A male hominine partial hip bone, KNM -ER 3228, from East Lake Turkana , Kenya is described. In most of its features this specimen resembles modern human male hip bones. This is especially true for functional features related to weight transfer from the trunk to the pelvis and within the pelvis, and to the effective action of musculature arising from the pelvis during the performance of the modern human type of bipedalism . KNM -ER 3228 is very similar to the Olduvai Hominid 28 and the Arago XLIV hip bones, both attributed to Homo erectus .
"Shape and proportions of the reconstructed partial hip bone show affinities with the early Middle Pleistocene OH 28 specimen from Olduvai Gorge, likely a female (Day, 1971). Yet, it has an intermediate greater sciatic notch between the latter and the Early Pleistocene KNM-ER 3228 os coxae from East Turkana, likely a male (Rose, 1984). Based on its estimated acetabular diameter (>55 mm), the body mass of the individual represented by UA 173e405 exceeds 65 kg, near the estimates of OH 28 (72.3 kg) and KNM-ER 3228 (67.1 kg) (Ruff, 2010). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Early to Middle Pleistocene continental transition in East Africa is widely documented from lacustrine and deep-sea records, although significant insights are also provided by fluvio-lacustrine successions of the central and southern African Rift Valley, such as the at Olduvai Gorge succession (Tanzania), the Bouri Formation (Ethiopia) and the Olorgesailie Formation (Kenya). The Early to Middle Pleistocene Dandiero Basin fill (Eritrean Danakil) represents the only continental succession in the northernmost sector of the African Rift Valley that provided abundant fossil vertebrates, including human remains. The present study integrates already available data with new sedimentological, pedological, magnetostratigraphic, paleontological and paleoanthropological investigations of the 300. m thick Aalat section (North Dandiero Basin). This sedimentary succession records repeated shifts from fluvial to lacustrine depositional settings, which occurred under the tight interaction between local tectonics and Pleistocene climate changes. Accumulation was associated with axial sedimentation in a NS-trending extensional basin, with an overall tectono-sedimentary setting comparable with that of the coeval Bouri Formation (Ethiopia). Because of the high rates of sedimentation, a poor to moderate degree of soil development characterizes the whole succession. Sporadic soil horizons testify to carbonate dissolution, leaching and accumulation in calcic and petrocalcic horizons (indicating an overall dry climate). The alternate with local to extensive iron-oxide/hydroxide segregation, promoted by water infiltration under varying drainage conditions and/or seasonal contrast, that record more humid conditions. Magnetostratigraphic dating and correlation indicates that this section is among the world's thickest record embracing the Early-Middle Pleistocene transition, spanning from the Jaramillo to the base of Brunhes chron. The terrestrial vertebrate fauna includes a typical Early to Middle Pleistocene East African mammalian assemblage for this age and is dominated by taxa characterized by strong water dependence. The ichthyofauna, with its abundant Clariidae, is also consistent with the shallow water, fluvio-lacustrine paleobiotopes. The cranial, dental and postcranial human remains from the lower part of the Aalat succession add valuable evidence about the patterns of variation and evolutionary dynamics in African Homo erectus/ergaster near the end of the Early Pleistocene.
"The presence of these traits in all of the hominins is an intriguing data point to add to the evidence from other parts of the skeleton (Jungers and Stern, 1983; Stern, 2000; Stern and Susman, 1983, 1991; Susman and Stern 1991; Susman et al., 1984; Rose, 1984; Hunt, 1994;) that indicate the possibility that arboreal resources (food, safety, shelter) might still have been utilized. However, given the variability in this joint and the poor discrimination among the extant taxa, the distal ulna alone is not the best region for locomotor reconstruction. "
"First, while there are some indications in the skeleton of morphological specializations related to the mass-spring mechanics of running, features related to stabilization are more prevalent. In terms of trunk stabilization , the cranial portion of the gluteus maximus, which plays a critical role in running but not walking, has a considerably expanded origin in H. erectus relative to Australopithecus (Rose, 1984; Lieberman et al., 2006). The gluteus maximus also acts in concert with the erector spinae to stabilize the trunk, and the sacroiliac trough in which the latter originates may be considerably expanded in Homo compared to Australopithecus (see Lovejoy, 1988). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Origin, adaptation and diversity are eternal themes in human evolution. These issues are equally timeless with respect to
our own lineage. Human paleontologists continue to grapple with questions surrounding the origin and early evolution of our
own genus. How do we identify the earliest members the genus Homo? How many species of Homo were there in the Pliocene and Pleistocene, and how do they relate to one another? Where and when did they evolve? Other
burning issues relate to questions about body size, proportions and the functional adaptations of the locomotor skeleton.
When did the human postcranial “Bauplan” evolve, and for what reasons? What behaviors (and what behavioral limitations) can
be inferred from the postcranial bones that have been attributed to Homo habilis and Homo erectus?
Other issues of signifi cance relate to growth, development and life history strategies, and the biological and archeo-logical
evidence for diet and behavior in early Homo. Additional issues of importance pertain to the environmental and climatic context in which the genus Homo evolved. Were there global or pan-African climatic events that relate to the appearance and/or extinction of Homo species, and if so, can they be tied to the appearance or disappearance of these species in any meaningful way? Did Homo species live in environments that differed from those inhabited by earlier hominins, and can any general trends through time
be inferred from paleontological and isotopic evidence?
The First Humans – Origin and Early Evolution of the Genus Homo, 12/2008: pages 197-207;
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