Christoph P. E. Zollikofer

Christoph P. E. Zollikofer
University of Zurich | UZH · Institut für Anthropologie und Anthropologisches Museum

About

150
Publications
68,210
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
7,899
Citations

Publications

Publications (150)
Article
Full-text available
Fossils and artifacts from Herto, Ethiopia, include the most complete child and adult crania of early Homo sapiens . The endocranial cavities of the Herto individuals show that by 160,000 y ago, brain size, inferred from endocranial size, was similar to that seen in modern human populations. However, endocranial shape differed from ours. This gave...
Article
Full-text available
It has long been believed that climate shifts during the last 2 million years had a pivotal role in the evolution of our genus Homo1–3. However, given the limited number of representative palaeo-climate datasets from regions of anthropological interest, it has remained challenging to quantify this linkage. Here, we use an unprecedented transient Pl...
Article
Significance During human birth, the risk of complications is relatively high because of the comparatively large dimensions of the fetal head and shoulders relative to the maternal birth canal. Here we show that humans exhibit a developmental mode of the shoulders that likely contributes to mitigating obstetrical problems. Human shoulder growth is...
Article
Full-text available
Toward the end of the Pleistocene, archaic humans in Eurasia such as the Neanderthals and Denisovans were completely replaced by anatomically modern humans dispersing from Africa. The causes underlying the replacement and extinction processes remain controversial, especially regarding the relative importance of random events, and anthropogenic and...
Article
Full-text available
The brains of modern humans differ from those of great apes in size, shape, and cortical organization, notably in frontal lobe areas involved in complex cognitive tasks, such as social cognition, tool use, and language. When these differences arose during human evolution is a question of ongoing debate. Here, we show that the brains of early Homo f...
Article
During the last International Congress of Paleobotany and Palynology (Dublin, 2018), participants discussed Paleoecology through the lens of Art and Science. These talks identified an urgent need for a more synergistic interaction between the visual arts and the sciences. Importantly, such consilience could inform research. This is because, while f...
Article
Full-text available
Ontogenetic studies provide clues for understanding important paleobiological aspects of extinct species. When compared to that of modern humans, the adult Neanderthal thorax was shorter, deeper, and wider. This is related to the wide Neanderthal body and is consistent with their hypothetical large requirements for energy and oxygen. Whether these...
Article
Objectives The bony labyrinth of the inner ear has special relevance when tracking phenotypic evolution because it is often well preserved in fossil and modern primates. Here we track the evolution of the bony labyrinth of anthropoid primates during the Mio−Plio−Pleistocene—the time period that gave rise to the extant great apes and humans. Materi...
Article
Full-text available
Throughout hominin evolution, the brain of our ancestors underwent a 3-fold increase in size and substantial structural reorganization. However, inferring brain reorganization from fossil hominin neurocrania (=braincases) remains a challenge, above all because comparative data relating brain to neurocranial structures in living humans and great ape...
Article
The study of migration within the Roman Empire has been a focus of the bioarchaeological and biogeochemical research during the last decade. The possible association of diet and sex, age, and funerary treatment during the 1st-4th centuries CE have been extensively explored in Britain, and Central-Southern Italy. Conversely, no knowledge is availabl...
Article
Understanding Late Pleistocene human dispersals from Africa requires understanding a multifaceted problem with factors varying in space and time, such as climate, ecology, human behavior, and population dynamics. To understand how these factors interact to affect human survival and dispersal, we have developed a realistic agent-based model that inc...
Article
Hitherto unpublished ¹⁴ C and ²³⁰ Th[sbnd] ²³⁴ U determinations from Carihuela Cave (Granada province, Andalusia, Spain) raise a possibility of late survival here of Neanderthals and their Mousterian technocomplex into an advanced stage of the Late Pleistocene (MIS-3), when anatomically-modern humans with Upper Palaeolithic toolkits were penetratin...
Article
During several consecutive excavations from the 1950s to the 1990s the cave of Carigüela de Píñar (Granada, Baetic System, Southeast of the Iberian Peninsula) has yielded an important sample of Neanderthal fossils. Among these finds is a fragmentary frontal bone of an immature individual (CE-05877), which was described earlier. Here we present a ne...
