as previous similar analyses, suggest that a decrease of the rate of cell proliferation, which affected the later-forming crown regions to a greater extent, may be the biological process responsible for the general and differential dental size reduction that occurred during human evolution.

  14. Interproximal grooving in the Atapuerca-SH hominid dentitions.

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    Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Arsuaga, J L; Pérez, P J

    1997-03-01

    The dental sample recovered from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) Middle Pleistocene cave site of the Sierra de Atapuerca (Spain) includes 296 specimens. Interproximal wear grooves have been observed in 20 maxillary and mandibular posterior teeth belonging to at least five of the 32 individuals identified so far in the SH hypodigm. Interproximal grooving affected only the adults, and at an age between 25 and 40 years. The appearance, morphology, and location pattern of the SH wear grooves are similar to those reported in other fossil hominids and in more recent human populations. Two alternative proposals, the toothpicking and the fiber or sinew processing hypotheses, compete for explaining the formation of this anomalous wear. The characteristics observed in the wear grooves of the SH teeth are compatible only with the habitual probing of interdental spaces by means of hard and inflexible objects. Dietary grit may also have contributed to the abrasion of the root walls during the motion of the dental probes.

  15. Early hominid evolution and ecological change through the African Plio-Pleistocene.

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    Reed, K E

    1997-01-01

    The habitats in which extinct hominids existed has been a key issue in addressing the origin and extinction of early hominids, as well as in understanding various morphological and behavioral adaptations. Many researchers postulated that early hominids lived in an open savanna (Dart, 1925; Robinson, 1963; Howell, 1978). However, Vrba (1985, 1988) has noted that a major global climatic and environmental shift from mesic, closed to xeric, open habitats occurred in the late African Pliocene (approximately 2.5 m.y.a.), thus implying that the earliest hominids existed in these mesic, wooded environs. This climatic shift is also suggested to have contributed to a pulse in speciation events with turnovers of many bovid and possibly hominid species. Previous environmental reconstructions of hominid localities have concentrated on taxonomic identities and taxonomic uniformitarianism to provide habitat reconstructions (e.g., Vrba, 1975; Shipman & Harris, 1988). In addition, relative abundances of species are often used to reconstruct a particular environment, when in fact taphonomic factors could be affecting the proportions of taxa. This study uses the morphological adaptations of mammalian assemblages found with early hominids to reconstruct the habitat based on each species' ecological adaptations, thus minimizing problems introduced by taxonomy and taphonomy. Research presented here compares east and south African Plio-Pleistocene mammalian fossil assemblages with 31 extant mammalian communities from eight different habitat types. All communities are analyzed through ecological diversity methods, that is, each species trophic and locomotor adaptations are used to reconstruct an ecological community and derive its vegetative habitat. Reconstructed habitats show that Australopithecus species existed in fairly wooded, well-watered regions. Paranthropus species lived in similar environs and also in more open regions, but always in habitats that include wetlands. Homo is the

  16. Reconsideration of the so-called Oligocene fauna in the asphaltic deposits of Buton (Malay Archipelago) — 1. Mio-Pliocene Mollusca

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    Beets, C.

    1952-01-01

    Ever since his first experience with the remarkable “Upper Oligocene” molluscan fauna of the Isle of Buton, the present writer has endeavoured to find more convincing evidence for its age. One of the most tempting problems was why this fauna showed so few relationships to other fossil faunas or to t

  17. Studies in Neotropical Paleobotany. XV. A Mio-Pliocene palynoflora from the Eastern Cordillera, Bolivia: implications for the uplift history of the Central Andes.

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    Graham, A; Gregory-Wodzicki, K M; Wright, K L

    2001-09-01

    An assemblage of 33 fossil pollen and spores, recovered from the 3600-m high Pislepampa locality of E. W. Berry, Eastern Cordillera, Bolivia, adds considerably to our knowledge of three aspects of the region in late Neogene time: (1) the paleovegetation, (2) the paleoclimate, and (3) the paleoelevation of the Central Andes. The plant microfossils recognized are Isoetes, Lycopodium (three types), Cnemidaria, Cyathea (three types), Grammitis, Hymenophyllum, Pteris, trilete fern spores (two types), Danaea, monolete fern spores (four types), Podocarpus, Gramineae, Palmae, Ilex, cf. Oreopanax, Cavanillesia, cf. Pereskia, Compositae (three types), Ericaceae, Tetrorchidium, and unknowns (three types). The diversity of the Compositae suggest that this flora has a maximum age around the Miocene-Pliocene boundary, that is, 6-7 million years. All members of the paleocommunity presently grow in the bosque montano húmedo (cloud forest) along the eastern slope of the Central Andes of Bolivia, which occurs between MATs (mean annual temperatures) of ∼10° and 20°C. The Pislepampa flora probably represents the lower limits of this forest because the fossil leaves collected by Berry from the same locality all have entire margins, suggesting that the flora grew near the cloud forest-tropical forest transition. Presently, the lower limit of the cloud forest forest has MATs of ∼20°C, a mean annual precipitation between 1000 and 1500 mm, and that part containing most of the identified genera of fossil pollen is found at elevations ∼1200-1400 m. These conditions are thus inferred for the Pislepampa flora; however, because of the uncertainty of the magnitude of global climate change and of possible changes in the ecological range of plant genera, we estimate an error of at least ±1000 m for the paleoelevation estimate. When the total uplift is corrected for probable amounts of erosionally driven isostatic rebound, the paleoelevation estimate suggests that from one-third to one-half of the uplift of the Eastern Cordillera had occurred by the beginning of the Pliocene. This estimate is consistent with other paleoelevation estimates from the Central Andes.

  18. Comparative taphonomy, taphofacies, and bonebeds of the Mio-Pliocene Purisima Formation, central California: strong physical control on marine vertebrate preservation in shallow marine settings.

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    Robert W Boessenecker

    Full Text Available Taphonomic study of marine vertebrate remains has traditionally focused on single skeletons, lagerstätten, or bonebed genesis with few attempts to document environmental gradients in preservation. As such, establishment of a concrete taphonomic model for shallow marine vertebrate assemblages is lacking. The Neogene Purisima Formation of Northern California, a richly fossiliferous unit recording nearshore to offshore depositional settings, offers a unique opportunity to examine preservational trends across these settings.Lithofacies analysis was conducted to place vertebrate fossils within a hydrodynamic and depositional environmental context. Taphonomic data including abrasion, fragmentation, phosphatization, articulation, polish, and biogenic bone modification were recorded for over 1000 vertebrate fossils of sharks, bony fish, birds, pinnipeds, odontocetes, mysticetes, sirenians, and land mammals. These data were used to compare both preservation of multiple taxa within a single lithofacies and preservation of individual taxa across lithofacies to document environmental gradients in preservation. Differential preservation between taxa indicates strong preservational bias within the Purisima Formation. Varying levels of abrasion, fragmentation, phosphatization, and articulation are strongly correlative with physical processes of sediment transport and sedimentation rate. Preservational characteristics were used to delineate four taphofacies corresponding to inner, middle, and outer shelf settings, and bonebeds. Application of sequence stratigraphic methods shows that bonebeds mark major stratigraphic discontinuities, while packages of rock between discontinuities consistently exhibit onshore-offshore changes in taphofacies.Changes in vertebrate preservation and bonebed character between lithofacies closely correspond to onshore-offshore changes in depositional setting, indicating that the dominant control of preservation is exerted by physical processes. The strong physical control on marine vertebrate preservation and preservational bias within the Purisima Formation has implications for paleoecologic and paleobiologic studies of marine vertebrates. Evidence of preservational bias among marine vertebrates suggests that careful consideration of taphonomic overprint must be undertaken before meaningful paleoecologic interpretations of shallow marine vertebrates is attempted.

  19. Early Pleistocene hominid teeth recovered in Mohui cave in Bubing Basin, Guangxi, South China

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    WANG Wei; Richard Potts; HOU Yamei; CHEN Yunfa; WU Huaying; YUAN Baoyin; HUANG Weiwen

    2005-01-01

    Two hominid teeth recovered in Mohui cave are morphologically distinguished from Australopithecus in Africa, but close to Homo erectus in China. These teeth are therefore provisionally assigned to Homo erectus. The associated mammalian fauna include Gigantopithecus blacki, Nestoritherium sp., Sus xiaozhu, Sus peii and Ailuropoda microta, which are typical early Pleistocene taxa in South China. The general characteristics of the Mohui faunal assemblage are similar to the Longgupo site, which is dated to 2 Ma, implying a contemporaneity for the two sites. To date, compared with the discoveries in Africa, far fewer early Pleistocene hominid fossils have been recovered in Asia, and there are intensive controversies concerning their stratigraphic provenience and typological and temporal positions. The hominid fossils from Mohui cave, with their reliable biostratigraphic positions and distinct typological features, provide important evidence regarding the issue of early human origins and evolution.

  20. Lapa vermelha IV Hominid 1: morphological affinities of the earliest known American

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    Neves Walter A.

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Several studies concerning the extra-continental morphological affinities of Paleo-Indian skeletons, carried out independently in South and North America, have indicated that the Americas were first occupied by non-Mongoloids that made their way to the New World through the Bering Strait in ancient times. The first South Americans show a clear resemblance to modern South Pacific and African populations, while the first North Americans seem to be at an unresolved morphological position between modern South Pacific and Europeans. In none of these analyses the first Americans show any resemblance to either northeast Asians or modern native Americans. So far, these studies have included affirmed and putative early skeletons thought to date between 8,000 and 10,000 years B.P. In this work the extra-continental morphological affinities of a Paleo-Indian skeleton well dated between 11,000 and 11,500 years B.P. (Lapa Vermelha IV Hominid 1, or "Luzia" is investigated, using as comparative samples Howells' (1989 world-wide modern series and Habgood's (1985 Old World Late Pleistocene fossil hominids. The comparison between Lapa Vermelha IV Hominid 1 and Howells' series was based on canonical variate analysis, including 45 size-corrected craniometric variables, while the comparison with fossil hominids was based on principal component analysis, including 16 size-corrected variables. In the first case, Lapa Vermelha IV Hominid 1 exhibited an undisputed morphological affinity firstly with Africans and secondly with South Pacific populations. In the second comparison, the earliest known American skeleton had its closest similarities with early Australians, Zhoukoudian Upper Cave 103, and Taforalt 18. The results obtained clearly confirm the idea that the Americas were first colonized by a generalized Homo sapiens population which inhabited East Asia in the Late Pleistocene, before the definition of the classic Mongoloid morphology.

  1. Ecological Constraints on Hydrology in Early Hominid Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magill, C.; Ashley, G. M.; Freeman, K. H.

    2010-12-01

    Paleoclimate studies increasingly apply the hydrogen isotopic composition of individual biomarkers as a proxy for the composition of environmental waters. However, the environmental, physical and ecologic influences on hydrologic signatures are complex. Here, we separate the influences of climate and physiology on the hydrogen isotopic compositions of plant and algae lipids in order to reconstruct ancient precipitation and lake waters in semi-arid East Africa using Plio-Pleistocene lake sediments from Olduvai Gorge (2°48'S, 35°06'E). We measured bulk organic δ13C and molecular δ13C and δD from perennial lacustrine sediments dated between ~1.79 and 1.95 million years ago, a time slice with recognized hominid diversification events. During this interval, bulk organic δ13C varies ~10‰ and correlates strongly with molecular δ13C signatures of alkane biomarkers derived from terrestrial plants (n-C31), which range between -20‰ and -36‰ (PDB). Molecular δD signatures of n-C31 range between ~-125‰ and -165‰ (SMOW). The δD of algal biomarkers (n-C17) range between ~-85‰ and -135‰ (SMOW). To account for physiological effects, we used the δ13C of n-C31 to estimate relative C4 monocot versus C3 dicot abundance in the Olduvai watershed, establishing a mixing line for deuterium fractionation between rainwater and plant lipids. This approach is based on models of modern ecologic succession in East Africa, where C4 monocots and C3 dicots dominate landscape biomass. In the present day, the isotopic composition of mean annual precipitation in East Africa is controlled by the ‘amount effect.’ Olduvai currently receives ~550 mm yr-1 of precipitation and δD = -10‰, with an average ‘amount effect’ of 32 mm per 7‰ change in δD, albeit based on sparse sampling. Using these constraints and assuming negligible evapotranspiration, we conservatively calculate that Olduvai experienced ~440 mm of precipitation during arid times and nearly 800 mm during

  2. Africa's wild C4 plant foods and possible early hominid diets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Charles R; Vogel, John C

    2005-03-01

    A small minority of Africa's wild plant foods are C4. These are primarily the seeds of some of the C4 grasses, the rootstocks and stem/leaf bases of some of the C4 sedges (especially papyrus), and the leaves of some of the C4 herbaceous dicots (forbs). These wild food plants are commonly found in disturbed ground and wetlands (particularly the grasses and sedges). Multiple lines of evidence indicate that C4 grasses were present in Africa by at least the late Miocene. It is a reasonable hypothesis that the prehistory of the C4 sedges parallels that of the C4 grasses, but the C4 forbs may not have become common until the late Pleistocene. CAM plants may have a more ancient history, but offer few opportunities for an additional C4-like dietary signal. The environmental reconstructions available for the early South African hominid sites do not indicate the presence of large wetlands, and therefore probably the absence of a strong potential for a C4 plant food diet. However, carbon isotope analyses of tooth enamel from three species of early South African hominids have shown that there was a significant but not dominant contribution of C4 biomass in their diets. Since it appears unlikely that this C4 component could have come predominantly from C4 plant foods, a broad range of potential animal contributors is briefly considered, namely invertebrates, reptiles, birds, and small mammals. It is concluded that the similar average C4 dietary intake seen in the three South African hominid species could have been acquired by differing contributions from the various sources, without the need to assume scavenging or hunting of medium to large grazing ungulates. Effectively similar dominantly dryland paleo-environments may also be part of the explanation. Theoretically, elsewhere in southern and eastern Africa, large wetlands would have offered early hominids greater opportunities for a C4 plant diet.

  3. Dental size variation in the Atapuerca-SH Middle Pleistocene hominids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Sarmiento, S; Cunha, E; Rosas, A; Bastir, M

    2001-09-01

    The Middle Pleistocene Atapuerca-Sima de los Huesos (SH) site in Spain has yielded the largest sample of fossil hominids so far found from a single site and belonging to the same biological population. The SH dental sample includes a total of 452 permanent and deciduous teeth, representing a minimum of 27 individuals. We present a study of the dental size variation in these hominids, based on the analysis of the mandibular permanent dentition: lateral incisors, n=29; canines, n=27; third premolars, n=30; fourth premolars, n=34; first molars, n=38; second molars, n=38. We have obtained the buccolingual diameter and the crown area (measured on occlusal photographs) of these teeth, and used the bootstrap method to assess the amount of variation in the SH sample compared with the variation of a modern human sample from the Museu Antropologico of the Universidade of Coimbra (Portugal). The SH hominids have, in general terms, a dental size variation higher than that of the modern human sample. The analysis is especially conclusive for the canines. Furthermore, we have estimated the degree of sexual dimorphism of the SH sample by obtaining male and female dental subsamples by means of sexing the large sample of SH mandibular specimens. We obtained the index of sexual dimorphism (ISD=male mean/female mean) and the values were compared with those obtained from the sexed modern human sample from Coimbra, and with data found in the literature concerning several recent human populations. In all tooth classes the ISD of the SH hominids was higher than that of modern humans, but the differences were generally modest, except for the canines, thus suggesting that canine size sexual dimorphism in Homo heidelbergensis was probably greater than that of modern humans. Since the approach of sexing fossil specimens has some obvious limitations, these results should be assessed with caution. Additional data from SH and other European Middle Pleistocene sites would be necessary to test

  4. A comparative study of tooth root morphology in the great apes, modern man and early hominids

    OpenAIRE

    Abbott, S A

    1984-01-01

    This thesis sets out to document and analyse some aspects of the metric and morphological variation of tooth roots within the Hominoidea. Samples of the extant species Gorilla gorilla, Pan troglodytes, Pongo pygmaeus and Homo sapiens formed the basis of this study, but fossil hominid specimens from the East African Plio/Pleistocene sites of Koobi Fora, Laetoli, Olduvai and Peninj were also included. The maximum of 182 root, crown and jaw measurements were taken for each s...

  5. Uranium-series disequilibrium data for tooth fragments from the fossil hominid site at Ternifine, Algeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabo, B. J.

    1982-01-01

    I report here analyses of elephant molar-tooth fragments that were submitted by the late K.P.Oakley for uranium-series dating. The tooth fragments were collected by the late C. Arambourg from Pleistocene sand in association with the hominid fossils of Ternifine Man, Algeria. Of the results reported the minimum age of over 360 000 yr BP for the enamel appears to be the most reliable. -Authors

  6. Preliminary study on the living environment of hominids at the Donggutuo site,Nihewan Basin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    PEI ShuWen; LI XiaoLi; LIU DeCheng; MA Ning; PENG Fei

    2009-01-01

    The Donggutuo site,situated in the east margin of Nihewan basin,is one of the most important Paleolithic sites in China,characterized by the longest excavation seasons and the most abundant cultural remains recovered in the region.Based on well-constructed sporopollen,sediment grain size analysis,magnetic susceptibility,and iron oxide analysis of the 2000-2001 excavated section,four stages of environmental change in the Nihewan Beds are identified by the authors.The results indicate four major stages of environment and climate change from 1) warm and humid forest grass to 2) temperate and humid forest grass to 3) temperate and dry forest grass to 4) warm and humid forest,which is suitable for hominid occupation.The changes correspond to the stages of lake transgression and regression.The environment after the lake died out away has been cold and dry boschveld.The hominid activities at the site took place in the Early Pleistocene (1.10 Ma),which corresponds to the early three environmental stages.Therefore,it can be inferred that the early hominids adapted to the relatively low lake level episodes through activities involving sporadic stone tool making,procuring of raw materials for tools,concentrating stone artifacts,and hunting and butchering.In conclusion,the results will be of great significance to research regarding the relationship between hominid occupation and environmental changes as well as the adaptive behaviors of early humans at the Donggutuo site.

  7. Pattern of dental development in Hominid XVIII from the Middle Pleistocene Atapuerca-Sima de los Huesos site (Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermudez De Castro, J M; Rosas, A

    2001-04-01

    . We describe the pattern of dental development of Hominid XVIII from the Middle Pleistocene Sima de los Huesos (SH) site of the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain). As expected, this pattern is similar to that of modern humans. A delay of development of the lower and upper canines was observed. In contrast, the relative advanced development of the lower second molars and, especially, the upper and lower third molars is noteworthy. This latter feature seems to be common in Pleistocene hominids, and suggests that the pattern of dental development evolved in the genus Homo during the Pleistocene. In European Middle Pleistocene hominids, this pattern probably was facilitated by the extra space available in the mandible and maxilla for developing teeth.

  8. Huanglong Cave, a new late Pleistocene hominid site in Hubei Province, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WU Xianzhu; LIU Wu; GAO Xing; YIN Gongming

    2006-01-01

    For the past 20 years the modern human origins debate has received a significant amount of attention in paleoanthropological research. Primarily supported by the evidence of earlier dates of anatomically modern human fossils and genetic studies, the "Out of Africa" hypothesis is based on the belief that the ancestor of all modern humans, including modern Chinese, came from Africa. The opposite hypothesis "Mutiregional evolution" proposes that continuous evolution occurred on a regional scale, for which human paleontology offers strong support. However, due to the paucity of hominid fossils in China between 100 and 50 ka, support to the latter hypothesis is currently weak. This is a report here of five human fossil teeth, and associated stone tools and mammal fossils from a newly discovered cave site, Huanglong Cave, located in Yunxi County,Hubei Province, China. Preliminary studies indicate:(1) the morphological features of the human fossils resemble those of late Pleistocene human fossils from China; (2) the stone tools display patterns of both the southern and northern Paleolithic cultures of China; (3) the mammal fossils represent the "Ailuropoda-Stegodon" faunal unit which lived in southern China throughout the Pleistocene. ESR and U-series dating on animal teeth and a stalagmite derived from the same layer as the human teeth indicate two possible ages: 103±1.6 ka and 44±12.5 ka. In addition to other evidence presented here, it is believed that hominid occupation of the cave was likely around 100 ka. If this age is further substantiated, Huanglong Cave will be the first late Pleistocene hominid fossil site in China where anatomically modern humans lived about 100 ka. The human fossils and other related materials from Huanglong Cave will provide important information for research on the origin of modern Chinese.

  9. Auditory ERPs to stimulus deviance in an awake chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes: towards hominid cognitive neurosciences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ari Ueno

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: For decades, the chimpanzee, phylogenetically closest to humans, has been analyzed intensively in comparative cognitive studies. Other than the accumulation of behavioral data, the neural basis for cognitive processing in the chimpanzee remains to be clarified. To increase our knowledge on the evolutionary and neural basis of human cognition, comparative neurophysiological studies exploring endogenous neural activities in the awake state are needed. However, to date, such studies have rarely been reported in non-human hominid species, due to the practical difficulties in conducting non-invasive measurements on awake individuals. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We measured auditory event-related potentials (ERPs of a fully awake chimpanzee, with reference to a well-documented component of human studies, namely mismatch negativity (MMN. In response to infrequent, deviant tones that were delivered in a uniform sound stream, a comparable ERP component could be detected as negative deflections in early latencies. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The present study reports the MMN-like component in a chimpanzee for the first time. In human studies, various ERP components, including MMN, are well-documented indicators of cognitive and neural processing. The results of the present study validate the use of non-invasive ERP measurements for studies on cognitive and neural processing in chimpanzees, and open the way for future studies comparing endogenous neural activities between humans and chimpanzees. This signifies an essential step in hominid cognitive neurosciences.

  10. A new horned crocodile from the Plio-Pleistocene hominid sites at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher A Brochu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The fossil record reveals surprising crocodile diversity in the Neogene of Africa, but relationships with their living relatives and the biogeographic origins of the modern African crocodylian fauna are poorly understood. A Plio-Pleistocene crocodile from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, represents a new extinct species and shows that high crocodylian diversity in Africa persisted after the Miocene. It had prominent triangular "horns" over the ears and a relatively deep snout, these resemble those of the recently extinct Malagasy crocodile Voay robustus, but the new species lacks features found among osteolaemines and shares derived similarities with living species of Crocodylus. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The holotype consists of a partial skull and skeleton and was collected on the surface between two tuffs dated to approximately 1.84 million years (Ma, in the same interval near the type localities for the hominids Homo habilis and Australopithecus boisei. It was compared with previously-collected material from Olduvai Gorge referable to the same species. Phylogenetic analysis places the new form within or adjacent to crown Crocodylus. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The new crocodile species was the largest predator encountered by our ancestors at Olduvai Gorge, as indicated by hominid specimens preserving crocodile bite marks from these sites. The new species also reinforces the emerging view of high crocodylian diversity throughout the Neogene, and it represents one of the few extinct species referable to crown genus Crocodylus.

  11. A modern human pattern of dental development in Lower Pleistocene hominids from Atapuerca-TD6 (Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermúdez de Castro, J. M.; Rosas, A.; Carbonell, E.; Nicolás, M. E.; Rodríguez, J.; Arsuaga, J. L.

    1999-01-01

    The study of life history evolution in hominids is crucial for the discernment of when and why humans have acquired our unique maturational pattern. Because the development of dentition is critically integrated into the life cycle in mammals, the determination of the time and pattern of dental development represents an appropriate method to infer changes in life history variables that occurred during hominid evolution. Here we present evidence derived from Lower Pleistocene human fossil remains recovered from the TD6 level (Aurora stratum) of the Gran Dolina site in the Sierra de Atapuerca, northern Spain. These hominids present a pattern of development similar to that of Homo sapiens, although some aspects (e.g., delayed M3 calcification) are not as derived as that of European populations and people of European origin. This evidence, taken together with the present knowledge of cranial capacity of these and other late Early Pleistocene hominids, supports the view that as early as 0.8 Ma at least one Homo species shared with modern humans a prolonged pattern of maturation. PMID:10097189

  12. Radiometric dating of quaternary deposits and the hominid mandible of lake banyolas, Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Julia, R.; Bischoff, J.L.

    1991-01-01

    We report results of U-series analyses of the travertine matrix surrounding the Banyolas mandible that indicate an age of 45??4 ka bp. The mandible, an archaic hominid fossil generally deemed of mid-Pleistocene age, was recovered from a travertine matrix in 1887. Similar analyses on 21 travertine samples from quarries near the discovery site yield coherent U-series dates in correct stratigraphic order, ranging from 44 ka bp to 117 ka bp. Isotopic composition of these samples and the mandible matrix show no evidence of open system behaviour. Coherent isotopic results from adjacent quarries support the validity of the date on the mandible travertine, and we conclude the mandible is much younger than previously believed. ?? 1991.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. On the age of the hominid fossils at the Sima de los Huesos, Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain: paleomagnetic evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parés, J M; Pérez-González, A; Weil, A B; Arsuaga, J L

    2000-04-01

    We report new paleomagnetic data for the Middle Pleistocene hominid-bearing strata in the Sima de los Huesos, North Spain. Sediments (brown muds with human and bear fossils and the underlying sterile clayey and sandy unit) preserve both normal and reversed magnetic components. The sterile unit has exclusively reversed magnetization, dating back to the Matuyama Chron, and thus is Lower Pleistocene in age. The overlying fossiliferous muds have a dominant normal magnetization that overprints a partially resolved reversed magnetization. These data are compatible with one of the reversal events that occurred during the Brunhes Chron. Combined with the existing U-series dates and evidence from the macro- and microfauna, these paleomagnetic results suggest an age of the hominid fossils between 325 to 205 ka, whereas the underlying sand and silts are older than 780 ka.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. Hominids adapted to metabolize ethanol long before human-directed fermentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrigan, Matthew A.; Uryasev, Oleg; Frye, Carole B.; Eckman, Blair L.; Myers, Candace R.; Hurley, Thomas D.; Benner, Steven A.

    2015-01-01

    Paleogenetics is an emerging field that resurrects ancestral proteins from now-extinct organisms to test, in the laboratory, models of protein function based on natural history and Darwinian evolution. Here, we resurrect digestive alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH4) from our primate ancestors to explore the history of primate–ethanol interactions. The evolving catalytic properties of these resurrected enzymes show that our ape ancestors gained a digestive dehydrogenase enzyme capable of metabolizing ethanol near the time that they began using the forest floor, about 10 million y ago. The ADH4 enzyme in our more ancient and arboreal ancestors did not efficiently oxidize ethanol. This change suggests that exposure to dietary sources of ethanol increased in hominids during the early stages of our adaptation to a terrestrial lifestyle. Because fruit collected from the forest floor is expected to contain higher concentrations of fermenting yeast and ethanol than similar fruits hanging on trees, this transition may also be the first time our ancestors were exposed to (and adapted to) substantial amounts of dietary ethanol. PMID:25453080

  17. Elucidating the evolution of hominid dentition in the age of phenomics, modularity, and quantitative genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hlusko, Leslea J

    2016-01-01

    An organism's anatomy is the result of millions of years of interplay between DNA sequence, developmental processes, the environment, and evolutionary forces. The anatomical sciences are consequently highly integrative and interdisciplinary. That said, reaching across all of the relevant disciplines can be a daunting task because scientific publications are produced today at an astounding rate. This manuscript brings together insights from the quantitative genetic analysis of dental variation into the study of human evolutionary odontology within the context of genomics, genetic modularity, and phenomics. It primarily advocates the use of quantitative genetics to not only identify QTLs, but also to assess the patterns of genetic covariance that underlie phenotypic covariance, thereby enabling us to conceptualize phenotypic variation as a reflection of the underlying genetic mechanisms. By highlighting three phenotypes of importance within the study of human evolution (patterning of the dental arcade, enamel thickness, and taurodontism), it is demonstrated how an integrated consideration of quantitative genetics, genomic analyses, and paleontology can bring us to more detailed hypotheses about the evolution of the hominid clade.

  18. Geometric morphometric analysis of allometric variation in the mandibular morphology of the hominids of Atapuerca, Sima de los Huesos site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosas, Antonio; Bastir, Markus

    2004-06-01

    Allometry is an important factor of morphological integration that contributes to the organization of the phenotype and its variation. Variation in the allometric shape of the mandible is particularly important in hominid evolution because the mandible carries important taxonomic traits. Some of these traits are known to covary with size, particularly the retromolar space, symphyseal curvature, and position of the mental foramen. The mandible is a well studied system in the context of the evolutionary development of complex morphological structures because it is composed of different developmental units that are integrated within a single bone. In the present study, we investigated the allometric variation of two important developmental units that are separated by the inferior nerve (a branch of CN V3). We tested the null hypothesis that there would be no difference in allometric variation between the two components. Procrustes-based geometric morphometrics of 20 two-dimensional (2D) landmarks were analyzed by multivariate regressions of shape on size in samples from 121 humans, 48 chimpanzees, and 50 gorillas (all recent specimens), eight fossil hominids from Atapuerca, Sima de los Huesos (AT-SH), and 17 Neandertals. The findings show that in all of the examined species, there was significantly greater allometric variation in the supra-nerve unit than in the infra-nerve unit. The formation of the retromolar space exhibited an allometric relationship with the supra-nerve unit in all of the species studied. The formation of the chin-like morphology is an "apodynamic" feature of the infra-nerve unit in the AT-SH hominids. The results of this study support the hypothesis that allometry contributes to the organization of variation in complex morphological structures.

  19. Geometric pattern of the hominoid hallucal tarsometatarsal complex. Quantifying the degree of hallux abduction in early hominids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berillon, Gilles

    1999-05-01

    The degree of hallux abduction in extant and fossil hominoids is analysed in terms of geometric relationships between the first metatarsal and the medial cuneiform and quantified by angular data, in relation to grasping ability and locomotor pattern. The 'australopithecine' pattern corresponds to an abducted first podal ray with some grasping abilities and seems to be derived from a ' Proconsul-like' pattern rather than a 'living African great ape-like' pattern. The Olduvai Hominid 8 condition closely resembles that of the modern human which corresponds to a full bipedalism.

  20. A Theory of Marks and Mind: The Effect of Notational Systems on Hominid Brain Evolution and Child Development with an Emphasis on Exchanges between Mothers and Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheridan, Susan Rich

    2005-01-01

    A model of human language requires a theory of meaningful marks. Humans are the only species who use marks to think. A theory of marks identifies children's scribbles as significant behavior, while hypothesizing the importance of notational systems to hominid brain evolution. By recognizing the importance of children's scribbles and drawings in…

  1. The Great Ape Project: legislating for the control of the use of non-human hominids in research, testing and teaching--Animal Welfare Act 1999 (New Zealand).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Neil

    2004-06-01

    The Animal Welfare Act 1999 (New Zealand), which commenced on January 1 2000, provides that the use of non-human hominids in research, testing or teaching is not permitted unless the Director-General of Agriculture approves the use, and then, only if the use is in the interests of the non-human hominid itself or its species. The Animal Welfare Act 1999 originated with two parliamentary bills. The first, a private member's bill in the name of Pete Hodgson MP, was tabled in 1997, and the second, a Government measure, was tabled a year later. Neither bill made any reference to non-human hominids. The Great Ape Project made submissions that non-human hominids be afforded similar rights to humans, i.e. not to be deprived of life, not to be subjected to torture or cruel treatment and not to be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation. Proponents and opponents of the measure argued for and against the tenet of introducing "rights" issues into what was essentially "welfare" legislation. These arguments are analysed, and the legislative process that enabled this modification is examined.

  2. Cut marks and terminal Pleistocene hominids in the Ma'anshan site:Evidence for meat-eating

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Yue; WANG ChunXue; ZHANG ShuangQuan; GAO Xing

    2009-01-01

    In this paper,cut marks on the long bones of class Ⅱ sized animals in the Ma'anshann site are studied.Based on the location and frequencies of the long bone cut marks,the distribution characteristics are analyzed as follows:(1) cut mark frequencies in the lower layer (LL) are much higher than those of the upper;(2) in the LL cut mark frequency of the upper limbs is the highest,and that of the middle and lower limbs is lower and the lowest;(3) In the upper layer (UL) the cut mark frequency,does not spread as orderly as in the LL.The data are compared to those of the experiment and it is demonstrated that values of the LL all fall into the experimental 95% confidence intervals,and the cut mark frequencies of the upper,middle and lower limbs coincide with those of the experiment;while the values of the UL are much lower,of which,those of the humerus,femur and radius are out of the intervals,and the frequencies of the upper,middle and lower limbs are far more different from those of the experiment.It implies that the earlier hominids (of the LL) defleshed the limbs of the class Ⅱ sized animals with stone tools more completely than the later hominids.With the evidence of burning marks,it is suggested that the difference on the roasting behaviors derived the cut mark difference of the Ma'anshan UL and LL.

  3. Hominid environments at Hadar from paleosol studies in a framework of Ethiopian climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aronson, James L; Hailemichael, Million; Savin, Samuel M

    2008-10-01

    earlier persistently pluvial Pliocene regime, with its strong summer monsoon, as registered in the Hadar Formation; and (2) the modern cyclical, mostly arid regime that began ca. 1Myr ago, which has been punctuated by about ten cyclically predictable brief millennia-long pluvial episodes. The best known pluvial of the latter regime is the latest one, the African Humid Period (AHP), just 9.0-6.5kyr ago, whose delta(18)O(Rainfall) matches that for paleo-Hadar. The known climatological factors that brought on the AHP are probably the same ones that were persistently present for the Afar of the Pliocene. This dynamic rainfall history undoubtedly has influenced hominid occupation of the keystone Afar area at the gateway out of, and into, Africa.

  4. A kinematic model for Afar Depression lithospheric thinning and its implications for hominid evolution: an exercise in plate-tectonic paleoanthropology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redfield, T.; Often, M.; Wheeler, W. H.

    2002-12-01

    We present a detailed Nubia-Arabia-Somalia (NU-AR-SOM) kinematic reconstruction based on magnetic sea floor isochrons in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea and piercing points along the Red Sea margins. The reconstruction is combined with digital topographic and depth-to-Moho data to constrain in 4D the Late Oligocene to present-day evolution of the Afar supra-Moho crust. Opposite end-member models for crustal evolution are described. We conclude that less than 20% of the present-day Afar supra-Moho crust was constructed by magmatic processes such as diking and underplating. The reconstructions indicate that the greater percentage of crustal thinning (extension) occurred before 6.2 Ma. We model the thinning of the effective elastic lithosphere that accompanied extension, and show that the regional-scale topographic development of the Afar depression was virtually complete by Mid Pliocene time. The plate-tectonic model has paleoanthropological implications. Prior to 6.2 Ma the proximal positions of NU-SOM, AR, and the Danakil block suggest subaerial conditions prevailed between Yemen and Ethiopia. Uninhibited Africa-Eurasia faunal exchange through Afar and Arabia (corroborated by isotopic and paleontologic data) was tectonically permissible until the time of the earliest hominids. Continued stretching caused the Afar land bridge(s) to disappear during Early to Mid Pliocene time. Primitive hominid populations living within the Afar Depression became isolated from AR sometime before ~3.2 Ma. With the plateau becoming less habitable due to long-term Late Neogene cooling, hominids that remained in the Afar Depression were required to adapt to a smaller range that was effectively bounded by the already well-developed NU-SOM escarpments and the newly opened Straits of Bab el Mandeb. The combination of high quality habitat,topographic confinement, and a gradual (tectonic) reduction in range, exacerbated by potentially severe fluctuations in local climate (well documented by land

  5. The Sima de los Huesos hominids date to beyond U/Th equilibrium (>350 kyr) and perhaps to 400-500 kyr: New radiometric dates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bischoff, J.L.; Shamp, D.D.; Aramburu, Arantza; Arsuaga, J.L.; Carbonell, E.; Bermudez de Castro, Jose Maria

    2003-01-01

    The Sima de los Huesos site of the Atapuerca complex near Burgos, Spain contains the skeletal remains of at least 28 individuals in a mud breccia underlying an accumulation of the Middle Pleistocene cave bear (U. deningeri). Earlier dating estimates of 200 to 320 kyr were based on U-series and ESR methods applied to bones, made inaccurate by unquantifiable uranium cycling. We report here on a new discovery within the Sima de los Huesos of human bones stratigraphically underlying an in situ speleothem. U-series analyses of the speleothem shows the lower part to be at isotopic U/Th equilibrium, translating to a firm lower limit of 350 kyr for the SH hominids. Finite dates on the upper part suggest a speleothem growth rate of c. 1 cm/32 kyr. This rate, along with paleontological constraints, place the likely age of the hominids in the interval of 400 to 600 kyr. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Stable isotope-based Plio-Pleistocene ecosystem reconstruction of some of the earliest hominid fossil sites in the East African Rift System (Chiwondo Beds, N Malawi)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lüdecke, Tina; Thiemeyer, Heinrich; Schrenk, Friedemann; Mulch, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    The isotope geochemistry of pedogenic carbonate and fossil herbivore enamel is a powerful tool to reconstruct paleoenvironmental conditions in particular when climate change plays a key role in the evolution of ecosystems. Here, we present the first Plio-Pleistocene long-term carbon (δ13C), oxygen (δ18O) and clumped isotope (Δ47) records from pedogenic carbonate and herbivore teeth in the Malawi Rift. These data represent an important southern hemisphere record in the East African Rift System (EARS), a key region for reconstructing vegetation patterns in today's Zambezian Savanna and correlation with data on the evolution and migration of early hominids across the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone. As our study site is situated between the well-known hominid-bearing sites of eastern and southern Africa in the Somali-Masai Endemic Zone and Highveld Grassland it fills an important geographical gap for early hominid research. 5.0 to 0.6 Ma fluviatile and lacustrine deposits of the Chiwondo Beds (NE shore of Lake Malawi) comprise abundant pedogenic carbonate and remains of a diverse fauna dominated by large terrestrial mammals. These sediments are also home to two hominid fossil remains, a mandible of Homo rudolfensis and a maxillary fragment of Paranthropus boisei, both dated around 2.4 Ma. The Chiwondo Beds therefore document early co-existence of these two species. We evaluate δ13C data from fossil enamel of different suid, bovid, and equid species and contrast these with δ13C and δ18O values of pedogenic carbonate. We complement the latter with clumped isotope soil temperature data. Results of almost 800 pedogenic carbonate samples from over 20 sections consistently average δ13C = -8.5 ‰ over the past 5 Ma with no significant short-term δ13C excursions or long-term trends. The data from molar tooth enamel of nine individual suids of the genera Metridiochoerus, Notochoerus and Nyanzachoerus support these findings with average δ13C = -10.0 ‰. The absence

  7. Re-analysis of the hominid radii from Cave of Hearths and Klasies River Mouth, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, O M; Grine, F E

    1997-06-01

    Two of the few postcranial fragments from the late Early Stone Age and/or the Middle Stone Age of southern Africa are the proximal radii from the Cave of Hearths and Klasies River Mouth. The Cave of Hearths fossil is metrically indistinguishable from both archaic (e.g., Neandertals) and recent humans, and presents a mosaic of primitive and modern features. The primitive include a relatively slender neck and thick cortical bone (the latter of which distinguishes recent humans from archaic, Early Modern, and Upper Paleolithic hominids); the modern includes an anteromedially (rather than medially) facing radial tuberosity. Its extreme collo-diaphyseal angle is unusual, although it can be matched by modern homologues. The neck-shaft angle of some Neandetral and Early Modern radii also appears to match that of the Cave of Hearths specimen. The Klasies River Mouth radius also has thick cortical bone of the neck. It is morphologically indistinguishable from Early Modern and Neandertal homologues. These, and other fossils, suggest a mosaic pattern of evolution in the postcranial skeleton of the late Early Stone Age and/or Middle Stone Age inhabitants of sub-Saharan Africa.

  8. Alluvial systems as archives for environmental change at a Hominid site with Oldowan archaeological occurrences: the Homa Peninsula, southwestern Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Thomas; Whitfield, Elizabeth; Kirby, Jason; Hunt, Christopher; Bishop, Laura; Plummer, Thomas; Ditchfield, Peter

    2016-04-01

    The Homa Peninsula, southwestern Kenya, preserves fossiliferous sedimentary sequences dating to the Plio-Pleistocene. Evidence of hominids inhabiting an open grassland setting and utilising Oldowan tools has been reported here, as well as some of the oldest known traces of hominin activity. Reconstructions of the palaeoenvironment have suggested that alluvial and lake marginal environments on a grassy plain, between wooded slopes and a permanent water body might be plausible. However, these interpretations are based only on field sedimentological analyses and stable isotope analysis at a single site on the peninsula (Kanjera South). It is the aim of this study to utilise a multiproxy approach to develop our understanding of the palaeoenvironmental characteristics here. Sediments will also be characterized at a new site (Nyayanga) through field analyses, as well as through analyses of particle size, siliceous microfossils (diatoms, phytoliths and sponge spicules), pollen and stable isotopes. By utilizing this approach, new insights into the palaeoecology, palaeohydromorphology and palaeoclimate of the locale may be revealed, expanding the limited data available to palaeoanthropological studies of Oldowan occurrences in east Africa. Efforts to refine palaeoenvironmental reconstructions of Kanjera South through particle size analysis have shown that sediments in the lower beds of the sequence are characterised by poor sorting, a bimodal distribution and sand/silty-sand grade material. This suggests rapid deposition and/or a variable hydrological regime and may represent the role of relatively unconfined ephemeral channels in the transportation and deposition of sediments. Fluvial reworking of aeolian sediments, most likely during unconfined flood events may also have occurred.

  9. Estimate of the lower-limb-specific muscle parameters during bipedal walking for humans, apes and early hominids with the implications for the evolution of body proportion

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wang Weijie

    2007-01-01

    Modern human has different body proportion from early hominids and great apes. Comparing with others, in general, modern human adults have relatively long lower limb and heavier body weight. Since the lower limbs provide support to the whole body and play an important role in walking, it is proposed that the ratio of the lower limb to the whole body for modern human could be beneficial to bipedal walking. This study tried to estimate the muscle parameters of the lower limb in walking for the subjects with various body proportions. Using a simplified musculoskeletal model, some muscle parameters of the lower limb, e.g. muscle force, stress, work and power, were estimated for modern human adult, child, AL 288-1 (the fossil specimens of Australopithecus afarensis, 3.18 million years old) and apes. The results show that with the body proportion modern human adult spends less muscle work and power in walking than other subjects. The results imply that using the cost of transport (i.e. the muscle work of the lower limb per unit of displacement) as the criteria, the early hominids, if their body proportions were structurally similar to AL 288-1, could evolve towards what modern human adult looks like, in order to save energy during bipedal walking.

  10. ESR analyses on tooth enamel from the Paleolithic layers at the Obi-Rakhmat hominid site, Uzbekistan: Tackling a dating controversy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skinner, Anne R. [Department of Chemistry, Williams College, Williamstown, MA 01267 (United States); RFK Science Research Institute, Glenwood Landing, NY, 11547 (United States)], E-mail: anne.r.skinner@williams.edu; Blackwell, Bonnie A.B. [Department of Chemistry, Williams College, Williamstown, MA 01267 (United States); RFK Science Research Institute, Glenwood Landing, NY, 11547 (United States)], E-mail: bonnie.a.b.blackwell@williams.edu; Mian, Abubakar; Baboumian, Shaunte M. [RFK Science Research Institute, Glenwood Landing, NY, 11547 (United States); Blickstein, Joel I.B. [Department of Chemistry, Williams College, Williamstown, MA 01267 (United States); RFK Science Research Institute, Glenwood Landing, NY, 11547 (United States); Wrinn, Patrick J. [Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 85721-0030 (United States)], E-mail: pwrinn@u.arizona.edu; Krivoshapkin, A.I.; Derevianko, A.P. [Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Russian Academy of Sciences, 630090 Novosibirsk (Russian Federation); Lundburg, Joyce A. [Department of Geography, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6 (Canada)], E-mail: joyce_lundberg@carleton.ca

    2007-07-15

    In the Tien Shan Mt., northeastern Uzbekistan, the Obi-Rakhmat rockshelter has yielded newly discovered hominid remains associated with an abundant Paleolithic industry and a rich faunal assemblage in typical cave fill sediment. Eight bovid teeth were dated by standard and isochron ESR to resolve the 50 ky discrepancy between the {sup 14}C and {sup 234}Th/{sup 234}U ages for Obi-Rakhmat. All the dentine contained high U concentrations, up to 150 ppm. External dose rates of 470-820{mu}Gy/y were calculated from volumetrically averaged sediment geochemistry for all layers and mineralogies within 30 cm of the teeth. One tooth from Layer 12.3 averaged 57{+-}2ka assuming linear U uptake, while three from Layer 13 averaged 66{+-}2ka, that from Layer 14.3,73{+-}4ka, and three from Layer 21.2,87{+-}4ka. Isochron and {sup 230}Th/{sup 234}U analyses suggest that the teeth did experience linear uptake with {approx}5% recent secondary U remobilization. These dates indicate that the site was inhabitted during Oxygen Isotope Stages (OIS) 5a-4, as climates were generally cooling, but beginning to fluctuate more widely. Assuming a constant sedimentation rate of 22 cm/ky, the hominid remains date to {approx}74ka.

  11. A theory of marks and mind: the effect of notational systems on hominid brain evolution and child development with an emphasis on exchanges between mothers and children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheridan, Susan Rich

    2005-01-01

    A model of human language requires a theory of meaningful marks. Humans are the only species who use marks to think. A theory of marks identifies children's scribbles as significant behavior, while hypothesizing the importance of rotational systems to hominid brain evolution. By recognizing the importance of children's scribbles and drawings in developmental terms as well as in evolutionary terms, a marks-based rather than a predominantly speech-based theory of the human brain, language, and consciousness emerges. Combined research in anthropology, primatology, art history, neurology, child development (including research with deaf and blind children), gender studies and literacy suggests the importance of notational systems to human language, revealing the importance of mother/child interactions around marks and sounds to the development of an expressive, communicative, symbolic human brain. An understanding of human language is enriched by identifying marks carved on bone 1.9 million years ago as observational lunar calendar-keeping, pushing proto-literacy back dramatically. Neurologically, children recapitulate the meaningful marks of early hominins when they scribble and draw, reminding us that literacy belongs to humankind's earliest history. Even more than speech, such meaningful marks played - and continue to play - decisive roles in human brain evolution. The hominid brain required a model for integrative, transformative neural transfer. The research strongly suggests that humankind's multiple literacies (art, literature, scientific writing, mathematics and music) depended upon dyadic exchanges between hominid mothers and children, and that this exchange and sharing of visuo-spatial information drove the elaboration of human speech in terms of syntax, grammar and vocabulary. The human brain was spatial before it was linguistic. The child scribbles and draws before it speaks or writes. Children babble and scribble within the first two years of life. Hands

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-02-01

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

  13. Refinement of the time-space evolution of the giant Mio-Pliocene Río Blanco-Los Bronces porphyry Cu-Mo cluster, Central Chile: new U-Pb (SHRIMP II) and Re-Os geochronology and 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deckart, Katja; Clark, Alan H.; Cuadra, Patricio; Fanning, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Representing one of the largest known (estimated >5 Gt at 1 % Cu and 0.02 % Mo) porphyry system, the Río Blanco-Los Bronces deposit incorporates at least five hypabyssal intrusive and hydrothermal centres, extending for about 5 km from the Río Blanco and Los Bronces mines in the north, through the Don Luis mine, to the Sur Sur mine, La Americana and Los Sulfatos in the south. The new geochronology data, which now include data on different molybdenite vein types, confirm the U-Pb ages of the pre-mineralisation intrusions but slightly increase their age range from 8.8 to 8.2 Ma. The distinct magmatic pulses of the mineralisation-associated porphyritic intrusives (Late Porphyries) indicate an age interval instead of the previously suggested individual ages: the quartz monzonite porphyry ranges from 7.7 to 6.1 Ma (Sur Sur 5.74 ± 0.13 Ma), the feldspar porphyry shows an interval from 5.8 to 5.2 Ma and the Don Luis porphyry from 5.2 to 5.0 Ma. The new Re-Os data on distinct molybdenite vein types confirm the protracted history of Cu(-Mo) mineralisation, inferred previously. The vein development occurred at least from 5.94 to 4.50 Ma, indicating a time-span of 1.5 Ma for the hydrothermal activity. Hydrothermal minerals dated by the 40Ar/39Ar method are generally too young to record the age of early, high-temperature mineralisation. The majority of the 40Ar/39Ar data in the Río Blanco porphyry cluster record reheating by either the youngest member of the Late Porphyry suite or the post-mineralisation dacite or rhyolite plug formations at around 4.9-4.7 Ma.

  14. A reassessment of the study of cut mark patterns to infer hominid manipulation of fleshed carcasses at the Flk Zinj 22 site, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domínguez-Rodrigo, Manuel

    1997-12-01

    Full Text Available Previous experimental studies on cut marks have suggested that cut mark percentages and their anatomical distribution (based on element type and bone section type could be used to differentiate primary access to fleshed carcasses from secondary access to defleshed carcasses. In this study, the experimental sample of this type of studies is increased and further data are included to infer a primary access by hominids to carcasses at the FLK Zinj site of Olduvai.

    Estudios experimentales anteriores sobre marcas de corte han sugerido que los porcentajes de marcas de corte y su distribución (basada en tipo de hueso y tipo de sección ósea podrían usarse para diferenciar un acceso primario a carcasas con carne de un acceso secundario a carcasas descarnadas. En este estudio semejante muestra experimental se ve ampliada y se muestran más datos que sirven para inferir que los homínidos tuvieron un acceso primario a las carcasas representadas en el yacimiento FLK Zinj de Olduvai.

  15. High-resolution U-series dates from the Sima de los Huesos hominids yields 600 +∞-66: implications for the evolution of the early Neanderthal lineage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bischoff, James L.; Williams, Ross W.; Rosenbauer, Robert J.; Aramburu, Arantza; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Garcia, Nuria; Cuenca-Bescos, Gloria

    2007-01-01

    The Sima de los Huesos site of the Atapuerca complex near Burgos, Spain contains the skeletal remains of at least 28 individuals in a mud-breccia underlying an accumulation of the Middle Pleistocene cave bear (Ursus deningeri). We report here on new high-precision dates on the recently discovered speleothem SRA-3 overlaying human bones within the Sima de los Huesos. Earlier analyses of this speleothem by TIMS (thermal-ionization mass-spectrometry) showed the lower part to be indistinguishable from internal isotopic equilibrium at the precision of the TIMS instrumentation used, yielding minimum age of 350 kyr (kyr = 103 yr before present). Reanalysis of six samples of SRA-3 by inductively-coupled plasma-multicollector mass-spectrometry (ICP-MS) produced high-precision analytical results allowing calculation of finite dates. The new dates cluster around 600 kyr. A conservative conclusion takes the lower error limit ages as the minimum age of the speleothem, or 530 kyr. This places the SH hominids at the very beginnings of the Neandertal evolutionary lineage.

  16. Combined ESR/U-series chronology of Acheulian hominid-bearing layers at Trinchera Galería site, Atapuerca, Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falguères, Christophe; Bahain, Jean-Jacques; Bischoff, James L.; Pérez-González, Alfredo; Ortega, Ana Isabel; Ollé, Andreu; Quilles, Anita; Ghaleb, Bassam; Moreno, Davinia; Dolo, Jean-Michel; Shao, Qingfeng; Vallverdú, Josep; Carbonell, Eudald; María Bermúdez de Castro, Jose; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2013-01-01

    The Sierra de Atapuerca, northern Spain, is known from many prehistoric and palaeontological sites documenting human prehistory in Europe. Three major sites, Gran Dolina, Galería and Sima del Elefante, range in age from the oldest hominin of Western Europe dated to 1.1 to 1.3 Ma (millions of years ago) at Sima del Elefante to c.a. 0.2 Ma on the top of the Galería archaeological sequence. Recently, a chronology based on luminescence methods (Thermoluminescence [TL] and Infrared Stimulated Luminescence [IRSL]) applied to cave sediments was published for the Gran Dolina and Galería sites. The authors proposed for Galería an age of 450 ka (thousands of years ago) for the units lower GIII and GII, suggesting that the human occupation there is younger than the hominid remains of Sima de los Huesos (>530 ka) around 1 km away. In this paper, we present new results obtained by combined Electron Spin Resonance/Uranium-series (ESR/U-series) dating on 20 herbivorous teeth from different levels at the Galería site. They are in agreement with the TL results for the upper part of the stratigraphic sequence (GIV and GIIIb), in the range of between 200 and 250 ka. But for the GIIIa to GIIb levels, the TL ages become abruptly older by 200 ka while ESR ages remain relatively constant. Finally, the TL and ESR data agree in the lowest part of the section (GIIa); both fall in the range of around 350–450 ka. Our results suggest a different interpretation for the GII, GIII and GIV units of Galería and the upper part of Gran Dolina (TD10 and TD11) than obtained by TL. The ESR/U-series results are supported by a Bayesian analysis, which allows a better integration between stratigraphic information and radiometric data.

