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Do I have a right sense, when I imagine that traditional anthropology which studied 'primitives', is near to biological than to socio-cultural?
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Traditional anthropology, imo, is closely connected to the eminent biological works of Charles Darwin. I would say that ethnography via B. Malinowski, E. Durkheim and W. Wundt brought the turn to the socio-cultural perspective, i.e. the interplay of cultural psychology and material conditions of life.
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The common view is that it does, but recently this view has been challenged. For example Prum (2013):
"Current concepts of art cannot exclusively circumscribe the human arts from many forms of non-human biotic art. Without assuming an arbitrarily anthropocentric perspective, any concept of art will
need to engage with biodiversity, and either recognize many instances of biotic advertisements as art, or exclude some instances of human art."
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Have you related the Discussion on art, with that of design. Art is connected to inspiration and design to motivation.
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I need to obtain a substitution rates per site per lineage per Myr in order to calibrate a molecular dating of a phylogeny between individuals from different rivers in South america. I found just one paper at the moment to use that method,that paper is "South American rays came in with the sea", but at the moment it had been difficult to obtain it from any database. Maybe you can suggest me others readings, Thanks!
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Thanks so much!
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I stumbled upon a study in which distinct SNPs in the fetal haemoglobin of Llamas supposedly made their erythrocytes to have more affinity towards oxygen, giving an advantage in their high altitude habitat, contrary to their camel cousins who lacked such mutation. Is it possible to retrace this back to humans?
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Dear  Rajit ,
im not genetic expert .. just astrobiologist .Dont' you think  better to go with paleo habitat . Biogeographical variation can be effected to genetic too. See Two branches of a Homo erectus exodus out of Africa could both have the genetic mutation that resulted in Homo sapiens springing up in two different location, it is probably highly unlikely, but possible. Three or more locations to have the same genetic mutation would be near impossible. Recent DNA testing indicates that Homo Sapiens left Africa, but some of them returned many thousands of years later.
On purely speculation, what could be a more likely scenario is that an early predecessor to Homo sapiens left Africa, developed into Homo habilis or another species, then returned to Africa where they then continued to changed until Homo sapiens developed. Hominidae appear to have developed in what would become southern Europe, southern Asia/India, and eastern Africa. There were Hominids in India knapping Acheulean artifacts during the late middle Pleistocene. Could a species develop in the Ganges River Valley or Yellow River Valley and then return to Africa to further develop while that lineage died out?
The question also is how complete is our fossil record? At this point not very complete at all. Do we find more early fossils in eastern Africa because of better preservation than some other locations, like India or China? I am sure someone has looked into that. Still, we possibly have fossil evidence for only a tenth of the Hominid line, maybe more, maybe less. While paleoanthropologists have sequenced the fossils that we have, it is now looking like there were many hominid species running around Africa at the same time. Who knows how many more branches and dead ends of the family tree there are as yet undiscovered. And why Africa? More biodiversity? More competing species? More competition period? & why high altitude ? 
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Hello everyone ! 
I'm trying to make some research on the domestication of the ferret, especially during the middle age. 
I know it has been domesticated way longer before the cat in Europe, first to chase rats, and later for rabbit hunts. Fact is, I cant find any informations or real sources on the subjet. 
Do you have real archaeological, visual or historical sources for the ferret domestication ? 
Some say people lived from "animal husbandry" of ferrets, is it true ? 
What can you teach me about this animal ? 
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Illustrated 14th-century manuscript in the National Library of France:
Titre : Gaston Phébus, Livre de la chasse. — Gace de la Buigne, Déduits de la chasse.
Date d'édition : 1301-1500
Type : manuscrit
Langue : français
Format : Vélin. - Miniatures, lettres ornées
Description : 1° « Livre de la chasce, que fist le conte [GASTON] PHEBUS DE FOYS, seigneur de Beart ». Commençant par : « Ou non et en l'onneur de Dieu, createur et seigneur de toutes choses, et de son benoist filz Jhesu Christ... » et finissant par : «... tant de bien en cest monde et en l'autre comme il meismes vouldroit ».2° « Plusieurs bonnes Oroysons en latin et en françoys » (fol. 122). Commençant par : « Adonay domine deus omnipotens, qui fecisti ex solo verbo tuo... » et finissant par : «... qui vis et regnes puissaument par tout le siecle des siecles. Amen » .3° Les Déduits de la chasse [par GACE DE LA BUIGNE] (fol. 139). Commençant par : « Entens cy qui veulx savoir Des faulcons et les veulx avoir... » et finissant par : « Si s'en vont, à Dieu les command. « A tant je fine mon roman » .
