All posts tagged with Pliocene

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: A visit to Ethiopian paleoanthropology

1 minute read

I’m frankly amazed I didn’t link to this Nautilus article when it came out last year: “Digging Through the World’s Oldest Graveyard”. In it, Amy Maxmen trave...

Carnivores and early Homo

3 minute read

Ann Gibbons reports on a recent conference investigating the interaction of climate change and Plio-Pleistocene human evolution “Where’s the beef? Early huma...

Anthropology 105, lecture 5: Hemoglobin

less than 1 minute read

In this lecture, I do a bit of a departure by discussing a body part that is microscopic: the hemoglobin molecule that carries oxygen inside of our red blood...

The Malapa Soft Tissue Project FAQ

8 minute read

These are a few of the questions that I think are essential to understand our aims with the project and how we expect it will unfold. The future depends on w...

Announcing the Malapa Soft Tissue Project

5 minute read

I am pleased to announce a new open science initiative, focused on a discovery that is unique in paleoanthropology. Together we are going to find out if the ...

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...

Fishy story from Koobi Fora

7 minute read

I have to credit a reader for that headline, and for forwarding the paper. It’s another case of the infamous PNAS release policy. The press that came from th...

Ardipithecus backlash begins

1 minute read

John Noble Wilford reports in the NY Times on today’s technical comments that challenge various aspects of the interpretation of Ardipithecus.

The teeth that didn't bark

2 minute read

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...

NOVA: Becoming Human

6 minute read

OK, I’m going to live-blog this show. I’ve been looking forward to it for a while – I loved the old NOVA series with Don Johanson and have often showed it in...

Lomekwi muckraking

1 minute read

Michael Balter asks a question I’ve hit here a few times: “What ever happened to Kenyanthropus platyops?”

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 “...

Pliocene blahs

less than 1 minute read

While writing that last post, about the redefinition of “Pleistocene”, I went browsing through my archives. I was surprised to see that I haven’t tagged a po...

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...

Has the dam broken on mtDNA selection?

4 minute read

The current Science has a paper by Eric Bazin and colleagues comparing mtDNA diversity with population size, history and ecology of 3000 animal species.

"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...

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.

Sahara at least 7 million years old

4 minute read

A concise 4-paragraph article by Mathieu Schuster and colleagues reports on dune deposits that show the Sahara formed during the Late Miocene.

Mojokerto site rediscovered?

3 minute read

An upcoming paper in Journal of Human Evolution by O. F. Huffman and colleagues reports on a possible location for the Mojokerto skull. A 1994 paper by Carl...

Leading me to climate frustration

3 minute read

Science seems to have had a stealth theme going last week on climate change, and it included this perspective by Anna Behrensmeyer on climate change in huma...

When chimpanzees stand

5 minute read

The current (February 2006) issue of AJPA carries an article by Craig Stanford describing the context of bipedal posture for chimpanzees in the Bwindi Impen...

Tilting at absent Asian australopithecines

10 minute read

In Nature a couple of weeks ago, Robin Dennell and Wil Roebroeks had a provocative paper exploring the possibility that early humans (i.e. Homo erectus) ori...

Buller on mental adaptations

11 minute read

I'm reading through David Buller's Adapting Minds : Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature. It's a back-burner read for me; I pic...

The first Neanderchimp?

5 minute read

McBrearty and Jablonski (2005) report on the first discovery of chimpanzee fossil remains. The described fossils are three teeth: left and right upper centr...

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...

PhyloCode and human evolution

23 minute read

The April issue of Discover has a feature article on PhyloCode, focusing on the roles of Jacques Gauthier and Kevin de Queiroz in trying to revise the code ...

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...

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...


16 minute read

Speciation is the cessation of interbreeding between one animal population and all other populations with which it formerly exchanged genes. When interbreed...

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 ...

Lufengpithecus :: overview

less than 1 minute read

Lufengpithecus lufengensis is a fossil ape from China, dating to the latest Miocene and Pliocene. A single mandible from the site of Longgupo argues that Luf...

The Great Rift Valley

3 minute read

The climate of the Early Pliocene differed from that of the Miocene primarily by the appearance of a cooling and drying trend across Africa, where early hom...

Fossil apes

4 minute read

The hominoids--the group including humans and living and fossil apes--originated sometime during the Oligocene period, between 34 and 24 million years ago. ...

What restrained the chimpanzees?

7 minute read

Working on a paper about early hominid lineage diversity, Milford [Wolpoff] has pointed out a sticking point in consideration of niche breadth in early homin...