Distribution by Scientific Domains

Kinds of Anthropol

  • Phy anthropol
  • be j Phy anthropol
  • j Phy anthropol

  • Selected Abstracts

    Rapid evolution of social learning

    M. FRANZ
    Abstract Culture is widely thought to be beneficial when social learning is less costly than individual learning and thus may explain the enormous ecological success of humans. Rogers (1988. Does biology constrain culture. Am. Anthropol. 90: 819,831) contradicted this common view by showing that the evolution of social learning does not necessarily increase the net benefits of learned behaviours in a variable environment. Using simulation experiments, we re-analysed extensions of Rogers' model after relaxing the assumption that genetic evolution is much slower than cultural evolution. Our results show that this assumption is crucial for Rogers' finding. For many parameter settings, genetic and cultural evolution occur on the same time scale, and feedback effects between genetic and cultural dynamics increase the net benefits. Thus, by avoiding the costs of individual learning, social learning can increase ecological success. Furthermore, we found that rapid evolution can limit the evolution of complex social learning strategies, which have been proposed to be widespread in animals. [source]

    Cultural consonance and body morphology: Estimates with longitudinal data from an Amazonian society

    Victoria Reyes-García
    Abstract Researchers have hypothesized that the degree to which an individual's actual behavior approximates the culturally valued lifestyle encoded in the dominant cultural model has consequences for physical and mental health. We contribute to this line of research by analyzing data from a longitudinal study composed of five annual surveys (2002,2006 inclusive) from 791 adults in one society of foragers,farmers in the Bolivian Amazon, the Tsimane'. We estimate the association between a standard measure of individual achievement of the cultural model, cultural consonance, and three indicators of body morphology. Drawing on research suggesting that in societies in the early stages of economic development an increase in socioeconomic status is associated with an increase in mean body mass, we expect to find a positive association between cultural consonance and three anthropometric measures. We found the expected positive association between cultural consonance and anthropometric measures,especially for men,only when using ordinary least square (OLS) regression models, but not when using fixed-effects regression models. The real magnitude of the association was low. The comparison of estimates from OLS and fixed-effect regression models suggests that previous findings on the effects of cultural consonance on body morphology using cross-sectional data should be read with caution because the association might be largely explained by fixed characteristics of individuals not accounted in OLS models. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:167,174, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Diet traditions in wild orangutans

    Meredith L. Bastian
    Abstract This study explores diet differences between two populations of wild Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) to assess whether a signal of social learning can be detected in the observed patterns. The populations live in close proximity and in similar habitats but are separated by a river barrier that is impassable to orangutans in the study region. We found a 60% between-site difference in diet at the level of plant food items (plant species,organ combinations). We also found that individuals at the same site were more likely to eat the same food items than expected by chance. These results suggest the presence of diet (food selection) traditions. Detailed tests of three predictions of three models of diet acquisition allowed us to reject a model based on exclusive social learning but could not clearly distinguish between the remaining two models: one positing individual exploration and learning of food item selection and the other one positing preferential social learning followed by individual fine tuning. We know that maturing orangutans acquire their initial diet through social learning and then supplement it by years of low-level, individual sampling. We, therefore, conclude that the preferential social learning model produces the best fit to the geographic patterns observed in this study. However, the very same taxa that socially acquire their diets as infants and show evidence for innovation-based traditions in the wild paradoxically may have diets that are not easily distinguished from those acquired exclusively through individual learning. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:175,187, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Monkeys and apes: Are their cognitive skills really so different?

    Federica Amici
    Abstract Differences in cognitive skills across taxa, and between monkeys and apes in particular, have been explained by different hypotheses, although these often are not supported by systematic interspecific comparisons. Here, we directly compared the cognitive performance of the four great apes and three monkey species (spider monkeys, capuchin monkeys, and long-tailed macaques), differing in their phylogenetic-relatedness and socioecology. We tested subjects on their ability to remember object locations (memory task), track object displacements (transposition task), and obtain out-of-reach rewards (support task). Our results showed no support for an overall clear-cut distinction in cognitive skills between monkeys and apes as species performance varied substantially across tasks. Although we found differences in performance at tracking object displacements between monkeys and apes, interspecific differences in the other two tasks were better explained in terms of differential socioecology, especially differential levels of fission,fusion dynamics. A cluster analysis using mean scores of each condition of the three tasks for each species suggested that the only dichotomy might be between members of the genus Pan and the rest of the tested species. These findings evidence the importance of using multiple tasks across multiple species in a comparative perspective to test different explanations for the enhancement of specific cognitive skills. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:188,197, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Articular to diaphyseal proportions of human and great ape metatarsals