Droits : domaine public
Identifiant : ark:/12148/btv1b52505055c
Source : Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Français 616
Provenance : Bibliothèque nationale de France
Date de mise en ligne : 23/03/2015
[The link below takes you directly to the page of the illustration copied below, however a PDF of the complete illustrated manuscript, in high-resolution colour, may be downloaded at this same link]:
[see quotation in following post, below, that describes the illustrated activity]
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Hello,
I red many documents and forum posts but I can not really find the exact way to update the SNP ID and Position before merging data file in Plink. I tried VEP, NCBI, UCSC.
Does anyone know how to resolve this problem? I am stucking at this process too long.
Thank you
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What exactly are you trying to update and why?
--update-map to update bp-positions and --update-name to update ids.
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Hi - is anyone aware of any recent research - from anthropological and sociological perspective that focuses on the effectiveness of legal frameworks within the EU and UK to eradicate FGM / C within its borders?
My focus is not on the medical implications, rather it's on the legal provisions. I don't think my research has shown enough depth - any suggestions for MSc/MPhil or PhD searches? 
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Contacting Professor Els Leye (els.leye@ugent.be) Ghent University, would be a good Place to start.
If I find anything else, I will send to you, please write to me at owolabi.bjalkander@ki,se so that I have your email address.
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I'm trying to track down any examples of prehistoric occupation floors where the main/full-size camp (hearths, activity areas, sleeping areas, etc), might have a smaller miniature version right next-door (so to speak), or very nearby? 
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There are some very well-documented examples of small hearths near larger hearths at the Bugas-Holding site in NW Wyoming. This is a protohistoric site ~500 yrs old with excellent preservation in a very thin cultural deposit (~1-3 cm over most of the site and less than 10 cm in areas where hearth excavation has covered older hearths). There are larger hearths with bison bone processing (some sheep and very few elk) across the excavated area that was the first test of some careful piece plotting. In the southern part of the site are 3 much smaller stone boiling hearths (probably used to extract bone grease from cancellous articular ends of bones). One is covered by backdirt providing some sequencing to their use. Excellent bone refitting work across the site helps show movement of anatomical units between hearth and discard areas. 
Rapson, David J., and Lawrence C. Todd. "Conjoins, contemporaneity, and site structure: distributional analysis of the Bugas-Holding site." BAR INTERNATIONAL SERIES 578 (1992): 238-238.
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Many mammals have a bone called the baculum. Elephants and humans don't. Why?
Is their a survival advantage specific to elephants & humans?
When we look at the sequence of bones from homo erectus back through to neanderthal man and beyond, at any point is there a baculum?
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Its all due to Natural selection or you can say sexual selection.
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Anthropology
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I'd say above all Alan Dixson (2012. Primate Sexuality). It covers a huge amount of topics, from anatomy to physiology, hormones, and brain areas in a comparative perspective. Another book by him is the 2009 one (Sexual Selection and the Origins of Human Mating Systems), but i found many topics already discussed in "primate sexuality".
Roy Levin wrote a lot on male and female's orgasm and the like. Then, you can check also for "Komisaruk & Whipple (2011). Non-genital orgasms". In Levin you can find references regarding the "upsuck theory" of the female orgasm due to oxytocin which would promote fertilization.
As for the "Value" of orgasm in an evolutionary perspective, I recently came into few people such as Pham and Schackelford, who were involved in why humans perform oral sex and —indeed— the value of it, dealing with mate retention, sperm competition, infidelity detection, and so on.
Good luck!
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Could anyone please suggest bibliographic references about the second metacarpal bones of neanderthal and paleolithic human? Thank you!
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You have the PHd of Isabelle Villemeur (Université Bordeaux 1) for the hand .(Etude morphologique et biomécanique du squelette de la main des Néandertaliens : comparaison avec la main des hommes actuels)
and the PHd of Anne Hambucken for the Member Sup.  HAMBUCKEN, A. (1993). Variabilité morphologique et metrique de l'Humerus, du Radius et de l'Ulna des Néandertaliens. Comparaison avec l'Homme moderne. Thèse de Doctorat, Université Bordeaux I. 