  17. Combined ESR/U-series chronology of Acheulian hominid-bearing layers at Trinchera Galería site, Atapuerca, Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falguères, Christophe; Bahain, Jean-Jacques; Bischoff, James L; Pérez-González, Alfredo; Ortega, Ana Isabel; Ollé, Andreu; Quiles, Anita; Ghaleb, Bassam; Moreno, Davinia; Dolo, Jean-Michel; Shao, Qingfeng; Vallverdú, Josep; Carbonell, Eudald; Bermúdez de Castro, Jose María; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2013-08-01

    The Sierra de Atapuerca, northern Spain, is known from many prehistoric and palaeontological sites documenting human prehistory in Europe. Three major sites, Gran Dolina, Galería and Sima del Elefante, range in age from the oldest hominin of Western Europe dated to 1.1 to 1.3 Ma (millions of years ago) at Sima del Elefante to c.a. 0.2 Ma on the top of the Galería archaeological sequence. Recently, a chronology based on luminescence methods (Thermoluminescence [TL] and Infrared Stimulated Luminescence [IRSL]) applied to cave sediments was published for the Gran Dolina and Galería sites. The authors proposed for Galería an age of 450 ka (thousands of years ago) for the units lower GIII and GII, suggesting that the human occupation there is younger than the hominid remains of Sima de los Huesos (>530 ka) around 1 km away. In this paper, we present new results obtained by combined Electron Spin Resonance/Uranium-series (ESR/U-series) dating on 20 herbivorous teeth from different levels at the Galería site. They are in agreement with the TL results for the upper part of the stratigraphic sequence (GIV and GIIIb), in the range of between 200 and 250 ka. But for the GIIIa to GIIb levels, the TL ages become abruptly older by 200 ka while ESR ages remain relatively constant. Finally, the TL and ESR data agree in the lowest part of the section (GIIa); both fall in the range of around 350-450 ka. Our results suggest a different interpretation for the GII, GIII and GIV units of Galería and the upper part of Gran Dolina (TD10 and TD11) than obtained by TL. The ESR/U-series results are supported by a Bayesian analysis, which allows a better integration between stratigraphic information and radiometric data.

  18. Impact of the Megalake Chad on climate and vegetation during the late Pliocene and the mid-Holocene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Contoux

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Given the growing evidence for megalakes in the geological record, assessing their impact on climate and vegetation is important for the validation of paleoclimate simulations and therefore the accuracy of model/data comparison in lacustrine environments. Megalake Chad (MLC occurrences are documented for the mid-Holocene but also for the Mio-Pliocene (Schuster et al., 2009. The surface covered by water would have reached up to ~350 000 km2 (Ghienne et al., 2002; Schuster et al., 2005; Leblanc et al., 2006 making it an important evaporation source, possibly modifying the climate and vegetation in the Chad basin. We investigated the impact of such a giant continental water area in two different climatic backgrounds within the Paleoclimate Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (PMIP3: the late Pliocene (3.3 to 3 Ma, i.e. the mid-Piacenzian warm period and the mid-Holocene (6 kyr BP. In all simulations including a MLC, precipitation is drastically reduced above the lake surface because deep convection is inhibited by colder air above the lake surface. Meanwhile, convective activity is enhanced around the MLC, because of the wind increase generated by the flat surface of the megalake, transporting colder and moister air towards the eastern shore of the lake. Effect of the MLC on precipitation and temperature is not sufficient to widely impact vegetation patterns. Nevertheless, tropical savanna is present in the Chad Basin in all climatic configurations, even without the MLC presence, showing that the climate itself is the driver of favourable environments for sustainable hominid habitats.

  19. Megalake Chad impact on climate and vegetation during the late Pliocene and the mid-Holocene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Contoux

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Given the growing evidence for megalakes in the geological record, assessing their impact on climate and vegetation is important for the validation of palaeoclimate simulations and therefore the accuracy of model–data comparison in lacustrine environments. Megalake Chad (MLC occurrences are documented not only for the mid-Holocene but also for the Mio-Pliocene (Schuster et al., 2009. At this time, the surface covered by water would have reached up to ~350 000 km2 (Ghienne et al., 2002; Schuster et al., 2005; Leblanc et al., 2006, making it an important evaporation source, possibly modifying climate and vegetation in the Chad Basin. We investigated the impact of such a giant continental water area in two different climatic backgrounds within the Paleoclimate Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (PMIP3: the late Pliocene (3.3 to 3 Ma, i.e. the mid-Piacenzian warm period and the mid-Holocene (6 kyr BP. In all simulations including MLC, precipitation is drastically reduced above the lake surface because deep convection is inhibited by overlying colder air. Meanwhile, convective activity is enhanced around MLC because of the wind increase generated by the flat surface of the megalake, transporting colder and moister air towards the eastern shore of the lake. The effect of MLC on precipitation and temperature is not sufficient to widely impact vegetation patterns. Nevertheless, tropical savanna is present in the Chad Basin in all climatic configurations, even without MLC presence, showing that the climate itself is the driver of favourable environments for sustainable hominid habitats.

  20. Will dragonblood survive the next period of climate change? Current and future potential distribution of Dracaena cinnabari (Socotra, Yemen)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Attorre, F.; Francesconi, F.; Taleb, N.; Scholte, P.; Saed, A.; Alfo, M.; Bruno, F.

    2007-01-01

    The potential impact of climate change on Dracaena cinnabari, a spectacular relict of the Mio-Pliocene Laurasian subtropical forest in Socotra (Yemen), was analysed. Current distribution, abundance and vertical structure of D. cinnabari populations were assessed with 74 plots in nine remnant areas.

  1. Evolutionary relationships of wild hominids recapitulated by gut microbial communities.

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    Howard Ochman

    Full Text Available Multiple factors over the lifetime of an individual, including diet, geography, and physiologic state, will influence the microbial communities within the primate gut. To determine the source of variation in the composition of the microbiota within and among species, we investigated the distal gut microbial communities harbored by great apes, as present in fecal samples recovered within their native ranges. We found that the branching order of host-species phylogenies based on the composition of these microbial communities is completely congruent with the known relationships of the hosts. Although the gut is initially and continuously seeded by bacteria that are acquired from external sources, we establish that over evolutionary timescales, the composition of the gut microbiota among great ape species is phylogenetically conserved and has diverged in a manner consistent with vertical inheritance.

  2. Explaining the imperfection of the molecular clock of hominid mitochondria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva-Liis Loogväli

    Full Text Available The molecular clock of mitochondrial DNA has been extensively used to date various genetic events. However, its substitution rate among humans appears to be higher than rates inferred from human-chimpanzee comparisons, limiting the potential of interspecies clock calibrations for intraspecific dating. It is not well understood how and why the substitution rate accelerates. We have analyzed a phylogenetic tree of 3057 publicly available human mitochondrial DNA coding region sequences for changes in the ratios of mutations belonging to different functional classes. The proportion of non-synonymous and RNA genes substitutions has reduced over hundreds of thousands of years. The highest mutation ratios corresponding to fast acceleration in the apparent substitution rate of the coding sequence have occurred after the end of the Last Ice Age. We recalibrate the molecular clock of human mtDNA as 7990 years per synonymous mutation over the mitochondrial genome. However, the distribution of substitutions at synonymous sites in human data significantly departs from a model assuming a single rate parameter and implies at least 3 different subclasses of sites. Neutral model with 3 synonymous substitution rates can explain most, if not all, of the apparent molecular clock difference between the intra- and interspecies levels. Our findings imply the sluggishness of purifying selection in removing the slightly deleterious mutations from the human as well as the Neandertal and chimpanzee populations. However, for humans, the weakness of purifying selection has been further exacerbated by the population expansions associated with the out-of Africa migration and the end of the Last Ice Age.

  3. Explaining the imperfection of the molecular clock of hominid mitochondria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loogväli, Eva-Liis; Kivisild, Toomas; Margus, Tõnu; Villems, Richard

    2009-12-29

    The molecular clock of mitochondrial DNA has been extensively used to date various genetic events. However, its substitution rate among humans appears to be higher than rates inferred from human-chimpanzee comparisons, limiting the potential of interspecies clock calibrations for intraspecific dating. It is not well understood how and why the substitution rate accelerates. We have analyzed a phylogenetic tree of 3057 publicly available human mitochondrial DNA coding region sequences for changes in the ratios of mutations belonging to different functional classes. The proportion of non-synonymous and RNA genes substitutions has reduced over hundreds of thousands of years. The highest mutation ratios corresponding to fast acceleration in the apparent substitution rate of the coding sequence have occurred after the end of the Last Ice Age. We recalibrate the molecular clock of human mtDNA as 7990 years per synonymous mutation over the mitochondrial genome. However, the distribution of substitutions at synonymous sites in human data significantly departs from a model assuming a single rate parameter and implies at least 3 different subclasses of sites. Neutral model with 3 synonymous substitution rates can explain most, if not all, of the apparent molecular clock difference between the intra- and interspecies levels. Our findings imply the sluggishness of purifying selection in removing the slightly deleterious mutations from the human as well as the Neandertal and chimpanzee populations. However, for humans, the weakness of purifying selection has been further exacerbated by the population expansions associated with the out-of Africa migration and the end of the Last Ice Age.

  4. Origin of hominids: European or African origin, neither or both?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Senut, B.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available For the last twenty years, some scientists have suggested that the African ape and humans lineages emerged in Europe, a scenario known as the “Back to Africa Hypothesis”. Even though hominoids were widespread in Eurasia during the Middle and Upper Miocene due to the tropical conditions which prevailed in this region, we cannot dismiss the fact that they were present in Africa (contra some authors. Actually, they were highly diverse at that same time (at least 10 lineages represented even if the fossil record is less complete than in Eurasia. Postcranial elements from African species suggest that some features of modern hominoids were already present in the Lower and Middle Miocene of Africa and were not restricted to European ones. Considering the available evidence, it is not possible at this stage to favour a European origin over an African one. Hominoids were living in the tropical areas of Northern Africa and Southern Eurasia and faunal exchanges between the two continents occurred throughout the Middle and Upper Miocene, as the Tethys did not act as an effective barrier to interchanges between Europe and Asia.

    Durante los últimos veinte años, algunos científicos han sugerido que los grandes monos africanos y los linajes humanos surgieron en Europa, un escenario conocido como la “ Hipótesis de la vuelta a Africa”. A pesar de que los homínidos se extendieron en Eurasia durante el Mioceno Medio y Superior debido a las condiciones tropicales que prevalecian en esta region, no podemos descartar el hecho de que ellos estuvieron presentes en Africa (contra algunos autores. En realidad, ellos tuvieron una alta diversidad al mismo tiempo (al menos 10 líneas representadas, incluso si el registro fosil es menos completo que el de Eurasia. Elementos postcraneales de especies africanas sugieren que en algunos carácteres los homínidos modernos estaban ya presentes en el Mioceno Inferior y Medio de Africa, no sólo restringidos a las formas europeas. Teniendo en cuenta las evidencias disponibles, no es posible, en el estado actual de conocimiento, favorecer más un origen europeo que otro africano. Los homínidos vivieron en áreas tropicales del Norte de África y del Sur de Eurasia, cambios faunísticos se sucedieron entre los dos continents a lo largo del Mioceno Medio y Superior, sin que el Tetis actuase como una barrera efectiva a los intercambios entre Europa y Asia.

  5. Rapid Post-Miocene tectonic rotation associated with the San Gregorio Fault Zone in central California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Eric J.; Horns, Daniel M.; Verosub, Kenneth L.

    1991-12-01

    Paleomagnetic measurements of samples from the Mio-Pliocene Purisima Formation demonstrate that the Pomponio tectonic block of central coastal California has rotated clockwise by approximately 35° to 55° within the last 2.5 million years. The most likely interpretation of this data is that the Pomponio block is broken into several small blocks which have rotated by various amounts. The data suggest that rotations contribute to vertical deformation and secondary faulting within the central San Andreas Fault System, and that they play an important role in the accommodation of shear along the fault system.

  6. Unusual death of millipedes (Diplopoda towards the north of the Varkala Cliff section near Papanasam, Kerala, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.K. Sarkar

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The cliff section at Varkala, Kerala consisting of clay, lignite band, clay, sandy-clay, sandstone of Mio-Pliocene age. This sedimentary sequence is overlain by a thick laterite. Above the lower lignite band, in the exposed clay beds several struggling and dead millipedes can be observed. Their death is probably due to the action of dehydration related to the sulphuric water infiltration in the sediments. However, it still remains a mystery why these millipedes choose such a toxic environment to create their habitat?

  7. Y-Chromosome variation in hominids: intraspecific variation is limited to the polygamous chimpanzee.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele Greve

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: We have previously demonstrated that the Y-specific ampliconic fertility genes DAZ (deleted in azoospermia and CDY (chromodomain protein Y varied with respect to copy number and position among chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes. In comparison, seven Y-chromosomal lineages of the bonobo (Pan paniscus, the chimpanzee's closest living relative, showed no variation. We extend our earlier comparative investigation to include an analysis of the intraspecific variation of these genes in gorillas (Gorilla gorilla and orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus, and examine the resulting patterns in the light of the species' markedly different social and mating behaviors. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis (FISH of DAZ and CDY in 12 Y-chromosomal lineages of western lowland gorilla (G. gorilla gorilla and a single lineage of the eastern lowland gorilla (G. beringei graueri showed no variation among lineages. Similar findings were noted for the 10 Y-chromosomal lineages examined in the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus, and 11 Y-chromosomal lineages of the Sumatran orangutan (P. abelii. We validated the contrasting DAZ and CDY patterns using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR in chimpanzee and bonobo. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: High intraspecific variation in copy number and position of the DAZ and CDY genes is seen only in the chimpanzee. We hypothesize that this is best explained by sperm competition that results in the variant DAZ and CDY haplotypes detected in this species. In contrast, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans-species that are not subject to sperm competition-showed no intraspecific variation in DAZ and CDY suggesting that monoandry in gorillas, and preferential female mate choice in bonobos and orangutans, probably permitted the fixation of a single Y variant in each taxon. These data support the notion that the evolutionary history of a primate Y chromosome is not simply encrypted in its DNA sequences, but is also shaped by the social and behavioral circumstances under which the specific species has evolved.

  8. Loss of N-glycolylneuraminic acid in humans: Mechanisms, consequences, and implications for hominid evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varki, A

    2001-01-01

    The surface of all mammalian cells is covered with a dense and complex array of sugar chains, which are frequently terminated by members of a family of molecules called sialic acids. One particular sialic acid called N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) is widely expressed on most mammalian tissues, but is not easily detectable on human cells. In fact, it provokes an immune response in adult humans. The human deficiency of Neu5Gc is explained by an inactivating mutation in the gene encoding CMP-N-acetylneuraminic acid hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in generating Neu5Gc in cells of other mammals. This deficiency also results in an excess of the precursor sialic acid N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) in humans. This mutation appears universal to modern humans, occurred sometime after our last common ancestor with the great apes, and happens to be one of the first known human-great ape genetic differences with an obvious biochemical readout. While the original selection mechanisms and major biological consequences of this human-specific mutation remain uncertain, several interesting clues are currently being pursued. First, there is evidence that the human condition can explain differences in susceptibility or resistance to certain microbial pathogens. Second, the functions of some endogenous receptors for sialic acids in the immune system may be altered by this difference. Third, despite the lack of any obvious alternate pathway for synthesis, Neu5Gc has been reported in human tumors and possibly in human fetal tissues, and traces have even been detected in normal human tissues. One possible explanation is that this represents accumulation of Neu5Gc from dietary sources of animal origin. Finally, a markedly reduced expression of hydroxylase in the brains of other mammals raises the possibility that the human-specific mutation of this enzyme could have played a role in human brain evolution.

  9. Y-Chromosome Variation in Hominids: Intraspecific Variation Is Limited to the Polygamous Chimpanzee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greve, Gabriele; Alechine, Evguenia; Pasantes, Juan J.; Hodler, Christine; Rietschel, Wolfram; Robinson, Terence J.; Schempp, Werner

    2011-01-01

    Background We have previously demonstrated that the Y-specific ampliconic fertility genes DAZ (deleted in azoospermia) and CDY (chromodomain protein Y) varied with respect to copy number and position among chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). In comparison, seven Y-chromosomal lineages of the bonobo (Pan paniscus), the chimpanzee's closest living relative, showed no variation. We extend our earlier comparative investigation to include an analysis of the intraspecific variation of these genes in gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus), and examine the resulting patterns in the light of the species' markedly different social and mating behaviors. Methodology/Principal Findings Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis (FISH) of DAZ and CDY in 12 Y-chromosomal lineages of western lowland gorilla (G. gorilla gorilla) and a single lineage of the eastern lowland gorilla (G. beringei graueri) showed no variation among lineages. Similar findings were noted for the 10 Y-chromosomal lineages examined in the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), and 11 Y-chromosomal lineages of the Sumatran orangutan (P. abelii). We validated the contrasting DAZ and CDY patterns using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) in chimpanzee and bonobo. Conclusion/Significance High intraspecific variation in copy number and position of the DAZ and CDY genes is seen only in the chimpanzee. We hypothesize that this is best explained by sperm competition that results in the variant DAZ and CDY haplotypes detected in this species. In contrast, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans—species that are not subject to sperm competition—showed no intraspecific variation in DAZ and CDY suggesting that monoandry in gorillas, and preferential female mate choice in bonobos and orangutans, probably permitted the fixation of a single Y variant in each taxon. These data support the notion that the evolutionary history of a primate Y chromosome is not simply encrypted in its DNA sequences, but is also shaped by the social and behavioral circumstances under which the specific species has evolved. PMID:22216243

  10. Hominid and carnivore activity at Middle and Upper Paleolithic cave sites in eastern Spain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Lindly

    1988-01-01

    Full Text Available Recientes investigaciones zooarqueológicas han desarrollado métodos para distinguir entre residuos óseos producidos por depredadores carnívoros y animales de carroña, y residuos semejantes producidos por homínidos. Estas metodologías han sido aplicadas a yacimientos Pleistocénicos en Africa, mientras que sólo se han comenzado a utilizar para yacimientos paleolíticos de Europa Occidental. Un análisis preliminar del papel jugado por los carnívoros en la deposición del material faunístico en el norte de España (Straus, 1982 sugiere un alta implicación de carnívoros en la formación de depósitos musterienses con una disminución de su papel en el Paleolítico Superior. En este estudio, las relaciones entre carnívoros y ungulados de los yacimientos del Paleolítico Medio (Los Casares, Cova Negra y tres del Superior (Parpalló, Les Mallaetes, Volcán del Faro de la España levantina confirman la validez de este modelo. Sin embargo, métodos más precisos como el análisis de frecuencias de las partes del cuerpo y medidas de la atrición de los conjuntos faunísticos sugieren una implicación constante o mayor de carnívoros en la formación de estos conjuntos a lo largo del   tiempo, indicando que anteriores interpretaciones sobre estrategias de subsistencias en estos yacimientos pueden ser sospechosas e incluso completamente equivocadas.

  11. Longevity and plasticity of CFTR provide an argument for noncanonical SNP organization in hominid DNA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aubrey E Hill

    Full Text Available Like many other ancient genes, the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR has survived for hundreds of millions of years. In this report, we consider whether such prodigious longevity of an individual gene--as opposed to an entire genome or species--should be considered surprising in the face of eons of relentless DNA replication errors, mutagenesis, and other causes of sequence polymorphism. The conventions that modern human SNP patterns result either from purifying selection or random (neutral drift were not well supported, since extant models account rather poorly for the known plasticity and function (or the established SNP distributions found in a multitude of genes such as CFTR. Instead, our analysis can be taken as a polemic indicating that SNPs in CFTR and many other mammalian genes may have been generated--and continue to accrue--in a fundamentally more organized manner than would otherwise have been expected. The resulting viewpoint contradicts earlier claims of 'directional' or 'intelligent design-type' SNP formation, and has important implications regarding the pace of DNA adaptation, the genesis of conserved non-coding DNA, and the extent to which eukaryotic SNP formation should be viewed as adaptive.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Evidence for the unique function of DHA during the evolution of the modern hominid brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Crawford M.A.

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The African savanna ecosystem of the large mammals and primates was associated with a dramatic decline in relative brain capacity. This reduction happened to be associated with a decline in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA from the food chain. DHA is required for brain structures and growth. The biochemistry implies that the expansion of the human brain required a plentiful source of preformed DHA. The richest source of DHA is the marine food chain while the savannah environment offers very little of it. Consequently H. sapiens could not have evolved on the savannahs. Recent fossil evidence indicates that the lacustrine and marine food chain was being extensively exploited at the time cerebral expansion took place and suggests the alternative that the transition from the archaic to modern humans took place at the land\\\\water interface. Contemporary data on tropical lake shore dwellers reaffirms the above view. Lacustrine habitats provide nutritional support for the vascular system, the development of which would have been a prerequisite for cerebral expansion. Both arachidonic acid (AA and DHA would have been freely available from such habitats providing the double stimulus of preformed acyl components for the developing blood vessels and brain. The w3 docosapentaenoic acid precursor (w3DPA was the major w3 metabolite in the savanna mammals. Despite this abundance, neither it or the corresponding w6DPA were used for the photoreceptor nor the synapse. A substantial difference between DHA and other fatty acids is required to explain this high specificity. Studies on fluidity and other mechanical features of cell membranes have not revealed a difference of such magnitude between even a-linolenic acid (LNA and DHA sufficient to explain the exclusive use of DHA. We suggest that the evolution of the large human brain depended on a rich source of DHA from the land\\\\water interface. We review a number of proposals for the possible influence of DHA on physical properties of the brain that are essential for its function.

  15. Analysis of sedimentary-geomorphologic variation and the living environment of hominids at the Shuidonggou Paleolithic site

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GAO Xing; YUAN BaoYin; PEI ShuWen; WANG HuiMin; CHEN FuYou; FENG XingWu

    2008-01-01

    Shuidonggou is one of the most important Upper Paleolithic sites in North China. Due to the presence of rich human remains, animal fossils, abundant sporopolien and unique geological sequence, it is the type site for Late Pleistocene to Holocene human occupation and environmental change in the Ningxia-lnner Mongolia region. Many scholars suggest that the site should be named the "Shuidong- gou Formation" of Late Pleistocene in North China. Dating results indicate that ancient human activities at the site took place 30-24 ka (Marine Isotope Stage [MIS] 3). The climate at that time was warmer and moister than present day, and adequate precipitation led to the formation of water pack depressions where broad-leaf trees and sparse forest vegetations, as well as herbivorous animals flourished, mak-ing the area suitable for early human hunting, gathering and survival. The Neolithic human occupation happened 9-5 ka at the site, while similar environmental conditions with MIS3 occurred. The absence of human activity record in the region during the Last Glacial Maximum (MIS2) suggests that the envi-ronment was too harsh for humans to live there.

  16. Electron spin resonance (ESR) dating of hominid-bearing deposits in the Caverna delle Fate, Ligure, Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falgueres, Christophe; Yokoyama, Yuji; Bibron, Roland

    1990-07-01

    Stalagmitic floors interstratified with Mousterian deposits from the Caverna delle Fate (Italy) have been dated by the electron spin resonance (ESR) method. Three samples dated fall between 60,000 and 74,000 yr and indicate the age of the Mousterian deposits. They are in good agreement with ages determined by nondestructive γ-ray spectrometry of the human remains from 231Pa/ 235U and 230Th /234U ratios, which are, respectively, 75,000 -14,000+21,000 and 82,000 -25,000+36,000 yr. These dates are consistent with the morphological characteristics of the bones as Neanderthal remains.

  17. Late Cenozoic stress state distributions at the intersection of the Hellenic and Cyprus Arcs, SW Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Över, Semir; Özden, Süha; Pınar, Ali; Yılmaz, Hüseyin; Kamacı, Züheyr; Ünlügenç, Ulvi Can

    2016-12-01

    The history of the Late Cenozoic stress regime was determined for an area between the gulfs of Fethiye and Antalya. Fault kinematic analysis and inversion of focal mechanisms of shallow earthquakes reveal significant evolution of the regional stress regime in SW Anatolia, i.e., the area of interaction between the Hellenic and Cyprus arcs, from the Mio-Pliocene to the present time. Fault kinematic analysis yields two different normal faulting stress regimes along the southwestern part of Fethiye-Burdur Fault zone, e.g., in and around Çameli Basin (Zone A1) and two different strike-slip to normal faulting stress regimes characterized by a roughly orthogonal set of extensional axes between Fethiye and Demre (Zone B) with an older NW-SE σ3 axis for Mio-Pliocene and a younger NE-SW σ3 axis for Plio-Quaternary time. Inversion of focal mechanisms of the earthquakes occurring in Zone A1 provides an extensional stress state with approximately N-S σ3 axis. Inversion of those occurring in Zone B, south of Zone A1, yields a dominantly strike-slip stress state with a NE-SW σ3 axis and a NW-SE σ1 axis respectively. The inversion slip vectors from fault planes yield a consistent normal faulting stress regime in Burdur Basin and its surroundings (i.e., along the northeastern part of Fethiye-Burdur Fault Zone, (Zone A2)) during Plio-Quaternary, continuing into recent time as indicated by earthquake focal mechanism inversions. Both states have a consistent NW-SE σ3 axis. Fault kinematic analysis indicates NW-SE extension acting in Zone C (subarea between Demre and Antalya), south of Zone A2, during Mio-Pliocene time. The inversion of focal mechanisms yields normal faulting also characterized by a consistent NW-SE σ3 axis. The nearly orthogonal extensional stress regimes (NW-SE and NE-SW) obtained by inversion of both measured and seismic faults seem to have been acting contemporaneously with each other at different intensities from the Mio-Pliocene onwards in SW Turkey. This

  18. The role of docosahexaenoic and the marine food web as determinants of evolution and hominid brain development: the challenge for human sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Michael A; Broadhurst, C Leigh

    2012-01-01

    Life originated on this planet about 3 billion years ago. For the first 2.5 billion years of life there was ample opportunity for DNA modification. Yet there is no evidence of significant change in life forms during that time. It was not until about 600 million years ago, when the oxygen tension rose to a point where air-breathing life forms became thermodynamically possible, that a major change can be abruptly seen in the fossil record. The sudden appearance of the 32 phyla in the Cambrian fossil record was also associated with the appearance of intracellular detail not seen in previous life forms. That detail was provided by cell membranes made with lipids (membrane fats) as structural essentials. Lipids thus played a major, as yet unrecognised, role as determinants in evolution. The compartmentalisation of intracellular, specialist functions as in the nucleus, mitochondria, reticulo-endothelial system and plasma membrane led to cellular specialisation and then speciation. Thus, not only oxygen but also the marine lipids were drivers in the Cambrian explosion. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (all-cis-docosa-4,7,10,13,16,19-hexaenoic acid, C22:6ω3 or C22:6, n-3, DHA) is a major feature of marine lipids. It requires six oxygen atoms to insert its six double bonds, so it would not have been abundant before oxidative metabolism became plentiful. DHA provided the membrane backbone for the emergence of new photoreceptors that converted photons into electricity, laying the foundation for the evolution of other signalling systems, the nervous system and the brain. Hence, the ω3 DHA from the marine food web must have played a critical role in human evolution. There is also clear evidence from molecular biology that DHA is a determinant of neuronal migration, neurogenesis and the expression of several genes involved in brain growth and function. That same process was essential to the ultimate cerebral expansion in human evolution. There is now incontrovertible support of this hypothesis from fossil evidence of human evolution taking advantage of the marine food web. Lipids are still modifying the present evolutionary phase of our species; their signature is evident in the changing panorama of non-communicable diseases. The most worrying change in disease pattern is the sharp rise in brain disorders, which, in the European Union, has overtaken the cost of all other burdens of ill health at €386 billion for the 25 member states at 2004 prices. In 2007, the UK cost was estimated at £77 billion and confirmed in 2010 at £105 billion - greater than heart disease and cancer combined. The rise in mental ill health is now being globalised. The solution to the rising vascular disorders in the last century and now brain disorders in this century lies in a radical reappraisal of the food system, which last century was focussed on protein and calories, with little attention paid to the requirements of the brain - the very organ that was the determinant of human evolution. With the marine fish catch having plateaued 20 years ago and its sustainability now under threat, a critical aspect of this revision is the development of marine agriculture from estuarine, coastal and oceanic resources. Such action is likely to play a key role in future health and intelligence.

  19. Face and eye scanning in gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), orangutans (Pongo abelii), and humans (Homo sapiens): unique eye-viewing patterns in humans among hominids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kano, Fumihiro; Call, Josep; Tomonaga, Masaki

    2012-11-01

    Because the faces and eyes of primates convey a rich array of social information, the way in which primates view faces and eyes reflects species-specific strategies for facial communication. How are humans and closely related species such as great apes similar and different in their viewing patterns for faces and eyes? Following previous studies comparing chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) with humans (Homo sapiens), this study used the eye-tracking method to directly compare the patterns of face and eye scanning by humans, gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), and orangutans (Pongo abelii). Human and ape participants freely viewed pictures of whole bodies and full faces of conspecifics and allospecifics under the same experimental conditions. All species were strikingly similar in that they viewed predominantly faces and eyes. No particular difference was identified between gorillas and orangutans, and they also did not differ from the chimpanzees tested in previous studies. However, humans were somewhat different from apes, especially with respect to prolonged eye viewing. We also examined how species-specific facial morphologies, such as the male flange of orangutans and the black-white contrast of human eyes, affected viewing patterns. Whereas the male flange of orangutans affected viewing patterns, the color contrast of human eyes did not. Humans showed prolonged eye viewing independently of the eye color of presented faces, indicating that this pattern is internally driven rather than stimulus dependent. Overall, the results show general similarities among the species and also identify unique eye-viewing patterns in humans.

  20. Intraspecific variation and sexual dimorphism in cranial and dental variables among higher primates and their bearing on the hominid fossil record.

    OpenAIRE

    Wood, B A; Li, Y; Willoughby, C

    1991-01-01

    The extent and nature of dental and cranial sexual dimorphisms in extant hominoids have been investigated using reliably sexed samples of Homo sapiens (n = 75), Pan troglodytes (n = 51), Gorilla gorilla (n = 64) and Pongo pygmaeus (n = 43). Seventy nine measurements (35 dental, 16 mandibular and 28 cranial) formed the basis of the study. The patterns of mean differences and dispersions between the taxa were compared across the anatomical regions and the group structures of the separate sex sa...

  1. Geology and preliminary dating of the hominid-bearing sedimentary fill of the Sima de los Huesos Chamber, Cueva Mayor of the Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bischoff, J L; Fitzpatrick, J A; León, L; Arsuagà, J L; Falgueres, C; Bahain, J J; Bullen, T

    1997-01-01

    Sediments of the Sima de los Huesos vary greatly over distances of a few meters. This is typical of interior cave facies, and caused by cycles of cut and fill. Mud breccias containing human bones, grading upwards to mud containing bear bones, fill an irregular surface cut into basal marks and sands. The lack of Bedding and the chaotic abundance of fragile speleothem clasts in the fossiliferous muds suggests that the deposit was originally a subterranean pond facies, and that after emplacement of the human remains, underwent vigorous post-depositional rotation and collapse and brecciation, caused by underlying bedrock dissolution and undermining. The fossiliferous deposits are capped by flowstone and guano-bearing muds which lack large-mammal fossils. U-series and radiocarbon dating indicates the capping flowstones formed from about 68 ka to about 25 ka. U-series analyses of speleothem clasts among the human fossils indicate that all are at, or close to, isotopic equilibrium (> 350 ka). The distribution of U-series dates for 25 bear bones (154 +/- 66 ka) and for 16 human bones (148 +/- 34 ka) is similar and rather broad. Because the human bones seem to be stratigraphically older than chose of the bears, the results would indicate that most of the bones have been accumulating uranium irregularly with time. Electron spin resonance (ESR) analyses of six selected bear bones indicates dates of 189 +/- 28 ka, for which each is cordant with their corresponding U-series date (181 +/- 41 ka). Combined ESR and U-series dates for these samples yielded 200 +/- 4 ka. Such agreement is highly suggestive that uranium uptake in these bones was close to the early-uptake (EU) model, and the dates are essentially correct. Another three selected samples yielded combined ESR U-series dates of 320 +/- 4 ka with a modeled intermediate-mode of uranium uptake. The dating results, therefore, seem to provide a firm minimum age of about 200 ka for the human entry: and suggestive evidence of entry before 320 ka.

  2. Variations in size, shape and asymmetries of the third frontal convolution in hominids: paleoneurological implications for hominin evolution and the origin of language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balzeau, Antoine; Gilissen, Emmanuel; Holloway, Ralph L; Prima, Sylvain; Grimaud-Hervé, Dominique

    2014-11-01

    The study of brain structural asymmetries as anatomical substrates of functional asymmetries in extant humans, great apes, and fossil hominins is of major importance in understanding the structural basis of modern human cognition. We propose methods to quantify the variation in size, shape and bilateral asymmetries of the third frontal convolution (or posterior inferior frontal gyrus) among recent modern humans, bonobos and chimpanzees, and fossil hominins using actual and virtual endocasts. These methodological improvements are necessary to extend previous qualitative studies of these features. We demonstrate both an absolute and relative bilateral increase in the size of the third frontal convolution in width and length between Pan species, as well as in hominins. We also observed a global bilateral increase in the size of the third frontal convolution across all species during hominin evolution, but also non-allometric intra-group variations independent of brain size within the fossil samples. Finally, our results show that the commonly accepted leftward asymmetry of Broca's cap is biased by qualitative observation of individual specimens. The trend during hominin evolution seems to be a reduction in size on the left compared with the right side, and also a clearer definition of the area. The third frontal convolution considered as a whole projects more laterally and antero-posteriorly in the right hemisphere. As a result, the left 'Broca's cap' looks more globular and better defined. Our results also suggest that the pattern of brain asymmetries is similar between Pan paniscus and hominins, leaving the gradient of the degree of asymmetry as the only relevant structural parameter. As the anatomical substrate related to brain asymmetry has been present since the appearance of the hominin lineage, it is not possible to prove a direct relationship between the extent of variations in the size, shape, and asymmetries of the third frontal convolution and the origin of language in hominins.

  3. Evolution of an Interbasin Mountain-Block Extensional Accommodation Zone Within the Central Colorado Rio Grande Rift, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minor, S. A.; Caine, J. S.; Fridrich, C.; Hudson, M. R.

    2015-12-01

    Our understanding of extensional strain transfer and accommodation in continental rifts has grown considerably, but few studied transfer zones exhibit high internal topographic and structural relief. In the Rio Grande rift of Colorado the WNW-trending northern tip of the Sangre de Cristo Range separates the opposite-tilted Upper Arkansas River (UAR) and San Luis half grabens. We have investigated the development and role of faults flanking this "Poncha" intrarift mountain block in transferring extension between rift basins, mountain block surface uplift, and landscape evolution. The topographically rugged Poncha block consists of Proterozoic metamorphic and plutonic rocks overlain on its west and southwest flanks by 34.5-33-Ma volcanic rocks and alluvial deposits of the Mio-Pliocene Dry Union Formation. Similar Dry Union sediments underlie a moderately elevated, strongly dissected older piedmont along the northern front of the mountain block. All of these units are tilted 10-35º to the W and SW. A WNW-trending, right-stepping fault system > 25 km in length separates the piedmont and UAR basin from the steep northern Poncha mountain front. Slip measurements along this fault system, cutting deposits as young as ~200 ka, indicate dextral-normal oblique movement. The NNW-striking, down-to-E southern Sawatch range-front fault system forms the western terminus of the Poncha block where it juxtaposes Dry Union deposits against Sawatch Proterozoic basement rocks. Gently tilted proximal diamicton and alluvial deposits on the downthrown blocks of both range-front faults likely mark Plio-Pleistocene(?) mountain block uplift. Arrays of NNW- to WNW-striking faults cutting volcanic and Dry Union units on the flanks of the Poncha block commonly have normal-oblique slip, with greater tendency for dextral strike-slip components on WNW-striking faults. Preliminary paleomagnetic data from the volcanic rocks detect no significant vertical-axis rotation that accompanied oblique

  4. Divergence between Antarctic and South American marine invertebrates: What molecular biology tells us about Scotia Arc geodynamics and the intensification of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulin, Elie; González-Wevar, Claudio; Díaz, Angie; Gérard, Karin; Hüne, Mathias

    2014-12-01

    Continental drift processes such as major gateway openings have been historically advocated to explain the distribution of marine benthic taxa in the Southern Ocean (SO). The separation between Antarctic Peninsula and the southern tip of South America together with the onset of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) represent the final step for the complete isolation of the Antarctic region. However, there is still controversy concerning the timing and mode of this process, and especially about the role of the Scotia Arc geodynamics in the development of a fully deep and intensified ACC circulation. Based on mitochondrial Cytochrome c Oxidase Subunit I (COI) sequences obtained from different taxa, we performed molecular comparisons between Antarctic and South American relatives to provide independent time estimations of Antarctica's isolation. We include in the analyses congeneric Antarctic and Patagonian near-shore marine benthic invertebrates including indirect developers (Nacella, Yoldia, Sterechinus, and Parbolasia) and brooders (Xymenopsis and Trophonella). Considering the levels of genetic differentiation between relatives from both regions and assuming the molecular clock hypothesis, we estimated the onset of their respective divergence. On one hand, similar levels of genetic distance in broadcast-spawners (7%-8.3%) support the hypothesis that the development of an effective barrier between Antarctica and South America occurred almost simultaneously for these groups. Divergence time estimations based on specific substitution rates indicate that the separation occurred near the Mio-Pliocene transition, long after the physical separation of both continents. Genetic distance and divergence time estimation in direct developers indicate an older separation time, close to the mid-Miocene. Even when the analyzed groups included both broadcast-spawners and brooder organisms, the divergence between Antarctic and South America lineages rather than being related to

  5. Evaluation of aquifer environment under Hazaribagh leather processing zone of Dhaka city

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahid, Anwar; Balke, K.-D.; Hassan, M. Qumrul; Flegr, Matthias

    2006-07-01

    Hazaribagh is a densely populated area of Dhaka city where about 185 leather processing industries have been operating and discharging solid and liquid wastes directly to the low-lying areas, river and natural canals without proper treatment. The area is covered by alluvial deposits of Holocene age and is underlain by Pleistocene Madhupur clay. The Dupi Tila Formation of Mio-Pliocene age underlain by this yellowish gray to brick red clay bed serves as the main water-bearing aquifer of Dhaka city. To assess the environmental degradation as well as the groundwater environment, major anions, cations and heavy metals of water samples, heavy metals and organic carbon content of sediment samples were analyzed in this study. Analyses of tannery effluent detect high concentration of Na+, Mg2+, Cl- and SO{4/2-} followed by Ca2+, NH{4/+} and K+ with remarkable contents of some trace elements, mainly Cr, Fe, Mn, S, Ni and Pb. Higher accumulations of Cr, Al and Fe are observed in topsoil samples with significant amounts of Mn, Zn, Ni and Cu. Concentrations of ions and all the investigated trace elements of sampled groundwater were within the maximum allowable limit for drinking water of the Department of Environment, Bangladesh (DoE), and World Health Organization (WHO). However, excessive concentrations of Cr, Pb, etc., have already been reported in the shallow groundwater (10-20 m) of the area. Due to excessive withdrawal the vulnerability of groundwater contamination in deeper parts cannot be avoided for the future.

  6. Site characterization and site response in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hough, Susan E.; Yong, Alan K.; Altidor, Jean Robert; Anglade, Dieuseul; Given, Douglas D.; Mildor, Saint-Louis

    2011-01-01

    Waveform analysis of aftershocks of the Mw7.0 Haiti earthquake of 12 January 2010 reveals amplification of ground motions at sites within the Cul de Sac valley in which Port-au-Prince is situated. Relative to ground motions recorded at a hard-rock reference site, peak acceleration values are amplified by a factor of approximately 1.8 at sites on low-lying Mio-Pliocene deposits in central Port-au-Prince and by a factor of approximately 2.5–3 on a steep foothill ridge in the southern Port-au-Prince metropolitan region. The observed amplitude, predominant periods, variability, and polarization of amplification are consistent with predicted topographic amplification by a steep, narrow ridge. A swath of unusually high damage in this region corresponds with the extent of the ridge where high weak-motion amplifications are observed. We use ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) imagery to map local geomorphology, including characterization of both near-surface and of small-scale topographic structures that correspond to zones of inferred amplification.

  7. Impact of climate changes during the last 5 million years on groundwater in basement aquifers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aquilina, Luc; Vergnaud-Ayraud, Virginie; Les Landes, Antoine Armandine; Pauwels, Hélène; Davy, Philippe; Pételet-Giraud, Emmanuelle; Labasque, Thierry; Roques, Clément; Chatton, Eliot; Bour, Olivier; Ben Maamar, Sarah; Dufresne, Alexis; Khaska, Mahmoud; Le Gal La Salle, Corinne; Barbecot, Florent

    2015-09-22

    Climate change is thought to have major effects on groundwater resources. There is however a limited knowledge of the impacts of past climate changes such as warm or glacial periods on groundwater although marine or glacial fluids may have circulated in basements during these periods. Geochemical investigations of groundwater at shallow depth (80-400 m) in the Armorican basement (western France) revealed three major phases of evolution: (1) Mio-Pliocene transgressions led to marine water introduction in the whole rock porosity through density and then diffusion processes, (2) intensive and rapid recharge after the glacial maximum down to several hundred meters depths, (3) a present-day regime of groundwater circulation limited to shallow depth. This work identifies important constraints regarding the mechanisms responsible for both marine and glacial fluid migrations and their preservation within a basement. It defines the first clear time scales of these processes and thus provides a unique case for understanding the effects of climate changes on hydrogeology in basements. It reveals that glacial water is supplied in significant amounts to deep aquifers even in permafrosted zones. It also emphasizes the vulnerability of modern groundwater hydrosystems to climate change as groundwater active aquifers is restricted to shallow depths.

  8. Evidences of "Lago-Mare" episode around the Messinian-Pliocene boundary in eastern Tunisia (central Mediterranean)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frigui, Mouna; Ben Youssef, Mohamed; Ouaja, Mohamed

    2016-11-01

    Eight stratigraphic sections, located in northeastern part of the Sahel area of Tunisia recorded evidences of "Lago-Mare" episode and events related to the Messinian-Late Pliocene interval. A comparison with previous studies carried on sections from neighboring areas and boreholes data drilled within the Gulf of Hammamet and the Gulf of Gabès, is conducted and gives useful information to characterize the Late Messinian to Late Pliocene events. The most notable feature distinguished in the studied area consists on the lack of gypsum, commonly recorded in relation with the crucial event of the Messinian Salinity Crisis. However, only lagoonal deposits, bearing messinian brackish fauna, are encountered. These sediments are usually attributed to the "Segui" formation or the so called "Mio-Pliocene continental". Thin sections samples and field observations have recognized sands, marls, clays, lacustrine limestone, some gypsum lenses, mud-cracks, lignite and Messinian brackish fauna. Similar deposits were previously described in the Kechabta basin from the Northern Tunisia and in some wells from the Gulf of Gabès and the Gulf of Hammamet. We suggest that all these facies belong to the coeval of the "Lago-Mare" facies within Eastern and Western Mediterranean basins (e.g. Sicily, Mallorca, Libya and Cyprus). Finally, four major erosional surfaces have been recorded within the Late Messinian-Late Pliocene deposits, aged post-Tortonian, intra-Messinian, Late Messinian and intra-Pliocene times. They seem to be the result of local tectonic uplifts and eustatic fluctuations.

  9. Impact of climate changes during the last 5 million years on groundwater in basement aquifers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aquilina, Luc; Vergnaud-Ayraud, Virginie; Les Landes, Antoine Armandine; Pauwels, Hélène; Davy, Philippe; Pételet-Giraud, Emmanuelle; Labasque, Thierry; Roques, Clément; Chatton, Eliot; Bour, Olivier; Ben Maamar, Sarah; Dufresne, Alexis; Khaska, Mahmoud; La Salle, Corinne Le Gal; Barbecot, Florent

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is thought to have major effects on groundwater resources. There is however a limited knowledge of the impacts of past climate changes such as warm or glacial periods on groundwater although marine or glacial fluids may have circulated in basements during these periods. Geochemical investigations of groundwater at shallow depth (80–400 m) in the Armorican basement (western France) revealed three major phases of evolution: (1) Mio-Pliocene transgressions led to marine water introduction in the whole rock porosity through density and then diffusion processes, (2) intensive and rapid recharge after the glacial maximum down to several hundred meters depths, (3) a present-day regime of groundwater circulation limited to shallow depth. This work identifies important constraints regarding the mechanisms responsible for both marine and glacial fluid migrations and their preservation within a basement. It defines the first clear time scales of these processes and thus provides a unique case for understanding the effects of climate changes on hydrogeology in basements. It reveals that glacial water is supplied in significant amounts to deep aquifers even in permafrosted zones. It also emphasizes the vulnerability of modern groundwater hydrosystems to climate change as groundwater active aquifers is restricted to shallow depths. PMID:26392383

  10. Time scales of regional circulation of saline fluids in continental aquifers (Armorican massif, Western France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Armandine Les Landes

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In recent decades, saline fluids have been sampled worldwide at great depths in continental basements. Although some of them have been attributed to marine transgressions the mechanisms allowing their circulation is not understood. In this paper, we describe the horizontal and vertical distribution of moderately saline fluids (60 to 1400 mg L−1 sampled at depths ranging from 41 to 200 m in aquifers at the regional scale of the Armorican Massif (northwestern France. The horizontal and vertical distributions of high chloride concentrations are in good agreement with both the altitudinal and vertical limits and succession of the three major transgressions between the Mio-Pliocene and Pleistocene ages. The mean chloride concentration for each transgression area is exponentially related to the time spanned until present. It defines the potential laws of leaching of marine waters by fresh meteoric waters. The results of the Armorican aquifers provide the first observed constraints for the time scales of seawater circulation in the continental basement and the subsequent leaching by fresh meteoric waters. The general trend of increasing chloride concentration with depth and the time frame for the flushing process provide useful information to develop conceptual models of the paleo-functionning of Armorican aquifers.

  11. The Cape element in the Afrotemperate flora: from Cape to Cairo?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galley, Chloe; Bytebier, Benny; Bellstedt, Dirk U; Linder, H Peter

    2007-02-22

    The build-up of biodiversity is the result of immigration and in situ speciation. We investigate these two processes for four lineages (Disa, Irideae p.p., the Pentaschistis clade and Restionaceae) that are widespread in the Afrotemperate flora. These four lineages may be representative of the numerous clades which are species rich in the Cape and also occur in the highlands of tropical Africa. It is as yet unclear in which direction the lineages spread. Three hypotheses have been proposed: (i) a tropical origin with a southward migration towards the Cape, (ii) a Cape origin with a northward migration into tropical Africa, and (iii) vicariance. None of these hypotheses has been thoroughly tested. We reconstruct the historical biogeography of the four lineages using likelihood optimization onto molecular phylogenies. We find that tropical taxa are nested within a predominantly Cape clade. There is unidirectional migration from the Cape into the Drakensberg and from there northwards into tropical Africa. The amount of in situ diversification differs between areas and clades. Dating estimates show that the migration into tropical East Africa has occurred in the last 17 Myr, consistent with the Mio-Pliocene formation of the mountains in this area.

  12. The Transylvanian Basin (Romania) and its relation to the Carpathian fold and thrust belt: Insights in gravitational salt tectonics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krezsek, Csaba [SNGN ROMGAZ, 4 Unirii 551025 Medias (Romania); Bally, Albert W. [Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Rice, 6100 South Main Street, Houston, TX 77005-1892 (United States)

    2006-05-15

    Interpretation of regional seismic profiles, stratigraphic and sedimentologic data improved insights in the evolution of the Transylvanian Basin. The basin evolution was coeval with the post-Mid-Cretaceous to recent deformation of the Carpathian Mts. Four tectonostratigraphic megasequences are differentiated: Upper Cretaceous (rift), Paleogene (sag), Lower Miocene (flexural basin) and Middle to Upper Miocene (backarc sequence dominated by gravitational tectonics). The Mid-Miocene continental collision in the Eastern Carpathians is associated with the rising Carpathians. This uplift enhanced the differential load, which, together with the high heat flow induced by Late Miocene to Pliocene arc volcanism, triggered large-scale Mio-Pliocene gravity spreading of the salt overburden. This 'mega-slide' comprises three structural domains, as follows: extensional weld (upslope), contractional folds (central) and contractional toe thrust (downslope). The diapirs in the east indicate a pre-shortening reactive/passive growth stage. The central folds are mostly the result of late shortening. Basement involved thrusting uplifted the toe thrust domain by the Late Pliocene. The Late Neogene to recent Carpathians uplift, backarc volcanism and gravity spreading are largely coeval. (author)

  13. The rise of ocean giants: maximum body size in Cenozoic marine mammals as an indicator for productivity in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vermeij, Geerat J.

    2016-01-01

    Large consumers have ecological influence disproportionate to their abundance, although this influence in food webs depends directly on productivity. Evolutionary patterns at geologic timescales inform expectations about the relationship between consumers and productivity, but it is very difficult to track productivity through time with direct, quantitative measures. Based on previous work that used the maximum body size of Cenozoic marine invertebrate assemblages as a proxy for benthic productivity, we investigated how the maximum body size of Cenozoic marine mammals, in two feeding guilds, evolved over comparable temporal and geographical scales. First, maximal size in marine herbivores remains mostly stable and occupied by two different groups (desmostylians and sirenians) over separate timeframes in the North Pacific Ocean, while sirenians exclusively dominated this ecological mode in the North Atlantic. Second, mysticete whales, which are the largest Cenozoic consumers in the filter-feeding guild, remained in the same size range until a Mio-Pliocene onset of cetacean gigantism. Both vertebrate guilds achieved very large size only recently, suggesting that different trophic mechanisms promoting gigantism in the oceans have operated in the Cenozoic than in previous eras. PMID:27381883

  14. Endocranial hyperostosis in Sangiran 2, Gibraltar 1, and Shanidar 5.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antón, S C

    1997-01-01

    Sangiran hominid 2 (S-2), Gibraltar hominid 1 (G-1), and Shanidar hominid 5 (SH-5) exhibit previously undescribed bilateral, paramedian hyperostosis of the endocranial frontal squama that spares the frontal crest, sagittal sinus, and ectocranial surface. The hyperostosis is localized to the frontal (usually the middle third) and parietal and is consistent with a diagnosis of hyperostosis calvaria interna (HCI), inclusive of hyperostosis frontalis interna. The hyperostosis in these specimens is compared to fossil hominids from Indonesia and Europe and to modern human cases of HCI. The three cases of HCI reported here documented the existence and frequency of HCI in fossil hominids and push the antiquity of the disease back to nearly 1.5 million years. The relatively great incidence of HCI in fossil hominids adds another confounding factor to the problematical issue of the taxonomic significance of cranial vault thickness.

  15. Restoration of the Nanjing 2 Fossil Hominid Calvarium: Morphology and Taxonomic Implications%南京2号人类头骨化石的复位和形态

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张银运; 刘武

    2006-01-01

    南京2号人类头骨化石仅保留部分的额骨、顶骨、枕骨和颞骨,为一不完整的颅盖骨.其顶骨和枕骨有数条断裂缝,各断块之间有程度不一的错动,致使该颅盖骨显得外形异常.本项研究是对该颅盖骨的错动部分进行复位,结果表明,南京2号头骨有较大的顶骨、较小的上枕鳞相对宽度、可能较大的颅容量.这些形态提示该头骨与直立人有所不同而与早期智人相近.该头骨所具有的角圆枕、颞鳞顶缘形状、枕骨圆枕发育程度、枕骨的枕平面与项平面过渡情况、枕内隆突点与枕外隆突点的距离、头骨骨壁厚度、脑膜中动脉分支情况、头骨枕面观之轮廓线样式等形态细节,还很难作为可靠的依据把南京2号头骨鉴定为直立人.南京2号头骨很大可能是属于智人亚种(Homo sapiens sapiens)中的一员.

  16. Brittle tectonics and state of stress in the basin of Tizi n'Test (High Atlas, Morocco during the Tertiary inversion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qarbous, A.