    Damiano Marchi
    Abstract This study proposes a new way to use metatarsals to identify locomotor behavior of fossil hominins. Metatarsal head articular dimensions and diaphyseal strength in a sample of chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and humans (n = 76) are used to explore the relationships of these parameters with different locomotor modes. Results show that ratios between metatarsal head articular proportions and diaphyseal strength of the hallucal and fifth metatarsal discriminate among extant great apes and humans based on their different locomotor modes. In particular, the hallucal and fifth metatarsal characteristics of humans are functionally related to the different ranges of motion and load patterns during stance phase in the forefoot of humans in bipedal locomotion. This method may be applicable to isolated fossil hominin metatarsals to provide new information relevant to debates regarding the evolution of human bipedal locomotion. The second to fourth metatarsals are not useful in distinguishing among hominoids. Further studies should concentrate on measuring other important qualitative and quantitative differences in the shape of the metatarsal head of hominoids that are not reflected in simple geometric reconstructions of the articulation, and gathering more forefoot kinematic data on great apes to better understand differences in range of motion and loading patterns of the metatarsals. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:198,207, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Talar morphology, phylogenetic affinities, and locomotor adaptation of a large-bodied amphipithecid primate from the late middle eocene of Myanmar

    Laurent Marivaux
    Abstract A well-preserved fossil talus [National Museum of Myanmar Primates (NMMP) 82] of a large-bodied primate is described from the late middle Eocene Pondaung Formation of central Myanmar. The specimen was collected at Thandaung Kyitchaung, a well-known amphipithecid primate,bearing locality near the village of Mogaung. NMMP 82 adds to a meager but growing sample of postcranial remains documenting the large-bodied primates of the Pondaung Formation. This new talus exhibits a suite of features that resemble conditions found in living and fossil haplorhine primates, notably anthropoids. As such, the phylogenetic signal deriving from the morphology of NMMP 82 conflicts with that provided by NMMP 20, a partial skeleton (including a fragmentary calcaneus) of a second large-bodied Pondaung primate showing undoubted adapiform affinities. Analysis subtalar joint compatibility in a hypothetical NMMP 82/NMMP 20 combination (talus/calcaneus) reveals a substantial degree of functional mismatch between these two tarsal bones. The functional incongruence in subtalar joint morphology between NMMP 20 and NMMP 82 is consistent with the seemingly divergent phylogenetic affinities of these specimens, indicating that two higher level taxa of relatively large-bodied primates are documented in the Pondaung Formation. On the basis of its size and morphology, we refer the NMMP 82 talus to the large-bodied amphipithecid Pondaungia. The occurrence of anthropoid-like tali in the Pondaung Formation obviates the need to invoke homoplasy to explain the shared, derived dental characters that are common to amphipithecids and undoubted anthropoids. Functionally, the NMMP 82 talus appears to have pertained to a primate that is engaged in active quadrupedalism in an arboreal environment along broad and subhorizontal branches. The primate taxon represented by NMMP 82 was capable of climbing and leaping, although it was not particularly specialized for either of these activities. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:208,222, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    The phylogenetic affinities of the Pondaung tali

    Marian Dagosto
    Abstract The phylogenetic affinities of the primates of the late middle Eocene Pondaung Formation of Myanmar have long been disputed. The discovery of the NMMP 39 talus (Marivaux et al.: Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100 (2003) 13173,13178) provided the first clear evidence from the postcranium that a relatively large-bodied haplorhine primate is represented in the Pondaung fauna. Another talus (NMMP 82; Marivaux et al., 2010). Talar morphology, phylogenetic affinities and locomotor adaptation of a large-bodied amphipithecid primate from the late middle Eocene of Myanmar, Am J Phys Anthropol DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.21307) has been recently recovered which also pertains to Haplorhini. The metric and nonmetric features supporting the hypothesis of anthropoid affinities for NMMP 39 have been criticized by Gunnell and Ciochon (Gunnell GF, Ciochon RL. 2008. Revisiting primate postcrania from the Pondaung Formation of Myanmar. In: Fleagle JG, Gilbert CC, editors. Elwyn Simons: a search for origins. New York: Springer. p 211,228). Their analysis, however, was based on a very limited choice of variables, taxa, and individuals. Based on an extended sample, we are able to produce both principal components and discriminant functions that yield a rather clear separation of extant haplorhine and strepsirhine tali. Both principal components and discriminant function scores of the Pondaung tali fall with those of haplorhine primates. In addition, the Pondaung tali lack all the derived nonmetric features characteristic of strepsirhine primates, but exhibit all the features characteristic of haplorhine primates. We dispute the features Gunnell and Ciochon (2008) claim are uniquely shared by the Pondaung tali and adapiforms. Their rejection of the phylogenetic significance of the features shared by these tali and haplorhines is unwarranted by the evidence. Based on both metric and nonmetric features, the Pondaung tali are structurally most similar to the tali of haplorhines, particularly anthropoids. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:223,234, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Diet and mobility in Early Medieval Bavaria: A study of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes

