Sample records for mh1 australopithecus sediba

  1. Developmental simulation of the adult cranial morphology of Australopithecus sediba


    Carlson, K.B.; de Ruiter, D.J.; DeWitt, T.J.; McNulty, K.P.; Carlson, K.J.; Tafforeau, P.; Berger, L.R.


    The type specimen of Australopithecus sediba (MH1) is a late juvenile, prompting some commentators to suggest that had it lived to adulthood its morphology would have changed sufficiently so as to render hypotheses regarding its phylogenetic relations suspect. Considering the potentially critical position of this species with regard to the origins of the genus Homo, a deeper understanding of this change is especially vital. As an empirical response to this critique, a developmental simulation...

  2. Developmental simulation of the adult cranial morphology of Australopithecus sediba

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    Keely B. Carlson


    Full Text Available The type specimen of Australopithecus sediba (MH1 is a late juvenile, prompting some commentators to suggest that had it lived to adulthood its morphology would have changed sufficiently so as to render hypotheses regarding its phylogenetic relations suspect. Considering the potentially critical position of this species with regard to the origins of the genus Homo, a deeper understanding of this change is especially vital. As an empirical response to this critique, a developmental simulation of the MH1 cranium was carried out using geometric morphometric techniques to extrapolate adult morphology using extant male and female chimpanzees, gorillas and humans by modelling remaining development. Multivariate comparisons of the simulated adult A. sediba crania with other early hominin taxa indicate that subsequent cranial development primarily reflects development of secondary sexual characteristics and would not likely be substantial enough to alter suggested morphological affinities of A. sediba. This study also illustrates the importance of separating developmental vectors by sex when estimating ontogenetic change. Results of the ontogenetic projections concur with those from mandible morphology, and jointly affirm the taxonomic validity of A. sediba.

  3. Dental morphology and the phylogenetic "place" of Australopithecus sediba. (United States)

    Irish, Joel D; Guatelli-Steinberg, Debbie; Legge, Scott S; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Berger, Lee R


    To characterize further the Australopithecus sediba hypodigm, we describe 22 dental traits in specimens MH1 and MH2. Like other skeletal elements, the teeth present a mosaic of primitive and derived features. The new nonmetric data are then qualitatively and phenetically compared with those in eight other African hominin samples, before cladistic analyses using a gorilla outgroup. There is some distinction, largely driven by contrasting molar traits, from East African australopiths. However, Au. sediba links with Au. africanus to form a South African australopith clade. These species present five apomorphies, including shared expressions of Carabelli's upper first molar (UM1) and protostylid lower first molar (LM1). Five synapomorphies are also evident between them and monophyletic Homo habilis/rudolfensis + H. erectus. Finally, a South African australopith + Homo clade is supported by four shared derived states, including identical LM1 cusp 7 expression.

  4. Osteogenic tumour in Australopithecus sediba: Earliest hominin evidence for neoplastic disease

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    Patrick S. Randolph-Quinney


    Full Text Available We describe the earliest evidence for neoplastic disease in the hominin lineage. This is reported from the type specimen of the extinct hominin Australopithecus sediba from Malapa, South Africa, dated to 1.98 million years ago. The affected individual was male and developmentally equivalent to a human child of 12 to 13 years of age. A penetrating lytic lesion affected the sixth thoracic vertebra. The lesion was macroscopically evaluated and internally imaged through phase-contrast X-ray synchrotron microtomography. A comprehensive differential diagnosis was undertaken based on gross- and micro-morphology of the lesion, leading to a probable diagnosis of osteoid osteoma. These neoplasms are solitary, benign, osteoid and bone-forming tumours, formed from well-vascularised connective tissue within which there is active production of osteoid and woven bone. Tumours of any kind are rare in archaeological populations, and are all but unknown in the hominin record, highlighting the importance of this discovery. The presence of this disease at Malapa predates the earliest evidence of malignant neoplasia in the hominin fossil record by perhaps 200 000 years.

  5. Distinct growth of the nasomaxillary complex in Au. sediba. (United States)

    Lacruz, Rodrigo S; Bromage, Timothy G; O'Higgins, Paul; Toro-Ibacache, Viviana; Warshaw, Johanna; Berger, Lee R


    Studies of facial ontogeny in immature hominins have contributed significantly to understanding the evolution of human growth and development. The recently discovered hominin species Autralopithecus sediba is represented by a well-preserved and nearly complete facial skeleton of a juvenile (MH1) which shows a derived facial anatomy. We examined MH1 using high radiation synchrotron to interpret features of the oronasal complex pertinent to facial growth. We also analyzed bone surface microanatomy to identify and map fields of bone deposition and bone resorption, which affect the development of the facial skeleton. The oronasal anatomy (premaxilla-palate-vomer architecture) is similar to other Australopithecus species. However surface growth remodeling of the midface (nasomaxillary complex) differs markedly from Australopithecus, Paranthropus, early Homo and from KNM-WT 15000 (H. erectus/ergaster) showing a distinct distribution of vertically disposed alternating depository and resorptive fields in relation to anterior dental roots and the subnasal region. The ontogeny of the MH1 midface superficially resembles some H. sapiens in the distribution of remodeling fields. The facial growth of MH1 appears unique among early hominins representing an evolutionary modification in facial ontogeny at 1.9 my, or to changes in masticatory system loading associated with diet.

  6. Did Australopithecus and Homo co-exist

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vogel, J.C.


    Uranium series isotope dating of the tufas at Taung/Buxton suggests a considerably younger age for the Taung child (Australopithecus africanus) than has hitherto been accepted. If this later date is confirmed, it will necessitate a re-think of the evolutionary tree of Man and his ancestors

  7. Structural basis for the cooperative DNA recognition by Smad4 MH1 dimers (United States)

    Baburajendran, Nithya; Jauch, Ralf; Tan, Clara Yueh Zhen; Narasimhan, Kamesh; Kolatkar, Prasanna R.


    Smad proteins form multimeric complexes consisting of the ‘common partner’ Smad4 and receptor regulated R-Smads on clustered DNA binding sites. Deciphering how pathway specific Smad complexes multimerize on DNA to regulate gene expression is critical for a better understanding of the cis-regulatory logic of TGF-β and BMP signaling. To this end, we solved the crystal structure of the dimeric Smad4 MH1 domain bound to a palindromic Smad binding element. Surprisingly, the Smad4 MH1 forms a constitutive dimer on the SBE DNA without exhibiting any direct protein–protein interactions suggesting a DNA mediated indirect readout mechanism. However, the R-Smads Smad1, Smad2 and Smad3 homodimerize with substantially decreased efficiency despite pronounced structural similarities to Smad4. Therefore, intricate variations in the DNA structure induced by different Smads and/or variant energetic profiles likely contribute to their propensity to dimerize on DNA. Indeed, competitive binding assays revealed that the Smad4/R-Smad heterodimers predominate under equilibrium conditions while R-Smad homodimers are least favored. Together, we present the structural basis for DNA recognition by Smad4 and demonstrate that Smad4 constitutively homo- and heterodimerizes on DNA in contrast to its R-Smad partner proteins by a mechanism independent of direct protein contacts. PMID:21724602

  8. Homo floresiensis: microcephalic, pygmoid, Australopithecus, or Homo? (United States)

    Argue, Debbie; Donlon, Denise; Groves, Colin; Wright, Richard


    The remarkable partial adult skeleton (LB1) excavated from Liang Bua cave on the island of Flores, Indonesia, has been attributed to a new species, Homo floresiensis, based upon a unique mosaic of primitive and derived features compared to any other hominin. The announcement precipitated widespread interest, and attention quickly focused on its possible affinities. LB1 is a small-bodied hominin with an endocranial volume of 380-410 cm3, a stature of 1m, and an approximate geological age of 18,000 years. The describers [Brown, P., Sutikna, T., Morwood, M.J., Soejono, R.P., Jatmiko, Wayhu Saptomo, E., Awe Due, R., 2004. A new small-bodied hominin from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia. Nature 431, 1055-1061] originally proposed that H. floresiensis was the end product of a long period of isolation of H. erectus or early Homo on a small island, a process known as insular dwarfism. More recently Morwood, Brown, and colleagues [Morwood, M.J., Brown, P., Jatmiko, Sutikna, T., Wahyu Saptomo, E., Westaway, K.E., Awe Due, R., Roberts, R.G., Maeda, T., Wasisto, S., Djubiantono, T., 2005. Further evidence for small-bodied hominins from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia. Nature 437, 1012-1017] reviewed this assessment in light of new material from the site and concluded that H. floresiensis is not likely to be descended from H. erectus, with the genealogy of the species remaining uncertain. Other interpretations, namely that LB1 is a pygmy or afflicted with microcephaly, have also been put forward. We explore the affinities of LB1 using cranial and postcranial metric and non-metric analyses. LB1 is compared to early Homo, two microcephalic humans, a 'pygmoid' excavated from another cave on Flores, H. sapiens (including African pygmies and Andaman Islanders), Australopithecus, and Paranthropus. Based on these comparisons, we conclude that it is unlikely that LB1 is a microcephalic human, and it cannot be attributed to any known species. Its attribution to a new

  9. Carcass Characteristics of Kacang Goats Fed Ration Containing MH-1 Variety of Kapok Seed Meal (Ceiba pentandra, GAERTN.

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    T. Hidjaz


    Full Text Available This research aimed to study the carcass characteristics of Kacang goats fed ration containing kapok seed meal (KSM as a component of the concentrate. The experiment was conducted in two stages. The first stage was to find out the best variety of kapok that will be used in the second experiment; the second stage was to determine the benefits of KSM on carcass characteristics. Twenty-five, 8 months old Kacang goats with initial body weight of 11.71±1.08 kg, were used in this experiment. The animals were housed individually based on completely randomized design (CRD with 5 treatments and 5 replications. The rations were based on forage:concentrate ratio of 50:50 dry matter basis. The ration contained concentrates, with increasing levels of KSM, i.e.: R0 (napier grass + concentrate: rice bran, coconut cake, corn, urea + 0% KSM; R5 (R0 + KSM 5%; R10 (R0 + KSM 10%; R15 (R0 + KSM 15%; and R20 (R0 + KSM 20%. Drinking water was provided ad libitum. The result of first stage showed that KSM variety of MH-1 would be used as a component of the concentrate on the second experiment. The increasing level of KSM in the rations had significant effect (P<0.05 on physical characteristics of the carcass, such as dressing percentage (44.35%, carcass length (54.006 cm, fleshing index (130.59 g/cm, plumpness of leg (87.48%, loin eye area (5.06 cm2, and percentage of carcass meat (64.69%. It is concluded that MH-1 variety of KSM can be used as a feed component up to 20 % in the goat ration.

  10. New Australopithecus boisei calvaria from East Lake Turkana, Kenya. (United States)

    Brown, B; Walker, A; Ward, C V; Leakey, R E


    The calvaria of an adult Australopithecus boisei from Area 104, Koobi Fora, Lake Turkana, is described. The specimen, KNM-ER 23000, comes from sediments dated to about 1.9 Ma. It consists of the frontal, both parietals, both temporals, most of the occipital as well as two small pieces of sphenoid, and a mandibular tooth root. The specimen is presumed to be an adult male, based on its size and the great development of features associated with the masticatory apparatus. KNM-ER 23000 is close in general size and shape to KNM-ER 406, KNM-ER 13750, and Olduvai Hominid 5 and it has a mixture of features seen in these three roughly contemporaneous crania. The frontal, especially the tori, resembles that of OH 5; the parietals are most like those of KNM-ER 13750; the occipital is like those of the two other Turkana specimens, and the temporals have a mixture of features from all of these, This specimen adds to our knowledge of variability in A. boisei.

  11. Diet of Australopithecus afarensis from the Pliocene Hadar Formation, Ethiopia (United States)

    Wynn, Jonathan G.; Sponheimer, Matt; Kimbel, William H.; Alemseged, Zeresenay; Reed, Kaye; Bedaso, Zelalem K.; Wilson, Jessica N.


    The enhanced dietary flexibility of early hominins to include consumption of C4/crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) foods (i.e., foods derived from grasses, sedges, and succulents common in tropical savannas and deserts) likely represents a significant ecological and behavioral distinction from both extant great apes and the last common ancestor that we shared with great apes. Here, we use stable carbon isotopic data from 20 samples of Australopithecus afarensis from Hadar and Dikika, Ethiopia (>3.4-2.9 Ma) to show that this species consumed a diet with significant C4/CAM foods, differing from its putative ancestor Au. anamensis. Furthermore, there is no temporal trend in the amount of C4/CAM food consumption over the age of the samples analyzed, and the amount of C4/CAM food intake was highly variable, even within a single narrow stratigraphic interval. As such, Au. afarensis was a key participant in the C4/CAM dietary expansion by early australopiths of the middle Pliocene. The middle Pliocene expansion of the eastern African australopith diet to include savanna-based foods represents a shift to use of plant food resources that were already abundant in hominin environments for at least 1 million y and sets the stage for dietary differentiation and niche specialization by subsequent hominin taxa.

  12. Dental topography and diets of Australopithecus afarensis and early Homo. (United States)

    Ungar, Peter


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

  13. Further evidence of periodontal bone pathology in a juvenile specimen of Australopithecus africanus from Sterkfontein, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ripamonti, U


    Full Text Available The dentition and alveolar bone of a maxilla of a juvenile Australopithecus africanus have been examined using a high energy X-ray computed tomography scanner. Results indicate the presence of previously undetected severe alveolar bone loss...

  14. Gorilla-like anatomy on Australopithecus afarensis mandibles suggests Au. afarensis link to robust australopiths. (United States)

    Rak, Yoel; Ginzburg, Avishag; Geffen, Eli


    Mandibular ramus morphology on a recently discovered specimen of Australopithecus afarensis closely matches that of gorillas. This finding was unexpected given that chimpanzees are the closest living relatives of humans. Because modern humans, chimpanzees, orangutans, and many other primates share a ramal morphology that differs from that of gorillas, the gorilla anatomy must represent a unique condition, and its appearance in fossil hominins must represent an independently derived morphology. This particular morphology appears also in Australopithecus robustus. The presence of the morphology in both the latter and Au. afarensis and its absence in modern humans cast doubt on the role of Au. afarensis as a modern human ancestor. The ramal anatomy of the earlier Ardipithecus ramidus is virtually that of a chimpanzee, corroborating the proposed phylogenetic scenario.

  15. Gorilla-like anatomy on Australopithecus afarensis mandibles suggests Au. afarensis link to robust australopiths


    Rak, Yoel; Ginzburg, Avishag; Geffen, Eli


    Mandibular ramus morphology on a recently discovered specimen of Australopithecus afarensis closely matches that of gorillas. This finding was unexpected given that chimpanzees are the closest living relatives of humans. Because modern humans, chimpanzees, orangutans, and many other primates share a ramal morphology that differs from that of gorillas, the gorilla anatomy must represent a unique condition, and its appearance in fossil hominins must represent an independently derived morphology...

  16. Revised age estimates of Australopithecus-bearing deposits at Sterkfontein, South Africa. (United States)

    Berger, Lee R; Lacruz, Rodrigo; De Ruiter, Darryl J


    The Sterkfontein fossil site in South Africa has produced the largest concentration of early hominin fossils from a single locality. Recent reports suggest that Australopithecus from this site is found within a broad paleontological age of between 2.5-3.5 Ma (Partridge [2000] The Cenozoic of Southern Africa, Oxford: Oxford Monographs, p. 100-125; Partridge et al. [2000a], The Cenozoic of Southern Africa, Oxford: Oxford Monographs, p. 129-130; Kuman and Clarke [2000] J Hum Evol 38:827-847). Specifically, the hominin fossil commonly referred to as the "Little Foot" skeleton from Member 2, which is arguably the most complete early hominin skeleton yet discovered, has been magnetostratigraphically dated to 3.30-3.33 Ma (Partridge [2000] The Cenozoic of Southern Africa, Oxford: Oxford Monographs, p. 100-125; Partridge et al. [2000a], The Cenozoic of Southern Africa, Oxford: Oxford Monographs, p. 129-130). More recent claims suggest that hominin fossils from the Jacovec Cavern are even older, being dated to approximately 3.5 Ma. Our interpretation of the fauna, the archeometric results, and the magnetostratigraphy of Sterkfontein indicate that it is unlikely that any Members yet described from Sterkfontein are in excess of 3.04 Ma in age. We estimate that Member 2, including the Little Foot skeleton, is younger than 3.0 Ma, and that Member 4, previously dated to between 2.4-2.8 Ma, is more likely to fall between 1.5-2.5 Ma. Our results suggest that Australopithecus africanus should not be considered as a temporal contemporary of Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus bahrelghazali, and Kenyanthropus platyops. Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  17. Crystal optimization and preliminary diffraction data analysis of the Smad1 MH1 domain bound to a palindromic SBE DNA element

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baburajendran, Nithya; Palasingam, Paaventhan; Ng, Calista Keow Leng; Jauch, Ralf; Kolatkar, Prasanna R.


    Crystals of palindromic SBE DNA-bound Smad1 MH1 domain diffracting to 2.7 Å resolution have been obtained. The bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signalling pathway regulates diverse processes such as cell differentiation, anterior/posterior axis specification, cell growth and the formation of extra-embryonic tissues. The transcription factor Smad1 relays the BMP signal from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, where it binds short DNA-sequence motifs and regulates gene expression. However, how Smad1 selectively targets particular genomic regions is poorly understood. In order to understand the physical basis of the specific interaction of Smad1 with DNA and to contrast it with the highly homologous but functionally distinct Smad3 protein, the DNA-binding Mad-homology 1 (MH1) domain of Smad1 was cocrystallized with a 17-mer palindromic Smad-binding element (SBE). The extensive optimizations of the length, binding-site spacing and terminal sequences of the DNA element in combination with the other crystallization parameters necessary for obtaining diffraction-quality crystals are described here. A 2.7 Å resolution native data set was collected at the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Centre, Taiwan, from crystals grown in a solution containing 0.2 M ammonium tartrate dibasic, 20% PEG 3350, 3% 2-propanol and 10% glycerol. The data set was indexed and merged in space group P222, with unit-cell parameters a = 73.94, b = 77.49, c = 83.78 Å, α = β = γ = 90°. The solvent content in the unit cell is consistent with the presence of two Smad1 MH1 molecules bound to the duplex DNA in the asymmetric unit

  18. Crystal optimization and preliminary diffraction data analysis of the Smad1 MH1 domain bound to a palindromic SBE DNA element (United States)

    Baburajendran, Nithya; Palasingam, Paaventhan; Ng, Calista Keow Leng; Jauch, Ralf; Kolatkar, Prasanna R.


    The bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signalling pathway regulates diverse processes such as cell differentiation, anterior/posterior axis specification, cell growth and the formation of extra-embryonic tissues. The transcription factor Smad1 relays the BMP signal from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, where it binds short DNA-sequence motifs and regulates gene expression. However, how Smad1 selectively targets particular genomic regions is poorly understood. In order to understand the physical basis of the specific interaction of Smad1 with DNA and to contrast it with the highly homologous but functionally distinct Smad3 protein, the DNA-binding Mad-homology 1 (MH1) domain of Smad1 was cocrystallized with a 17-mer palindromic Smad-binding element (SBE). The extensive optimizations of the length, binding-site spacing and terminal sequences of the DNA element in combination with the other crystallization parameters necessary for obtaining diffraction-quality crystals are described here. A 2.7 Å resolution native data set was collected at the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Centre, Taiwan, from crystals grown in a solution containing 0.2 M ammonium tartrate dibasic, 20% PEG 3350, 3% 2-­propanol and 10% glycerol. The data set was indexed and merged in space group P222, with unit-cell parameters a = 73.94, b = 77.49, c = 83.78 Å, α = β = γ = 90°. The solvent content in the unit cell is consistent with the presence of two Smad1 MH1 molecules bound to the duplex DNA in the asymmetric unit. PMID:19923727

  19. A missense mutation in PFAS (phosphoribosylformylglycinamidine synthase) is likely causal for embryonic lethality associated with the MH1 haplotype in Montbéliarde dairy cattle. (United States)

    Michot, Pauline; Fritz, Sébastien; Barbat, Anne; Boussaha, Mekki; Deloche, Marie-Christine; Grohs, Cécile; Hoze, Chris; Le Berre, Laurène; Le Bourhis, Daniel; Desnoes, Olivier; Salvetti, Pascal; Schibler, Laurent; Boichard, Didier; Capitan, Aurélien


    A candidate mutation in the sex hormone binding globulin gene was proposed in 2013 to be responsible for the MH1 recessive embryonic lethal locus segregating in the Montbéliarde breed. In this follow-up study, we excluded this candidate variant because healthy homozygous carriers were observed in large-scale genotyping data generated in the framework of the genomic selection program. We fine mapped the MH1 locus in a 702-kb interval and analyzed genome sequence data from the 1,000 bull genomes project and 54 Montbéliarde bulls (including 14 carriers and 40 noncarriers). We report the identification of a strong candidate mutation in the gene encoding phosphoribosylformylglycinamidine synthase (PFAS), a protein involved in de novo purine synthesis. This mutation, located in a class I glutamine amidotransferase-like domain, results in the substitution of an arginine residue that is entirely conserved among eukaryotes by a cysteine (p.R1205C). No homozygote for the cysteine-encoding allele was observed in a large population of more than 25,000 individuals despite a 6.7% allelic frequency and 122 expected homozygotes under neutrality assumption. Genotyping of 18 embryos collected from heterozygous parents as well as analysis on nonreturn rates suggested that most homozygous carriers died between 7 and 35 d postinsemination. The identification of this strong candidate mutation will enable the accurate testing of the reproducers and the efficient selection against this lethal recessive embryonic defect in the Montbéliarde breed. Copyright © 2017 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. New cosmogenic burial ages for Sterkfontein Member 2 Australopithecus and Member 5 Oldowan (United States)

    Granger, Darryl E.; Gibbon, Ryan J.; Kuman, Kathleen; Clarke, Ronald J.; Bruxelles, Laurent; Caffee, Marc W.