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hi dears
What dates do you recommend for these tools that been found randomly in different places in the southern Alborz mountain of Iran? The Geographical coordinates is :(N:36 12 40.00 E: 50 15 31.50)?
thanks a lot...
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Dear Hosein, it would be unrealistic to assign a date to these pieces coming from unspecified stratigraphic context. I’m not familiar with this area, but for me both seem to be rejuvenation flakes knapped from Blade/ bladelet cores and the one on the left seems to be retouched into truncated piece. All the best.
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I just read that the first naledi fossil was a mandible which had collapsed from the breccia above. The morphological comparative evidence is clear IMO: naledi (humanlike plantigrade feet, more flamingo- than ostrich-like) were wetland waders, who collected aquatic herbaceous vegetation (& probably other foods) like lowland gorillas regularly & bonobos occasionally do, but much more frequently: this also explains their bonobo-like features, e.g. the curved manual phalanges (for climbing in the branches above the swamp like bonobos do). When they died in the swamp, their bodies got almost immediately covered with mud, which could explain why the fossils are remarkably complete. But I'm no geologist: the caves below the wetland eroded away, but how exactly could the fossils end up in the Naledi cave?
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I agree with Anek. According to the geological/context findings, there is no indication that they eroded from the ceiling.
For further info, check the link bellow.
Best,
Claudia
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Donald E. Brown's book, "Human Universals", explores and describes physical and behavioral characteristics that can be considered universal among all cultures, all people. I have not been able to get my hands on a copy of that work. Can someone who has read the book tell me if Brown employed a systematic cross-cultural analysis? Or did he employed a different methodology? If so, what was the procedure he used to determine which traits are ubiquitous in human societies? Are his findings robust and reliable? Or are they based on a somewhat haphazard survey of regionally isolated studies?
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Methodology is not normally a term applied to writing a book (as opposed, say, to doing field or laboratory research), or at least not that sort of a book. 
In a sense the book 'Human Universals' is a "review" of the literature.  They are written all the time in many fields (n psychology, sociology, and of course anthropology). But there is no standard methodology for writing a book about cultural or biological universals. Brown did search the term 'universals' to go through various published journal indexes that listed references for further investigation.  
 In particular, aside from the anthropological evidence for cultural and biological universals, Brown paid attention to the evidence in psychology and evolutionary psychology.  
He also drew on his own field experiences in Brunei, Bali, Mexico, and of course the US--hence he relied on the comparative method.  That in turn was much supplemented by a long interest in world ethnography.  He had prepared for field work in Latin America.  He studied with Africanists (Leo Kuper, M.G. Smith, Victor Turner) to learn British Social Anthro, and thereby read a lot of African ethnography.  All this adds up to the comparative method.
 There is a section of my book where Brown discusses how he assessed the universality of problematic cases for universals and he dealt with the quantitative issue of absolute vs near universals. Much of this is not dignified with the term methodology but is standard method across many fields as part of what constitutes objective or scientific writing.
Brown followed in the footsteps of Murdock and others who had focused on the study of universals, but produced a more nuanced account of universals that had been neglected by the majority of anthropologists who tended to focus on cultural differences.  
Of course Brown does not deny tremendous cultural variation and differences throughout the world.   But the neglect of cultural and biological universals often led anthropologists to 'exoticize' humans in various regions of the world, reducing the ability to empathize with the so-called 'other.'   Anthropologists must emphasize both the similarities and differences of people and societies they investigate to produce a more comprehensive understanding of humanity.  
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I'm curious to know if there are any specific behavioural signs of mutual belonging to social groups in primates that can be useful to identify an omologue in humans. (Example: the "separation cry" for careseeking/attachment).
I would not consider allogrooming as a specific sign of group belonging since it is mainly a caregiving behaviour... does it make sense by an ethological point of view?
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Thank you all so much!
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I am looking to conduct a comparative study of instruments in the future and was curious what other instruments are out there to measure these things. If you have a novel measurement you would like for me to include in evaluation please let me know.