    Susanne Hakenbeck
    Abstract This study investigates patterns of mobility in Early Medieval Bavaria through a combined study of diet and associated burial practice. Carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios were analyzed in human bone samples from the Late Roman cemetery of Klettham and from the Early Medieval cemeteries of Altenerding and Straubing-Bajuwarenstrasse. For dietary comparison, samples of faunal bone from one Late Roman and three Early Medieval settlement sites were also analyzed. The results indicate that the average diet was in keeping with a landlocked environment and fairly limited availability of freshwater or marine resources. The diet appears not to have changed significantly from the Late Roman to the Early Medieval period. However, in the population of Altenerding, there were significant differences in the diet of men and women, supporting a hypothesis of greater mobility among women. Furthermore, the isotopic evidence from dietary outliers is supported by "foreign" grave goods and practices, such as artificial skull modification. These results reveal the potential of carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis for questions regarding migration and mobility. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:235,249, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    A comparative analysis of internal cranial anatomy in the hylobatidae

    Erin Rae Leslie
    Abstract Craniometric studies on the hylobatids using external metrics (Creel and Preuschoft, 1976, 1984) sorted hylobatid populations into primary species groupings which are in accordance with the four currently recognized generic-level groupings. The goal of the current study was to assess the relative orientations of the orbits, palate, and basioccipital clivus among the hylobatid genera in an effort to further clarify whether the lesser apes differ significantly in these internal cranial features and how that variation patterns across the groups. Nine angular variables quantifying orbital, palatal, and basioccipital clivus orientations were measured on lateral view radiographs of adults representing three of the four hylobatid genera: Hylobates; Nomascus; and, Symphalangus. The interspecific adult hylobatid means for the angular variables were analyzed using t -test contrasts. The total sample was further subjected to discriminant function analysis (DFA) to test for the ability of craniofacial angular variables to distinguish the hylobatid genera from one another. The three hylobatid genera displayed significant morphological differentiation in orbital, palatal, and posterior skull base orientations. Normal, jackknifed, and cross-validation DFA procedures correctly identified the hylobatids 50,100% of the time. The observed morphological patterns generally mapped onto the findings of earlier external craniometric hylobatid studies and suggest concordance between specific internal and external cranial features. This article is the first comprehensive study of variation in internal cranial anatomy of the Hylobatidae and includes the first published craniofacial angular data for Nomascus. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:250,265, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Activity-induced dental modification in holocene siberian hunter-fisher-gatherers

    Andrea Waters-Rist
    Abstract The use of teeth as tools provides clues to past subsistence patterns and cultural practices. Five Holocene period hunter-fisher-gatherer mortuary sites from the south-western region of Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russian Federation, are observed for activity-induced dental modification (AIDM) to further characterize their adaptive regimes. Grooves on the occlusal surfaces of teeth are observed in 25 out of 123 individuals (20.3%) and were most likely produced during the processing of fibers from plants and animals, for making items such as nets and cordage. Regional variation in the frequency of individuals with occlusal grooves is found in riverine versus lakeshore sites. This variation suggests that production of material culture items differed, perhaps in relation to different fishing practices. There is also variation in the distribution of grooves by sex: grooves are found predominately in females, except at the Late Neolithic-Bronze Age river site of Ust'-Ida I where grooves are found exclusively in males. Occlusal grooves were cast using polyvinylsiloxane and maxillary canine impressions were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to determine striation patterns. Variation in striae orientation suggests that a variety of activities, and/or different manufacturing techniques, were involved in groove production. Overall, the variability in occlusal groove frequency, sex and regional distribution, and microscopic striae patterns, points to the multiplicity of activities and ways in which people used their mouths and teeth in cultural activities. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:266,278, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Determination of sex from the hyoid bone

    Sarah C. Kindschuh
    Abstract This article explores size differences related to sex in the hyoid bones from the Robert J. Terry Anatomical Collection. A series of measurements were taken from 398 hyoids, both fused and unfused. The inclusion of unfused hyoids in the study provides the opportunity to investigate previously unknown size differences between sexes as well as to determine their utility in determining sex. Two-way ANOVA was used to explore differences in hyoid size as related to ancestry and sex. Discriminant function analysis was employed to test the ability of the hyoids to be classified by sex. Six discriminant function equations ranging in accuracy from 82% to 85% are provided, each of which is more accurate than many of the discriminant functions developed in past hyoid research, are simple to use, and can be used to estimate the sex of a hyoid regardless of its state of fusion. In addition to providing further information about the morphological form of the hyoid, these analyses provide a method that can be easily employed to assess sex of the individual from the hyoid bone. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:279,284, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Sex differentials in frailty in medieval England