Article
Full-text available
The present study attempted to reconstruct 3D brain shape of Neanderthals and early Homo sapiens based on computational neuroanatomy. We found that early Homo sapiens had relatively larger cerebellar hemispheres but a smaller occipital region in the cerebrum than Neanderthals long before the time that Neanderthals disappeared. Further, using behavi...
Article
Full-text available
The dispersal of modern humans from Africa is now well documented with genetic data that track population history, as well as gene flow between populations. Phenetic skeletal data, such as cranial and pelvic morphologies, also exhibit a dispersal-from-Africa signal, which, however, tends to be blurred by the effects of local adaptation and in vivo...
Article
Full-text available
The cavity system of the inner ear—the so-called bony labyrinth—houses the senses of balance and hearing. This structure is embedded in dense petrous bone, fully formed by birth and generally well preserved in human skeletal remains, thus providing a rich source of morphological information about past populations. Here we show that labyrinthine mor...
Article
The only direct source of information about hominin brain evolution comes from the fossil record of endocranial casts (endocasts) that reproduce details of the external morphology of the brain imprinted on the walls of the braincase during life. Surface traces of sulci that separate the brain's convolutions (gyri) are reproduced sporadically on ear...
Article
Objectives: The effects of phylogeny and locomotor behavior on long bone structural proportions are assessed through comparisons between adult and ontogenetic samples of extant gorillas. Materials and methods: A total of 281 wild-collected individuals were included in the study, divided into four groups that vary taxonomically and ecologically:...
Article
Full-text available
Inferring the morphology of the last common ancestor of humans, chimpanzees and gorillas is a matter of ongoing debate. Recent findings and reassessment of fossil hominins leads to the hypothesis that the last common ancestor was not extant African ape-like. However, an African great-ape-like ancestor with knuckle walking features still remains pla...
Article
Full-text available
The overall similarity of the skull shape of some dog breeds with that of juvenile wolves begs the question if and how ontogenetic changes such as paedomorphosis (evolutionary juvenilisation) played a role in domestication. Here we test for changes in patterns of development and growth during dog domestication. We present the first geometric morpho...
Article
Pelvic sexual dimorphism in primates is typically seen as the result of female-specific adaptations to obstetric constraints, which arise from the tight fit between the neonate head and the maternal pelvis. However, it remains debated to which extent pelvic dimorphism is a correlate of obstetric constraints, of body size dimorphism, and/or of other...
Article
Full-text available
Individual-based models (IBMs) of human populations capture spatio-temporal dynamics using rules that govern the birth, behavior, and death of individuals. We explore a stochastic IBM of logistic growth-diffusion with constant time steps and independent, simultaneous actions of birth, death, and movement that approaches the Fisher-Kolmogorov model...
Data
Limit behavior of the diffusion term. (PDF)
Article
The bony pelvis of primates is a composite structure serving a variety of functions, and exhibiting a complex pattern of modularity and integration. Still little is known, however, about how patterns of modularity and integration arise, and how they change throughout ontogeny. Here we study the ontogeny of modularity and integration in developmenta...
Article
A fifth hominin skull (cranium D4500 and mandible D2600) from Dmanisi is massively constructed, with a large face and a very small brain. Traits documented for the first time in a basal member of the Homo clade include the uniquely low ratio of endocranial volume to basicranial width, reduced vertex height, angular vault profile, smooth nasal sill...
Article
Because brains do not fossilize, the internal surface of the braincase (endocast) serves as an important source of information about brain growth, development, and evolution. Recent studies of endocranial morphology and development in great apes, fossil hominins, and modern humans have revealed taxon-specific differences. However, it remains to be...
Article
While the braincase of adult Neanderthals had a similar volume to that of modern humans from the same period, differences in endocranial shape suggest that brain morphology differed between modern humans and Neanderthals. When and how these differences arose during evolution and development is a topic of ongoing research, with potential implication...