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  Let me try to help by one short paragraph summary –Broad based scientific approach to study the concept of EVOLUTION- Comparative Molecular three dimensional –building block- structures of different , close and related species , genomic similarities and differences (the DOMAINS) of related and different species , and most importantly timely Stepwise and smooth uninterrupted change of “speciation” accompanied by simultaneous molecular structure change with time and “The tree of Life” and MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor) concepts of species origination . You may add Archeological , Paleontological and cyclical facies analysis in paleogeography and stratification studies , as well as universal Radioactive decay fundamentals of elements on the subject of Nuclear Physics for the accurate TIME CONCEPT and ORIGINATION of species on this planet earth stretching back over 3,8 billion years .You may add Astronomy and Astrophysical concepts and observations too , to put the icing on the cake for the “evolution on this planet earth” –so to speak- .
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I see most people running urinary steroid hormone and oxytocin assays are publishing that SPE is required as sample prep, but I have been unable to replicate results reliably. I can use a commercially available EIA kit that does not require SPE prior to running, but I'm looking for good resources on how to know what sample prep is appropriate for your sample matrix and testing method as well as how to choose the correct SPE column. There are multiple types in the literature that are used. For example, oxytocin extractions interchangeably report using Phenomenex StrataX, Waters Oasis HLB, and Sep Pak C18,
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You're correct that various investigators use different SPE cleanup methods for steroids and oxytocin, and indeed it doesn't matter which method you use as long as you verify the results yourself. There are two main things you need to do to check out for a particular method: (1) determine recovery from the SPE column (using known amounts of pure standards, spiking samples with known amounts of a standard, or using radiolabeled materials), and (2) determine whether the clean-up procedure works to give you reliable results. If you have access to a mass spectrometry facility, you can directly check the purity of the column eluate and how well the EIA values compare to values from LC-MS/MS measurement. More commonly, accuracy of an antibody-based assay (e.g., EIA) is assessed by preparing serial dilutions of your unknowns (purified and non-purified) and determining whether the readout from the set of serially diluted samples parallels the readout from your standard curve. One final note is that in my lab we have been happy with using the Phenomenex StrataX cleanup method for salivary oxytocin measurement. Good luck!
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Wild great apes commonly make their night nests around dusk and usually rise again at dawn, but do they sleep through the night? Does sleep come later in the evening, following a period of rest, or is there a period of wakefulness in the middle of the night? What is known about captive great ape sleep patterns? These questions may help us to understand the segmented sleep patterns thought to have been practiced by people in the West before Industrial Revolution.
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Nama--I think you're definitely driving at an important question!
Personal field experience in Uganda, at wild chimpanzee sites, tells me there is activity at  night.  I recall waking up several times throughout the night to pant-hooting chimps.  Zamma (2013) is the only reference I know actually addressing this issue.  In captivity I found interesting behaviors with orangutan sleeping platform construction and night time long calls throughout the sleep cycle.   
The question of how ape sleep affects our evolutionary interpretation of human sleep remains open; so little has been done in describing human sleep ecology outside the context of developed countries and lab conditions.
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I am trying to investigate why women are loathe to orient towards oncoming pedestrians and men are willing to do open pass. It has been suggested that, women tend to protect their breast with arms across when avoiding a collision. Is there any evolutionary theory to support this assertion?
I will appreciate any relevant articles and previous studies on pedestrian avoidance behavior.
Thanks
Daro
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Dear Khayrullin, 
Your point on the issue of left-right-handedness is quite interesting and a valid point especially; when some stats indicate a very high proportion of British citizens are left-handed. However, if it is a factor, it should also reflect on the passing behaviour of both sexes. It is worth exploring further though.
Thanks
Daro
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For several years some scholars have accepted the engraved pieces of ochre from Blombos cave in South Africa, at least one of which has a geometric cross-hatched pattern, as evidence of early modern human aesthetic creation (ca. 70,000 BP). See: Henshilwood, Christopher S.; d’Errico, Francesco; et al., “Emergence of modern human behavior: Middle Stone Age engravings from South Africa,” in Science, new series, vol. 295, no. 5558, February 15, 2002, pp. 1278-1280 (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/295/5558/1278.abstract?sid=da7c3755-b2bc-4ced-93da-2c024c50b1fd, access: March 14, 2015).