    Sharon N. DeWitte
    Abstract In most modern populations, there are sex differentials in morbidity and mortality that favor women. This study addresses whether such female advantages existed to any appreciable degree in medieval Europe. The analyses presented here examine whether men and women with osteological stress markers faced the same risks of death in medieval London. The sample used for this study comes from the East Smithfield Black Death cemetery in London. The benefit of using this cemetery is that most, if not all, individuals interred in East Smithfield died from the same cause within a very short period of time. This allows for the analysis of the differences between men and women in the risks of mortality associated with osteological stress markers without the potential confounding effects of different causes of death. A sample of 299 adults (173 males, 126 females) from the East Smithfield cemetery was analyzed. The results indicate that the excess mortality associated with several osteological stress markers was higher for men than for women. This suggests that in this medieval population, previous physiological stress increased the risk of death for men during the Black Death to a greater extent than was true for women. Alternatively, the results might indicate that the Black Death discriminated less strongly between women with and without pre-existing health conditions than was true for men. These results are examined in light of previous analyses of East Smithfield and what is known about diet and sexually mediated access to resources in medieval England. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:285,297, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Early Holocene human remains from the Argentinean Pampas: Additional evidence for distinctive cranial morphology of early South Americans

    Héctor M. Pucciarelli
    Abstract The cranial morphology of Early Holocene American human samples is characterized by a long and narrow cranial vault, whereas more recent samples exhibit a shorter and wider cranial vault. Two hypotheses have been proposed to account for the morphological differences between early and late-American samples: (a) the migratory hypothesis that suggests that the morphological variation between early and late American samples was the result of a variable number of migratory waves; and (b) the local diversification hypothesis, that is, the morphological differences between early and late American samples were mainly generated by local, random (genetic drift), and nonrandom factors (selection and phenotypic plasticity). We present the first craniometric study of three early skulls from the Argentinean Pampas, dated ,8,000 cal. years BP (Arroyo Seco 2, Chocorí, and La Tigra), and one associated with mega-faunal remains (Fontezuelas skull). In addition, we studied several Late Holocene samples. We show that the skulls from the Argentinean Pampas are morphologically similar to other Early Holocene American skulls (i.e., Lagoa Santa from Brazil, Tequendama, Checua, and Aguazuque from Colombia, Lauricocha from Peru, and early Mexicans) that exhibit long and narrow cranial vaults. These samples differ from the Late Holocene American samples that exhibit a shorter and wider cranial vault. Our results underscore the important differences in cranial morphology between early and late-American samples. However, we emphasize the need for further studies to discuss alternative hypotheses regarding such differences. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:298,305, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Brief communication: Identification reassessment of the isolated tooth Krapina D58 through occlusal fingerprint analysis

    Luca Fiorenza
    Abstract High variability in the dentition of Homo can create uncertainties in the correct identification of isolated teeth. For instance, standard tooth identification criteria cannot determine with absolute certainty if an isolated tooth is a second or third maxillary molar. In this contribution, using occlusal fingerprint analysis, we reassess the identification of Krapina D58 (Homo neanderthalensis), which is catalogued as a third maxillary molar. We have hypothesized that the presence/absence of the distal occlusal wear facets can be used to differentiate second from third maxillary molars. The results obtained confirm our hypothesis, showing a significant difference between second and third maxillary molars. In particular we note the complete absence of Facets 7 and 10 in all third molars included in this analysis. The presence of these facets in Krapina D58 eliminates the possibility that it is a third maxillary molar. Consequently it should be reclassified as a second molar. Although this method is limited by the degree of dental wear (i.e., unworn teeth cannot be analyzed) and to individual molars in full occlusion, it can be used for tooth identification when other common criteria are not sufficient to discriminate between second and third maxillary molars. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:306,312, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Brief communication: Identification of bone formation and resorption surfaces by reflected light microscopy

    Cayetana Martinez-Maza
    Abstract Developmental and evolutionary changes in craniofacial morphology are a central issue in paleoanthropology, but the underlying bone growth processes have been scarcely studied. Relevant knowledge on bone growth dynamics can be obtained from the spatial distribution of bone formation and resorption activities. Determining these patterns from the valuable samples typically used in anthropology and palaeoanthropology necessarily implies nondestructive procedures. In this work, we present a methodology based on the analysis of high-resolution replicas by reflected light microscopy, describing how microfeatures related to bone formation and resorption activities are recognized on both recent and fossil bone surfaces. The proposed method yields highly similar images to those obtained with scanning electron microscope and has proven its utility in an analysis of a large sample of extant and extinct hominoids. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:313,320, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Brief communication: Facial fluctuating asymmetry as a marker of sex differences of the response to phenotypic stresses

