All posts tagged with Australopithecus afarensis

Some dissatisfaction with review articles

3 minute read

John Ioannidis often speaks out on abuses of confidence and statistics in science. He recently did an interview with Retraction Watch in which he commented u...

Link: Fourth molars in an early hominin

less than 1 minute read

I was doing some searching through the abstracts for the upcoming AAPA meetings, and I found that the system gave me abstracts for past meetings as well, so ...

Link: The girl with baboon in her spine

1 minute read

New Scientist reports on a presentation at the Paleoanthropology Society meeting, in which Marc Meyer and Scott Williams describe one of the vertebral elemen...

Popularity of hominin species names

2 minute read

I was curious about the use of Homo ergaster over time. It seems to me that fewer and fewer paleoanthropologists have been using it over the last few years. ...

Lucy returns to public display in California

less than 1 minute read

The Orange County Register covers the final exhibition of the famous “Lucy” skeleton in the United States, at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California: “Fa...

Photo: Laetoli footprints

less than 1 minute read

Every museum that does early hominins has to find a way to present the Laetoli footprints, and I’ve seen some very imaginative ones. The new exhibition at th...

The pelvis of Australopithecus

2 minute read

The hominid pelvis is much shorter than ape pelves, with muscle attachments reoriented for effective walking.

The pelvis of Australopithecus

2 minute read

The hominid pelvis is much shorter than ape pelves, with muscle attachments reoriented for effective walking.

Cutmarks under the microscope

3 minute read

I’m trying to figure out why Science this week has a “perspective” piece on the identification of cutmarks on archaeological bone. It’s a nice brief but lack...

Putting together australopithecine diets

3 minute read

Peter Ungar and Matt Sponheimer earlier this fall Ungar:Sponheimer:2011 reviewed the evidence for diet in early hominins, from both microwear studies (Ungar’...

Aging juvenile fossil hominins

1 minute read

The fossil record is not made up only of adults. We have abundant skeletal evidence from juvenile individuals of a broad range of ages. At this station you w...

Aging juvenile fossil hominins

1 minute read

The fossil record is not made up only of adults. We have abundant skeletal evidence from juvenile individuals of a broad range of ages. At this station you w...

The feet of Australopithecus afarensis

5 minute read

The australopithecines were several species of human relatives that lived in Africa between 5 million and 1.5 million years ago. One of the best-represented ...

The feet of Australopithecus afarensis

5 minute read

The australopithecines were several species of human relatives that lived in Africa between 5 million and 1.5 million years ago. One of the best-represented ...

The Laetoli footprints

1 minute read

The most striking piece of evidence for bipedality in our earliest hominin relatives is a series of footprint trails at Laetoli, a fossil-bearing site in Tan...

The Laetoli footprints

1 minute read

The most striking piece of evidence for bipedality in our earliest hominin relatives is a series of footprint trails at Laetoli, a fossil-bearing site in Tan...

Cutmarked bones from Dikika critiqued

3 minute read

Manuel Dominguez-Rodrigo, writing with my University of Wisconsin colleagues Travis Pickering and Henry Bunn, has challenged the interpretation that two bovi...

The teeth that didn't bark

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Earlier in the week, I wrote about the new interpretation of fossil teeth from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia (“Woranso-Mille: A ladder not a bush”). There was one ...

Woronso-Mille: A ladder not a bush

13 minute read

In a new paper, Yohannes Haile-Selassie and colleagues describe new hominin fossils from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia. A good thing: It gives somebody like me a r...

Ardipithecus FAQ

24 minute read

Today is Ardipithecus day. Eleven papers in tomorrow’s issue of Science describe the research on one exceptional skeleton (numbered ARA-VP-6/500, nicknamed “...