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available During the Atlasic compressional phase, the Tizi n’Test Triassic basin underwent a tectonic inversion responsible for the reactivation of the extensional Triassic structures. Contrary to former concepts suggesting a transpressional regime, the NE-SW to WNW-ESE trending faults had a reverse displacement, while the NW-SE to NNW-SSE ones were reactivated as strike-slip faults. The reverse motion of the initially normal faults led to the uplift of the basin and its basement in a pop-up style. This inversion is also responsible for a set of footwall synclines and hanging wall anticlines with variable half-wavelength, and related to basement reverse faulting. Striation analysis with the help of software R4DT was carried out at 45 sites in order to determine the state of stress. The 25 most reliable tensors show that the main compressive stress £m1 trends NW-SE to NNE. Analysis of the spatial distribution of the £m1 axis shows a main maximum at N012 and two secondary axes at N123 and N147. In absence of an absolute or relative chronology of the events, we interpret these directions as related to two distinct events, the age of which should be, by comparison with other studies, pre-Mio-Pliocene for the N012 phase and Mio-Pliocene for the NW-SE phase.Durante la fase de compresión Atlásica, la cuenca Triásica de Tizi n’Test ha sufrido un proceso de inversión tectónica responsable de la reactivación de las estructuras extensionales Triásicas. A diferencia de las teorías anteriores que hablaban de un régimen transpresivo, las fallas NE-SO a ONO-ESE han sido inversas, mientras que las de direcciones NO-SE a NNO-SSE han sido reactivadas en su mayoría como fallas de desgarre. El juego inverso de las fallas inicialmente normales provocó el levantamiento de la cuenca y su zócalo paleozoico mediante un estilo de “pop-upâ€�. Esta inversión también generó un conjunto de sinclinales en los compartimientos inferiores y

  17. Depósitos epitermales de baja sulfuración ricos en sulfuros de metales base, distrito aurífero La Carolina, San Luis, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gallard-Esquivel María Cecilia

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Low-sulfidation epithermal base-metal sulfide-rich deposits, La Carolina gold-bearing district,San Luis, Argentina. La Carolina gold-bearing district is located at the western end of the Metallogenetic Belt of San Luis, which is spatially and genetically related to the mesosilicic volcanism of mio-pliocene age. The volcanic arc experienced an eastward migration, due to the flattening of the Nazca plate in the segment 27°-33°S, known as the Pampean flat-slab. At La Carolina, the volcanic activity occurred between 8.2 and 6.3 Ma. It encompasses lavas and pyroclastics of andesitic, dacitic, latitic and trachytic composition. The mesosilicic magmas belong to normal to high-k calc-alkaline and shoshonitic suites. Structural analysis shows that previous structures have strongly controlled the emplacement of volcanic rocks and related mineral deposits at La Carolina allowing to define a pullapart.In this gold-bearing district there are eigth small mineralized prospects. The mineralogy consists of pyrite, arsenic rich pyrite, galena, sphalerite, marcasite, melnikovite, chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite, arsenopyrite, tennantitetetrahedrite, digenite, covellite, bornite, pyrargiryte, hessite, silvanite, pearceite, argirodite, gold, silver, greigite, boulangerite, jamesonite and electrum. The gangue consists of quartz, calcite, chalcedony and minor adularia.The hydrothermal alteration is widespread and comprise phyllic and argillic mineral assemblages characterized by sericite, illite, interstratified I/S, and silicic; propylitic alteration is also present as an outer halo. Fluid inclusions studies show that the formation temperatures range between 230º to 330º C. Boiling and mixing with meteoric water led to mineral precipitation. Based on the mineralogy, textures, hydrothermal alteration, formation temperatures,fluid chemistry and prospective geochemistry the mineralizations have been classified as low-sulfidation epithermal base-metal sulfide-rich deposits.

  18. Timing and sources of neogene and quaternary volcanism in South-Central Guatemala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, James H.

    1987-08-01

    Five new and six existing radiometric age dates place constraints on the timing of volcanic episodes in a 1400-km 2 area east of Guatemala City. The source of the voluminous Miocene rhyolitic welded tuffs was the newly discovered Santa Rosa de Lima caldera, in the northern part of the area, not fissure eruptions as was previously believed. Resurgence during the Pliocene included the eruption of more silicic tuffs, followed by post-collapse volcanism around the perimeter. Volcanism in the southern part of the area occurred along the Neogene volcanic front. The sources for these Late Miocene and Pliocene andesitic lavas were not fissure eruptions, as was once believed, but were four large volcanic centers, Cerro Pinula, Ixhuatán, Teanzul, and Cerro La Gabia. The Santa Rosa de Lima caldera structure deflects the Jalpatagua Fault forming tensional fractures along which eruptions in the Quaternary Cuilapa-Barbarena cinder cone field took place. Pleistocene ash flows were erupted from Ixhuatán and Tecuamburro volcanoes in the southern part of the area. Tephras from Ayarza, Amatitlán, and Atitlán blanket the northern and central portions. Present-day activity is restricted to hot springs around the northern and eastern base of Tecuamburro volcano. Based on the work in this area it is proposed that rocks of the Miocene Chalatenango Formation throughout northern Central America were erupted from calderas behind the Neogene volcanic front. Rocks of the Mio-Pliocene Bálsamo Formation in Guatemala and El Salvador were erupted from discrete volcanic centers along the Neogene volcanic front. Pliocene rocks of the Cuscatlán Formation probably represent post-collapse volcanism around earlier caldera structures.

  19. Probing atomic scale transformation of fossil dental enamel using Fourier transform infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy: a case study from the Tugen Hills (Rift Gregory, Kenya).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Haohao; Balan, Etienne; Gervais, Christel; Ségalen, Loïc; Roche, Damien; Person, Alain; Fayon, Franck; Morin, Guillaume; Babonneau, Florence

    2014-09-01

    A series of fossil tooth enamel samples was investigated by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, (13)C and (19)F magic-angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS NMR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Tooth remains were collected in Mio-Pliocene deposits of the Tugen Hills in Kenya. Significant transformations were observed in fossil enamel as a function of increasing fluorine content (up to 2.8wt.%). FTIR spectroscopy revealed a shift of the ν1 PO4 stretching band to higher frequency. The ν2 CO3 vibrational band showed a decrease in the intensity of the primary B-type carbonate signal, which was replaced by a specific band at 864cm(-1). This last band was ascribed to a specific carbonate environment in which the carbonate group is closely associated to a fluoride ion. The occurrence of this carbonate defect was consistently attested by the observation of two different fluoride signals in the (19)F NMR spectra. One main signal, at ∼-100ppm, is related to structural F ions in the apatite channel and the other, at -88ppm, corresponds to the composite defect. These spectroscopic observations can be understood as resulting from the mixture of two phases: biogenic hydroxylapatite (bioapatite) and secondary fluorapatite. SEM observations of the most altered sample confirmed the extensive replacement of the bioapatite by fluorapatite, resulting from the dissolution of the primary bioapatite followed by the precipitation of carbonate-fluorapatite. The ν2 CO3 IR bands can be efficiently used to monitor the extent of this type of bioapatite transformation during fossilization.

  20. Vicariance and Its Impact on the Molecular Ecology of a Chinese Ranid Frog Species-Complex (Odorrana schmackeri, Ranidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yongmin; Wu, Xiaoyou; Zhang, Huabin; Yan, Peng; Xue, Hui; Wu, Xiaobing

    2015-01-01

    Paleogeological events and Pleistocene climatic fluctuations have had profound influences on the genetic patterns and phylogeographic structure of species in southern China. In this study, we investigated the population genetic structure and Phylogeography of the Odorrana schmackeri species complex, mountain stream-dwelling odorous frogs, endemic to southern China. We obtained mitochondrial sequences (1,151bp) of the complete ND2 gene and two flanking tRNAs of 511 individuals from 25 sites for phylogeographic analyses. Phylogenetic reconstruction revealed seven divergent evolutionary lineages, with mean pairwise (K2P) sequence distances from 7.8% to 21.1%, except for a closer ND2 distance (3.4%). The complex geological history of southern China drove matrilineal divergence in the O. schmackeri species complex into highly structured geographical units. The first divergence between lineage A+B and other lineages (C-G) had likely been influenced by the uplift of coastal mountains of Southeast China during the Mio-Pliocene period. The subsequent divergences between the lineages C-G may have followed the formation of the Three Gorges and the intensification of the East Asian summer monsoon during the late Pliocene and early Pleistocene. Demographic analyses indicated that major lineages A and C have been experienced recent population expansion (c. 0.045-0.245 Ma) from multiple refugia prior to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Molecular analysis suggest that these seven lineages may represent seven different species, three described species and four cryptic species and should at least be separated into seven management units corresponding to these seven geographic lineages for conservation.

  1. Gravimetry contributions to the study of the complex western Haouz aquifer (Morocco): Structural and hydrogeological implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chouikri, Ibtissam; el Mandour, Abdennabi; Jaffal, Mohammed; Baudron, Paul; García-Aróstegui, José-Luis; Manar, Ahmed; Casas, Albert

    2016-03-01

    This study provides new elements that illustrate the benefits of combining gravity, structural, stratigraphic and piezometric data for hydrogeological purposes. A combined methodology was applied to the western Haouz aquifer (Morocco), one of the main sources of water for irrigation and human consumption in the Marrakech region. First, a residual anomaly map was calculated from the Bouguer anomaly data. The computed map provided information on the ground density variation, revealing a strong control by a regional gradient. We then used various filtering techniques to delineate the major geological structures such as faults and basins: vertical and horizontal derivatives and upward continuation. This technique highlighted news structures and provided information on their dip. The gravity anomalies perfectly delineated the basement uplifts and the sedimentary thickening in depressions and grabens. The interpretation of gravimetric filtering, geological and hydrogeological data then highlighted two types of groundwater reservoirs, an unconfined aquifer hosted in conglomeratic mio-pliocene and quaternary rocks, covering the entire western Haouz and a deep confined aquifer contained in cenomanian-turonian limestone and eocene dolomitic formations in the south. Combining piezometric and residual anomaly maps revealed that groundwater flow and storage was in perfect agreement with the structures showing a negative anomaly, while structures with positive anomalies corresponded to groundwater divides. The study of gravity gradient zones by contact analysis enhanced the existing structural pattern of the study area and highlighted new structures, mainly oriented N70 and N130. The results of this study present a common framework and provide a notable step forward in the knowledge of the geometry and the groundwater flow pattern of the western Haouz aquifer, and will serve as a solid basis for a better water resource management.

  2. Paratethys forcing of the Messinian Salinity Crisis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krijgsman, Wout; Van Baak, Christiaan; Flecker, Rachel; Grothe, Arjen; Marzocchi, Alice; Stoica, Marius; Vasiliev, Iuliana

    2016-04-01

    During the Messinian Salinity Crisis (5.97-5.33 Ma), there is increasing evidence for the presence of fresh water input, not only during the final Lago-mare stage but even during times of evaporite formation. Here we present new strontium isotopic data from two well-dated Messinian sections in the Black and Caspian seas, which show remarkably similar Sr-values as the ones recorded in the Mediterranean during the final phase of the salinity crisis. This strongly suggests that a major fresh water pulse in the Mediterranean originated from the Paratethys. It highlights the importance of a Mediterranean-Black Sea connection during the entire MSC, adding an enormous drainage basin to the Mediterranean water balance. The presence of Paratethyan fauna in the Mediterranean Lago-Mare deposits has fuelled long-lasting controversies over the connectivity between the Mediterranean and Paratethys and contemporary sea level drops in both basins. We furthermore use results of sub-precessional climate simulations to calculate the freshwater budget of the Mediterranean and Paratethys in the Messinian. Using these numerical constraints, we propose a Mediterranean outflow pump as an alternative scenario for the most dramatic hydrological changes in the MSC. This "pump" mechanism significantly enhanced Paratethyan inflow to the Mediterranean, creating 1) suitable conditions for gypsum to form and 2) Lago-mare fauna to migrate and thrive. When the Mediterranean sea level finally reached the height of the Gibraltar sill, Mediterranean outflow restarted there and enhanced exchange with the Atlantic. During this reorganisation of the circulation, brackish and hypersaline waters were pumped out of the Mediterranean, and open marine conditions were re-established without major flooding at the Mio-Pliocene boundary.

  3. Arsenic concentrations in soils and sediments of the southern Pampean Plain, within Claromecó River Basin (Argentina)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa, N. N.; Datta, S.; Zarate, M.

    2015-12-01

    The Pampean plain is an extensive flatland covering ~1000000 km2 of central and northern Argentina. The region, dominated by Neogene and quaternary volcanoclastic loess and loess-like deposits, shows one of the highest groundwater As concentrations of the world which cause serious problems to human health. The oxidising and high pH conditions of the Pampean groundwater leads to the dissolution of volcanic glass and Fe oxy-hydroxides and the release of As to water. Variation of As content related to lithogenic factors is evident from our study in Claromecó River Basin (Southern Pampean plain): the Mio-Pliocene fluvial facies (MPFF) show low As content (2.6mg/kg) compared to the Late Pleistocene fluvial facies (11.6mg/kg; LPFF). Furthermore, the pedogenic calcrete and the paleosols developed in fluvial facies present significantly different As content: 3.9 mg/Kg in MPFF pedogenic calcrete and 16.5 mg/Kg in LPFF paleosols. Modern soils show the highest As content, especially in the illuvial horizons (23.3 mg/Kg) controlled by grain size and clay mineralogy constituents. Preliminary results demonstrate a sedimentological control embarking differences in As concentrations. These differences are probably attributed to a major hydraulic gradient during the MPFF, which is reflected in grain size and in fluvial structures, which probably was followed by washed out sediments. A geomorphological control was observed through an increase of As concentrations from the interfluves (MPFF) to the valleys (LPFF) as well as from the upper to the lower basin zone within the LPFF. Pedogenic calcrete and paleosols developed in MPFF and LPFF respectively reflect the different geomorphological conditions showing high As content in LPFF paleosols (attributed to Fe oxy-hydroxides). This study relates mineralogy and sedimentological environment to groundwater, surface water from wetlands to understand the hydrochemical processes in controlling As within the Claromecó basin.

  4. Inherited weaknesses control deformation in the flat slab region of Central Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, A.; Carrapa, B.; Larrovere, M.; Aciar, R. H.

    2015-12-01

    The Sierras Pampeanas region of west-central Argentina has long been considered a geologic type-area for flat-slab induced thick-skinned deformation. Frictional coupling between the horizontal subducting plate and South American lithosphere from ~12 Ma to the present provides an obvious causal mechanism for the basement block uplifts that characterize this region. New low temperature thermochronometry data show basement rocks from the central Sierras Pampeanas (~ longitude 66 ̊ W) including Sierras Cadena de Paiman, Velasco and Mazan retain a cooling history of Paleozoic - Mesozoic tectonics events. Results from this study indicate that less than 2 km of basement has been exhumed since at least the Mesozoic. These trends recorded by both apatite fission track (AFT) and apatite helium (AHe) thermochronometry suggest that recent Mio-Pliocene thick-skinned deformation associated with flat-slab subduction follow inherited zones of weakness from Paleozoic terrane sutures and shear zones and Mesozoic rifting. If a Cenozoic foreland basin exisited in this region, its thickness was minimal and was controlled by paleotopography. Pre-Cenozoic cooling ages in these ranges that now reach as high as 4 km imply significant exhumation of basement rocks before the advent of flat slab subduction in the mid-late Miocene. It also suggests that thick-skinned deformation associated with flat slab subduction may at least be facilitated by inherited crustal-scale weaknesses. At the most, pre-existing zones of weakness may be required in regions of thick-skinned deformation. Although flat-slab subduction plays an important role in the exhumation of the Sierras Pampeanas, it is likely not the sole mechanism responsible for thick-skinned deformation in this region. This insight sheds light on the interpretation of modern and ancient regions of thick-skinned deformation in Cordilleran systems.

  5. Vicariance and Its Impact on the Molecular Ecology of a Chinese Ranid Frog Species-Complex (Odorrana schmackeri, Ranidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongmin Li

    Full Text Available Paleogeological events and Pleistocene climatic fluctuations have had profound influences on the genetic patterns and phylogeographic structure of species in southern China. In this study, we investigated the population genetic structure and Phylogeography of the Odorrana schmackeri species complex, mountain stream-dwelling odorous frogs, endemic to southern China. We obtained mitochondrial sequences (1,151bp of the complete ND2 gene and two flanking tRNAs of 511 individuals from 25 sites for phylogeographic analyses. Phylogenetic reconstruction revealed seven divergent evolutionary lineages, with mean pairwise (K2P sequence distances from 7.8% to 21.1%, except for a closer ND2 distance (3.4%. The complex geological history of southern China drove matrilineal divergence in the O. schmackeri species complex into highly structured geographical units. The first divergence between lineage A+B and other lineages (C-G had likely been influenced by the uplift of coastal mountains of Southeast China during the Mio-Pliocene period. The subsequent divergences between the lineages C-G may have followed the formation of the Three Gorges and the intensification of the East Asian summer monsoon during the late Pliocene and early Pleistocene. Demographic analyses indicated that major lineages A and C have been experienced recent population expansion (c. 0.045-0.245 Ma from multiple refugia prior to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM. Molecular analysis suggest that these seven lineages may represent seven different species, three described species and four cryptic species and should at least be separated into seven management units corresponding to these seven geographic lineages for conservation.

  6. The Semi-Aquatic Theory: Semi-Aquatic Evolutionary Phase and Environment, Language Development of Modern Humans. With a Short Epilog on Conceptualized Evolution, Social Ecology and the Quintuple Helix

    OpenAIRE

    George S. Campbell; David F.J. Campbell

    2011-01-01

    This article presents the semi-aquatic theory motivated to provide an explanation for why or how did language of the modern humans develop? Key propositions of this theory are early hominids went through a semi-aquatic evolutionary phase and that this semi-aquatic environment exposed the early hominids to frequent visual reflections of their own image, thus transforming a “potential sense of self†to an “active sense of self†, which supported the language development of early hominids....

  7. Tectonic evolution of the El Salvador Fault Zone. Insights from analogue experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso-Henar, Jorge; Schreurs, Guido; Jesús Martínez-Díaz, José; Álvarez-Gómez, José Antonio

    2014-05-01

    The El Salvador Fault Zone (ESFZ) is an active, c. 150 km long and 20 km wide segmented, dextral strike-slip fault zone within the El Salvador Volcanic Arc striking N90°-100°E. Although several studies have investigated the surface expression of the ESFZ, little is known about its structure at depth and its kinematic evolution. Our analysis of structural field data, remote sensing images and morphometric indices reveals a trenchward migration of the volcanic arc and furthermore suggests that not all structures within the ESFZ can be explained within the current tectonic context, but require a phase of extension or an extensional component of deformation at some stage in the evolution of the ESFZ. Such an extension and trenchward migration of the volcanic arc could be related to subduction roll-back of the Cocos Plate beneath the Chortis Block in Mio-Pliocene times. Such a possible evolution leads to open questions that we address in our research: Is the ESFZ a neo-formed fault zone, i.e. did it form during one phase of strike-slip or transtensional deformation, or do the structures in the ESFZ reflect a two-phase evolution, i.e. an early phase of extension overprinted by a later phase of strike-slip or transtension? Did subduction roll-back occur beneath El Salvador? We carried out analogue model experiments to test whether or not an early phase of extension is required to form the present-day fault pattern in the ESFZ. Analogue modeling is an effective tool in testing various hypotheses, as it allows the experimenter to control specific parameters and to test their influence on the resulting structures. Our experiments suggest that a two-phase tectonic evolution best explains the ESFZ: an early pure extensional phase linked to a segmented volcanic arc is necessary to form the main structures of the ESFZ and can explain the shallow geometry of the fault zone. This extensional phase is followed by a strike-slip dominated regime, which results in inter

  8. Tectonic activity revealed by morphostructural analysis: Development of the Sierra de la Candelaria range, northwestern Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barcelona, H.; Peri, G.; Tobal, J.; Sagripanti, L.; Favetto, A.

    2014-12-01

    The tectonically active broken foreland of NW Argentina is a recent analog of the eastern margin of the Puna plateau during Mio-Pliocene times and likely of other broken forelands worldwide. In order to evaluate active tectonism in the broken foreland of the NW Argentine Andes, we examined the complex geomorphology in the vicinity of the basement-cored Sierra de la Candelaria range at ˜26°S and deciphered multiple episodes of crustal deformation spanning the Pliocene to the Quaternary. Digital elevation models, satellite images and geological data within a GIS environment allowed us to analyze the terrain, drainage networks, river dynamics and structure, as well as to obtain detailed geomorphological mapping, active tectonic indices, longitudinal river profiles and structural sections. Three morphostructural segments were defined based on the structural features, the differential vertical dissection pattern over the basement, the faulted Pliocene to recent deposits, the stepwise propagation of anticlines and the distortion over the fluvial system. By combining the several lines of evidence, we concluded that the Sierra de la Candelaria range was subjected to a multi-stage development. The first stage uplifted the central segment concomitant with the formation of the surrounding ranges and with the main partition phase of the foreland. After a significant time lapse, the mountain range was subjected to southward thick-skinned growth and northward growth via stepwise thin-skinned deformation and exerted control over the dynamics of the Río Rosario. Taking into account the surrounding basins and ranges of the Sierra de la Candelaria, the southern Santa Bárbara System is characterized by partially isolated intramontane basins (Choromoro and Rosario) limited by shielded ranges that caused moisture block and shows continuous deformation. These features were related to early stages of a broken foreland evolution model and modern analogs were found at the northern

  9. Past changes of the North African monsoon intensity between 5 and 6.2 My, impact of the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ségueni, F.; Colin, C.; Siani, G.; Frank, N.; Blamart, D.; Kissel, C.; Liu, Z.; Richter, T.; Suc, J.

    2006-12-01

    A high resolution multiproxy study by oxygen isotope record (δ18O) on benthic foraminifera (Cibicides wuellerstorfii), magnetic susceptibility, clay mineralogy (DRX), major - trace elements (XRF core scanner and ICPMS) and Rb/Sr - Nd isotopes was carried out from site ODP 659 along the Cape Verde off Africa. The aim was to reconstruct variations of African Monsoon during the Mio-Pliocene in the time interval from 5 My to 6,2 My. Chronology was established by linear interpolation between 3 bio-events based on calcareous nannoplancton zones, 2 glacial stages TG12 and TG22 identified on δ18O records and by tuning the δ18O and magnetic susceptibility records to the orbital parameter of obliquity and precession. Results indicate that between 5 to 6.2 My variability in the eolian input from Sahara and the coastal upwelling intensity are anti-correlated and make it possible to retrace the evolution of northern African Monsoon. The latter co- varies mainly with the insolation received by the earth at low latitude during the summer. Maximal insolation enhance summer monsoonal effects by increasing wetter conditions on Sahel and NE dominance wind system cause a reduced eolian input and an increased biogenic sea surface productivity by coastal upwelling. On the other hand, minimal insolation reinforce winter monsoon that create a more arid climate on Sahel and stronger westward winds that increase eolian flux on Cap Verde with a reduced upwelling effect on sea surface productivity. At a longer time scale, the end of the MSC is correlated with a major change of the African Monsoon intensity. Finally, the δ18O record on C.wuellerstorfii suggests that global eustatic processes didn't play a key role in the MSC history. Nevertheless, transition between glacial stage TG12 and the interglacial TG11 seems to correspond to a major event within the MSC, and associated to the beginning of the upper evaporite deposits. Thus, the facies of the Lago Mare of the upper evaporites would

  10. Using 10Be cosmogenic surface exposure dating to determine the evolution of the Purgatorio active fault in the Andean forearc, southern Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlos, Benavente; Swann, Zerathe; Laurence, Audin; Fabrizio, Delgado; Marianne, Saillard; Sarah, Hall R.; Aster Team

    2015-04-01

    Active transpressive deformation has been occurring along the Andean hyperarid forearc for the last 3 Myrs but many of these faults are still not described even if able to produce large damaging earthquakes. Active faulting along the northern part of the Arica Bend can be recognized due to the presence of well-preserved and sharp fault scarps indicating recent surface slip. During the Mio-Pliocene, deposition within the forearc continental basins resulted in the formation of vast fan deposits and conglomerates of the Moquegua Formation, which can be considered as bedrock in this exposure study (~45-4 Ma; Tosdal et al., 1984; Sebrier et al., 1988a; Roperch et al., 2006). The typical vertical Purgatorio fault scarps offset both the Moquegua bedrock and several younger geomorphic features associated with Moquegua formation outcroping vertically along the fault scarp. These samples are well-suited to the application of in situ produced cosmogenic radionuclides for surface exposure dating, as the hyperarid region has extremely low erosion rates. We sampled the scarp away from any significant drainage so as to avoid possibly disturbed areas. The sampling did involve extracting quarzite conglomeratic material along the bedrock scarp and on the upper surrounding crests. The aim has been to measure Berylium-20 TCN (Terrestrial in situ Cosmogenic Nuclides) concentrations to determine exposure age as a function of height on the scarp. This has been successfully employed on one scarp in Italy based on Chlorine-36 TCN (Palumbo et al., 2004). However, slow faults behaviour remains unclear and more contributions are needed. Quaternary activity of the Purgatorio fault system was evidenced by Hall et al. (2008). They highlighted a vertical offset of about ~100 m for a pediment surface intercepted by the fault, and dated at ~280 ka. Considering that the pediment surface is horizontal, this would gave a maximum of ~0.3 mm/yr of vertical deformation since 280 ka. Our new data provide

  11. Eroding and Inflating the Atacama Desert, Chile: Insights Through Cosmogenic 10-Be, 26-Al and 21-Ne

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heimsath, A. M.; Jungers, M. C.; Amundson, R.; Balco, G.; Shuster, D. L.

    2010-12-01

    quantify surface chronologies as well as the processes shaping these unusual landscapes. To do so we have combined standard surface exposure dating with an application of the burial and profile-dating methodology to surfaces that are expanding by salt inflation. Profiles of these nuclides are used to test simple end-member models for the timescale of surface inflation and initial results support Mio-Pliocene ages for landscapes previously dated by other methods. We also use profiles and burial-age methods to date and better estimate potential inheritance in the nuclide signals for extensive cobble deposits thought to originate from the Andes prior to the onset of hyperaridity. Preliminary results support Miocene deposition, which may suggest a significantly more recent onset time for hyperaridity than others have estimated.

  12. Are There High Meteorite Concentrations in the Atacama Desert/Chile?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, P.; Delisle, G.

    1992-07-01

    We have visited numerous regions of the Atacama desert between Copiapo (27 degrees, 15'S) and Calama (22 degrees, 25'S) to assess their potential as a high-yield meteorite concentration surface, easily exploitable by search efforts within a reasonable time frame. According to our observations, this desert is characterized by the following features: a) A high percentage of the desert consists of sloping surfaces on which soil movement occurs, presumably by very infrequent, though heavy rain. b) Vast areas of the desert are covered by a dm-thick sand layer of dark colour. Since the sand is too coarse-grained to be transported by wind it presumably resulted from in-situ weathering of rock debris derived from nearby mountains. We suspect that impacting smaller objects can easily penetrate the sand layer. c) The sand layer is typically dotted by rocks, fist-size or smaller, that are covered by a thick layer of desert paint (reddish-brown to black colour). Most country rocks are of volcanic origin (rhyolite, andesite, basalt) and are typically of grey to black colour. A noticeable colour contrast in particular to potential stony meteorites is almost nonexistent. d) Soil salts with a potential to speed up weathering processes are ubiquitous near the surface. e) The Pampa de Mejillones, 45 km north of Antofagasta, is one of the few light-coloured areas in the Atacama desert. The surface, being of Mio-Pliocene age, consists of an almost continuous layer of light-brown fossil shells (bivalves and gastropodes). Fluvially transported dark rocks from adjacent outcrops rest on top. The latter material is covered again by desert paint. Few meteorite discoveries have been reported from this area (Pampa (a),(b),(c)). f) Numerous old tire tracks, in particular around mines in operation, crisscross most areas of the Atacama. Undetected objects such as large masses of iron bodies are not likely to have remained undiscovered in great numbers any more. We conclude that the potential of

  13. Quaternary Deformation of Sumba, Indonesia: Evidence from Carbonate Terraces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahlquist, M. P.; West, A. J.; Dolan, J. F.

    2014-12-01

    The Banda Arc of Indonesia remains one of the least understood tectonic domains on the modern Earth. The island of Sumba, located approximately 50 km south of Flores and 120 km north of the Java Trench, northwest of where it transitions into the Timor Trough, lies in a region of tectonic transition and potentially offers insights into regional dynamics. The Banda Arc is volcanically active, but Sumba itself is not volcanic. The northern coast of Sumba is covered in Quaternary coral terraces, with the rest of the island's surface geology composed of Mio-pliocene carbonates and uplifted Late Cretaceous-Oligocene forearc basin and volcanic rocks. The purpose of this study is to remotely map the topographic expression of the coral terraces and use the information gained to better understand deformation on Sumba since their deposition. The ages of the coral terraces, of which many platforms are exposed over significant areas of the island, have been constrained at Cape Luandi in north central Sumba, but uplift rates calculated from those ages may not be representative of the island as a whole. The lateral continuity of these dated terraces can help constrain the extent to which uplift of Sumba is spatially variable. Analysis of the terraces using SRTM digital elevation data with ArcGIS software makes it possible to trace the same terrace platforms over large distances, and shows that the north central part of the island has experienced the most uplift since the deposition of the terraces, forming an anticline with the east limb dipping more steeply than the west. The terraces are not well preserved on the southern half of the island. Exposure of older rocks and lack of terrace preservation, as well as a south-skewed drainage divide suggests the southern half of the island experiences greater exhumation, but this could be driven by climate or other factors and does not necessarily indicate more rapid uplift. Study of Quaternary deformation of Sumba can offer greater

  14. Extreme extension across Seram and Ambon, eastern Indonesia: evidence for Banda slab rollback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pownall, J. M.; Hall, R.; Watkinson, I. M.

    2013-09-01

    The island of Seram, which lies in the northern part of the 180°-curved Banda Arc, has previously been interpreted as a fold-and-thrust belt formed during arc-continent collision, which incorporates ophiolites intruded by granites thought to have been produced by anatexis within a metamorphic sole. However, new geological mapping and a re-examination of the field relations cause us to question this model. We instead propose that there is evidence for recent and rapid N-S extension that has caused the high-temperature exhumation of lherzolites beneath low-angle lithospheric detachment faults that induced high-temperature metamorphism and melting in overlying crustal rocks. These "Kobipoto Complex" migmatites include highly residual Al-Mg-rich garnet + cordierite + sillimanite + spinel + corundum granulites (exposed in the Kobipoto Mountains) which contain coexisting spinel + quartz, indicating that peak metamorphic temperatures likely approached 900 °C. Associated with these residual granulites are voluminous Mio-Pliocene granitic diatexites, or "cordierite granites", which crop out on Ambon, western Seram, and in the Kobipoto Mountains and incorporate abundant schlieren of spinel- and sillimanite-bearing residuum. Quaternary "ambonites" (cordierite + garnet dacites) emplaced on Ambon were also evidently sourced from the Kobipoto Complex migmatites as demonstrated by granulite-inherited xenoliths. Exhumation of the hot peridotites and granulite-facies Kobipoto Complex migmatites to shallower structural levels caused greenschist- to lower-amphibolite facies metapelites and amphibolites of the Tehoru Formation to be overprinted by sillimanite-grade metamorphism, migmatisation, and limited localised anatexis to form the Taunusa Complex. The extreme extension required to have driven Kobipoto Complex exhumation evidently occurred throughout Seram and along much of the northern Banda Arc. The lherzolites must have been juxtaposed against the crust at typical

  15. Beginsels en metodes vir die bepaling van die ouderdom van hominied fossiele en hulle vindplekke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W.J. van Aardt

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Principles and methods used for the determination of the age of hominid fossils and their discovery sites Paleoanthropologists have an array of physical dating methods developed by researchers in the physical sciences. These techniques permit students of hominid evolution and associated culture to have increasing confidence that the evidence of past hominid morphology as expressed by the fossil finds is being placed in the correct chronological order. This article explains in a simple and straightforward way the evidence and logic that have led scientists to conclude that hominid fossils are not a few thousand years but at least several million years old. The main focus is on the 40Ar/ 39Ar technique, but other absolute dating techniques such as carbon-14, uranium-thorium-lead and radiocalcium are also reviewed. Relative dating methods are briefly discussed together with paleomagnetism (geomagnetism, optic stimulated luminescence and amino acids.

  16. Archaeological Reconnaissance of Lewiston and Portage Levees, Portage, Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-11-06

    Years of Eastern Wisconsin Oneota Prehistory:" Foreign Language proficiency: Spanish, French, Minor Studies: Linguistics) Membership in Professional...Excavation Analyses of Archaeological Materials and data Hominid Paleontology North American Prehistory North American Indians (*indicates Graduate course

  17. Archaeological Reconnaissance Survey of Pool 10, Upper Mississippi River, Grant and Crawford Counties, Wisconsin, and Allamakee and Clayton Counties, Iowa

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-10-01

    Hundred Years of Eastern Wisconsin Oneota Prehistory. " Foreign Language proficiency: Spanish and French. Minor Studies: Linguistics) Membership in...Field Archaeology--Survey and Excavation Analyses of Archaeological Materials and Data Hominid Paleontology North American Prehistory North American

  18. Sequencing and Analysis of Neanderthal Genomic DNA

    OpenAIRE

    Noonan, James P.; Coop, Graham; Kudaravalli, Sridhar; Smith, Doug; Krause, Johannes; Alessi, Joe; Chen, Feng; Platt, Darren; Paabo, Svante; Pritchard, Jonathan K; Rubin, Edward M.

    2006-01-01

    Our knowledge of Neanderthals is based on a limited number of remains and artifacts from which we must make inferences about their biology, behavior, and relationship to ourselves. Here, we describe the characterization of these extinct hominids from a new perspective, based on the development of a Neanderthal metagenomic library and its high-throughput sequencing and analysis. Several lines of evidence indicate that the 65,250 base pairs of hominid sequence so far identified in the library a...

  19. Knowledge-Based Vision Techniques for the Autonomous Land Vehicle Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-10-01

    Supercomputing, Santa Clara, CA, April 30-May 5, 19891). Langdon, J.H., J. Bruckner, and H. H. Baker, "Pedal Mechanics and Bipedalism in Early Hominids ...34 in Origines de la Bipedie chez les Hominides , Editors Y. Coppens and B. Senat, Paris, France, June 1990. Quam, L.H. and T.M. Strat, "SRI Image...representations - description languages - have been devised to describe different types of objects and support different types of tasks (e.g., see Agin

  20. JPRS Report, Soviet Union, Kommunist, No. 7, May 1987

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-08-13

    Translation of the Russian- language theoretical and political journal of the CPSU Central Committee published in Moscow 18 times per year.] CONTENTS For...man’s hominid predecessors and man himself, are naturally related to the development of his brain. There is hardly any doubt that the transition from...prognostic capabilities. ^ The entire evolution of the hominid predecessors of man is noted by an ever- growing pace and increased volume and

  1. Clavicles, scapulae and humeri from the Sima de los Huesos site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carretero, J M; Arsuaga, J L; Lorenzo, C

    1997-01-01

    The scapulae, clavicles and humeri recovered from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) site between 1976 and 1994 are studied. All elements are briefly described anatomically with metrics and compared with other fossil hominids in order to establish the morphological pattern of the SH hominids. A minimum of 13 individuals are represented by the humeri in the SH sample. Almost all of them can be classified as adolescents and young adults. The morphology of the SH hominid shoulder girdle and humeri indicates that much of the shoulder morphology recognized in the later true Neandertal was present in Europe long before they appeared. Thus, this morphological pattern is not exclusive to Neandertals alone. The SH clavicles, scapulae and humeri share with the Neandertals many traits usually considered to be Neandertal specializations. The comparative analysis of the SH evidence suggests that most of the SH and Neandertal shared traits are either primitive features within the genus Homo or even for all hominids, or display high variability within different hominid samples. These traits must be used with caution, or not used at all, in phylogenetic analysis. There are, however, traits that to date have only been detected in the SH hominids and the Neanderials, which could be exclusive to the European phyletic lineage (clade) of Homo.

  2. Paleoanthropology and evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tattersall, Ian

    2012-01-01

    Paleoanthropologists of the first half of the twentieth century were little concerned either with evolutionary theory or with the technicalities and broader implications of zoological nomenclature. In consequence, the paleoanthropological literature of the period consisted largely of a series of descriptions accompanied by authoritative pronouncements, together with a huge excess of hominid genera and species. Given the intellectual flimsiness of the resulting paleoanthropological framework, it is hardly surprising that in 1950 the ornithologist Ernst Mayr met little resistance when he urged the new postwar generation of paleoanthropologists to accept not only the elegant reductionism of the Evolutionary Synthesis but a vast oversimplification of hominid phylogenetic history and nomenclature. Indeed, the impact of Mayr's onslaught was so great that even when developments in evolutionary biology during the last quarter of the century brought other paleontologists to the realization that much more has been involved in evolutionary histories than the simple action of natural selection within gradually transforming lineages, paleoanthropologists proved highly reluctant to follow. Even today, paleoanthropologists are struggling to reconcile an intuitive realization that the burgeoning hominid fossil record harbors a substantial diversity of species (bringing hominid evolutionary patterns into line with that of other successful mammalian families), with the desire to cram a huge variety of morphologies into an unrealistically minimalist systematic framework. As long as this theoretical ambivalence persists, our perception of events in hominid phylogeny will continue to be distorted.

  3. The current state of korean paleoanthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, C J

    2000-06-01

    The hominid fossil and Paleolithic archaeology records from the Korean Peninsula are extensive, but relatively little is known about the Korean human evolutionary record outside this region. The Korean paleoanthropological record is reviewed here in light of major research issues, including the hominid fossil record, relative and chronometric dating, lithic analysis, hominid subsistence, and the presence of bone tools, art and symbolism. Some of the major conclusions drawn from this review include: (1) hominid fossils have been found in nine separate sites on the Korean Peninsula; (2) possible Homo erectus fossils are present in North Korea; (3) Ryonggok Cave, in North Korea, has exposed the remains of at least five archaic Homo sapiens individuals; (4) a possible burial of an anatomically modern Homo sapiens child, discovered in Hungsu Cave in South Korea, has been tentatively dated to roughly 40,000 years ago; (5) handaxes and cleavers have been found at a number of sites near Chongokni and they appear to date to at least 100,000 years ago; and (6) taphonomic studies are necessary for addressing issues related to determining the nature of hominid-carnivore interaction over similar resources (e.g. carcasses and shelter); and the presence/absence of Early Paleolithic bone tools, art, and symbolism in Korea.

  4. Age of an Indonesian Fossil Tooth Determined by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bogard, JS

    2004-04-07

    The first fossil hominid tooth recovered during 1999 excavations from the Cisanca River region in West Java, Indonesia, was associated with a series of bovid teeth from a single individual that was recovered 190 cm beneath the hominid tooth. The age of the fossil bovid teeth was determined using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) analysis as part of an effort to bracket the age of the hominid tooth. The EPR-derived age of the bovid teeth is (5.16 {+-} 2.01) x 10{sup 5} years. However, the age estimate reported here is likely an underestimate of the actual age of deposition since evidence of heating was detected in the EPR spectra of the bovid teeth, and the heating may have caused a decrease in the intensity of EPR components on which the age calculation is based.

  5. Examining time trends in the Oldowan technology at Beds I and II, Olduvai Gorge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Yuki

    2002-09-01

    The lithic analysis of the Bed I and II assemblages from Olduvai Gorge reveals both static and dynamic time trends in early hominids' technology from 1.8 to 1.2 m.y.a. The Bed I Oldowan (1.87-1.75 m.y.a.) is characterized by the least effort strategy in terms of raw material exploitation and tool production. The inclusion of new raw material, chert, for toolmaking in the following Developed Oldowan A (DOA, 1.65-1.53 m.y.a.) facilitated more distinctive and variable flaking strategies depending on the kind of raw materials. The unique characters of DOA are explainable by this raw material factor, rather than technological development of hominids. The disappearance of chert in the subsequent Developed Oldowan B and Acheulian (1.53-1.2 m.y.a.) necessitated a shift in tool production strategy more similar to that of Bed I Oldowan than DOA. However, the evidence suggests that Bed II hominids might have been more skillful toolmakers, intensive tool-users, and engaged in more active transport of stone tools than the Bed I predecessors. Koobi Fora hominids maintained a more static tool-using behavior than their Olduvai counterparts due mainly to a stable supply of raw materials. They differed from Olduvai hominids in terms of less battering of cores, consistent transport behavior, and few productions of side-struck flakes, indicating a regional variation of toolmaking and using practice. However, they shared with Olduvai hominids a temporal trend toward the production of larger flakes from larger cores after 1.6 m.y.a. Increased intake of animal resources and the expansion of ranging area of Homo ergaster would have led to the development of technological organization. Technological changes in the Oldowan industry are attested at Olduvai Gorge, Koobi Fora, and Sterkfontein, suggesting that it was a pan-African synchronous phenomenon, beginning at 1.5 m.y.a.

  6. The geological, isotopic, botanical, invertebrate, and lower vertebrate contexts for aripithecus ramidus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woldegabriel, Giday [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Ambrose, Stanley H [UNIV OF ILLINOIS; Barboni, Doris [CEREGE, FRANCE; Bonneffille, Raymond [CEREGE, FRANCE; Bremond, Laurent [MONTPELLIER, FRANCE; Currie, Brian [MIAMI UNIV, OXFORD, OHIO; Degusta, David [STANFORD UNIV.; Hart, William K [MIAMI UNIV, OXFORD, OHIO; Murray, Alison M [UNIV OF ALBERTA; Renne, Paul R [UC/BERKELEY; Jolly - Saad, M C [NANTERRE, FRANCE; Stewart, Kathlyn M [CANADA; White, Tim D [UC/BERKELEY

    2009-01-01

    Sediments containing Ardipithecus ramidus were deposited 4.4 million years ago on an alluvial floodplain in Ethiopia's western Afar rift. The Lower Aramis Member hominid-bearing unit, now exposed across a >9-kilometer structural arc, is sandwiched between two volcanic tuffs that have nearly identical {sup 40}Ar/{sup 39}Ar ages. Geological data presented here, along with floral, invertebrate, and vertebrate paleontological and taphonomic evidence associated with the hominids, suggest that they occupied a wooded biotope over the western three-fourths of the paleotransect. Phytoliths and oxygen and carbon stable isotopes of pedogenic carbonates provide evidence of humid cool woodlands with a grassy substrate.

  7. Re-visiting the notion of Deep Incarnation in light of 1 Corinthians 15:28 and emergence theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wessel Bentley

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Niels Hendrik Gregersen’s ‘Deep Incarnation’ is opening up possibilities for engagementbetween science and theology. Recent discoveries, like that of Homo naledi, raise questions abouthow inclusive a Christian doctrine of Incarnation is. Is Jesus only God incarnate for Homo sapiensapiens, or is the incarnation inclusive of preceding hominid species as well? Does the incarnationstretch beyond the hominid line? This chapter engages Gregersen’s understanding of DeepIncarnation in light of 1 Corinthians 15:28 and emergence theory. It proposes that there is a directcorrelation between worldview and how we believe in the inclusive nature of divine incarnation.

  8. Neogene Uplift and Exhumation of Plutonic Bodies in the Beni Bou Ifrour Massif (Nador, northeastern Morocco)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebret, Noëmie; Jolivet, Laurent; Branquet, Yannick; Bourdier, Jean-Louis; Jolivet, Marc; Marcoux, Eric

    2013-04-01

    In Neogene times, the whole Mediterranean Sea was the center of an intense magmatic activity. This post-collisional magmatism produced a large amount of volcanic edifices through the Alpine belts, together with some intrusives. These plutonic bodies can be associated with skarn-type mineralization, well-known in Elba Island or Serifos Island (Cyclades), where they are generally exhumed by detachment faults. In Morocco, the plutons hosted by the Beni Bou Ifrour massif are connected to the biggest skarn-type iron concentrations of the country (production > 60 Mt, reserves ≈ 25 Mt). The purpose of this work is to explain the late uplift of this massif and subsequent exhumation of the intrusives. As a final product of the Africa-Eurasia plate convergence since ca. 70 Ma, the Rif Mountains constitute the westernmost segment of the Mediterranean Alpine belts. In the oriental part of this range, volcanic summits and Paleozoic to Mesozoic massifs outcrop in the surrounding Mio-Pliocene plains. The Beni Bou Ifrour massif, in the Nador province, consists in a dome-shaped folded Mesozoic series (Domerian to Barremian) affected by a slight epizonal regional metamorphism (ca. 14-12 Ma), dislocated by Neogene NE-SW faults and eventually sealed by upper Miocene transgressive sediments. The hosted intrusives (7.58 ± 0.03 Ma; Duggen et al., 2005) are the plutonic equivalents to the potassic calc-alkaline lavas (andesites mainly) from the surrounding "satellite" volcanic massifs. They turn out to stand in higher topographic position than the younger shoshonitic lavas of the neighboring Gourougou stratovolcano (6.12 ± 0.01 Ma; Duggen et al., 2005). Previous studies have attributed this uplift to the action of normal faults (pull-apart basins; Guillemin & Houzay, 1982), thrusting (Kerchaoui, 1985; 1995) or even of a caldeira resurgence (El Bakkali, 1995). To discriminate against those exhumation mechanisms, field work has been performed, coming along with new cross-sections to

  9. New Constraints on the Timing and Magnitude of Deformation and Basin Exhumation in the Eastern Cordillera of NW Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trimble, J. D.; Carrapa, B.; Stockli, D. F.; Stutz, J.

    2008-12-01

    could be potentially related to the reactivation of Cretaceous relay-zone structures. Flexural-slip folding is the dominant mechanism of folding within the basin, with centimeter to meter scale fracture-rich and slickenside-rich beds of fine silts acting as primary slip-surfaces between thicker, more competent beds of coarse sand and conglomerate. A newly discovered intra-formational angular unconformity near the base of the Angastaco Fm. documents growth during the early stages of deposition. However, there is no clear evidence of continuous growth up section, implying at least two pulses of significant deformation during syn- and post- Miocene time. New apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronology (AHe) from six samples from the Eocene-Oligocene(?) Quebrada de los Colorados Fm and the Miocene Angastaco Fm (~18 Ma) in the Angastaco and surrounding Pucara and Tin Tin basins yields youngest ages between ca. 13.2 Ma (to the west) and ca. 10.3 Ma (to the east), and correlate with low Uranium content. We interpret these ages as representative of cooling following basin exhumation in the Miocene. The younging of those ages towards the east, together with structural data indicating young Mio-Pliocene deformation, suggests that those ages may be the result of eastward propagation of deformation into the foreland driving basin exhumation.

  10. Modeling along-axis variations in fault architecture in the Main Ethiopian Rift: implications for Nubia-Somalia kinematics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erbello, Asfaw; Corti, Giacomo; Sani, Federico; Kidane, Tesfaye

    2016-04-01

    The Main Ethiopian Rift (MER), at the northern termination of the East African Rift, is an ideal locale where to get insights into the long-term motion between Nubia and Somalia. The rift is indeed one of the few places along the plate boundary where the deformation is narrow: its evolution is thus strictly related to the kinematics of the two major plates, whereas south of the Turkana depression a two-plate model for the EARS is too simplistic as extension occurs both along the Western and Eastern branches and different microplates are present between the two major plates. Despite its importance, the kinematics responsible for development and evolution of the MER is still a matter of debate: indeed, whereas the Quaternary-present kinematics of rifting is rather well constrained, the plate kinematics driving the initial, Mio-Pliocene stages of extension is still not clear, and different hypothesis have been put forward, including: polyphase rifting, with a change in direction of extension from NW-SE extension to E-W extension; constant Miocene-recent NW-SE extension; constant Miocene-recent NE-SW extension; constant, post-11 Ma extension consistent with the GPS-derived kinematics (i.e., roughly E-W to ESE-WNW). To shed additional light on this controversy and to test these different hypothesis, in this contribution we use new crustal-scale analogue models to analyze the along-strike variations in fault architecture in the MER and their relations with the rift trend, plate motion and the resulting Miocene-recent kinematics of rifting. The extension direction is indeed one of the most important parameters controlling the architecture of continental rifts and the relative abundance and orientation of different fault sets that develop during oblique rifting is typically a function of the angle between the extension direction and the orthogonal to the rift trend (i.e., the obliquity angle). Since the trend of the MER varies along strike, and consequently it is

  11. Parametric study of the impact of waste pollutants on groundwater: the case of Abidjan District (Ivory Coast)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agnès Kouamé, Amenan; Jaboyedoff, Michel; Tacher, Laurent; Derron, Marc-Henri; Franz, Martin

    2015-04-01

    Abidjan like numerous African cities is experiencing a significant and uncontrolled population growth. The annual growth rate is estimated at 3.99% by the National Institute of Statistics. This rapid population growth also generates growing needs in general and especially for drinking water and economic activities. In the District of Abidjan, groundwater comes from the Mio-Pliocene age aquifer called "Continental Terminal". This unconfined aquifer is the main source of water supply. Its lithology consists of four levels. Actually only the two upper levels outcrop and constitute the main part of the Continental Terminal aquifer. Some recent studies report a potential overexploitation and pollution of Abidjan groundwater (Jourda, 1986, Kouame 2007, Deh, 2013). This deterioration in water quality could be due to the release of domestic and industrial waste water, pesticide and fertilizer from crops and toxic waste sites containing high doses of organochlorines, of hydrogen sulfide and sulfides. This risk is also linked to the economic activities such as car workshops, gas stations and the sand exploitation in the lagoon. To observe the likely evolution of such contaminants in the subsurface and we developed hydrogeological models that couple groundwater flow and transport with FEFLOW software. The model is composed of a sandy layer where two constant hydraulic heads of 55 m and 0.2 m are imposed on the north and the south respectively. We carried out grain size analysis of some samples (E2, E3, E4, E5, and E6) which shows particle size ranging between 0.0001 mm and 8 mm. This grain size analysis performed by sieving underwater and laser indicates that these five soils are: loamy sand with traces of clay and gravel for E2 and E5; Sandy loam with traces of clay for E3; Sand with traces of clay and gravel for E4 and Sand with traces of silt and clay for E6. Their porosity and average values of permeability coefficient K measured in the laboratory range from 0.2 to 0

  12. The Cenozoic volcanism in the Kivu rift: Assessment of the tectonic setting, geochemistry, and geochronology of the volcanic activity in the South-Kivu and Virunga regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pouclet, A.; Bellon, H.; Bram, K.

    2016-09-01

    The Kivu rift is part of the western branch of the East African Rift system. From Lake Tanganyika to Lake Albert, the Kivu rift is set in a succession of Precambrian zones of weakness trending NW-SE, NNE-SSW and NE-SW. At the NW to NNE turn of the rift direction in the Lake Kivu area, the inherited faults are crosscut by newly born N-S fractures which developed during the late Cenozoic rifting and controlled the volcanic activity. From Lake Kivu to Lake Edward, the N-S faults show a right-lateral en echelon pattern. Development of tension gashes in the Virunga area indicates a clockwise rotation of the constraint linked to dextral oblique motion of crustal blocks. The extensional direction was W-E in the Mio-Pliocene and ENE-WSW in the Pleistocene to present time. The volcanic rocks are assigned to three groups: (1) tholeiites and sodic alkali basalts in the South-Kivu, (2) sodic basalts and nephelinites in the northern Lake Kivu and western Virunga, and (3) potassic basanites and potassic nephelinites in the Virunga area. South-Kivu magmas were generated by melting of spinel + garnet lherzolite from two sources: an enriched lithospheric source and a less enriched mixed lithospheric and asthenospheric source. The latter source was implied in the genesis of the tholeiitic lavas at the beginning of the South-Kivu tectono-volcanic activity, in relationships with asthenosphere upwelling. The ensuing outpouring of alkaline basaltic lavas from the lithospheric source attests for the abortion of the asthenospheric contribution and a change of the rifting process. The sodic nephelinites of the northern Lake Kivu originated from low partial melting of garnet peridotite of the sub-continental mantle due to pressure release during swell initiation. The Virunga potassic magmas resulted from the melting of garnet peridotite with an increasing degree of melting from nephelinite to basanite. They originated from a lithospheric source enriched in both K and Rb, suggesting the

  13. Crustal structure of Tolfa domes complex (northern Latium - Italy) inferred from receiver functions analysis: an interplay between tectonics and magmatism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buttinelli, M.; Bianchi, I.; Anselmi, M.; Chiarabba, C.; de Rita, D.; Quattrocchi, F.

    2010-12-01

    The Tolfa-Cerite volcanic district developed along the Tyrrhenian passive margin of central Italy, as part of magmatic processes started during the middle Pliocene. In this area the uncertainties on the deep crustal structures and the definition of the intrusive bodies geometry are focal issues that still need to be addressed. After the onset of the spreading of the Tyrrhenian sea during the Late Miocene, the emplacement of the intrusive bodies of the Tolfa complex (TDC), in a general back-arc geodynamical regime, generally occurred in a low stretching rate, in correspondence of the junctions between major lithospheric discontinuities. Normal faults, located at the edge of Mio-Pliocene basins, were used as preferential pathways for the rising of magmatic masses from the mantle to the surface. We used teleseismic recordings at the TOLF and MAON broad band station of the INGV seismic network (located between the Argentario promontory and Tolfa-Ceriti dome complexes -TDC-) to image the principal seismic velocity discontinuities by receiver function analysis (RF's). Together with RF’s velocity models of the area computed using the teleseismic events recorded by a temporary network of eight stations deployed around the TDC, we achieve a general crustal model of this area. The geometry of the seismic network has been defined to focus on the crustal structure beneath the TDC, trying to define the main velocity changes attributable to the intrusive bodies, the calcareous basal complex, the deep metamorphic basement, the lower crust and the Moho. The analysis of these data show the Moho at a depth of 23 km in the TDC area and 20 km in the Argentario area. Crustal models also show an unexpected velocity decrease between 12 and 18 km, consistent with a slight dropdown of the Vp/Vs ratio, imputable to a regional mid-crustal shear zone inherited from the previous alpine orogenesis, re-activated in extensional tectonic by the early opening phases of the Tyrrhenian sea. Above

  14. New insights into the evolution of central Tyrrhenian margin of Italy (northern Latium off-shore area): evidences and constraints from seismic data interpretation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buttinelli, M.; Vico, G.; Scrocca, D.; Petracchini, L.; de Rita, D.