    The cave infills at Sterkfontein contain one of the richest assemblages of Australopithecus fossils in the world, including the nearly complete skeleton StW 573 (`Little Foot') in its lower section, as well as early stone tools in higher sections. However, the chronology of the site remains controversial owing to the complex history of cave infilling. Much of the existing chronology based on uranium-lead dating and palaeomagnetic stratigraphy has recently been called into question by the recognition that dated flowstones fill cavities formed within previously cemented breccias and therefore do not form a stratigraphic sequence. Earlier dating with cosmogenic nuclides suffered a high degree of uncertainty and has been questioned on grounds of sediment reworking. Here we use isochron burial dating with cosmogenic aluminium-26 and beryllium-10 to show that the breccia containing StW 573 did not undergo significant reworking, and that it was deposited 3.67 +/- 0.16 million years ago, far earlier than the 2.2 million year flowstones found within it. The skeleton is thus coeval with early Australopithecus afarensis in eastern Africa. We also date the earliest stone tools at Sterkfontein to 2.18 +/- 0.21 million years ago, placing them in the Oldowan at a time similar to that found elsewhere in South Africa at Swartkans and Wonderwerk.

  1. Trabecular evidence for a human-like gait in Australopithecus africanus.

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    Meir M Barak

    Full Text Available Although the earliest known hominins were apparently upright bipeds, there has been mixed evidence whether particular species of hominins including those in the genus Australopithecus walked with relatively extended hips, knees and ankles like modern humans, or with more flexed lower limb joints like apes when bipedal. Here we demonstrate in chimpanzees and humans a highly predictable and sensitive relationship between the orientation of the ankle joint during loading and the principal orientation of trabecular bone struts in the distal tibia that function to withstand compressive forces within the joint. Analyses of the orientation of these struts using microCT scans in a sample of fossil tibiae from the site of Sterkfontein, of which two are assigned to Australopithecus africanus, indicate that these hominins primarily loaded their ankles in a relatively extended posture like modern humans and unlike chimpanzees. In other respects, however, trabecular properties in Au africanus are distinctive, with values that mostly fall between those of chimpanzees and humans. These results indicate that Au. africanus, like Homo, walked with an efficient, extended lower limb.

  2. From Lucy to Kadanuumuu: balanced analyses of Australopithecus afarensis assemblages confirm only moderate skeletal dimorphism

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    Philip L. Reno


    Full Text Available Sexual dimorphism in body size is often used as a correlate of social and reproductive behavior in Australopithecus afarensis. In addition to a number of isolated specimens, the sample for this species includes two small associated skeletons (A.L. 288-1 or “Lucy” and A.L. 128/129 and a geologically contemporaneous death assemblage of several larger individuals (A.L. 333. These have driven both perceptions and quantitative analyses concluding that Au. afarensis was markedly dimorphic. The Template Method enables simultaneous evaluation of multiple skeletal sites, thereby greatly expanding sample size, and reveals that A. afarensis dimorphism was similar to that of modern humans. A new very large partial skeleton (KSD-VP-1/1 or “Kadanuumuu” can now also be used, like Lucy, as a template specimen. In addition, the recently developed Geometric Mean Method has been used to argue that Au. afarensis was equally or even more dimorphic than gorillas. However, in its previous application Lucy and A.L. 128/129 accounted for 10 of 11 estimates of female size. Here we directly compare the two methods and demonstrate that including multiple measurements from the same partial skeleton that falls at the margin of the species size range dramatically inflates dimorphism estimates. Prevention of the dominance of a single specimen’s contribution to calculations of multiple dimorphism estimates confirms that Au. afarensis was only moderately dimorphic.

  3. Forearm articular proportions and the antebrachial index in Homo sapiens, Australopithecus afarensis and the great apes. (United States)

    Williams, Frank L'Engle; Cunningham, Deborah L; Amaral, Lia Q


    When hominin bipedality evolved, the forearms were free to adopt nonlocomotor tasks which may have resulted in changes to the articular surfaces of the ulna and the relative lengths of the forearm bones. Similarly, sex differences in forearm proportions may be more likely to emerge in bipeds than in the great apes given the locomotor constraints in Gorilla, Pan and Pongo. To test these assumptions, ulnar articular proportions and the antebrachial index (radius length/ulna length) in Homo sapiens (n=51), Gorilla gorilla (n=88), Pan troglodytes (n=49), Pongo pygmaeus (n=36) and Australopithecus afarensis A.L. 288-1 and A.L. 438-1 are compared. Intercept-adjusted ratios are used to control for size and minimize the effects of allometry. Canonical scores axes show that the proximally broad and elongated trochlear notch with respect to size in H. sapiens and A. afarensis is largely distinct from G. gorilla, P. troglodytes and P. pygmaeus. A cluster analysis of scaled ulnar articular dimensions groups H. sapiens males with A.L. 438-1 ulna length estimates, while one A.L. 288-1 ulna length estimate groups with Pan and another clusters most closely with H. sapiens, G. gorilla and A.L. 438-1. The relatively low antebrachial index characterizing H. sapiens and non-outlier estimates of A.L. 288-1 and A.L. 438-1 differs from those of the great apes. Unique sex differences in H. sapiens suggest a link between bipedality and forearm functional morphology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  4. Kinematic parameters inferred from enamel microstructure: new insights into the diet of Australopithecus anamensis. (United States)

    Macho, Gabriele A; Shimizu, Daisuke


    The dietary adaptations of Australopithecus anamensis are contentious, with suggestions that range from soft fruits to hard, brittle, tough, and abrasive foods. It is unlikely that all propositions are equally valid, however. Here we extend recent finite element (FE) analyses of enamel microstructure (Shimizu and Macho, 2008) to enquire about the range of loading directions (i.e., kinematics) to which A. anamensis enamel microstructure/molars could safely be subjected. The rationale underlying this study is the observation that hard brittle foods are broken down in crush, while tough foods require shear. The findings are compared with those of Pan and Gorilla. Eighteen detailed FE models of enamel microstructure were created and analysed. The results highlight the uniqueness of A. anamensis dental structure and imply that mastication in this species included a greater shear component than in Pan, as well as a wider range of loading directions; it is similar to that in Gorilla in this respect. These findings are in accord with microwear studies (Grine et al., 2006a). Unlike either of the great apes, however, enamel microstructure of A. anamensis was found to be poorly equipped to withstand loading parallel to the dentino-enamel junction; such loading regimes are associated with mastication of soft fleshy fruits. This, together with broader morphological considerations, raises doubts as to whether A. anamensis was essentially a frugivore that expanded its dietary niche as a result of fluctuations in environmental conditions, e.g., during seasonal food shortages. Instead, it is more parsimonious to conclude that the habitual diet of A. anamensis differed considerably from that of either of the extant African great apes.

  5. Australopithecus anamensis: a finite-element approach to studying the functional adaptations of extinct hominins. (United States)

    Macho, Gabriele A; Shimizu, Daisuke; Jiang, Yong; Spears, Iain R


    Australopithecus anamensis is the stem species of all later hominins and exhibits the suite of characters traditionally associated with hominins, i.e., bipedal locomotion when on the ground, canine reduction, and thick-enameled teeth. The functional consequences of its thick enamel are, however, unclear. Without appropriate structural reinforcement, these thick-enameled teeth may be prone to failure. This article investigates the mechanical behavior of A. anamensis enamel and represents the first in a series that will attempt to determine the functional adaptations of hominin teeth. First, the microstructural arrangement of enamel prisms in A. anamensis teeth was reconstructed using recently developed software and was compared with that of extant hominoids. Second, a finite-element model of a block of enamel containing one cycle of prism deviation was reconstructed for Homo, Pan, Gorilla, and A. anamensis and the behavior of these tissues under compressive stress was determined. Despite similarities in enamel microstructure between A. anamensis and the African great apes, the structural arrangement of prismatic enamel in A. anamensis appears to be more effective in load dissipation under these compressive loads. The findings may imply that this hominin species was well adapted to puncture crushing and are in some respects contrary to expectations based on macromorphology of teeth. Taking together, information obtained from both finite-element analyses and dental macroanatomy leads us to suggest that A. anamensis was probably adapted for habitually consuming a hard-tough diet. However, additional tests are needed to understand the functional adaptations of A. anamensis teeth fully.

  6. Factors associated with retention in HIV care at Sediba Hope ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    Jul 1, 2015 ... to patients' homes or work; clinic operating on Saturdays, which was convenient for patients ... In 2011, FPD joined in a project with Participate Empower .... with more of the men (58.8%; n = 17) than the women (29.4%;.

  7. Cooperative assembly of Co-Smad4 MH1 with R-Smad1/3 MH1 on DNA: a molecular dynamics simulation study.

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    Guihong Wang

    Full Text Available Smads, the homologs of Sma and MAD proteins, play a key role in gene expression regulation in the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β signaling pathway. Recent experimental studies have revealed that Smad4/R-Smad heterodimers bound on DNA are energetically more favorable than homodimeric R-Smad/R-Smad complexes bound on DNA, which indicates that Smad4 might act as binding vehicle to cooperatively assemble with activated R-Smads on DNA in the nucleus. However, the details of interaction mechanism for cooperative recruitment of Smad4 protein to R-Smad proteins on DNA, and allosteric communication between the Smad4-DNA and R-Smad-DNA interfaces via DNA mediating are not yet clear so far.In the present work, we have constructed a series of Smadn+DNA+Smadn (n = 1, 3, 4 models and carried out molecular dynamics simulations, free energy calculations and DNA dynamics analysis for them to study the interaction properties of Smadn (n = 1, 3, 4 with DNA molecule.The results revealed that the binding of Smad4 protein to DNA molecule facilitates energetically the formation of the heteromeric Smad4+DNA+Smad1/3 complex by increasing the affinity of Smad1/3 with DNA molecule. Further investigations through the residue/base motion correlation and DNA dynamics analyses predicted that the binding of Smad4 protein to DNA molecule in the heteromeric Smad4+DNA+Smad1/3 model induces an allosteric communication from the Smad4-DNA interface to Smad1/Smad3-DNA interface via DNA base-pair helical motions, surface conformation changes and new hydrogen bond formations. The present work theoretically explains the mechanism of cooperative recruitment of Smad4 protein to Smad1/3 protein via DNA-mediated indirect readout mode in the nucleus.

  8. The Australopithecus Afarensis (Lucy) of Higher Education. (United States)

    Gamble, John King


    Uses a fictitious character and story to express doubts about the use of business and marketing principles in American higher education. Asserts that higher education is profoundly different from other institutions, and that colleges and universities should be shielded from the vagaries of the market. (CAK)

  9. Like father, like son: assessment of the morphological affinities of A.L. 288-1 (A. afarensis, Sts 7 (A. africanus and Omo 119-73-2718 (Australopithecus sp. through a three-dimensional shape analysis of the shoulder joint.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Arias-Martorell

    Full Text Available The postcranial evidence for the Australopithecus genus indicates that australopiths were able bipeds; however, the morphology of the forelimbs and particularly that of the shoulder girdle suggests that they were partially adapted to an arboreal lifestyle. The nature of such arboreal adaptations is still unclear, as are the kind of arboreal behaviors in which australopiths might have engaged. In this study we analyzed the shape of the shoulder joint (proximal humerus and glenoid cavity of the scapula of three australopith specimens: A.L. 288-1 (A. afarensis, Sts 7 (A. africanus and Omo 119-73-2718 (Australopithecus sp. with three-dimensional geometric morphometrics. The morphology of the specimens was compared with that of a wide array of living anthropoid taxa and some additional fossil hominins (the Homo erectus specimen KNM-WT 15000 and the H. neanderthalensis specimen Tabun 1. Our results indicate that A.L. 288-1 shows mosaic traits resembling H. sapiens and Pongo, whereas the Sts 7 shoulder is most similar to the arboreal apes and does not present affinities with H. sapiens. Omo 119-73-2718 exhibits morphological affinities with the more arboreal and partially suspensory New World monkey Lagothrix. The shoulder of the australopith specimens thus shows a combination of primitive and derived traits (humeral globularity, enhancement of internal and external rotation of the joint, related to use of the arm in overhead positions. The genus Homo specimens show overall affinities with H. sapiens at the shoulder, indicating full correspondence of these hominin shoulders with the modern human morphotype.

  10. Geologic description of cores from holes P-3 MH-1 through P-3 MH-5, Area G, Technical Area 54

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Purtymun, W.D.; Wheeler, M.L.; Rogers, M.A.


    Five horizontal holes were cored beneath Pit 3 near the southeast edge of Mesita del Buey at Area G. The pit, filled and covered by 1966, contains solid radioactive wastes. The holes were cored to obtain samples of the tuff underlying the pit to determine if there has been any migration of radionuclides by infiltration of water in the past 10 y. The five holes were collared in Unit 2b of the Tshirege Member of the Bandelier Tuff; three of the holes plunged downward into Unit 2a. This report describes the rock units penetrated by core holes and the joint characteristics observed. The locations of core samples selected for analyses are related to the floor of the pit

  11. Patterns of dental development in Homo, Australopithecus, Pan, and Gorilla. (United States)

    Smith, B H


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

  12. Conarticular congruence of the hominoid subtalar joint complex with implications for joint function in Plio-Pleistocene hominins. (United States)

    Prang, Thomas C


    The purpose of this study is to test the hypothesis that conarticular surfaces areas and curvatures are correlates of mobility at the hominoid talocalcaneal and talonavicular joints. Articular surface areas and curvatures of the talonavicular, anterior talocalcaneal, and posterior talocalcaneal joints were quantified using a total of 425 three-dimensional surface models of extant hominoid and fossil hominin tali, calcanei, and naviculars. Quadric surface fitting was used to calculate curvatures, pairwise comparisons were used to evaluate statistical differences between taxa, and regression was used to test for the effects of allometry. Pairwise comparisons show that the distributions of values for joint curvature indices follow the predicted arboreal-terrestrial morphocline in hominoid primates with no effect of body mass (PGLS p > 0.05). OH 8 (Homo habilis) and LB 1 (Homo floresiensis) can be accommodated within the range of human variation for the talonavicular joint, whereas MH2 (Australopithecus sediba) falls within the ranges of variation for Pan troglodytes and Gorilla gorilla in measures of posterior talocalcaneal joint congruity. Joint curvature indices are better discriminators than joint surface area indices, which may reflect a greater contribution of rotation, rather than translation, to joint movement in plantigrade taxa due to discrepancies in conarticular congruence and the "convex-concave" rule. The pattern of joint congruence in Au. sediba contributes to other data on the foot and ankle suggesting that the lateral side of the foot was more mobile than the medial side, which is consistent with suggestions of increased medial weight transfer associated with hyperpronation. Am J Phys Anthropol 160:446-457, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Evolution of brain and culture: the neurological and cognitive journey from Australopithecus to Albert Einstein. (United States)

    Falk, Dean


    Fossil and comparative primatological evidence suggest that alterations in the development of prehistoric hominin infants kindled three consecutive evolutionary-developmental (evo-devo) trends that, ultimately, paved the way for the evolution of the human brain and cognition. In the earliest trend, infants' development of posture and locomotion became delayed because of anatomical changes that accompanied the prolonged evolution of bipedalism. Because modern humans have inherited these changes, our babies are much slower than other primates to reach developmental milestones such as standing, crawling, and walking. The delay in ancestral babies' physical development eventually precipitated an evolutionary reversal in which they became increasing unable to cling independently to their mothers. For the first time in prehistory, babies were, thus, periodically deprived of direct physical contact with their mothers. This prompted the emergence of a second evo-devo trend in which infants sought contact comfort from caregivers using evolved signals, including new ways of crying that are conserved in modern babies. Such signaling stimulated intense reciprocal interactions between prehistoric mothers and infants that seeded the eventual emergence of motherese and, subsequently, protolanguage. The third trend was for an extreme acceleration in brain growth that began prior to the last trimester of gestation and continued through infants' first postnatal year (early "brain spurt"). Conservation of this trend in modern babies explains why human brains reach adult sizes that are over three times those of chimpanzees. The fossil record of hominin cranial capacities together with comparative neuroanatomical data suggest that, around 3 million years ago, early brain spurts began to facilitate an evolutionary trajectory for increasingly large adult brains in association with neurological reorganization. The prehistoric increase in brain size eventually caused parturition to become exceedingly difficult, and this difficulty, known as the "obstetrical dilemma", is likely to constrain the future evolution of brain size and, thus, privilege ongoing evolution in neurological reorganization. In modern babies, the brain spurt is accompanied by formation and tuning (pruning) of neurological connections, and development of dynamic higher-order networks that facilitate acquisition of grammatical language and, later in development, other advanced computational abilities such as musical or mathematical perception and performance. The cumulative evidence suggests that the emergence and refinement of grammatical language was a prime mover of hominin brain evolution.

  14. A morphometric analysis of hominin teeth attributed to Australopithecus, Paranthropus and Homo

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    Susan J. Dykes


    Full Text Available Teeth are the most common element in the fossil record and play a critical role in taxonomic assessments. Variability in extant hominoid species is commonly used as a basis to gauge expected ranges of variability in fossil hominin species. In this study, variability in lower first molars is visualised in morphospace for four extant hominoid species and seven fossil hominin species. A size-versus-shape-based principle component analysis plot was used to recognise spatial patterns applicable to sexual dimorphism in extant species for comparison with fossil hominin species. In three African great ape species, variability occurs predominantly according to size (rather than shape, with the gorilla sample further separating into a male and a female group according to size. A different pattern is apparent for the modern human sample, in which shape variability is more evident. There is overlap between male and female modern humans and some evidence of grouping by linguistic/tribal populations. When fossil hominin species are analysed using equivalent axes of variance, the specimens group around species holotypes in quite similar patterns to those of the extant African great apes, but six individual fossil molars fall well outside of polygons circumscribing holotype clusters; at least three of these specimens are of interest for discussion in the context of sexual dimorphism, species variability and current species classifications. An implication of this study is that, especially in the case of modern humans, great caution needs to be exercised in using extant species as analogues for assessing variability considered to be a result of sexual dimorphism in fossil hominin species.

  15. A morphometric analysis of hominin teeth attributed to Australopithecus, Paranthropus and Homo


    Susan J. Dykes


    Teeth are the most common element in the fossil record and play a critical role in taxonomic assessments. Variability in extant hominoid species is commonly used as a basis to gauge expected ranges of variability in fossil hominin species. In this study, variability in lower first molars is visualised in morphospace for four extant hominoid species and seven fossil hominin species. A size-versus-shape-based principle component analysis plot was used to recognise spatial patterns applicable to...

  16. Virtual reconstruction of the Australopithecus africanus pelvis Sts 65 with implications for obstetrics and locomotion. (United States)

    Claxton, Alexander G; Hammond, Ashley S; Romano, Julia; Oleinik, Ekaterina; DeSilva, Jeremy M


    Characterizing australopith pelvic morphology has been difficult in part because of limited fossilized pelvic material. Here, we reassess the morphology of an under-studied adult right ilium and pubis (Sts 65) from Member 4 of Sterkfontein, South Africa, and provide a hypothetical digital reconstruction of its overall pelvic morphology. The small size of the pelvis, presence of a preauricular sulcus, and shape of the sciatic notch allow us to agree with past interpretations that Sts 65 likely belonged to a female. The morphology of the iliac pillar, while not as substantial as in Homo, is more robust than in A.L. 288-1 and Sts 14. We created a reconstruction of the pelvis by digitally articulating the Sts 65 right ilium and a mirrored copy of the left ilium with the Sts 14 sacrum in Autodesk Maya. Points along the arcuate line were used to orient the ilia to the sacrum. This reconstruction of the Sts 65 pelvis looks much like a "classic" australopith pelvis, with laterally flared ilia and an inferiorly deflected pubis. An analysis of the obstetric dimensions from our reconstruction shows similarity to other australopiths, a likely transverse or oblique entrance of the neonatal cranium into the pelvic inlet, and a cephalopelvic ratio similar to that found in humans today. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Carnivoran remains from the Malapa hominin site, South Africa.

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    Brian F Kuhn

    Full Text Available Recent discoveries at the new hominin-bearing deposits of Malapa, South Africa, have yielded a rich faunal assemblage associated with the newly described hominin taxon Australopithecus sediba. Dating of this deposit using U-Pb and palaeomagnetic methods has provided an age of 1.977 Ma, being one of the most accurately dated, time constrained deposits in the Plio-Pleistocene of southern Africa. To date, 81 carnivoran specimens have been identified at this site including members of the families Canidae, Viverridae, Herpestidae, Hyaenidae and Felidae. Of note is the presence of the extinct taxon Dinofelis cf. D. barlowi that may represent the last appearance date for this species. Extant large carnivores are represented by specimens of leopard (Panthera pardus and brown hyaena (Parahyaena brunnea. Smaller carnivores are also represented, and include the genera Atilax and Genetta, as well as Vulpes cf. V. chama. Malapa may also represent the first appearance date for Felis nigripes (Black-footed cat. The geochronological age of Malapa and the associated hominin taxa and carnivoran remains provide a window of research into mammalian evolution during a relatively unknown period in South Africa and elsewhere. In particular, the fauna represented at Malapa has the potential to elucidate aspects of the evolution of Dinofelis and may help resolve competing hypotheses about faunal exchange between East and Southern Africa during the late Pliocene or early Pleistocene.

  18. Contemporary flowstone development links early hominin bearing cave deposits in South Africa (United States)

    Pickering, Robyn; Kramers, Jan D.; Hancox, Philip John; de Ruiter, Darryl J.; Woodhead, Jon D.


    The Cradle of Humankind cave sites in South Africa preserve fossil evidence of four early hominin taxa: Australopithecus africanus, Australopithecus sediba, Paranthropus robustus and early Homo. In order to integrate this record into a pan-African scenario of human evolutionary history it is critical to have reliable dates and temporal ranges for the southern African hominins. In the past a lack of precise and accurate chronological data has prevented the evaluation of the temporal relationships between the various sites. Here we report new uranium-lead (U-Pb) radiometric ages obtained from sheets of calcium carbonate flowstone inter-bedded between clastic cave sediments at the site of Swartkrans, providing bracketing ages for the fossiliferous deposits. The fossil bearing units of Swartkrans, specifically the Hanging Remnant and Lower Bank of Member 1, are underlain by flowstone layers dated to 2.25 ± 0.05 Ma and 2.25 ± 0.08 Ma and capped by layers of 1.8 ± 0.01 Ma and 1.7 ± 0.07 Ma. The age bracket of the Member 1 deposits is therefore between 2.31 and 1.64 Ma. However, by combining the U-Pb with biostratigraphic data we suggest that this can be narrowed down to between 1.9 and 1.8 Ma. These data can be compared with other recently dated sites and a radiometrically dated U-Pb age sequence formed: Sterkfontein Member 4, Swartkrans Member 1, Malapa, and Cooper's D. From this new U-Pb dataset, a pattern of contemporary flowstone development emerges, with different caves recording the same flowstone-forming event. Specifically overlapping flowstone formation takes place at Swartkrans and Sterkfontein at ~ 2.29 Ma and ~ 1.77 Ma, and at Sterkfontein and Malapa at ˜ 2.02 Ma. This suggests a regional control over the nature and timing of speleothem development in cave deposits and these flowstone layers could assist in future correlation, both internal to specific deposits and regionally between sites.