The recent discovery of similar engravings on shells on Java, from ca. 500,000 BP -that is, long before the emergence of modern Homo sapiens-, suggests that aesthetic creation evolved gradually. See: Joordans, Josephine C. A.; d’Errico, Francesco; et al., “Homo erectus at Trinil on Java used shells for tool production and engraving,” in Nature, December 3, 2014 (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature13962.html, access: March 14, 2015).
Suggestions that chimpanzees make aesthetic decisions while painting are intriguing. See the following texts and video:
Can anybody point me toward additional studies on aesthetic creation by nonhuman primates, either in the archaeological record or among our contemporary primate cousins?
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Hi Louis,
I live in Australia, and so am quite familiar with Bower birds, (although there aren't any on the west coast, where I currently live).
Interestingly, some Bower birds do more than accumulate brightly coloured objects to decorate their love nests.
Many use a sophisticated artistic technique called "forced perspective" and, ranking the objects they collect by size, they create an optical illusion so that to the potential mates observing them, they appear larger, and so (presumably) more attractive. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_perspective
The males that do this most effectively appear to be more successful in securing mates.
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Obviously spending all this time and effort making and decorating a gorgeous display ground, unconsciously incorporating optical illusions, and then dancing and singing in the resulting love-nest, does not contribute to the survival of the male bird's offspring at all.
It just attracts mates that allow him to have offspring in the first place.
It is not necessary for the bird to consciously understand what he is doing. The male birds that make the best use of design, colour and perspective have the most offspring, and selection pressures ensure those birds end up dominating the population. It's a Darwinian basis to art! (But let me say, I don't assume it explains ALL artistic endeavor).
In fact this is a classic example of sexual selection, where males make costly sacrifices to demonstrate their fitness to any females who are prospective mates and who happen to be listening.
Like a peacock's tail, all this effort is most likely an example of Zahavi's "Handicap principle",
Male Australian Lyre birds have extravagant tails, and build dancing/display grounds for themselves, and they also imitate other bird songs (or anything else they happen to hear) to impress the lady Lyre birds...
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In an earlier comment you mentioned dance. I suspect that this sort of movement may have been very significant in human evolution.
Animals frequently expend energy unnecessarily, and typically this is done to signal their fitness to other animals,. Zahavi's famous example was certain species of antelope that jump high in the air, on the spot, (rather than fleeing) when they see or smell a lion or other predator.
The exuberant jumping tells the lion that;
a) this antelope already knows the lion is there, and
b) not to bother chasing this particular antelope, as it obviously has plenty of energy to spare, and could run all day if it wanted.
(If you think this has little to do with humans, I'd recommend you deeply consider the contemporary meanings of the word "swagger").
Animals frequently waste time, energy and other resources to signal messages  to their potential predators, rivals of their own species, or possible mates. 
To anthropomorphise, the message pretty much every time is "Hey, look how fit I am, I can do this for no reason!"
The signal is either, "I am not an easy victim, go and bother someone else ", or else it is "I am a supremely healthy individual, you should mate with me". And the more costly a signal such as this is, the more valid it appears to the target.
If the signal is effective, the apparent "waste" of energy is actually highly adaptive and so it will be selected for and the behaviour will become more common. . 
In a similar fashion, many male animals engage in some form of unnecessary ritualised movement to attract the attention of potential mates. Various species of Birds of Paradise have males that not only display costly and extravagant plumage (just like peacocks and Lyre birds) but that also engage in extremely complex mating dances.
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Here's a male Bower bird doing his love-dance (apologies for the cheesy voice over);
Louis, I suspect that you have pointed to something crucial in human evolution by mentioning dance.
Raising a human child is a collaborative effort.
The ability to dance fluidly with a partner is not just a demonstration of your personal physical ability, it is also a demonstration of your ability to cooperate and synchronize movements, and more importantly to empathise, to compromise and make allowances, and then to act in concert with your partner.
In early human societies I would suggest that males who could dance well with you were quite possibly damn-good prospective mates. They either cared about you deeply, or were capable of acting as though you were equal partners even if they didn't. 
I can imagine this sort of sexual selection encouraging rapidly and increasingly complex ritual, musical expression, decoration and display.