Article
Full-text available
The bony pelvis of adult humans exhibits marked sexual dimorphism, which is traditionally interpreted in the framework of the "obstetrical dilemma" hypothesis: Giving birth to large-brained/large-bodied babies requires a wide pelvis, whereas efficient bipedal locomotion requires a narrow pelvis. This hypothesis has been challenged recently on biome...
Article
Objectives: Due to the scarcity of the fossil record, in vivo changes in the dentognathic system of early Homo are typically documented at the level of individual fossil specimens, and it remains difficult to draw population-level inferences about dietary habits, diet-related activities and lifestyle from individual patterns of dentognathic altera...
Article
We describe a new computer reconstruction to obtain complete anatomical information of the ecto- and endocranium from the imperfectly preserved skull of the Neanderthal Amud 1. Data were obtained from computed tomography scans of the fossil cranium. Adhesive and plaster were then virtually removed from the original specimen, and the fragments compr...
Research
Full-text available
How and when the Americas were populated remains contentious. Using ancient and modern genome-wide data, we find that the ancestors of all present-day Native Americans, including Athabascans and Amerindians, entered the Americas as a single migration wave from Siberia no earlier than 23 thousand years ago (KYA), and after no more than 8,000-year is...
Article
Full-text available
How and when the Americas were populated remains contentious. Using ancient and modern genome-wide data, we found that the ancestors of all present-day Native Americans, including Athabascans and Amerindians, entered the Americas as a single migration wave from Siberia no earlier than 23 thousand years ago (ka) and after no more than an 8000-year i...
Article
Full-text available
Kennewick Man, referred to as the Ancient One by Native Americans, is a male human skeleton discovered in Washington state (USA) in 1996 and initially radiocarbon-dated to 8,340-9,200 calibrated years before present (bp). His population affinities have been the subject of scientific debate and legal controversy. Based on an initial study of cranial...
Article
Full-text available
We describe a general Godunov type splitting for numerical simulations of the Fisher/Kolmogorov-Petrovski-Piskunov growth and diffusion equation in two spatial dimensions. In particular, the method is appropriate for modeling population growth and dispersal on a terrestrial map. The procedure is semi-implicit, hence quite stable, and approximately...
Article
INTRODUCTION: The consensus view on the peopling of the Americas is that ancestors of modern Native Americans entered the Americas from Siberia via the Bering Land Bridge and that this occurred at least ~14.6 thousand years ago (ka). However, the number and timing of migrations into the Americas remain controversial, with conflicting interpretation...
Article
Kennewick Man, referred to as the Ancient One by Native Americans, is a male human skeleton discovered in Washington state (USA) in 1996 and initially radiocarbon dated to 8,340-9,200 calibrated years before present (BP). His population affinities have been the subject of scientific debate and legal controversy. Based on an initial study of cranial...
Article
Proximal femoral morphology and associated musculature are of special relevance to the understanding of hominoid locomotor systems. Knowledge of bone–muscle correspondence in extant hominoids forms an important comparative basis for inferring structure–function relationships in fossil hominids. However, there is still a lack of consensus on the cor...
Article
Survey studies of osteoarchaeological collections occasionally yield specimens exhibiting rare skeletal developmental disorders. Beyond paleopathological diagnosis, however, it is often difficult to gain insight into the processes, mechanisms, and consequences of the pathology, notably because archaeological specimens are often fragmentary. Here we...
Article
Full-text available
Studies comparing phenotypic variation with neutral genetic variation in modern humans have shown that genetic drift is a main factor of evolutionary diversification among populations. The genetic population history of our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees and bonobos, is now equally well documented, but phenotypic variation among these tax...
Article
Full-text available
Schwartz et al. hold that variation among the Dmanisi skulls reflects taxic diversity. The morphological observations to support their hypothesis, however, are partly incorrect, and not calibrated against intraspecific variation in living taxa. After proper adjustment, Schwartz et al.’s data are fully compatible with the hypothesis of a single pale...
Article
Full-text available
The multiple skeletal components of the skull originate asynchronously and their developmental schedule varies across amniotes. Here we present the embryonic ossification sequence of 134 species, covering all major groups of mammals and their close relatives. This comprehensive data set allows reconstruction of the heterochronic and modular evoluti...