    2009-04-01

    the formation of several small and narrow graben and half-graben basins with NW-SE and NE-SW direction of elongation, filled with up to 600m of conglomeratic, sandy and clayish sediments and a regional unconformity surface on top of the deformed basement. The sedimentation continued with the trasgressive deposition of the Plio-Pleitocene clayish units, separated by a Middle Pliocene unconformity; iii) a final stage of deformation, strictly localized around the Late Pliocene volcanic intrusions of the Tolfa and Ceriti dome complexes. This is associated with local uplift (up to 200m), normal faulting, and radial tilting of the sedimentary units strata of the Mio-Pliocene sedimentary units in the on-shore graben and half-graben filled basins, analogous to the geological setting of the basins recognised in the off-shore part of this area. Gravimetric and Magnetic anomaly data also suggest the possible presence of an off-shore intrusion just in front of the coastline of Civitavecchia city. Seismic reflection data analysis show in the same place a local perturbation of the sedimentation regime of the Plio-Pleistocene units due to the local change of basin morphology.

  15. Analyse quantitative du réseau hydrographique du bassin versant du Slănic (Roumanie

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florina Grecu

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available L'étude porte sur le bassin versant du Slănic, un affluent du Buzău. Ce bassin de taille relativement réduite (433 km2 est situé dans la région des Carpates et des Subcarpates de la Courbure, région très active sur le plan sismique. Du point de vue lithologique, le bassin du Slănic correspond à des flyschs paléogènes et à des molasses mio-pliocènes. Ces roches peu résistantes ont facilité une forte érosion du relief. Actuellement, les précipitations présentent souvent une forte intensité, et elles se produisent fréquemment après des périodes de sécheresse. Elles sont ainsi très agressives et déclenchent une érosion intense. L'analyse de quelques paramètres morphométriques [grand nombre de segments de cours d'eau d'ordres 1 (5230 et 2 (944 ; densité élevée des segments par rapport à la superficie du bassin (environ 15 segments / km2 ; longueur moyenne réduite des segments d'ordre 1 (260 m par rapport à ceux d'ordre 2 (530 m] s'accorde avec des temps de concentration des eaux courts et une forte énergie des écoulements. La vitesse de réaction aux précipitations des segments d'ordres inférieurs est en outre favorisée par la répartition spatiale des pluies et par les conditions lithologiques.The study is focused on the Slănic basin which has a small size (433 km2. The hydrographical basin of Slănic, situated in the Carpathian and Subcarpathian Curvature, a very active from neotectonical viewpoint area, is a part of the Buzău basin. From a petrographic point of view, the Slănic hydrographic basin belongs to the paleogen flysch deposits (within the Carpathian sector and to the mio-pliocen molasse (within the Subcarpathian area latter formed by predominantely friable rocks which have encouraged deep fragmentation of the relief. Actual rainfalls are often very intensive, and they frequently occur after dry seasons. The analysis of morphometric parameters shows many elementary segments of first

  16. Integrative geomorphological mapping approach for reconstructing meso-scale alluvial fan palaeoenvironments at Alborz southern foothill, Damghan basin, Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    Büdel, Christian; Majid Padashi, Seyed; Baumhauer, Roland

    2013-04-01

    Alluvial fans and aprons are common depositional features in general Iranian geomorphology. The countries major cities as well as settlements and surrounding area have often been developed and been built up on this Quaternary sediment covers. Hence they periodically face the effects of varying fluvial and slope-fluvial activity occurring as part of this geosystem. The Geological Survey of Iran therefore supports considerable efforts in Quaternary studies yielding to a selection of detailed mapped Quaternary landscapes. The studied geomorphologic structures which are settled up around an endorheic basin in Semnan Province represent a typical type of landform configuration in the area. A 12-km-transect was laid across this basin and range formation. It is oriented in north-south direction from the southern saltpan, called "Kavir-e-Haj Aligholi"/"Chah-e-Jam" ("Damghan Kavir"), across a vast sandy braided river plain, which is entering from the north east direction of the city of Shahroud. At its northern rim it covers alluvial sediment bodies, which are mainly constituted by broad alluvial aprons, fed by watersheds in Alborz Mountains and having their genetic origins in Mio-/Pliocene times. During this study a fully analytical mapping system was used for developing a geodatabase capable of integrating geomorphological analyses. Therefore the system must provide proper differentiation of form, material and process elements as well as geometric separation. Hence the German GMK25 system was set up and slightly modified to fit to the specific project demands. Due to its structure it offers most sophisticated standards and scale independent hierarchies, which fit very well to the software-determinated possibilities of advanced geodatabase applications. One of the main aspects of mapping Quaternary sediments and structures is to acquire a proper description and systematic correlation and categorization of the belonging mapping-objects. Therefore the team from GSI and

  17. Effects of Caribbean oceanic plateau shallow subduction on topographic uplift and exhumation of the northwestern Maracaibo block, Colombia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, J.; Mann, P.

    2013-12-01

    central SP show several slope-break knickpoints and changes in steepness indices by factor of ~1.9, all indicative of fault control in this area; 3) perturbations in stream profiles with change in steepness indices by a factor of ~1.6 occur in the southern SP are interpreted as the expression of the active Santa-Marta Bucaramanga fault system, 4) although most of the knickpoints in SSM profiles seem to be associated with changes in bedrock lithology, the alignments, slope-breaking character, and change in steepness indices by factor of ~1.8-2.2 indicate active ENE-WSW fault control along the south-southeastern edge of the SSM, 5) generally undisturbed profiles at northern SSM suggest current quiescence in rock uplift in this area; and 6) basin modeling of the CRB constrain the most recent uplift event as Mio-Pliocene at rates of 0.15-0.18 mm/yr. We propose that the most likely tectonic mechanism to explain widespread active fault activity and uplift within the SSM and SP is oblique, low-angle (20 degrees), southeastward subduction of the Caribbean plate beneath the area. The present rate of subduction and length of slab would have initiated uplift and fault activity at Early Miocene.

  18. The promotion of geomorphosites on salt from Sovata - Praid and Turda using cultural and scientific tourism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toma, B.; Irimus, I.; Petrea, D.

    2012-04-01

    The paper highlights the role of geomorphosites on salt, in experts and specialists training, in geography of tourism and planning, namely, the involvement of educational factor in defining managerial and marketing skills of future specialists in training. Geographical area of investigation belongs to the Transylvanian tectonic basin, overlapped to saliferous tectonic area from eastern Transylvania, represented by Praid - Sovata - Corund anticline and Sic -Cojocna - Turda anticline, analysis is focused on the Praid - Sovata and Turda diapirs. Saliferous area Praid - Sovata - Corund is situated on the contact area of the Transylvanian Basin with neo-eruptiv mountain chain of Eastern Carpathians, Calimani - Gurghiu - Harghita, and at the contact of Târnavelor Plateau with the orogen alignment of Gurghiu - Harghita Mountains. The salt body, in the horizontal plane, has a quasi-circular shape, slightly ellipsoidal, with diameters of 1.2 and 1.4 km, and is estimated to have a burial depth of 2.6 to 2.8 km. The salt massif from Praid, pierce the Mio-Pliocene blanket around and appears at the surface as diapir, flanked by sedimentary rocks that are partially covered by extrusive post-Pliocene volcanic formations and Quaternary deposits. Evaporitic deposits presents a varied lithology represented by gypsum, anhydrite, salt rock, potassium salt and celestine. The salt massif from Turda develops on the anticline Sic -Cojocna - Turda, oriented NE - SW, 2 km NE of Turda's downtown. It has an elongated shape, about 4 km, with widths ranging from 700 m to 200 m and also with a thickness ranging from 750 m to over 1000 m. In terms of stratigraphy, the salt massif is surrounded by deposits belonging to Badenian, Sarmatian and Quaternary. Due to salt dissolution by meteoric waters, carsto-saline lakes were formed, and due to ceiling collapse, because of an intensive exploitation, and infiltrations of rainwater and rivers, antropo-salted lakes were formed. The water and mud of

  19. Break-up of the Greater Indo-Australian Continent and accretion of blocks framing South and East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acharyya, S. K.

    1998-09-01

    composite block. Dislocations of the 90 °E Ridge, indicate that the main compression occurred during early Eocene which was followed by movement since late Miocene. The ophiolite trail on IBA does not represent the eastern suture of the Indian continent. As a result of Late Oligocene oblique terminal collision between Sibumasu and 1BA, Mesozoic early Eocene ophiolites. their mid-Eocene cover and trench sediments occur as klippen on IBA. Oblique convergence between IBA and the Indian plate in turn produced an active subduction regime along the western margin of the Indo-Burma mobile belt and the Andaman-Java trench. The activity produced Neogcne-Quaternary volcanism. dextral strike-slip movement in Central Burma-Andaman-Sumatran region, and opened up the Andaman sea. Northward, the Shillong massif, representing NE prolongation of the Indian sub-continent, is technically juxtaposed against the northern end of IBA. The collision of these blocks might have uplifted the Shillong massif during Mio-Pliocene. Far eastward, the convergence was orthogonal between the Australian continent and the Indonesian Arc resulting emplacement of the Lolotoi continental rocks. Maubissi exotic blocks and ophiolitic rocks as nappe over the Timor shelf which possibly remained attached to the Australian continent.

  20. Extreme extension across Seram and Ambon, eastern Indonesia: Evidence for Banda slab rollback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Pownall

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The island of Seram, which lies in the northern part of the 180°-curved Banda Arc, has previously been interpreted as a fold-and-thrust belt formed during arc-continent collision, which incorporates ophiolites intruded by granites thought to have been produced by anatexis within a metamorphic "sole". However, new geological mapping and a re-examination of the field relations cause us to question this model. We instead propose that there is evidence for recent N–S extension that has caused the high-temperature exhumation of hot mantle peridotites, granites, and granulites (the "Kobipoto Complex" beneath low-angle lithospheric detachment faults. Greenschist- to lower-amphibolite facies metapelites and amphibolites of the Tehoru Formation, which comprise the hanging wall above the detachment faults, were overprinted by sillimanite-grade metamorphism, migmatisation and limited localised diatexis to form the Taunusa Complex. Highly aluminous metapelitic garnet + cordierite + sillimanite + spinel + corundum + quartz granulites exposed in the Kobipoto Mountains (central Seram are intimately associated with the peridotites. Spinel + quartz inclusions in garnet, which indicate that peak metamorphic temperatures for the granulites likely approached 900 °C, confirm that peridotite was juxtaposed against the crust at typical lithospheric mantle temperatures and could not have been part of a cooled ophiolite. Some granulites experienced slight metatexis, but the majority underwent more advanced in situ anatexis to produce widespread granitic diatexites characterised by abundant cordierite and garnet xenocrysts and numerous restitic sillimanite + spinel "clots". These Mio-Pliocene "cordierite granites", which are present throughout Ambon, western Seram, and the Kobipoto Mountains in direct association with peridotites, demonstrate that the extreme extension required to have driven Kobipoto Complex exhumation must have occurred along much of the northern

  1. Facial orientation and facial shape in extant great apes: a geometric morphometric analysis of covariation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitri Neaux

    Full Text Available The organization of the bony face is complex, its morphology being influenced in part by the rest of the cranium. Characterizing the facial morphological variation and craniofacial covariation patterns in extant hominids is fundamental to the understanding of their evolutionary history. Numerous studies on hominid facial shape have proposed hypotheses concerning the relationship between the anterior facial shape, facial block orientation and basicranial flexion. In this study we test these hypotheses in a sample of adult specimens belonging to three extant hominid genera (Homo, Pan and Gorilla. Intraspecific variation and covariation patterns are analyzed using geometric morphometric methods and multivariate statistics, such as partial least squared on three-dimensional landmarks coordinates. Our results indicate significant intraspecific covariation between facial shape, facial block orientation and basicranial flexion. Hominids share similar characteristics in the relationship between anterior facial shape and facial block orientation. Modern humans exhibit a specific pattern in the covariation between anterior facial shape and basicranial flexion. This peculiar feature underscores the role of modern humans' highly-flexed basicranium in the overall integration of the cranium. Furthermore, our results are consistent with the hypothesis of a relationship between the reduction of the value of the cranial base angle and a downward rotation of the facial block in modern humans, and to a lesser extent in chimpanzees.

  2. Should the Air Force Teach Running Technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-15

    would encourage people to include running in their life-long fitness program. By staying active, sedentary-related health problems such as obesity ...319--6728-F,00.html (accessed 3 October 2011). Carrier, David. “The Energetic Paradox of Human Running and Hominid Evolution.” Current

  3. Chromosome Connections: Compelling Clues to Common Ancestry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flammer, Larry

    2013-01-01

    Students compare banding patterns on hominid chromosomes and see striking evidence of their common ancestry. To test this, human chromosome no. 2 is matched with two shorter chimpanzee chromosomes, leading to the hypothesis that human chromosome 2 resulted from the fusion of the two shorter chromosomes. Students test that hypothesis by looking for…

  4. Evolution & Phylogenetic Analysis: Classroom Activities for Investigating Molecular & Morphological Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Wilfred A.

    2010-01-01

    In a flexible multisession laboratory, students investigate concepts of phylogenetic analysis at both the molecular and the morphological level. Students finish by conducting their own analysis on a collection of skeletons representing the major phyla of vertebrates, a collection of primate skulls, or a collection of hominid skulls.

  5. Beyond the Pleistocene: Using Phylogeny and Constraint to Inform the Evolutionary Psychology of Human Mating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastwick, Paul W.

    2009-01-01

    Evolutionary psychologists explore the adaptive function of traits and behaviors that characterize modern Homo sapiens. However, evolutionary psychologists have yet to incorporate the phylogenetic relationship between modern Homo sapiens and humans' hominid and pongid relatives (both living and extinct) into their theorizing. By considering the…

  6. The evolutionary significance of the Wajak skulls

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Storm, P.

    1995-01-01

    Ever since their description by Dubois (1920, 1922) the Wajak skulls Java) have played an important role in the discussions on the evolution of modern humans in Australasia. Because of the robust morphology of the skull, Wajak Man was seen as a link between Pleistocene hominids from Java (Solo) and

  7. Phylogenetic Approach to Object Manipulation in Human and Ape Infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vauclair, Jacques

    1984-01-01

    Parker and Gibson's developmental model of evolution of language and intelligence in early hominids is described and discussed; data from a comparative study of object manipulation in two apes and a human infant are reported; and, human ontogenic developmental retardation in locomotion is discussed in terms of its implications for the differential…

  8. Cultural Resource Investigation of the Goose River Basin, North Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    1978-05-12

    Upper Knife-Heart District, North Dakota. Plains Anthropologist, Vol. 17, No. 56, pp. 91-100. 1975, Brain Size and Hominid Evolution. Proceedings of...Scholarships: Associated Women Students of New Mexico State University (1976) Language Competency: Fair in reading, speaking, and writing Spanish Honors

  9. JPRS Report, Science & Technology, USSR: Space Biology & Aerospace Medicine, Vol. 21, No. 6, November-December 1987.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-03-11

    SPACE BIOLOGY & AEROSPACE MEDICINE VOL 21, No 6, NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 1987 [Translation of the Russian- language bimonthly journal KOSMICHESKAYA BIOLOGIYA...and ontogenetic formation of orthograde walking in hominids [4, 5]. However, these sparse paleontological data enable us to reconstruct only in the

  10. Preliminary Investigations: Archaeology and Sediment Geomorphology, Navigation Pool 12, Upper Mississippi River. Volume II. Technical Documents and Site Data Sheets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-01-01

    34The Grand River, Koshkonong, Green Bay, and Lake Winnebago PRases-- Eight Hundred Years of Eastern Wisconsin Onebta Prehistory:" Foreign Language ...data Hominid Paleontology North American PrehistoryNorth American Indians [ I(*indicates Graduate course) Adult Education Courses Taught: ISite Survey

  11. Climate change and evolving human diversity in Europe during the last glacial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamble, Clive; Davies, William; Pettitt, Paul; Richards, Martin

    2004-02-29

    A link between climate change and human evolution during the Pleistocene has often been assumed but rarely tested. At the macro-evolutionary level Foley showed for hominids that extinction, rather than speciation, correlates with environmental change as recorded in the deep sea record. Our aim is to examine this finding at a smaller scale and with high-resolution environmental and archaeological archives. Our interest is in changing patterns of human dispersal under shifting Pleistocene climates during the last glacial period in Europe. Selecting this time frame and region allows us to observe how two hominid taxa, Neanderthals and Crô-Magnons, adapted to climatic conditions during oxygen isotope stage 3. These taxa are representative of two hominid adaptive radiations, termed terrestrial and aquatic, which exhibited different habitat preferences but similar tolerances to climatic factors. Their response to changing ecological conditions was predicated upon their ability to extend their societies in space and time. We examine this difference further using a database of all available radiocarbon determinations from western Europe in the late glacial. These data act as proxies for population history, and in particular the expansion and contraction of regional populations as climate changed rapidly. Independent assessment of these processes is obtained from the genetic history of Europeans. The results indicate that climate affects population contraction rather than expansion. We discuss the consequences for genetic and cultural diversity which led to the legacy of the Ice Age: a single hominid species, globally distributed.

  12. Evolution of Humans: Understanding the Nature and Methods of Science through Cooperative Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yeung Chung

    2011-01-01

    This article describes the use of an enquiry-based approach to the study of human evolution in a practical context, integrating role-playing, jigsaw cooperative learning and scientific argumentation. The activity seeks to unravel the evolutionary relationships of five hominids and one ape from rather "messy" evidence. This approach enhanced the…

  13. Baboon feeding ecology informs the dietary niche of Paranthropus boisei.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele A Macho

    Full Text Available Hominins are generally considered eclectic omnivores like baboons, but recent isotope studies call into question the generalist status of some hominins. Paranthropus boisei and Australopithecus bahrelghazali derived 75%-80% of their tissues' δ(13C from C4 sources, i.e. mainly low-quality foods like grasses and sedges. Here I consider the energetics of P. boisei and the nutritional value of C4 foods, taking into account scaling issues between the volume of food consumed and body mass, and P. boisei's food preference as inferred from dento-cranial morphology. Underlying the models are empirical data for Papio cynocephalus dietary ecology. Paranthropus boisei only needed to spend some 37%-42% of its daily feeding time (conservative estimate on C4 sources to meet 80% of its daily requirements of calories, and all its requirements for protein. The energetic requirements of 2-4 times the basal metabolic rate (BMR common to mammals could therefore have been met within a 6-hour feeding/foraging day. The findings highlight the high nutritional yield of many C4 foods eaten by baboons (and presumably hominins, explain the evolutionary success of P. boisei, and indicate that P. boisei was probably a generalist like other hominins. The diet proposed is consistent with the species' derived morphology and unique microwear textures. Finally, the results highlight the importance of baboon/hominin hand in food acquisition and preparation.

  14. Adrenal hyperactivity, injuries and hominization Hiperactivación adrenal, noxas y hominización

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Alvarez Gaviria

    2001-02-01

    Full Text Available In this revision it is postulated that the hominization is a by-product of the endocrine-metabolic adjustment to that hominid ancestors were subjected about 5 million years ago. A bigger adrenalization index is demonstrated in the hominids that partly could explain our fenotype, our behavior and the biggest propensity to certain pathologies. En esta revisión se postula que la hominización es un subproducto del ajuste endocrino-metabólico a que fueron sometidos los ancestros de los homínidos hace unos 5 millones de años. Se demuestra un mayor índice de adrenalización en los homínidos que pudiera en parte explicar nuestro fenotipo, nuestra conducta y la mayor propensión a determinadas patologías.

  15. Human remains and the environment of Early Pleistocene in the Nihewan Basin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CAI; Baoquan; LI; Qiang

    2004-01-01

    A new Early Pleistocene Paleolithic site was found in July 2001 in the Nihewan Basin, Hebei Province. Totally 500 mammal specimens assigned to 21 species and 5 lithic artifacts were collected. The coexistence of Allophaiomys deucalion, Borsodia chinensis and Yangia tingi provides important evidence of chronology. On the basis of the comparison of mammalian fauna, the date of Paleolithic artifacts is probably earlier than 1.8 MaBP, possibly 2.0 MaBP. This is the earliest evidence of hominid activity found so far in North China. The hominid at that time in the Nihewan Basin lived in an environment of arid grasslands with scattered trees of temperate zone. This discovery is significant to the study of human origin and cultural development.

  16. Wide faces or large canines? The attractive versus the aggressive primate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weston, Eleanor M; Friday, Adrian E; Johnstone, Rufus A; Schrenk, Friedemann

    2004-12-07

    Hominids display marked body size dimorphism, suggestive of strong sexual selection, yet they lack significant sex differences in canine size that are commonly associated with intrasexual competition in primates. We resolve this paradox by examining sex differences in hominoid facial morphology. We show that chimpanzees, but not gorillas, exhibit clear sexual dimorphism in face width, over and above that expected based on sex differences in body size. We show that this facial dimorphism, expressed as an index, is negatively correlated with canine dimorphism among anthropoid primates. Our findings suggest that a lack of canine dimorphism in anthropoids is not owing to weak sexual selection, but rather is associated with strong sexual selection for broader face width. Enlarged cheek-bones are linked with attractiveness in humans, and we propose that the evolution of a broad face and loss of large canines in hominid males results from mate choice.

  17. A theory of the origin of cerebral asymmetry: epigenetic variation superimposed on a fixed right-shift.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crow, T J

    2010-05-01

    A theory of the genetic basis of cerebral asymmetry is outlined according to which (1) a single right-shift factor in all human individuals interacts with (2) epigenetic variation that is apparently random, transmissible between parent and child, but with a half-life extending over a small number of generations. The right-shift factor arose late (150 to 200 thousand years ago [KYA]) in hominid evolution as a mutation in the X copy of a gene pair (Protocadherin 11XY) in a region of homology between the X and Y chromosomes created by a duplication 6MYA at the chimpanzee hominid separation. The epigenetic imprint originates in the process now known as "meiotic suppression of unpaired chromosomes" (MSUC); it reflects random pairing of partly homologous X and Y chromosome regions in male meiosis, and confers species-specific diversity of cerebral structure on the human population.

  18. A new interdisciplinary approach to the study of the origins of traditional polyphony

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordania Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The article discusses a new model of the origins of choral singing in the context of human evolutionary history. Hominid interaction with predators is seen as a crucial force in the evolution of human morphology and behaviour. Group singing and dancing, with body painting and the use of masks, are perceived as critical elements of the strategy to deter predators and to put hominids into an altered state of consciousness. In this state, humans do not feel fear and pain and are ready to sacrifice their lives for the common goal. This psychological condition is still important to many human group activities, particularly in religion and the military. The mosaic distribution of polyphonic traditions is discussed in the context of the origins of language and articulated speech.

  19. Wide faces or large canines? The attractive versus the aggressive primate.

    OpenAIRE

    Weston, Eleanor M; Friday, Adrian E.; Johnstone, Rufus A.; Schrenk, Friedemann

    2004-01-01

    Hominids display marked body size dimorphism, suggestive of strong sexual selection, yet they lack significant sex differences in canine size that are commonly associated with intrasexual competition in primates. We resolve this paradox by examining sex differences in hominoid facial morphology. We show that chimpanzees, but not gorillas, exhibit clear sexual dimorphism in face width, over and above that expected based on sex differences in body size. We show that this facial dimorphism, expr...

  20. Chimpanzee hand preference for throwing and infant cradling:implications for the origin of human handedness

    OpenAIRE

    Hopkins, William D.; Kim A Bard; Jones, A; Bales, S. L.

    1993-01-01

    Calvin (i983) has hypothesized that the neurophysiological, perceptual, and cognitive demands of throwing may have served as important evolutionary precursors to a variety of traits( e.g., handedness, tool use, and language processing) in early hominids. Eighty-eight percent of humans throw with their right hands (Healey, Liederman, and Geschwind I986), and Calvin has argued that this right-handed throwing evolved as a result of a left-hemisphere specialization for planned sequential movement...

  1. Manos al lenguaje

    OpenAIRE

    Velarde Lombrana, Julian

    2000-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to discuss through the study of language several onto-logical and epistemological issues related to human mind from the standpoint of "biological functionalism". First of all, I try to make clear the sense in which the term "function" is used in evolutionary biology. Then, I consider some aspects of human language: its neuronal basis, its evolution, its connections with other features which are proper of hominids--specially the manipulation of objects--and finally, it...

  2. The Analysis Of Multiple Themes In Culture Column In Inside Sumatera Magazine

    OpenAIRE

    Ainiyati

    2012-01-01

    Language as a communication system is thought to be fundamentally different from and of much higher complexity than those of other species as it is based on a complex system of rules relating symbols to their meanings, resulting in an indefinite number of possible innovative utterances from a finite number of elements. Language is thought to have originated when early hominids first started cooperating, adapting earlier systems of communication based on expressive signs to include a theory of...

  3. Coevolutionary Investments in Human Speech and Trade

    OpenAIRE

    Bulte, Erwin H; Horan, Richard D.; Shogren, Jason F.

    2006-01-01

    We propose a novel explanation for the emergence of language in modern humans, and the lack thereof in other hominids. A coevolutionary process, where trade facilitates speech and speech facilitates trade, driven by expectations and potentially influenced by geography, gives rise to multiple stable development trajectories. While the trade-speech equilibrium is not an inevitable outcome for modern humans, we do find that it is a relatively likely result given that our species evolved in Afric...

  4. The Interaction between Knowledge and Practice in the Acquisition of Cognitive Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-06-01

    origin of cognitive capacities such as language and learning is almost com- pletely unknown, it is likely that learning evolved before language ...There are no mammalian species, and probably no lower organisms, which cannot learn, so the capacity to learn was almost certainly present in the hominids ...when they separated from the rest of the primates 4-10 millions of years ago. Language , on the other hand, evolved later, perhaps very much later

  5. Conservation and diversity of Foxp2 expression in muroid rodents: Functional implications

    OpenAIRE

    Campbell, Polly; Reep, Roger L.; Stoll, Margaret L.; Ophir, Alexander G.; Phelps, Steven M.

    2009-01-01

    FOXP2, the first gene causally linked to a human language disorder, is implicated in song acquisition, production and perception in oscine songbirds, the evolution of speech and language in hominids and the evolution of echolocation in bats. Despite the evident relevance of Foxp2 to vertebrate acoustic communication, a comprehensive description of neural expression patterns is currently lacking in mammals. Here we use immunocytochemistry to systematically describe the neural distribution of F...

  6. Culture, Urbanism and Changing Human Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Schell, L M

    2014-01-01

    Anthropologists have long known that human activity driven by culture changes the environment. This is apparent in the archaeological record and through the study of the modern environment. Perhaps the largest change since the paleolithic era is the organization of human populations in cities. New environments can reshape human biology through evolution as shown by the evolution of the hominid lineage. Evolution is not the only process capable of reshaping our biology. Some changes in our hum...

  7. A Boom of Bones and Books. The "Popularization Industry" of Atapuerca and Human-Origins-Research in Contemporary Spain

    OpenAIRE

    Hochadel, Oliver

    2013-01-01

    Atapuerca is an important prehistoric site in northern Spain that yielded the oldest hominid fossils in Europe in 1994. Since 1998 the three co-directors of the research team have in sum (co-)authored more than twenty-five popular science books, a boom without precedent in human-origins research. This paper will put forward three hypotheses. First, that these books were instrumental in achieving public recognition and financial support for the research project. Second, popular books on human ...

  8. Climate change and evolving human diversity in Europe during the last glacial.

    OpenAIRE

    Gamble, Clive; Davies, William; Pettitt, Paul; Richards, Martin

    2004-01-01

    A link between climate change and human evolution during the Pleistocene has often been assumed but rarely tested. At the macro-evolutionary level Foley showed for hominids that extinction, rather than speciation, correlates with environmental change as recorded in the deep sea record. Our aim is to examine this finding at a smaller scale and with high-resolution environmental and archaeological archives. Our interest is in changing patterns of human dispersal under shifting Pleistocene clima...

  9. Neanderthal teeth from Moula-Guercy, Ardèche, France.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hlusko, Leslea J; Carlson, Joshua P; Guatelli-Steinberg, Debbie; Krueger, Kristin L; Mersey, Ben; Ungar, Peter S; Defleur, Alban

    2013-07-01

    Here we describe dental remains from a Neanderthal fossil assemblage from Moula-Guercy, France. Our report demonstrates that the Moula-Guercy hominid remains contribute important morphological, developmental, and behavioral data to understanding Neanderthal evolutionary history. We include gross comparative morphological descriptions and enamel surface microstructure and microwear data. These teeth reveal numerous characteristics that are diagnostic of Neanderthals and provide no evidence for the presence of any other hominid taxa. Enamel growth increment data from the Moula-Guercy specimens yield evidence of a Neanderthal pattern of development, although at the lower end of the range of variation. The presence of a significant number of linear enamel hypoplasias indicates that these individuals were stressed during childhood. Molar microwear data suggest that these Neanderthals did not differ significantly from modern humans in terms of the fracture properties of the food they were consuming. The incisor microwear and macro striations provide evidence that these individuals may have been using their anterior teeth as tools, similar to the practices of several modern human populations such as the Inuit, Ipiutak, and Australian Aboriginals, and reminiscent of evidence from other Neanderthals from Krapina, Croatia, as well as the 600,000 year old hominids from Sima de los Huesos, Spain. Am J Phys Anthropol 151:477-491, 2013.© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. A zooarchaeological study of bone assemblages from the Ma’anshan Paleolithic site

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Ten thousands of bone fragments were recovered from the Ma’anshan Paleolithic site, of which 4358 pieces can be identified to skeletal elements or species. In this research, the bone assemblages are quantified based on elements of MNI, MNE, and MAU. Then bone surface modifications and skeletal element profiles of the bone assemblages are studied to understand shlepping behaviors and reveal the technique of disarticulating and defleshing the animals’ bodies, etc. Based on the analyses of bone assemblages and the comparative study with the ethnoarchaeological as well as experimental data, it is assumed that later hominids at the site made fuller use of the game animals than the earlier hominids. Incorporating the lines of evidence from chronological dating, paleoenvironment, and polished bone tools between the two cultural layers, here we propose three hypotheses suggesting that the changes of environment, the migrations of the hominids from the North, or the demographic pulses may cause such a behavioral difference. However, it is yet to be determined which hypothesis can better explain the changes.

  11. The temporal bones from Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain). A phylogenetic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, I; Arsuaga, J L

    1997-01-01

    Three well-preserved crania and 22 temporal bones were recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site up to and including the 1994 field season. This is the largest sample of hominid temporal bones known from a single Middle Pleistocene site and it offers the chance to characterize the temporal bone morphology of an European Middle Pleistocene population and to study the phylogenetic relationships of the SH sample with other Upper and Middle Pleistocene hominids. We have carried out a cladistic analysis based on nine traits commonly used in phylogenetic analysis of Middle and Late Pleistocene hominids: shape of the temporal squama superior border, articular eminence morphology, contribution of the sphenoid bone to the median glenoid wall, postglenoid process projection, tympanic plate orientation, presence of the styloid process, mastoid process projection, digastric groove morphology and anterior mastoid tubercle. We have found two autapomorphies on the Home erectus temporal bone: strong reduction of the postglenoid process and absence of the styloid process. Modern humans, Neandertals and the Middle Pleistocene fossils from Europe and Africa constitute a clade characterized by a convex superior border of the temporal squama. The European Middle Pleistocene fossils from Sima de los Huesos, Petralona, Steinheim, Bilzingsleben and Castel di Guido share a Neandertal apomorphy: a relatively flat articular eminence. The fossils from Ehringsdorf, La Chaise Suardi and Biache-Saint-Vaast also display another Neandertal derived trait: an anteriorly obliterated digastric groove. Modern humans and the African Middle Pleistocene fossils share a synapomorphy: a sagittally orientated tympanic plate.

  12. Assessing endocranial variations in great apes and humans using 3D data from virtual endocasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bienvenu, Thibaut; Guy, Franck; Coudyzer, Walter; Gilissen, Emmanuel; Roualdès, Georges; Vignaud, Patrick; Brunet, Michel

    2011-06-01

    Modern humans are characterized by their large, complex, and specialized brain. Human brain evolution can be addressed through direct evidence provided by fossil hominid endocasts (i.e. paleoneurology), or through indirect evidence of extant species comparative neurology. Here we use the second approach, providing an extant comparative framework for hominid paleoneurological studies. We explore endocranial size and shape differences among great apes and humans, as well as between sexes. We virtually extracted 72 endocasts, sampling all extant great ape species and modern humans, and digitized 37 landmarks on each for 3D generalized Procrustes analysis. All species can be differentiated by their endocranial shape. Among great apes, endocranial shapes vary from short (orangutans) to long (gorillas), perhaps in relation to different facial orientations. Endocranial shape differences among African apes are partly allometric. Major endocranial traits distinguishing humans from great apes are endocranial globularity, reflecting neurological reorganization, and features linked to structural responses to posture and bipedal locomotion. Human endocasts are also characterized by posterior location of foramina rotunda relative to optic canals, which could be correlated to lesser subnasal prognathism compared to living great apes. Species with larger brains (gorillas and humans) display greater sexual dimorphism in endocranial size, while sexual dimorphism in endocranial shape is restricted to gorillas, differences between males and females being at least partly due to allometry. Our study of endocranial variations in extant great apes and humans provides a new comparative dataset for studies of fossil hominid endocasts.

  13. Our Magnetic Planet (Arthur Holmes Medal Lecture)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laj, Carlo

    2015-04-01

    and Turkey) allowed to show that the main post-cretaceous geodynamical evolution of the Aegean Realm is dominated since 30 My by two phases of rotational deformation in opposite sense around two poles: one just north of Albania for the western part, the second in the South Eastern Mediterranean for the eastern part. During the sampling of Mio-Pliocene marls in Crete, using a LETI portable magnetometer to the development of which I have participated, we sampled a geomagnetic reversal registered over about 50 cm of sediments. Interestingly, some intermediate directions were clearly apparent. This gave me the idea that the dynamical directional behaviour of the reversing field could be studied. At the time, only a very few and very incomplete similar records existed. For me, this has been the beginning of an extraordinary adventure still going on today. From the accumulation of data, first from Crete, then from other worldwide spread sites, it became apparent, as illustrated in a cover of Nature, that sedimentary reversal transition paths had a tendency to coincide with the seismically cold deep regions, suggesting that a lower mantle control existed over the reversing geodynamo. This idea, sometimes greeted with scepticism, has stimulated joint efforts to test it both from different disciplines and different experimental and theoretical approaches. It is fair to say that 25 years after it was proposed, our idea is still "on the table" and discussed. We then turned to the study of the changes of the geomagnetic field intensity, still inadequately described at the time. Because measurements of traditional small cubic samples was largely too time consuming to allow surveys of the amplitude we had in mind, I adapted the u-channel measurement techniques to small access pass-through cryogenic magnetometers, and suggested to W. Goree of 2G-Enterprises a modification of the standard pick-up coil geometry (called the Laj-system by the manufacturer) to allow high spatial

  14. Fish as a proxy for African paleogeography: results from both extant and fossil taxa and prospects to constrain faunal exchange pathway through time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otero, Olga; Joordens, Josephine; Dettai, Agnès; Christ, Leemans; Pinton, Aurélie

    2016-04-01

    : relationships between Chad and neighbouring basins throughout the Mio-Pliocene. Palaeobiogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 274 (2009): 134-139. [5] Argyriou T., Otero O., Pavlakis P., Boaz N.T. 2012 - Description and paleobiogeographical implications of new Semlikiichthys (Teleostei, Perciformes) fish material from the Late Miocene deposits of Sahabi, Libya. Geobios, 45(2012): 429-436. [6] Joordens J (Pi) - Coastal origins? A biogeographical model for mominin evolution and dispersal in Africa between 5 and 2.5 million years ago.

  15. [Survival of the fattest: the key to human brain evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunnane, Stephen C

    2006-01-01

    The circumstances of human brain evolution are of central importance to accounting for human origins, yet are still poorly understood. Human evolution is usually portrayed as having occurred in a hot, dry climate in East Africa where the earliest human ancestors became bipedal and evolved tool-making skills and language while struggling to survive in a wooded or savannah environment. At least three points need to be recognised when constructing concepts of human brain evolution : (1) The human brain cannot develop normally without a reliable supply of several nutrients, notably docosahexaenoic acid, iodine and iron. (2) At term, the human fetus has about 13 % of body weight as fat, a key form of energy insurance supporting brain development that is not found in other primates. (3) The genome of humans and chimpanzees is different, so if they both evolved in essentially the same habitat, how did the human brain become so much larger, and how was its present-day nutritional vulnerability circumvented during 5-6 million years of hominid evolution ? The abundant presence of fish bones and shellfish remains in many African hominid fossil sites dating to 2 million years ago implies human ancestors commonly inhabited the shores, but this point is usually overlooked in conceptualizing how the human brain evolved. Shellfish, fish and shore-based animals and plants are the richest dietary sources of the key nutrients needed by the brain. Whether on the shores of lakes, marshes, rivers or the sea, the consumption of most shore-based foods requires no specialized skills or tools. The presence of key brain nutrients and a rich energy supply in shore-based foods would have provided the essential metabolic and nutritional support needed to gradually expand the hominid brain. Abundant availability of these foods also provided the time needed to develop and refine proto-human attributes that subsequently formed the basis of language, culture, tool making and hunting. The presence

  16. Early Acheulean technology in the Rietputs Formation, South Africa, dated with cosmogenic nuclides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbon, Ryan J; Granger, Darryl E; Kuman, Kathleen; Partridge, Timothy C

    2009-02-01

    An absolute dating technique based on the build-up and decay of (26)Al and (10)Be in the mineral quartz provides crucial evidence regarding early Acheulean hominid distribution in South Africa. Cosmogenic nuclide burial dating of an ancient alluvial deposit of the Vaal River (Rietputs Formation) in the western interior of South Africa shows that coarse gravel and sand aggradation there occurred ca 1.57+/-0.22Ma, with individual ages of samples ranging from 1.89+/-0.19 to 1.34+/-0.22Ma. This was followed by aggradation of laminated and cross-bedded fine alluvium at ca 1.26+/-0.10Ma. The Rietputs Formation provides an ideal situation for the use of the cosmogenic nuclide burial dating method, as samples could be obtained from deep mining pits at depths ranging from 7 to 16 meters. Individual dates provide only a minimum age for the stone tool technology preserved within the deposits. Each assemblage represents a time averaged collection. Bifacial tools distributed throughout the coarse gravel and sand unit can be assigned to an early phase of the Acheulean. This is the first absolute radiometric dated evidence for early Acheulean artefacts in South Africa that have been found outside of the early hominid sites of the Gauteng Province. These absolute dates also indicate that handaxe-using hominids inhabited southern Africa as early as their counterparts in East Africa. The simultaneous appearance of the Acheulean in different parts of the continent implies relatively rapid technology development and the widespread use of large cutting tools in the African continent by ca 1.6Ma.

  17. Fossil evidence for the origin of Homo sapiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Jeffrey H; Tattersall, Ian

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Morphology and environment in some fossil Hominoids and Pedetids (Mammalia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senut, Brigitte

    2016-04-01

    Linking the environment to functional anatomy is not an easy exercise, especially when dealing with fossils, which are often fragmentary and represent animals that are extinct. A holistic approach permits us to fill the gaps in reconstructing the evolutionary patterns in fossil groups. Identifying the environment where animals lived can help to interpret some anatomical structures and, vice versa, the functional morphological pattern can help to refine some fossil environments. Two examples focusing on locomotor behaviours in fossil mammals are considered in this paper: the hominoids and the origins of hominid bipedalism and the springing adaptations in fossil rodents (Pedetidae) in connection with different habitats. In the first case, the limits of the chimp-based models and the necessity to take into account detailed environmental reconstructions will be addressed. The famous 'savannah hypothesis' is no longer tenable because the palaeontological data support a more vegetated environment for the origins of bipedal hominids. Data from the environment will be considered. The earliest putative hominid fossils which preserve skeletal remains of the locomotor apparatus show mixed adaptations to terrestrial bipedalism and arboreal activities. The second example focuses on the variation in springing adaptations in Pedetidae in the Lower Miocene of East Africa and Southern Africa. In the East, the sites where Pedetidae were preserved were mainly forested, whereas in the South the region was more open and drier, with extensive grassy patches. In the first case, pedetids were robust and heavy jumpers, whereas in the South they were smaller, their skeleton more gracile and their springing was lighter. During the desertification of the southern part of Africa, the large pedetid species became extinct, but a smaller species developed. In the case of primates, as in the case of rodents, the skeletal morphology was adapted to its environment.

  19. The Functional Anatomy of the Carpometacarpal Complex in Anthropoids and Its Implications for the Evolution of the Hominoid Hand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selby, Michael S; Simpson, Scott W; Lovejoy, C Owen

    2016-05-01

    Previously, we described several features of the carpometacarpal joints in extant large-bodied apes that are likely adaptations to the functional demands of vertical climbing and suspension. We observed that all hominids, including modern humans and the 4.4-million-year-old hominid Ardipithecus ramidus, lacked these features. Here, we assess the uniqueness of these features in a large sample of monkey, ape, and human hands. These new data provide additional insights into the functional adaptations and evolution of the anthropoid hand. Our survey highlights a series of anatomical adaptations that restrict motion between the second and third metacarpals (MC2 and MC3) and their associated carpals in extant apes, achieved via joint reorganization and novel energy dissipation mechanisms. Their hamate-MC4 and -MC5 joint surface morphologies suggest limited mobility, at least in Pan. Gibbons and spider monkeys have several characters (angled MC3, complex capitate-MC3 joint topography, variably present capitate-MC3 ligaments) that suggest functional convergence in response to suspensory locomotion. Baboons have carpometacarpal morphology suggesting flexion/extension at these joints beyond that observed in most other Old World monkeys, probably as an energy dissipating mechanism minimizing collision forces during terrestrial locomotion. All hominids lack these specializations of the extant great apes, suggesting that vertical climbing was never a central feature of our ancestral locomotor repertoire. Furthermore, the reinforced carpometacarpus of vertically climbing African apes was likely appropriated for knuckle-walking in concert with other novel potential energy dissipating mechanisms. The most parsimonious explanation of the structural similarity of these carpometacarpal specializations in great apes is that they evolved independently.

  20. A Review of "Human Security in World Affairs: Problems and Opportunities"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arthur L. Fredeen

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available While security of our hominid encampments and settlements must have been at or near the top of our species priorities since our evolution some several hundred thousand years ago, awareness of the magnitude of our alterations, interactions and impacts on our world is a very recent event. Even more recent is our collective and growing angst over how are species is to secure some sort of permanence on a planet that is ultimately governed by natural forces and is forever changing.

  1. Biometrical studies upon hominoid teeth: the coefficient of variation, sexual dimorphism and questions of phylogenetic relationship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumenberg, B

    1985-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism as a function of variation in hominoid tooth metrics has been investigated for four groups of taxa: Recent great apes (two subfamilies), Dryopiths (one subfamily), Ramapiths (one subfamily) and hominids (one family). Gorilla, and to a lesser extent Pan, appear characterized by very high levels of sexual dimorphism and meet several criteria for statistical outliers. Recent great apes are the only group exhibiting consistently high levels of sexual dimorphism. Ramapiths are the only group characterized by low levels of sexual dimorphism and their relative canine length is most similar to Dryopiths. Both Dryopiths and hominids contain taxa with low and intermediate levels of sexual dimorphism. The Gingerich and Shoeninger hypothesis relating coefficients of variation to occlusal complexity is supported. Non-parametric statistics suggest that homogeneity of coefficient of variation profiles over most of the tooth row is characteristic of only the Dryopiths and a composite data set composed of the Dryopith plus Ramapith tooth measurements. Oxnard's model for the multifactorial basis of multiple sexual dimorphisms is also supported. The Dryopith and hominid patterns of sexual dimorphism are similar, an observation that suggests phylogenetic relationship. At the taxonomic level of subfamily or family, sexual dimorphism is a character of cladistic usefulness and possible phylogenetic valence. Assuming that breeding system and sexual dimorphism are functional correlates as many workers suggest, then Ramapithecus sp. China, Sivapithecus indicus and possibly Australopithecus boisei are good candidates for having possessed monogamous breeding/social structures. All Dryopith taxa, S. sivalensis, Sivapithecus sp. China, A. afarensis, Homo habilis and H. erectus emerge as the best candidates for having possessed a polygynous breeding/social structure. No biometrical affinities of Ramapiths with hominids can be demonstrated and some phylogenetic relationship with

  2. Mental Darwinism and the evolution of the emotion-processing mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langs, R

    1996-01-01

    The cognitive mental module with which humans process and adapt to emotionally charged environmental or triggering events is identified as the emotion-processing mind. The current architecture of this mental module presents several anomalous features. In an effort to clarify their basis, the evolution of this module is traced for the 6,000,000-year history of hominid existence. In addition, the nature of its current adaptive resources are explored as a way of introducing mental Darwinism, the concept that the emotion-processing mind is an adaptive entity that operates according to the principles of universal Darwinism.

  3. The search for intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coffey, E. J.

    1980-12-01

    Implications of current understandings of the nature of human intelligence for the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence are discussed. The perceptual theory of intelligence as the manipulation of perceptual images rather than language is introduced, and conditions leading to the ascendancy of man over other hominids with similar conceptual abilities are discussed, including the liberation of the hands from a locomotive function and the evolution of neoteny. It is argued that the specificity of the environmental, behavioral and physiological conditions which lead to the emergence of technologically oriented, and communicative intelligent creatures suggests that any SETI would most likely be fruitless.

  4. Endocasts-the direct evidence and recent advances in the study of human brain evolution

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Brain evolution is one of the most important aspects of human evolution, usually studied through endocasts. Analysis of fossil hominid endocasts allows inferences on functional anatomy, physiology, and phylogeny. In this paper, we describe the general features of endocast studies and review some of the major topics in paleoneurology. These are: absolute and relative brain size evolution; brain shape variation; brain asymmetry and lateralization; middle meningeal vessels and venous sinuses; application of computed tomography and virtual imaging; the history of Chinese brain endocast studies. In particular, this review emphasizes endocast studies on Chinese hominin fossils.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-08-01

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

  6. Brain Morphology of the Zhoukoudian H.erectus Half a Million Years Ago

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WU Xiujie

    2010-01-01

    @@ In the process of human evolution,how has the brain changed? When did it happen? Why did it happen?These questions are some of the hottest topics in paleoanthropology today.The study of brain evolution falls into the sub-discipline of paleoneurology and is based on direct examination of the fossil record of humans and their closest hominid relatives.Unfortunately,brains are not preserved in the fossil record.The most direct evidence of ancestral brains is available,however,from endocasts.An endocast is the impression taken from the inside of a cranium retaining the surface features of the brain.

  7. Diet and the evolution of the earliest human ancestors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teaford, M F; Ungar, P S

    2000-12-05

    Over the past decade, discussions of the evolution of the earliest human ancestors have focused on the locomotion of the australopithecines. Recent discoveries in a broad range of disciplines have raised important questions about the influence of ecological factors in early human evolution. Here we trace the cranial and dental traits of the early australopithecines through time, to show that between 4.4 million and 2.3 million years ago, the dietary capabilities of the earliest hominids changed dramatically, leaving them well suited for life in a variety of habitats and able to cope with significant changes in resource availability associated with long-term and short-term climatic fluctuations.

  8. Sédimentation et tectonique dans le bassin marin Eocène supérieur-Oligocène des Alpes du Sud Sedimentation and Tectonics in the Upper Eocene-Oligocene Marine Basin in the Southern Alps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riche P.

    2006-11-01

    'exprime nettement moins que précédemment. Le toit des grès est marqué par une surface de discontinuité fortement érosive correspondant à des canyons sous-marins de direction NE-SO. Cette surface peut être mise en relation avec l'écoulement des olistostromes qui termine le remplissage du bassin. La mise en place de ces olistostromes et des olistolithes qui les accompagnent n'est pas paléontologiquement datée : elle débute avec la fin de la sédimentation gréseuse. L'ensemble est encore affecté par une distension E-O ce qui tend à montrer que cette mise en place est antérieure à la phase de serrage miocène. La confrontation entre les observations de terrain, les expériences de sédimentation en canal et l'interprétation sismique de bassins offshore argumente les interprétations proposées. This paper is based on local field surveys performed recently by Institut Français du Pétrole (IFP and Ecole Nationale Supérieure du Pétrole et des Moteurs (ENSPM in the western part of the southern Alps nummulitic basin, to help interpret seismic data. It underlines the role of extensional tectonics during sedimentation. It questions the geodynamic interpretation of the basin as a foredeep basin in the Alpine orogenic belt. On a Mesozoic basement folded by the Pyreneo-Provençale orogeny, as early as the Lutetian the nummulitic transgression flooded the eastern area, which was subsequently obscured by the Pennine main fault during Mio-Pliocene times. It spread westward during the Upper Eocene. In the meantime, an E-W extension, shown clearly along the Var River faults and along the edge of the Pelvoux range, fragmented the fringes of the basin with blocks tilted during sedimentation. The result is fast changes of facies within the basal carbonates, which pass from platform types to slope types and to thin gravitational sediments farther into the basin. The overlying marls correspond to slope facies wrapping the inherited topography. The Gres d'Annot s. l

  9. Accelerated evolution of the ASPM gene controlling brain size begins prior to human brain expansion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalay Kouprina

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Primary microcephaly (MCPH is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by global reduction in cerebral cortical volume. The microcephalic brain has a volume comparable to that of early hominids, raising the possibility that some MCPH genes may have been evolutionary targets in the expansion of the cerebral cortex in mammals and especially primates. Mutations in ASPM, which encodes the human homologue of a fly protein essential for spindle function, are the most common known cause of MCPH. Here we have isolated large genomic clones containing the complete ASPM gene, including promoter regions and introns, from chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, and rhesus macaque by transformation-associated recombination cloning in yeast. We have sequenced these clones and show that whereas much of the sequence of ASPM is substantially conserved among primates, specific segments are subject to high Ka/Ks ratios (nonsynonymous/synonymous DNA changes consistent with strong positive selection for evolutionary change. The ASPM gene sequence shows accelerated evolution in the African hominoid clade, and this precedes hominid brain expansion by several million years. Gorilla and human lineages show particularly accelerated evolution in the IQ domain of ASPM. Moreover, ASPM regions under positive selection in primates are also the most highly diverged regions between primates and nonprimate mammals. We report the first direct application of TAR cloning technology to the study of human evolution. Our data suggest that evolutionary selection of specific segments of the ASPM sequence strongly relates to differences in cerebral cortical size.

  10. An evolutionary theory of schizophrenia: cortical connectivity, metarepresentation, and the social brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Jonathan Kenneth

    2004-12-01

    Schizophrenia is a worldwide, prevalent disorder with a multifactorial but highly genetic aetiology. A constant prevalence rate in the face of reduced fecundity has caused some to argue that an evolutionary advantage exists in unaffected relatives. Here, I critique this adaptationist approach, and review--and find wanting--Crow's "speciation" hypothesis. In keeping with available biological and psychological evidence, I propose an alternative theory of the origins of this disorder. Schizophrenia is a disorder of the social brain, and it exists as a costly trade-off in the evolution of complex social cognition. Paleoanthropological and comparative primate research suggests that hominids evolved complex cortical interconnectivity (in particular, frontotemporal and frontoparietal circuits) to regulate social cognition and the intellectual demands of group living. I suggest that the ontogenetic mechanism underlying this cerebral adaptation was sequential hypermorphosis and that it rendered the hominid brain vulnerable to genetic and environmental insults. I argue that changes in genes regulating the timing of neurodevelopment occurred prior to the migration of Homo sapiens out of Africa 100,000-150,000 years ago, giving rise to the schizotypal spectrum. While some individuals within this spectrum may have exhibited unusual creativity and iconoclasm, this phenotype was not necessarily adaptive in reproductive terms. However, because the disorder shared a common genetic basis with the evolving circuitry of the social brain, it persisted. Thus schizophrenia emerged as a costly trade-off in the evolution of complex social cognition.

  11. Tooth crown heights, tooth wear, sexual dimorphism and jaw growth in hominoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, M C; Beynon, A D

    1991-01-01

    The aim of this review is to bring together data that link tooth morphology with tooth function and tooth growth: We aim to show how the microanatomy of hominoid teeth is providing evidence about rates of tooth growth that are likely to be a consequence of both masticatory strategy and social behaviour. First, we present data about incisor and molar tooth wear in wild short chimpanzees that demonstrate how crown heights are likely to be related to relative tooth use in a broad sense. Following this we review recent studies that describe the microanatomy of hominoid tooth enamel and show how these studies are providing evidence about tooth crown formation times in hominoids, as well as improving estimates for the age at death of certain juvenile fossil hominids. Next, we outline what is known about the mechanisms of tooth growth in the sexually dimorphic canine teeth of chimpanzees and compare these patterns of growth with tooth growth patterns in the canines of three fossil hominids from Laetoli, Tanzania. Finally, we discuss how selection pressures that operate to increase or reduce the size of anterior teeth interact with jaw size. We argue that the space available to grow developing teeth in the mandibles of juvenile hominoids is determined by the growth patterns of the mandibles, which in turn reflect masticatory strategy. The consequences of selection pressure to grow large or small anterior teeth are likely to be reflected in the times at which these teeth are able to emerge into occlusion.