    Abstract Fluctuating asymmetry (FA) is thought to increase as a result of environmental perturbations during development. A number of studies involving measures of health and developmental stability other than FA have discussed the presumed increased buffering in females relative to males. But, there is little evidence in the literature on FA to support this hypothesis. This research was conducted to determine the level of difference in terms of facial FA between sexes under different environmental conditions. Group 1 included final year students from three high schools in Yenimahalle, a slum district of Ankara (males: N = 163, mean age = 17.55, sd = 0.50; females: N = 141, mean age = 17.48, sd = 0.38). Group 2 included students with higher socioeconomic background and was composed of final year students from three different private schools located in Cankaya (N = 171, mean age = 17.44, sd = 0.26; females: N = 152, mean age = 17.38, sd = 0.31). Digital images were used to assess the degree of facial asymmetry as measured from eight paired traits and calculated as a composite score. The study shows that the male students had higher facial asymmetry than the female students. However, the present difference reaches a significant level in the low-socioeconomic status group. As a result, it could be inferred that differences in developmental stability between sexes might emerge under stressful conditions. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:321,324, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Genetic and environmental contributions to variation in baboon cranial morphology

    Charles C. Roseman
    Abstract The development, function, and integration of morphological characteristics are all hypothesized to influence the utility of traits for phylogenetic reconstruction by affecting the way in which morphological characteristics evolve. We use a baboon model to test the hypotheses about phenotypic and quantitative genetic variation of traits in the cranium that bear on a phenotype's propensity to evolve. We test the hypotheses that: 1) individual traits in different functionally and developmentally defined regions of the cranium are differentially environmentally, genetically, and phenotypically variable; 2) genetic covariance with other traits constrains traits in one region of the cranium more than those in others; 3) and regions of the cranium subject to different levels of mechanical strain differ in the magnitude of variation in individual traits. We find that the levels of environmental and genetic variation in individual traits are randomly distributed across regions of the cranium rather than being structured by developmental origin or degree of exposure to strain. Individual traits in the cranial vault tend to be more constrained by covariance with other traits than those in other regions. Traits in regions subject to high degrees of strain during mastication are not any more variable at any level than other traits. If these results are generalizable to other populations, they indicate that there is no reason to suppose that individual traits from any one part of the cranium are intrinsically less useful for reconstructing patterns of evolution than those from any other part. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:1,12, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Genetic make up and structure of Colombian populations by means of uniparental and biparental DNA markers

    Winston Rojas
    Abstract Colombia is a country with great geographic heterogeneity and marked regional differences in pre-Columbian native population density and in the extent of past African and European immigration. As a result, Colombia has one of the most diverse populations in Latin America. Here we evaluated ancestry in over 1,700 individuals from 24 Colombian populations using biparental (autosomal and X-Chromosome), maternal (mtDNA), and paternal (Y-chromosome) markers. Autosomal ancestry varies markedly both within and between regions, confirming the great genetic diversity of the Colombian population. The X-chromosome, mtDNA, and Y-chromosome data indicate that there is a pattern across regions indicative of admixture involving predominantly Native American women and European and African men. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:13,20, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Functional significance of genetic variation underlying limb bone diaphyseal structure

    Ian J. Wallace
    Abstract Limb bone diaphyseal structure is frequently used to infer hominin activity levels from skeletal remains, an approach based on the well-documented ability of bone to adjust to its loading environment during life. However, diaphyseal structure is also determined in part by genetic factors. This study investigates the possibility that genetic variation underlying diaphyseal structure is influenced by the activity levels of ancestral populations and might also have functional significance in an evolutionary context. We adopted an experimental evolution approach and tested for differences in femoral diaphyseal structure in 1-week-old mice from a line that had been artificially selected (45 generations) for high voluntary wheel running and non-selected controls. As adults, selected mice are significantly more active on wheels and in home cages, and have thicker diaphyses. Structural differences at 1 week can be assumed to primarily reflect the effects of selective breeding rather than direct mechanical stimuli, given that the onset of locomotion in mice is shortly after Day 7. We hypothesized that if genetically determined diaphyseal structure reflects the activity patterns of members of a lineage, then selected animals will have relatively larger diaphyseal dimensions at 1 week compared to controls. The results provide strong support for this hypothesis and suggest that limb bone cross sections may not always only reflect the activity levels of particular fossil individuals, but also convey an evolutionary signal providing information about hominin activity in the past. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:21,30, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Quantitative evaluation of marine protein contribution in ancient diets based on nitrogen isotope ratios of individual amino acids in bone collagen: An investigation at the Kitakogane Jomon site