  19. How is sagittal balance acquired during bipedal gait acquisition? Comparison of neonatal and adult pelves in three dimensions. Evolutionary implications. (United States)

    Tardieu, Christine; Bonneau, Noémie; Hecquet, Jérôme; Boulay, Christophe; Marty, Catherine; Legaye, Jean; Duval-Beaupère, Geneviève


    We compare adult and intact neonatal pelves, using a pelvic sagittal variable, the angle of sacral incidence, which presents significant correlations with vertebral curvature in adults and plays an important role in sagittal balance of the trunk on the lower limbs. Since the lumbar curvature develops in the child in association with gait acquisition, we expect a change in this angle during growth which could contribute to the acquisition of sagittal balance. To understand the mechanisms underlying the sagittal balance in the evolution of human bipedalism, we also measure the angle of incidence of hominid fossils. Fourty-seven landmarks were digitized on 50 adult and 19 intact neonatal pelves. We used a three-dimensional model of the pelvis (DE-VISU program) which calculates the angle of sacral incidence and related functional variables. Cross-sectional data from newborns and adults show that the angle of sacral incidence increases and becomes negatively correlated with the sacro-acetabular distance. During ontogeny the sacrum becomes curved, tends to sink down between the iliac blades as a wedge and moves backward in the sagittal plane relative to the acetabula, thus contributing to the backwards displacement of the center of gravity of the trunk. A chain of correlations links the degree of the sacral slope and of the angle of incidence, which is tightly linked with the lumbar lordosis. We sketch a model showing the coordinated changes occurring in the pelvis and vertebral column during the acquisition of bipedalism in infancy. In the australopithecine pelves, Sts 14 and AL 288-1, and in the Homo erectus Gona pelvis the angle of sacral incidence reaches the mean values of humans. Discussing the incomplete pelves of Ardipithecus ramidus, Australopithecus sediba and the Nariokotome Boy, we suggest how the functional linkage between pelvis and spine, observed in humans, could have emerged during hominid evolution. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Ardipithecus ramidus and the evolution of the human cranial base. (United States)

    Kimbel, William H; Suwa, Gen; Asfaw, Berhane; Rak, Yoel; White, Tim D


    The early Pliocene African hominoid Ardipithecus ramidus was diagnosed as a having a unique phylogenetic relationship with the Australopithecus + Homo clade based on nonhoning canine teeth, a foreshortened cranial base, and postcranial characters related to facultative bipedality. However, pedal and pelvic traits indicating substantial arboreality have raised arguments that this taxon may instead be an example of parallel evolution of human-like traits among apes around the time of the chimpanzee-human split. Here we investigated the basicranial morphology of Ar. ramidus for additional clues to its phylogenetic position with reference to African apes, humans, and Australopithecus. Besides a relatively anterior foramen magnum, humans differ from apes in the lateral shift of the carotid foramina, mediolateral abbreviation of the lateral tympanic, and a shortened, trapezoidal basioccipital element. These traits reflect a relative broadening of the central basicranium, a derived condition associated with changes in tympanic shape and the extent of its contact with the petrous. Ar. ramidus shares with Australopithecus each of these human-like modifications. We used the preserved morphology of ARA-VP 1/500 to estimate the missing basicranial length, drawing on consistent proportional relationships in apes and humans. Ar. ramidus is confirmed to have a relatively short basicranium, as in Australopithecus and Homo. Reorganization of the central cranial base is among the earliest morphological markers of the Ardipithecus + Australopithecus + Homo clade.

  1. The Australopithecines – An Extinct Group of Human Ancestors: My Scientific Interest in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaszycka Katarzyna A.


    Full Text Available I introduce the subject of my research interest in South Africa - the australopithecines - a group of bipedal, small-brained and large-toothed creatures from the Plio-Pleistocene, from which the human genus arose. I then briefly discuss various topics of my research, concerning: (1 Taxonomic status and morphological description of the extinct human relative from the Kromdraai site (Australopithecus robustus; (2 Graphic reconstruction of the partial skull from Kromdraai - specimen numbered TM 1517; (3 Assessment of size sexual dimorphism of the South African australopithecines (Australopithecus robustus and Australopithecus africanus, which, in terms of facial features, was pronounced - being almost gorilla-sized; (4 Social behavior of a fossil hominid species from around 2 million years ago, which, in terms of the social structure, was most likely a multimale-multifemale one; and (5 An event from the history of paleoanthropology, concerning the content of the 1924/25 photographs of the Taung Child (Australopithecus africanus - the first australopithecine skull discovered.

  2. How We Got Here: Evolutionary Changes in Skull Shape in Humans & Their Ancestors (United States)

    Price, Rebecca M.


    This activity uses inquiry to investigate how large changes in shape can evolve from small changes in the timing of development. Students measure skull shape in fetal, infant, juvenile, and adult chimpanzees and compare them to adult skulls of "Homo sapiens," "Homo erectus," and "Australopithecus afarensis." They conclude by re-interpreting their…

  3. New hominin fossils from Kanapoi, Kenya, and the mosaic evolution of canine teeth in early hominins

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    J. Michael Plavcan


    Full Text Available Whilst reduced size, altered shape and diminished sexual dimorphism of the canine–premolar complex are diagnostic features of the hominin clade, little is known about the rate and timing of changes in canine size and shape in early hominins. The earliest Australopithecus, Australopithecus anamensis, had canine crowns similar in size to those of its descendant Australopithecus afarensis, but a single large root alveolus has suggested that this species may have had larger and more dimorphic canines than previously recognised. Here we present three new associated dentitions attributed to A. anamensis, recently recovered from the type site of Kanapoi, Kenya, that provide evidence of canine evolution in early Australopithecus. These fossils include the largest mandibular canine root in the hominin fossil record. We demonstrate that, although canine crown height did not differ between these species, A. anamensis had larger and more dimorphic roots, more like those of extant great apes and Ardipithecus ramidus, than those of A. afarensis. The canine and premolar occlusal shapes of A. anamensis also resemble those of Ar. ramidus, and are intermediary between extant great apes and A. afarensis. A. afarensis achieved Homo-like maxillary crown basal proportions without a reduction in crown height. Thus, canine crown size and dimorphism remained stable during the early evolution of Australopithecus, but mandibular root dimensions changed only later within the A. anamensis–afarensis lineage, coincident with morphological changes in the canine–premolar complex. These observations suggest that selection on canine tooth crown height, shape and root dimensions was not coupled in early hominin evolution, and was not part of an integrated adaptive package.

  4. Lucy's flat feet: the relationship between the ankle and rearfoot arching in early hominins.

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    Jeremy M DeSilva

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In the Plio-Pleistocene, the hominin foot evolved from a grasping appendage to a stiff, propulsive lever. Central to this transition was the development of the longitudinal arch, a structure that helps store elastic energy and stiffen the foot during bipedal locomotion. Direct evidence for arch evolution, however, has been somewhat elusive given the failure of soft-tissue to fossilize. Paleoanthropologists have relied on footprints and bony correlates of arch development, though little consensus has emerged as to when the arch evolved. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we present evidence from radiographs of modern humans (n = 261 that the set of the distal tibia in the sagittal plane, henceforth referred to as the tibial arch angle, is related to rearfoot arching. Non-human primates have a posteriorly directed tibial arch angle, while most humans have an anteriorly directed tibial arch angle. Those humans with a posteriorly directed tibial arch angle (8% have significantly lower talocalcaneal and talar declination angles, both measures of an asymptomatic flatfoot. Application of these results to the hominin fossil record reveals that a well developed rearfoot arch had evolved in Australopithecus afarensis. However, as in humans today, Australopithecus populations exhibited individual variation in foot morphology and arch development, and "Lucy" (A.L. 288-1, a 3.18 Myr-old female Australopithecus, likely possessed asymptomatic flat feet. Additional distal tibiae from the Plio-Pleistocene show variation in tibial arch angles, including two early Homo tibiae that also have slightly posteriorly directed tibial arch angles. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study finds that the rearfoot arch was present in the genus Australopithecus. However, the female Australopithecus afarensis "Lucy" has an ankle morphology consistent with non-pathological flat-footedness. This study suggests that, as in humans today, there was variation in arch

  5. The first hominin from the early Pleistocene paleocave of Haasgat, South Africa. (United States)

    Leece, A B; Kegley, Anthony D T; Lacruz, Rodrigo S; Herries, Andy I R; Hemingway, Jason; Kgasi, Lazarus; Potze, Stephany; Adams, Justin W


    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 one of the few hominin

  6. South Turkwel: a new pliocene hominid site in Kenya. (United States)

    Ward, C V; Leakey, M G; Brown, B; Brown, F; Harris, J; Walker, A


    New fossils discovered south of the Turkwel River in northern Kenya include an associated metacarpal, capitate, hamate, lunate, pedal phalanx, mandibular fragment, and teeth. These fossils probably date to around 3.5 m.y.a. Faunal information suggests that the environment at South Turkwel was predominantly bushland. The mandibular and dental remains are fragmentary, but the postcranial fossils are informative. Comparisons with Australopithecus, modern human, chimpanzee and gorilla hand bones suggest that the Turkwel hominid was most like Australopithecus afarensis and A. africanus. Carpometacarpal articulations are intermediate between those of modern humans and African apes, suggesting enhanced gripping capabilities compared with extant apes. The hamulus was strikingly large, similar in proportion only to Neandertals and some gorillas, suggesting the presence of powerful forearms and hands. There are no indicators of adaptations to knuckle-walking or suspensory locomotion in the hand, and the pedal phalanx suggests that this hominid was habitually bipedal. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

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


    Ward, C.V.; Feibel, C.S.; Hammond, A.S.; Leakey, L.N.; Moffett, E.A.; Plavcan, J.M.; Skinner, Matthew M.; Spoor, F.; Leakey, M.G.


    During the evolution of hominins, it is generally accepted that there was a shift in postcranial morphology between Australopithecus and the genus Homo. Given the scarcity of associated remains of early Homo, however, relatively little is known about early Homo postcranial morphology. There are hints of postcranial diversity among species, but our knowledge of the nature and extent of potential differences is limited. Here we present a new associated partial ilium and femur from Koobi Fora, K...

  8. Paleoecological reconstruction of hominin-bearing middle Pliocene localities at Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia. (United States)

    Curran, Sabrina C; Haile-Selassie, Yohannes


    Woranso-Mille is a paleoanthropological site in Ethiopia sampling an important and under-represented time period in human evolution (3.8-3.6 million years ago). Specimens of cf. Australopithecus anamensis, Australopithecus afarensis, and the recently named Australopithecus deyiremeda have been recovered from this site. Using multiple habitat proxies, this study provides a paleoecological reconstruction of two fossiliferous collection areas from Woranso-Mille, Aralee Issie (ARI) and Mesgid Dora (MSD). Previous reconstructions based on faunal assemblages have pointed, due to the presence of aepycerotins, alcelaphins, and proboscideans, to the existence of open habitats as well as more closed ones, based on the occurrence of cercopithecids, giraffids, and traglephins. Results from community structure analysis (proportions of locomotor and dietary adaptations) at ARI and MSD indicated a predominance of open habitats, such as shrublands. Mesowear analysis revealed that ungulates of all dietary types (grazers, leaf and fruit browsers, and mixed feeders) were present in nearly equal proportions. Ecomorphological analyses using linear measurements of the astragalus and phalanges indicated that bovids utilizing locomotor behaviors associated with all habitat types were present, though the intermediate-cover habitat bovids were best represented in the sample (Heavy cover at ARI and Light cover at MSD). Together, these results suggest that the ARI and MSD localities were heterogeneous habitats (mosaics), likely with densely vegetated areas along a paleo-river and more open regions (woodlands, grasslands) available away from the river. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Hominin hand bone fossils from Sterkfontein Caves, South Africa (1998-2003 excavations). (United States)

    Pickering, Travis Rayne; Heaton, Jason L; Clarke, Ron J; Stratford, Dominic


    We describe eleven hominin metacarpals and phalanges recovered from Jacovec Cavern and Member 4 of the Sterkfontein Formation between 1998 and 2003. Collectively, the fossils date in excess of 2.0 Ma, and are probably attributable to Australopithecus africanus and/or Australopithecus prometheus. When combined with results of previous studies on Australopithecus postcranial functional morphology, the new data presented here suggest that at least some late Pliocene and/or early Pleistocene hominins from Sterkfontein were arboreally adept. This finding accords with the reconstruction of the site's >2.0 Ma catchment area as well-vegetated and containing significant woody components. In addition, most of the new specimens described here evince morphologies that indicate the hands from which they derived lacked complete modern humanlike manual dexterity, which is integral to the manufacture and use of intentionally shaped stone tools. The absence of lithic artifacts from both stratigraphic units from which the fossils were excavated is consistent with this conclusion. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. The deciduous lower dentition of Ouranopithecus macedoniensis (Primates, Hominoidea) from the late Miocene deposits of Macedonia, Greece. (United States)

    Koufos, George D; de Bonis, Louis


    Two mandibular fragments with associated milk teeth assigned to the late Miocene hominoid primate Ouranopithecus macedoniensis are analyzed. The fossils, which belong to a single individual, were found in the Vallesian locality of "Ravin de la Pluie" of the Axios Valley (Macedonia, Greece). The material is described here and compared with extant and extinct hominoids, allowing assessment of the evolutionary trends in the deciduous lower dentition within the Hominoidea. Hylobatids represent the more primitive pattern. Gorilla is slightly more derived than hylobatids, but less derived than Pongo and Pan, the latter being the most derived. With relatively smaller deciduous canines and more molarized deciduous premolars, Ouranopithecus is more derived than both Pan and Gorilla. Among the fossil hominoids, Proconsul, representing the primitive condition, has a very simple dp(3)and a dp(4)that has a trigonid that is taller than the talonid and which lacks a hypoconulid. Griphopithecus is more derived than Proconsul in having a dp(4) with a lower trigonid, a hypoconulid, and a less oblique cristid obliqua. Australopithecus and Paranthropus possess a similar morphology to that of Homo, while Ardipithecus appears to be more primitive than the latter genera. Ouranopithecus has a more derived lower milk dentition than Proconsul and Griphopithecus, but less derived than Australopithecus and Paranthropus. The comparison of the lower milk dentition of Ouranopithecus confirms our previous conclusions suggesting that this fossil hominoid shares derived characters with Australopithecus and Homo.

  11. Distinct signalling pathways of murine histamine H1- and H4-receptors expressed at comparable levels in HEK293 cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silke Beermann

    Full Text Available Histamine (HA is recognized by its target cells via four G-protein-coupled receptors, referred to as histamine H1-receptor (H1R, H2R, H3R, and H4R. Both H1R and H4R exert pro-inflammatory functions. However, their signal transduction pathways have never been analyzed in a directly comparable manner side by side. Moreover, the analysis of pharmacological properties of the murine orthologs, representing the main targets of pre-clinical research, is very important. Therefore, we engineered recombinant HEK293 cells expressing either mouse (mH1R or mH4R at similar levels and analyzed HA-induced signalling in these cells. HA induced intracellular calcium mobilization via both mH1R and mH4R, with the mH1R being much more effective. Whereas cAMP accumulation was potentiated via the mH1R, it was reduced via the mH4R. The regulation of both second messengers via the H4R, but not the H1R, was sensitive to pertussis toxin (PTX. The mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs ERK 1/2 were massively activated downstream of both receptors and demonstrated a functional involvement in HA-induced EGR-1 gene expression. The p38 MAPK was moderately activated via both receptors as well, but was functionally involved in HA-induced EGR-1 gene expression only in H4R-expressing cells. Surprisingly, in this system p38 MAPK activity reduced the HA-induced gene expression. In summary, using this system which allows a direct comparison of mH1R- and mH4R-induced signalling, qualitative and quantitative differences on the levels of second messenger generation and also in terms of p38 MAPK function became evident.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AB Leece


    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

  13. Orce y la primera colonización humana de Europa


    Martínez Navarro, Bienvenido


    La transformación desde una alimentación fundamentalmente vegetariana hacia otra con un alto componente carnívoro es la principal causa que provocó la individualización del género Homo respecto de Australopithecus. Esta misma causa es la que permitió a Homo salir de las latitudes tropicales africanas donde los recursos vegetales son muy abundantes y conquistar las latitudes medias de Eurasia, con climas estacionales. Pero el acceso a la carne nunca fue fácil y las hienas eran unas duras comp...

  14. [Evolution of the pelvis and hip throughout history: from primates to modern man]. (United States)

    Lapègue, F; Jirari, M; Sethoum, S; Faruch, M; Barcelo, C; Moskovitch, G; Ponsot, A; Rabat, M-C; Labarre, D; Vial, J; Chiavassa, H; Baunin, C; Railhac, J-J; Sans, N


    The evolution to a bipedal mode of locomotion was accompanied by a verticalization of the spine and a modification in the shape of the pelvis: horizontal curvature and sagittal rotation. Phylogenesis meets ontogenesis: flat bones in fetuses similar to the monkey, australopithecus features at birth and "human-like" features by 7 or 8years of age. These anatomical modifications explain the characteristics of human bipedalism: stable, economical, with hip and knee extension in the standing position with little lateral motion. Some pathologies induce a regression to a more archaic mode of bipedal locomotion. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS and Éditions françaises de radiologie. All rights reserved.

  15. Bone strength and athletic ability in hominids: Ardipithecus ramidus to Homo sapiens (United States)

    Lee, S. A.


    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.

  16. Position des lignes temporales sur le cranium de «Mrs » Ples (A.africanus) : une attribution sexuelle est-elle possible ?Possible position of the temporal lines on the cranium of 'Mrs' Ples (A. africanus): is sexual determination possible? (United States)

    Prat, Sandrine; Thackeray, John Francis


    The cranium and associated matrix of Sts 5, a cranium of Australopithecus africanus is re-examined in the context of an unfused sagittal suture and the position of the temporal lines. These lines are not developed as a sagittal crest although they are close to the mid-sagittal line. A comparative study of the presence of sagittal crests in male, female, juvenile and adult specimens of extant great apes ( Gorilla, Pan, Pongo) suggests that the existence of a sagittal crest is influenced to a greater extent by anatomical age rather than by the sex of the individuals.

  17. First early hominin from central Africa (Ishango, Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabelle Crevecoeur

    Full Text Available Despite uncontested evidence for fossils belonging to the early hominin genus Australopithecus in East Africa from at least 4.2 million years ago (Ma, and from Chad by 3.5 Ma, thus far there has been no convincing evidence of Australopithecus, Paranthropus or early Homo from the western (Albertine branch of the Rift Valley. Here we report the discovery of an isolated upper molar (#Ish25 from the Western Rift Valley site of Ishango in Central Africa in a derived context, overlying beds dated to between ca. 2.6 to 2.0 Ma. We used µCT imaging to compare its external and internal macro-morphology to upper molars of australopiths, and fossil and recent Homo. We show that the size and shape of the enamel-dentine junction (EDJ surface discriminate between Plio-Pleistocene and post-Lower Pleistocene hominins, and that the Ishango molar clusters with australopiths and early Homo from East and southern Africa. A reassessment of the archaeological context of the specimen is consistent with the morphological evidence and suggest that early hominins were occupying this region by at least 2 Ma.

  18. First Early Hominin from Central Africa (Ishango, Democratic Republic of Congo) (United States)

    Crevecoeur, Isabelle; Skinner, Matthew M.; Bailey, Shara E.; Gunz, Philipp; Bortoluzzi, Silvia; Brooks, Alison S.; Burlet, Christian; Cornelissen, Els; De Clerck, Nora; Maureille, Bruno; Semal, Patrick; Vanbrabant, Yves; Wood, Bernard


    Despite uncontested evidence for fossils belonging to the early hominin genus Australopithecus in East Africa from at least 4.2 million years ago (Ma), and from Chad by 3.5 Ma, thus far there has been no convincing evidence of Australopithecus, Paranthropus or early Homo from the western (Albertine) branch of the Rift Valley. Here we report the discovery of an isolated upper molar (#Ish25) from the Western Rift Valley site of Ishango in Central Africa in a derived context, overlying beds dated to between ca. 2.6 to 2.0 Ma. We used µCT imaging to compare its external and internal macro-morphology to upper molars of australopiths, and fossil and recent Homo. We show that the size and shape of the enamel-dentine junction (EDJ) surface discriminate between Plio-Pleistocene and post-Lower Pleistocene hominins, and that the Ishango molar clusters with australopiths and early Homo from East and southern Africa. A reassessment of the archaeological context of the specimen is consistent with the morphological evidence and suggest that early hominins were occupying this region by at least 2 Ma. PMID:24427292

  19. The hypoglossal canal and the origin of human vocal behavior (United States)

    Kay, Richard F.; Cartmill, Matt; Balow, Michelle


    The mammalian hypoglossal canal transmits the nerve that supplies the muscles of the tongue. This canal is absolutely and relatively larger in modern humans than it is in the African apes (Pan and Gorilla). We hypothesize that the human tongue is supplied more richly with motor nerves than are those of living apes and propose that canal size in fossil hominids may provide an indication about the motor coordination of the tongue and reflect the evolution of speech and language. Canals of gracile Australopithecus, and possibly Homo habilis, fall within the range of extant Pan and are significantly smaller than those of modern Homo. The canals of Neanderthals and an early “modern” Homo sapiens (Skhul 5), as well as of African and European middle Pleistocene Homo (Kabwe and Swanscombe), fall within the range of extant Homo and are significantly larger than those of Pan troglodytes. These anatomical findings suggest that the vocal capabilities of Neanderthals were the same as those of humans today. Furthermore, the vocal abilities of Australopithecus were not advanced significantly over those of chimpanzees whereas those of Homo may have been essentially modern by at least 400,000 years ago. Thus, human vocal abilities may have appeared much earlier in time than the first archaeological evidence for symbolic behavior. PMID:9560291

  20. Comentario: A la Presentación del Hombre de las Cavernas. De los Primeros Homínidos al Neanderthal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gonzalo Correal Urrego


    Full Text Available

    Luego de la ponderada exposición del doctor Mendoza, en el corto espacio de que disponemos solo nos resta recapitular algunos de los aspectos más relevantes de su disertación y resumir algunos hitos que precedieron y otros que tuvieron continuidad luego de la aparición de Homo antecesor.

