The most recent edition of the anthropology blog carnival Four Stone Hearth has been published over at SpiderMonkeyTales, with two main themes accounting for the entries – human evolution and primatology, both of which are inextricably linked, particularly in recent years as the latter field of enquiry continually forces us to reassess exactly what it means to be human. Points of discussion in 4SH 81 include debate as to what extent the chin may or may not define a modern human, recent assessment of the entire skeleton of H.floresiensis which firmly indicates that the hobbits of Flores are indeed a separate species in their own right, as well as a few thoughts on the future of human evolution with regard to the nebulous concept of species fixation.

The second half of 4SH 81 delves into primatology, where drills and macaques come under scrutiny, as does the intriguing idea that water can perhaps be thought of indirectly as a tool, the latter of which comes courtesy of the author herself – this is a fairly new blog which might not be familiar to some readers, so be sure to check out current and previous entries as well.

The next and 82nd edition of Four Stone Hearth will take place on Wednesda, December 16th over at Anthropology in Practice, when Krystal D’Costa will host, and details of how to submit content are available at the host site. As yet there is no-one booked for the end-of-year finale, due on Wednesday December 30th, or indeed any of the slots for 2010, so if you’ve hosted before and would like to do so again, or would like to try your hand at hosting for the first time, just head to the 4SH page where details of how to do so can be found.

Many thanks to Michelle for hosting, and in case you’re wondering where in the New World you might encounter a spider monkey living in its natural habitat, this Wikipedia entry provides some relevant information.

image of spider monkey from Innovation Gone Wrong