    Yuichi I. Naito
    Abstract Nitrogen stable isotopes analysis of individual bone collagen amino acids was applied to archeological samples as a new tool for assessing the composition of ancient human diets and calibrating radiocarbon dates. We used this technique to investigate human and faunal samples from the Kitakogane shell midden in Hokkaido, Japan (5,300,6,000 cal BP). Using compound-specific nitrogen isotope analysis of individual amino acids, we aimed to estimate i) the quantitative contribution of marine and terrestrial protein to the human diet, and ii) the mean trophic level (TL) from which dietary protein was derived from marine ecosystems. Data were interpreted with reference to the amino acid trophic level (TLAA) model, which uses empirical amino acid ,15N from modern marine fauna to construct mathematical equations that predict the trophic position of organisms. The TLAA model produced realistic TL estimates for the Kitakogane marine animals. However, this model was not appropriate for the interpretation of human amino acid ,15N, as dietary protein is derived from both marine and terrestrial environments. Hence, we developed a series of relevant equations that considered the consumption of dietary resources from both ecosystems. Using these equations, the mean percentage of marine protein in the Kitakogane human diet was estimated to be 74%. Although this study is one of the first systematic investigations of amino acid ,15N in archeological bone collagen, we believe that this technique is extremely useful for TL reconstruction, palaeodietary interpretation, and the correction of marine reservoir effects for radiocarbon dating. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:31,40, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Tolerant food sharing and reciprocity is precluded by despotism among bonobos but not chimpanzees

    Adrian V. Jaeggi
    Abstract Tolerant food sharing among human foragers can largely be explained by reciprocity. In contrast, food sharing among chimpanzees and bonobos may not always reflect reciprocity, which could be explained by different dominance styles: in egalitarian societies reciprocity is expressed freely, while in more despotic groups dominants may hinder reciprocity. We tested the degree of reciprocity and the influence of dominance on food sharing among chimpanzees and bonobos in two captive groups. First, we found that chimpanzees shared more frequently, more tolerantly, and more actively than bonobos. Second, among chimpanzees, food received was the best predictor of food shared, indicating reciprocal exchange, whereas among bonobos transfers were mostly unidirectional. Third, chimpanzees had a shallower and less linear dominance hierarchy, indicating that they were less despotic than bonobos. This suggests that the tolerant and reciprocal sharing found in chimpanzees, but not bonobos, was made possible by the absence of despotism. To investigate this further, we tested the relationship between despotism and reciprocity in grooming using data from an additional five groups and five different study periods on the main groups. The results showed that i) all chimpanzee groups were less despotic and groomed more reciprocally than bonobo groups, and ii) there was a general negative correlation between despotism and grooming reciprocity across species. This indicates that an egalitarian hierarchy may be more common in chimpanzees, at least in captivity, thus fostering reciprocal exchange. We conclude that a shallow dominance hierarchy was a necessary precondition for the evolution of human-like reciprocal food sharing. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:41,51, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Waddling and toddling: The biomechanical effects of an immature gait

    Libby W. Cowgill
    Abstract Femoral shape changes during the course of human growth, transitioning from a subcircular tube to a teardrop-shaped diaphysis with a posterior pilaster. Differences between immature and mature bipedalism and body shape may generate different loads, which, in turn, may influence femoral modeling and remodeling during the course of the human lifespan. This study uses two different approaches to evaluate the hypotheses that differences in gait between young and mature walkers result in differences in ground reaction forces (GRFs) and that the differences in loading regimes between young children and adults will be reflected in the geometric structure of the midshaft femur. The results of this analysis indicate that GRFs differ between young walkers and adults in that normalized mediolateral (ML) forces are significantly higher in younger age groups. In addition, these differences between children and adults in the relative level of ML bending force are reflected in changes in femoral geometry during growth. During the earlier stages of human development, immature femoral diaphyses are heavily reinforced in approximately ML plane. The differences in gait between mature and immature walkers, and hence the differences in femoral shape, are likely partially a product of a minimal bicondylar angle and relatively broad body in young children. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:52,61, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Genetic structure of native circumpolar populations based on autosomal, mitochondrial, and Y chromosome DNA markers

    Rohina Rubicz
    Abstract This study investigates the genetic structure of the present-day inhabitants of Beringia in order to answer questions concerning their origins and evolution. According to recent studies, the ancestors of Native Americans paused for a time in Beringia, during which they differentiated genetically from other Asians before peopling the New World. Furthermore, the Koryaks of Kamchatka share a "ubiquitous" allele (D9S1120) with Native Americans, indicating they may have descended from the same ancestral Beringian population that gave rise to the New World founders. Our results show that a genetic barrier exists between Kamchatkans (Koryaks and Even) and Bering Island inhabitants (Aleuts, mixed Aleuts, and Russians), based on Analysis of Molecular Variance (AMOVA) and structure analysis of nine autosomal short tandem repeats (STRs). This is supported by mitochondrial DNA evidence, but not by analysis of Y chromosome markers, as recent non-native male admixture into the region appears to have partially obscured ancient population relationships. Our study indicates that while Aleuts are descended from the original New World founders, the Koryaks are unlikely to represent a Beringian remnant of the ancestral population that gave rise to Native Americans. They are instead, like the Even, more recent arrivals to Kamchatka from interior Siberia, and the "ubiquitous" allele in Koryaks may result from recent gene flow from Chukotka. Genbank accession numbers for mtDNA sequences: GQ922935-GQ922973. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:62,74, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    The usefulness of caries frequency, depth, and location in determining cariogenicity and past subsistence: A test on early and later agriculturalists from the Peruvian coast