  12. Patterns of size sexual dimorphism in Australopithecus afarensis: another look.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, S-H

    2005-01-01

    Size sexual dimorphism is one of the major components of morphological variation and has been associated with socio-ecology and behavioral variables such as mating patterns. Although several studies have addressed the magnitude and pattern of sexual dimorphism in Australopithecus afarensis, one of the earliest hominids, consensus has yet to be reached. This paper uses assigned re-sampling method, a data re-sampling method to estimate the magnitude of sexual dimorphism without relying on individual sex assessments, to examine the fossil hominid sample from Hadar. Two questions are asked: first, whether sexual dimorphism in a selected sample of skeletal elements of A. afarensis is the same as that in living humans, chimpanzees, or gorillas; and second, whether different skeletal elements reflect variation in sexual dimorphism in the same way. All possible metric variables were used as data in applying the method, including seven variables from three elements (mandibular canine, humerus, femur). Analyses show that A. afarensis is similar in size sexual dimorphism to gorillas in femoral variables, to humans in humeral variables, and to chimpanzees in canine variables. The results of this study are compatible with the hypothesis that the pattern of sexual dimorphism in A. afarensis is different from any that are observed in living humans or apes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. The importance of energy and nutrient supply in human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunnane, S C; Harbige, L S; Crawford, M A

    1993-01-01

    Current evolutionary theories do not adequately address the question of how the human brain evolved to be larger and more sophisticated than that of other primates. The human brain/body weight ratio is 4-5 times higher than in primates and, relative to the rest of the body, requires up to 10 times as much energy as in other land-based mammals. Human brain evolution must therefore have required a stable food supply providing a reliable source of both high dietary energy and a cluster of 'brain-specific' nutrients over a long period of time. These nutrient and energy requirements are available in the marine and shore-based food chain but are difficult if not impossible to obtain in the terrestrial food chain. We suggest that marine and estuarine ecosystems provided hominids with the appropriate stimulus to develop a relatively large brain. This occurred in conjunction with the evolution of other uniquely human features, particularly relative hairlessness, bipedalism and abundant neonatal subcutaneous fat. Invertebrates, molluscs, small or slow-moving fish, and marine algae would have provided a stable, abundant supply of energy, long chain polyunsaturates and other nutrients essential for the brain and would have done so with comparatively little mammalian competition. The land-water interface would thus have allowed the hominid brain to develop sufficient neurological complexity to enable sophisticated tool and behaviour patterns to evolve in humans as a natural sequel to such a biochemical and environmental stimulus.

  15. Y-chromosome evidence for no independent origin of mod-ern human in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    East Asia is one of the few regions in the world where a large number of human fossils have been unearthed. The continuity of hominid fossils in East Asia, particularly in China has been presented as strong evidence supporting an independent origin of modern humans in this area. To search for such evidence of a possible independent origin of modern humans in China, a total of 9988 male individuals were sam-pled across China. Three Y-chromosome biallelic markers (M89, M130 and YAP), which were located at the non-re- combinant region of Y-chromosome, were typed among the samples. Our result showed that all the individuals carry a mutation at one of the three loci. The three mutations (M89T, M130T, YAP+) coalesce to another mutation (M168T), which was originally derived from Africa about 31000 to 79000 years ago. In other words, all Y-chromosome samples from China, with no exception, were originally derived from a lineage of African origin. Hence, we conclude that even a very minor contribution of in situ hominid origin in China cannot be supported by the Y-chromosome evidence.

  16. Morphology and function of the lumbar spine of the Kebara 2 Neandertal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Been, Ella; Peleg, Smadar; Marom, Assaf; Barash, Alon

    2010-08-01

    The morphology of the lumbar spine is crucial for upright posture and bipedal walking in hominids. The excellent preservation of the lumbar spine of Kebara 2 provides us a rare opportunity to observe a complete spine and explore its functionally relevant morphology. The lumbar spine of Kebara 2 is analyzed and compared with the lumbar spines of modern humans and late Pleistocene hominids. Although no size differences between the vertebral bodies and pedicles of Kebara 2 and modern humans are found, significant differences in the size and orientation of the transverse processes (L(1)-L(4)), and the laminae (L(5), S(1)) are demonstrated. The similarity in the size of the vertebral bodies and pedicles of Kebara 2 and modern humans suggests similarity in axial load transmission along the lumbar spine. The laterally projected (L(2)-L(4)) and the cranially oriented (L(1), L(3)) transverse processes of Kebara 2 show an advantage for lateral flexion of the lumbar spine compared with modern humans. The characteristic morphology of the lumbar spine of Kebara 2 might be related to the wide span of its pelvic bones.

  17. Stone tool function at the paleolithic sites of Starosele and Buran Kaya III, Crimea: behavioral implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, B L; Kay, M; Marks, A E; Monigal, K

    2001-09-11

    Stone tools are often the most abundant type of cultural remains at Paleolithic sites, yet their function is often poorly understood. Investigations of stone tool function, including microscopic use-wear and residue analyses, were performed on a sample of artifacts from the Paleolithic sites of Starosele (40,000-80,000 years BP) and Buran Kaya III (32,000-37,000 years BP). The Middle Paleolithic levels at Starosele exhibit a typical variant of the local Micoquian Industry. The artifacts from Buran Kaya III most closely resemble an Early Streletskayan Industry associated with the early Upper Paleolithic. The results of the functional analyses suggest that hominids at both sites were exploiting woody and starchy plant material as well as birds and mammals. Both sites show evidence of hafting of a wide variety of tools and the possible use of projectile or thrusting spears. These analyses were performed by using two different techniques conducted by independent researchers. Combined residue and use-wear analyses suggest that both the Upper Paleolithic and Middle Paleolithic hominids at these sites were broad-based foragers capable of exploiting a wide range of resources.

  18. The evolution of culture: from primate social learning to human culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Laureano; Toro, Miguel A

    2004-07-01

    Cultural transmission in our species works most of the time as a cumulative inheritance system allowing members of a group to incorporate behavioral features not only with a positive biological value but sometimes also with a neutral, or even negative, biological value. Most of models of dual inheritance theory and gene-culture coevolution suggest that an increase, either qualitative or quantitative, in the efficiency of imitation is the key factor to explain the transformation of primate social learning in a cumulative cultural system of inheritance as it happens during hominization. We contend that more efficient imitation is necessary but not enough for this transformation to occur and that the key factor enabling such a transformation is that some hominids developed the capacity to approve or disapprove their offspring's learned behavior. This capacity to approve or disapprove offspring's behavior makes learning both less costly and more accurate, and it transformed the hominid culture into a system of cumulative cultural inheritance similar to that of humans, although the system was still prelinguistic in nature.

  19. Human evolution and cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tattersall, Ian

    2010-09-01

    Human beings are distinguished from all other organisms by their symbolic way of processing information about the world. This unique cognitive style is qualitatively different from all the earlier hominid cognitive styles, and is not simply an improved version of them. The hominid fossil and archaeological records show clearly that biological and technological innovations have typically been highly sporadic, and totally out of phase, since the invention of stone tools some 2.5 million years ago. They also confirm that this pattern applied in the arrival of modern cognition: the anatomically recognizable species Homo sapiens was well established long before any population of it began to show indications of behaving symbolically. This places the origin of symbolic thought in the realms of exaptation, whereby new structures come into existence before being recruited to new uses, and of emergence, whereby entire new levels of complexity are achieved through new combinations of attributes unremarkable in themselves. Both these phenomena involve entirely routine evolutionary processes; special as we human beings may consider ourselves, there was nothing special about the way we came into existence. Modern human cognition is a very recent acquisition; and its emergence ushered in an entirely new pattern of technological (and other behavioral) innovation, in which constant change results from the ceaseless exploration of the potential inherent in our new capacity.

  20. U-series dating of Zhangkou Cave in Yiliang, Yunnan Province: Evidence for human activities in China during 40-100 ka

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHEN Guanjun; LI Jiankun; JI Xueping

    2005-01-01

    The cultural deposits at pits T1 and T2 in Zhangkou Cave are intercalated with several flowstone layers. U-series dates show that the capping and 2nd flowstone layers are Holocene of age. The 4th and 5th flowstone layers are ca. 55 and 110 ka old respectively. The lithic artifacts bracketed by them provide unequivocal evidence for hominid presence during this time interval. The "temporal gap" of hominid fossil, widely quoted as in support of the out-of-Africa hypothesis, is most probably an artifact due to systematic errors of dating techniques. The infillings under 6th flowstone layer date to >300 ka, much older than the previous estimate at 15 ka based on classical 14C dating of fossil bones, providing one more example of the limited reliability of this chronometer. With rich relics and favorable conditions for precise dating, this site is promising for further multidisciplinary studies to address issues concerning recent human evolution in China.

  1. Quantum Field Theory in Curved Spacetime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Sally C.; Gallagher, Andrew

    2012-03-01

    List of contributors; Foreword J. T. Francis Thackeray; 1. African genesis: an evolving paradigm Sally C. Reynolds; 2. Academic genealogy Peter Ungar and Phillip V. Tobias; Part I. In Search of Origins: Evolutionary Theory, New Species, and Paths into the Past: 3. Speciation in hominin evolution Colin Groves; 4. Searching for a new paradigm for hominid origins in Chad (Central Africa) Michel Brunet; 5. From hominoid arboreality to hominid bipedalism Brigitte Senut; 6. Orrorin and the African ape/hominid dichotomy Martin Pickford; 7. A brief history and results of 40 years of Sterkfontein excavations Ronald J. Clarke; Part II. Hominin Morphology Through Time: Brains, Bodies and Teeth: 8. Hominin brain evolution, 1925-2011: an emerging overview Dean Falk; 9. The issue of brain reorganisation in Australopithecus and early hominids: Dart had it right Ralph L. Holloway; 10. The mass of the human brain: is it a spandrel? Paul R. Manger, Jason Hemingway, Muhammad Spocter and Andrew Gallagher; 11. Origin and diversity of early hominin bipedalism Henry M. McHenry; 12. Forelimb adaptations in Australopithecus afarensis Michelle S. M. Drapeau; 13. Hominin proximal femur morphology from the Tugen Hills to Flores Brian G. Richmond and William L. Jungers; 14. Daily rates of dentine formation and root extension rates in Paranthropus boisei, KNM-ER 1817, from Koobi Fora, Kenya M. Christopher Dean; 15. On the evolutionary development of early hominid molar teeth and the Gondolin Paranthropus molar Kevin L. Kuykendall; 16. Digital South African fossils: morphological studies using reference-based reconstruction and electronic preparation Gerhard W. Weber, Philipp Gunz, Simon Neubauer, Philipp Mitteroecker and Fred L. Bookstein; Part III. Modern Human Origins: Patterns, and Processes: 17. Body size in African Middle Pleistocene Homo Steven E. Churchill, Lee R. Berger, Adam Hartstone-Rose and Headman Zondo; 18. The African origin of recent humanity Milford H. Wolpoff and Sang-Hee Lee

  2. Environmental availability, behavioural diversity and diet: a zooarchaeological approach from the TD10-1 sublevel of Gran Dolina (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain) and Bolomor Cave (Valencia, Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Fernández Peris, Josep; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald

    2013-06-01

    The suggestion that the Neanderthal linage hominids had predominantly rich diet in meat derived from large game is progressing towards views which propose a higher nutritional diversity, at least in some regions. These postulates situate hominids as the knower of their natural surroundings and make them capable of selecting within the range of resources available in their landscapes. Using a zooarchaeological approach, the taxonomical representation in an anthropogenic site could indicate both the environment diversity that human groups can exploit and the decisions that they make when selecting prey. The Optimal Foraging theory is a basic decision model that is ideally applied within a larger framework of constraining conditions such as differential prey distributions, food-consumer imbalances and/or competition, among others. Nevertheless, if this theory is applied to human behaviour, uncontrolled variables could exist and substantially alter some predictions. These variables may not always be related to the need to optimise the resources; additionally, they can respond to the questions related to nutritional ecology, cultural standards or social relationships conditioned by ecological or technological factors. Environmental and socio-cultural aspects invite us to reflect on the characteristics that delimit the pre-Upper Palaeolithic diet and its correct assessment in relation to the availability of prey in the environment and the human behavioural parameters. In this study, we present data from several levels of Bolomor Cave (Valencia, Spain, MIS 9-5e) and a sample from the TD10-1 sublevel of Gran Dolina (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain, MIS 9). Both sites have been interpreted as habitat places and allow us to infer the high plasticity of human groups with respect to methods and techniques of acquisition and use of a diverse spectrum of prey. Environmental availability, duration and type of settlement seem to significantly influence the taxonomical

  3. Human Uniqueness, Cognition by Description, and Procedural Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Bolender

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Evidence will be reviewed suggesting a fairly direct link between the human ability to think about entities which one has never perceived — here called “cognition by description” — and procedural memory. Cognition by description is a uniquely hominid trait which makes religion, science, and history possible. It is hypothesized that cognition by description (in the manner of Bertrand Russell’s “knowledge by description” requires variable binding, which in turn utilizes quantifier raising. Quantifier raising plausibly depends upon the computational core of language, specifically the element of it which Noam Chomsky calls “internal Merge”. Internal Merge produces hierarchical structures by means of a memory of derivational steps, a process plausibly involving procedural memory. The hypothesis is testable, predicting that procedural memory deficits will be accompanied by impairments in cognition by description. We also discuss neural mechanisms plausibly underlying procedural memory and also, by our hypothesis, cognition by description.

  4. Damage and repair of ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mitchell, David; Willerslev, Eske; Hansen, Anders

    2005-01-01

    , and extensive degradation. In the course of this review, we will discuss the current aDNA literature describing the importance of aDNA studies as they relate to important biological questions and the difficulties associated with extracting useful information from highly degraded and damaged substrates derived......Under certain conditions small amounts of DNA can survive for long periods of time and can be used as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) substrates for the study of phylogenetic relationships and population genetics of extinct plants and animals, including hominids. Because of extensive DNA...... degradation, these studies are limited to species that lived within the past 10(4)-10(5) years (Late Pleistocene), although DNA sequences from 10(6) years have been reported. Ancient DNA (aDNA) has been used to study phylogenetic relationships of protists, fungi, algae, plants, and higher eukaryotes...

  5. Immediate pigment darkening: its evolutionary roles may include protection against folate photosensitization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moan, Johan; Nielsen, Kristian Pagh; Juzeniene, Asta

    2012-03-01

    The evolution of dark human skin colors in tropical areas is possibly related to photoprotection of folates. However, natural folates absorb mainly UVB radiation, and too little UVB can penetrate down to folates in dermal vessels to cause serious damage. However, endogenous photosensitizers, like riboflavin and uroporphyrin, absorbing UVA and visible light, can cause photosensitization of folates. Immediate pigment darkening (IPD), generated by UVA, has an absorption spectrum covering those of the endogenous photosensitizers. IPD is most prominent for darker skin types, which were typical for populations living under tropical solar fluences. We here propose that the biological role of IPD is protection of folates against photodegradation, which would be of large evolutionary importance for early hominids.

  6. Chad Basin: Paleoenvironments of the Sahara since the Late Miocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Mathieu; Duringer, Philippe; Ghienne, Jean-François; Roquin, Claude; Sepulchre, Pierre; Moussa, Abderamane; Lebatard, Anne-Elisabeth; Mackaye, Hassan Taisso; Likius, Andossa; Vignaud, Patrick; Brunet, Michel

    2009-08-01

    Since the mid 1990s, the Mission paléoanthropologique francotchadienne (MPFT) conducts yearly paleontological field investigations of the Miocene-Pliocene of the Chad Basin. This article synthesizes some of the results of the MPFT, with focus on the Chad Basin development during the Neogene. We propose an overview of the depositional paleoenvironments of this part of Africa at different scales of time and space, based on a multidisciplinary approach (sedimentary geology, geomorphology, geophysic, numerical simulations and geochronology). The Miocene-Pliocene paleoenvironments are examined through the sedimentary archives of the early hominids levels and the Holocene Lake Mega-Chad episode illustrates the last major paleoenvironmental change in this area. The sedimentary record of the Chad Basin since the Late Miocene can be schematized as the result of recurrent interactions from lake to desert environments.

  7. Paleo-oncology: the role of ancient remains in the study of cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halperin, Edward C

    2004-01-01

    Paleo-oncology is the study of carcinomas and sarcomas in ancient human populations and their hominid precursors. These populations are informative concerning the possible influences on cancer of morphologic and functional evolution, diet, lifestyle, and other environmental factors. The prevalence of cancer in ancient populations might have differed from that in modern humans, because of substantial differences in tobacco and alcohol use, diet, life expectancy, and the availability of treatment. The available physical data concerning cancer in antiquity includes evidence of its existence in animal fossils and ancient humans and their precursors. The difficulties of paleo-oncologic research include a limited soft tissue record. In evaluating cancer in ancient remains, one must also deal with the problem of pseudopathology: whether an observed tissue change is all antemortem pathologic lesion or a postmortem artifact. Future archeological discoveries and the application of improved diagnostic techniques may enable paleo-oncology to make further contributions to our understanding of cancer.

  8. The finished DNA sequence of human chromosome 12.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, Steven E; Muzny, Donna M; Buhay, Christian J; Chen, Rui; Cree, Andrew; Ding, Yan; Dugan-Rocha, Shannon; Gill, Rachel; Gunaratne, Preethi; Harris, R Alan; Hawes, Alicia C; Hernandez, Judith; Hodgson, Anne V; Hume, Jennifer; Jackson, Andrew; Khan, Ziad Mohid; Kovar-Smith, Christie; Lewis, Lora R; Lozado, Ryan J; Metzker, Michael L; Milosavljevic, Aleksandar; Miner, George R; Montgomery, Kate T; Morgan, Margaret B; Nazareth, Lynne V; Scott, Graham; Sodergren, Erica; Song, Xing-Zhi; Steffen, David; Lovering, Ruth C; Wheeler, David A; Worley, Kim C; Yuan, Yi; Zhang, Zhengdong; Adams, Charles Q; Ansari-Lari, M Ali; Ayele, Mulu; Brown, Mary J; Chen, Guan; Chen, Zhijian; Clerc-Blankenburg, Kerstin P; Davis, Clay; Delgado, Oliver; Dinh, Huyen H; Draper, Heather; Gonzalez-Garay, Manuel L; Havlak, Paul; Jackson, Laronda R; Jacob, Leni S; Kelly, Susan H; Li, Li; Li, Zhangwan; Liu, Jing; Liu, Wen; Lu, Jing; Maheshwari, Manjula; Nguyen, Bao-Viet; Okwuonu, Geoffrey O; Pasternak, Shiran; Perez, Lesette M; Plopper, Farah J H; Santibanez, Jireh; Shen, Hua; Tabor, Paul E; Verduzco, Daniel; Waldron, Lenee; Wang, Qiaoyan; Williams, Gabrielle A; Zhang, Jingkun; Zhou, Jianling; Allen, Carlana C; Amin, Anita G; Anyalebechi, Vivian; Bailey, Michael; Barbaria, Joseph A; Bimage, Kesha E; Bryant, Nathaniel P; Burch, Paula E; Burkett, Carrie E; Burrell, Kevin L; Calderon, Eliana; Cardenas, Veronica; Carter, Kelvin; Casias, Kristal; Cavazos, Iracema; Cavazos, Sandra R; Ceasar, Heather; Chacko, Joseph; Chan, Sheryl N; Chavez, Dean; Christopoulos, Constantine; Chu, Joseph; Cockrell, Raynard; Cox, Caroline D; Dang, Michelle; Dathorne, Stephanie R; David, Robert; Davis, Candi Mon'Et; Davy-Carroll, Latarsha; Deshazo, Denise R; Donlin, Jeremy E; D'Souza, Lisa; Eaves, Kristy A; Egan, Amy; Emery-Cohen, Alexandra J; Escotto, Michael; Flagg, Nicole; Forbes, Lisa D; Gabisi, Abdul M; Garza, Melissa; Hamilton, Cerissa; Henderson, Nicholas; Hernandez, Omar; Hines, Sandra; Hogues, Marilyn E; Huang, Mei; Idlebird, DeVincent G; Johnson, Rudy; Jolivet, Angela; Jones, Sally; Kagan, Ryan; King, Laquisha M; Leal, Belita; Lebow, Heather; Lee, Sandra; LeVan, Jaclyn M; Lewis, Lakeshia C; London, Pamela; Lorensuhewa, Lorna M; Loulseged, Hermela; Lovett, Demetria A; Lucier, Alice; Lucier, Raymond L; Ma, Jie; Madu, Renita C; Mapua, Patricia; Martindale, Ashley D; Martinez, Evangelina; Massey, Elizabeth; Mawhiney, Samantha; Meador, Michael G; Mendez, Sylvia; Mercado, Christian; Mercado, Iracema C; Merritt, Christina E; Miner, Zachary L; Minja, Emmanuel; Mitchell, Teresa; Mohabbat, Farida; Mohabbat, Khatera; Montgomery, Baize; Moore, Niki; Morris, Sidney; Munidasa, Mala; Ngo, Robin N; Nguyen, Ngoc B; Nickerson, Elizabeth; Nwaokelemeh, Ogechi O; Nwokenkwo, Stanley; Obregon, Melissa; Oguh, Maryann; Oragunye, Njideka; Oviedo, Rodolfo J; Parish, Bridgette J; Parker, David N; Parrish, Julia; Parks, Kenya L; Paul, Heidie A; Payton, Brett A; Perez, Agapito; Perrin, William; Pickens, Adam; Primus, Eltrick L; Pu, Ling-Ling; Puazo, Maria; Quiles, Miyo M; Quiroz, Juana B; Rabata, Dina; Reeves, Kacy; Ruiz, San Juana; Shao, Hongmei; Sisson, Ida; Sonaike, Titilola; Sorelle, Richard P; Sutton, Angelica E; Svatek, Amanda F; Svetz, Leah Anne; Tamerisa, Kavitha S; Taylor, Tineace R; Teague, Brian; Thomas, Nicole; Thorn, Rachel D; Trejos, Zulma Y; Trevino, Brenda K; Ukegbu, Ogechi N; Urban, Jeremy B; Vasquez, Lydia I; Vera, Virginia A; Villasana, Donna M; Wang, Ling; Ward-Moore, Stephanie; Warren, James T; Wei, Xuehong; White, Flower; Williamson, Angela L; Wleczyk, Regina; Wooden, Hailey S; Wooden, Steven H; Yen, Jennifer; Yoon, Lillienne; Yoon, Vivienne; Zorrilla, Sara E; Nelson, David; Kucherlapati, Raju; Weinstock, George; Gibbs, Richard A

    2006-03-16

    Human chromosome 12 contains more than 1,400 coding genes and 487 loci that have been directly implicated in human disease. The q arm of chromosome 12 contains one of the largest blocks of linkage disequilibrium found in the human genome. Here we present the finished sequence of human chromosome 12, which has been finished to high quality and spans approximately 132 megabases, representing approximately 4.5% of the human genome. Alignment of the human chromosome 12 sequence across vertebrates reveals the origin of individual segments in chicken, and a unique history of rearrangement through rodent and primate lineages. The rate of base substitutions in recent evolutionary history shows an overall slowing in hominids compared with primates and rodents.

  9. The Evolution of Suidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frantz, Laurent; Meijaard, Erik; Gongora, Jaime; Haile, James; Groenen, Martien A M; Larson, Greger

    2016-01-01

    The Suidae are a family of Cetartiodactyla composed of 17 species classified in a minimum of five extant genera that originated at least 20 million years ago. Their success is evident in the multitude of habitats in which they are found as both natural and feral populations in tropical Island Southeast Asia, the high plateau of the Himalayas, Siberia, North Africa, the Pacific Islands, Australia, and the Americas. Morphological and molecular analyses of these species have revealed numerous aspects of their biology, including the ease with which many lineages have and continue to hybridize. This trait has made them an ideal model for evolutionary biologists. Suid species have also shared a deep history with humans, from their association with early hominids in Africa to their domestication. Here we review the current knowledge of this fascinating group and provide a comprehensive evolutionary history from the Oligocene to the present day.

  10. Esquisse du peuplement préhistorique au Yémen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Louise Inizan

    1997-08-01

    Full Text Available Le Yémen situé à l'extrême sud de l'Arabie est tout proche de l'Afrique orientale, berceau originel de l'humanité. Cette proximité confère donc au Yémen une place privilégiée pour la connaissance du cheminement de l'homme de l'Afrique vers l'Europe et l'Asie, les autres continents ayant été conquis par les seuls Hommes modernes. Puisque il est désormais admis qu' Homo Habilis de la famille des hominidés, a quitté l'Afrique il y a près de deux millions d'années, il reste à explorer les chemins...

  11. A complete human pelvis from the Middle Pleistocene of Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arsuaga, J L; Lorenzo, C; Carretero, J M; Gracia, A; Martínez, I; García, N; Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Carbonell, E

    1999-05-20

    The Middle Pleistocene site of Sima de los Huesos in Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain, has yielded around 2,500 fossils from at least 33 different hominid individuals. These have been dated at more than 200,000 years ago and have been classified as ancestors of Neanderthals. An almost complete human male pelvis (labelled Pelvis 1) has been found, which we associate with two fragmentary femora. Pelvis 1 is robust and very broad with a very long superior pubic ramus, marked iliac flare, and a long femoral neck. This pattern is probably the primitive condition from which modern humans departed. A modern human newborn would pass through the birth canal of Pelvis 1 and this would be even larger in a female individual. We estimate the body mass of this individual at 95 kg or more. Using the cranial capacities of three specimens from Sima de los Huesos, the encephalization quotients are substantially smaller than in Neanderthals and modern humans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Music as a technology for social bonding: Comment on "Music, empathy, and cultural understanding" by E. Clarke et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Launay, Jacques

    2015-12-01

    From the perspective of evolutionary psychology music can be seen as problematic. Despite its ubiquity there is still no clearly agreed function in terms of improving the fitness of the species. Is it therefore fairer to judge it as 'auditory cheesecake' (see [1]) rather than attributing it with any specific purpose? An alternative argument is that it plays a fundamental role in the formation of human social bonds, and the authors of "Music, empathy, and cultural understanding" concur with the view that music has a unique capacity to help people connect with others [2]. There is now evidence that even in the modern world there is a significant effect of our social bonds on health and longevity [3], suggesting that our hominid ancestors might have relied heavily on their social network for survival. If music has the capacity to encourage the formation of these social bonds it could form a powerful tool in the success of our species.

  14. Comment on "Environmental change and human occupation of southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya during the last 20,000 years. Quaternary Science Reviews 129: 333-340"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, David K.; Forman, Steven L.

    2016-06-01

    In the past decade Late Quaternary research has accelerated in the Lake Turkana Basin and nearby catchments yielding new paleoclimatic records from sediment cores (e.g., Morrissey and Scholz, 2014), centennial-scale lake level records (e.g., Bloszies et al., 2015; Garcin et al., 2012), a better understanding of the archaeological record (e.g., Ashley et al., 2011; Hildebrand et al., 2014; Ndiema et al., 2011), and regional syntheses (Wright et al., 2015). From the perspective of new sediment cores from the Chew Bahir Basin, Foerster et al. (2015:339) recently concluded that climatic "deterioration" in northeastern Africa "seemed to have caused large-scale migration" of human populations into what they term the "refugia" of the southwestern Ethiopian Highlands. They present a 20 ka reconstruction of potassium content as a proxy for water level for paleo-Lake Chew Bahir as part of the Hominid Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP, http://hspdp.asu.edu/.

  15. Archaeological study of ostrich eggshell beads collected from SDG site

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG ChunXue; ZHANG Yue; GAO Xing; ZHANG XiaoLing; WANG HuiMin

    2009-01-01

    Ostrich eggshell beads and fragments collected from SDG site reflect primordial art and a kind of symbolic behavior of modern humans.Based on stratigraphic data and OSL dating,these ostrich eggshell beads are probably in Early Holocene (<10 ka BP).Two different prehistoric manufacturing pathways are usually used in the manufacture of ostrich eggshell beads in Upper Paleolithic.According to statistic analysis of the characteristics of ostrich eggshell beads,Pathway 1 is identified from these collections.In pathway 1,blanks are drilled prior to being trimmed to rough discs.They exhibit great potential for the study of the origin of primordial art and the development of ancient cultures and provide important data for studying behavioral options adopted by hominids in SDG area.In addition,they bear important implications for the origin of modern humans in East Asia.

  16. Paleoparasitology: the origin of human parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adauto Araujo

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Parasitism is composed by three subsystems: the parasite, the host, and the environment. There are no organisms that cannot be parasitized. The relationship between a parasite and its host species most of the time do not result in damage or disease to the host. However, in a parasitic disease the presence of a given parasite is always necessary, at least in a given moment of the infection. Some parasite species that infect humans were inherited from pre-hominids, and were shared with other phylogenetically close host species, but other parasite species were acquired from the environment as humans evolved. Human migration spread inherited parasites throughout the globe. To recover and trace the origin and evolution of infectious diseases, paleoparasitology was created. Paleoparasitology is the study of parasites in ancient material, which provided new information on the evolution, paleoepidemiology, ecology and phylogenetics of infectious diseases.

  17. The history of African trypanosomiasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steverding Dietmar

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The prehistory of African trypanosomiasis indicates that the disease may have been an important selective factor in the evolution of hominids. Ancient history and medieval history reveal that African trypanosomiasis affected the lives of people living in sub-Saharan African at all times. Modern history of African trypanosomiasis revolves around the identification of the causative agents and the mode of transmission of the infection, and the development of drugs for treatment and methods for control of the disease. From the recent history of sleeping sickness we can learn that the disease can be controlled but probably not be eradicated. Current history of human African trypanosomiasis has shown that the production of anti-sleeping sickness drugs is not always guaranteed, and therefore, new, better and cheaper drugs are urgently required.

  18. Genetic, physiologic and ecogeographic factors contributing to variation in Homo sapiens: Homo floresiensis reconsidered.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Gary D

    2006-11-01

    A new species, Homo floresiensis, was recently named for Pleistocene hominid remains on Flores, Indonesia. Significant controversy has arisen regarding this species. To address controversial issues and refocus investigations, I examine the affinities of these remains with Homo sapiens. Clarification of problematic issues is sought through an integration of genetic and physiological data on brain ontogeny and evolution. Clarification of the taxonomic value of various 'primitive' traits is possible given these data. Based on this evidence and using a H. sapiens morphological template, models are developed to account for the combination of features displayed in the Flores fossils. Given this overview, I find substantial support for the hypothesis that the remains represent a variant of H. sapiens possessing a combined growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor I axis modification and mutation of the MCPH gene family. Further work will be required to determine the extent to which this variant characterized the population.

  19. The Impact of Evolutionary Driving Forces on Human Complex Diseases: A Population Genetics Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amr T. M. Saeb

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Investigating the molecular evolution of human genome has paved the way to understand genetic adaptation of humans to the environmental changes and corresponding complex diseases. In this review, we discussed the historical origin of genetic diversity among human populations, the evolutionary driving forces that can affect genetic diversity among populations, and the effects of human movement into new environments and gene flow on population genetic diversity. Furthermore, we presented the role of natural selection on genetic diversity and complex diseases. Then we reviewed the disadvantageous consequences of historical selection events in modern time and their relation to the development of complex diseases. In addition, we discussed the effect of consanguinity on the incidence of complex diseases in human populations. Finally, we presented the latest information about the role of ancient genes acquired from interbreeding with ancient hominids in the development of complex diseases.

  20. A tentative framework for the acquisition of language and modern human cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tattersall, Ian

    2016-06-20

    Modern human beings process information symbolically, rearranging mental symbols to envision multiple potential realities. They also express the ideas they form using structured articulate language. No other living creature does either of these things. Yet it is evident that we are descended from a non-symbolic and non-linguistic ancestor. How did this astonishing transformation occur? Scrutiny of the fossil and archaeological records reveals that the transition to symbolic reasoning happened very late in hominid history - indeed, within the tenure of anatomically recognizable Homo sapiens. It was evidently not simply a passive result of the increase in brain size that typified multiple lineages of the genus Homo over the Pleistocene. Instead, a brain exaptively capable of complex symbolic manipulation and language acquisition was acquired in the major developmental reorganization that gave rise to the anatomically distinctive species Homo sapiens. The new capacity it conferred was later recruited through the action of a cultural stimulus, most plausibly the spontaneous invention of language.

  1. Two possible driving forces supporting the evolution of animal communication. Comment on "Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by Michael A. Arbib

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moulin-Frier, Clément; Verschure, Paul F. M. J.

    2016-03-01

    In the target paper [1], M.A. Arbib proposes a quite exhaustive review of the (often computational) models developed during the last decades that support his detailed scenario on language evolution (the Mirror System Hypothesis, MSH). The approach considers that language evolved from a mirror system for grasping already present in LCA-m (the last common ancestor of macaques and humans), to a simple imitation system for grasping present in LCA-c (the last common ancestor of chimpanzees and humans), to a complex imitation system for grasping that developed in the hominid line since that ancestor. MSH considers that this complex imitation system is a key evolutionary step for a language-ready brain, providing all the required elements for an open-ended gestural communication system. The transition from the gestural (bracchio-manual and visual) to the vocal (articulatory and auditory) domain is supposed to be a less important evolutionary step.

  2. Variable NK cell receptors and their MHC class I ligands in immunity, reproduction and human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parham, Peter; Moffett, Ashley

    2013-02-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells have roles in immunity and reproduction that are controlled by variable receptors that recognize MHC class I molecules. The variable NK cell receptors found in humans are specific to simian primates, in which they have progressively co-evolved with MHC class I molecules. The emergence of the MHC-C gene in hominids drove the evolution of a system of NK cell receptors for MHC-C molecules that is most elaborate in chimpanzees. By contrast, the human system of MHC-C receptors seems to have been subject to different selection pressures that have acted in competition on the immunological and reproductive functions of MHC class I molecules. We suggest that this compromise facilitated the development of the bigger brains that enabled archaic and modern humans to migrate out of Africa and populate other continents.

  3. A boom of bones and books: The "popularization industry" of Atapuerca and human-origins research in contemporary Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochadel, Oliver

    2013-07-01

    Atapuerca is an important prehistoric site in northern Spain that yielded the oldest hominid fossils in Europe in 1994. Since 1998 the three co-directors of the research team have in sum (co-)authored more than twenty-five popular science books, a boom without precedent in human-origins research. This paper will put forward three hypotheses. First, that these books were instrumental in achieving public recognition and financial support for the research project. Second, popular books on human origins serve as "enlarged battlefields" and as a meta-forum to expose new ideas to the scientific community. Third, the public visibility of these publications enables their authors to assume new roles that go well beyond their part as paleoanthropologists.

  4. A new Euprox from the Late Miocene of Yuanmou, Yunnan Province, China, with interpretation of its paleoenvironment

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2003-01-01

    The Yuanmou Basin of Yunnan Province is a hotspot for the research of early hominid evolution and its environmental background. During the implementation of the Program "Research of the Origin and Evolution of Early Man and Its Environmental Background" from 1998 to 2001, a huge quantity of hominoid and mammal fossils were collected. The present report systematically describes an Euprox robustus sp. nov. identified during the recent laboratory work on the collected material. Euprox is a group of earliest cervids with true antlers. The new species is the third one of the genus discovered in China. Judged by its morphologic characteristics, the new species feed on juicy and tender leaves of dicotyledon. It implies that the vegetation of its epoch in the Yuanmou Basin is a kind of southern subtropical evergreen forest and the climate is humid and temperate with evident seasonality. The latter is mostly influenced by the monsoon and secondly by the latitude.

  5. Paleoparasitology: the origin of human parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araújo, Adauto; Reinhard, Karl; Ferreira, Luiz Fernando; Pucu, Elisa; Chieffi, Pedro Paulo

    2013-09-01

    Parasitism is composed by three subsystems: the parasite, the host, and the environment. There are no organisms that cannot be parasitized. The relationship between a parasite and its host species most of the time do not result in damage or disease to the host. However, in a parasitic disease the presence of a given parasite is always necessary, at least in a given moment of the infection. Some parasite species that infect humans were inherited from pre-hominids, and were shared with other phylogenetically close host species, but other parasite species were acquired from the environment as humans evolved. Human migration spread inherited parasites throughout the globe. To recover and trace the origin and evolution of infectious diseases, paleoparasitology was created. Paleoparasitology is the study of parasites in ancient material, which provided new information on the evolution, paleoepidemiology, ecology and phylogenetics of infectious diseases.

  6. Multiple changes in sialic acid biology during human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varki, Ajit

    2009-04-01

    Humans are genetically very similar to "great apes", (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans), our closest evolutionary relatives. We have discovered multiple genetic and biochemical differences between humans and these other hominids, in relation to sialic acids and in Siglecs (Sia-recognizing Ig superfamily lectins). An inactivating mutation in the CMAH gene eliminated human expression of N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) a major sialic acid in "great apes". Additional human-specific changes have been found, affecting at least 10 of the dietary sources, particularly red meat and milk products. As humans also have varying and sometime high levels of circulating anti-Neu5Gc antibodies, there are implications for biotechnology products, and for some human diseases associated with chronic inflammation.

  7. Subvertical grooves of interproximal facets in Neandertal posterior teeth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villa, G; Giacobini, G

    1995-01-01

    Subvertical grooves, located on the interproximal facets of most Neandertal posterior teeth, are less frequently noted on the teeth of other hominids, including modern humans. These grooves, 0.1-0.5 mm in width, are strictly localized within the facet area. Scanning electron microscopic (SEM) examination of grooves present on Neandertal teeth from Caverna delle Fate (Liguria, Italy) and Genay (Côte d'Or, France) demonstrated that they were produced during the life of these individuals. Characteristics of the groove surface suggest an erosion-abrasion mechanism of formation. These grooves, which developed in parts of the dentition exposed to marked stress, originated in areas characterized by changes in the orientation of enamel prism bundles (i.e., Hunter-Schreger bands). Observations carried out on modern human molars showed a subvertical disposition of these bands near interproximal ridges facilitating subvertical microfractures. Possible correlations between enamel structure, masticatory stress, and interproximal groove formation in Neandertals are discussed.

  8. Genome Data Exploration Using Correspondence Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tekaia, Fredj

    2016-01-01

    Recent developments of sequencing technologies that allow the production of massive amounts of genomic and genotyping data have highlighted the need for synthetic data representation and pattern recognition methods that can mine and help discovering biologically meaningful knowledge included in such large data sets. Correspondence analysis (CA) is an exploratory descriptive method designed to analyze two-way data tables, including some measure of association between rows and columns. It constructs linear combinations of variables, known as factors. CA has been used for decades to study high-dimensional data, and remarkable inferences from large data tables were obtained by reducing the dimensionality to a few orthogonal factors that correspond to the largest amount of variability in the data. Herein, I review CA and highlight its use by considering examples in handling high-dimensional data that can be constructed from genomic and genetic studies. Examples in amino acid compositions of large sets of species (viruses, phages, yeast, and fungi) as well as an example related to pairwise shared orthologs in a set of yeast and fungal species, as obtained from their proteome comparisons, are considered. For the first time, results show striking segregations between yeasts and fungi as well as between viruses and phages. Distributions obtained from shared orthologs show clusters of yeast and fungal species corresponding to their phylogenetic relationships. A direct comparison with the principal component analysis method is discussed using a recently published example of genotyping data related to newly discovered traces of an ancient hominid that was compared to modern human populations in the search for ancestral similarities. CA offers more detailed results highlighting links between modern humans and the ancient hominid and their characterizations. Compared to the popular principal component analysis method, CA allows easier and more effective interpretation of results

  9. Tortoises as a dietary supplement: A view from the Middle Pleistocene site of Qesem Cave, Israel

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    Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Smith, Krister T.; Maul, Lutz Christian; Sañudo, Pablo; Barkai, Ran; Gopher, Avi

    2016-02-01

    Dietary reconstructions can offer an improved perspective on human capacities of adaptation to the environment. New methodological approaches and analytical techniques have led to a theoretical framework for understanding how human groups used and adapted to their local environment. Faunal remains provide an important potential source of dietary information and allow study of behavioural variation and its evolutionary significance. Interest in determining how hominids filled the gaps in large prey availability with small game or what role small game played in pre-Upper Palaeolithic societies is an area of active research. Some of this work has focused on tortoises because they represent an important combination of edible and non-edible resources that are easy to collect if available. The exploitation of these slow-moving animals features prominently in prey choice models because the low handling costs of these reptiles make up for their small body size. Here, we present new taphonomic data from two tortoise assemblages extracted from the lower sequence of the Middle Pleistocene site of Qesem Cave, Israel (420-300 ka), with the aim of assessing the socio-economic factors that may have led to the inclusion of this type of resource in the human diets. We show that hominid damage on large tortoise specimens from Qesem Cave is not unusual and that evidence such as cut marks, percussion marks and consistent patterns of burning suggests established sequences of processing, including cooking in the shell, defleshing, and direct percussion to access the visceral content. These matters make it possible not only to assess the potential role of tortoises as prey, but also to evaluate collecting behaviour in the resource acquisition systems and eco-social strategies at the Acheulo-Yabrudian Cultural Complex (AYCC) in the southern Levant.

  10. Game-Changing Innovations: How Culture Can Change the Parameters of Its Own Evolution and Induce Abrupt Cultural Shifts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolodny, Oren; Creanza, Nicole; Feldman, Marcus W

    2016-12-01

    One of the most puzzling features of the prehistoric record of hominid stone tools is its apparent punctuation: it consists of abrupt bursts of dramatic change that separate long periods of largely unchanging technology. Within each such period, small punctuated cultural modifications take place. Punctuation on multiple timescales and magnitudes is also found in cultural trajectories from historical times. To explain these sharp cultural bursts, researchers invoke such external factors as sudden environmental change, rapid cognitive or morphological change in the hominids that created the tools, or replacement of one species or population by another. Here we propose a dynamic model of cultural evolution that accommodates empirical observations: without invoking external factors, it gives rise to a pattern of rare, dramatic cultural bursts, interspersed by more frequent, smaller, punctuated cultural modifications. Our model includes interdependent innovation processes that occur at different rates. It also incorporates a realistic aspect of cultural evolution: cultural innovations, such as those that increase food availability or that affect cultural transmission, can change the parameters that affect cultural evolution, thereby altering the population's cultural dynamics and steady state. This steady state can be regarded as a cultural carrying capacity. These parameter-changing cultural innovations occur very rarely, but whenever one occurs, it triggers a dramatic shift towards a new cultural steady state. The smaller and more frequent punctuated cultural changes, on the other hand, are brought about by innovations that spur the invention of further, related, technology, and which occur regardless of whether the population is near its cultural steady state. Our model suggests that common interpretations of cultural shifts as evidence of biological change, for example the appearance of behaviorally modern humans, may be unwarranted.

  11. A cross-species study of gesture and its role in symbolic development: Implications for the gestural theory of language evolution

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    Kristen eGillespie-Lynch

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Using a naturalistic video database, we examined whether gestures scaffolded the symbolic development of a language-enculturated chimpanzee, a language-enculturated bonobo, and a human child during the second year of life. These three species constitute a complete clade: species possessing a common immediate ancestor. A basic finding was the functional and formal similarity of many gestures between chimpanzee, bonobo, and human child. The child’s symbols were spoken words; the apes’ symbols were lexigrams, noniconic visual signifiers. A developmental pattern in which gestural representation of a referent preceded symbolic representation of the same referent appeared in all three species (but was statistically significant only for the child. Nonetheless, across species, the ratio of symbol to gesture increased significantly with age. But even though their symbol production increased, the apes continued to communicate more frequently by gesture than by symbol. In contrast, by15-18 months of age, the child used symbols more frequently than gestures. This ontogenetic sequence from gesture to symbol, present across the clade but more pronounced in child than ape, provides support for the role of gesture in language evolution. In all three species, the overwhelming majority of gestures were communicative (paired with eye-contact, vocalization, and/or persistence. However, vocalization was rare for the apes, but accompanied the majority of the child’s communicative gestures. This finding suggests the co-evolution of speech and gesture after the evolutionary divergence of the hominid line. Multimodal expressions of communicative intent (e.g., vocalization plus persistence were normative for the child, but less common for the apes. This finding suggests that multimodal expression of communicative intent was also strengthened after hominids diverged from apes.

  12. Comparing communicative competence in child and chimp: the pragmatics of repetition.

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    Greenfield, P M; Savage-Rumbaugh, E S

    1993-02-01

    Through an analysis of chimpanzee-human discourse, we show that two Pan troglodytes chimpanzees and two Pan paniscus chimpanzees (bonobos) exposed to a humanly devised symbol system use partial or complete repetition of others' symbols, as children do: they do not produce rote imitations, but instead use repetition to fulfil a variety of pragmatic functions in discourse. These functions include agreement, request, promise, excitement, and selection from alternatives. In so doing, the chimpanzees demonstrate contingent turn-taking and the use of simple devices for lexical cohesion. In short, they demonstrate conversational competence. Because of the presence of this conversational competence in three sibling species, chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans, it is concluded that the potential to express pragmatic functions through repetition was part of the evolutionary history of human language, present in our common ancestor before the phylogenetic divergence of hominids and chimpanzees. In the context of these similarities, two interesting differences appeared: (I) Human children sometimes used repetition to stimulate more talk in their conversational partner; the chimpanzees, in contrast, use repetition exclusively to forward the non-verbal action. This difference may illuminate a unique feature of human linguistic communication, or it may simply reflect a modality difference (visual symbols used by the chimpanzees, speech used by the children) in the symbol systems considered in this research. A second difference seems likely to reflect a true species difference: utterance length. The one- and two-symbol repetitions used by the chimpanzees to fulfil a variety of pragmatic functions were less than half the maximum length found in either the visual symbol combinations addressed to them by their adult human caregivers or the oral repetitions of two-year-old children. This species difference probably reflects the evolution of increased brain size and consequent increased

  13. The posterior border of the sphenoid greater wing and its phylogenetic usefulness in human evolution.

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    Braga, J; Crubézy, E; Elyaqtine, M

    1998-12-01

    The elucidation of patterns of cranial skeletal maturation and growth in fossil hominids is possible not only through dental studies but also by mapping different aspects of ossification in both extant African apes and humans. However, knowledge of normal skeletal development in large samples of extant great apes is flimsy. To remedy this situation, this paper offers an extensive survey and thorough discussion of the ossification of the posterior border of the sphenoid greater wing. Indeed, this area provides much information about basicranial skeletal maturation. We investigate three variants: the absence of the foramen spinosum and the position of both the foramen spinosum and the foramen ovale in relation to the sphenosquamosal suture. Providing original data about humans and 1,425 extant great ape skulls and using a sample of 64 fossil hominids, this study aimed to test whether different ossification patterns occurred during the course of human evolution. The incidence of three derived morphologies located on the posterior border of the sphenoid greater wing increases during human evolution at different geological periods. The evolutionary polarity of these three derived morphologies is assessed by outgroup comparison and ontogenetic methods. During human evolution, there is a clear trend for the foramen spinosum to be present and wholly located on the posterior area of the sphenoid greater wing. Moreover, in all the great ape species and in Australopithecus afarensis, the sphenosquamosal suture may split the foramen ovale. Inversely, the foramen ovale always lies wholly within the sphenoid greater wing in Australopithecus africanus, robust australopithecines, early Homo, H. erectus (and/or H. ergaster), and Homo sapiens. From ontogenetic studies in humans, we conclude that, during human evolution, the ossification of the posterior area of the sphenoid greater wing progressively surrounded the middle meningeal artery (passing through the foramen spinosum) and

  14. Can Cooler Heads Prevail?

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    Rice, A. R.

    2015-12-01

    The significant correlation between dropping temperatures throughout the Pliocene and the concomitant explosive expansion of the Hominid brain has led a number of workers to postulate climate change drove human evolution. Our brain (that of Homo sapiens), comprises 1-2 percent of our body weight but consumes 20 -25 percent of the body's caloric intake. We are "hotheads". Brains are extremely sensitive to overheating but we are endowed with unparalleled thermal regulation, much of it given over to protecting the Central Nervous System (CNS). Will there be reversed trends with global warming? The human brain has been shrinking since the end of the Ice Ages, losing about 150cc over the past 10,000 years. Polar bear skulls have been downsizing as well. Almost all mass extinctions or evolutionary upheavals are attributed to global warming: e.g. the Permian/Triassic (P/T) event, i.e., "The Great Dying", 250 million years ago (~90% of all life forms wiped out); the Paleocene/ Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) 55 million years ago. They may be analogs for what might await us. Large creatures, whose body size inhibits cooling, melted away during the PETM. Horses, initially the size of dogs then, reduced to the size of cats. An unanticipated hazard for humans that may attend extreme global warming is dumbing down or needing to retreat to the Poles as did those creatures that survived the P/T event (some references: http://johnhawks.net/research/hawks-2011-brain-size-selection-holocene; Kandel, E. et al Principles of Neural Science 4th ed. New York (US): McGraw-Hill, 2000; Selective Brain Cooling in Early Hominids:phylogenetic and evolutionary implications, Reeser, H., reeser@flmnh.ufl.edu; How the body controls brain temperature; the temperature shielding effect of cerebral blood flow, Mingming Z. et al. J Appl Physiol. 2006 November; 101(5): 1481-1488; news.nationalgeographic.com/ news/2014/03/140327-climate-change-shrinks-salamanders-global-warming-science/; Heat illness and

  15. LA EVOLUCIÓN DE LA MENTE Y EL COMPORTAMIENTO MORAL The Evolution of Mind and Moral Behavior

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    PABLO QUINTANILLA

    Full Text Available Esta contribución discute algunas correlaciones entre la evolución de las capacidades cognitivas y afectivas humanas -específicamente metarrepresentación, simulación y simpatía- y la evolución del comportamiento moral. La tesis central es que en el caso de seres humanos, homínidos y algunos primates superiores, el altruismo moral y las capacidades metarrepresentacional y de simulación -que se construyen sobre habilidades simpáticas- son funciones que se potencian mutuamente. Esto parece sugerir que se trata de funciones que coevolucionaron. La evidencia empírica sugiere que podemos encontrar en primates no homínidos formas básicas de comportamiento altruista y capacidad metarrepresentacional, pero no hay evidencia de comportamiento altruista moral en especies o individuos humanos que carezcan de esta capacidad. En el caso del desarrollo de los niños, la capacidad de comportamiento moral es directamente proporcional al desarrollo de las capacidades metarrepresentacional y de simulación. El texto también propone una secuencia evolutiva que culmina en el altruismo moral y discute los rasgos que serían centrales al comportamiento moral humano.This contribution addresses some correlations between cognitive and affective human capacities - specifically metarepresentation, simulation and sympathy- and the evolution of moral behavior. The main claim is that in humans, hominids and some superior primates, moral altruism, metarepresentation and simulation -which are build on sympathetic abilities- are functions that reinforce each other. This might suggest that they are functions that coevolved. Empirical evidence suggests that we can find in non hominid primates basic forms of altruistic behavior and metarepresentation, but there is no evidence of moral altruistic behavior in species or human individuals that lack this capacity. In children’s development, moral behavior is directly proportional to the development of metarepresentation

  16. Neanderthal axial and appendicular remains from Moula-Guercy, Ardèche, France.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mersey, Ben; Brudvik, Kyle; Black, Michael T; Defleur, Alban

    2013-12-01

    Excavations carried out during the 1990s at Moula-Guercy cave Ardèche, France, yielded 108 hominid specimens dating to 100-120 Ka. In this paper, we describe and compare the 39 axial and appendicular specimens not including hand and foot bones. Among these remains are a large adult femur, several clavicles, a likely antimeric pair of radial heads, and a nearly complete superior pubic ramus. Analyses of this material indicate a clear affinity with Neanderthals by the presence of large and robust muscle attachments, thick long bone cortices, a long pubic ramus, and a superoinferiorly flattened clavicle shaft. The recovered remains reveal the presence of a mature male, a smaller mature individual, possibly a reproductive age female, an immature individual of age 10-12, and a second immature individual of age 4. Future analyses on the Moula-Guercy remains will illuminate ties to other known Neanderthal populations and contribute to the ongoing debate over the relative rate of Neanderthal metric growth.