    Los hallazgos paleoantropológicos de las últimas décadas han sido muy importantes. Connotadosinvestigadores discuten en la actualidad si Sahelantropus Tchadensis, Orrin Tugenensis y Ardipithecus ramidus con una antigüedad que los aproxima a los 6 millones de años pueden ser considerados como precursores de los homínidos. Mientras se acrecientan las discusiones sobre los orígenes de los Homínidos, Meave Leakey cree que el fragmento de mandíbula de 5’600.000 años desenterrado en Lothagan, Kenya, en 1967 es el fósil de homínido más antiguo que se ha descubierto hasta hoy; otros hallazgos verificados en las postrimerías de los noventa corresponden a ejemplares del antiguo homínido Australopithecus afarensis descubierto por Donald Johansson, esqueleto que fuera bautizado con el nombre de Lucy.

    Procedente de Hadar, en Etiopía, su edad se calcula en 3´900.000 años. Testimonio silencioso del paso de legendarios primates, son las huellas de pisadas impresas en el fango de la ceniza volcánica de la llanura de Laetoli en Tanzania, y que han sido fechadas en 3’600.000 años. Una mandíbula exhumada en Tanzania por Mary Leaky, fue fechada en 3’500.000 años, y con los hallazgos de Turkana en 1994 el horizonte retrocede otros 600.000 años, con Australopitecus amanensis.

    Hoy se conocen cinco especies de Australopithecus, algunos como Australopithecus garghi elaboraron artefactos líticos muy rudimentarios.

  1. Modeling aerosol suspension from soils and oceans as sources of micropollutants to air. (United States)

    Qureshi, Asif; MacLeod, Matthew; Hungerbühler, Konrad


    Soil and marine aerosol suspension are two physical mass transfer processes that are not usually included in models describing fate and transport of environmental pollutants. Here, we review the literature on soil and marine aerosol suspension and estimate aerosol suspension mass transfer velocities for inclusion in multimedia models, as a global average and on a 1 x 1 scale. The yearly, global average mass transfer velocity for soil aerosol suspension is estimated to be 6 x 10(-10)mh(-1), approximately an order of magnitude smaller than marine aerosol suspension, which is estimated to be 8 x 10(-9)mh(-1). Monthly averages of these velocities can be as high as 10(-7)mh(-1) and 10(-5)mh(-1) for soil and marine aerosol suspension, respectively, depending on location. We use a unit-world multimedia model to analyze the relevance of these two suspension processes as a mechanism that enhances long-range atmospheric transport of pollutants. This is done by monitoring a metric of long-range transport potential, phi-one thousand (phi1000), that denotes the fraction of modeled emissions to air, water or soil in a source region that reaches a distance of 1000 km in air. We find that when the yearly, globally averaged mass transfer velocity is used, marine aerosol suspension increases phi1000 only fractionally for both emissions to air and water. However, enrichment of substances in marine aerosols, or speciation between ionic and neutral forms in ocean water may increase the influence of this surface-to-air transfer process. Soil aerosol suspension can be the dominant process for soil-to-air transfer in an emission-to-soil scenario for certain substances that have a high affinity to soil. When a suspension mass transfer velocity near the maximum limit is used, soil suspension remains important if the emissions are made to soil, and marine aerosol suspension becomes important regardless of if emissions are made to air or water compartments. We recommend that multimedia models

  2. Search for neutral Higgs bosons decaying into four taus at LEP2

    CERN Document Server

    Schael, S; Brunelière, R; De Bonis, I; Decamp, D; Goy, C; Jézéquel, S; Lees, J P; Martin, F; Merle, E; Minard, M N; Pietrzyk, B; Trocmé, B; Bravo, S; Casado, M P; Chmeissani, M; Crespo, J M; Fernandez, E; Fernandez-Bosman, M; Garrido, Ll; Martinez, M; Pacheco, A; Ruiz, H; Colaleo, A; Creanza, D; De Filippis, N; de Palma, M; Iaselli, G; Maggi, G; Maggi, M; Nuzzo, S; Ranieri, A; Raso, G; Ruggieri, F; Selvaggi, G; Silvestris, L; Tempesta, P; Tricomi, A; Zito, G; Huang, X; Lin, J; Ouyang, Q; Wang, T; Xie, Y; Xu, R; Xue, S; Zhang, J; Zhang, L; Zhao, W; Abbaneo, D; Barklow, T; Buchmüller, O; Cattaneo, M; Clerbaux, B; Drevermann, H; Forty, R W; Frank, M; Gianotti, F; Hansen, J B; Harvey, J; Hutchcroft, D E; Janot, P; Jost, B; Kado, M; Mato, P; Moutoussi, A; Ranjard, F; Rolandi, L; Schlatter, D; Teubert, F; Valassi, A; Videau, I; Badaud, F; Dessagne, S; Falvard, A; Fayolle, D; Gay, P; Jousset, J; Michel, B; Monteil, S; Pallin, D; Pascolo, J M; Perret, P; Hansen, J D; Hansen, J R; Hansen, P H; Kraan, A C; Nilsson, B S; Kyriakis, A; Markou, C; Simopoulou, E; Vayaki, A; Zachariadou, K; Blondel, A; Brient, J C; Machefert, F; Rougé, A; Videau, H; Ciulli, V; Focardi, E; Parrini, G; Antonelli, A; Antonelli, M; Bencivenni, G; Bossi, F; Capon, G; Cerutti, F; Chiarella, V; Laurelli, P; Mannocchi, G; Murtas, G P; Passalacqua, L; Kennedy, J; Lynch, J G; Negus, P; O'Shea, V; Thompson, A S; Wasserbaech, S; Cavanaugh, R; Dhamotharan, S; Geweniger, C; Hanke, P; Hepp, V; Kluge, E E; Putzer, A; Stenzel, H; Tittel, K; Wunsch, M; Beuselinck, R; Cameron, W; Davies, G; Dornan, P J; Girone, M; Marinelli, N; Nowell, J; Rutherford, S A; Sedgbeer, J K; Thompson, J C; White, R; Ghete, V M; Girtler, P; Kneringer, E; Kuhn, D; Rudolph, G; Bouhova-Thacker, E; Bowdery, C K; Clarke, D P; Ellis, G; Finch, A J; Foster, F; Hughes, G; Jones, R W L; Pearson, M R; Robertson, N A; Sloan, T; Smizanska, M; van der Aa, O; Delaere, C; Leibenguth, G; Lemaitre, V; Blumenschein, U; Hölldorfer, F; Jakobs, K; Kayser, F; Müller, A S; Renk, B; Sander, H G; Schmeling, S; Wachsmuth, H; Zeitnitz, C; Ziegler, T; Bonissent, A; Coyle, P; Curtil, C; Ealet, A; Fouchez, D; Payre, P; Tilquin, A; Ragusa, F; David, A; Dietl, H; Ganis, G; Hüttmann, K; Lütjens, G; Männer, W; Moser, H G; Settles, R; Villegas, M; Wolf, G; Beacham, J; Cranmer, K; Yavin, I; Boucrot, J; Callot, O; Davier, M; Duflot, L; Grivaz, J F; Heusse, Ph; Jacholkowska, A; Serin, L; Veillet, J J; Azzurri, P; Bagliesi, G; Boccali, T; Foà, L; Giammanco, A; Giassi, A; Ligabue, F; Messineo, A; Palla, F; Sanguinetti, G; Sciabà, A; Sguazzoni, G; Spagnolo, P; Tenchini, R; Venturi, A; Verdini, P G; Awunor, O; Blair, G A; Cowan, G; Garcia-Bellido, A; Green, M G; Medcalf, T; Misiejuk, A; Strong, J A; Teixeira-Dias, P; Clifft, R W; Edgecock, T R; Norton, P R; Tomalin, I R; Ward, J J; Bloch-Devaux, B; Boumediene, D; Colas, P; Fabbro, B; Lançon, E; Lemaire, M C; Locci, E; Perez, P; Rander, J; Tuchming, B; Vallage, B; Litke, A M; Taylor, G; Booth, C N; Cartwright, S; Combley, F; Hodgson, P N; Lehto, M; Thompson, L F; Böhrer, A; Brandt, S; Grupen, C; Hess, J; Ngac, A; Prange, G; Borean, C; Giannini, G; He, H; Putz, J; Rothberg, J; Armstrong, S R; Berkelman, K; Ferguson, D P S; Gao, Y; González, S; Hayes, O J; Hu, H; Jin, S; Kile, J; McNamara III, P A; Nielsen, J; Pan, Y B; von Wimmersperg-Toeller, J H; Wiedenmann, W; Wu, J; Lan Wu, Sau; Wu, X; Zobernig, G; Dissertori, G


    A search for the production and non-standard decay of a Higgs boson, h, into four taus through intermediate pseudoscalars, a, is conducted on 683 pb-1 of data collected by the ALEPH experiment at centre-of-mass energies from 183 to 209 GeV. No excess of events above background is observed, and exclusion limits are placed on the combined production cross section times branching ratio, \\xi^2 = \\sigma(e+e- --> Zh)/\\sigma_{SM}(e+e- --> Zh) x B(h --> aa)x B(a --> \\tau^+\\tau^-)^2. For mh 1 is excluded at the 95% confidence level.

  3. Tempo and mode in human evolution. (United States)

    McHenry, H M


    The quickening pace of paleontological discovery is matched by rapid developments in geochronology. These new data show that the pattern of morphological change in the hominid lineage was mosaic. Adaptations essential to bipedalism appeared early, but some locomotor features changed much later. Relative to the highly derived postcrania of the earliest hominids, the craniodental complex was quite primitive (i.e., like the reconstructed last common ancestor with the African great apes). The pattern of craniodental change among successively younger species of Hominidae implies extensive parallel evolution between at least two lineages in features related to mastication. Relative brain size increased slightly among successively younger species of Australopithecus, expanded significantly with the appearance of Homo, but within early Homo remained at about half the size of Homo sapiens for almost a million years. Many apparent trends in human evolution may actually be due to the accumulation of relatively rapid shifts in successive species. PMID:8041697

  4. Human hyoid bones from the middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain). (United States)

    Martínez, I; Arsuaga, J L; Quam, R; Carretero, J M; Gracia, A; Rodríguez, L


    This study describes and compares two hyoid bones from the middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Spain). The Atapuerca SH hyoids are humanlike in both their morphology and dimensions, and they clearly differ from the hyoid bones of chimpanzees and Australopithecus afarensis. Their comparison with the Neandertal specimens Kebara 2 and SDR-034 makes it possible to begin to approach the question of temporal variation and sexual dimorphism in this bone in fossil humans. The results presented here show that the degree of metric and anatomical variation in the fossil sample was similar in magnitude and kind to living humans. Modern hyoid morphology was present by at least 530 kya and appears to represent a shared derived feature of the modern human and Neandertal evolutionary lineages inherited from their last common ancestor.

  5. Ontogeny of the maxilla in Neanderthals and their ancestors. (United States)

    Lacruz, Rodrigo S; Bromage, Timothy G; O'Higgins, Paul; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Stringer, Chris; Godinho, Ricardo Miguel; Warshaw, Johanna; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Tellez, Ana; de Castro, José María Bermúdez; Carbonell, Eudald


    Neanderthals had large and projecting (prognathic) faces similar to those of their putative ancestors from Sima de los Huesos (SH) and different from the retracted modern human face. When such differences arose during development and the morphogenetic modifications involved are unknown. We show that maxillary growth remodelling (bone formation and resorption) of the Devil's Tower (Gibraltar 2) and La Quina 18 Neanderthals and four SH hominins, all sub-adults, show extensive bone deposition, whereas in modern humans extensive osteoclastic bone resorption is found in the same regions. This morphogenetic difference is evident by ∼5 years of age. Modern human faces are distinct from those of the Neanderthal and SH fossils in part because their postnatal growth processes differ markedly. The growth remodelling identified in these fossil hominins is shared with Australopithecus and early Homo but not with modern humans suggesting that the modern human face is developmentally derived.

  6. Mudslide and/or animal attack are more plausible causes and circumstances of death for AL 288 ('Lucy'): A forensic anthropology analysis. (United States)

    Charlier, Phillippe; Coppens, Yves; Augias, Anaïs; Deo, Saudamini; Froesch, Philippe; Huynh-Charlier, Isabelle


    Following a global morphological and micro-CT scan examination of the original and cast of the skeleton of Australopithecus afarensis AL 288 ('Lucy'), Kappelman et al. have recently proposed a diagnosis of a fall from a significant height (a tree) as a cause of her death. According to topographical data from the discovery site, complete re-examination of a high-quality resin cast of the whole skeleton and forensic experience, we propose that the physical process of a vertical deceleration cannot be the only cause for her observed injuries. Two different factors were involved: rolling and multiple impacts in the context of a mudslide and an animal attack with bite marks, multi-focal fractures and violent movement of the body. It is important to consider a differential diagnosis of the observed fossil lesions because environmental factors should not be excluded in this ancient archaeological context as with any modern forensic anthropological case.

  7. Estimating thumb–index finger precision grip and manipulation potential in extant and fossil primates (United States)

    Feix, Thomas; Kivell, Tracy L.; Pouydebat, Emmanuelle; Dollar, Aaron M.


    Primates, and particularly humans, are characterized by superior manual dexterity compared with other mammals. However, drawing the biomechanical link between hand morphology/behaviour and functional capabilities in non-human primates and fossil taxa has been challenging. We present a kinematic model of thumb–index precision grip and manipulative movement based on bony hand morphology in a broad sample of extant primates and fossil hominins. The model reveals that both joint mobility and digit proportions (scaled to hand size) are critical for determining precision grip and manipulation potential, but that having either a long thumb or great joint mobility alone does not necessarily yield high precision manipulation. The results suggest even the oldest available fossil hominins may have shared comparable precision grip manipulation with modern humans. In particular, the predicted human-like precision manipulation of Australopithecus afarensis, approximately one million years before the first stone tools, supports controversial archaeological evidence of tool-use in this taxon. PMID:25878134

  8. A geometric morphometrics comparative analysis of Neandertal humeri (epiphyses-fused) from the El Sidrón cave site (Asturias, Spain). (United States)

    Rosas, Antonio; Pérez-Criado, Laura; Bastir, Markus; Estalrrich, Almudena; Huguet, Rosa; García-Tabernero, Antonio; Pastor, Juan Francisco; de la Rasilla, Marco


    A new collection of 49,000 year old Neandertal fossil humeri from the El Sidrón cave site (Asturias, Spain) is presented. A total of 49 humeral remains were recovered, representing 10 left and 8 right humeri from adults, adolescents, and a juvenile (not included in the analyses). 3D geometric morphometric (GM) methods as well as classic anthropological variables were employed to conduct a broad comparative analysis by means of mean centroid size and shape comparisons, principal components analysis, and cluster studies. Due to the fragmentary nature of the fossils, comparisons were organized in independent analyses according to different humeral portions: distal epiphysis, diaphysis, proximal epiphysis, and the complete humerus. From a multivariate viewpoint, 3D-GM analyses revealed major differences among taxonomic groups, supporting the value of the humerus in systematic classification. Notably, the Australopithecus anamensis (KP-271) and Homo ergaster Nariokotome (KNM-WT 15000) distal humerus consistently clusters close to those of modern humans, which may imply a primitive condition for Homo sapiens morphology. Australopithecus specimens show a high degree of dispersion in the morphospace. The El Sidrón sample perfectly fits into the classic Neandertal pattern, previously described as having a relatively wide olecranon fossa, as well as thin lateral and medial distodorsal pillars. These characteristics were also typical of the Sima de los Huesos (Atapuerca) sample, African mid-Pleistocene Bodo specimen, and Lower Pleistocene TD6-Atapuerca remains and may be considered as a derived state. Finally, we hypothesize that most of the features thought to be different between Neandertals and modern humans might be associated with structural differences in the pectoral girdle and shoulder joint. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Bovid ecomorphology and hominin paleoenvironments of the Shungura Formation, lower Omo River Valley, Ethiopia. (United States)

    Plummer, Thomas W; Ferraro, Joseph V; Louys, Julien; Hertel, Fritz; Alemseged, Zeresenay; Bobe, René; Bishop, L C


    The Shungura Formation in the lower Omo River Valley, southern Ethiopia, has yielded an important paleontological and archeological record from the Pliocene and Pleistocene of eastern Africa. Fossils are common throughout the sequence and provide evidence of paleoenvironments and environmental change through time. This study developed discriminant function ecomorphology models that linked astragalus morphology to broadly defined habitat categories (open, light cover, heavy cover, forest, and wetlands) using modern bovids of known ecology. These models used seven variables suitable for use on fragmentary fossils and had overall classification success rates of >82%. Four hundred and one fossils were analyzed from Shungura Formation members B through G (3.4-1.9 million years ago). Analysis by member documented the full range of ecomorph categories, demonstrating that a wide range of habitats existed along the axis of the paleo-Omo River. Heavy cover ecomorphs, reflecting habitats such as woodland and heavy bushland, were the most common in the fossil sample. The trend of increasing open cover habitats from Members C through F suggested by other paleoenvironmental proxies was documented by the increase in open habitat ecomorphs during this interval. However, finer grained analysis demonstrated considerable variability in ecomorph frequencies over time, suggesting that substantial short-term variability is masked when grouping samples by member. The hominin genera Australopithecus, Homo, and Paranthropus are associated with a range of ecomorphs, indicating that all three genera were living in temporally variable and heterogeneous landscapes. Australopithecus finds were predominantly associated with lower frequencies of open habitat ecomorphs, and high frequencies of heavy cover ecomorphs, perhaps indicating a more woodland focus for this genus. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Spinal cord evolution in early Homo. (United States)

    Meyer, Marc R; Haeusler, Martin


    The discovery at Nariokotome of the Homo erectus skeleton KNM-WT 15000, with a narrow spinal canal, seemed to show that this relatively large-brained hominin retained the primitive spinal cord size of African apes and that brain size expansion preceded postcranial neurological evolution. Here we compare the size and shape of the KNM-WT 15000 spinal canal with modern and fossil taxa including H. erectus from Dmanisi, Homo antecessor, the European middle Pleistocene hominins from Sima de los Huesos, and Pan troglodytes. In terms of shape and absolute and relative size of the spinal canal, we find all of the Dmanisi and most of the vertebrae of KNM-WT 15000 are within the human range of variation except for the C7, T2, and T3 of KNM-WT 15000, which are constricted, suggesting spinal stenosis. While additional fossils might definitively indicate whether H. erectus had evolved a human-like enlarged spinal canal, the evidence from the Dmanisi spinal canal and the unaffected levels of KNM-WT 15000 show that unlike Australopithecus, H. erectus had a spinal canal size and shape equivalent to that of modern humans. Subadult status is unlikely to affect our results, as spinal canal growth is complete in both individuals. We contest the notion that vertebrae yield information about respiratory control or language evolution, but suggest that, like H. antecessor and European middle Pleistocene hominins from Sima de los Huesos, early Homo possessed a postcranial neurological endowment roughly commensurate to modern humans, with implications for neurological, structural, and vascular improvements over Pan and Australopithecus. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. The Influence of Dietary Habits and Meat Consumption on Plasma 3‐Methylhistidine—A Potential Marker for Muscle Protein Turnover (United States)

    Kochlik, Bastian; Gerbracht, Christiana; Grune, Tilman


    Scope 3‐Methylhistidine (3‐MH) as a potential biomarker for muscle protein turnover is influenced by meat intake but data on the impact of meat on plasma 3‐MH are scarce. We determined the association of plasma 3‐MH, 1‐methylhistidine (1‐MH), and creatinine with dietary habits and assessed the impact of a single white meat intervention during a meat‐free period. Methods and results Plasma 3‐MH, 1‐MH, and creatinine concentrations of healthy young omnivores (n = 19) and vegetarians (n = 16) were analyzed together with data on anthropometry, body composition, grip strength, and nutrition. After baseline measurements omnivores adhered to a meat‐free diet for 6 days and received a defined administration of chicken breast on day four. At baseline, omnivores had higher plasma 3‐MH and 1‐MH concentrations than vegetarians. White meat administration led to a slight increase in plasma 3‐MH in omnivores. The elevated 3‐MH concentrations significantly declined within 24 h after white meat intake. Conclusion 1‐MH concentrations in plasma seem to be suitable to display (white) meat consumption and its influence on 3‐MH plasma concentration. 3‐MH in plasma may be used as a biomarker for muscle protein turnover if subjects have not consumed meat in the previous 24 h. PMID:29573154

  12. Isolation and identification of culturable extremely halophilic archaea of Inche-Boroun wetland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehrnoosh Rasooli


    Full Text Available Haloarchaeal diversity of Inche-Boroun wetland in north of Iran in Golestan province was investigated by using culture-dependent methods. Sampling was carried out in May and September 2010. In each sampling, 4 distinct region of wetland were analyzed by using complex media like MGM, JCM168, MH1 and an alkaliphilic medium containing 23% salts. After incubation at 40ºC, a total of 406 isolates were prepared and 2.1×106 CFU/ml were obtained in culture media. Among all isolates, 361 isolates were obtained from MGM and 39 isolates from JCM 168, 3 isolates from MH1 and 3 isolate from alkaliphilic media. Initial morphological, biochemical and physiological tests were performed. According to the results, 45 isolates were selected and phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA was performed for them. Among selected strains, 40 isolates belonged to Halobacteriacaea and were related to Haloarcula, Halorubrum, Haloferax, Halobellus, Halogeometricum, Halobacterium, Halolamina, Halorhabdus and Halostagnicola (respectively 30, 27.5, 17.5, 10, 5.2, 2.6, 2.6, 2.6 and 2.6 percent of Haloarchaeal strains. A total of 5 strains belonged to the kingdom of Bacteria and were related to Rhodovibrio, Pseudomonas and Salicola (respectively 40, 40 and 20 percent of bacterial strains. According to our results and the limited numbers of haloarchaeal genera that having been discovered until now, it seemed that the culturable prokaryotic populations in this hypersaline environment was diverse.

