- by Eduard Olaru
- First row: Paranthropus boisei (KNM-ER 406)
- Second row left: Paranthropus robustus (SK 48)
- Second row right: Homo habilis (STW 53)
- Third row left: Homo rudolfensis (KNM-ER 1470)
- Third row right: Homo georgicus (D2282)
- Fourth row: Homo ergaster (SK 847)
- Fifth row left: Homo floresiensis (LB1)
- Fifth row right: Homo erectus (Sangiran 17)
- Sixth row: Homo heidelbergensis (Atapuerca, Skull 6)
- Seventh row: Homo neanderthalensis (St. Césaire)
Click through for full sequential soft tissue facial reconstruction posters from The Human Kind Lineage Project
Posts tagged Anthropology.
Researchers Announce Discovery of Oldest-Known Fossil Primate Skeleton
June 5, 2013 — An international team of researchers has announced the discovery of the world’s oldest known fossil primate skeleton representing a previously unknown genus and species named Archicebus achilles. The fossil was unearthed from an ancient lake bed in central China’s Hubei Province, near the course of the modern Yangtze River. In addition to being the oldest known example of an early primate skeleton, the new fossil is crucial for illuminating a pivotal event in primate and human evolution — the evolutionary divergence between the lineage leading to modern monkeys, apes and humans (collectively known as anthropoids) on the one hand and that leading to living tarsiers on the other.
Neanderthal II - time lapse video of a forensic facial reconstruction by Sculpt Mode on Blender
- reconstruction by Cícero Moraes
3D scanning of skull: Python Photogrammetry Tools
3D Sculpting: Blender
Screen capture: FFMPG
Video edigint: Kdenlive
Mesmerising timelapse video of a virtual reconstruction of a Neandertal cranium. Virtual anthropology the world!
Diet Likely Changed Game For Some Hominids 3.5 Million Years Ago
A new look at the diets of ancient African hominids shows a “game changer” occurred about 3.5 million years ago when some members added grasses or sedges to their menus, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.
High-tech tests on tooth enamel by researchers indicate that prior to about 4 million years ago, Africa’s hominids were eating essentially chimpanzee style, likely dining on fruits and some leaves, said CU-Boulder anthropology Professor Matt Sponheimer, lead study author. Despite the fact that grasses and sedges were readily available back then, the hominids seem to have ignored them for an extended period, he said.
“A multinational research team is taking a look back in time to study the relationship between climate and human evolution. Like all living things, humans have adapted to their environments over time. So understanding changes in environmental conditions, such as climate, can help us understand why and how our distant ancestors evolved.
To peer into the past, researchers from Arizona State University and other institutions will drill into dry lakebeds in Africa’s Rift Valley, which stretches along northeastern Africa from Ethiopia to Mozambique. The ancient lakebeds lie near archaeological sites that have produced fossils of hominins, the group of organisms that includes humans and our ancient ancestors.
This work, led by Andrew Cohen of the University of Arizona and including researchers from around the globe, is based on previous drilling projects that sampled ocean sediment cores off Africa’s eastern coast. Those cores indicate periods of aridity and varying climate that are widely thought to have played a major role in the evolution of early hominins.
But the ocean cores paint the environmental history of the Rift Valley in very broad strokes, says Chris Campisano, an assistant professor in ASU’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change (SHESC) and a research associate at the Institute of Human Origins (IHO).
“The ocean cores are great, they have a lot of different proxy data, but it’s homogenizing a huge area of east Africa,” says Campisano. “Things didn’t evolve in one great swoop across east Africa. They evolved in specific spots. So we want to know what’s going on in those specific spots at those specific times.”
To find that information, the project team will drill at five different sites in Kenya and Ethiopia that are important to the fossil record of early hominins. The core samples will cover a range of time periods critical to human evolution over the last 4 million years. Some cores will represent the same period as sediments near the Hadar archaeological site, where Lucy, the famous three-million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis fossil, was discovered by IHO’s Don Johanson in 1974” (read more).
***Not a new article, but I’m just reading it now.
Why did the Neanderthals die out?
A major conference in London this week will reveal the results of five years’ research on why Homo sapiens emerged triumphant in the survival battle of the humans.
The puzzle is one of the greatest surrounding our species. On a planet that bristled with different types of human being, including Neanderthals and the Hobbit-like folk of Flores, only one is left today: Homo sapiens.
Our current solo status on Earth is therefore an evolutionary oddity – though it is not clear when our species became Earth’s only masters, nor is it clear why we survived when all other versions of humanity died out. Did we kill off our competitors, or were the others just poorly adapted and unable to react to the extreme climatic fluctuations that then beset the planet?
Want to Hear a Neanderthal Say the Letter “E”?
Other neanderthals would probably also like to hear that — but one researcher thinks that the average neanderthal would have a problem with that vowel. A reconstructed vocal tract indicates that there are some vowel sounds that neanderthals just couldn’t say.
Robert McCarthy, an anthropology professor at Florida Atlantic University, wanted to hear a neanderthal’s voice, so he made, as best as he could estimate, a neanderthal vocal tract. What he found was a surprising limitation of the neanderthal’s voice. It seems that they weren’t able to pronounce quantal vowels. Quantal vowels take a base sound and tune it, using the configuration of the mouth and vocal tract, to different vowel sounds. So, for example, humans can pronounce the vowel in “beat,” and the vowel in “bit,” differently. The neanderthal, McCarthy thinks, could not.
This would have cut them off from quite a few words that humans can pronounce, and may have limited their speech. Alternatively, it may have caused them to rely more heavily on tone, making their language more sing-song than most human languages.
McCarthy used a vocal synthesizer to simulate a neanderthal voice. If you want to hear an neanderthal pronouncing the letter “e,” click here.
- First row left: Symphalangus syndactylus (Siamang)
- First row centre: Pongo pygmaeus (Bornean orangutan)
- First row right:Pan troglodytes (Common chimpanzee)
- Second row left: Pongo abelii (Sumatran orangutan)
- Second row centre: Hylobates lar (Lar gibbon)
- Second row right: Gorilla gorilla (Western gorilla)
- Third row left:Hylobates agilis (Agile gibbon)
- Third row right: Hylobates klossii (Kloss gibbon)
- Fourth row left: Symphalangus syndactylus (Siamang)
- Fourth row right: Pan troglodytes (Common chimpanzee)
“The Digital Morphology Museum (DMM) provides an environment in which you can readily examine skeletal anatomy using the Primate Research Institute’s (PRI) collection of CT and MRI tomography scans. The goal of this site is to enable you to view the scans of non-human primates and mammals and to download scan data from our database for your original research. It is our great pleasure if you can make use of these data and we hope that they will provide new insights into primate and mammalian evolution.”
For more information about primates see:
- Animal Diversity Web, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology
- Primate Info Net, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Primate Research Center National Primate Research Centers Program
- Primates, the Taxonomy and General Characteristics of Prosimians, Monkeys, Apes and Humans, Palomar College, California
(Source: Kyoto University)
Why Early Human Ancestors Took to Two Feet
May 24, 2013 — A new study by archaeologists at the University of York challenges evolutionary theories behind the development of our earliest ancestors from tree dwelling quadrupeds to upright bipeds capable of walking and scrambling.
Neanderthal Greek Paradise Found
Anthropologists have discovered a beautiful Greek waterfront paradise once inhabited by generations of Neanderthals up to 100,000 years ago, according to a new study.
This particular population was based at what is known as The Kalamakia Middle Paleolithic Cave site on the Mani peninsula of southern Greece.
Previously, only one other Neanderthal tooth suggested that the now-extinct hominids settled in Greece.