  17. Apparent variation in Neanderthal admixture among African populations is consistent with gene flow from Non-African populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuoguo; Lachance, Joseph; Tishkoff, Sarah A; Hey, Jody; Xing, Jinchuan

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies have found evidence of introgression from Neanderthals into modern humans outside of sub-Saharan Africa. Given the geographic range of Neanderthals, the findings have been interpreted as evidence of gene exchange between Neanderthals and modern humans descended from the Out-of-Africa (OOA) migration. Here, we examine an alternative interpretation in which the introgression occurred earlier within Africa, between ancestors or relatives of Neanderthals and a subset of African modern humans who were the ancestors of those involved in the OOA migration. Under the alternative model, if the population structure among present-day Africans predates the OOA migration, we might find some African populations show a signal of Neanderthal introgression whereas others do not. To test this alternative model, we compiled a whole-genome data set including 38 sub-Saharan Africans from eight populations and 25 non-African individuals from five populations. We assessed differences in the amount of Neanderthal-like single-nucleotide polymorphism alleles among these populations and observed up to 1.5% difference in the number of Neanderthal-like alleles among African populations. Further analyses suggest that these differences are likely due to recent non-African admixture in these populations. After accounting for recent non-African admixture, our results do not support the alternative model of older (e.g., >100 kya) admixture between modern humans and Neanderthal-like hominids within Africa.

  18. Middle Pleistocene ecology and Neanderthal subsistence: insights from stable isotope analyses in Payre (Ardèche, southeastern France).

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    Ecker, Michaela; Bocherens, Hervé; Julien, Marie-Anne; Rivals, Florent; Raynal, Jean-Paul; Moncel, Marie-Hélène

    2013-10-01

    The Middle Palaeolithic site of Payre in southeastern France yields abundant archaeological material associated with fossil hominid remains. With its long sequence of Middle Pleistocene deposits, Payre is a key site to study the Middle Palaeolithic chronology of this region. This study is the first to investigate carbon and oxygen isotope contents of Neanderthal tooth enamel bioapatite, together with a wide range of herbivorous and carnivorous species. The aim is to contribute to the understanding of hunting behaviour, resource partitioning, diet and habitat use of animals and Neanderthals through a palaeoecological reconstruction. Local topography had a visible influence on carbon and oxygen stable isotope values recorded in herbivore tooth enamel. This was used to investigate possible habitats of herbivores. The different herbivorous species do not show large variations of their carbon and oxygen isotope values through time, indicating niche conservatism from OIS 8-7 to OIS 6-5, i.e., independently of palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental variations. Based on these new observations, we conclude that Neanderthals employed a stable subsistence strategy over time, using a variety of local resources, with resource partitioning visible between humans and carnivores, especially wolves. A comparison of the results of stable isotopic investigation with the results of tooth wear analyses previously conducted on the same teeth allowed us to demonstrate that grazing and browsing do not bind animals to a specific habitat in a C3 environment as reflected in the isotopic values.

  19. Two SE Spanish middle palaeolithic sites with Neanderthal remains: Sima de las Palomas del Cabezo Gordo and Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar (Murcia province

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    M. J. Walker, F.S.A.

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available This article presents preliminary findings from excavations at two recently-discovered cave sites in Murcia (SE. Spain with Neanderthal hominid skeletal remains, middle palaeolithic tools, and early Upper Pleistocene faunal remains. The sites are in contrasting environments, the shaft of Sima de las Palomas being near the coast whereas the Cueva Negra rock-shelter is in the hinterland. The origins and development of the field research project are outlined with special reference to strategical and methodological considerations. Cueva Negra has afforded half-a-dozen adult Neanderthal teeth and the shaft of a forearm bone. Sima de las Palomas suffered damage from nineteenth-century mining that exposed an 18-metre-high column of breccia in a natural shaft, and geophysical determinations suggest that it spans a period from roughly 125,000 to 50,000 BP. Adult and juvenile Neanderthal teeth and bones have been excavated at the top of the column and many others have been found sifting mine rubble both outside the cavern and on the floor inside, some of which have characteristics that are more in keeping with pre-Neanderthal morphology.

  20. Testing Connections between Campanian Ignimbrite Volcanism, Climate, and the Final Decline of the Neanderthals

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    Black, B. A.; Manga, M.; Neely, R. R., III

    2014-12-01

    The eruption of the Campanian Ignimbrite 40,000 years ago coincided approximately with the final decline of the Neanderthals and a technological and cultural transition from the Middle to Upper Paleolithic. Two end-member hypotheses have been advanced to explain Neanderthal decline: competition with anatomically modern humans and failure to adapt in the face of environmental stresses. The eruption of the Campanian Ignimbrite has been cited as a potentially major cause of such environmental stress. In this work, we draw on published datasets including ice core records, maps and simulations of ash dispersal, and petrologic measurements to constrain the characteristics of the Campanian Ignimbrite eruption. To investigate the climatic effects of the eruption, we use a three-dimensional sectional aerosol model to simulate the global aerosol cloud after 25 Tg and 100 Tg sulfur release scenarios. We couple these aerosol properties to a comprehensive earth system model under last glacial conditions. We find that summer temperatures were colder for several years after the eruption, with some simulations predicting temperature decreases of up to 10 degrees in Eastern Europe and Asia. While this cold interval may have impacted hominid communities in Siberia, the overall distribution of the cooling we observe in our model is inconsistent with catastrophic collapse of Neanderthal populations in Europe. Nonetheless, the volcanic cooling could have influenced daily life for a generation of Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans.

  1. Neanderthales y resocialización. Complejidad en las ocupaciones humanas del Abric Romaní (Capellades, Barcelona

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    Eudald CARBONELL I ROURA

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available RESUMEN: El presente trabajo intenta mostrar el grado de complejidad cultural de los Neanderthales que habitaron en Europa durante el estadio isotópico 3. Para ello se utilizan los datos empíricos recuperados en el Abric Romaní (Capellades, Barcelona, principalmente los procedentes de las cadenas operativas de los hogares y de la fauna. A partir de estos datos se plantea que estos homínidos poseen una organización social y económica tan compleja como la propia de los primeros homínidos anatómicamente modernos que colonizan el continente europeo.ABSTRACT: The aim of this work is to show the degree of Neanderthal cultural complexity, which inhabited Europe during the isotopic stage 3. To accomplish our study, we have used empirical data recovered from Abric Romaní (Capellades, Barcelona, basically from the operative chains from hearths and fauna. From this data we have been able to establish that this hominids have a social and economical organisation as complex as the one of the first anatomically modern humans that colonized the European continent.

  2. Size and placement of developing anterior teeth in immature Neanderthal mandibles from Dederiyeh Cave, Syria: implications for emergence of the modern human chin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukase, Hitoshi; Kondo, Osamu; Ishida, Hajime

    2015-03-01

    Evolutionary and functional significance of the human chin has long been explored from various perspectives including masticatory biomechanics, speech, and anterior tooth size. Recent ontogenetic studies have indicated that the spatial position of internally forming anterior teeth partially constrains adult mandibular symphyseal morphology. The present study therefore preliminarily examined the size and placement of developing anterior teeth in immature Neanderthal mandibles of Dederiyeh 1 and 2, compared with similarly-aged modern humans (N = 16) and chimpanzees (N = 7) whose incisors are comparatively small and large among extant hominids, respectively. The Dederiyeh 1 mandible is described as slightly presenting a mental trigone and attendant mental fossa, whereas Dederiyeh 2 completely lacks such chin-associated configurations. Results showed that, despite symphyseal size being within the modern human range, both Dederiyeh mandibles accommodated overall larger anterior dentition and displayed a remarkably wide bicanine space compared to those of modern humans. Dederiyeh 2 had comparatively thicker deciduous incisor roots and more enlarged permanent incisor crypts than Dederiyeh 1, but both Dederiyeh individuals exhibited a total dental size mostly intermediate between modern humans and chimpanzees. These findings potentially imply that the large deciduous/permanent incisors collectively distended the labial alveolar bone, obscuring an incipient mental trigone. It is therefore hypothesized that the appearance of chin-associated features, particularly of the mental trigone and fossa, can be accounted for partly by developmental relationships between the sizes of the available mandibular space and anterior teeth. This hypothesis must be, however, further addressed with more referential samples in future studies.

  3. Auditory hallucinations as primary disorders of syntax: an evolutionary theory of the origins of language.

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    Crow, Timothy J

    2004-01-01

    A theory of the evolutionary origins of language is built around: (1) the notion that language is a sapiens-specific capacity that arose in the speciation event that separated modern Homo sapiens from a prior hominid species, and (2) Broca's concept of asymmetry (subsequently recognised as a "torque" from right frontal to left occipital cortices) as the defining characteristic of the human brain. The four chambers of human association cortex thus created allow the separation of "thought" from the speech output and "meaning" from the speech input, these abstractions representing the associations in the nondominant hemisphere of the motor and sensory phonological representations in the dominant hemisphere. The nuclear symptoms of schizophrenia are conceived as manifestations of the breakdown of the boundaries between these four compartments, and as indicating the necessity of the separation of motor and sensory speech engrams as the basis for the speaker-hearer distinction. They further illustrate a requirement for a "deictic core" to the cerebral organisation of language as Mueller and Buehler proposed. In this sense the nuclear symptoms are disorders of the syntax of universal grammar.

  4. Novel tools, classic techniques: evolutionary studies using primate pluripotent stem cells.

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    Hrvoj-Mihic, Branka; Marchetto, Maria C N; Gage, Fred H; Semendeferi, Katerina; Muotri, Alysson R

    2014-06-15

    Recent applications of genomic tools on the analysis of alterations unique to our species coupled with a growing number of neuroanatomical studies across primates provide an unprecedented opportunity to compile different levels of human brain evolution into a complex whole. Applications of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology, capable of reprogramming somatic tissue of different species and generating species-specific neuronal phenotypes, for the first time offer an opportunity to test specific evolutionary hypotheses in a field of inquiry that has been long plagued by the limited availability of research specimens. In this review, we will focus specifically on the experimental role of iPSC technology as applied to the analysis of neocortical pyramidal neurons. Pyramidal neurons emerge as particularly suitable for testing evolutionary scenarios, since they form the most common morphological class of neurons in the cortex, display morphological variations across different cortical areas and cortical layers that appear species-specific, and express unique molecular signatures. Human and nonhuman primate iPSC-derived neurons may represent a unique biological resource to elucidate the phenotypic differences between humans and other hominids. As the typical morphology of pyramidal neurons tends to be compromised in neurological disorders, application of iPSC technology to the analysis of pyramidal neurons could not only bring new insights into human adaptation but also offer opportunities to link biomedical research with studies of the origins of the human species.

  5. Pleistocene Hominins as a Resource for Carnivores: A c. 500,000-Year-Old Human Femur Bearing Tooth-Marks in North Africa (Thomas Quarry I, Morocco.

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    Camille Daujeard

    Full Text Available In many Middle Pleistocene sites, the co-occurrence of hominins with carnivores, who both contributed to faunal accumulations, suggests competition for resources as well as for living spaces. Despite this, there is very little evidence of direct interaction between them to-date. Recently, a human femoral diaphysis has been recognized in South-West of Casablanca (Morocco, in the locality called Thomas Quarry I. This site is famous for its Middle Pleistocene fossil hominins considered representatives of Homo rhodesiensis. The bone was discovered in Unit 4 of the Grotte à Hominidés (GH, dated to c. 500 ky and was associated with Acheulean artefacts and a rich mammalian fauna. Anatomically, it fits well within the group of known early Middle Pleistocene Homo, but its chief point of interest is that the diaphyseal ends display numerous tooth marks showing that it had been consumed shortly after death by a large carnivore, probably a hyena. This bone represents the first evidence of consumption of human remains by carnivores in the cave. Whether predated or scavenged, this chewed femur indicates that humans were a resource for carnivores, underlining their close relationships during the Middle Pleistocene in Atlantic Morocco.

  6. Pleistocene Hominins as a Resource for Carnivores: A c. 500,000-Year-Old Human Femur Bearing Tooth-Marks in North Africa (Thomas Quarry I, Morocco).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daujeard, Camille; Geraads, Denis; Gallotti, Rosalia; Lefèvre, David; Mohib, Abderrahim; Raynal, Jean-Paul; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2016-01-01

    In many Middle Pleistocene sites, the co-occurrence of hominins with carnivores, who both contributed to faunal accumulations, suggests competition for resources as well as for living spaces. Despite this, there is very little evidence of direct interaction between them to-date. Recently, a human femoral diaphysis has been recognized in South-West of Casablanca (Morocco), in the locality called Thomas Quarry I. This site is famous for its Middle Pleistocene fossil hominins considered representatives of Homo rhodesiensis. The bone was discovered in Unit 4 of the Grotte à Hominidés (GH), dated to c. 500 ky and was associated with Acheulean artefacts and a rich mammalian fauna. Anatomically, it fits well within the group of known early Middle Pleistocene Homo, but its chief point of interest is that the diaphyseal ends display numerous tooth marks showing that it had been consumed shortly after death by a large carnivore, probably a hyena. This bone represents the first evidence of consumption of human remains by carnivores in the cave. Whether predated or scavenged, this chewed femur indicates that humans were a resource for carnivores, underlining their close relationships during the Middle Pleistocene in Atlantic Morocco.

  7. 河南灵井许昌人遗址普通马(Equus caballus)化石居群的死亡年龄曲线%Mortality Curves for Horses(Equus Caballus) from the Lingjing Site, Henan Province

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李占扬; 张双权; 张乐; 高星

    2011-01-01

    普通马(Equus caballus)是河南灵井许昌人遗址动物群中的一个优势属种.本文基于这一动物属种牙齿材料的测量与分析,初步完成了普通马个体死亡年龄的计算及其化石居群的生命表构建,并与世界范围内多个动物群的相关材料进行了对比研究.该动物群普通马化石材料的死亡年龄曲线反映了这一时期古人类以普通马居群中的壮年个体为主要狩猎目标的选择性生存策略和狩猎能力.%Horse (Equus caballus) is one of the dominant species of the faunal assemblage from the Lingjing site, Henan Province. Based on dental remains of this animal, this paper tabulated the death ages of various individuals and further constructes the life tables for the populations of this species. Some comparative studies were also conducted between fossil materials from the site and other related faunal assemblages from around the world. The mortality curves for horses from the Lingjing Site clearly indicate that adult horses were preferentially hunted by the hominids who frequented the site.

  8. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SUBPLATE FOR EVOLUTION AND DEVELOPMENTAL PLASTICITY OF THE HUMAN BRAIN

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    MILOS eJUDAS

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The human life-history is characterized by long development and introduction of new developmental stages, such as childhood and adolescence. The developing brain had important role in these life-history changes because it is expensive tissue which uses up to 80% of resting metabolic rate in the newborn and continues to use almost 50% of it during the first 5 postnatal years. Our hominid ancestors managed to lift-up metabolic constraints to increase in brain size by several interrelated ecological, behavioral and social adaptations, such as dietary change, invention of cooking, creation of family-bonded reproductive units, and life-history changes. This opened new vistas for the developing brain, because it became possible to metabolically support transient patterns of brain organization as well as developmental brain plasticity for much longer period and with much greater number of neurons and connectivity combinations in comparison to apes. This included the shaping of cortical connections through the interaction with infant's social environment, which probably enhanced typically human evolution of language, cognition and self-awareness. In this review, we propose that the transient subplate zone and its postnatal remnant (interstitial neurons of the gyral white matter probably served as the main playground for evolution of these developmental shifts, and describe various features that makes human subplate uniquely positioned to have such a role in comparison with other primates.

  9. Inference of gorilla demographic and selective history from whole-genome sequence data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McManus, Kimberly F; Kelley, Joanna L; Song, Shiya; Veeramah, Krishna R; Woerner, August E; Stevison, Laurie S; Ryder, Oliver A; Ape Genome Project, Great; Kidd, Jeffrey M; Wall, Jeffrey D; Bustamante, Carlos D; Hammer, Michael F

    2015-03-01

    Although population-level genomic sequence data have been gathered extensively for humans, similar data from our closest living relatives are just beginning to emerge. Examination of genomic variation within great apes offers many opportunities to increase our understanding of the forces that have differentially shaped the evolutionary history of hominid taxa. Here, we expand upon the work of the Great Ape Genome Project by analyzing medium to high coverage whole-genome sequences from 14 western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), 2 eastern lowland gorillas (G. beringei graueri), and a single Cross River individual (G. gorilla diehli). We infer that the ancestors of western and eastern lowland gorillas diverged from a common ancestor approximately 261 ka, and that the ancestors of the Cross River population diverged from the western lowland gorilla lineage approximately 68 ka. Using a diffusion approximation approach to model the genome-wide site frequency spectrum, we infer a history of western lowland gorillas that includes an ancestral population expansion of 1.4-fold around 970 ka and a recent 5.6-fold contraction in population size 23 ka. The latter may correspond to a major reduction in African equatorial forests around the Last Glacial Maximum. We also analyze patterns of variation among western lowland gorillas to identify several genomic regions with strong signatures of recent selective sweeps. We find that processes related to taste, pancreatic and saliva secretion, sodium ion transmembrane transport, and cardiac muscle function are overrepresented in genomic regions predicted to have experienced recent positive selection.

  10. Deep trophoblast invasion and spiral artery remodelling in the placental bed of the lowland gorilla

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pijnenborg, R; Vercruysse, L; Carter, Anthony Michael

    2011-01-01

    In contrast to baboon or rhesus macaque, trophoblast invasion in the human placental bed occurs by the interstitial as well as the endovascular route and reaches as deep as the inner myometrium. We here describe two rare specimens of gorilla placenta. In the light of recent findings in the chimpa......In contrast to baboon or rhesus macaque, trophoblast invasion in the human placental bed occurs by the interstitial as well as the endovascular route and reaches as deep as the inner myometrium. We here describe two rare specimens of gorilla placenta. In the light of recent findings...... in the chimpanzee, we postulated the occurrence of deep invasion in gorilla pregnancy. Tissues were processed for histology (PAS, orcein), lectin staining (Ulex europaeus agglutinin 1) and immunohistochemistry (cytokeratin 7/17, α-actin). A specimen of young but undetermined gestational age included deep placental...... intramural trophoblast. Absence of inner myometrial tissue precluded assessment of invasion depth in this later specimen. Despite the limited material we can conclude that key aspects of trophoblast invasion are shared by the three hominid species: gorilla, chimpanzee and human....

  11. Complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the Eastern gorilla (Gorilla beringei) and implications for african ape biogeography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Ranajit; Hergenrother, Scott D; Soto-Calderón, Iván D; Dew, J Larry; Anthony, Nicola M; Jensen-Seaman, Michael I

    2014-01-01

    The Western and Eastern species of gorillas (Gorilla gorilla and Gorilla beringei) began diverging in the mid-Pleistocene, but in a complex pattern with ongoing gene flow following their initial split. We sequenced the complete mitochondrial genomes of 1 Eastern and 1 Western gorilla to provide the most accurate date for their mitochondrial divergence, and to analyze patterns of nucleotide substitutions. The most recent common ancestor of these genomes existed about 1.9 million years ago, slightly more recent than that of chimpanzee and bonobo. We in turn use this date as a calibration to reanalyze sequences from the Eastern lowland and mountain gorilla subspecies to estimate their mitochondrial divergence at approximately 380000 years ago. These dates help frame a hypothesis whereby populations became isolated nearly 2 million years ago with restricted maternal gene flow, followed by ongoing male migration until the recent past. This process of divergence with prolonged hybridization occurred against the backdrop of the African Pleistocene, characterized by intense fluctuations in temperature and aridity, while at the same time experiencing tectonic uplifting and consequent shifts in the drainage of major river systems. Interestingly, this same pattern of introgression following divergence and discrepancies between mitochondrial and nuclear loci is seen in fossil hominins from Eurasia, suggesting that such processes may be common in hominids and that living gorillas may provide a useful model for understanding isolation and migration in our extinct relatives.

  12. History in the gene: negotiations between molecular and organismal anthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommer, Marianne

    2008-01-01

    In the advertising discourse of human genetic database projects, of genetic ancestry tracing companies, and in popular books on anthropological genetics, what I refer to as the anthropological gene and genome appear as documents of human history, by far surpassing the written record and oral history in scope and accuracy as archives of our past. How did macromolecules become "documents of human evolutionary history"? Historically, molecular anthropology, a term introduced by Emile Zuckerkandl in 1962 to characterize the study of primate phylogeny and human evolution on the molecular level, asserted its claim to the privilege of interpretation regarding hominoid, hominid, and human phylogeny and evolution vis-à-vis other historical sciences such as evolutionary biology, physical anthropology, and paleoanthropology. This process will be discussed on the basis of three key conferences on primate classification and evolution that brought together exponents of the respective fields and that were held in approximately ten-years intervals between the early 1960s and the 1980s. I show how the anthropological gene and genome gained their status as the most fundamental, clean, and direct records of historical information, and how the prioritizing of these epistemic objects was part of a complex involving the objectivity of numbers, logic, and mathematics, the objectivity of machines and instruments, and the objectivity seen to reside in the epistemic objects themselves.

  13. Spine anatomy reveals the diversity of catfish through time: a case study of Synodontis (Siluriformes)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinton, Aurélie; Fara, Emmanuel; Otero, Olga

    2006-01-01

    Synodontis (Mochokidae, Siluriformes) is a freshwater catfish endemic to Africa. The 118 extant species are present in almost all hydrographic basins. Some species are restricted to a single stream, whereas others have a vast distribution. Synodontis is known in the fossil record since the Miocene, and its history depends on the connections among African basins through time. The identification of species in the fossil record is essential to reconstruct this historical pattern. Catfish pectoral and dorsal spines are robust, they preserve well and they form most of the fossil remains for the genus Synodontis. Unfortunately, the criteria for the identification of extant Synodontis species are not applicable to fossil specimens. Here, we define 11 original morphological characters that permit to discriminate four extant species from the Chad-Chari hydrographic system. Six of these characters are defined on pectoral spines and five on dorsal spines. We then show that these characters can be used successfully for identifying fossil specimens. In particular, we present a case study in which we identify Synodontis cf. schall and Brachysynodontis cf. batensoda in the hominid-bearing sector Toros-Menalla (Late Miocene, northern Chad). We show that spine anatomy can be a powerful tool to recognise catfish species through time and thus to identify historical diversity pattern.

  14. Phylogenetic Applications of the Minimum Contradiction Approach on Continuous Characters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Thuillard

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available We describe the conditions under which a set of continuous variables or characters can be described as an X-tree or a split network. A distance matrix corresponds exactly to a split network or a valued X-tree if, after ordering of the taxa, the variables values can be embedded into a function with at most a local maximum and a local minimum, and crossing any horizontal line at most twice. In real applications, the order of the taxa best satisfying the above conditions can be obtained using the Minimum Contradiction method. This approach is applied to 2 sets of continuous characters. The first set corresponds to craniofacial landmarks in Hominids. The contradiction matrix is used to identify possible tree structures and some alternatives when they exist. We explain how to discover the main structuring characters in a tree. The second set consists of a sample of 100 galaxies. In that second example one shows how to discretize the continuous variables describing physical properties of the galaxies without disrupting the underlying tree structure.

  15. Performance of human groups in social foraging: the role of communication in consensus decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Andrew J; Narraway, Claire; Hodgson, Lindsay; Weatherill, Aidan; Sommer, Volker; Sumner, Seirian

    2011-04-23

    Early hominids searched for dispersed food sources in a patchy, uncertain environment, and modern humans encounter equivalent spatial-temporal coordination problems on a daily basis. A fundamental, but untested assumption is that our evolved capacity for communication is integral to our success in such tasks, allowing information exchange and consensus decisions based on mutual consideration of pooled information. Here we examine whether communication enhances group performance in humans, and test the prediction that consensus decision-making underlies group success. We used bespoke radio-tagging methodology to monitor the incremental performance of communicating and non-communicating human groups (small group sizes of two to seven individuals), during a social foraging experiment. We found that communicating groups (n = 22) foraged more effectively than non-communicating groups (n = 21) and were able to reach consensus decisions (an 'agreement' on the most profitable foraging resource) significantly more often than non-communicating groups. Our data additionally suggest that gesticulations among group members played a vital role in the achievement of consensus decisions, and therefore highlight the importance of non-verbal signalling of intentions and desires for successful human cooperative behaviour.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Braga

    Full Text Available 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.

  18. Evolution of the brain: from behavior to consciousness in 3.4 billion years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oró, John J

    2004-06-01

    Once life began as single-cell organisms, evolution favored those able to seek nutrients and avoid risks. Receptors sensed the environment, memory traces were laid, and adaptive responses were made. Environmental stress, at times as dramatic as the collision of an asteroid, resulted in extinctions that favored small predators with dorsal nerve cords and cranially positioned brains. Myelination, and later thermoregulation, led to increasingly efficient neural processing. As somatosensory, visual, and auditory input increased, a neocortex developed containing both sensory and motor neural maps. Hominids, with their free hands, pushed cortical development further and began to make simple stone tools. Tools and increasing cognition allowed procurement of a richer diet that led to a smaller gut, thus freeing more energy for brain expansion. Multimodal association areas, initially developed for processing incoming sensory information, blossomed and began to provide the organism with an awareness of self and environment. Advancements in memory storage and retrieval gave the organism a sense of continuity through time. This developing consciousness eventually left visible traces, which today are dramatically evident on cave walls in France and Spain. We will take this journey from the single cell to human consciousness.

  19. Brain disorders and the biological role of music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Camilla N; Downey, Laura E; Warren, Jason D

    2015-03-01

    Despite its evident universality and high social value, the ultimate biological role of music and its connection to brain disorders remain poorly understood. Recent findings from basic neuroscience have shed fresh light on these old problems. New insights provided by clinical neuroscience concerning the effects of brain disorders promise to be particularly valuable in uncovering the underlying cognitive and neural architecture of music and for assessing candidate accounts of the biological role of music. Here we advance a new model of the biological role of music in human evolution and the link to brain disorders, drawing on diverse lines of evidence derived from comparative ethology, cognitive neuropsychology and neuroimaging studies in the normal and the disordered brain. We propose that music evolved from the call signals of our hominid ancestors as a means mentally to rehearse and predict potentially costly, affectively laden social routines in surrogate, coded, low-cost form: essentially, a mechanism for transforming emotional mental states efficiently and adaptively into social signals. This biological role of music has its legacy today in the disordered processing of music and mental states that characterizes certain developmental and acquired clinical syndromes of brain network disintegration.

  20. Nuclear gene sequences from a late pleistocene sloth coprolite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poinar, Hendrik; Kuch, Melanie; McDonald, Gregory; Martin, Paul; Pääbo, Svante

    2003-07-01

    The determination of nuclear DNA sequences from ancient remains would open many novel opportunities such as the resolution of phylogenies, the sexing of hominid and animal remains, and the characterization of genes involved in phenotypic traits. However, to date, single-copy nuclear DNA sequences from fossils have been determined only from bones and teeth of woolly mammoths preserved in the permafrost. Since the best preserved ancient nucleic acids tend to stem from cold environments, this has led to the assumption that nuclear DNA would be retrievable only from frozen remains. We have previously shown that Pleistocene coprolites stemming from the extinct Shasta sloth (Nothrotheriops shastensis, Megatheriidae) contain mitochondrial (mt) DNA from the animal that produced them as well as chloroplast (cp) DNA from the ingested plants. Recent attempts to resolve the phylogeny of two families of extinct sloths by using strictly mitochondrial DNA has been inconclusive. We have prepared DNA extracts from a ground sloth coprolite from Gypsum Cave, Nevada, and quantitated the number of mtDNA copies for three different fragment lengths by using real-time PCR. We amplified one multicopy and three single-copy nuclear gene fragments and used the concatenated sequence to resolve the phylogeny. These results show that ancient single-copy nuclear DNA can be recovered from warm, arid climates. Thus, nuclear DNA preservation is not restricted to cold climates.

  1. The neural basis of semantic and episodic forms of self-knowledge: insights from functional neuroimaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Argembeau, Arnaud; Salmon, Eric

    2012-01-01

    Throughout evolution, hominids have developed greater capacity to think about themselves in abstract and symbolic ways. This process has reached its apex in humans with the construction of a concept of self as a distinct entity with a personal history. This chapter provides a review of recent functional neuroimaging studies that have investigated the neural correlates of such "higher-level" aspects of the human self, focusing in particular on processes that allow individuals to consciously represent and reflect on their own personal attributes (semantic forms of self-knowledge) and experiences (episodic forms of self-knowledge). These studies point to the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) as a key neural structure for processing various kinds of self-referential information. We speculate that the MPFC may mediate dynamic processes that appraise and code the self-relatedness or self-relevance of information. This brain region may thus play a key role in creating the mental model of the self that is displayed in our mind at a given moment.

  2. Genetic and evolutionary aspects of aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, G M

    1979-05-01

    Four questions of fundamental importance to gerontology are considered. 1) The number of genes involved in aging--in the case of man, an analysis of the phenotypes of relevant spontaneous mutants indicates that aging is highly polygenic. 2) General categories of genes--regulator genes may be more relevant than structural genes: a) three aneuploid disorders, Down's, Turner's and Klinefelter's syndromes, ranked among the top 10 candidates as "segmental progeroid syndromes" when compared with 162 single gene disorders of relevance to the pathobiology of aging; b) the rates at which maximum life spans have been increasing, especially among hominids, have probably been too rapid to be accounted for by changes in the amino acid sequences of proteins; c) a preliminary analysis of the variance of maximum life spans among a few orders of mammals is suggestive of a linear correlation with the indexes of rates of chromosomal evolution, as estimated by Bush et al. (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 74: 3942-3946, 1977). 3) Nature of gene action--although there are reasons for invoking genes that modulate the rates of accumulation of somatic mutations, differential regulation of development is likely to be a major setting for gene action. 4) New approaches to formal genetic analysis of aging--advances in experimental embryology and somatic cell genetics offer such opportunities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Ancient origin and gene mosaicism of the progenitor of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Cristina Gutierrez

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available The highly successful human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis has an extremely low level of genetic variation, which suggests that the entire population resulted from clonal expansion following an evolutionary bottleneck around 35,000 y ago. Here, we show that this population constitutes just the visible tip of a much broader progenitor species, whose extant representatives are human isolates of tubercle bacilli from East Africa. In these isolates, we detected incongruence among gene phylogenies as well as mosaic gene sequences, whose individual elements are retrieved in classical M. tuberculosis. Therefore, despite its apparent homogeneity, the M. tuberculosis genome appears to be a composite assembly resulting from horizontal gene transfer events predating clonal expansion. The amount of synonymous nucleotide variation in housekeeping genes suggests that tubercle bacilli were contemporaneous with early hominids in East Africa, and have thus been coevolving with their human host much longer than previously thought. These results open novel perspectives for unraveling the molecular bases of M. tuberculosis evolutionary success.

  5. A SINE-based dichotomous key for primate identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herke, Scott W; Xing, Jinchuan; Ray, David A; Zimmerman, Jacquelyn W; Cordaux, Richard; Batzer, Mark A

    2007-04-01

    For DNA samples or 'divorced' tissues, identifying the organism from which they were taken generally requires some type of analytical method. The ideal approach would be robust even in the hands of a novice, requiring minimal equipment, time, and effort. Genotyping SINEs (Short INterspersed Elements) is such an approach as it requires only PCR-related equipment, and the analysis consists solely of interpreting fragment sizes in agarose gels. Modern primate genomes are known to contain lineage-specific insertions of Alu elements (a primate-specific SINE); thus, to demonstrate the utility of this approach, we used members of the Alu family to identify DNA samples from evolutionarily divergent primate species. For each node of a combined phylogenetic tree (56 species; n=8 [Hominids]; 11 [New World monkeys]; 21 [Old World monkeys]; 2 [Tarsiformes]; and, 14 [Strepsirrhines]), we tested loci (>400 in total) from prior phylogenetic studies as well as newly identified elements for their ability to amplify in all 56 species. Ultimately, 195 loci were selected for inclusion in this Alu-based key for primate identification. This dichotomous SINE-based key is best used through hierarchical amplification, with the starting point determined by the level of initial uncertainty regarding sample origin. With newly emerging genome databases, finding informative retrotransposon insertions is becoming much more rapid; thus, the general principle of using SINEs to identify organisms is broadly applicable.

  6. An Early Pleistocene high-resolution paleoclimate reconstruction from the West Turkana (Kenya) HSPDP drill site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockhecke, Mona; Beck, Catherine; Brown, Erik T.; Cohen, Andrew; Deocampo, Daniel M.; Feibel, Craig S.; Pelletier, Jon D.; Rabideaux, Nathane M.; Sier, Mark

    2016-04-01

    The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP), and the related Olorgesailie Drilling Project (ODP), recovered ~2 km of drill core since 2012. At the HSPDP West Turkana Kaitio (WTK) site a 216 m-long core that covers the Early Pleistocene time window (1.3 to 1.87 Ma) during which hominids first expanded out of Africa and marine records document reorganization of tropical climate and the development of the strong Walker circulation. WTK carries particular interest for paleoclimate and paleoenvironmental reconstructions as it is located only 2.5 km from the location of one of the most complete hominin skeletons ever recovered (Nariokotome Boy). XRF core scanning data provide a means of evaluating records of past environmental conditions continuously and at high resolution. However, the record contains complex lithologies reflecting repeated episodes of inundation and desiccation along a dynamic lake margin. Here we present a methodological approach to address the highly variable lithostratigraphy of the East African records to establish comprehensive paleoclimate timeseries. The power spectrum of the presented hydroclimate record peaks at Milankovitch cycles, qualifying HSPDP drill cores from the Turkana Basin to be used as high-resolution Early Pleistocene paleoclimate archive. Comparing these data with marine climate reconstructions sheds light into athmospheric processes and continental climate dynamics.

  7. Auditory capacities in Middle Pleistocene humans from the Sierra de Atapuerca in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, I; Rosa, M; Arsuaga, J-L; Jarabo, P; Quam, R; Lorenzo, C; Gracia, A; Carretero, J-M; Bermúdez de Castro, J-M; Carbonell, E

    2004-07-06

    Human hearing differs from that of chimpanzees and most other anthropoids in maintaining a relatively high sensitivity from 2 kHz up to 4 kHz, a region that contains relevant acoustic information in spoken language. Knowledge of the auditory capacities in human fossil ancestors could greatly enhance the understanding of when this human pattern emerged during the course of our evolutionary history. Here we use a comprehensive physical model to analyze the influence of skeletal structures on the acoustic filtering of the outer and middle ears in five fossil human specimens from the Middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos in the Sierra de Atapuerca of Spain. Our results show that the skeletal anatomy in these hominids is compatible with a human-like pattern of sound power transmission through the outer and middle ear at frequencies up to 5 kHz, suggesting that they already had auditory capacities similar to those of living humans in this frequency range.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. [Sierra of the Atapuerca, thinking about the evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbonell, Eudald

    2007-01-01

    Homo sapiens walks to the future in a uncertain way. The fosil evidences from the lithosphere can help us to get into know the social and cultural evolution of all the species that have precede us and even our own. Atapuerca, with more than 1.2 MA old of fossilized history from the Pleistocene to the Holocene is throwing a scientific message through the study of all its archaeological sites. There are thousands of animal and human fossils in Trinchera del Ferrocarril, Cueva de Gran Dolina, Sima del Elefante and Galeria that yield information on the cultural cannibalism practices by Homo antecessor 900,000 years ago, and the hunting and gathering that Homo heidelbergensis developed 400,000 years ago. Finally in the Sima de los Huesos, with a similar chronology than at the H. heidelbergensis sites from the Trinchera del Ferrocarril, we find the first intentional accumulation of hominid bodies. These contributions are significant to the knowledge of the biological and cultural human evolution and permits to deepen it empirically. We hope that understanding the message we will be able to improve our species through the socialization of the scientific knowledge.

  10. A probabilistic approach to the assessment of some life history pattern parameters in a Middle Pleistocene human population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durand, A I; Ipina, S L; Bermúdez de Castro, J M

    2000-06-01

    Parameters of a Middle Pleistocene human population such as the expected length of the female reproductive period (E(Y)), the expected interbirth interval (E(X)), the survival rate (tau) for females after the expected reproductive period, the rate (phi(2)) of women who, given that they reach first birth, do not survive to the end of the expected reproductive period, and the female infant plus juvenile mortality rate (phi(1)) have been assessed from a probabilistic standpoint provided that such a population were stationary. The hominid sample studied, the Sima de los Huesos (SH) cave site, Sierra de Atapuerca (Spain), is the most exhaustive human fossil sample currently available. Results suggest that the Atapuerca (SH) sample can derive from a stationary population. Further, in the case that the expected reproductive period ends between 37 and 40 yr of age, then 24 less, similarE(Y) less, similar27 yr, E(X)=3 yr, 0.224

  11. Sex differences in impulsive and compulsive behaviors: a focus on drug addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fattore, Liana; Melis, Miriam

    2016-09-01

    Sex differences in inhibition and self-regulation at a behavioral level have been widely described. From an evolutionary point of view, the different selection pressures placed on male and female hominids led them to differ in their behavioral strategies that allowed our species to survive during natural selection processes. These differences reflect changes in neural and structural plasticity that might be the core of sex differences, and of the susceptibility towards one psychiatric condition rather than another. The goal of the present review is to summarize current evidence for such a dichotomy in impulsive and compulsive behavior with a focus on drug addiction. Sex-dependent differences in drug abuse and dependence will be examined in the context of pathophysiological regulation of impulse and motivation by neuromodulators (i.e. gonadal hormones) and neurotransmitters (i.e. dopamine). Advances in the understanding of the sex differences in the capability to control impulses and motivational states is key for the determination of efficacious biologically based intervention and prevention strategies for several neuropsychiatric disorders where loss of impulse control and compulsivity are the core symptoms.

  12. Separation anxiety: at the neurobiological crossroads of adaptation and illness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglia, Marco

    2015-09-01

    Physiological and adaptive separation anxiety (SA) is intimately connected with the evolutionary emergence of new brain structures specific of paleomammalians, the growth of neomammalian--and later hominid--brain and skull size, and the appearance of bipedalism. All these evolutionary milestones have contributed to expanding the behavioral repertoire and plasticity of prehuman and human beings, at the cost of more prolonged dependency of the infant and of the child on parental care. Separation anxiety disorder (SAD) can be seen as an exaggerated/inappropriate manifestation of SA that constitutes a gateway to poorer mental and physical health. By blending epidemiological, genetic-epidemiological, endophenotypic, and animal laboratory approaches, it is possible to delineate some of the mechanisms that link childhood-adolescence SA and SAD to health problems later in life. Causal mechanisms include gene-environment interplays and likely differential regulation of genes and functional net-works that simultaneously affect multiple behavioral and physical phenotypes after exposure to early-life adversity, including parental separation/loss.

  13. Exploring the Potential of Laser Ablation Carbon Isotope Analysis for Examining Ecology during the Ontogeny of Middle Pleistocene Hominins from Sima de los Huesos (Northern Spain.

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    Nuria Garcia

    Full Text Available Laser ablation of tooth enamel was used to analyze stable carbon isotope compositions of teeth of hominins, red deer, and bears from middle Pleistocene sites in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain, to investigate the possibility that this technique could be used as an additional tool to identify periods of physiological change that are not detectable as changes in tooth morphology. Most of the specimens were found to have minimal intra-tooth variation in carbon isotopes (< 2.3‰, suggesting isotopically uniform diets through time and revealing no obvious periods of physiological change. However, one of the two sampled hominin teeth displayed a temporal carbon isotope shift (3.2‰ that was significantly greater than observed for co-occurring specimens. The δ13C value of this individual averaged about -16‰ early in life, and -13‰ later in life. This isotopic change occurred on the canine crown about 4.2 mm from the root, which corresponds to an approximate age of two to four years old in modern humans. Our dataset is perforce small owing to the precious nature of hominid teeth, but it demonstrates the potential utility of the intra-tooth isotope profile method for extracting ontogenetic histories of human ancestors.

  14. Exploring the Potential of Laser Ablation Carbon Isotope Analysis for Examining Ecology during the Ontogeny of Middle Pleistocene Hominins from Sima de los Huesos (Northern Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Nuria; Feranec, Robert S; Passey, Benjamin H; Cerling, Thure E; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2015-01-01

    Laser ablation of tooth enamel was used to analyze stable carbon isotope compositions of teeth of hominins, red deer, and bears from middle Pleistocene sites in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain, to investigate the possibility that this technique could be used as an additional tool to identify periods of physiological change that are not detectable as changes in tooth morphology. Most of the specimens were found to have minimal intra-tooth variation in carbon isotopes (< 2.3‰), suggesting isotopically uniform diets through time and revealing no obvious periods of physiological change. However, one of the two sampled hominin teeth displayed a temporal carbon isotope shift (3.2‰) that was significantly greater than observed for co-occurring specimens. The δ13C value of this individual averaged about -16‰ early in life, and -13‰ later in life. This isotopic change occurred on the canine crown about 4.2 mm from the root, which corresponds to an approximate age of two to four years old in modern humans. Our dataset is perforce small owing to the precious nature of hominid teeth, but it demonstrates the potential utility of the intra-tooth isotope profile method for extracting ontogenetic histories of human ancestors.

  15. Direct Transcriptional Effects of Apolipoprotein E.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theendakara, Veena; Peters-Libeu, Clare A; Spilman, Patricia; Poksay, Karen S; Bredesen, Dale E; Rao, Rammohan V

    2016-01-20

    A major unanswered question in biology and medicine is the mechanism by which the product of the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele, the lipid-binding protein apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4), plays a pivotal role in processes as disparate as Alzheimer's disease (AD; in which it is the single most important genetic risk factor), atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, Lewy body dementia, hominid evolution, and inflammation. Using a combination of neural cell lines, skin fibroblasts from AD patients, and ApoE targeted replacement mouse brains, we show in the present report that ApoE4 undergoes nuclear translocation, binds double-stranded DNA with high affinity (low nanomolar), and functions as a transcription factor. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation and high-throughput DNA sequencing, our results indicate that the ApoE4 DNA binding sites include ∼1700 gene promoter regions. The genes associated with these promoters provide new insight into the mechanism by which AD risk is conferred by ApoE4, because they include genes associated with trophic support, programmed cell death, microtubule disassembly, synaptic function, aging, and insulin resistance, all processes that have been implicated in AD pathogenesis. Significance statement: This study shows for the first time that apolipoprotein E4 binds DNA with high affinity and that its binding sites include 1700 promoter regions that include genes associated with neurotrophins, programmed cell death, synaptic function, sirtuins and aging, and insulin resistance, all processes that have been implicated in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis.

  16. [Application of the musculo-skeletal modelling software lhpFusionBox to a paleoanthropological problem: the Spyrou Neandertal moves!].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Tara; Semal, Patrick; Moiseev, Fedor; Louryan, Stéphane; Rooze, Marcel; Van Sint Jan, Serge

    2013-01-01

    LhpFusionBox is a program originally designed for biomechanical and clinical studies relating to the musculoskeletal system of anatomically modern humans (AMH). The program has recently been adapted for paleontological purposes and used to reconstruct and biomechanically analyse a fossil hominid. There is no complete Neandertal skeleton in the fossil record. The aim of the study was to reconstruct a complete three-dimensional (3D) model of a Neandertal using the relatively complete Spy II Neandertal and to conduct biomechanical feasibility studies on the knee and hamstring moment arms of the skeleton. Different Neandertal specimens were scaled to the size of Spy II to replace incomplete or missing bones. Biomechanical feasibility studies performed on the knee seem to show that Neandertal and AMHh gait is similar and Neandertals were shown to have larger moment arms in the hamstring muscles, which would have given them a mechanical advantage. The complete Neandertal was printed in 3D and used as the base to create the artistic model of "Spyrou" housed at l'Espace de l'Homme de Spy (EHoS) museum.

  17. Anatomy of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses in Aegyptopithecus and early Miocene African catarrhines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossie, James B

    2005-03-01

    Neontological comparisons suggest that paranasal sinus anatomy is diagnostic of several catarrhine clades such as Cercopithecoidea, Hominoidea, Homininae, and Ponginae. However, while the loss of sinuses in cercopithecoids is generally recognized as a derived condition, determining the polarity of character-state changes within noncercopithecoid catarrhines requires knowledge of the primitive catarrhine condition. To address this problem, the paranasal sinus anatomy of Aegyptopithecus and several early Miocene catarrhines was investigated. Two partial facial skeletons of Aegyptopithecus were subjected to computed tomography in order to reveal their internal anatomy. These data were compared with facial and palatal specimens of Proconsul, Limnopithecus, Dendropithecus, Rangwapithecus, and Kalepithecus in the National Museums of Kenya in Nairobi, and to wet and dry specimens of living taxa. Results confirm that cercopithecoid paranasal anatomy is derived, and reveal that the sinus anatomy of stem catarrhines included a hominoid-like maxillary sinus as well as an ethmofrontal system like that of hominines. Accordingly, these two features do not constitute evidence for the hominoid, hominid, or hominine status of any fossil species. Conversely, the absence of the ethmofrontal sinus system in Sivapithecus and Pongo is synapomorphic. In addition, features of the nasal cavity of Limnopithecus and Kalepithecus support previous suggestions that these taxa are stem catarrhines rather than hominoids.

  18. Stamping, Clapping and Chanting: An Ancient Learning Pathway?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marion M. Long

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available In this review I explore the effect of temporal integration as a means of improving learning in schoolchildren. I focus first on theorists that have linked physical activity with a positive effect on children’s learning and second to psychological studies that have established the existence of innate temporal patterns. These findings are related to a model of temporal integration that I have developed from Croce’s writings on aesthetics (1900. From philosophy to neurology, I discuss recent neurological findings relating to timing and conclude that an organ of temporal integration, regulation and coordination operates in the brain with respect to physical, intuitive and higher cognitive function. I link recent findings in neurophysiology to notably similar findings in recent biomusicological studies. The finding that humans have an involuntary physical response to loud, low-frequency sounds are attributed to an innate legacy of proto-music and proto-dance behaviour among hominids. I develop the model of temporal integration further by examining the literature on stamping and clapping patterns of ancient traditional dances in relation to Husserl’s writings on theoretical succession. From philosophy to pedagogy, I summarise the review by proposing stamping, clapping and chanting as a means of achieving improved temporal integration.

  19. Cannabimimetic phytochemicals in the diet - an evolutionary link to food selection and metabolic stress adaptation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gertsch, Jürg

    2016-11-27

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a major lipid signalling network that plays important pro-homeostatic (allostatic) roles not only in the nervous system but also in peripheral organs. There is increasing evidence that there is a dietary component in the modulation of the ECS. Cannabinoid receptors in hominids co-evolved with diet, and the ECS constitutes a feedback loop for food selection and energy metabolism. Here, it is postulated that the mismatch of ancient lipid genes of hunter-gatherers and pastoralists with the high-carbohydrate diet introduced by agriculture could be compensated for via dietary modulation of the ECS. In addition to the fatty acid precursors of endocannabinoids, the potential role of dietary cannabimimetic phytochemicals in agriculturist nutrition is discussed. Dietary secondary metabolites from vegetables and spices able to enhance the activity of cannabinoid-type 2 (CB2 ) receptors may provide adaptive metabolic advantages and counteract inflammation. In contrast, chronic CB1 receptor activation in hedonic obese individuals may enhance pathophysiological processes related to hyperlipidaemia, diabetes, hepatorenal inflammation and cardiometabolic risk. Food able to modulate the CB1 /CB2 receptor activation ratio may thus play a role in the nutrition transition of Western high-calorie diets. In this review, the interplay between diet and the ECS is highlighted from an evolutionary perspective. The emerging potential of cannabimimetic food as a nutraceutical strategy is critically discussed.

  20. Voyages Through Time: Everything Evolves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Jane; Tarter, Jill; Devore, Edna; Pendleton, Yvonne; O'Sullivan, Kathleen; Burke, Meg

    2004-06-01

    The SETI Institute, the California Academy of Sciences, NASA Ames Research Center, and San Francisco State University have developed standards-based curriculum materials for a one-year high school integrated science course centered on the unifying theme of evolution. Scientists, teachers, curriculum writers, and media specialists are currently finalizing six modules that integrate astronomical, geological, and biological sciences as well as the history of science and technology. The sequence of lessons in each module is designed to promote students' understanding and skills as defined by the National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks for Science Literacy. The modules cover: Cosmic Evolution, Planetary Evolution, Origin of Life, Evolution of Life, Hominid Evolution, and the Evolution of Technology. The core lessons for all six modules are provided via CD-ROM, including instructional guidelines, science background information, and additional resources (print, audiovisual, software, WWW sites, and databases). These products will be published as a complete set for use as a yearlong science course and will also be available as individual modules for use in discipline-based courses. Evolutionary change is a powerful framework for studying our world and our place therein. It is a story of epic size, capable of inspiring awe and of expanding our sense of time and place. This story is the basis of Voyages Through Time.

  1. Comparative expression analysis of the phosphocreatine circuit in extant primates: Implications for human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfefferle, Adam D; Warner, Lisa R; Wang, Catrina W; Nielsen, William J; Babbitt, Courtney C; Fedrigo, Olivier; Wray, Gregory A

    2011-02-01

    While the hominid fossil record clearly shows that brain size has rapidly expanded over the last ~2.5 M.yr. the forces driving this change remain unclear. One popular hypothesis proposes that metabolic adaptations in response to dietary shifts supported greater encephalization in humans. An increase in meat consumption distinguishes the human diet from that of other great apes. Creatine, an essential metabolite for energy homeostasis in muscle and brain tissue, is abundant in meat and was likely ingested in higher quantities during human origins. Five phosphocreatine circuit proteins help regulate creatine utilization within energy demanding cells. We compared the expression of all five phosphocreatine circuit genes in cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and skeletal muscle tissue for humans, chimpanzees, and rhesus macaques. Strikingly, SLC6A8 and CKB transcript levels are higher in the human brain, which should increase energy availability and turnover compared to non-human primates. Combined with other well-documented differences between humans and non-human primates, this allocation of energy to the cerebral cortex and cerebellum may be important in supporting the increased metabolic demands of the human brain.

  2. Anthracothere dental anatomy reveals a late Miocene Chado-Libyan bioprovince.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lihoreau, Fabrice; Boisserie, Jean-Renaud; Viriot, Laurent; Coppens, Yves; Likius, Andossa; Mackaye, Hassane Taisso; Tafforeau, Paul; Vignaud, Patrick; Brunet, Michel

    2006-06-01

    Recent discovery of an abundant and diverse late Miocene fauna at Toros-Ménalla (Chad, central Africa) by the Mission Paléoanthropologique Franco-Tchadienne provides a unique opportunity to examine African faunal and hominid evolution relative to the early phases of the Saharan arid belt. This study presents evidence from an African Miocene anthracotheriid Libycosaurus, particularly well documented at Toros-Ménalla. Its remains reveal a large semiaquatic mammal that evolved an autapomorphic upper fifth premolar (extremely rare in Cenozoic mammals). The extra tooth appeared approximately 12 million years ago, probably in a small northern African population isolated by climate-driven fragmentation and alteration of the environments inhabited by these anthracotheriids [Flower, B. P. & Kennett, J. P. (1994) Palaeogeogr. Palaeoclimatol. Palaeoecol. 108, 537-555 and Zachos, J., Pagani, M., Sloan, L., Thomas, E. & Billups, K. (2001) Science 292, 686-693]. The semiaquatic niche of Libycosaurus, combined with the distribution and relationships of its late Miocene species, indicates that by the end of the Miocene, wet environments connected the Lake Chad Basin to the Libyan Sirt Basin, across what is now the Sahara desert.

  3. Emergence of a Homo sapiens-specific gene family and chromosome 16p11.2 CNV susceptibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuttle, Xander; Giannuzzi, Giuliana; Duyzend, Michael H; Schraiber, Joshua G; Narvaiza, Iñigo; Sudmant, Peter H; Penn, Osnat; Chiatante, Giorgia; Malig, Maika; Huddleston, John; Benner, Chris; Camponeschi, Francesca; Ciofi-Baffoni, Simone; Stessman, Holly A F; Marchetto, Maria C N; Denman, Laura; Harshman, Lana; Baker, Carl; Raja, Archana; Penewit, Kelsi; Janke, Nicolette; Tang, W Joyce; Ventura, Mario; Banci, Lucia; Antonacci, Francesca; Akey, Joshua M; Amemiya, Chris T; Gage, Fred H; Reymond, Alexandre; Eichler, Evan E

    2016-08-11

    Genetic differences that specify unique aspects of human evolution have typically been identified by comparative analyses between the genomes of humans and closely related primates, including more recently the genomes of archaic hominins. Not all regions of the genome, however, are equally amenable to such study. Recurrent copy number variation (CNV) at chromosome 16p11.2 accounts for approximately 1% of cases of autism and is mediated by a complex set of segmental duplications, many of which arose recently during human evolution. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of the locus and identify bolA family member 2 (BOLA2) as a gene duplicated exclusively in Homo sapiens. We estimate that a 95-kilobase-pair segment containing BOLA2 duplicated across the critical region approximately 282 thousand years ago (ka), one of the latest among a series of genomic changes that dramatically restructured the locus during hominid evolution. All humans examined carried one or more copies of the duplication, which nearly fixed early in the human lineage--a pattern unlikely to have arisen so rapidly in the absence of selection (P sapiens-specific duplication. In summary, the duplicative transposition of BOLA2 at the root of the H. sapiens lineage about 282 ka simultaneously increased copy number of a gene associated with iron homeostasis and predisposed our species to recurrent rearrangements associated with disease.

