Did Lucy Fall From A Tree And Die?

Four decades after the discovery of Lucy, her remains are quite possibly the most famous discovery in paleoanthropology and one of the more important. The impact of finding a nearly entire skeleton from a 3.2 million year old hominid revealed a lot about human evolution. We've learned a lot from Lucy, from biophysics to the... Continue Reading →

Australopithecus East of the Great Rift Valley

Late last month, an international team of paleontologists led by Emma Mbua of Mount Kenya University and Masato Nakatsukasa of Kyoto University reported the findings of fossilized teeth and forearm bone from an adult male and two infant A. afarensis from an exposure eroded by the Kantis River in Ongata-Rongai, a settlement in the outskirts... Continue Reading →

A study published in Nature today announces the 2011 discovery of Australopithecus deyiremeda a hominid that lived between 3.3 and 3.5 million years ago. The species is represented by a maxilla, mandible and dentition found in the Woranso-Mille area of the Afar region of Ethiopia about 22 miles from the spot where the remains of Australopithecus afarensis were... Continue Reading →

The Arched Metatarsal of Australopithecus afarensis

Carol Ward1, William Kimbel, and Donald Johanson have published a paper in Science on the arch seen in a newly discovered fourth metatarsal of Australopithecus afarensis (AL 333-160). A lot of the popular press are publishing misleading headlines that this proves bipedalism in australopithecines. No, we've known they were bipedal -- we just didn't have... Continue Reading →

Trampling Over The Dikika Cut Marks

Well, I feel somewhat vindicated. Remember the post where I criticized hominin cut marks from over 3 million years ago? Others have also had an eye of suspicion and have published their concerns in PNAS this week. I was wrong in considering the croc marking differential to the cut marks. But I was not wrong... Continue Reading →

A Curious Look At The 3.39 Million Year Old “Stone Tool Markings” From Dikika, Ethiopia

I don't know who this is worse for, the editors & reviewers over at Nature or the authors of the article who can't tell the difference between crocodile teeth markings and stone tool modification, nor raise the possibility. The paper, "Evidence for stone-tool-assisted consumption of animal tissues before 3.39 million years ago at Dikika, Ethiopia," very... Continue Reading →

Can I See Your Fingers Please?

That is what University of Liverpool's Emma Nelson probably would have said if she were to meet our hominan ancestors in person. Known to hold true in anthropoids (humans, apes and monkeys), the index (second digit) to ring (fourth digit) fingers ratio or 2D:4D is an indication of how much an individual were exposed to... Continue Reading →

The Galili Femur

It has been a while since I blogged anything on paleoanthropology. But once I saw John Hawks' post where he pointed out Elizabeth Culotta's news piece in the latest Science on a new hominin femur from Galili, Ethiopia, I was excited. The femur was presented by Bence Viola to the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, which... Continue Reading →

I Love Lucy

Major kudos goes out to Simon of HENRY, who found this awesome shirt: Even though that ain't Lucy's skull -- she wasn't found with a complete one... I still want one on these shirts! Actually, I drew this skull in 2006!

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