Article
Paleopathological cases of skeletal dysplasias (SD) are particularly interesting from a biological as well as biocultural perspective. Evidence of SD is relevant when discussing the antiquity of specific mutations, as well as the social perception of disease in the past. Here we propose a differential diagnosis for a Neolithic case of SD and discus...
Article
Full-text available
The site of Dmanisi, Georgia, has yielded an impressive sample of hominid cranial and postcranial remains, documenting the presence of Homo outside Africa around 1.8 million years ago. Here we report on a new cranium from Dmanisi (D4500) that, together with its mandible (D2600), represents the world's first completely preserved adult hominid skull...
Article
The Plio-Pleistocene hominin sample from Dmanisi (Georgia), dated to 1.77 million years ago, is unique in offering detailed insights into patterns of morphological variation within a paleodeme of early Homo. Cranial and dentoalveolar morphologies exhibit a high degree of diversity, but the causes of variation are still relatively unexplored. Here w...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we report on the theoretical foundations, empirical context and technical implementation of an agent-based modeling (ABM) framework, that uses a high-performance computing (HPC) approach to investigate human population dynamics on a global scale, and on evolutionary time scales. The ABM-HPC framework provides an in silico testbed to...
Article
The brain of modern humans is an evolutionary and developmental outlier: At birth, it has the size of an adult chimpanzee brain and expands by a factor of 2 during the first postnatal year. Large neonatal brain size and rapid initial growth contrast with slow maturation, which extends well into adolescence. When, how, and why this peculiar pattern...
Article
Hominin evolution is characterized by two main trends, transition to bipedality and increase in brain size. Fossil evidence shows that both trends had a major impact on the structure and function of the hominin skull. This chapter asks how evolutionary modification of the cranial ontogenetic program led to morphological reorganization of the homini...
Data
Landmarks used for geometric morphometric analysis of the bony labyrinth (specimen: Lepilemur ruficaudatus AIM-11054). Grey arrows anteromedial-to-posterolateral and anterolateral-to-posteromedial directions.
Data
Position within the skull of the left labyrinth of a Adapis parisiensis b Otolemur crassicaudatus, c Tarsius syrichta and d Callithrix jacchus. Left: superior view of the skull and left labyrinth, the superior part of the calvaria being virtually removed. Right stereoscopic lateral view of the left labyrinth within the braincase. In Adapis parisien...
Article
Full-text available
The publication of a well preserved Eocene primate, Darwinius masillae (Cercamoniinae, Notharctidae), has revived the debate on the phylogenetic relationships of Adapiformes and extant primates (Franzen et al., PLos ONE 4(5):e5723, 2009). Recently, Lebrun et al. (J Anat 216:368–380, 2010) showed that the morphology of the bony labyrinth of strepsir...
Article
Full-text available
Acquisition of bipedality is a hallmark of human evolution. How bipedality evolved from great ape-like locomotor behaviors, however, is still highly debated. This is mainly because it is difficult to infer locomotor function, and even more so locomotor kinematics, from fossil hominin long bones. Structure-function relationships are complex, as long...
Data
Correlation between taxon-specific means of shape component scores and means of neonatal body mass (data summarized in Table S1; humans: filled circles, chimpanzees: open circles, gorillas: filled squares, orangutans: open squares). SC1 is weakly correlated with neonatal body mass (p = 0.06, R2 = 0.88) (A). SC2, which distinguishes between human-ch...
Data
Correlation between femoral diaphyseal shape component scores (SC1, SC2) and femoral size (humans: filled circles, chimpanzees: open circles, gorillas: filled squares, orangutans: open squares). Shape component scores are plotted against femoral diaphyseal length (A), and median femoral diaphyseal cross-sectional area (B). Each cross-sectional area...
Data
Principle of morphometric mapping. A, 3D representation of the right femur. B, principle of cylindrical projection (anterior [0°] → medial [90°] → posterior [180°] → lateral [270°] → anterior [0°]). (TIF)