Legacy hominids

less than 1 minute read

Brian Switek reviews the “Lucy’s Legacy” exhibit, now in New York:

Ankles of the australopithecines

8 minute read

Recent University of Michigan Ph.D. Jeremy DeSilva gets some nice press about his work demonstrating that fossil hominins didn’t climb like chimpanzees:

Lucy Seattle review

less than 1 minute read

The NY Times has a review of the Pacific Science Center’s Lucy experience, which came to an end this week. They’re blaming the financial loss on Obama:

I'm tired of cutesy foot-related titles

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I don’t have a lot to say about the new footprints from Ileret, described by Matthew Bennett and colleagues. Seems like a nicely done study, particularly giv...

Don Johanson interview

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Alan Boyle, who writes the “Cosmic Log” feature for MSNBC, has a long interview with Don Johanson. It’s a nice read, which touches on many paleoanthropologic...

Lucy scans

less than 1 minute read

Reuters has a little story about CT scans of Lucy, done at the University of Texas by John Kappelman and colleagues:

Mandibular ramus shape in A. afarensis

less than 1 minute read

Afarensis returns to a 2007 paper by Yoel Rak and colleagues on the mandibular ramus of Australopithecus afarensis. The post wends its way through the Neande...

Mysteries of A. afarensis

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In honor of Lucy’s move to Seattle, Alan Boyle has a piece at “Cosmic Log” about Lucy and A. afarensis</a:>. It has a lot of questions and few answers,...

Evo-devo and HACNS1

3 minute read

Science has a very important paper in the current issue about the evolution of a gene enhancer in hominids, expressed in forelimb development and concentrate...

The Orrorin identity

3 minute read

There's nothing especially surprising about the functional interpretations in Richmond and Jungers' paper about the Orrorin BAR 1002'00 femur. They conclude...

Paleoecology at Hadar

3 minute read

The coming attractions bin at Journal of Human Evolution includes a paper by Kaye Reed, reviewing the evidence of paleoenvironment in the Hadar formation:

An interview with Michelle Drapeau

13 minute read

I've been trying to spread the interviews across the field in various directions. I (virtually) talked with Mica Glantz about Neandertals, Adam Van Arsdale ...

New Year's predictions, 2008 edition

5 minute read

It's that time of year again -- the time when those boring ``Year in Review'' magazines are on newsstands, and when pundits make fools of themselves predict...

The amazing talking Neandertals

15 minute read

This week, Johannes Krause and colleagues from the Max Planck Evolutionary Anthropology institute announced that they had tickled FoxP2 out of two Neanderta...

Big arms, small sacrum

4 minute read

In case you're following the debate about Homo habilis limb proportions, there's a new contribution by Martin Haeusler and Henry McHenry in the JHE holding ...

The Bili chimpanzees

1 minute read

A nice piece in The Guardian about the chimpanzee population near Bili, DRC. The lede is the suspicion of an apparent leopard kill -- that's chimpanzees kil...

Vaccinator in chief

1 minute read

I was checking on the Thomas Jefferson mastodon story for the last post, and I came across an episode I hadn't been aware of. After Edward Jenner's developm...

A guide to fantasy science

5 minute read

I'm about two-thirds of the way through Mike Morwood's new book, The Discovery of the Hobbit, and I'll be posting a review when I'm through. Generally, I ha...

Fongoli savanna cave chimps

3 minute read

Studying chimpanzee behavioral diversity is so important because they do such different things in different parts of their range. The Fongoli field study by...

Floresiensis presentations

4 minute read

I'm at the AAPA meetings in Philadelphia this week, which were preceded yesterday and today by the meetings of the Paleoanthropology Society.

Snapshots of the science

7 minute read

The new Human Origins hall at the American Museum is the occasion for a big Newsweek story, with the tagline, "The New Science of Human Evolution". Author S...

Robust australopithecine diet ablated

6 minute read

Sponheimer and colleagues (2006, link) zapped some Swartkrans teeth with lasers to measure their 13C content. I wrote quite a bit here last year about austr...

Did australopithecines croak?

4 minute read

With apologies to the late Frank Livingstone, I couldn't help but wonder this as I read this passage from Bernard Wood's comment on the Dikika skeleton:

Book review of "The First Human"

8 minute read

Despite all the trouble I had traveling (or maybe because of it), I got to have a really enjoyable time finishing Ann Gibbons' new book, The First Human. Fo...