  4. Theories of bipedal walking: an odyssey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughan, Christopher L

    2003-04-01

    In this paper six theories of bipedal walking, and the evidence in support of the theories, are reviewed. They include: evolution, minimising energy consumption, maturation in children, central pattern generators, linking control and effect, and robots on two legs. Specifically, the six theories posit that: (1) bipedalism is the fundamental evolutionary adaptation that sets hominids--and therefore humans--apart from other primates; (2) locomotion is the translation of the centre of gravity along a pathway requiring the least expenditure of energy; (3) when a young child takes its first few halting steps, his or her biomechanical strategy is to minimise the risk of falling; (4) a dedicated network of interneurons in the spinal cord generates the rhythm and cyclic pattern of electromyographic signals that give rise to bipedal gait; (5) bipedal locomotion is generated through global entrainment of the neural system on the one hand, and the musculoskeletal system plus environment on the other; and (6) powered dynamic gait in a bipedal robot can be realised only through a strategy which is based on stability and real-time feedback control. The published record suggests that each of the theories has some measure of support. However, it is important to note that there are other important theories of locomotion which have not been covered in this review. Despite such omissions, this odyssey has explored the wide spectrum of bipedal walking, from its origins through to the integration of the nervous, muscular and skeletal systems.

  5. El papel del alineamiento y la interacción comunicativa en la evolución de la capacidad humana para el lenguaje (The role of alignment and communicative interaction in the evolution of the human capacity for language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucía Castillo Iglesias

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Contra la idea de que la capacidad para el lenguaje obedece a la evolución de un rasgo aislado, se propone que esta deriva de un conjunto de modificaciones asociadas a la evolución de un modo de vida prosocial en los homínidos. En particular, proponemos que el surgimiento de la gramática obedece a la estabilización de rasgos seleccionados mediante la interacción, cuya reiteración y sistematicidad derivan en la estandarización de comportamientos comunicativamente eficaces. La regularidad en el uso de estos elementos permite la emergencia cultural de la gramática como sistema de reglas que externaliza la estabilización. El alineamiento que se produce en la interacción comunicativa desempeña un papel crucial en este proceso. (Against the idea that the capacity for language evolved as an isolated feature, we propose that it derives from a set of modifications associated with the evolution of a prosocial way of life in hominids. In particular, we propose that the emergence of grammar results from the stabilization of features selected through interaction, whose reiteration and systematicity derive in the standardization of communicatively effective behaviors. Regularity in the use of these elements allows for the cultural emergence of grammar as a system of rules that externalizes stabilization. Interactive alignment plays a crucial role in this process.

  6. The diffusion of the evolutionism in Spain and the JAE (1907-1939

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pelayo, Francisco

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available During the first decades of the 20th Century important findings of hominids fossil remains were made, enlarging the knowledge on Human Evolution. This period runs parallel to the activity of the Junta para Ampliación de Estudios e Investigaciones Científicas (JAE, an institution that helped to spread the new paleontological facts in Spain by providing funds for further studies and research, by the foundation of the Comisión de Investigaciones Paleontológicas y Prehistóricas (CIPP and the promotion of publications on Human Paleontology.

    Durante las primeras décadas del siglo XX se realizaron importantes hallazgos de restos fósiles de homínidos, que ampliaron el conocimiento sobre la Evolución Humana. Este período coincidió con el de actividad de la Junta para Ampliación de Estudios e Investigaciones Científicas (JAE, organismo que contribuyó a la difusión en España de los nuevos datos paleoantropológicos, mediante la dotación de becas de investigación, la creación de la Comisión de Investigaciones Paleontológicas y Prehistóricas (CIPP y la financiación de las publicaciones de trabajos de Paleontología Humana.

  7. Gender, risk assessment, and political ambition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweet-Cushman, Jennie

    2016-01-01

    In the United States, women have long held the right to vote and can participate fully in the political process, and yet they are underrepresented at all levels of elected office. Worldwide, men's dominance in the realm of politics has also been the norm. To date, scholars have focused on supply-side and demand-side explanations of women's underrepresentation but differences in how men and women assess electoral risk (the risk involved in seeking political office) are not fully explained. To fill this gap, I explore how evolutionary theory offers insights into gendered differences in political ambition and the evaluation of electoral risk. Using the framework of life-history theory, I hypothesize that both cognitive and environmental factors in human evolution, particularly as they relate to sexual selection and social roles, have shaped the psychology of ambition in gendered ways affecting contemporary politics. Cognitive risk-assessment mechanisms evolving in the hominid line came to be expressed differently in females and males, in women and men. These gendered expressions plausibly reflect differentiable environmental pressures in the past and may help explain behaviors in and barriers to women's electoral political activity in the present. If so, then the success of efforts to increase such activity - or, regressively, to suppress it - may be better understood.

  8. Sherwood Washburn's New physical anthropology: rejecting the "religion of taxonomy".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikels-Carrasco, Jessica

    2012-01-01

    Many physical anthropologists and nearly all of those studying primatology today can trace their academic genealogy to Sherwood Larned Washburn. His New physical anthropology, fully articulated in a 1951 paper, proposed that the study of hominid evolution must link understandings of form, function, and behavior along with the environment in order most accurately to reconstruct the evolution of our ancestors. This shift of concentration from strictly analyzing fossil remains to what Washburn termed adaptive complexes challenged not only Washburn's predecessors, but also led Washburn to critique the very system of academia within which he worked. Collaboration across multiple disciplines, linking the four fields of anthropology in order to understand humans and application of our understandings of human evolution to the betterment of society, are the hallmarks of Washburnian anthropology. In this paper I will explore how Washburn's New physical anthropology led him to not only change the research direction in physical anthropology, but also to challenge the academia within which he worked. I will conclude by reflecting on the prospects of continuing to practice Washburnian Anthropology.

  9. Viable Syntax: Rethinking Minimalist Architecture

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    Ken Safir

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Hauser et al. (2002 suggest that the human language faculty emerged as a genetic innovation in the form of what is called here a ‘keystone factor’—a single, simple, formal mental capability that, interacting with the pre-existing faculties of hominid ancestors, caused a cascade of effects resulting in the language faculty in modern humans. They take Merge to be the keystone factor, but instead it is posited here that Merge is the pre-existing mechanism of thought made viable by a principle that permits relations interpretable at the interfaces to be mapped onto c-command. The simplified minimalist architecture proposed here respects the keystone factor as closely as possible, but is justified on the basis of linguistic analyses it makes available, including a relativized intervention theory applicable across Case, scope, agreement, selection and linearization, a derivation of the A/A’-distinction from Case theory, and predictions such as why in situ wh-interpretation is island-insensitive, but susceptible to intervention effects.

  10. Early human occupation of Western Europe: Paleomagnetic dates for two paleolithic sites in Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oms, O.; Parés, J. M.; Martínez-Navarro, B.; Agustí, J.; Toro, I.; Martínez-Fernández, G.; Turq, A.

    2000-01-01

    The lacustrine deposits infilling the intramontane Guadix-Baza Basin, in the Betic Range of Southern Spain, have yielded abundant well-preserved lithic artifacts. In addition, the lake beds contain a wide range of micromammals including Mimomys savini and Allophaiomys burgondiae and large mammals such as Mammuthus and Hippopotamus together with the African saber-toothed felid Megantereon. The association of the lithic artifacts along with the fossil assemblages, themselves of prime significance in the Eurasian mammal biochronology, is providing new insight into the controversy of the human settlement in Southern Europe. Despite the importance of the artifacts and fossil assemblage, estimates of the geological age of the site are still in conflict. Some attempts at dating the sediments have included biochronology, uranium series, amino acid racemization, and stratigraphic correlation with other well-dated sections in the basin, but so far have failed to yield unambiguous ages. Here we present paleomagnetic age dating at the relevant localities and thus provide useful age constraints for this critical paleoanthropological and mammal site. Our data provide firm evidence for human occupation in Southern Europe in the Lower Pleistocene, around 1 mega-annum ago. The current view of when and how hominids first dispersed into Europe needs to be reevaluated. PMID:10973485

  11. Auditory capacities in Middle Pleistocene humans from the Sierra de Atapuerca in Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, I.; Rosa, M.; Arsuaga, J.-L.; Jarabo, P.; Quam, R.; Lorenzo, C.; Gracia, A.; Carretero, J.-M.; de Castro, J.-M. Bermúdez; Carbonell, E.

    2004-01-01

    Human hearing differs from that of chimpanzees and most other anthropoids in maintaining a relatively high sensitivity from 2 kHz up to 4 kHz, a region that contains relevant acoustic information in spoken language. Knowledge of the auditory capacities in human fossil ancestors could greatly enhance the understanding of when this human pattern emerged during the course of our evolutionary history. Here we use a comprehensive physical model to analyze the influence of skeletal structures on the acoustic filtering of the outer and middle ears in five fossil human specimens from the Middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos in the Sierra de Atapuerca of Spain. Our results show that the skeletal anatomy in these hominids is compatible with a human-like pattern of sound power transmission through the outer and middle ear at frequencies up to 5 kHz, suggesting that they already had auditory capacities similar to those of living humans in this frequency range. PMID:15213327

  12. Direct radiocarbon dates for prehistoric paintings at the Altamira, El Castillo and Niaux caves

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Valladas, H.; Cachier, H.; Maurice, P.; Arnold, M. (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), 91 - Gif-sur-Yvette (France)); Quiros, F.B. de (Universidad de Leon (Spain). Area de Prehistoria); Clottes, J. (Ministere de la Culture et de la Communication, Foix (France)); Valdes, V.C. (UNED, Madrid (Spain). Departmento de Prehistoria e Historia Antigua); Uzquiano, P. (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), 34 -Montpellier (France). Laboratoire de Paleobotanique)

    1992-05-07

    Among things that most strikingly distinguish modern humans from other hominids and the rest of the animal kingdom is the ability to represent things and events pictorially. Complex paintings of the type discovered in the Altamira, El Castillo, Niaux and Lascaux caves represent an important stepping stone in the cultural evolution of humankind. Until now dates were derived from style or dated remains left by prehistoric visitors and could be biased by prolonged occupation or visits unrelated to painting activity. Here we report the first radiocarbon dates for the charcoal used to draw stylistically similar bisons in these caves: 14,000 {+-} 400 yr BP in the Spanish caves of Altamira, 12,990 {+-} 200 yr BP in El Castillo, and 12,890 {+-} 160 yr BP for a bison of different style in the French Pyrenean cave of Niaux. Our results demonstrate the imprecise nature of stylistic dating and show that painting dates derived from remains of human activities should be used with caution. (Author).

  13. The material record and the antiquity of language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tattersall, Ian

    2017-02-01

    One view of language origins sees it as ancient and selection-driven; the other as recent and emergent. Such disagreement occurs because language is ephemeral, detectable only by indirect proxies. Because internalized language and symbolic thought are tightly linked, the best archaeological proxies for language are symbolic objects. Nothing indicates convincingly that any hominid behaved symbolically prior to Homo sapiens, which originated 200kyr ago but started behaving symbolically only 100kyr later. Most probably the necessary neural underpinnings arose exaptively in the extensive developmental reorganization that gave rise to anatomically distinctive Homo sapiens, and were recruited subsequently via a necessarily behavioral stimulus. This was most plausibly the spontaneous invention of externalized language, in an isolate of Homo sapiens in Africa, that initiated a feedback process between externalized structured language and internalized language/organized thought. These subsequently spread in tandem throughout a species already biologically predisposed for them. Despite its qualitatively remarkable result, this exaptive process would have been perfectly routine and unremarkable in terms of evolutionary mechanism.

  14. Lessons from the life history of natural fertility societies on child growth and maturation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gawlik, Aneta; Hochberg, Ze'ev

    2012-06-19

    During the evolution of hominids, childhood and adolescence have been added as new life-history phases. The transition from infancy to childhood (ICT) confers a predictive adaptive response to energetic cues that strongly influence adult height, whereas the transition from juvenility to adolescence establishes longevity and the age of fertility. Evolutionary short-term adaptations to energy crises apparently use epigenetic mechanisms that defer the ICT, culminating in short stature. The study of hunter-gatherers gives us an indication of pre-demographic transition populations and their life style that prevailed for 99% of homo's evolution. The secular trend for receding age of pubertal development has been an adaptive response to positive environmental cues in terms of energy balance. In natural fertility preindustrial societies with limited access to modern contraception and health care, and whose economies are primarily subsistence-based, most resources are invested as somatic capital in human body size and fertility. Here we review results from databases for natural fertility societies, with the information on life history, population density, height and body mass, indices of adolescence and fertility. By using them it was possible to verify the ICT model as well as to explore pubertal parameters that are related to evolutionary fitness. They confirmed that body size was adaptively smaller in hostile environments, and was tightly associated with reproductive fitness.

  15. Possible brucellosis in an early hominin skeleton from sterkfontein, South Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruggero D'Anastasio

    Full Text Available We report on the paleopathological analysis of the partial skeleton of the late Pliocene hominin species Australopithecus africanus Stw 431 from Sterkfontein, South Africa. A previous study noted the presence of lesions on vertebral bodies diagnosed as spondylosis deformans due to trauma. Instead, we suggest that these lesions are pathological changes due to the initial phases of an infectious disease, brucellosis. The macroscopic, microscopic and radiological appearance of the lytic lesions of the lumbar vertebrae is consistent with brucellosis. The hypothesis of brucellosis (most often associated with the consumption of animal proteins in a 2.4 to 2.8 million year old hominid has a host of important implications for human evolution. The consumption of meat has been regarded an important factor in supporting, directing or altering human evolution. Perhaps the earliest (up to 2.5 million years ago paleontological evidence for meat eating consists of cut marks on animal remains and stone tools that could have made these marks. Now with the hypothesis of brucellosis in A. africanus, we may have evidence of occasional meat eating directly linked to a fossil hominin.

  16. The fossil record as a tool in cyclo stratigraphy: the incidence of Milankovitch-scale palaeoenvironmental changes on palaeocommunities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodriguez-Tovar, F. J.

    2013-06-01

    Cyclo stratigraphic analysis at the Milankovitch scale has to date mainly been approached through the sedimentary record, although palaeontological data (the fossil record) is known to provide useful evidence of orbital-scale cycles of precession, obliquity and eccentricity. Orbit ally induced marine and terrestrial palaeoenvironmental changes determine variable responses on the part of the resident communities. Aside from the disruption of communities, complex evolutionary responses including stasis, speciation and extinction phenomena may take place. Cyclic variations in the marine past-biota at the community level, or in some particular taxa, have often been associated with orbit ally induced changes in palaeoenvironmental parameters. Cyclo stratigraphic research into foraminifera, radiol aria and nanno fossil data, mainly from Cretaceous sediments, may contribute significantly to our understanding of the planktonic community's response, whereas the response of the benthic community, deriving mainly from benthic foraminifera and trace fossils, has been studied to a lesser extent. Recognition of Milankovitch cycles from terrestrial palaeocommunities is relatively scarce and based mainly on the study of Pliocene-Miocene pollen assemblages. Astronomical forced climate changes determine well known variations in the distribution of terrestrial vegetation, but can also affect the terrestrial animal community, including hominid populations (migration, dispersion and colonisation). (Author)

  17. Exploring the Potential of Laser Ablation Carbon Isotope Analysis for Examining Ecology during the Ontogeny of Middle Pleistocene Hominins from Sima de los Huesos (Northern Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Nuria; Feranec, Robert S.; Passey, Benjamin H.; Cerling, Thure E.; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2015-01-01

    Laser ablation of tooth enamel was used to analyze stable carbon isotope compositions of teeth of hominins, red deer, and bears from middle Pleistocene sites in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain, to investigate the possibility that this technique could be used as an additional tool to identify periods of physiological change that are not detectable as changes in tooth morphology. Most of the specimens were found to have minimal intra-tooth variation in carbon isotopes (< 2.3‰), suggesting isotopically uniform diets through time and revealing no obvious periods of physiological change. However, one of the two sampled hominin teeth displayed a temporal carbon isotope shift (3.2‰) that was significantly greater than observed for co-occurring specimens. The δ13C value of this individual averaged about -16‰ early in life, and -13‰ later in life. This isotopic change occurred on the canine crown about 4.2 mm from the root, which corresponds to an approximate age of two to four years old in modern humans. Our dataset is perforce small owing to the precious nature of hominid teeth, but it demonstrates the potential utility of the intra-tooth isotope profile method for extracting ontogenetic histories of human ancestors. PMID:26673156

  18. Out of Africa: modern human origins special feature: human origins: out of Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tattersall, Ian

    2009-09-22

    Our species, Homo sapiens, is highly autapomorphic (uniquely derived) among hominids in the structure of its skull and postcranial skeleton. It is also sharply distinguished from other organisms by its unique symbolic mode of cognition. The fossil and archaeological records combine to show fairly clearly that our physical and cognitive attributes both first appeared in Africa, but at different times. Essentially modern bony conformation was established in that continent by the 200-150 Ka range (a dating in good agreement with dates for the origin of H. sapiens derived from modern molecular diversity). The event concerned was apparently short-term because it is essentially unanticipated in the fossil record. In contrast, the first convincing stirrings of symbolic behavior are not currently detectable until (possibly well) after 100 Ka. The radical reorganization of gene expression that underwrote the distinctive physical appearance of H. sapiens was probably also responsible for the neural substrate that permits symbolic cognition. This exaptively acquired potential lay unexploited until it was "discovered" via a cultural stimulus, plausibly the invention of language. Modern humans appear to have definitively exited Africa to populate the rest of the globe only after both their physical and cognitive peculiarities had been acquired within that continent.

  19. Human origins: Out of Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tattersall, Ian

    2009-01-01

    Our species, Homo sapiens, is highly autapomorphic (uniquely derived) among hominids in the structure of its skull and postcranial skeleton. It is also sharply distinguished from other organisms by its unique symbolic mode of cognition. The fossil and archaeological records combine to show fairly clearly that our physical and cognitive attributes both first appeared in Africa, but at different times. Essentially modern bony conformation was established in that continent by the 200–150 Ka range (a dating in good agreement with dates for the origin of H. sapiens derived from modern molecular diversity). The event concerned was apparently short-term because it is essentially unanticipated in the fossil record. In contrast, the first convincing stirrings of symbolic behavior are not currently detectable until (possibly well) after 100 Ka. The radical reorganization of gene expression that underwrote the distinctive physical appearance of H. sapiens was probably also responsible for the neural substrate that permits symbolic cognition. This exaptively acquired potential lay unexploited until it was “discovered” via a cultural stimulus, plausibly the invention of language. Modern humans appear to have definitively exited Africa to populate the rest of the globe only after both their physical and cognitive peculiarities had been acquired within that continent. PMID:19805256

  20. Life history effects on the molecular clock of autosomes and sex chromosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amster, Guy; Sella, Guy

    2016-02-01

    One of the foundational results in molecular evolution is that the rate at which neutral substitutions accumulate on a lineage equals the rate at which mutations arise. Traits that affect rates of mutation therefore also affect the phylogenetic "molecular clock." We consider the effects of sex-specific generation times and mutation rates in species with two sexes. In particular, we focus on the effects that the age of onset of male puberty and rates of spermatogenesis have likely had in hominids (great apes), considering a model that approximates features of the mutational process in mammals, birds, and some other vertebrates. As we show, this model can account for a number of seemingly disparate observations: notably, the puzzlingly low X-to-autosome ratios of substitution rates in humans and chimpanzees and differences in rates of autosomal substitutions among hominine lineages (i.e., humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas). The model further suggests how to translate pedigree-based estimates of human mutation rates into split times among extant hominoids (apes), given sex-specific life histories. In so doing, it largely bridges the gap reported between estimates of split times based on fossil and molecular evidence, in particular suggesting that the human-chimpanzee split may have occurred as recently as 6.6 Mya. The model also implies that the "generation time effect" should be stronger in short-lived species, explaining why the generation time has a major influence on yearly substitution rates in mammals but only a subtle one in human pedigrees.

  1. Ancient hunters and their modern representatives: William Sollas's (1849-1936) Anthropology from disappointed bridge to trunkless tree and the instrumentalisation of racial conflict.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommer, Marianne

    2005-01-01

    During the first decades of the 20th century, many anthropologists who had previously adhered to a linear view of human evolution, from an ape via Pithecanthropus erectus (today Homo erectus) and Neanderthal to modern humans, began to change their outlook. A shift towards a branching model of human evolution began to take hold. Among the scientific factors motivating this trend was the insight that mammalian evolution in general was best represented by a branching tree, rather than by a straight line, and that several new fossil hominids were discovered that differed significantly in their morphology but seemed to date from about the same period. The ideological and practical implications of imperialism and WWI have also been identified as formative of the new evolutionary scenarios in which racial conflict played a crucial role. The paper will illustrate this general shift in anthropological theory for one particular scientist, William Sollas (1849-1936). Sollas achieved a synthesis of human morphological and cultural evolution in what I will refer to as an imperialist model. In this theoretical framework, migration, conflict, and replacement became the main mechanisms for progress spurred by 'nature's tyrant,' natural selection.

  2. Les Rhinocerotidae (Mammalia, Perissodactyla miocènes et pliocènes des Tugen Hills (Kénya

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    Guérin, C.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available More than 70 determinable and usable rhinoceros remains belonging to nine species were yielded by 26 Miocene and Pliocene sites from the Tugen Hills (Kenya, namely Cheboit, Kapsomin, Kipsaraman and Tabarin. Such a material allows a better knowledge of the anatomy of these species. It is now possible to distinguish the postcranial skeleton of Aceratherium acutirostratum from that of Dicerorhinus leakeyi. The cranial and dental anatomy of Paradiceros mukirii is better known. The temporal extension of Chilotheridium pattersoni and Paradiceros mukirii are increased. Ceratotherium praecox is the most frequent rhino from the Uppermost Miocene onwards. Diceros bicornis is known since 6 My, about at the same time the first C. praecox. Diceros cf. pachygnathus is identified in the Lukeino and Mabaget Formations, and the geographical extension of this group of species is much increased. The Hominid Orrorin tugenensis is associated with rhinoceroses in four sites of the Lukeino Formation; Ceratotherium praecox is present in three of them, alone in Kapcheberek, associated one time (Tabarin with D. bicornis and in another one (Cheboit with Brachypotherium lewisi; at Aragai the sole rhino is Diceros cf. pachygnathus. All these rhinos contribute to assign to Orrorin a variable but mostly open and rather wet palaeoenvironment.

    [fr] Plus de 70 restes déterminables appartenant à neuf espèces de Rhinocerotidae ont été recueillis dans 26 gisements miocènes et pliocènes des Tugen Hills, les plus riches étant Cheboit, Kapsomin, Kipsaraman et Tabarin. Ce matériel permet d’accroître sensiblement nos connaissances sur l’anatomie de ces espèces. Il est désormais possible de distinguer le squelette post-crânien de Aceratherium acutirostratum de celui de Dicerorhinus leakeyi; l’anatomie crânienne et dentaire de

  3. Field-mapping and petrographic analysis of volcanoes surrounding the Lake Natron Homo sapiens footprint site, northern Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, S. M.; Zimmer, B.; Liutkus, C.; Carmichael, S. K.; McGinnis, K.

    2010-12-01

    The Lake Natron Homo sapiens footprint site is located in northern Tanzania along the East African Rift escarpment. The site is positioned south of Lake Natron within an ephemeral channel of the Engare Sero River. The hominid footprints are preserved in a tuff, which originated from one of the volcanic centers surrounding the site. Two large volcanoes in the surrounding region, including the active carbonatite producing Oldoinyo L’engai and the now extinct Kerimasi are possible sources. This area also contains over 30 smaller tuff cones and tuff rings that have been poorly mapped and not analyzed in detail. The site is significant as it is the oldest modern human trackway in East Africa and one of the largest collections of hominid footprints in the world. Determining the source of the footprinted volcanic ash requires detailed field mapping, and both petrographic and geochemical analyses. Extensive field-mapping of the region revealed multiple regional beds that stratigraphically overlay the footprinted layer. Age dating as well as geochemical analysis is being conducted to relate these beds to the footprinted layer. Field-mapping showed that the footprinted tuff is over 35 cm thick, suggesting a large, sustained eruption. The bulk of the tuff cones examined in the field visibly varied in composition to the footprinted tuff and, based on proximity to the footprint site, are too small to produce the requisite volume of ash. Field analysis of samples collected from Oldoinyo L’engai reveal the most similar mineral assemblages to the footprinted layer, and the large volcano provides a source substantial enough to create a thick ash bed 10 km north of the summit. Preliminary research reveals that the footprinted tuff is a phonolite, characterized by silica depletion and the presence of sanidine, augite, and annite with interstitial calcite. XRD analysis of samples collected from Oldoinyo L’engai reveal a nepheline-rich phonolite with zeolites (ie. phillipsite

  4. Hygiene and other early childhood influences on the subsequent function of the immune system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rook, Graham A W

    2011-01-01

    The current 'Darwinian' synthesis of the hygiene (or 'Old Friends') hypothesis suggests that the increase in chronic inflammatory disorders that started in Europe in the mid-19th century and progressed until the late 20th century is at least partly attributable to immunodysregulation resulting from lack of exposure to microorganisms that were tasked by co-evolutionary processes with establishing the 'normal' background levels of immunoregulation, a role that they perform in concert with the normal microbiota. This is an example of 'evolved dependence'. The relevant organisms co-evolved with mammals, already accompanied early hominids in the Paleolithic era and are associated with animals, mud and faeces. These organisms often establish stable carrier states, or are encountered continuously in primitive environments as 'pseudocommensals' from mud and water. These organisms were not lost during the first epidemiological transition, which might even have resulted in increased exposure to them. However, the crucial organisms are lost progressively as populations undergo the second epidemiological transition (modern urban environment). Recently evolved sporadic 'childhood infections' are not likely to have evolved immunoregulatory roles, and epidemiology supports this contention. The consequences of the loss of the Old Friends and distortion of the microbiota are aggravated by other modern environmental changes that also lead to enhanced inflammatory responses (obesity, vitamin D deficiency, pollution (dioxins), etc.). The range of chronic inflammatory disorders affected may be larger than had been assumed (allergies, autoimmunity, inflammatory bowel disease, but also coeliac disease, food allergy, vascular disease, some cancers, and depression/anxiety when accompanied by raised inflammatory cytokines).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Tool-use training in a species of rodent: the emergence of an optimal motor strategy and functional understanding.

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    Kazuo Okanoya

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Tool use is defined as the manipulation of an inanimate object to change the position or form of a separate object. The expansion of cognitive niches and tool-use capabilities probably stimulated each other in hominid evolution. To understand the causes of cognitive expansion in humans, we need to know the behavioral and neural basis of tool use. Although a wide range of animals exhibit tool use in nature, most studies have focused on primates and birds on behavioral or psychological levels and did not directly address questions of which neural modifications contributed to the emergence of tool use. To investigate such questions, an animal model suitable for cellular and molecular manipulations is needed. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We demonstrated for the first time that rodents can be trained to use tools. Through a step-by-step training procedure, we trained degus (Octodon degus to use a rake-like tool with their forelimbs to retrieve otherwise out-of-reach rewards. Eventually, they mastered effective use of the tool, moving it in an elegant trajectory. After the degus were well trained, probe tests that examined whether they showed functional understanding of the tool were performed. Degus did not hesitate to use tools of different size, colors, and shapes, but were reluctant to use the tool with a raised nonfunctional blade. Thus, degus understood the functional and physical properties of the tool after extensive training. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings suggest that tool use is not a specific faculty resulting from higher intelligence, but is a specific combination of more general cognitive faculties. Studying the brains and behaviors of trained rodents can provide insights into how higher cognitive functions might be broken down into more general faculties, and also what cellular and molecular mechanisms are involved in the emergence of such cognitive functions.

  7. Estudios pioneros en torno al origen del lenguaje natural

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    Martínez Contreras, Jorge

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available It has being an ancient desire to ask apes what their natural lives are. De la Mettrie was the first to propose, in the 18th C., that the sign language of deaf adults could be used with them since they do not speak. We enhance here some of the pioneering projects of the two strategies for this endeavor: the use of ASL and the utilization of lexigrams and computers. Besides the ancient communicative quest with them, the evolutionist’s perspective has seen in these studies a way to find out how the natural language (NL emerged in hominids. If it is clear that apes do no possess totally the NL, the linguistic turn in primatology has left way, as in philosophy, to more complex field and laboratory cognitive studies of less anthropocentric nature.

    Tratar de hablar con los simios y preguntarles cosas sobre su vida natural es un viejo deseo. De la Mettrie propone, en el s. XVIII, que se les enseñe el lenguaje de los sordos en vista de que no pueden hablar. Resaltamos aquí algunos estudios pioneros en relación con las dos estrategias llevadas a cabo para tratar de hablar con los simios: el uso del lenguaje americano de sordos (ASL y el de los lexigramas y computadoras. Además del viejo interés interrogativo humano hacia ellos, la perspectiva evolucionista ha visto en estos estudios un medio de investigar cómo surgió el lenguaje natural (LN en homínidos. Si queda claro que los simios no poseen totalmente el LN, el giro lingüistico en primatología ha cedido, como en filosofía, el paso a estudios cognitivos más complejos, de campo y de laboratorio, de orientación menos antropomórfica.

  8. Dragon's paradise lost: palaeobiogeography, evolution and extinction of the largest-ever terrestrial lizards (Varanidae.

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    Scott A Hocknull

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The largest living lizard species, Varanus komodoensis Ouwens 1912, is vulnerable to extinction, being restricted to a few isolated islands in eastern Indonesia, between Java and Australia, where it is the dominant terrestrial carnivore. Understanding how large-bodied varanids responded to past environmental change underpins long-term management of V. komodoensis populations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We reconstruct the palaeobiogeography of Neogene giant varanids and identify a new (unnamed species from the island of Timor. Our data reject the long-held perception that V. komodoensis became a giant because of insular evolution or as a specialist hunter of pygmy Stegodon. Phyletic giantism, coupled with a westward dispersal from mainland Australia, provides the most parsimonious explanation for the palaeodistribution of V. komodoensis and the newly identified species of giant varanid from Timor. Pliocene giant varanid fossils from Australia are morphologically referable to V. komodoensis suggesting an ultimate origin for V. komodoensis on mainland Australia (>3.8 million years ago. Varanus komodoensis body size has remained stable over the last 900,000 years (ka on Flores, a time marked by major faunal turnovers, extinction of the island's megafauna, the arrival of early hominids by 880 ka, co-existence with Homo floresiensis, and the arrival of modern humans by 10 ka. Within the last 2000 years their populations have contracted severely. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Giant varanids were once a ubiquitous part of Subcontinental Eurasian and Australasian faunas during the Neogene. Extinction played a pivotal role in the reduction of their ranges and diversity throughout the late Quaternary, leaving only V. komodoensis as an isolated long-term survivor. The events over the last two millennia now threaten its future survival.

  9. Darwin’s legacy in South African evolutionary biology

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    S. D. Johnson

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available In the two decades after publication of the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin facilitated the publication of numerous scientific papers by settler naturalists in South Africa. This helped to establish the strong tradition of natural history which has characterised evolutionary research in South African museums, herbaria and universities. Significant developments in the early 20th century included the hominid fossil discoveries of Raymond Dart, Robert Broom, and others, but there was otherwise very little South African involvement in the evolutionary synthesis of the 1930s and 1940s. Evolutionary biology developed into a distinct discipline in South Africa during the 1970s and 1980s when it was dominated by mammalian palaeontology and a vigorous debate around species concepts. In the post-apartheid era, the main focus of evolutionary biology has been the construction of phylogenies for African plants and animals using molecular data, and the use of these phylogenies to answer questions about taxonomic classification and trait evolution. South African biologists have also recently contributed important evidence for some of Darwin’s ideas about plant–animal coevolution, sexual selection, and the role of natural selection in speciation. A bibliographic analysis shows that South African authors produce 2–3% of the world’s publications in the field of evolutionary biology, which is much higher than the value of about 0.5% for publications in all sciences. With its extraordinary biodiversity and well-developed research infrastructure, South Africa is an ideal laboratory from which to advance evolutionary research.

  10. The neural basis of human tool use

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    Guy A Orban

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available In this review, we propose that the neural basis for the spontaneous, diversified human tool use is an area devoted to the execution and observation of tool actions, located in the left anterior supramarginal gyrus (aSMG. The aSMG activation elicited by observing tool use is typical of human subjects, as macaques show no similar activation, even after an extensive training to use tools. The execution of tool actions, as well as their observation, requires the convergence upon aSMG of inputs from different parts of the dorsal and ventral visual streams. Non semantic features of the target object may be provided by the posterior parietal cortex (PPC for tool-object interaction, paralleling the well-known PPC input to AIP for hand-object interaction. Semantic information regarding tool identity, and knowledge of the typical manner of handling the tool, could be provided by inferior and middle regions of the temporal lobe. Somatosensory feedback and technical reasoning, as well as motor and intentional constraints also play roles during the planning of tool actions and consequently their signals likewise converge upon aSMG.We further propose that aSMG may have arisen though duplication of monkey AIP and invasion of the duplicate area by afferents from PPC providing distinct signals depending on the kinematics of the manipulative action. This duplication may have occurred when Homo Habilis or Homo Erectus emerged, generating the Oldowan or Acheulean Industrial complexes respectively. Hence tool use may have emerged during hominid evolution between bipedalism and language.We conclude that humans have two parietal systems involved in tool behavior: a biological circuit for grasping objects, including tools, and an artifactual system devoted specifically to tool use. Only the latter allows humans to understand the causal relationship between tool use and obtaining the goal, and is likely to be the basis of all technological developments.

  11. Nonocclusal dental microwear analysis of 300,000-year-old Homo heilderbergensis teeth from Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Pérez, A; Bermúdez De Castro, J M; Arsuaga, J L

    1999-04-01

    Casts of nonocclusal enamel surfaces of 190 teeth from the Middle Pleistocene site of Sima de los Huesos have been micrographed by scanning electron microscopy. Microscopic analyses of striation density and length by orientation show distinct patterns of intrapopulation variability. Significant differences in the number and length of the striations by orientation are found between maxillary and mandibular teeth. This probably reflects differences in the mechanical forces involved in the process of chewing food. Significant differences are present between isolated and in situ teeth that could be caused by postdepositional processes differentially affecting the isolated teeth. In addition, a distinct and very unusual striation pattern is observed in a sample of teeth that can be explained only by a strong nondietary, most probably postmortem abrasion of the enamel surfaces. These teeth have a very high density of scratches, shorter in length than those found on other teeth, that are not indicative of dietary habits. No known depositional process may account for the presence of such postmortem wear since heavy transportation of materials within the clayish sediments has been discarded for the site. Despite this, a characteristic dietary striation pattern can be observed in most of the teeth analyzed. Most likely the diet of the Homo heidelbergensis hominids from Sima de los Huesos was highly abrasive, probably with a large dependence on hard, poorly processed plant foods, such as roots, stems, and seeds. A highly significant sex-related difference in the striation pattern can also be observed in the teeth analyzed, suggesting a differential consistency in the foods eaten by females and males.

  12. Evidence for linkage to psychosis and cerebral asymmetry (relative hand skill) on the X chromosome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laval, S H; Dann, J C; Butler, R J; Loftus, J; Rue, J; Leask, S J; Bass, N; Comazzi, M; Vita, A; Nanko, S; Shaw, S; Peterson, P; Shields, G; Smith, A B; Stewart, J; DeLisi, L E; Crow, T J

    1998-09-01

    The hypothesis that psychosis arises as a part of the genetic diversity associated with the evolution of language generates the prediction that illness will be linked to a gene determining cerebral asymmetry, which, from the evidence of sex chromosome aneuploidies, is present in homologous form on the X and Y chromosomes. We investigated evidence of linkage to markers on the X chromosome in 1) 178 families multiply affected with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder with a series of 16 markers spanning the centromere (study 1), and 2) 180 pairs of left-handed brothers with 14 markers spanning the whole chromosome (study 2). In study 1, excess allele-sharing was observed in brother-brother pairs (but not brother-sister or a small sample of sister-sister pairs) over a region of approximately 20 cM, with a maximum LOD score of 1.5 at DXS991. In study 2, an association between allele-sharing and degree of left-handedness was observed extending over approximately 60 cM, with a maximum lod score of 2.8 at DXS990 (approximately 20 cM from DXS991). Within the overlap of allele-sharing is located a block in Xq21 that transposed to the Y chromosome in recent hominid evolution and is now represented as two segments on Yp. In one of two XX males with psychosis we found that the breakpoint on the Y is located within the distal region of homology to the block in Xq21. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that an X-Y homologous determinant of cerebral asymmetry carries the variation that contributes to the predisposition to psychotic illness.

  13. Canine reduction in the miocene hominoid Oreopithecus bambolii: behavioural and evolutionary implications.

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    Alba, D M; Moyà-Solà, S; Köhler, M

    2001-01-01

    The degree of canine size sexual dimorphism and relative canine size, which have been related to levels of agonistic behaviour amongst living anthropoid primates, together with relative molar size, are evaluated in the fossil hominoid Oreopithecus bambolii from the Late Miocene of Italy. Although Oreopithecus displays a significant degree of canine height sexual dimorphism, using allometric techniques and body mass estimates for fossil species, it is shown that Oreopithecus males are microdont (smaller postcanine as well as canine teeth than expected) when compared to most living hominoids and its putative ancestor Dryopithecus. Canine reduction in Oreopithecus includes both crown height and, especially, basal area, and most closely resembles the condition found in the pygmy chimpanzee Pan paniscus. Interestingly, it had been previously proposed that Oreopithecus displays, like pygmy chimpanzees, a paedomorphic cranial morphology resulting in a reduction of facial prognathism, which could be related to microdontia in both taxa. Independent canine reduction in several anthropoid lineages (including hominids and P. paniscus) has been related to a relaxation of the selection pressure favouring canine use as a weapon. Although changes in socio-sexual behaviour, as documented in P. paniscus, cannot be currently discarded in Oreopithecus, canine reduction could be also alternatively (although not exclusively) interpreted as an aspect of generalized microdontia. The latter is best considered an adaptive readjustment required by the paedomorphic reduction of prognathism and the resulting lack of space to accommodate the adult dentition. This mechanism of canine reduction highlights the significance of developmental constraints in evolution and had not been previously suggested for any anthropoid primate.

  14. Biospheric Cooling and the Emergence of Intelligence

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    Schwartzman, David; Middendorf, George

    The long-term cooling history of the Earth's biosphere implies a temperature constraint on the timing of major events in biologic evolution, e.g., emergence of cyanobacteria, eucaryotes and Metazoa apparently occurred at times when temperatures were near their upper growth limits. Could biospheric cooling also have been a necessary condition for the emergence of veterbrates and their encephalization? The upper temperature limit for vertebrate growth is about 10 degrees below the limit for Metazoa (50 degrees C). Heterothermy followed by full homeothermy was likely a necessary condition for greater encephalization because of the energy requirement of larger brains. The temperature differential between an animal and a cooler environment, all other factors equal, will increase the efficiency of heat loss from the brain, but too large a differential will shift metabolic energy away from the brain to the procurement of food. Encephalization has also entailed the evolution of internal cooling mechanisms to avoid overheating the brain. The two periods of pronounced Phanerozoic cooling, the PermoCarboniferous and late Cenozoic, corresponded to the emergence of mammal-like reptiles and hominids respectively, with a variety of explanations offered for the apparent link. The origin of highly encephalized whales, dolphins and porpoises occurred with the drop in ocean temperatures 25-30 mya. Of course, other possible paths to encephalization are conceivable, with radically different solutions to the problem of heat dissipation. But the intrinsic requirements for information processing capacity necessary for intelligence suggest our terrestrial pattern may resemble those of alien biospheres given similar histories.

  15. Evolution of the Genus Homo

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    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. A ~600 kyr duration Early Pleistocene record from the West Turkana (Kenya) HSPDP drill site: elemental XRF variability to reconstruct climate change in Turkana Boy's backyard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockhecke, M.; Beck, C. C.; Brown, E. T.; Cohen, A.; Deino, A. L.; Feibel, C. S.; Sier, M.

    2015-12-01

    Outcrops in the Kenyan and Ethiopian rift valleys document repeated occurrences of freshwater lakes and wooded landscapes over the past 4 million years at locations that are currently seasonally-dry savanna. Studies of the rich fossil records, in combination with outcropping lacustrine sequences, led to major breakthroughs in our knowledge of driving factors in human evolution. However, study of continuous drill core from ancient lake basins provides a basis for to unravel East African climate dynamics in an unseen fashion. The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP), and the related Olorgesailie Drilling Project, recovered ~2 km of drill core since 2012. A major project goal is characterization of East African paleoclimate in order to evaluate its impact on hominin evolution. XRF core scanning data provide a means of evaluating records of past environmental conditions continuously and at high resolution. However, the HSPDP records contain complex lithologies reflecting repeated episodes of inundation and desiccation of the lake basins. Nevertheless, careful data evaluation based on detailed lithostratigraphy, which includes smear-slide microscopic analyses and X-radiographic images, allows disentanglement of complex signals and robust identification of continuous sequences for any cyclostratigraphic and statistical analysis. At the HSPDP Turkana Basin site a 175.6 m-long core the covers the Early Pleistocene time window during which hominids first expanded out of Africa and marine records document reorganization of tropical climate and the development of the strong Walker circulation. This drill site carries particular interest as it is located in only 2.5 km from the location of one of the most complete hominin skeletons ever recovered (Turkana Boy). Here we present a methodological approach to address the highly variable lithostratigraphy of the East African records to establish comprehensive and environmentally meaningful paleoclimate timeseries

  17. Urinary C-peptide measurement as a marker of nutritional status in macaques.

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    Cédric Girard-Buttoz

    Full Text Available Studies of the nutritional status of wild animals are important in a wide range of research areas such as ecology, behavioural ecology and reproductive biology. However, they have so far been strongly limited by the indirect nature of the available non-invasive tools for the measurement of individual energetic status. The measurement of urinary C-peptide (UCP, which in humans and great apes shows a close link to individual nutritional status, may be a more direct, non-invasive tool for such studies in other primates as well and possibly even in non-primate mammals. Here, we test the suitability of UCPs as markers of nutritional status in non-hominid primates, investigating relationships between UCPs and body-mass-index (BMI, skinfold fatness, and plasma C-peptide levels in captive and free-ranging macaques. We also conducted a food reduction experiment, with daily monitoring of body weight and UCP levels. UCP levels showed significant positive correlations with BMI and skinfold fatness in both captive and free-ranging animals and with plasma C-peptide levels in captive ones. In the feeding experiment, UCP levels were positively correlated with changes in body mass and were significantly lower during food reduction than during re-feeding and the pre-experimental control condition. We conclude that UCPs may be used as reliable biomarkers of body condition and nutritional status in studies of free-ranging catarrhines. Our results open exciting opportunities for energetic studies on free-ranging primates and possibly also other mammals.

  18. The Evolution of Syntax: An Exaptationist Perspective

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    W Tecumseh eFitch

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The evolution of language required elaboration of a number of independent mechanisms in the hominin lineage, including systems involved in signaling, semantics and syntax. Two perspectives on the evolution of syntax can be contrasted. The "continuist" perspective seeks the evolutionary roots of complex human syntax in simpler combinatory systems used in animal communication systems, such as iteration and sequencing. The "exaptationist" perspective posits evolutionary change of function, so that systems today used for linguistic communication might previously have served quite different functions in earlier hominids. I argue that abundant biological evidence supports an exaptationist perspective, in general, and that it must be taken seriously when considering language evolution. When applied to syntax, this suggests that core computational components used today in language could have originally served non-linguistic functions such as motor control, non-verbal thought, or spatial reasoning. I outline three specific exaptationist hypotheses for spoken language. These three hypotheses each posit a change of functionality in a precursor circuit, and its transformation into a neural circuit or region specifically involved in language today. Hypothesis 1 suggests that the precursor mechanism for intentional vocal control, specifically direct cortical control over the larynx, was manual motor control subserved by the cortico-spinal tract. The second is that the arcuate fasiculus, which today connects syntactic and lexical regions, had its origin in intracortical connections subserving vocal imitation. The third is that the specialized components of Broca's area, specifically BA 45, had their origins in non-linguistic motor control, and specifically hierarchical planning of action. I conclude by illustrating the importance of both homology (studied via primates and convergence (typically analyzed in birds for testing such evolutionary hypotheses.

  19. GEOLOGY OF THE HOMO-BEARING PLEISTOCENE DANDIERO BASIN (BUIA REGION, ERITREAN DANAKIL DEPRESSION

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    ERNESTO ABBATE

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with the geological context of the northernmost site in the East Africa Rift system which has yielded Homo erectus-like remains. They are dated ca. 1 Ma and have been found in the deltaic deposits of the Alat Formation belonging to the Dandiero group. This newly defined group crops out extensively in an elongated belt from the Gulf of Zula to the North to the Garsat area to the south. In the Buia-Dandiero area it ranges in age from the Early to the Middle Pleistocene, and incorporates six formations, from bottom up: the fluvial Bukra Sand and Gravel, the deltaic and lacustrine Alat Formation, fluvial Wara Sand and Gravel, the lacustrine Goreya Formation, the fluvio-deltaic Aro Sand and alluvial Addai Fanglomerate. This succession is bounded by two major unconformities, which separate it from the Neoproterozoic basement and from the overlaying Boulder Beds fanglomerate, and has been designated the Maebele Synthem. The latter is the result of two lacustrine transgression and regressions evidenced by two depositional sequences. The unconformities bounding the Maebele Synthem are related to the tectonic history of the basin fill and its substrate. The development of the two sequences was, instead, mainly controlled by lake level fluctuations and, hence, by climatic variations connected with the weakening and strengthening of the monsoons in the northwestern Indian ocean. The environment where the Buia Homo lived was a savannah with some scattered water pools. This environment probably extended farther north along the western coastal plain of the Red Sea, and was a preferential pathway for the dispersal of the hominids from East Africa toward Eurasia. 

  20. Newly recognized Pleistocene human teeth from Tabun Cave, Israel.

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    Coppa, Alfredo; Grün, Rainer; Stringer, Chris; Eggins, Stephen; Vargiu, Rita

    2005-09-01

    Seven human teeth from Tabun Cave, Israel, curated at the Natural History Museum London since 1955, are of uncertain provenance and identity. They are all from the upper dentition, without duplications, and are characterized by a similar preservation. The Catalogue of Fossil Hominids (1975) suggested that they might have derived from Tabun Layer A (Bronze Age to Recent). However, one of us (AC) noted some distinctive features of these teeth that warranted further study. They are here assigned to a single individual, Tabun BC7. Their morphology and metrics were then compared with the frequency of Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene groups from Europe, North Africa and Middle East. A fragment of the right M3 crown of Tabun BC7 was removed for ESR and U-analysis, and it was determined that only samples from Layer B have similar dose values. Using the sediment dose values of layer B, preliminary age estimates of 82 +/- 14 ka (early U-uptake) and 92+/-18 ka (linear uptake) were obtained. U-series disequilibrium determined from other samples attributed to Layer B resulted in a U-uptake history close to linear uptake, giving a very comparable age estimate of 90(+30)(-16) ka. The dose value previously obtained on an enamel fragment from the Tabun C1 dentition is nearly double the value measured for BC7, and tentative age estimates for C1 were in the range of 143+/-37 ka. However, due to uncertainties in the exact provenance of the human fossils, we cannot confirm that C1 is older than the new tooth sampled here, and both C1 and BC7 can be attributed to Layer B on chronological grounds. On the basis of chronology, dental morphology and metrics, the specimen named Tabun BC7 was identified as a probable Neanderthal.

  1. The Divergence of Neandertal and Modern Human Y Chromosomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez, Fernando L.; Poznik, G. David; Castellano, Sergi; Bustamante, Carlos D.

    2016-01-01

    Sequencing the genomes of extinct hominids has reshaped our understanding of modern human origins. Here, we analyze ∼120 kb of exome-captured Y-chromosome DNA from a Neandertal individual from El Sidrón, Spain. We investigate its divergence from orthologous chimpanzee and modern human sequences and find strong support for a model that places the Neandertal lineage as an outgroup to modern human Y chromosomes—including A00, the highly divergent basal haplogroup. We estimate that the time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) of Neandertal and modern human Y chromosomes is ∼588 thousand years ago (kya) (95% confidence interval [CI]: 447–806 kya). This is ∼2.1 (95% CI: 1.7–2.9) times longer than the TMRCA of A00 and other extant modern human Y-chromosome lineages. This estimate suggests that the Y-chromosome divergence mirrors the population divergence of Neandertals and modern human ancestors, and it refutes alternative scenarios of a relatively recent or super-archaic origin of Neandertal Y chromosomes. The fact that the Neandertal Y we describe has never been observed in modern humans suggests that the lineage is most likely extinct. We identify protein-coding differences between Neandertal and modern human Y chromosomes, including potentially damaging changes to PCDH11Y, TMSB4Y, USP9Y, and KDM5D. Three of these changes are missense mutations in genes that produce male-specific minor histocompatibility (H-Y) antigens. Antigens derived from KDM5D, for example, are thought to elicit a maternal immune response during gestation. It is possible that incompatibilities at one or more of these genes played a role in the reproductive isolation of the two groups. PMID:27058445

  2. The Divergence of Neandertal and Modern Human Y Chromosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez, Fernando L; Poznik, G David; Castellano, Sergi; Bustamante, Carlos D

    2016-04-07

    Sequencing the genomes of extinct hominids has reshaped our understanding of modern human origins. Here, we analyze ∼120 kb of exome-captured Y-chromosome DNA from a Neandertal individual from El Sidrón, Spain. We investigate its divergence from orthologous chimpanzee and modern human sequences and find strong support for a model that places the Neandertal lineage as an outgroup to modern human Y chromosomes-including A00, the highly divergent basal haplogroup. We estimate that the time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) of Neandertal and modern human Y chromosomes is ∼588 thousand years ago (kya) (95% confidence interval [CI]: 447-806 kya). This is ∼2.1 (95% CI: 1.7-2.9) times longer than the TMRCA of A00 and other extant modern human Y-chromosome lineages. This estimate suggests that the Y-chromosome divergence mirrors the population divergence of Neandertals and modern human ancestors, and it refutes alternative scenarios of a relatively recent or super-archaic origin of Neandertal Y chromosomes. The fact that the Neandertal Y we describe has never been observed in modern humans suggests that the lineage is most likely extinct. We identify protein-coding differences between Neandertal and modern human Y chromosomes, including potentially damaging changes to PCDH11Y, TMSB4Y, USP9Y, and KDM5D. Three of these changes are missense mutations in genes that produce male-specific minor histocompatibility (H-Y) antigens. Antigens derived from KDM5D, for example, are thought to elicit a maternal immune response during gestation. It is possible that incompatibilities at one or more of these genes played a role in the reproductive isolation of the two groups.

  3. Learning by Heart: Cultural Patterns in the Faunal Processing Sequence during the Middle Pleistocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Domínguez-Rodrigo, Manuel; Lozano, Sergi; Pastó, Ignasi; Riba, David; Vaquero, Manuel; Peris, Josep Fernández; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; de Castro, José María Bermúdez; Carbonell, Eudald

    2013-01-01

    Social learning, as an information acquisition process, enables intergenerational transmission and the stabilisation of cultural forms, generating and sustaining behavioural traditions within human groups. Archaeologically, such social processes might become observable by identifying repetitions in the record that result from the execution of standardised actions. From a zooarchaeological perspective, the processing and consumption of carcasses may be used to identify these types of phenomena at the sites. To investigate this idea, several faunal assemblages from Bolomor Cave (Valencia, Spain, MIS 9-5e) and Gran Dolina TD10-1 (Burgos, Spain, MIS 9) were analysed. The data show that some butchery activities exhibit variability as a result of multiple conditioning factors and, therefore, the identification of cultural patterns through the resulting cut-marks presents additional difficulties. However, other activities, such as marrow removal by means of intentional breakage, seem to reflect standardised actions unrelated to the physical characteristics of the bones. The statistical tests we applied show no correlation between the less dense areas of the bones and the location of impacts. Comparison of our experimental series with the archaeological samples indicates a counter-intuitive selection of the preferred locus of impact, especially marked in the case of Bolomor IV. This fact supports the view that bone breakage was executed counter-intuitively and repetitively on specific sections because it may have been part of an acquired behavioural repertoire. These reiterations differ between levels and sites, suggesting the possible existence of cultural identities or behavioural predispositions dependant on groups. On this basis, the study of patterns could significantly contribute to the identification of occupational strategies and organisation of the hominids in a territory. In this study, we use faunal data in identifying the mechanics of intergenerational

  4. Remote sensing, paleoecology, and the archaeology of human migration during the Pleistocene in central Asia and western China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glantz, Michelle M.; Todd, Lawrence

    2003-07-01

    Remote sensing used in the context of global information systems has enormous applications within archaeology. This technology enables the discovery of new archaeological features and promotes an understanding of the relationship between ecosystem and cultural dynamics. Archaeologists are able to add a time dimension to 'creeping environmental changes' that other areas of scientific inquiry concerned with climate change often lack. Remote sensing and other aerial prospecting has been used successfully to model land use and population expansions during relatively recent archaeological eras, such as the Bronze and Iron Ages. Although satellite image databases exist for numerous areas of the New and Old World, very little research has been conducted in Central Asia or western China. This region is historically significant because of its position along the important trading route called the Silk Road. The purpose of the present research is to investigate another poorly understood period of human history that would benefit from the application of remote sensing and associated ground truthing techniques. The migration of hominids out of Africa during the late Pliocene/early Pleistocene and their subsequent colonization of north-central, east, and south-east Asia is relatively well documented in the archaeological record and marks the beginning of the long-term process of human impacts on the region. However, the trajectory of dispersal of Homo erectus, Neandertals, and early modern humans and the ways by which ecosystem vagaries affected this dispersal across Eurasia is unknown. Our purpose is to summarize what is currently known about the geological indicators of ecosystem changes that remote sensing techniques provide and how ecosystem variables may allow us to model human migration as that of an invasive species through this important geographic crossroads of the Old World.