  13. The breeding of a wheat mutant pollen-derived variety Chuanfu No.5 and the related techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xuan Pu; Yin Chunrong; Yue Chunfang; Qu Shihong


    With the treatment of 150 Gy 60 Co-γ irradiation to the dry F 1 (Mianyang 88-334 x 8811525) hybrid seeds and the donor plants chosen from MF 2 , wheat anther culture was made based on MW 14 and modified MS media and the pure diploid lines of MH 1 derived from anther pollen were obtained. In 1996, the new mutant line 6086 and its sibling lines, 6086 and 6087, were selected and bred successfully. In 2002, the mutant pollen-derived line 6086 was denominated as Chuanfu No.5 by Sichuan Crop Variety Identification Committee and became the first mutant variety via anther culture of wheat in Sichuan. The success of Chuanfu No.5 shown that combining radiation induction and anther technique could shorten the breeding period and increase the efficiency of breeding of wheat

  14. A high-throughput screening assay for eukaryotic elongation factor 2 kinase inhibitors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ting Xiao


    Full Text Available Eukaryotic elongation factor 2 kinase (eEF2K inhibitors may aid in the development of new therapeutic agents to combat cancer. Purified human eEF2K was obtained from an Escherichia coli expression system and a luminescence-based high-throughput screening (HTS assay was developed using MH-1 peptide as the substrate. The luminescent readouts correlated with the amount of adenosine triphosphate remaining in the kinase reaction. This method was applied to a large-scale screening campaign against a diverse compound library and subsequent confirmation studies. Nine initial hits showing inhibitory activities on eEF2K were identified from 56,000 synthetic compounds during the HTS campaign, of which, five were chosen to test their effects in cancer cell lines.

  15. A Measurement of the $\\tau^{-}\\to \\mu^{-}\\overline{\

    CERN Document Server

    Abbiendi, G.; Akesson, P.F.; Alexander, G.; Allison, John; Amaral, P.; Anagnostou, G.; Anderson, K.J.; Arcelli, S.; Asai, S.; Axen, D.; Azuelos, G.; Bailey, I.; Barberio, E.; Barlow, R.J.; Batley, R.J.; Bechtle, P.; Behnke, T.; Bell, Kenneth Watson; Bell, P.J.; Bella, G.; Bellerive, A.; Benelli, G.; Bethke, S.; Biebel, O.; Bloodworth, I.J.; Boeriu, O.; Bock, P.; Bonacorsi, D.; Boutemeur, M.; Braibant, S.; Brigliadori, L.; Brown, Robert M.; Buesser, K.; Burckhart, H.J.; Campana, S.; Carnegie, R.K.; Caron, B.; Carter, A.A.; Carter, J.R.; Chang, C.Y.; Charlton, David G.; Csilling, A.; Cuffiani, M.; Dado, S.; Dallison, S.; De Roeck, A.; De Wolf, E.A.; Desch, K.; Dienes, B.; Donkers, M.; Dubbert, J.; Duchovni, E.; Duckeck, G.; Duerdoth, I.P.; Elfgren, E.; Etzion, E.; Fabbri, F.; Feld, L.; Ferrari, P.; Fiedler, F.; Fleck, I.; Ford, M.; Frey, A.; Furtjes, A.; Gagnon, P.; Gary, John William; Gaycken, G.; Geich-Gimbel, C.; Giacomelli, G.; Giacomelli, P.; Giunta, Marina; Goldberg, J.; Gross, E.; Grunhaus, J.; Gruwe, M.; Gunther, P.O.; Gupta, A.; Hajdu, C.; Hamann, M.; Hanson, G.G.; Harder, K.; Harel, A.; Harin-Dirac, M.; Hauschild, M.; Hauschildt, J.; Hawkes, C.M.; Hawkings, R.; Hemingway, R.J.; Hensel, C.; Herten, G.; Heuer, R.D.; Hill, J.C.; Hoffman, Kara Dion; Homer, R.J.; Horvath, D.; Howard, R.; Igo-Kemenes, P.; Ishii, K.; Jeremie, H.; Jovanovic, P.; Junk, T.R.; Kanaya, N.; Kanzaki, J.; Karapetian, G.; Karlen, D.; Kartvelishvili, V.; Kawagoe, K.; Kawamoto, T.; Keeler, R.K.; Kellogg, R.G.; Kennedy, B.W.; Kim, D.H.; Klein, K.; Klier, A.; Kluth, S.; Kobayashi, T.; Kobel, M.; Komamiya, S.; Kormos, Laura L.; Kramer, T.; Kress, T.; Krieger, P.; von Krogh, J.; Krop, D.; Kruger, K.; Kuhl, T.; Kupper, M.; Lafferty, G.D.; Landsman, H.; Lanske, D.; Layter, J.G.; Leins, A.; Lellouch, D.; Lettso, J.; Levinson, L.; Lillich, J.; Lloyd, S.L.; Loebinger, F.K.; Lu, J.; Ludwig, J.; Macpherson, A.; Mader, W.; Marcellini, S.; Marchant, T.E.; Martin, A.J.; Martin, J.P.; Masetti, G.; Mashimo, T.; Mattig, Peter; McDonald, W.J.; McKenna, J.; McMahon, T.J.; McPherson, R.A.; Meijers, F.; Mendez-Lorenzo, P.; Menges, W.; Merritt, F.S.; Mes, H.; Michelini, A.; Mihara, S.; Mikenberg, G.; Miller, D.J.; Moed, S.; Mohr, W.; Mori, T.; Mutter, A.; Nagai, K.; Nakamura, I.; Neal, H.A.; Nisius, R.; O'Neale, S.W.; Oh, A.; Okpara, A.; Oreglia, M.J.; Orito, S.; Pahl, C.; Pasztor, G.; Pater, J.R.; Patrick, G.N.; Pilcher, J.E.; Pinfold, J.; Plane, David E.; Poli, B.; Polok, J.; Pooth, O.; Przybycien, M.; Quadt, A.; Rabbertz, K.; Rembser, C.; Renkel, P.; Rick, H.; Roney, J.M.; Rosati, S.; Rozen, Y.; Runge, K.; Sachs, K.; Saeki, T.; Sahr, O.; Sarkisyan, E.K.G.; Schaile, A.D.; Schaile, O.; Scharff-Hansen, P.; Schieck, J.; Schoerner-Sadenius, Thomas; Schroder, Matthias; Schumacher, M.; Schwick, C.; Scott, W.G.; Seuster, R.; Shears, T.G.; Shen, B.C.; Sherwood, P.; Siroli, G.; Skuja, A.; Smith, A.M.; Sobie, R.; Soldner-Rembold, S.; Spano, F.; Stahl, A.; Stephens, K.; Strom, David M.; Strohmer, R.; Tarem, S.; Tasevsky, M.; Taylor, R.J.; Teuscher, R.; Thomson, M.A.; Torrence, E.; Toya, D.; Tran, P.; Trefzger, T.; Tricoli, A.; Trigger, I.; Trocsanyi, Z.; Tsur, E.; Turner-Watson, M.F.; Ueda, I.; Ujvari, B.; Vachon, B.; Vollmer, C.F.; Vannerem, P.; Verzocchi, M.; Voss, H.; Vossebeld, J.; Waller, D.; Ward, C.P.; Ward, D.R.; Watkins, P.M.; Watson, A.T.; Watson, N.K.; Wells, P.S.; Wengler, T.; Wermes, N.; Wetterling, D.; Wilson, G.W.; Wilson, J.A.; Wolf, G.; Wyatt, T.R.; Yamashita, S.; Zer-Zion, D.; Zivkovic, Lidija


    The tau -> mu nu nu branching ratio has been measured using data collected from 1990 to 1995 by the OPAL detector at the LEP collider. The resulting value of B(tau -> mu nu nu) = 0.1734 +- 0.0009(stat) +- 0.0006(syst) has been used in conjunction with other OPAL measurements to test lepton universality, yielding the coupling constant ratios gmu/ge=1.0005+-0.0044 and gt/ge=1.0031+-0.0048, in good agreement with the Standard Model prediction of unity. A value for the Michel parameter eta = 0.004 +- 0.037 has also been determined and used to find a limit for the mass of the charged Higgs boson mH+- > 1.25 tan beta, in the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model.

  16. Excitation of high frequency pressure driven modes in non-axisymmetric equilibrium at high βpol in PBX-M (United States)

    Sesnic, S.; Holland, A.; Kaita, R.; Kaye, S. M.; Okabayashi, M.; Takahashi, H.; Asakura, N.; Bell, R. E.; Bernabei, S.; Chance, M. S.; Duperrex, P.-A.; Fonck, R. J.; Gammel, G. M.; Greene, G. J.; Hatcher, R. E.; Jardin, S. C.; Jiang, T.; Kessel, C. E.; Kugel, H. W.; Leblanc, B.; Levinton, F. M.; Manickam, J.; Ono, M.; Paul, S. F.; Powell, E. T.; Qin, Y.; Roberts, D. W.; Sauthoff, N. R.


    High frequency pressure driven modes have been observed in high poloidal beta discharges in the Princeton Beta Experiment Modification (PBX-M). These modes are excited in a non-axisymmetric equilibrium characterized by a large, low frequency mt = 1/nt = 1 island, and they are capable of expelling fast ions. The modes reside on or very close to the q = 1 surface and have mode numbers with either mh = nh or (less probably) mh/nh = mh/(mh-1), with mh varying between 3 and 10. Occasionally these modes are simultaneously localized in the vicinity of the ml = 2/nl = 1 island. The high frequency modes near the q = 1 surface also exhibit a ballooning character, being significantly stronger on the large major radius side of the plasma. When a large mt = 1/nt = 1 island is present, the mode is poloidally localized in the immediate vicinity of the X point of the island. The modes occur exclusively in high beta beam heated discharges and are likely to be driven by the beam ions. They can thus be a manifestation of either a toroidicity induced shear Alfven eigenmode (TAE) at q = (2mh+1)/2nh, a kinetic ballooning mode, or some other type of pressure driven (high β) mode. Most of the data are consistent with the theoretical predictions for the TAE gap mode. Since the high frequency modes in PBX-M, however, are found exclusively on or in the immediate neighbourhood of magnetic surfaces with low rational numbers (q = 1, 2,...), other possibilities are not excluded

  17. Exposure to cobalt causes transcriptomic and proteomic changes in two rat liver derived cell lines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew G Permenter

    Full Text Available Cobalt is a transition group metal present in trace amounts in the human diet, but in larger doses it can be acutely toxic or cause adverse health effects in chronic exposures. Its use in many industrial processes and alloys worldwide presents opportunities for occupational exposures, including military personnel. While the toxic effects of cobalt have been widely studied, the exact mechanisms of toxicity remain unclear. In order to further elucidate these mechanisms and identify potential biomarkers of exposure or effect, we exposed two rat liver-derived cell lines, H4-II-E-C3 and MH1C1, to two concentrations of cobalt chloride. We examined changes in gene expression using DNA microarrays in both cell lines and examined changes in cytoplasmic protein abundance in MH1C1 cells using mass spectrometry. We chose to closely examine differentially expressed genes and proteins changing in abundance in both cell lines in order to remove cell line specific effects. We identified enriched pathways, networks, and biological functions using commercial bioinformatic tools and manual annotation. Many of the genes, proteins, and pathways modulated by exposure to cobalt appear to be due to an induction of a hypoxic-like response and oxidative stress. Genes that may be differentially expressed due to a hypoxic-like response are involved in Hif-1α signaling, glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, and other energy metabolism related processes. Gene expression changes linked to oxidative stress are also known to be involved in the NRF2-mediated response, protein degradation, and glutathione production. Using microarray and mass spectrometry analysis, we were able to identify modulated genes and proteins, further elucidate the mechanisms of toxicity of cobalt, and identify biomarkers of exposure and effect in vitro, thus providing targets for focused in vivo studies.

  18. Re-appraisal of the stratigraphy and determination of new U-Pb dates for the Sterkfontein hominin site, South Africa. (United States)

    Pickering, Robyn; Kramers, Jan D


    Sterkfontein Caves is the single richest early hominin site in the world with deposits yielding one or more species of Australopithecus and possible early Homo, as well as an extensive faunal collection. The inability to date the southern African cave sites accurately or precisely has hindered attempts to integrate the hominin fossil evidence into pan-African scenarios about human evolutionary history, and especially hominin biogeography. We have used U-Pb and U-Th techniques to date sheets of calcium carbonate flowstone inter-bedded between the fossiliferous sediments. For the first time, absolute age ranges can be assigned to the fossil-bearing deposits: Member 2 is between 2.8 +/- 0.28 and 2.6 +/- 0.30 Ma and Member 4 between 2.65 +/- 0.30 and 2.01 +/- 0.05 Ma. The age of 2.01 +/- 0.05 Ma for the top of Member 4 constrains the last appearance of Australopithecus africanus to 2 Ma. In the Silberberg Grotto we have reproduced the U-Pb age of approximately 2.2 Ma of for the flowstones associated with StW573. We believe that these deposits, including the fossil and the flowstones, accumulated rapidly around 2.2 Ma. The stratigraphy of the site is complex as sediments are exposed both in the underground chambers and at surface. We present a new interpretation of the stratigraphy based on surface mapping, boreholes logs and U-Pb ages. Every effort was made to retain the Member system, however, only Members 2 and 4 are recognized in the boreholes. We propose that the deposits formally known as Member 3 are in fact the distal equivalents of Member 4. The sediments of Members 2 and 4 consisted of cone-like deposits and probably never filled up the cave. The U-Th ages show that there are substantial deposits younger than 400 ka in the underground cave, underlying the older deposits, highlighting again that these cave fills are not simple layer-cakes.

  19. Description, new reconstruction, comparative anatomy, and classification of the Sterkfontein Stw 53 cranium, with discussions about the taxonomy of other southern African early Homo remains. (United States)

    Curnoe, Darren; Tobias, Phillip V


    Specimen Stw 53 was recovered in 1976 from Member 5 of the Sterkfontein Formation. Since its incomplete initial description and comparison, the partial cranium has figured prominently in discussions about the systematics of early Homo. Despite publication of a preliminary reconstruction in 1985, Stw 53 has yet to be compared comprehensively to other Plio-Pleistocene fossils or assessed systematically. In this paper, we report on a new reconstruction of this specimen and provide a detailed description and comparison of its morphology. Our reconstruction differs in important respects from the earlier one, especially in terms of neurocranial length, breadth, and height. However, given that Stw 53 exhibits extensive damage, these dimensions are most likely prone to much error in reconstruction. In areas of well-preserved bone, Stw 53 shares many cranial features with Homo habilis, and we propose retaining it within this species. We also consider the affinities of dental remains from Sterkfontein Member 5, along with those from Swartkrans and Drimolen previously assigned to Homo. We find evidence for sympatry of H. habilis and Australopithecus robustus and possibly Plio-Pleistocene Homo sapiens sensu lato in Sterkfontein Member 5. At Swartkrans and Drimolen, we find evidence of H. habilis. We also compare the morphologies of Stw 53 and SK 847 and find compelling evidence to assign the latter specimen to H. habilis, as has been proposed.

  20. 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.

  1. Diet of Theropithecus from 4 to 1 Ma in Kenya. (United States)

    Cerling, Thure E; Chritz, Kendra L; Jablonski, Nina G; Leakey, Meave G; Manthi, Fredrick Kyalo


    Theropithecus was a common large-bodied primate that co-occurred with hominins in many Plio-Pleistocene deposits in East and South Africa. Stable isotope analyses of tooth enamel from T. brumpti (4.0-2.5 Ma) and T. oswaldi (2.0-1.0 Ma) in Kenya show that the earliest Theropithecus at 4 Ma had a diet dominated by C4 resources. Progressively, this genus increased the proportion of C4-derived resources in its diet and by 1.0 Ma, had a diet that was nearly 100% C4-derived. It is likely that this diet was comprised of grasses or sedges; stable isotopes cannot, by themselves, give an indication of the relative importance of leaves, seeds, or underground storage organs to the diet of this primate. Theropithecus throughout the 4- to 1-Ma time range has a diet that is more C4-based than contemporaneous hominins of the genera Australopithecus, Kenyanthropus, and Homo; however, Theropithecus and Paranthropus have similar proportions of C4-based resources in their respective diets.

  2. Associated ilium and femur from Koobi Fora, Kenya, and postcranial diversity in early Homo. (United States)

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


    During the evolution of hominins, it is generally accepted that there was a shift in postcranial morphology between Australopithecus and the genus Homo. Given the scarcity of associated remains of early Homo, however, relatively little is known about early Homo postcranial morphology. There are hints of postcranial diversity among species, but our knowledge of the nature and extent of potential differences is limited. Here we present a new associated partial ilium and femur from Koobi Fora, Kenya, dating to 1.9 Ma (millions of years ago) that is clearly attributable to the genus Homo but documents a pattern of morphology not seen in eastern African early Homo erectus. The ilium and proximal femur share distinctive anatomy found only in Homo. However, the geometry of the femoral midshaft and contour of the pelvic inlet do not resemble that of any specimens attributed to H. erectus from eastern Africa. This new fossil confirms the presence of at least two postcranial morphotypes within early Homo, and documents diversity in postcranial morphology among early Homo species that may reflect underlying body form and/or adaptive differences. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Can Chimpanzee Biology Highlight Human Origin and Evolution?

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    Itai Roffman


    Full Text Available The closest living relatives of humans are their chimpanzee/bonobo (Pan sister species, members of the same subfamily “Homininae”. This classification is supported by over 50 years of research in the fields of chimpanzee cultural diversity, language competency, genomics, anatomy, high cognition, psychology, society, self-consciousness and relation to others, tool use/production, as well as Homo level emotions, symbolic competency, memory recollection, complex multifaceted problem-solving capabilities, and interspecies communication. Language competence and symbolism can be continuously bridged from chimpanzee to man. Emotions, intercommunity aggression, body language, gestures, facial expressions, and vocalization of intonations seem to parallel between the sister taxa Homo and Pan. The shared suite of traits between Pan and Homo genus demonstrated in this article integrates old and new information on human–chimpanzee evolution, bilateral informational and cross-cultural exchange, promoting the urgent need for Pan cultures in the wild to be protected, as they are part of the cultural heritage of mankind. Also, we suggest that bonobos, Pan paniscus, based on shared traits with Australopithecus, need to be included in Australopithecine’s subgenus, and may even represent living-fossil Australopithecines. Unfolding bonobo and chimpanzee biology highlights our common genetic and cultural evolutionary origins.

  4. Chimpanzee subspecies and ‘robust’ australopithecine holotypes, in the context of comments by Darwin

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    S. Prat


    Full Text Available On the basis of comparative anatomy (including chimpanzees, gorillas and other primates, Darwin1 suggested that Africa was the continent from which ‘progenitors’ of humankind evolved. Hominin fossils from this continent proved him correct. We present the results of morphometric analyses based on cranial data obtained from chimpanzee taxa currently recognised as distinct subspecies, namely Pan troglodytes troglodytes and Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii, as well as Pan paniscus (bonobo. Our objective was to use a morphometric technique2 to quantify the degree of similarity between pairs of specimens, in the context of a statistical (probabilistic definition of a species.3–5 Results obtained from great apes, including two subspecies of chimpanzee, were assessed in relation to same-scale comparisons between the holotypes of ‘robust’ australopithecine (Plio-Pleistocene hominin taxa which have traditionally been distinguished at a species level, notably Paranthropus robustus from South Africa, and Paranthropus (Australopithecus/ Zinjanthropus boisei from East Africa. The question arises as to whether the holotypes of these two taxa, TM 1517 from Kromdraai6 and OH 5 from Olduvai,7 respectively, are different at the subspecies rather than at the species level.

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


    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

  6. DNH 109: A fragmentary hominin near-proximal ulna from Drimolen, South Africa

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    Andrew Gallagher


    Full Text Available We describe a fragmentary, yet significant, diminutive proximal ulna (DNH 109 from the Lower Pleistocene deposits of Drimolen, Republic of South Africa. On the basis of observable morphology and available comparative metrics, DNH 109 is definitively hominin and is the smallest African Plio-Pleistocene australopith ulna yet recovered. Mediolateral and anteroposterior dimensions of the proximal diaphysis immediately distal to the m. brachialis sulcus in DNH 109 yield an elliptical area (π/4 *m-l*a-p that is smaller than the A.L. 333-38 Australopithecus afarensis subadult from Hadar. Given the unusually broad mediolateral/anteroposterior diaphyseal proportions distal to the brachialis sulcus, the osseous development of the medial and lateral borders of the sulcus, and the overall size of the specimen relative to comparative infant, juvenile, subadult and adult comparative hominid ulnae (Gorilla, Pan and Homo, it is probable that DNH 109 samples an australopith of probable juvenile age at death. As a result of the fragmentary state of preservation and absence of association with taxonomically diagnostic craniodental remains, DNH 109 cannot be provisionally assigned to any particular hominin genus (Paranthropus or Homo at present. Nonetheless, DNH 109 increases our known sample of available Plio-Pleistocene subadult early hominin postcrania.

  7. 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.

  8. Hypothesis: brain size and skull shape as criteria for a new hominin family tree. (United States)

    Chardin, Pierre


    Today, gorillas and chimpanzees live in tropical forests, where acid soils do not favor fossilization. It is thus widely believed that there are no fossils of chimpanzees or gorillas. However, four teeth of a 0.5-million-year (Ma)-old chimpanzee were discovered in the rift valley of Kenya (McBrearty and Jablonski, 2005), and a handful of teeth of a 10-Ma-old gorilla-like creature were found in Ethiopia (Suwa et al., 2007), close to the major sites of Homo discoveries. These discoveries indicate that chimpanzees and gorillas once shared their range with early Homo. However, the thousands of hominin fossils discovered in the past century have all been attributed to the Homo line. Thus far, our family tree looks like a bush with many dead-branches. If one admits the possibility that the australopithecines can also be the ancestors of African great apes, one can place Paranthropus on the side of gorilla ancestors and divide the remaining Australopithecus based on the brain size into the two main lines of humans and chimpanzees, thereby resulting in a coherent family tree. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  9. Evaluating alternative gait strategies using evolutionary robotics. (United States)

    Sellers, William I; Dennis, Louise A; W -J, Wang; Crompton, Robin H


    Evolutionary robotics is a branch of artificial intelligence concerned with the automatic generation of autonomous robots. Usually the form of the robot is predefined and various computational techniques are used to control the machine's behaviour. One aspect is the spontaneous generation of walking in legged robots and this can be used to investigate the mechanical requirements for efficient walking in bipeds. This paper demonstrates a bipedal simulator that spontaneously generates walking and running gaits. The model can be customized to represent a range of hominoid morphologies and used to predict performance parameters such as preferred speed and metabolic energy cost. Because it does not require any motion capture data it is particularly suitable for investigating locomotion in fossil animals. The predictions for modern humans are highly accurate in terms of energy cost for a given speed and thus the values predicted for other bipeds are likely to be good estimates. To illustrate this the cost of transport is calculated for Australopithecus afarensis. The model allows the degree of maximum extension at the knee to be varied causing the model to adopt walking gaits varying from chimpanzee-like to human-like. The energy costs associated with these gait choices can thus be calculated and this information used to evaluate possible locomotor strategies in early hominids.