"The catechism about genetic drift"

7 minute read

Razib has been working over genetic drift real good (concerning effective population size and population history, and founder effects). It deserves it.

"Spacecraft all over the Pliocene"

9 minute read

Rex Dalton has a great two-page article in Nature about the bush vs. ladder dispute. It keys off of the Middle Awash Australopithecus anamensis article by Wh...

New news in New World settlement

1 minute read

Afarensis has a post on Brazilian evidence relating to the origins of Native Americans (via Gene Expression). It's a good summary of recent work by Neves an...

A ladder, not a bush?

5 minute read

Tim White and colleagues (2006) report on new fossils from Aramis and a new site, Asa Issie, with estimated dates between 4.1 and 4.2 million years ago.

News trickling about Liang Bua

1 minute read

I am seeing news reports this morning about this week's upcoming paper in Nature about the Homo floresiensis bones.

Flores update, October 2005

11 minute read

This week's Nature is carrying a paper by Morwood, Brown, and colleagues (2005) presenting additional skeletal material from Liang Bua as well as a commenta...

Ape to Man

6 minute read

OK, we have it on, and I've already had a couple of laughs, so I guess I'll take some notes as it goes.

Sexual dimorphism in A. afarensis, again

5 minute read

Earlier this year, Michael Plavcan et al. (2005) had a critique in Journal of Human Evolution of the 2004 paper by Philip Reno et al. in PNAS concerning sex...

The robotic Lucy model

4 minute read

The BBC is running this article about a new study that evaluates the bipedality of A. afarensis using robotic design software:

Keeping the faith, afarensis-style

less than 1 minute read

From Free Republic: an article from Science News by Bruce Bower covers the recent flap about sexual dimorphism in early hominids. This is a pretty good intr...

The knuckle-walking anteater

4 minute read

Caley Orr (Personal page, Arizona State University) has an advance paper in AJPA examining convergent features in the wrists of knuckle-walking hominoids an...

AL 438-1

5 minute read

Michelle Drapeau and colleagues (2005) report on the AL 438-1 specimen from Hadar. The specimen consists of "part of the mandible, a frontal bone fragment, ...

NSF and data access

17 minute read

Mark Weiss from NSF appeared at the AAPA business meeting to discuss recent changes in the funding guidelines from the Physical Anthropology program. The mo...

The Ultimate Survivor!

6 minute read

OK, I was drawn in by the first few minutes, so I'm liveblogging the National Geographic show, "The Ultimate Survivor."

Age of hominids from Sterkfontein

7 minute read

A recent spate of articles has carried on a debate about the age of the Sterkfontein hominids. Sterkfontein is a complicated site, including several distinc...

Chemistry and early hominid diets

17 minute read

The chemical analysis of bones to interpret diet rests on the observation that different foods vary in the composition of different chemical elements or iso...

Sexual dimorphism in A. afarensis, again

4 minute read

The Journal of Human Evolution early access section has a paper by J. Michael Plavcan and colleagues that critically examines the case for low sexual dimorp...

Brain expansion in A. boisei

12 minute read

Elton and colleagues (2001) examined the record of brain size in early Homo with the following question in mind: we know that brain size increased in this l...

Earliest hominids :: thoughts and roundup

6 minute read

Today I lectured on the earliest hominid samples for my graduate course on australopithecines. This is the first time I have been able to give a full lectur...

Species concepts

10 minute read

A new population that results from a speciation event is called a species. But although species result from a simple process, recognizing species in nature ...

Forelimbs and climbing in early hominids

3 minute read

Compared to their small body mass, the forelimbs of early hominids are both longer and more muscular than those of recent humans. The arms are shorter than ...

Australopithecus anamensis: overview

2 minute read

Note: I wrote this post in 2004. Much additional evidence about Au. anamensis has come to light since that time. Later posts present more up-to-date informat...