    Luis Pezo Lanfranco
    Abstract Dental markers have been used to unravel particularities of paleodiet, subsistence, social structure, and health. This article aims to compare oral pathology among four pre-Columbian groups with different degrees of agricultural and socio-cultural development but comparable ecological conditions who lived on the coastal desert of Peru. Three of these groups are assigned to distinct phases of the Formative Period (2500,1 BC), a time critical for our understanding of the development of agriculture and social complexity. The fourth group corresponds to the Late Intermediate Period (1000,1470 AD), when agriculture had its apogee and society was highly stratified. In this study we test whether there is an increase (1) in the frequency of carious lesions and (2) in caries depth, and (3) if there is a shift from occlusal to extra-occlusal caries locations with the development of agriculture. Therefore, we analyze the frequencies of carious lesions and antemortem tooth loss (AMTL), the caries distributions by age, sex, and type of tooth, as well as the tissues affected by, and the location of the carious lesions. Since there are no significant differences in the frequencies of carious lesions and AMTL between the groups, we reject hypothesis 1. In contrast, caries depth does increase, and caries location changes from occlusal to extra-occlusal sites with agricultural development. However, we can only corroborate hypothesis 2 and 3 when taking into consideration dental wear. Thus, we recommend that caries depth and locations should be used with evaluations of dental wear to reconstruct subsistence in ancient populations. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:75,91, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    A new species of Pseudoloris (Omomyidae, Primates) from the middle Eocene of Sant Jaume de Frontanyà (Eastern Pyrenees, Spain)

    Raef Minwer-Barakat
    Abstract In this article we describe a new species of Pseudoloris (Omomyidae, Primates) from the Robiacian (middle Eocene) locality of Sant Jaume de Frontanyà (Eastern Pyrenees, Spain). Pseudoloris pyrenaicus is characterized by its medium size, thickened paracristid, absence of a distinct paraconid, and well-developed buccal cingulid in the lower molars, large hypoconulid in the M3, paraconule and hypocone reduced in the M1 and M2 and absent in the M3. The material from Sant Jaume de Frontanyà constitutes the most abundant sample of the genus Pseudoloris found until now in the Iberian Peninsula. Almost all the dental elements have been recovered, including those teeth hardly known for other species of the genus, such as lower and upper incisors. The new species shows intermediate features between Pseudoloris isabenae from Capella and Pseudoloris parvulus, present in different Spanish and French sites. Therefore, we consider that Pseudoloris pyrenaicus is an intermediate form between these two species. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:92,99, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Worldwide allele frequencies of the human apolipoprotein E gene: Climate, local adaptations, and evolutionary history

    Dan T.A. Eisenberg
    Abstract The ,4 allele of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene is associated with increased cholesterol levels and heart disease. Population allele frequencies of APOE have previously been shown to vary, with ,4 frequencies generally increasing with latitude. We hypothesize that this trend resulted from natural selection protecting against low-cholesterol levels. In high-latitude cold environments and low-latitude hot environments, metabolic rate is elevated, which could require higher cholesterol levels. To explore this hypothesis, we compiled APOE allele frequencies, latitude, temperature, and elevation from populations around the world. ,4 allele frequencies show a curvilinear relationship with absolute latitude, with lowest frequencies found in the mid-latitudes where temperatures generally require less expenditure on cooling/thermogenesis. Controlling for population structure in a subset of populations did not appreciably change this pattern of association, consistent with selection pressures that vary by latitude shaping ,4 allele frequencies. Temperature records also predict APOE frequency in a curvilinear fashion, with lowest ,4 frequencies at moderate temperatures. The model fit between historical temperatures and ,4 is less than between latitude and ,4, but strengthened after correcting for estimated temperature differences during the Paleolithic. Contrary to our hypothesis, we find that elevation did not improve predictive power, and an integrated measure of the cholesterol effect of multiple APOE alleles was less related to latitude than was ,4 alone. Our results lend mixed support for a link between past temperature and human APOE allele distribution and point to the need to develop better models of past climate in future analyses. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:13,20, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Fluctuating and directional asymmetry in young human males: Effect of heavy working condition and socioeconomic status,