  10. Form and function of the human and chimpanzee forefoot: implications for early hominin bipedalism (United States)

    Fernández, Peter J.; Holowka, Nicholas B.; Demes, Brigitte; Jungers, William L.


    During bipedal walking, modern humans dorsiflex their forefoot at the metatarsophalangeal joints (MTPJs) prior to push off, which tightens the plantar soft tissues to convert the foot into a stiff propulsive lever. Particular features of metatarsal head morphology such as “dorsal doming” are thought to facilitate this stiffening mechanism. In contrast, chimpanzees are believed to possess MTPJ morphology that precludes high dorsiflexion excursions during terrestrial locomotion. The morphological affinity of the metatarsal heads has been used to reconstruct locomotor behavior in fossil hominins, but few studies have provided detailed empirical data to validate the assumed link between morphology and function at the MTPJs. Using three-dimensional kinematic and morphometric analyses, we show that humans push off with greater peak dorsiflexion angles at all MTPJs than do chimpanzees during bipedal and quadrupedal walking, with the greatest disparity occurring at MTPJ 1. Among MTPJs 2–5, both species exhibit decreasing peak angles from medial to lateral. This kinematic pattern is mirrored in the morphometric analyses of metatarsal head shape. Analyses of Australopithecus afarensis metatarsals reveal morphology intermediate between humans and chimpanzees, suggesting that this species used different bipedal push-off kinematics than modern humans, perhaps resulting in a less efficient form of bipedalism. PMID:27464580

  11. Estimating thumb-index finger precision grip and manipulation potential in extant and fossil primates. (United States)

    Feix, Thomas; Kivell, Tracy L; Pouydebat, Emmanuelle; Dollar, Aaron M


    Primates, and particularly humans, are characterized by superior manual dexterity compared with other mammals. However, drawing the biomechanical link between hand morphology/behaviour and functional capabilities in non-human primates and fossil taxa has been challenging. We present a kinematic model of thumb-index precision grip and manipulative movement based on bony hand morphology in a broad sample of extant primates and fossil hominins. The model reveals that both joint mobility and digit proportions (scaled to hand size) are critical for determining precision grip and manipulation potential, but that having either a long thumb or great joint mobility alone does not necessarily yield high precision manipulation. The results suggest even the oldest available fossil hominins may have shared comparable precision grip manipulation with modern humans. In particular, the predicted human-like precision manipulation of Australopithecus afarensis, approximately one million years before the first stone tools, supports controversial archaeological evidence of tool-use in this taxon. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

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

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    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.

  13. The search for a heavy Higgs boson in the H→ZZ decay channels with the ATLAS detector at the LHC

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoffmann, Maria


    The main subject of this thesis is the search for an additional heavy Higgs boson through its decay into a pair of Z bosons (H → ZZ(*)) using data recorded with the ATLAS experiment installed at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Four distinct analyses are presented, which are distinguished by the decay mode of the Z boson into either a pair of charged leptons (electrons or muons), into a pair of neutrinos or into a pair of quarks, denoted according to final-state, i.e. as 4l, 2l2ν, 2l2q et 2ν2q. The study is performed using 20.3 fb -1 of proton-proton collision data recorded during the first phase of LHC operation (Run-1) at centre-of-mass energy of √s = 8 TeV. A search strategy is employed which segments the data according to the Higgs boson production mechanism, assuming that these are the same as in the Standard Model (SM). Furthermore, the signal is modelled with a width that is small compared to the experimental mass resolution. The Higgs boson mass range considered extends up to 1 TeV for all four decay modes and down to as low as 140 GeV, depending on the decay mode. No significant excess of events over the Standard Model prediction is found. A simultaneous fit to the four decay modes yields upper limits on the heavy Higgs boson production cross-section times H → ZZ branching ratio ranging from 359 fb at mH = 200 GeV to 11 fb at mH = 1 TeV for the gluon-fusion production mechanism, and from 214 fb at mH = 200 GeV to 13 fb at mH = 1 TeV for the vector-boson fusion production mechanism. The results from these four searches are also interpreted in the context of models beyond the SM, namely the Type-1 and Type-2 2 Higgs Doublet Model. The heavy Higgs boson search is also performed with the H → ZZ(*) → 4l decay mode alone using 3.2 fb -1 of proton-proton collision data recorded during the second phase of LHC operation (Run-2) at an increased centre-of- mass energy of √s = 13 TeV. No significant excess of events over the Standard Model prediction is found. Upper limits are set on the heavy Higgs boson production cross-section times H → ZZ(*) → 4l branching ratio of 4.5 fb at mH = 200 GeV and 1 fb at mH = 1 TeV. Lastly, a project of a more technical character is presented. In this study, the scintillation detectors employed by ATLAS for triggering with minimal bias in the forward region, the Minimum Bias Trigger Scintillators (MBTS), are characterised. Due to material degradation caused by radiation damage in the early phases of LHC operation, the MBTS had to be replaced during the LHC shutdown taking place in 2014. Before installation in ATLAS, these detectors were characterised in appropriate laboratory facilities using cosmic radiation. (author) [fr

  14. Supersymmetric exotic decays of the 125 GeV Higgs boson. (United States)

    Huang, Jinrui; Liu, Tao; Wang, Lian-Tao; Yu, Felix


    We reveal a set of novel decay topologies for the 125 GeV Higgs boson in supersymmetry which are initiated by its decay into a pair of neutralinos, and discuss their collider search strategies. This category of exotic Higgs decays is characterized by the collider signature: visible objects+E_{T}, with E_{T} dominantly arising from escaping dark matter particles. Their benchmark arises naturally in the Peccei-Quinn symmetry limit of the minimal supersymmetric standard model singlet extensions, which is typified by the coexistence of three light particles: singletlike scalar h_{1} and pseudoscalar a_{1}, and singlinolike neutralino χ_{1}, all with masses of ≲10  GeV, and the generic suppression of the exotic decays of the 125 GeV Higgs boson h_{2}→h_{1}h_{1}, a_{1}a_{1} and χ_{1}χ_{1}, however. As an illustration, we study the decay topology: h_{2}→χ_{1}χ_{2}, where the binolike χ_{2} decays to h_{1}χ_{1} or a_{1}χ_{1}, and h_{1}/a_{1}→ff[over ¯], with ff[over ¯]=μ^{+}μ^{-}, bb[over ¯]. In the dimuon case (m_{h_{1}/a_{1}}∼1  GeV), a statistical sensitivity of S/sqrt[B]>6σ can be achieved easily at the 8 TeV LHC, assuming σ(pp→Wh_{2})/σ(pp→Wh_{SM})Br(h_{2}→μ^{+}μ^{-}χ_{1}χ_{1})=0.1. In the bb[over ¯] case (m_{h_{1}/a_{1}}∼45  GeV), 600  fb^{-1} data at the 14 TeV LHC can lead to a statistical sensitivity of S/sqrt[B]>5σ, assuming σ(pp→Zh_{2})/σ(pp→Zh_{SM})Br(h_{2}→bb[over ¯]χ_{1}χ_{1})=0.5. These exotic decays open a new avenue for exploring new physics couplings with the 125 GeV Higgs boson at colliders.

  15. Quantum Field Theory in Curved Spacetime (United States)

    Reynolds, Sally C.; Gallagher, Andrew


    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

  16. Developmental identity versus typology: Lucy has only four sacral segments. (United States)

    Machnicki, Allison L; Lovejoy, C Owen; Reno, Philip L


    Both interspecific and intraspecific variation in vertebral counts reflect the action of patterning control mechanisms such as Hox. The preserved A.L. 288-1 ("Lucy") sacrum contains five fused elements. However, the transverse processes of the most caudal element do not contact those of the segment immediately craniad to it, leaving incomplete sacral foramina on both sides. This conforms to the traditional definition of four-segmented sacra, which are very rare in humans and African apes. It was recently suggested that fossilization damage precludes interpretation of this specimen and that additional sacral-like features of its last segment (e.g., the extent of the sacral hiatus) suggest a general Australopithecus pattern of five sacral vertebrae. We provide updated descriptions of the original Lucy sacrum. We evaluate sacral/coccygeal variation in a large sample of extant hominoids and place it within the context of developmental variation in the mammalian vertebral column. We report that fossilization damage did not shorten the transverse processes of the fifth segment of Lucy's sacrum. In addition, we find that the extent of the sacral hiatus is too variable in apes and hominids to provide meaningful information on segment identity. Most importantly, a combination of sacral and coccygeal features is to be expected in vertebrae at regional boundaries. The sacral/caudal boundary appears to be displaced cranially in early hominids relative to extant African apes and humans, a condition consistent with the likely ancestral condition for Miocene hominoids. While not definitive in itself, a four-segmented sacrum accords well with the "long-back" model for the Pan/Homo last common ancestor. Am J Phys Anthropol 160:729-739, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. The affinities of Homo floresiensis based on phylogenetic analyses of cranial, dental, and postcranial characters. (United States)

    Argue, Debbie; Groves, Colin P; Lee, Michael S Y; Jungers, William L


    Although the diminutive Homo floresiensis has been known for a decade, its phylogenetic status remains highly contentious. A broad range of potential explanations for the evolution of this species has been explored. One view is that H. floresiensis is derived from Asian Homo erectus that arrived on Flores and subsequently evolved a smaller body size, perhaps to survive the constrained resources they faced in a new island environment. Fossil remains of H. erectus, well known from Java, have not yet been discovered on Flores. The second hypothesis is that H. floresiensis is directly descended from an early Homo lineage with roots in Africa, such as Homo habilis; the third is that it is Homo sapiens with pathology. We use parsimony and Bayesian phylogenetic methods to test these hypotheses. Our phylogenetic data build upon those characters previously presented in support of these hypotheses by broadening the range of traits to include the crania, mandibles, dentition, and postcrania of Homo and Australopithecus. The new data and analyses support the hypothesis that H. floresiensis is an early Homo lineage: H. floresiensis is sister either to H. habilis alone or to a clade consisting of at least H. habilis, H. erectus, Homo ergaster, and H. sapiens. A close phylogenetic relationship between H. floresiensis and H. erectus or H. sapiens can be rejected; furthermore, most of the traits separating H. floresiensis from H. sapiens are not readily attributable to pathology (e.g., Down syndrome). The results suggest H. floresiensis is a long-surviving relict of an early (>1.75 Ma) hominin lineage and a hitherto unknown migration out of Africa, and not a recent derivative of either H. erectus or H. sapiens. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Analysis of the dental morphology of Plio-pleistocene hominids. I. Mandibular molars: crown area measurements and morphological traits. (United States)

    Wood, B A; Abbott, S A


    This study has used accurate measurements of crown area and precise assessments of the morphological traits of mandibular molars in an attempt to define the metrical and morphological characteristics of early hominid taxa. A total of 196 Plio-Pleistocene hominid molars were either allocated to one of six informal taxonomic groups or considered as individual cases. Accurate measurements of crown base area made from occlusal photographs have enabled us to estimate the effects of interproximal wear on crown areas. The average correction factor over the three molar types is around 2-4% with a maximum of 6%. The patterns of distribution of extra cusps show interesting differences between taxa. None of the M-1S in the two groups of 'gracile' hominids from East and South Africa bears a C6, but it is common in the two 'robust' taxa. The distribution of a C7 is the reverse of this, it being rare in the robust' taxa, and more common in the 'gracile' groups. There is thus no simple relationship between cusp number and tooth size. Our observations on the protostylid suggest that though it is more common in the 'robust' australopithecines than the 'graciles', when it does occur it is more strongly expressed in the 'gracile' group. The combination of simple metrical data, and the assessment of morphological traits, can help in the classification of enigmatic or incomplete specimens. Some isolated teeth from the collection at Koobi Fora can confidently be assigned to Australopithecus boisei, and useful guides have been provided for taxonomic assessment of the skull KNM-ER 1805, and the mandibles KNM-ER 1506 and 1820.

  19. The hominins: a very conservative tribe? Last common ancestors, plasticity and ecomorphology in Hominidae. Or, What's in a name? (United States)

    Crompton, Robin Huw


    In the early 20th century the dominant paradigm for the ecological context of the origins of human bipedalism was arboreal suspension. In the 1960s, however, with recognition of the close genetic relationship of humans, chimpanzees and bonobos, and with the first field studies of mountain gorillas and common chimpanzees, it was assumed that locomotion similar to that of common chimpanzees and mountain gorillas, which appeared to be dominated by terrestrial knuckle-walking, must have given rise to human bipedality. This paradigm has been popular, if not universally dominant, until very recently. However, evidence that neither the knuckle-walking or vertical climbing of these apes is mechanically similar to human bipedalism, as well as the hand-assisted bipedality and orthograde clambering of orang-utans, has cast doubt on this paradigm. It now appears that the dominance of terrestrial knuckle-walking in mountain gorillas is an artefact seen only in the extremes of their range, and that both mountain and lowland gorillas have a generalized orthogrady similar to that seen in orang-utans. These data, together with evidence for continued arboreal competence in humans, mesh well with an increasing weight of fossil evidence suggesting that a mix of orang-utan and gorilla-like arboreal locomotion and upright terrestrial bipedalism characterized most australopiths. The late split date of the panins, corresponding to dates for separation of Homo and Australopithecus, leads to the speculation that competition with chimpanzees, as appears to exist today with gorillas, may have driven ecological changes in hominins and perhaps cladogenesis. However, selection for ecological plasticity and morphological conservatism is a core characteristic of Hominidae as a whole, including Hominini. © 2015 Anatomical Society.

  20. A new species of great ape from the late Miocene epoch in Ethiopia. (United States)

    Suwa, Gen; Kono, Reiko T; Katoh, Shigehiro; Asfaw, Berhane; Beyene, Yonas


    With the discovery of Ardipithecus, Orrorin and Sahelanthropus, our knowledge of hominid evolution before the emergence of Pliocene species of Australopithecus has significantly increased, extending the hominid fossil record back to at least 6 million years (Myr) ago. However, because of the dearth of fossil hominoid remains in sub-Saharan Africa spanning the period 12-7 Myr ago, nothing is known of the actual timing and mode of divergence of the African ape and hominid lineages. Most genomic-based studies suggest a late divergence date-5-6 Myr ago and 6-8 Myr ago for the human-chimp and human-gorilla splits, respectively-and some palaeontological and molecular analyses hypothesize a Eurasian origin of the African ape and hominid clade. We report here the discovery and recognition of a new species of great ape, Chororapithecus abyssinicus, from the 10-10.5-Myr-old deposits of the Chorora Formation at the southern margin of the Afar rift. To the best of our knowledge, these are the first fossils of a large-bodied Miocene ape from the African continent north of Kenya. They exhibit a gorilla-sized dentition that combines distinct shearing crests with thick enamel on its 'functional' side cusps. Visualization of the enamel-dentine junction by micro-computed tomography reveals shearing crest features that partly resemble the modern gorilla condition. These features represent genetically based structural modifications probably associated with an initial adaptation to a comparatively fibrous diet. The relatively flat cuspal enamel-dentine junction and thick enamel, however, suggest a concurrent adaptation to hard and/or abrasive food items. The combined evidence suggests that Chororapithecus may be a basal member of the gorilla clade, and that the latter exhibited some amount of adaptive and phyletic diversity at around 10-11 Myr ago.

  1. Behavioral, Ecological, and Evolutionary Aspects of Meat-Eating by Sumatran Orangutans (Pongo abelii). (United States)

    Hardus, Madeleine E; Lameira, Adriano R; Zulfa, Astri; Atmoko, S Suci Utami; de Vries, Han; Wich, Serge A


    Meat-eating is an important aspect of human evolution, but how meat became a substantial component of the human diet is still poorly understood. Meat-eating in our closest relatives, the great apes, may provide insight into the emergence of this trait, but most existing data are for chimpanzees. We report 3 rare cases of meat-eating of slow lorises, Nycticebus coucang, by 1 Sumatran orangutan mother-infant dyad in Ketambe, Indonesia, to examine how orangutans find slow lorises and share meat. We combine these 3 cases with 2 previous ones to test the hypothesis that slow loris captures by orangutans are seasonal and dependent on fruit availability. We also provide the first (to our knowledge) quantitative data and high-definition video recordings of meat chewing rates by great apes, which we use to estimate the minimum time necessary for a female Australopithecus africanus to reach its daily energy requirements when feeding partially on raw meat. Captures seemed to be opportunistic but orangutans may have used olfactory cues to detect the prey. The mother often rejected meat sharing requests and only the infant initiated meat sharing. Slow loris captures occurred only during low ripe fruit availability, suggesting that meat may represent a filler fallback food for orangutans. Orangutans ate meat more than twice as slowly as chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), suggesting that group living may function as a meat intake accelerator in hominoids. Using orangutan data as a model, time spent chewing per day would not require an excessive amount of time for our social ancestors (australopithecines and hominids), as long as meat represented no more than a quarter of their diet. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10764-011-9574-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

  2. Virtual reconstruction of modern and fossil hominoid crania: consequences of reference sample choice. (United States)

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


    Most hominin cranial fossils are incomplete and require reconstruction prior to subsequent analyses. Missing data can be estimated by geometric morphometrics using information from complete specimens, for example, by using thin-plate splines. In this study, we estimate missing data in several virtually fragmented models of hominoid crania (Homo, Pan, Pongo) and fossil hominins (e.g., Australopithecus africanus, Homo heidelbergensis). The aim is to investigate in which way different references influence estimations of cranial shape and how this information can be employed in the reconstruction of fossils. We used a sample of 64 three-dimensional digital models of complete human, chimpanzee, and orangutan crania and a set of 758 landmarks and semilandmarks. The virtually knocked out neurocranial and facial areas that were reconstructed corresponded to those of a real case found in A.L. 444-2 (A. afarensis) cranium. Accuracy of multiple intraspecies and interspecies reconstructions was computed as the maximum square root of the mean squared difference between the original and the reconstruction (root mean square). The results show that the uncertainty in reconstructions is a function of both the geometry of the knockout area and the dissimilarity between the reference sample and the specimen(s) undergoing reconstruction. We suggest that it is possible to estimate large missing cranial areas if the shape of the reference is similar enough to the shape of the specimen reconstructed, though caution must be exercised when employing these reconstructions in subsequent analyses. We provide a potential guide for the choice of the reference by means of bending energy. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Limb Bone Structural Proportions and Locomotor Behavior in A.L. 288-1 ("Lucy".

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher B Ruff

    Full Text Available While there is broad agreement that early hominins practiced some form of terrestrial bipedality, there is also evidence that arboreal behavior remained a part of the locomotor repertoire in some taxa, and that bipedal locomotion may not have been identical to that of modern humans. It has been difficult to evaluate such evidence, however, because of the possibility that early hominins retained primitive traits (such as relatively long upper limbs of little contemporaneous adaptive significance. Here we examine bone structural properties of the femur and humerus in the Australopithecus afarensis A.L. 288-1 ("Lucy", 3.2 Myr that are known to be developmentally plastic, and compare them with other early hominins, modern humans, and modern chimpanzees. Cross-sectional images were obtained from micro-CT scans of the original specimens and used to derive section properties of the diaphyses, as well as superior and inferior cortical thicknesses of the femoral neck. A.L. 288-1 shows femoral/humeral diaphyseal strength proportions that are intermediate between those of modern humans and chimpanzees, indicating more mechanical loading of the forelimb than in modern humans, and by implication, a significant arboreal locomotor component. Several features of the proximal femur in A.L. 288-1 and other australopiths, including relative femoral head size, distribution of cortical bone in the femoral neck, and cross-sectional shape of the proximal shaft, support the inference of a bipedal gait pattern that differed slightly from that of modern humans, involving more lateral deviation of the body center of mass over the support limb, which would have entailed increased cost of terrestrial locomotion. There is also evidence consistent with increased muscular strength among australopiths in both the forelimb and hind limb, possibly reflecting metabolic trade-offs between muscle and brain development during hominin evolution. Together these findings imply

  4. Stratigraphy, artefact industries and hominid associations for Sterkfontein, member 5. (United States)

    Kuman, K; Clarke, R J


    A revised stratigraphy for the early hominid site of Sterkfontein (Gauteng Province, South Africa) reveals a complex distribution of infills in the main excavation area between 2.8 and 1.4 m.y.a, as well as deposits dating to the mid to late Pleistocene. New research now shows that the Member 4 australopithecine breccia (2.8-2.6 Ma) extends further west than was previously thought, while a late phase of Member 4 is recognized in a southern area. The artefact-bearing breccias were defined sedimentologically as Member 5, but one supposed part of these younger breccias, the StW 53 infill, lacks in situ stone tools, although it does appear to post-date 2.6 Ma when artefacts first appear in the archaeological record. The StW 53 hominid, previously referred to Homo habilis, is here argued to be Australopithecus. The first artefact-bearing breccia of Member 5 is the Oldowan Infill, estimated at 2-1.7 Ma. It occupies a restricted distribution in Member 5 east and contains an expedient, flake-based tool industry associated with a few fossils of Paranthropos robustus. An enlarged cave opening subsequently admitted one or more Early Acheulean infills associated in Member 5 west with Homo ergaster. The artefacts attest to a larger site accumulation between ca. 1.7 and 1.4 Ma, with more intensive use of quartzite over quartz and a subtle but important shift to large flakes and heavier-duty tools. The available information on palaeoenvironments is summarized, showing an overall change from tropical to sub-tropical gallery forest, forest fringe and woodland conditions in Member 4 to more open woodland and grassland habitats in the later units, but with suggestions of a wet localized topography in the Paranthropus -bearing Oldowan Infill. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

  5. A simple rule governs the evolution and development of hominin tooth size. (United States)

    Evans, Alistair R; Daly, E Susanne; Catlett, Kierstin K; Paul, Kathleen S; King, Stephen J; Skinner, Matthew M; Nesse, Hans P; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Townsend, Grant C; Schwartz, Gary T; Jernvall, Jukka


    The variation in molar tooth size in humans and our closest relatives (hominins) has strongly influenced our view of human evolution. The reduction in overall size and disproportionate decrease in third molar size have been noted for over a century, and have been attributed to reduced selection for large dentitions owing to changes in diet or the acquisition of cooking. The systematic pattern of size variation along the tooth row has been described as a 'morphogenetic gradient' in mammal, and more specifically hominin, teeth since Butler and Dahlberg. However, the underlying controls of tooth size have not been well understood, with hypotheses ranging from morphogenetic fields to the clone theory. In this study we address the following question: are there rules that govern how hominin tooth size evolves? Here we propose that the inhibitory cascade, an activator-inhibitor mechanism that affects relative tooth size in mammals, produces the default pattern of tooth sizes for all lower primary postcanine teeth (deciduous premolars and permanent molars) in hominins. This configuration is also equivalent to a morphogenetic gradient, finally pointing to a mechanism that can generate this gradient. The pattern of tooth size remains constant with absolute size in australopiths (including Ardipithecus, Australopithecus and Paranthropus). However, in species of Homo, including modern humans, there is a tight link between tooth proportions and absolute size such that a single developmental parameter can explain both the relative and absolute sizes of primary postcanine teeth. On the basis of the relationship of inhibitory cascade patterning with size, we can use the size at one tooth position to predict the sizes of the remaining four primary postcanine teeth in the row for hominins. Our study provides a development-based expectation to examine the evolution of the unique proportions of human teeth.