  5. Late Miocene to Pliocene carbon isotope record of differential diet change among East African herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uno, Kevin T; Cerling, Thure E; Harris, John M; Kunimatsu, Yutaka; Leakey, Meave G; Nakatsukasa, Masato; Nakaya, Hideo

    2011-04-19

    Stable isotope and molecular data suggest that C(4) grasses first appeared globally in the Oligocene. In East Africa, stable isotope data from pedogenic carbonate and fossil tooth enamel suggest a first appearance between 15-10 Ma and subsequent expansion during the Plio-Pleistocene. The fossil enamel record has the potential to provide detailed information about the rates of dietary adaptation to this new resource among different herbivore lineages. We present carbon isotope data from 452 fossil teeth that record differential rates of diet change from C(3) to mixed C(3)/C(4) or C(4) diets among East African herbivore families at seven different time periods during the Late Miocene to the Pliocene (9.9-3.2 Ma). Significant amounts of C(4) grasses were present in equid diets beginning at 9.9 Ma and in rhinocerotid diets by 9.6 Ma, although there is no isotopic evidence for expansive C(4) grasslands in this part of the Late Miocene. Bovids and hippopotamids followed suit with individuals that had C(4)-dominated (>65%) diets by 7.4 Ma. Suids adopted C(4)-dominated diets between 6.5 and 4.2 Ma. Gomphotheriids and elephantids had mostly C(3)-dominated diets through 9.3 Ma, but became dedicated C(4) grazers by 6.5 Ma. Deinotheriids and giraffids maintained a predominantly C(3) diet throughout the record. The sequence of differential diet change among herbivore lineages provides ecological insight into a key period of hominid evolution and valuable information for future studies that focus on morphological changes associated with diet change.

  6. Les hominoïdes fossiles : une aide pour l’éducation en Afrique Fossil hominoids: an educational help in Africa

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    Brigitte Senut

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available L’Afrique est un continent privilégié pour décrypter notre histoire partagée avec celle des grands singes et comprendre l’émergence de notre famille en rapport avec l’environnement. Aujourd’hui de nombreuses expéditions  internationales mènent des recherches sur le continent et plus spécialement dans les pays d’Afrique orientale. Le riche patrimoine fossile découvert dans des endroits souvent isolés est transféré dans les musées nationaux, (créés le plus souvent par des expatriés et situés dans les capitales où l’accès y est plus facile pour les chercheurs internationaux, mais souvent difficile voire impossible pour les gens qui habitent près des sites fossilifères. Que se passe-t-il au niveau local ? Le plus souvent, les populations ont été marginalisées, des sentiments de frustration sont apparus, notamment en raison de la grande médiatisation des découvertes de laquelle les locaux sont souvent exclus. Or, ce sont ces populations locales qui sont les gardiennes du patrimoine. Les choses changent progressivement et aujourd’hui, de plus en plus de chercheurs de terrain s’impliquent dans la vie locale et les besoins locaux. Notre engagement de scientifique en tant que citoyen est fondamental : l’éducation est un droit pour tous, comme cela est signalé dans la déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme. Dans le cadre des travaux entrepris en Afrique avec l’équipe, des grands singes et des hominidés fossiles ont été découverts dans trois pays africains sur lesquels cet article est focalisé : l’Ouganda, le Kenya et la Namibie ; ces données montrent que l’évolution des grands singes ne s’est pas déroulée exclusivement en Afrique orientale, mais bien sur l’ensemble du continent, comme cela a été confirmé plus récemment par des découvertes en Afrique centrale et occidentale. Ces découvertes ont été réalisées avec des citoyens de chacun de ces pays et ont donné lieu

  7. El rapto de Europa... una y otra vez

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    Eduardo GARCIA SÁNCHEZ

    2009-12-01

    conocimiento del medio por parte de sus protagonistas. Mientras los ensayos de colonización anteriores no parecen tener éxito, los datos paleoantropológicos y arqueológicos del registro documentado desde circa 550 Ka BP en adelante indican claramente signos de continuidad de este poblamiento, enlazando con las primeras manifestaciones de las tecnologías y los tipos humanos característicos del Paleolítico medio.ABSTRACT: European Early Palaeolithic's record of Europe shows, at least, three human occupation episodes. The oldest one is only recorded in the Iberian Peninsula. The sites are scarce and dated between 1,5 and 1,25 Ma BP. The lithic assemblages are very similar to those recorded in Dmanisi (Georgia circa 1,8 Ma BP and may represent the same hominid dispersal event. This is related to the faunal changes detected in Caucasus, Middle East and European ecosystems by the Plio-Pleistocene conventional limit. This event involved the diffusion of African taxa in those regions. A second human occupation of Europe episode, restricted into the Mediterranean area, it is recorded by a slightly more abundant number of archaeological sites. They are dated between late Early Pleistocene and Matuyama/Brunhes limit, berween OIS 25-OIS 24 and OIS 19-OIS 18 transition. Paleoantropological and archaeological record points to an Asian origin of this hominid dispersal, related with the Galerian faunal event. After a new archaeological record hiatus, there are new evidences of anthropic activity in Europe since OIS 16-OIS 15. At this time the European geographic range populated by hominids increases, reaching as northern latitudes as South Great Britain and North Germany during the warm isotopic stages. In general terms, locations representing this third phase involved the introduction in Europe of new technologies and behavioural trends, as a better knowledge of the environment. While the previous human occupation events don't seem to be successful, paleoanthropological and

  8. Macromammalian faunas, biochronology and palaeoecology of the early Pleistocene Main Quarry hominin-bearing deposits of the Drimolen Palaeocave System, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Justin W; Rovinsky, Douglass S; Herries, Andy I R; Menter, Colin G

    2016-01-01

    The Drimolen Palaeocave System Main Quarry deposits (DMQ) are some of the most prolific hominin and primate-bearing deposits in the Fossil Hominids of South Africa UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discovered in the 1990s, excavations into the DMQ have yielded a demographically diverse sample of Paranthropus robustus (including DNH 7, the most complete cranium of the species recovered to date), early Homo, Papio hamadryas robinsoni and Cercopithecoides williamsi. Alongside the hominin and primate sample is a diverse macromammalian assemblage, but prior publications have only provided a provisional species list and an analysis of the carnivores recovered prior to 2008. Here we present the first description and analysis of the non-primate macromammalian faunas from the DMQ, including all 826 taxonomically identifiable specimens catalogued from over two decades of excavation. We also provide a biochronological interpretation of the DMQ deposits and an initial discussion of local palaeoecology based on taxon representation.The current DMQ assemblage consists of the remains of minimally 147 individuals from 9 Orders and 14 Families of mammals. The carnivore assemblage described here is even more diverse than established in prior publications, including the identification of Megantereon whitei, Lycyaenops silberbergi, and first evidence for the occurrence of Dinofelis cf. barlowi and Dinofelis aff. piveteaui within a single South African site deposit. The cetartiodactyl assemblage is dominated by bovids, with the specimen composition unique in the high recovery of horn cores and dominance of Antidorcas recki remains. Other cetartiodactyl and perissodactyl taxa are represented by few specimens, as are Hystrix and Procavia; the latter somewhat surprisingly so given their common occurrence at penecontemporaneous deposits in the region. Equally unusual (particularly given the size of the sample) is the identification of single specimens of giraffoid, elephantid and aardvark

  9. Chromosomal evolution of the PKD1 gene family in primates

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    Krawczak Michael

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD is mostly caused by mutations in the PKD1 (polycystic kidney disease 1 gene located in 16p13.3. Moreover, there are six pseudogenes of PKD1 that are located proximal to the master gene in 16p13.1. In contrast, no pseudogene could be detected in the mouse genome, only a single copy gene on chromosome 17. The question arises how the human situation originated phylogenetically. To address this question we applied comparative FISH-mapping of a human PKD1-containing genomic BAC clone and a PKD1-cDNA clone to chromosomes of a variety of primate species and the dog as a non-primate outgroup species. Results Comparative FISH with the PKD1-cDNA clone clearly shows that in all primate species studied distinct single signals map in subtelomeric chromosomal positions orthologous to the short arm of human chromosome 16 harbouring the master PKD1 gene. Only in human and African great apes, but not in orangutan, FISH with both BAC and cDNA clones reveals additional signal clusters located proximal of and clearly separated from the PKD1 master genes indicating the chromosomal position of PKD1 pseudogenes in 16p of these species, respectively. Indeed, this is in accordance with sequencing data in human, chimpanzee and orangutan. Apart from the master PKD1 gene, six pseudogenes are identified in both, human and chimpanzee, while only a single-copy gene is present in the whole-genome sequence of orangutan. The phylogenetic reconstruction of the PKD1-tree reveals that all human pseudogenes are closely related to the human PKD1 gene, and all chimpanzee pseudogenes are closely related to the chimpanzee PKD1 gene. However, our statistical analyses provide strong indication that gene conversion events may have occurred within the PKD1 family members of human and chimpanzee, respectively. Conclusion PKD1 must have undergone amplification very recently in hominid evolution. Duplicative

  10. Muscle-specific integrins in masseter muscle fibers of chimpanzees: an immunohistochemical study.

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    Gianluigi Vaccarino

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Most notably, recent comparative genomic analyses strongly indicate that the marked differences between modern human and chimpanzees are likely due more to changes in gene regulation than to modifications of the genes. The most peculiar aspect of hominoid karyotypes is that human have 46 chromosomes whereas gorillas and chimpanzees have 48. Interestingly, human and chimpanzees do share identical inversions on chromosome 7 and 9 that are not evident in the gorilla karyotype. Thus, the general phylogeny suggests that humans and chimpanzees are sister taxa; based on this, it seems that human-chimpanzee sequence similarity is an astonishing 99%. At this purpose, of particular interest is the inactivation of the myosin heavy chain 16 (MYH16 gene, most prominently expressed in the masticatory muscle of mammals. It has been showed that the loss of this gene in humans may have resulted in smaller masticatory muscle and consequential changes to cranio-facial morphology and expansion of the human brain case. Powerful masticatory muscles are found in most primates; contrarily, in both modern and fossil member Homo, these muscles are considerably smaller. The evolving hominid masticatory apparatus shifted towards a pattern of gracilization nearly simultaneously with accelerated encephalization in early Homo. To better comprehend the real role of the MYH16 gene, we studied the primary proteins present in the muscle fibers of humans and non-humans, in order to understand if they really can be influenced by MYH16 gene. At this aim we examined the muscle-specific integrins, alpha 7B and beta 1D-integrins, and their relative fetal isoforms, alpha 7A and beta 1A-integrins, analyzing, by immunohistochemistry, muscle biopsies of two components of a chimpanzee's group in captivity, an alpha male and a non-alpha male subjects; all these integrins participate in vital biological processes such as maintenance of tissue integrity, embryonic development, cell

  11. Evolution of human IgH3'EC duplicated structures: both enhancers HS1,2 are polymorphic with variation of transcription factor's consensus sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giambra, Vincenzo; Fruscalzo, Alberto; Giufre', Maria; Martinez-Labarga, Cristina; Favaro, Marco; Rocchi, Mariano; Frezza, Domenico

    2005-02-14

    the 17-bp external element in hominids. The relevance of the polymorphisms in the HS1,2 enhancers is due to the variable number of binding sites for the transcription factors: NF-kappaB, CMYB, BSAP1/2, AP1/4, E47, MyoD and muE5 and thus to the possible influence of these variations on switch, production of Ig and on maturation of B cells.

  12. Virtual Exploration of Earth's Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anbar, A. D.; Bruce, G.; Semken, S. C.; Summons, R. E.; Buxner, S.; Horodyskyj, L.; Kotrc, B.; Swann, J.; Klug Boonstra, S. L.; Oliver, C.

    2014-12-01

    Traditional introductory STEM courses often reinforce misconceptions because the large scale of many classes forces a structured, lecture-centric model of teaching that emphasizes delivery of facts rather than exploration, inquiry, and scientific reasoning. This problem is especially acute in teaching about the co-evolution of Earth and life, where classroom learning and textbook teaching are far removed from the immersive and affective aspects of field-based science, and where the challenges of taking large numbers of students into the field make it difficult to expose them to the complex context of the geologic record. We are exploring the potential of digital technologies and online delivery to address this challenge, using immersive and engaging virtual environments that are more like games than like lectures, grounded in active learning, and deliverable at scale via the internet. The goal is to invert the traditional lecture-centric paradigm by placing lectures at the periphery and inquiry-driven, integrative virtual investigations at the center, and to do so at scale. To this end, we are applying a technology platform we devised, supported by NASA and the NSF, that integrates a variety of digital media in a format that we call an immersive virtual field trip (iVFT). In iVFTs, students engage directly with virtual representations of real field sites, with which they interact non-linearly at a variety of scales via game-like exploration while guided by an adaptive tutoring system. This platform has already been used to develop pilot iVFTs useful in teaching anthropology, archeology, ecology, and geoscience. With support the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, we are now developing and evaluating a coherent suite of ~ 12 iVFTs that span the sweep of life's history on Earth, from the 3.8 Ga metasediments of West Greenland to ancient hominid sites in East Africa. These iVFTs will teach fundamental principles of geology and practices of scientific inquiry, and expose

  13. Did the ancestors copulate face-to-face?%古人面对面交配吗?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘才泽

    2014-01-01

    Itisinferredthatourancestorshadcopulatedface-to-face(ventro-ventralliterally)beforethey diverged from Africa apes,comparing of sexual behavior between apes and modern human.In this paper,the pre-requisite,origin,and adaption of missionary position were discussed,by which hominids could be distinguished from living apes.In my opinion,descendant species should adopt this position more and more frequently,in which the female partners would be more excited for enhanced body contact and clitoris stimulation.Consequently,their hip joints become flexible and they walked upright.Yet anteriorly positioned vaginal orifice,transversely oval pelvic inlet,and hairlessness in modern human,should be resulted from this position.%根据从猿到人面对面交配逐渐增多的趋势,可以推测已灭绝的古人物种已经采用了面对面交配体位。本文以此为基础,探讨了人类特有的所谓的“传教士式”体位的制约、起源及其响应的相关问题。研究认为,由于面对面体位增加了双方的身体接触,会给女性腹侧阴蒂等带来更多的刺激和快感,古人物种因此而越来越频繁地采用了“传教士式”体位,使髋关节等变得越来越灵活,最终促成了直立行走。现代人前置的阴道口、横向扁平卵形的骨盆入口、裸露无毛的身体等都可能与频繁采用这种体位有关。

  14. Climate Proxy Signals in the Plio-Pleistocene Chemeron and Miocene Lukeino Formations, Baringo Basin, Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deino, A. L.; Kingston, J.; Hill, A.; Wilson, K. E.; Edgar, R.; Goble, E.

    2009-12-01

    The Chemeron Formation is a hominin-bearing, highly fossiliferous sequence of dominantly alluvial fan and fluvial sedimentary rocks, with climatically significant lacustrine intercalations, exposed within the Tugen Hills of the central Kenya Rift. As we have previously documented (Deino et al., 2006; Kingston et al., 2007), the formation contains a sequence of five 3-7 m thick diatomites in the interval 2.7-2.5 Ma that record, at precessional intervals, the repeated occurrence of deep-lake conditions in the Baringo Basin. These lakes appear abruptly, persist for only about 8,000 years of the ~23,000 year precessional cycle, and recede quickly. The oscillations have been tied to marine core and Mediterranean sapropel sections based on high-precision 40Ar/39Ar dating of K-feldspar in tuffs interspersed through the sequence, and paleomagnetic reversal stratigraphy. Ongoing paleontological investigations in the Tugen Hills are addressing the dynamics of high-resolution faunal and ecological change directly related to the fluctuating climatic background, including its effect on hominin evolution. This specific interval in the Baringo Basin/Tugen Hills has been identified by the Hominid Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project Steering Committee as one of five target areas in East Africa for high-resolution coring studies. The drilling project is currently moving forward to the funding agency proposal development phase. Further exploration in the Tugen Hills has revealed a similar, older sequence of rhythmic alternating diatomites and non-lacustrine sediments in nearby drainages. These beds may represent a precessionally driven climate response possibly associated with the next older orbital eccentricity maximum from ~3.2-2.9 Ma. Characterization of the lithostratigraphy of this area is in progress, and samples of intercalated tuff beds suitable for high-precision single-crystal 40Ar/39Ar dating have been acquired. We have also extended our search for climate proxy records

  15. Regional kinematic models for the development of the Afar depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redfield, T. F.; Wheeler, W. H.; Often, M.

    2003-04-01

    . Hence, we conclude the paleoclimatic data from Hadar and similar Afar hominid-bearing sites record regional climate change. Lastly, the tectonic reconstruction (supported by paleontologic and isotopic data) suggests that following Red Sea opening and prior to the Early Pliocene an Afar "land bridge" connected Africa and Arabia, via Danakil, disappearing in the Early to Middle Pliocene. These interpretations have implications for models of biologic evolution in the Afar, including human origins.

  16. On the nature and evolution of the neural bases of human language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieberman, Philip

    2002-01-01

    the brains of human beings and other species provides insight into the evolution of the brain bases of human language. The neural substrate that regulated motor control in the common ancestor of apes and humans most likely was modified to enhance cognitive and linguistic ability. Speech communication played a central role in this process. However, the process that ultimately resulted in the human brain may have started when our earliest hominid ancestors began to walk.

  17. Contribution to the speleology of Sterkfontein cave, Gauteng province, South Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martini Jacques E. J.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The authors present more data about the speleological aspect of the Sterkfontein Cave, famous for its bone breccia which yielded abundant hominid remains. They also briefly review the previous voluminous studies by numerous authors, which are mainly dealing with the paleontology, stratigraphy and sedimentology of the breccia. The present investigations were oriented to hitherto poorly investigated aspects such as detail mapping of the cave, its country rock stratigraphy and recording the underground extension of the basal part of the breccia body. The cave consists of a complex network of phreatic channels, developed along joints in Neoarchaean cherty dolostone over a restricted surface of 250x250m. The combined length of all passages within this area amounts to 5,23km. The system extends over a height of about 50m and the dry part of it is limited downwards by the water-table appearing as numerous static pools. The fossiliferous breccia (= Sterkfontein Formation forms an irregular lenticular mass 75x25m horizontally by 40m vertically, which is included within the passage network. It crops out at surface and in the cave, and resulted from the filling of a collapse chamber, which was de-roofed by erosion. The present investigation confirmed that the cave and the Sterkfontein Formation are part of a single speleogenetic event. The breccia resulted from cavity filling by sediments introduced from a pit entrance, whereas many of the phreatic passages around it, which are developed at the same elevation, were only partly filled or remained entirely open up to present. This filling took place mainly in a vadose environment. Taking into account the age of the Sterkfontein Formation (>3,3-1,5 My, from base to top, the geomorphic evolution of the landscape and the context of other caves in the region, it seems that the cave might have started to form 5 My ago. It has been continuously developing up to present as a result of a slow drop of the water-table.

  18. Organization of the lithic production and use-wear analysis from Middle Paleolithic site of Abric Romaní. Level Ja (Capellades, Barcelona, Spain

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    Martínez, Kenneth

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available The fieldwork from layer Ja at Abric Romaní provides some interesting insights on the examination of patterns of late premodern hominid behavior The reconstruction of châine opératoire and use-wear analysis point out planning in the consumption of raw materials and in the design of stone tools for specific tasks. The archaeological record shows complexity in the settlement system and intrasite context, likewise, the land use depends mainly on the curation of tools through transport of cores, like reserve of tools, and retouched tools. The flakes were versatile tools; working wood, hide and participating in butchering activities and denticulates were used mainly on wood, probably to make points. So far, this work seeks to understand Middle Paleolithic way of life in its own right without comparing it with a hypothetical model of modern behavior.

    La intervención arqueológica del nivel Ja del Abric Romaní ha aportado una información muy valiosa para comprender los patrones conductuales de los últimos homínidos arcaicos. La reconstrucción de la organización de la producción lítica y los análisis funcionales indican una planificación a la hora de gestionar la materia prima y en el diseño de los útiles según tareas específicas. El registro arqueológico muestra una estructuración compleja de las ocupaciones en el interior del abrigo, así como una organización a escala regional de las ocupaciones. La explotación del entorno dependía principalmente de una gestión cuidada de la materia prima mediante el desplazamiento por el territorio de núcleos, como reserva de útiles, y de objetos retocados. Las lascas fueron útiles versátiles, trabajaron tanto madera como piel, y también participaron en actividades de carnicería. Por su parte, los denticulados fueron utilizados para trabajar madera, probablemente para elaborar puntas en este material. Por tanto, el presente artículo intenta comprender el modo de vida de

  19. The Carbon Crisis: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peacock, K.

    2013-12-01

    By the 'carbon crisis' I mean the coupled crises of the depletion of the highest-EROI sources of fossil fuels and the global warming caused by our use of those fossil fuels. (EROI means 'energy return on energy investment'; Hall 2011.) While global warming is arguably more urgent, either of these factors would sooner or later be sufficient by itself to call a halt to our global-scale, energy-intensive, high technology economy. In lethal combination, they threaten to drastically reduce the capacity of the planet to support 7+ billion talking hominids. I will pull the camera back for a very long view and characterize the carbon crisis and our possible responses to it from an evolutionary and ecological perspective. It remains unclear why sapiens emerged rather suddenly as the most successful member of the family Homo about 50 to 60 kya; some argue that this neurological explosion could be due to our ancestors having survived the rigors of the Toba population bottleneck, which presumably would have favoured high adaptability (Ambrose 1998). Whatever the cause, Paleolithic humans deployed an unprecedented combination of technological and social ingenuity (the capacity for adaptive social organization; Homer-Dixon 2001). Aided by the relatively benign climate of the Holocene and ultimately by our increasing ability to tap into the resources of the 'found' ecology, especially the vast stores of hydrocarbons bequeathed by the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras, our population has grown exponentially to its present unsteady pinnacle of (possibly) temporary reproductive success. The question now is what happens next. It was human ingenuity that got us through the ice age, put footprints on the Moon, and brought us to this crisis point; now, only human ingenuity (both social and technical) can get us past it. Our species will finally achieve a sustainable mode of existence on this planet when (in E. Odum's words; 1973) 'the present-day concept of ';unlimited exploitation of

  20. On the nature and evolution of the neural bases of human language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieberman, Philip

    2002-01-01

    the brains of human beings and other species provides insight into the evolution of the brain bases of human language. The neural substrate that regulated motor control in the common ancestor of apes and humans most likely was modified to enhance cognitive and linguistic ability. Speech communication played a central role in this process. However, the process that ultimately resulted in the human brain may have started when our earliest hominid ancestors began to walk.

  1. The first hominin from the early Pleistocene paleocave of Haasgat, South Africa

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    AB Leece

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Haasgat is a primate-rich fossil locality in the northeastern part of the Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here we report the first hominin identified from Haasgat, a partial maxillary molar (HGT 500, that was recovered from an ex situ calcified sediment block sampled from the locality. The in situ fossil bearing deposits of the Haasgat paleokarstic deposits are estimated to date to slightly older than 1.95 Ma based on magnetobiostratigraphy. This places the hominin specimen at a critical time period in South Africa that marks the last occurrence of Australopithecus around 1.98 Ma and the first evidence of Paranthropus and Homo in the region between ∼2.0 and 1.8 Ma. A comprehensive morphological evaluation of the Haasgat hominin molar was conducted against the current South African catalogue of hominin dental remains and imaging analyses using micro-CT, electron and confocal microscopy. The preserved occlusal morphology is most similar to Australopithecus africanus or early Homo specimens but different from Paranthropus. Occlusal linear enamel thickness measured from micro-CT scans provides an average of ∼2.0 mm consistent with Australopithecus and early Homo. Analysis of the enamel microstructure suggests an estimated periodicity of 7–9 days. Hunter–Schreger bands appear long and straight as in some Paranthropus, but contrast with this genus in the short shape of the striae of Retzius. Taken together, these data suggests that the maxillary fragment recovered from Haasgat best fits within the Australopithecus—early Homo hypodigms to the exclusion of the genus Paranthropus. At ∼1.95 Ma this specimen would either represent another example of late occurring Australopithecus or one of the earliest examples of Homo in the region. While the identification of this first hominin specimen from Haasgat is not unexpected given the composition of other South African penecontemporaneous site deposits, it represents

  2. Land - Ocean Climate Linkages and the Human Evolution - New ICDP and IODP Drilling Initiatives in the East African Rift Valley and SW Indian Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahn, R.; Feibel, C.; Co-Pis, Icdp/Iodp

    2009-04-01

    The past 5 Ma were marked by systematic shifts towards colder climates and concomitant reorganizations in ocean circulation and marine heat transports. Some of the changes involved plate-tectonic shifts such as the closure of the Panamanian Isthmus and restructuring of the Indonesian archipelago that affected inter-ocean communications and altered the world ocean circulation. These changes induced ocean-atmosphere feedbacks with consequences for climates globally and locally. Two new ICDP and IODP drilling initiatives target these developments from the perspectives of marine and terrestrial palaeoclimatology and the human evolution. The ICDP drilling initiative HSPDP ("Hominid Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project"; ICDP ref. no. 10/07) targets lacustrine depocentres in Ethiopia (Hadar) and Kenya (West Turkana, Olorgesailie, Magadi) to retrieve sedimentary sequences close to the places and times where various species of hominins lived over currently available outcrop records. The records will provide a spatially resolved record of the East African environmental history in conjunction with climate variability at orbital (Milankovitch) and sub-orbital (ENSO decadal) time scales. HSPDP specifically aims at (1) compiling master chronologies for outcrops around each of the depocentres; (2) assessing which aspects of the paleoenvironmental records are a function of local origin (hydrology, hydrogeology) and which are linked with regional or larger-scale signals; (3) correlating broad-scale patterns of hominin phylogeny with the global beat of climate variability and (4) correlating regional shifts in the hominin fossil and archaeological record with more local patterns of paleoenvironmental change. Ultimately the aim is to test hypotheses that link physical and cultural adaptations in the course of the hominin evolution to local environmental change and variability. The IODP initiative SAFARI ("Southern African Climates, Agulhas Warm Water Transports and Retroflection

  3. Estrategias de subsistencia en los momentos finales del Pleistoceno medio: el nivel XII de la Cova del Bolomor (La Valldigna, Valencia

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    Ruth BLASCO

    2009-08-01

    los homínidos de la Cova del Bolomor y contribuir al conocimiento de los modos de vida de los grupos humanos del Pleistoceno medio final.ABSTRACT: Bolomor Cave, located in Tavernes de la Valldigna (Valencia, offers one of the best faunal records in the second half of the Middle Pleistocene in the Iberian Peninsula. The cavity contains a sedimentary deposit composed of seventeen stratigraphical levels ranging from OIS 9 to OIS 5e. This wide chronological sequence allows to deal with different issues related to human groups this period and their relationship with the environment. Specifically, from zooarchaeological study of level XII (OIS 6, we have reconstructed the anthropic sequence of obtaining and processing of faunal resources. Thus, different subsistence strategies carried out by hominids to obtain the animals were identified. These practices range from scavenging to the hunting and include the supply of small prey such as birds (Cygnus olor or leporids (Oryctolagus cuniculus. This variability of strategies could be interpreted as the great adaptability that possesses these groups to take advantage of the opportunities the environment offers. It was also noted the existence of systematic patterns well both in the utilization of faunal external resources (skin, meat, tendons and the obtaining of internal resources (marrow. Many of the diagnostic elements that demonstrate the anthropic breakage at level XII show systematization both in areas and in specific anatomical parts. The existence of morphologies repeated in some skeletal elements indicates a high degree of standardization at the time of bone breakage. This reiteration could imply the existence of learning mechanisms or transmission of information within the group in this chronological period. Overall, this study aims to provide data about the subsistence strategies of hominids in Bolomor Cave and contribute to knowledge about the way of life of human groups in the Last Middle Pleistocene.

  4. Datación por ESR del yacimiento arqueológico del Pleistoceno inferior de Vallparadís (Terrassa, Cataluña, España

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    García, Joan

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Excavated between 2005 and 2007, the site of Vallparadís (Terrassa, Spain has given an abundant and diversified fauna associated with a rich Mode 1 industry. In order to complete the chronostratigraphic framework, we performed ESR and combined US-ESR dating applied to quartz grains extracted from sediments and fossil teeth, respectively. The results obtained are very significant, giving a weighted mean ESR age of 0.83 ± 0.13 Ma (2σ for the reference archaeological level of the site (level 10 and another of 0.79 ± 0.23 Ma (2σ for the archaeological level 12 of the Vallparadís sequence. These ESR results are in total agreement with the ones derived from biochronology and paleomagnetism. This whole dataset allows the elaboration of a reliable and consistent chronostratigraphic framework which chronologically places Vallparadís site in the late Early Pleistocene period, i.e. within a time range comprised between Jaramillo and Brunhes geomagnetic events. Consequently, as well as Gran Dolina-TD6 and Sima del Elefante- TE9 sites, in Atapuerca, Burgos, Vallparadís can be therefore considered as a key site for the study of early hominid settlements in Europe.Excavado entre 2005 y 2007, el yacimiento de Vallparadís (Terrassa, España ha aportado una fauna rica y diversa en asociación con un importante conjunto lítico de Modo 1. Con el objetivo de completar el marco cronoestratigráfico, se hicieron dataciones por los métodos de Resonancia Paramagnética Electrónica (Electron Spin Resonance, ESR y ESR combinada con uranio-torio sobre algunas muestras de granos de cuarzo extraídos de sedimentos y dientes fósiles, respectivamente. Los resultados obtenidos son muy significativos, ofreciendo edades ESR promedias de 0,83 ± 0,13 Ma (2σ para el nivel arqueológico de referencia del yacimiento (nivel 10 y de 0,79 ± 0,23 Ma (2σ para el nivel arqueológico 12 de la secuencia de Vallparadís. Dichos resultados por ESR concuerdan con los obtenidos a

  5. Hacia una nueva conceptualización evolutiva de la comunicación «cultural» Communicating Culture: An Evolutionary Explanation

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    James James Lull

    2011-03-01

    together by communication links. Can the information-sharing behavior of our species ever be brought into broader perspective and eventually foster greater harmony for all humankind? The authors argue that the answer to this question is «yes». Culture provides the necessary space for social negotiation and change. Advanced communication ability is the means by which this necessary cultural work is perpetually accomplished. A non-deterministic understanding of culture must be acknowledged from the outset. Cultural life differs greatly from biological conditions. Even under repressive conditions, culture is not determined the same way viral infections ravage biological bodies or computers. Technological advances in communication do not simply reinforce and intensify top-down, dominant cultural messages as theories of imperialism, memetic transmission, or social contagion contend. The pace of cultural development over the past 10,000 years has been particularly fast compared to any other time since hominids split from our common ancestor with chimpanzees millions of years ago. Our species’ unique skill as communicators in the dynamic technological and cultural environment of today offers real hope for retrieving the primordial affinities that unite us all.

  6. Recollections of a Journey Through a Psychotic Episode: Or, Mental Illness and Creativity

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    Anonymous

    2007-01-01

    alluded as how I needed help. By now, my parents had seen enough and decided to drive me into the Capital District Psychiatric Centre. On the way there I had the horrible perception that I had taken the next step in the evolution of humanity and that the first action of this new subspecies of humanity was to wipe out the existing human race, as had been the case with previous hominids. When this realization hit me, I became hysterical and started crying uncontrollably and ordered my mother to stop the car. Then in a very soothing tone of voice she said, "If you really are the next step in the evolution of mankind, you will have the wisdom to assimilate rather than destroy the human race." This calmed me down. The rest of the trip was uneventful. That is the first phase of the experience. [Abstract not available.

  7. Morfología comparada de los dientes humanos fósiles de Ibeas (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos

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    Bermúdez de Castro, J. M.

    1987-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper contains a morphological and comparative study of 68 human fossil teeth recovered from the "Sima de los Huesos" site of the Cueva Mayor-Cueva del Silo karst system (Sierra de Atapuerca, Ibeas de Juarros, Burgos. The morphology of the Ibeas teeth conforms with a pattern of expansion of the anterior dentition characterizing all the Middle Pleistocene human populations, and with a pattern of structural reduction of the posterior teeth characterizing the European population of that period. The Ibeas teeth share several morphological traits with those of other European, North African and Asian Middle Pleistocene fossils. However, the tooth morphology of the European group, in which the Ibeas fossils are included, shows remarkable differences with that of the other groups. This fact permits to reinforce the thesis that a distinctive hominid lineage was established in Europe during the Middle Pleistocene. On the other hand, the Ibeas teeth bring forward new evidence to support the hypothesis of a close filogenetic relationship between the Middle Pleistocene European population and the Nearderthals and, accordingly, of a local evolution during that period and the Early Upper Pleistocene.Este trabajo contiene el estudio morfológico comparado de un total de 68 dientes humanos fósiles recuperados en la Sima de los Huesos, yacimiento situado en el sistema kárstico Cueva Mayor-Cueva del Silo (Sierra de Atapuerca, Ibeas de Juarros, Burgos. La morfología de los dientes de Ibeas se ajusta a un modelo de expansión de la dentición anterior que caracteriza a todas las poblaciones humanas del Pleistoceno medio, y a un modelo de reducción estructural de la dentición posterior que caracteriza a la población europea de dicho periodo. Los dientes de Ibeas comparten diversos rasgos morfológicos con los dientes de otros fósiles mesopleistocenos de Europa, norte de Africa y este de Asia. Sin embargo, el grupo europeo, en el que se incluyen los f

  8. Messiniense: compleja y grave crisis ecologica

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    Aguirre, E.

    2003-08-01

    Full Text Available The «Messinian» is the last stratigraphic stage of the Miocene, lasting between 6.616.5 and 5.3 MaBP. Its redefinition and stratotype designation were problematic in the 1960s, in the frame of the IUGS International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS revision works and the Project 110.25 of the International Geological Correlation Program (IGCP in the following decades. The interpretation of the regional Mediterranean stratigraphic sequence was debated. Many fossil mammal sites in Spain and other peri-Tethic regions, showing relevant events and intercontinental exchanges within that time span, add pressing questions to the essential need of correlating the continental bio,stratigraphic divisions to the marine based stratigraphic scale. Recent discovery of fossil hominids with early evidence of bipedal adaptation in East-and Central Africa with referred ages of nearly 6 MaBP, or more, makes the study of that age still more exciting. In the same time span, major palaeogeographic, geodynamic, palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental events have been dated, that started been investigated 40 years ago also in connection to the late Miocene Mediterranean «Salinity Crisis»: isolation from the Atlantic Ocean, global sea leve1 lowering, continental accretion and orogeny, glaciation and vegetal cover deterioration. Severa1 models of sequenced interactions have been proposed. A comprehensive scenario is here attempted of these major events in the History of Earth and History of Life, with a calibration of nearly hundred thousand years.La división final del Mioceno, piso «Messiniense» -entre 6,5/6,6 Ma y 5,3 Ma-, presentó problema para su redefinición y la interpretación de sus secuencias estratigráficas en la década de 1960. Fue objeto de estudios profundos y diversos en el marco de programas de la Comisión Internacional de Estratigrafía (ICS y del Programa Internacional de Correlación Geológica en las décadas siguientes. Numerosos

  9. Highlights from Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    Although the extraction of mineral wealth has been the major influence in the history of Johannesburg and the surrounding Witwatersrand regions (with about 45% of all gold ever mined coming from there), the discovery of now-famous hominid fossils at the Sterkfontein Caves, and the convening of the world's largest-ever conference on environment and development, are setting a new stage for the future. The United Nations began the second Development and Environment Conference in Johannesburg on August 26, 2002. This meeting addresses the implementation of international goals to fight poverty and protect the global environment that were established at the first such conference held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The Johannesburg summit involves about forty thousand participants, and perhaps 100 world leaders. One of several official opening ceremonies for the conference was held at the Sterkfontein Caves to recognize the outstanding universal value of the paleo-anthropological fossils found there.These views from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) highlight a number of the land use, vegetation, and geological features found within Gauteng Province (including the urban center of Johannesburg and the capital city Pretoria) and parts of the North West and Free State Provinces. The image on the right displays vegetation in red hues and is a false-color view utilizing data from MISR's near-infrared, red and blue bands. Both the natural-color view (left) and the false-color version were acquired by MISR's nadir camera on June 16, 2002. The urban areas appear as gray-colored pixels in the natural-color view, and exhibit colors corresponding with the relative abundance of vegetation found in the urban parts of this arid region.The mountains trending east-west near the center of the images extend from Pretoria in the east to Rustenberg in the west. These ranges, the Magaliesberg and Witwatersberg, separate the low-lying, hotter bushveld to the north from the cooler

  10. Book Reviews

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    Danker H. Schaareman

    1980-01-01

    . xvi + 329 pages. Maps, tables, plates, figures, index. - A. de Ruijter, S.F. Moore, Secular Ritual. Van Gorcum, Assen, 1977. 293 pp., B.G. Myerhoff (eds. - A. Ploeg, L.M. Serpenti, Cultivators in the swamps. Social structure and horticulture in a New Guinea society, Second edition. Van Gorcum, Assen, 1977, 308 pp., maps, tables, figures, glossary. - A. de Ruijter, R. Needham, Symbolic classifications. Goodyear Publishing Company Inc. Santa Monica, California. 1979. 78 pp. - Danker H. Schaareman, Urs Ramseyer, The art and culture of Bali. Oxford 1977: Oxford University Press. 265 pp., 405 pp., ill. - Anthony Shelton, E. Schwimmer, The Yearbook of Symbolic anthropology, London: C. Hurst and Co., 1978; pp. 230. - H. Steinhauer, M.A. Chlenov, Naselenie Molukkskix Ostrovov [The population of the Moluccas], Moscow 1976, 285 pp. - P. van de Velde, M.G. Leakey, The fossil hominids and an introduction to their context, 1968-1974, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978. Volume 1 of R.E. Leakey & G.Ll. Isaac (general editors: Koobi Fora - researches into geology, palaeontology, and human origins. 191 pages; 28 plates and numerous figures; tables; index., R.E. Leakey (eds. - Leontine E. Visser, P.A. Stott, Nature and man in South East Asia, 1978, S.O.A.S., London, 183 pp., fig., phot., subject index. - J.J. de Wolf, F. Bovenkerk, Toen en thans: De sociale wetenschappen in de jaren dertig en nu. Onder redactie van F. Bovenkerk, H.J.M. Claessen, B. van Heerikhuizen, A.J.F. Köbben, N. Wilterdink. 1978 Ambo, Baarn., H.J.M. Claessen, B. van Heerikhuizen (eds.

  11. Variability of knapping methods and technological change in the Middle Palaeolithic of the Abric Romani (Capellades, Barcelona

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    Vaquero, Manuel

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Lithic reduction sequences are a fundamental topic in palaeolithic research, since they provide data on the behavioural capabilities of early hominids. This paper studies the variability of lithic reduction strategies in the Abric Romaní (Capellades, Barcelona. This site has an extensive stratigraphic sequence, dated between 40 and 70 ka BP. In this sequence, mostly formed by travertine deposits, 27 archaeological levels have been identified, most of them corresponding to the Middle Palaeolithic. The Middle Palaeolithic levels so far excavated (B-L are dated between 40 and 52 ka BP, and suggest a reconstruction of the behavioural patterns of the Neanderthal groups preceding the early Upper Palaeolithic. The variability of the reduction sequences in a synchronous level and the changes over time are presented in the framework of the operative field concept. The results suggest that the technological changes in the Middle Palaeolithic can be explained by technical criteria that are reflected in different domains of analysis; these criteria are related to the degree of technical knowledge invested in lithic production and the range of technical options envisaged in each archaeological level.

    Las secuencias de talla lítica constituyen un tema fundamental en la investigación del Paleolítico, ya que proporcionan datos sobre las capacidades conductuales de los primeros homínidos. Este artículo estudia la variabilidad de las estrategias de talla en el Abric Romaní (Capellades, Barcelona, yacimiento que cuenta con una amplia secuencia estratigráfica datada entre los 40 y los 70 ka BP. En dicha secuencia, formada en su mayor parte por depósitos travertínicos, se han reconocido 27 niveles de ocupación, la mayor parte de los cuales atribuidos al Paleolítico Medio. Los niveles del Paleolítico Medio excavados hasta el momento (B-L, datados entre los 40 y los 52 ka BP, han permitido una reconstrucción de los patrones conductuales de los

  12. Communicating Climate Change: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peacock, K. A.; Byrne, J. M.; McDaniel, S.

    2012-12-01

    The most effective way to communicate the scientific "big picture" is to appeal to the intelligence and imagination of that large number of people who really want to know what science has to say, and who really would be likely to support enlightened policies if they were given an unflinching picture of the present human predicament. Staff writers at Life Magazine used to be told, "Never overestimate readers' information; never underestimate their intelligence." In the long run, whatever communications channels may be employed, the best hope of moving forward is to appeal to the intelligence of the public. (Media such as wikis, which invite participation, could be one of the best ways to do that.) There are two salient "big picture" facts to be communicated. The first is the ecological unsustainability of the present human condition. There is not the slightest possibility of a long-term future for a planetary-scale, technologically-intensive society of over 7 billion talking hominids that gets most of its free energy from the combustion of a one-time-only store of biotic waste products laid down in the strata hundreds of millions of years ago. Not only is this limited fuel supply running out, but its waste products are rapidly destabilizing the very climatic conditions that favoured the growth of our complex culture. As Homer-Dixon puts it, we are on the "cusp of a planetary-scale emergency"—obvious to earth scientists, but not obvious to all of even the best-intentioned members of the public. The second crucial fact is that our species' capacity to innovate (technologically, linguistically, socially), unique in the history of life on this planet, has up to now been our most effective survival tool and still remains our best chance for pulling through the present crisis. Herbert Spencer said that the most important adaptive trait is what he called "sagacity"—intelligent adaptability. But our sagacity now faces its toughest test, tougher than the harsh Ice Age in

  13. Y-chromosome haplotype distribution in Han Chinese populations and modern human origin in East Asians

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    KE; Yuehai

    2001-01-01

    [1]Cann, R. L., Stoneking, M., Wilson, A. C., Mitochondria DNA and human evolution, Nature, 1987, 325: 31-36.[2]Vigilant, L., Stoneking, M., Harpending, H. et al., African populations and the evolution of human mitochondrial DNA, Science, 1997, 253: 1503-1507.[3]Cavalli-Sforza, L. L., Piazza, M. P., The History and Geography of Human Genes, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994.[4]Brooks, A. S., Wood, B., Paleoanthropology, The Chinese side of the story, Nature, 1990, 344: 288-289.[5]Li, T., Etler, D. A., New middle Pleistocene hominid crania from Yunxian in China, Nature, 1992, 357: 404-407.[6]Wu, X. Z., Poirier, F. E., Human Evolution in China, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.[7]Etler, D. A., The fossil evidence for human evolution in Asia, Annu. Rev. Anthropol., 1996, 25: 275-301.[8]Wolpoff, M. H., Interpretations of multiregional evolution, Science, 1996, 274: 704-707.[9]Stringer, C. B., Andrew, P., Genetic and fossil evidence for the origin of modern humans, Science ,1988, 239: 1263-1268.[10]Wilson, A. C.,Cann, R. L., The recent African genesis of humans, Scientific American, 1992, (4): 68-75.[11]Weng, Z., Yuan, Y., Du, R., Analysis of the genetic structure of human populations in China, Acta Anthropol. Sin. (in Chi-nese)1989, 8: 261-268.[12]Zhao, T., Zhang, G., Zhu, Y. et al., The distribution of immunoglobulin Gm allotypes in forty Chinese populations, Acta Anthropol. Sin. (in Chinese), 1986, 6: 1-8.[13]Chu, J. Y., Huang, W., Kuang, S. Q. et al., Genetic relationship of populations in China, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 1998, 95: 11763-11768.[14]Jobling, M. A., Tyler-Smith, C., Fathers and sons: the Y chromosome and human evolution, Trends in Genetics,1995, 11: 449-455.[15]Oefner, P. J., Underhill, P. A., Comparative DNA sequencing by denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC), Am. J. Hum. Genet., 1995, 57: A266.[16]Oefner, P. J., Underhill, P. A., DNA mutation detection

  14. Secretion expression of recombinant glucagon in Escherichia coli

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WEN; Chongwei

    2001-01-01

    [1]Cann, R. L., Stoneking, M., Wilson, A. C., Mitochondria DNA and human evolution, Nature, 1987, 325: 31-36.[2]Vigilant, L., Stoneking, M., Harpending, H. et al., African populations and the evolution of human mitochondrial DNA, Science, 1997, 253: 1503-1507.[3]Cavalli-Sforza, L. L., Piazza, M. P., The History and Geography of Human Genes, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994.[4]Brooks, A. S., Wood, B., Paleoanthropology, The Chinese side of the story, Nature, 1990, 344: 288-289.[5]Li, T., Etler, D. A., New middle Pleistocene hominid crania from Yunxian in China, Nature, 1992, 357: 404-407.[6]Wu, X. Z., Poirier, F. E., Human Evolution in China, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.[7]Etler, D. A., The fossil evidence for human evolution in Asia, Annu. Rev. Anthropol., 1996, 25: 275-301.[8]Wolpoff, M. H., Interpretations of multiregional evolution, Science, 1996, 274: 704-707.[9]Stringer, C. B., Andrew, P., Genetic and fossil evidence for the origin of modern humans, Science ,1988, 239: 1263-1268.[10]Wilson, A. C.,Cann, R. L., The recent African genesis of humans, Scientific American, 1992, (4): 68-75.[11]Weng, Z., Yuan, Y., Du, R., Analysis of the genetic structure of human populations in China, Acta Anthropol. Sin. (in Chi-nese)1989, 8: 261-268.[12]Zhao, T., Zhang, G., Zhu, Y. et al., The distribution of immunoglobulin Gm allotypes in forty Chinese populations, Acta Anthropol. Sin. (in Chinese), 1986, 6: 1-8.[13]Chu, J. Y., Huang, W., Kuang, S. Q. et al., Genetic relationship of populations in China, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 1998, 95: 11763-11768.[14]Jobling, M. A., Tyler-Smith, C., Fathers and sons: the Y chromosome and human evolution, Trends in Genetics,1995, 11: 449-455.[15]Oefner, P. J., Underhill, P. A., Comparative DNA sequencing by denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC), Am. J. Hum. Genet., 1995, 57: A266.[16]Oefner, P. J., Underhill, P. A., DNA mutation detection

  15. Paternal inheritance of mitochondrial DNA in the sheep (Ovine aries)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO; Xingbo

    2001-01-01

    fertilization of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) eggs, Curr. Genet., 1993, 24(6): 539-543.[13]Sutherland, B., Stewart, D., Kenchington, E. R. et al., The fate of paternal mitochondrial DNA in developing female mus-sels, Mytilus edulis: implications for the mechanism of doubly uniparental inheritance of mitochondrial DNA, Genetics, 1998, 148(1): 341-347.[14]Hiendleder, S., Lewalski, H., Wassmuth, R. et al., The complete mitochondrial DNA sequence of the domestic sheep (Ovis aries) and comparison with the other major ovine haplotype, J. Mol. Evol., 1998, 47(4): 441-448.[15]Zardoya, R., Villalta, M., Lopez-Perez, M.J. et al., Nucleotide sequence of the sheep mitochondrial DNA D-loop and its flanking tRNA genes, Curr. Genet., 1995, 28(1): 94-96.[16]Caetano-Anolles, G., Gresshoff, P. M., Staining nucleic acids with silver, Promega Notes, 1994, 45, 15-18.[17]Cummins, J. M., Wakayama, T., Yanagimachi, R. et al., Fate of microinjected spermatid mitochondria in the mouse oocyte and embryo, Zygote, 1998, 6(3): 213-222.[18]Lopez, J. V., Yuhki, N., Masuda, R. et al., Numt, a recent transfer and tandem amplification of mitochondrial DNA to the nuclear genome of the domestic cat, J. Mol. Evol., 1994, 39: 174-190.[19]Wallace, D. C., Stugard, C., Murdock, D. et al., Ancient mtDNA sequences in the human nuclear genome: A potential source of errors in identifying pathogenic mutations, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 1997, 94: 14900-14905.[20]Eyre-Walker, A., Smith, N. H., Smith, J. M., How clonal are human mitochondria? Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci., 1999, 266(1418): 477-483.[21]Hagelberg, E., Goldman, N., Lin, P. et al., Evidence for mitochondrial DNA recombination in a human population of is-land Melanesia, Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci., 1999, 266(1418): 485-492.[22]Awadalla, P., Eyre-Walker, A., Smith, J. M., Linkage disequilibrium and recombination in Hominid mitochondrial DNA, Science, 1999, 286(5449): 2524-2525.

  16. 山西晚新生代古地理环境变迁与新构造运动响应%Evolution of Late Cenozoic Geography and Environment in Shanxi Province and the Neotectonic Response

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    闫小兵; 李自红; 郭瑾; 赵晋泉; 陈文; 扈桂让; 苏宗正

    2014-01-01

    large-scale rift lake because of the intense tectonic movement.The neighboring mountains were uplifted significantly.From then on,the basic geomorphological pat-tern was consistent with that of the current basin.In the late Pliocene,the rift basin subsided sig-nificantly,the climate became cooler,and large lakes began to appear in the rift basin.The early Pleistocene is characterized by wide-spread lakes in rift basins.In general,the climate at this time was a temperate forest and grassland monsoon climate alternating between wet and dry.It was moister and cooler than the Pliocene period,warm and humid in the earlier part,and cool and hu-mid later.Loess deposition began,but mainly in the west of the Luliang Mountain watershed;the Yellow River developed in the early Pleistocene,during which five terraces formed.In the middle Pleistocene the lakes in the first basins began to recede,and loess deposits up to 200 m thick were deposited throughout the province,indicating a fairly arid climate.During this time,large-scale ba-salt flooding and eruptions occurred in the Datong Basin,caused by Himalayan orogenic move-ments.In the middle Pleistocene the climate was temperate humid and semi-arid forest steppe, warm and humid in the early part of this interval,cold and drought-prone later,and in general col-der and drier than the early Pleistocene.Middle Pleistocene hominid cultural sites have been found at the He River in Ruicheng,containing mainly stone and also burned bones.In the Middle Pleis-tocene,loess was deposited almost throughout the province which formed the thickest deposits are still preserved today.The most prominent event in the late Pleistocene was the demise of the lakes,and the geography became much closer to its current form.During this time,the mountains were being uplifted and undergoing erosion and sedimentation occurred in the rift basin,with ac-cumulation of thick lacustrine,fluvial-lacustrine and fluvial-alluvial deposits,which formed the present-day plain

  17. Considérations ontogénétiques et phylogénétiques concernant l’origine de la parole Ontogenetic and phylogenetic considerations concerning the origin of speech

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean Granat

    2011-10-01

    solved: If we suppose that our ancestors (and distant cousins controlled their larynx and vocal tract in the same way as present-day humans, did the geometry of their vocal tract allow them to produce the universal sound structures of the languages spoken today? We analyzed 31 skulls from now to 1.5 Ma (millions years BP (Before Present for fossil hominids available at the Muséedel’Homme in Paris or in the literature: (1 10-30 ka BP: modern humans: Paleolithic; (2 90-200 ka BP: anatomically modern humans; (3 45-90 ka BP: Neanderthals; (4 1.5 Ma BP: Homoergaster; These skulls are all well kept and possess a jaw in the majority of cases but the vertebral column has been reconstituted. We attempt to: (1 Localize hyoid bone and then glottis position; (2 Reconstitute a vocal tract model in a plausible way using an articulatory model; (3 Quantify the acoustic capabilities of this reconstituted vocal tract. For this purpose, we combine phylogenesis and ontogenesis. We are in a position to state that our ancestors and distant cousins were equipped with a vocal tract that could produce the same variety of vowel sounds as we can today: the vowels /i a u/. The vocal tract morphology has been favorable to the emergence and production of speech since several hundreds of thousands of years. But how to know to what extent they mastered the control skills needed to produce speech? New lines of research are proposed in which orofacial abilities necessary to the emergence of speech are linked to a precursor mechanism dedicated to feeding (masticating-swallowing movements.