    Abstract Many adverse environmental and genetic factors can affect stability of development during human growth. Although the level of fluctuating asymmetry (FA) may be influenced by environmental and genetic stress encountered during this period, directional asymmetry (DA) is largely attributable to differential mechanical loading during bone growth, for example, handedness. I assessed the effects of heavy working conditions and socioeconomic conditions on asymmetry levels in three groups of young human males: 1) individuals employed in the heavy industry sector (n = 104, mean age = 18.48 ± 0.61 years), 2) individuals who had the same socioeconomic status as the laborers (n = 102, mean age = 18.39 ± 0.58 years) but were not laborers, and 3) nonlaborers from the higher socioeconomic levels of society (n = 103, mean age = 18.43 ± 0.67). For all subjects, hand length, hand width, elbow width, wrist width, knee width, ankle width, foot length, foot width, ear length, and ear width were measured. All measurements of the upper extremities in the labor group appeared to exhibit DA; in the other two groups only hand measurements exhibited DA. According to analysis of FA, subjects living in poor conditions exhibited more FA than their nonlaborer peers living in better conditions. In addition, biomechanical pressures due to heavy working conditions of the labor group appeared to cause increased DA in the upper extremities: DA increased with an increase in the number of years working. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:13,20, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Paleopathology and the origin of agriculture in the Levant

    Vered Eshed
    Abstract This study addresses changes in health which were consequential to the Neolithic transition in the southern Levant, judged on the basis of the study of specific and nonspecific stress indicators, trauma, and degenerative joint disease in 200 Natufian (hunter-gatherer) skeletons (10,500,8300 BC) and 205 Neolithic (agricultural) skeletons (8300,5500 BC) from the southern Levant. The comparison of the health profiles of pre-Neolithic (Natufian) and Neolithic populations reveals a higher prevalence of lesions indicative of infectious diseases among the Neolithic population, and an overall reduction in the prevalence of skull trauma among males. No change over time was observed in the prevalence of degenerative joint disease. These results indicate that in the southern Levant the Neolithic transition did not simply lead to an overall deterioration in health but rather resulted in a complex health profile which was shaped by 1) an increase exposure to disease agents, 2) changes in diet, 3) population aggregation in larger and denser settlements, 4) changes in activity patterns and the division of labor, and possibly 5) a higher resistant immunological system and response capacity to environmental aggressions (mainly infections). Am J Phys Anthropol 143:121,133, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Upper limb kinematics and the role of the wrist during stone tool production

    E.M. Williams
    Abstract Past studies have hypothesized that aspects of hominin upper limb morphology are linked to the ability to produce stone tools. However, we lack the data on upper limb motions needed to evaluate the biomechanical context of stone tool production. This study seeks to better understand the biomechanics of stone tool-making by investigating upper limb joint kinematics, focusing on the role of the wrist joint, during simple flake production. We test the hypotheses, based on studies of other upper limb activities (e.g., throwing), that upper limb movements will occur in a proximal-to-distal sequence, culminating in rapid wrist flexion just prior to strike. Data were captured from four amateur knappers during simple flake production using a VICON motion analysis system (50 Hz). Results show that subjects utilized a proximal-to-distal joint sequence and disassociated the shoulder joint from the elbow and wrist joints, suggesting a shared strategy employed in other contexts (e.g., throwing) to increase target accuracy. The knapping strategy included moving the wrist into peak extension (subject peak grand mean = 47.3°) at the beginning of the downswing phase, which facilitated rapid wrist flexion and accelerated the hammerstone toward the nodule. This sequence resulted in the production of significantly more mechanical work, and therefore greater strike forces, than would otherwise be produced. Together these results represent a strategy for increasing knapping efficiency in Homo sapiens and point to aspects of skeletal anatomy that might be examined to assess potential knapping ability and efficiency in fossil hominin taxa. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:134-145, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Estimating body mass in subadult human skeletons

    Gwen Robbins
    Abstract Methods for estimating body mass from the human skeleton are often required for research in biological or forensic anthropology. There are currently only two methods for estimating body mass in subadults: the width of the distal femur metaphysis is useful for individuals 1,12 years of age and the femoral head is useful for older subadults. This article provides age-structured formulas for estimating subadult body mass using midshaft femur cross-sectional geometry (polar second moments of area). The formulas were developed using data from the Denver Growth Study and their accuracy was examined using an independent sample from Franklin County, Ohio. Body mass estimates from the midshaft were compared with estimates from the width of the distal metaphysis of the femur. Results indicate that accuracy and bias of estimates from the midshaft and the distal end of the femur are similar for this contemporary cadaver sample. While clinical research has demonstrated that body mass is one principle factor shaping cross-sectional geometry of the subadult midshaft femur, clearly other biomechanical forces, such as activity level, also play a role. Thus formulas for estimating body mass from femoral measurements should be tested on subadult populations from diverse ecological and cultural circumstances to better understand the relationship between body mass, activity, diet, and morphology during ontogeny. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:146,150, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]