  6. Hominin-bearing caves and landscape dynamics in the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa (United States)

    Dirks, Paul H. G. M.; Berger, Lee R.


    This paper provides constraints on the evolution of the landscape in the Cradle of Humankind (CoH), UNESCO World Heritage Site, South Africa, since the Pliocene. The aim is to better understand the distribution of hominin fossils in the CoH, and determine links between tectonic processes controlling the landscape and the evolution and distribution of hominins occupying that landscape. The paper is focused on a detailed reconstruction of the landscape through time in the Grootvleispruit catchment, which contains the highly significant fossil site of Malapa and the remains of the hominin species Australopithicus sediba. In the past 4 My the landscape in the CoH has undergone major changes in its physical appearance as a result of river incision, which degraded older African planation surfaces, and accommodated denudation of cover rocks (including Karoo sediments and various sil- and ferricretes) to expose dolomite with caves in which fossils collected. Differentially weathered chert breccia dykes, calibrated with 10Be exposure ages, are used to estimate erosion patterns of the landscape across the CoH. In this manner it is shown that 2 My ago Malapa cave was ˜50 m deep, and Gladysvale cave was first exposed; i.e. landscape reconstructions can provide estimates for the time of opening of cave systems that trapped hominin and other fossils. Within the region, cave formation was influenced by lithological, layer-parallel controls interacting with cross-cutting fracture systems of Paleoproterozoic origin, and a NW-SE directed extensional far-field stress at a time when the African erosion surface was still intact, and elevations were probably lower. Cave geometries vary in a systematic manner across the landscape, with deep caves on the plateau and cave erosion remnants in valleys. Most caves formed to similar depths of 1400-1420 mamsl across much of the CoH, indicating that caves no longer deepened once Pliocene uplift and incision occurred, but acted as passive

  7. Research on improvement of marine nuclear reactors and future perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yokomura, Takeyoshi


    The features when atomic energy is utilized on the sea are that the fuel cost is low, accordingly it is suitable to the power sources of large output, that the volume and weight of fuel are small, accordingly it is suitable to the continuous operation for a long period without refueling, and that oxygen is not required for the burning, accordingly it is suitable to undersea power sources. In USSR, four nuclear icebreakers have been in use, and four more are under construction. A nuclear LASH ship has been operated, and one more is under construction. As the other fields than sea transportation, an electricity generation barge MH-1A of USA used as the auxiliary power source for the Panama Canal and a research submarine NR-1 of USA have been in practical use. With the advance of ocean development in future, the creation of needs such as deep sea power stations, deep sea research ships and deep sea work ships is expected. Marine nuclear reactor technology was begun in the form of the nuclearization of merchant ships, and Savannah of USA, Otto Hahn of West Germany and Mutsu of Japan were built. The marine nuclear reactors built so far and of which the conceptual design was carried out are shown. The improvement of marine reactors is the reduction of size and weight, the simplification of the system, the adoption of self pressurization and self compensation and so on. The research on the improvement in Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute is reported. (Kako, I.)

  8. Hydraulic tests for the Excavation Disturbed Zone in NATM drift of North Extension

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsuoka, Eiken


    Investigation for characterization of rock properties of the Excavation Disturbed Zone (EDZ) were carried out in NATM drift of North Extension in the Tono Mine. As a part of this investigation, hydraulic tests were performed by means of the hydraulic measuring instrument, which had been developed by PNC Tono Geoscience Center. The purpose of this tests is to characterize the change in hydraulic properties of the EDZ caused by drift excavation using machine (boom header). The hydraulic tests were performed in the burials MH-1,2,3, in which hydraulic tests had been performed before the drift excavation in 1994. The test results indicate that the measured values of pore water pressure have decreased after excavation of the drift. The values ranged from -0.037 kgf/cm 2 to 0.039 kgf/cm 2 . The measured hydraulic conductivities ranged from 2.2*10 -11 cm/s to 9.1*10 -11 cm/s for mud stone and from 2.8*10 -9 cm/s to 2.4*10 -7 cm/s for conglomerate. The measured hydraulic conductivities for mud stone are below the lower limit of the instrument, and the change in the hydraulic conductivities for conglomerate is little. The hydraulic conductivities for conglomerate and mad stone (reference values) are interpreted. The change in hydraulic conductivities measured before and after excavation of the drift is insignificant. (author)

  9. Human peripheral blood monocytes display surface antigens recognized by monoclonal antinuclear antibodies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holers, V.M.; Kotzin, B.L.


    The authors used monoclonal anti-nuclear autoantibodies and indirect immunofluorescence to examine normal human peripheral blood mononuclear leukocytes for the presence of cell surface nuclear antigens. Only one monoclonal anti-histone antibody (MH-2) was found to bind to freshly isolated PBL, staining approximately 10% of large cells. However, after cells were placed into culture for 16-24 h, a high percentage (up to 60%) of large-sized cells were recognized by an anti-DNA (BWD-1) and several different antihistone monoclonal antibodies (BWH-1, MH-1, and MH-2). These antibodies recognize separate antigenic determinants on chromatin and histones extracted from chromatin. The histone antigen-positive cells were viable, and the monoclonal antibodies could be shown to be binding to the cell surface and not to the nucleus. Using monoclonal antibodies specific for monocytes and T cells, and complement-mediated cytotoxicity, the cells bearing histone antigens were shown to be primarily monocytes. The appearance of histone and DNA antigen-positive cells was nearly completely inhibited by the addition of low concentrations of cycloheximide at initiation of the cultures. In contrast, little effect on the percentage of positive cells was detected if cells were exposed to high doses of gamma irradiation before culture. These data further support the existence of cell surface nuclear antigens on selected cell subsets, which may provide insight into the immunopathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus and related autoimmune diseases

  10. Effects of l-tryptophan on the growth, intestinal enzyme activities and non-specific immune response of sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus Selenka) exposed to crowding stress. (United States)

    Zhang, Endong; Dong, Shuanglin; Wang, Fang; Tian, Xiangli; Gao, Qinfeng


    In order to reveal the effects of l-tryptophan (Trp) on the physiology and immune response of sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus Selenka) exposed to crowding stress, four density groups of sea cucumbers (i.e. 4, 8, 16 and 32 individuals per 40 L water, represented as L, ML, MH and H) were fed with diets containing 0, 1, 3 and 5% l-tryptophan respectively for 75 days. The results showed that the specific growth rates (SGR) of the sea cucumber fed with diet with 3% Trp (L, 2.1; ML, 1.76; MH, 1.2; H, 0.7) were significantly higher than those fed with basal diet without Trp supplementation (P sea cucumber fed diets with Trp (3%) had significantly higher phagocytic activities (0.28 OD540/10 6  cells, H) in coelomic fluid and respiratory burst activities (0.105 OD630/10 6  cells, MH) (P < .05). The results suggested that Trp cannot improve superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity at L, ML and MH densities. The alkaline phosphatase activity (AKP) significantly decreased at H stress density. Under the experimental conditions, the present results confirmed that a diet supplemented with 3% Trp was able to enhance intestinal enzyme activities, non-specific immune response and higher growth performance of A. japonicus. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Marble Hill Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1 and 2: Final environmental statement (Docket Nos. STN 50-546 and STN 50-547)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)


    The proposed action is the issuance of construction permits to the Public Service Company of Indiana, Inc., Northern Indiana Public Service Company, Inc., East Kentucky Power Cooperative, Inc., and Wabash Valley Power Association for the construction of the Marble Hill Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1 and 2 (MH 1and2). The 987-acre site is predominately forest and cropland. Construction-related activities on the site would disturb about 250 acres. The portion of this land not be used for the plant facilities, parking lots, roads, etc., will be restored by seeding and landscaping. The temporary removal of vegetation will tend to promote erosion. Increased siltation and turbidity can be expected in local streams during construction, but measures will be taken to minimize these effects. A maximum of 69 cfs of cooling water will be withdrawn from the Ohio River of which cfs will be returned to the river via pipeline with the dissolved solids concentration increased by a factor of about 6. About cfs will be evaporated to the atmosphere by the cooling towers. The volume of discharge (9 cfs) is very small compared with the river flow (annual mean is about 110,000 cfs) and the thermal effect on the river ecosystem is not expected to be significant. Chemical discharges from the plant will be diluted to concentrations below those which might adversely affect aquatic biota. The risk associated with accidental radiation exposure will be very low. 43 figs., 115 tabs

  12. Modelling the removal of p-TSA (para-toluenesulfonamide) during rapid sand filtration used for drinking water treatment. (United States)

    Meffe, Raffaella; Kohfahl, Claus; Holzbecher, Ekkehard; Massmann, Gudrun; Richter, Doreen; Dünnbier, Uwe; Pekdeger, Asaf


    A finite element model was set-up to determine degradation rate constants for p-TSA during rapid sand filtration (RSF). Data used for the model originated from a column experiment carried out in the filter hall of a drinking water treatment plant in Berlin (Germany). Aerated abstracted groundwater was passed through a 1.6m long column-shaped experimental sand filter applying infiltration rates from 2 to 6mh(-1). Model results were fitted to measured profiles and breakthrough curves of p-TSA for different infiltration rates using both first-order reaction kinetics and Michaelis-Menten kinetics. Both approaches showed that degradation rates varied both in space and time. Higher degradation rates were observed in the upper part of the column, probably related to higher microbial activity in this zone. Measured and simulated breakthrough curves revealed an adaption phase with lower degradation rates after infiltration rates were changed, followed by an adapted phase with more elevated degradation rates. Irrespective of the mathematical approach and the infiltration rate, degradation rates were very high, probably owing to the fact that filter sands have been in operation for decades, receiving high p-TSA concentrations with the raw water.

  13. Revisiting Coiled Flocculator Performance for Particle Aggregation. (United States)


    This work summarizes recent studies evaluating the torsion and curvature parameters in the flocculation efficiency using a hydraulic plug-flow flocculator named as Flocs Generator Reactor (FGR). Colloidal Fe(OH)3 and coal particles were used as suspension models and a cationic polyacrylamide was used for the flocculation. The effectiveness of the aggregation process (in the distinct curvature and torsion parameters and hydrodynamic conditions) was evaluated by the settling rate of the Fe(OH)3 flocs and flocs size by photographic analysis. Due to curvature, a secondary flow is induced and the profiles of the flow quantities differ from those for a straight pipe. Results showed that the difference in the flocculator design influences the Fe(OH)3 flocs size and settling rates, reaching values about 13 and 4 mh-1, for the coiled and straight pipes respectively. Coal flocs generation also showed to be dependent on the flocculator design and shear rate. Results showed that turbulent kinetic energy increases due to curvature when the torsion parameter is kept constant (pitch close to zero) enhancing the flocs formation.

  14. Diversity, molecular characterization and expression of T cell receptor γ in a teleost fish, the sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax, L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Buonocore

    Full Text Available Two lineages of T cells, expressing either the αβ T cell receptor (TR or the γδ TR, exist in Gnathostomes. The latter type of T cells account for 1-10 % of T cells in blood and up to 30 % in the small intestine. They may recognize unconventional antigens (phosphorylated microbial metabolites, lipid antigens without the need of major histocompatibility class I (MH1 or class II (MH2 presentation. In this work we have described cloning and structural characterization of TR -chain (TRG from the teleost Dicentrarchus labrax. Further, by means of quantitative PCR analysis, we analyzed TRG expression levels both in poly I:C stimulated leukocytes in vitro, and following infection with betanodavirus in vivo. Two full length cDNAs relative to TRG, with the highest peptide and nucleotide identity with Japanese flounder, were identified. A multiple alignment analysis showed the conservation of peptides fundamental for TRG biological functions, and of the FGXG motif in the FR4 region, typical of most TR and immunoglobulin light chains. A 3D structure consisting of two domains mainly folded as beta strands with a sandwich architecture for each domain was also reported. TRG CDR3 of 8-18 AA in length and diversity in the TRG rearrangements expressed in thymus and intestine for a given V/C combination were evidenced by junction length spectratyping. TRG mRNA expression levels were high in basal conditions both in thymus and intestine, while in kidney and gut leukocytes they were up-regulated after in vitro stimulation by poly I:C. Finally, in juveniles the TRG expression levels were up-regulated in the head kidney and down-regulated in intestine after in vivo infection with betanodavirus. Overall, in this study the involvement of TRG-bearing T cells during viral stimulation was described for the first time, leading to new insights for the identification of T cell subsets in fish.

  15. Understanding the core-halo relation of quantum wave dark matter from 3D simulations. (United States)

    Schive, Hsi-Yu; Liao, Ming-Hsuan; Woo, Tak-Pong; Wong, Shing-Kwong; Chiueh, Tzihong; Broadhurst, Tom; Hwang, W-Y Pauchy


    We examine the nonlinear structure of gravitationally collapsed objects that form in our simulations of wavelike cold dark matter, described by the Schrödinger-Poisson (SP) equation with a particle mass ∼10(-22)  eV. A distinct gravitationally self-bound solitonic core is found at the center of every halo, with a profile quite different from cores modeled in the warm or self-interacting dark matter scenarios. Furthermore, we show that each solitonic core is surrounded by an extended halo composed of large fluctuating dark matter granules which modulate the halo density on a scale comparable to the diameter of the solitonic core. The scaling symmetry of the SP equation and the uncertainty principle tightly relate the core mass to the halo specific energy, which, in the context of cosmological structure formation, leads to a simple scaling between core mass (Mc) and halo mass (Mh), Mc∝a(-1/2)Mh(1/3), where a is the cosmic scale factor. We verify this scaling relation by (i) examining the internal structure of a statistical sample of virialized halos that form in our 3D cosmological simulations and by (ii) merging multiple solitons to create individual virialized objects. Sufficient simulation resolution is achieved by adaptive mesh refinement and graphic processing units acceleration. From this scaling relation, present dwarf satellite galaxies are predicted to have kiloparsec-sized cores and a minimum mass of ∼10(8)M⊙, capable of solving the small-scale controversies in the cold dark matter model. Moreover, galaxies of 2×10(12)M⊙ at z=8 should have massive solitonic cores of ∼2×10(9)M⊙ within ∼60  pc. Such cores can provide a favorable local environment for funneling the gas that leads to the prompt formation of early stellar spheroids and quasars.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Becker, George D.; Carswell, Robert F. [Kavli Institute for Cosmology and Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0HA (United Kingdom); Sargent, Wallace L. W. [Palomar Observatory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Rauch, Michael, E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail: [Carnegie Observatories, 813 Santa Barbara Street, Pasadena, CA 91101 (United States)


    We present measurements of carbon, oxygen, silicon, and iron in quasar absorption systems existing when the universe was roughly one billion years old. We measure column densities in nine low-ionization systems at 4.7 < z < 6.3 using Keck, Magellan, and Very Large Telescope optical and near-infrared spectra with moderate to high resolution. The column density ratios among C II, O I, Si II, and Fe II are nearly identical to sub-damped Ly{alpha} systems (sub-DLAs) and metal-poor ([M/H] {<=} -1) DLAs at lower redshifts, with no significant evolution over 2 {approx}< z {approx}< 6. The estimated intrinsic scatter in the ratio of any two elements is also small, with a typical rms deviation of {approx}< 0.1 dex. These facts suggest that dust depletion and ionization effects are minimal in our z > 4.7 systems, as in the lower-redshift DLAs, and that the column density ratios are close to the intrinsic relative element abundances. The abundances in our z > 4.7 systems are therefore likely to represent the typical integrated yields from stellar populations within the first gigayear of cosmic history. Due to the time limit imposed by the age of the universe at these redshifts, our measurements thus place direct constraints on the metal production of massive stars, including iron yields of prompt supernovae. The lack of redshift evolution further suggests that the metal inventories of most metal-poor absorption systems at z {approx}> 2 are also dominated by massive stars, with minimal contributions from delayed Type Ia supernovae or winds from asymptotic giant branch stars. The relative abundances in our systems broadly agree with those in very metal-poor, non-carbon-enhanced Galactic halo stars. This is consistent with the picture in which present-day metal-poor stars were potentially formed as early as one billion years after the big bang.

  17. Microcystis aeruginos strain [D-Leu1] Mcyst-LR producer, from Buenos Aires province, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorena Rosso


    Full Text Available Objective: To show the toxicological and phylogenetic characterization of a native Microcystis aeruginosa (M. aeruginosa strain (named CAAT 2005-3 isolated from a water body of Buenos Aires province, Argentine. Methods: A M. aeruginosa strain was isolated from the drainage canal of the sewage treatment in the town of Pila, Buenos Aires province, Argentina and acclimated to laboratory conditions. The amplification of cpcBA-IGS Phcocyanin (PC, intergenic spacer and flanking regions was carried out in order to build a phylogenetic tree. An exactive/orbitrap mass spectrometer equipped with an electrospray ionization source (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Bremen, Germany was used for the LC/ESI-HRMS microcystins analysis. The number of cell/mL and [D-Leu1] Mcyst-LR production obtained as a function of time was modelled using the Gompertz equation. Results: The phylogenetic analysis showed that the sequence clustered with others M. aeruginosa sequences obtained from NCBI. The first Argentinian strain of M. aeruginosa (CAAT 2005-3 growing under culture conditions maintains the typical colonial architecture of M. aeruginosa with profuse mucilage. M. aeruginosa CAAT 2005-3 expresses a toxin variant, that was identified by LC-HRMS/Orbitrapas as [D-Leu1] microcystin-LR ([M+H]+=1 037.8 m/z. Conclusions: [D-Leu1] microcystin-LR has been also detected in M. aeruginosa samples from Canada, Brazil and Argentina. This work provides the basis for technological development and production of analytical standards of toxins present in our region.

  18. Halo assembly bias and the tidal anisotropy of the local halo environment (United States)

    Paranjape, Aseem; Hahn, Oliver; Sheth, Ravi K.


    We study the role of the local tidal environment in determining the assembly bias of dark matter haloes. Previous results suggest that the anisotropy of a halo's environment (i.e. whether it lies in a filament or in a more isotropic region) can play a significant role in determining the eventual mass and age of the halo. We statistically isolate this effect, using correlations between the large-scale and small-scale environments of simulated haloes at z = 0 with masses between 1011.6 ≲ (m/h-1 M⊙) ≲ 1014.9. We probe the large-scale environment, using a novel halo-by-halo estimator of linear bias. For the small-scale environment, we identify a variable αR that captures the tidal anisotropy in a region of radius R = 4R200b around the halo and correlates strongly with halo bias at fixed mass. Segregating haloes by αR reveals two distinct populations. Haloes in highly isotropic local environments (αR ≲ 0.2) behave as expected from the simplest, spherically averaged analytical models of structure formation, showing a negative correlation between their concentration and large-scale bias at all masses. In contrast, haloes in anisotropic, filament-like environments (αR ≳ 0.5) tend to show a positive correlation between bias and concentration at any mass. Our multiscale analysis cleanly demonstrates how the overall assembly bias trend across halo mass emerges as an average over these different halo populations, and provides valuable insights towards building analytical models that correctly incorporate assembly bias. We also discuss potential implications for the nature and detectability of galaxy assembly bias.

  19. Detection and quantification of 4-ABP adducts in DNA from bladder cancer patients. (United States)

    Zayas, Beatriz; Stillwell, Sara W; Wishnok, John S; Trudel, Laura J; Skipper, Paul; Yu, Mimi C; Tannenbaum, Steven R; Wogan, Gerald N


    We analyzed bladder DNA from 27 cancer patients for dG-C8-4-aminobiphenyl (dG-C8-ABP) adducts using the liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method with a 700 attomol (1 adduct in 10(9) bases) detection limit. Hemoglobin (Hb) 4-aminobiphenyl (4-ABP) adduct levels were measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. After isolation of dG-C8-ABP by immunoaffinity chromatography and further purification, deuterated (d9) dG-C8-ABP (MW=443 Da) was added to each sample. Structural evidence and adduct quantification were determined by selected reaction monitoring, based on the expected adduct ion [M+H+]+1, at m/z 435 with fragmentation to the product ion at m/z 319, and monitoring of the transition for the internal standard, m/z 444-->328. The method was validated by analysis of DNA (100 microg each) from calf thymus; livers from ABP-treated and untreated rats; human placentas; and TK6 lymphoblastoid cells. Adduct was detected at femtomol levels in DNA from livers of ABP-treated rats and calf thymus, but not in other controls. The method was applied to 41 DNA samples (200 microg each) from 27 human bladders; 28 from tumor and 14 from surrounding non-tumor tissue. Of 27 tissues analyzed, 44% (12) contained 5-80 dG-C8-ABP adducts per 10(9) bases; only 1 out of 27 (4%) contained adduct in both tumor and surrounding tissues. The Hb adduct was detected in samples from all patients, at levels of 12-1960 pg per gram Hb. There was no correlation between levels of DNA and Hb adducts. The presence of DNA adducts in 44% of the subjects and high levels of Hb adducts in these non-smokers indicate environmental sources of exposure to 4-ABP.

  20. Abundance patterns of evolved stars with Hipparcos parallaxes and ages based on the APOGEE data base (United States)

    Jia, Y. P.; Chen, Y. Q.; Zhao, G.; Bari, M. A.; Zhao, J. K.; Tan, K. F.


    We investigate the abundance patterns for four groups of stars at evolutionary phases from sub-giant to red clump (RC) and trace the chemical evolution of the disc by taking 21 individual elemental abundances from APOGEE and ages from evolutionary models with the aid of Hipparcos distances. We find that the abundances of six elements (Si, S, K, Ca, Mn and Ni) are similar from the sub-giant phase to the RC phase. In particular, we find that a group of stars with low [C/N] ratios, mainly from the second sequence of RC stars, show that there is a difference in the transfer efficiency of the C-N-O cycle between the main and the secondary RC sequences. We also compare the abundance patterns of C-N, Mg-Al and Na-O with giant stars in globular clusters from APOGEE and find that field stars follow similar patterns as M107, a metal-rich globular cluster with [M/H] ∼- 1.0, which shows that the self-enrichment mechanism represented by strong C-N, Mg-Al and Na-O anti-correlations may not be important as the metallicity reaches [M/H] > -1.0 dex. Based on the abundances of above-mentioned six elements and [Fe/H], we investigate age versus abundance relations and find some old super-metal-rich stars in our sample. Their properties of old age and being rich in metal are evidence for stellar migration. The age versus metallicity relations in low-[α/M] bins show unexpectedly positive slopes. We propose that the fresh metal-poor gas infalling on to the Galactic disc may be the precursor for this unexpected finding.

  1. Soil properties influence kinetics of soil acid phosphatase in response to arsenic toxicity. (United States)

    Wang, Ziquan; Tan, Xiangping; Lu, Guannan; Liu, Yanju; Naidu, Ravi; He, Wenxiang


    Soil phosphatase, which plays an important role in phosphorus cycling, is strongly inhibited by Arsenic (As). However, the inhibition mechanism in kinetics is not adequately investigated. In this study, we investigated the kinetic characteristics of soil acid phosphatase (ACP) in 14 soils with varied properties, and also explored how kinetic properties of soil ACP changed with different spiked As concentrations. The results showed that the Michaelis constant (K m ) and maximum reaction velocity (V max ) values of soil ACP ranged from 1.18 to 3.77mM and 0.025-0.133mMh -1 in uncontaminated soils. The kinetic parameters of soil ACP in different soils changed differently with As contamination. The K m remained unchanged and V max decreased with increase of As concentration in most acid and neutral soils, indicating a noncompetitive inhibition mechanism. However, in alkaline soils, the K m increased linearly and V max decreased with increase of As concentration, indicating a mixed inhibition mechanism that include competitive and noncompetitive. The competitive inhibition constant (K ic ) and noncompetitive inhibition constant (K iu ) varied among soils and ranged from 0.38 to 3.65mM and 0.84-7.43mM respectively. The inhibitory effect of As on soil ACP was mostly affected by soil organic matter and cation exchange capacity. Those factors influenced the combination of As with enzyme, which resulted in a difference of As toxicity to soil ACP. Catalytic efficiency (V max /K m ) of soil ACP was a sensitive kinetic parameter to assess the ecological risks of soil As contamination. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Catalytic efficiency is a better predictor of arsenic toxicity to soil alkaline phosphatase. (United States)

    Wang, Ziquan; Tian, Haixia; Lu, Guannan; Zhao, Yiming; Yang, Rui; Megharaj, Mallavarapu; He, Wenxiang


    Arsenic (As) is an inhibitor of phosphatase, however, in the complex soil system, the substrate concentration effect and the mechanism of As inhibition of soil alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and its kinetics has not been adequately studied. In this work, we investigated soil ALP activity in response to As pollution at different substrate concentrations in various types of soils and explored the inhibition mechanism using the enzyme kinetics. The results showed that As inhibition of soil ALP activity was substrate concentration-dependent. Increasing substrate concentration decreased inhibition rate, suggesting reduced toxicity. This dependency was due to the competitive inhibition mechanism of As to soil ALP. The kinetic parameters, maximum reaction velocity (V max ) and Michaelis constant (K m ) in unpolluted soils were 0.012-0.267mMh -1 and 1.34-3.79mM respectively. The competitive inhibition constant (K ic ) was 0.17-0.70mM, which was lower than K m , suggesting higher enzyme affinity for As than for substrate. The ecological doses, ED 10 and ED 50 (concentration of As that results in 10% and 50% inhibition on enzyme parameter) for inhibition of catalytic efficiency (V max /K m ) were lower than those for inhibition of enzyme activity at different substrate concentrations. This suggests that the integrated kinetic parameter, catalytic efficiency is substrate concentration independent and more sensitive to As than ALP activity. Thus, catalytic efficiency was proposed as a more reliable indicator than ALP activity for risk assessment of As pollution. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. New wrist bones of Homo floresiensis from Liang Bua (Flores, Indonesia). (United States)

    Orr, Caley M; Tocheri, Matthew W; Burnett, Scott E; Awe, Rokus Due; Saptomo, E Wahyu; Sutikna, Thomas; Jatmiko; Wasisto, Sri; Morwood, Michael J; Jungers, William L


    The carpals from the Homo floresiensis type specimen (LB1) lack features that compose the shared, derived complex of the radial side of the wrist in Neandertals and modern humans. This paper comprises a description and three-dimensional morphometric analysis of new carpals from at least one other individual at Liang Bua attributed to H. floresiensis: a right capitate and two hamates. The new capitate is smaller than that of LB1 but is nearly identical in morphology. As with capitates from extant apes, species of Australopithecus, and LB1, the newly described capitate displays a deeply-excavated nonarticular area along its radial aspect, a scaphoid facet that extends into a J-hook articulation on the neck, and a more radially-oriented second metacarpal facet; it also lacks an enlarged palmarly-positioned trapezoid facet. Because there is no accommodation for the derived, palmarly blocky trapezoid that characterizes Homo sapiens and Neandertals, this individual most likely had a plesiomorphically wedge-shaped trapezoid (like LB1). Morphometric analyses confirm the close similarity of the new capitate and that of LB1, and are consistent with previous findings of an overall primitive articular geometry. In general, hamate morphology is more conserved across hominins, and the H. floresiensis specimens fall at the far edge of the range of variation for H. sapiens in a number of metrics. However, the hamate of H. floresiensis is exceptionally small and exhibits a relatively long, stout hamulus lacking the oval-shaped cross-section characteristic of human and Neandertal hamuli (variably present in australopiths). Documentation of a second individual with primitive carpal anatomy from Liang Bua, along with further analysis of trapezoid scaling relative to the capitate in LB1, refutes claims that the wrist of the type specimen represents a modern human with pathology. In total, the carpal anatomy of H. floresiensis supports the hypothesis that the lineage leading to the

  4. Variation among early Homo crania from Olduvai Gorge and the Koobi Fora region. (United States)

    Rightmire, G P


    Fossils recognized as early Homo were discovered first at Olduvai Gorge in 1959 and 1960. Teeth, skull parts and hand bones representing three individuals were found in Bed I, and more material followed from Bed I and lower Bed II. By 1964, L.S.B. Leakey, P.V. Tobias, and J.R. Napier were ready to name Homo habilis. But almost as soon as they had, there was confusion over the hypodigm of the new species. Tobias himself suggested that OH 13 resembles Homo erectus from Java, and he noted that OH 16 has teeth as large as those of Australopithecus. By the early 1970s, however, Tobias had put these thoughts behind him and returned to the opinion that all of the Olduvai remains are Homo habilis. At about this time, important discoveries began to flow from the Koobi Fora region in Kenya. To most observers, crania such as KNM-ER 1470 confirmed the presence of Homo in East Africa at an early date. Some of the other specimens were problematical. A.C. Walker and R.E. Leakey raised the possibility that larger skulls including KNM-ER 1470 differ significantly from smaller-brained, small-toothed individuals such as KNM-ER 1813. Other workers emphasized that there are differences of shape as well as size among the hominids from Koobi Fora. There is now substantial support for the view that in the Turkana and perhaps also in the Olduvai assemblages, there is more variation than would be expected among male and female conspecifics. One way to approach this question of sorting would be to compare all of the new fossils against the original material from Olduvai which was used to characterize Homo habilis in 1964. A problem is that the Olduvai remains are fragmentary, and none of them provides much information about vault form or facial structure. An alternative is to work first with the better crania, even if these are from other sites. I have elected to treat KNM-ER 1470 and KNM-ER 1813 as key individuals. Comparisons are based on discrete anatomy and measurements. Metric results

  5. Megadontia, striae periodicity and patterns of enamel secretion in Plio-Pleistocene fossil hominins. (United States)

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


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

  6. Removal of spurious normal polarity directions in the Kanapoi Formation with progressive thermal demagnetization: implications for dating Pliocene hominin fossils from the Turkana Basin of Kenya (United States)

    Lepre, C. J.; Kent, D.


    The Kanapoi Formation is a 75-m-thick sedimentary unit in northern Kenya whose fossil record documents the evolution of the genus Australopithecus and habitual bipedalism in Pliocene hominins. Published 40Ar/39Ar dates of 4.20 to 4.10 Ma for three aqueously reworked tuffs from the lower and middle stratigraphic intervals of the formation and a whole-rock K-Ar date of 3.4 ± 0.1 Ma on the Kalokwanya Basalt, which caps the succession, coupled with paleomagnetic data from an unpublished thesis have been used to constrain the age of the unit (McDougall+2012 J Geol Soc). Normal polarities at the base of the formation were correlated to normal subchron C3n.1n (Cochiti Subchron) and would extend the Kanapoi chronostratigraphy back to between 4.29 and 4.18 Ma. The credibility of the normal polarities at the base and elsewhere in the formation as records of the geomagnetic field at the time of deposition, however, is called into question by the ubiquity of the high-coercivity mineral hematite in the Kanapoi sediments and the alternating field demagnetization methods exclusively used to generate the polarity directions. We tested this proposed chronostratigraphy of the Kanapoi Fm by collecting nearly 70 independently orientated block samples from 10 outcrop localities, which sampled roughly two-thirds of the total stratigraphic thickness of the formation and covered the entire vertical extent of the supposed basal normal polarity magnetozone. For most every specimen, stepwise thermal demagnetization (TD) resolved well-defined characteristic magnetizations of uniformly reverse polarity and were carried by a high-temperature component consistent with hematite. TD of the Kalokwanya Basalt confirmed its reverse magnetic polarity, which implies emplacement most likely prior to the base of normal Chron C2An (Gauss Chron) at 3.58 Ma. Kanapoi sediments thus accumulated sometime during reverse subchron C2Ar (4.18-3.58 Ma) but over a period of much less than 600 kyr. Basal age control

  7. Biometrical studies upon hominoid teeth: the coefficient of variation, sexual dimorphism and questions of phylogenetic relationship. (United States)

    Blumenberg, B


    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

  8. Evolution of the auditory ossicles in extant hominids: metric variation in African apes and humans (United States)

    Quam, Rolf M; Coleman, Mark N; Martínez, Ignacio


    of sexual dimorphism were found in the ossicles within each taxon, but some relationship with body size and several dimensions of the ear bones was found. Several of the metric distinctions in the incus and stapes imply a slightly different articulation of the ossicular chain within the tympanic cavity in African apes compared with humans. The limited auditory implications of these metric differences in the ossicles are also discussed. Finally, the results of this study suggest that several plesiomorphic features for apes may be retained in the ear bones of the early hominin taxa Australopithecus and Paranthropus as well as in the Neandertals. PMID:24845949

  9. Structural History of Human SRGAP2 Proteins. (United States)

    Sporny, Michael; Guez-Haddad, Julia; Kreusch, Annett; Shakartzi, Sivan; Neznansky, Avi; Cross, Alice; Isupov, Michail N; Qualmann, Britta; Kessels, Michael M; Opatowsky, Yarden


    In the development of the human brain, human-specific genes are considered to play key roles, conferring its unique advantages and vulnerabilities. At the time of Homo lineage divergence from Australopithecus, SRGAP2C gradually emerged through a process of serial duplications and mutagenesis from ancestral SRGAP2A (3.4-2.4 Ma). Remarkably, ectopic expression of SRGAP2C endows cultured mouse brain cells, with human-like characteristics, specifically, increased dendritic spine length and density. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying this change in neuronal morphology, we determined the structure of SRGAP2A and studied the interplay between SRGAP2A and SRGAP2C. We found that: 1) SRGAP2A homo-dimerizes through a large interface that includes an F-BAR domain, a newly identified F-BAR extension (Fx), and RhoGAP-SH3 domains. 2) SRGAP2A has an unusual inverse geometry, enabling associations with lamellipodia and dendritic spine heads in vivo, and scaffolding of membrane protrusions in cell culture. 3) As a result of the initial partial duplication event (∼3.4 Ma), SRGAP2C carries a defective Fx-domain that severely compromises its solubility and membrane-scaffolding ability. Consistently, SRGAP2A:SRAGP2C hetero-dimers form, but are insoluble, inhibiting SRGAP2A activity. 4) Inactivation of SRGAP2A is sensitive to the level of hetero-dimerization with SRGAP2C. 5) The primal form of SRGAP2C (P-SRGAP2C, existing between ∼3.4 and 2.4 Ma) is less effective in hetero-dimerizing with SRGAP2A than the modern SRGAP2C, which carries several substitutions (from ∼2.4 Ma). Thus, the genetic mutagenesis phase contributed to modulation of SRGAP2A's inhibition of neuronal expansion, by introducing and improving the formation of inactive SRGAP2A:SRGAP2C hetero-dimers, indicating a stepwise involvement of SRGAP2C in human evolutionary history. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  10. The ``Problem of the quaternary'' and the taxonomic rank of the late cenozoic in the international stratigraphic scale (United States)

    Zubakov, V. A.


    An international scientific conflict has arisen around the International Stratigraphic Scale, the main document that regulates the rules of reading of geological records and, hence, concerns all Earth sciences. The matter of debate is the geological time scale of 2004, developed by the International Commission on Stratigraphy, where the Quaternary system was abandoned. This ICS decision triggered a protest among Quaternary geologists, members of INQUA, and became the subject of much controversy. This article provides a comprehensive analysis of the Quaternary problem and proposes a reasonable scientific solution that may be appropriate for both parties. The subject of Late Cenozoic geology is discussed: glaciations, human evolution, and recent deposits. In contrast to Charles Lyell's definition of the Plio-Pleistocene according to the percentage of modern mollusk species, it is defined here as a blanket formation, which is correlative to the topography and consists of mapped stratogens hosting fossils of modern biogeocenoses. Features of the description of the Plio-Pleistocene in terms of gravitational orbital tuning are considered. Four paleogeographic phases of modern environment evolution are recognized and ranked as stages: (1) The Messinian evolutionary explosion involved the appearance of many biogeocenoses and the bipedal walking of our extinct ancestors armed with sticks. It was a consequence of the Early Greenland (7.6 Ma BP) and Patagonian (6.7 Ma BP) hyperglaciations. (2) The Zanclean age is marked by climatic and hydrological but not evolutionary boundaries. (3) The appearance of the Villafranchian animal assemblage and Australopithecus, who used stones as weapon: 4.0-3.6 Ma BP. Orogeny and isolation of the Arctic Ocean changed the global climate dramatically. (4) The sexual revolution became the third evolutionary jump: the appearance of the first woman, "Eve", and the genus Homo with her: 1.9 Ma BP. According to the current view, the Plio

  11. Changes in the SF-8 scores among healthy non-smoking school teachers after the enforcement of a smoke-free school policy: a comparison by passive smoke status. (United States)

    Kiyohara, Kosuke; Itani, Yuri; Kawamura, Takashi; Matsumoto, Yoshitaka; Takahashi, Yuko


    .5; 95% CI, 1.1-3.9), MH (1.2; 95% CI, 0.1-2.4) and RE (1.6; 95% CI, 0.5-2.7) in passive smokers significantly exceeded those in non-smokers. A smoke-free school policy would improve the HRQOL of healthy non-smoking teachers who are exposed to ETS.

  12. Observações espectroscópicas da candidata a pós-AGB IRAS 19386+0155 (United States)

    Lorenz-Martins, S.; Pereira, C. B.


    Nesse trabalho apresentamos a análise fotosférica da estrela candidata a pós-AGB IRAS 19386+0155. Com os dados obtidos no espectrógrafo FEROS foram determinados os parâmetros atmosféricos e abundâncias fotosféricas utilizando o código MOOG. A análise do espectro mostrou que IRAS 19386+0155 possui os seguintes parâmetros atmosféricos : Teff = 6800K, log g = 1.4, [M/H] = -1.5 e Vt = 8.4 km/s. O padrão de abundância obtido para os elementos mais leves (Carbono, Nitrogênio e Oxigênio) e elementos a (Magnésio, Silício e Cálcio) foi inferior ao solar (log C = 7.74, log N = 7.28, Log O = 8.43, log Mg = 7.14, log Si = 7.54 e log Ca = 5.91). Uma inspeção visual do espectro ISO deste objeto revela a presença de poeira fria na forma de silicatos cristalinos. Embora as bandas mais marcantes de silicatos amorfos (em 10 mm e 18mm) não sejam observadas, a emissão em 21 mm, presente em algumas pós-AGBs também não está presente. O espectro ISO parece revelar um meio rico em oxigênio, mas a forma da distribuição de energia no infravermelho não obedece ao padrão apresentado por outras pós-AGBs. Nossos resultados nos levam a sugerir que IRAS 19386+0155 talvez faça parte de um sistema binário, uma vez que outras pós-AGBs que são membros de sistemas binários apresentam padrão de abundância semelhante.

  13. Morphometric variation in Plio-Pleistocene hominid distal humeri. (United States)

    Lague, M R; Jungers, W L


    The magnitude and meaning of morphological variation among Plio-Pleistocene hominid distal humeri have been recurrent points of disagreement among paleoanthropologists. Some researchers have found noteworthy differences among fossil humeri that they believe merit taxonomic separation, while others question the possibility of accurately sorting these fossils into different species and/or functional groups. Size and shape differences among fossil distal humeri are evaluated here to determine whether the magnitude and patterns of these differences can be observed within large-bodied, living hominoids. Specimens analyzed in this study have been assigned to various taxa (Australopithecus afarensis, A. africanus, A. anamensis, Paranthropus, and early Homo) and include AL 288-1m, AL 288-1s, AL 137-48a, AL 322-1, Gomboré IB 7594, TM 1517, KNM-ER 739, KNM-ER 1504, KMN-KP 271 (Kanapoi), and Stw 431. Five extant hominoid populations are sampled to provide a standard by which to consider differences found between the fossils, including two modern human groups (Native American and African American), one group of Pan troglodytes, and two subspecies of Gorilla gorilla (G.g. beringei, G.g. gorilla). All possible pairwise d values (average Euclidena distances) are calculated within each of the reference populations using an exact randomization procedure. This is done using both raw linear measurements as well as scale-free shape data created as ratios of each measurement to the geometric mean. Differences between each pair of fossil humeri are evaluated by comparing their d values to the distribution of d values found within each of the reference populations. Principal coordinate analysis and an unweighted pair group method with arithmetic averages (UPGMA) cluster analysis are utilized to further assess similarities and differences among the fossils. Finally, canonical variates analysis and discriminant analysis are employed using all hominoid samples in order to control for

  14. PREPUBLICATION: From structure topology to chemical composition. XXIII. Revision of the crystal structure and chemical formula of zvyaginite, a seidozerite-supergroup mineral from the Lovozero alkaline massif, Kola peninsula, Russia

    KAUST Repository

    Sokolova, E.


    The crystal structure and chemical formula of zvyaginite, ideally Na2ZnTiNb2(Si2O7)2O2(OH)2 (H2O)4, a lamprophyllite-group mineral of the seidozerite supergroup from the type locality, Mt. Malyi Punkaruaiv, Lovozero alkaline massif, Kola Peninsula, Russia have been revised. The crystal structure was refined with a new origin in space group C⎯1, a = 10.769(2), b = 14.276(3), c = 12.101(2) Å, α = 105.45(3), β = 95.17(3), γ = 90.04(3)°, V = 1785.3(3.2) Å3, R1 = 9.23%. The electron-microprobe analysis gave the following empirical formula [calculated on 22 (O + F)]:(Na0.75Ca0.09K0.04��1.12)Σ2 (Na1.12Zn0.88Mn0.17Fe2+0.04��0.79)Σ3(Nb1.68Ti1.25Al0.07)Σ3 (Si4.03O14)O2 [(OH)1.11F0.89]Σ2(H2O)4, Z = 4. Electron-diffraction patterns have prominent streaking along c* and HRTEM images show an intergrowth of crystalline zvyaginite with two distinct phases, both of which are partially amorphous. The crystal structure of zvyaginite is an array of TS (Titanium Silicate) blocks connected via hydrogen bonds between H2O groups. The TS block consists of HOH sheets (H = heteropolyhedral, O = octahedral) parallel to (001). In the O sheet, the [6]MO(1,4,5) sites are occupied mainly by Ti, Zn and Na and the [6]MO(2,3) sites are occupied by Na at less than 50%. In the H sheet, the [6]MH(1,2) sites are occupied mainly by Nb and the [8]AP(1) and [8]AP(2) sites are occupied mainly by Na and ��. The MH and AP polyhedra and Si2O7 groups constitute the H sheet. The ideal structural formula is Na��Nb2NaZn��Ti(Si2O7)2O2(OH)2(H2O)4. Zvyaginite is a Zn-bearing and Na-poor analogue of epistolite, ideally (Na��)Nb2Na3Ti(Si2O7)2O2(OH)2(H2O)4. Epistolite and zvyaginite are related by the following substitution in the O sheet of the TS-block: (Na+2)epi ↔ Zn2+ zvy + ��zvy. The doubling of the t1 and t2 translations of zvyaginite relative to those of epistolite is due to the order of Zn and Na along a (t1) and b (t2) in the O sheet of zvyaginite.