So (from an evolutionary psychologist's point of view), it might appear that art, ( or aesthetic endeavor of any kind), is just  a ploy (when enacted by us males of the species)  to get laid. Please discuss.
:)
Kind regards,
Paul, (yeah, I got swag) Dessauer.
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this is for a pretest of some fotographs of houses (with and without plants nearby) and gardens (with more or less plants and other natural elements).
we want to find out which of the stimuli are evaluated by participants as being most natural and which are least natural.
I'm not talking about scales like Perceived Restorativeness Scale.
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Dear Manfred
To my knowledge the foreground of a landscape that does not exceed ten meters allows the perception of detail elements or components of this aFront -plan. Beyond this distance and jusu'à a hundred meters is the intermediate level of the landscape, the elements or components of the intermediate plane are perceived by their shape. Against by the elements or components which is in the background that is between 100 to 1000 meters are collected by their volume.
Best regards
FADEL
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My interest is to develop a general theory based on the evolution of the origin of the relationships in modern human.
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Johan. The review is very good.
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Ernst Haeckel’ss adage ‘ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny’ envelopes the concept that the developing embryo goes through stages resembling successive stages in the evolution of their extinct ancestors.
Haeckel’s adage, which has been largely rejected as a biological hypothesis, differs from the hypothesis I suggest which could trace the direct lineage of hominins. I have termed this hypothesis the Ontogeny –Pylogeny Evolution Model. In retrospect, a better name would be the Ontogeny Phlogeny Calcaneal Model (OPCM) which suggests that all hominid ancestors (e.g., progenitor) will exhibit the same structural twist (Supinatus) in the posterior aspect of the calcaneus.
Apply the OPCM to uncovered fossils in the hominin taxa would eliminate Australopithecus africanus as a species in the human lineage.
Your thoughts?
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I think you may need to look up von Baer's restatement of Haeckel's Law.
We would need a greater understanding of the morphological plasticity of the calcaneus in response to function. Is the calcaneal twist governed by genetics, functional use, or both? I suspect both. But, the extent to which an early hominine calcaneus differs from the modern twist cannot be the sole piece of evidence to rule in, or out, its place in human ancestry. The early hominine might be a direct human ancestor but used its foot in a different way (arboreality) and therefor lacks the modern calcaneal twist.
Then we need to evaluate calcaneal diversity. What forces (function or genetic) might cause a modern-like calcaneal twist without being part of human ancestry? Oreopithecus comes to mind as showing a lot of "modern human" locomotor features but, because of other features such as teeth, is not very likely to be a direct human ancestor. Thus, we need to guard against evolutionary parallels.
In short, you may have something here, but it needs to be explored and explained a lot more than can be done in a few short paragraph postings. You might want to check out Am J Phys Anth 78(3):369-386
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There are some measures for slow LHS (alhb, mini-k, hkss), but I could not find a scale for measuring fast life history strategy in humans. Does such a scale exist? Will it make sense to develop such a scale (since I don't think that fast LHS could be accurately measured with K-strategy scales, for example by just inverting it)? Thanks in advance for your hints!
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The lack of an r-scale has been a sore spot for some in our research group for some time. I know of no such measure. I would also be careful of mixing proximate psychological processes with less proximate LH outcomes. The Copping et al. (2014) criticism, makes a valid point regarding the relationship between psychometric measures and biometric indicators (I think that the outright dismissal of self-report measures is simply wrong, but I can see how one can have that approach ).
I know that AJ's preferred method is using the MiniK, TIPI, SF36, and HKSS to create a "SuperK" factor, but that doesn't address your question. Unfortunately, most of the research on r/K is done on college student or volunteers, which will tend toward being slower almost by definition. 
I'm kind of rambling, so I'll stop. I do think the question is a great one and someone should definitely get on it (benchmarking it against the K measures).
 As an aside, you can find a recent meta analysis of the Mini-K in the attached link. 
 Raf
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There are many contradictions in the literature as to the origin of the omo-cervicalis (aka, atlanto-cervicalis, levator claviculae) muscle in non-human primates.  Miller 1932 reports it's on the spinous process but all images (including his) appear to depict its origin on the lateral aspect of the pars interarticularis.    Any informed knowledge on this from dissection or otherwise?  Not from the usual literature citing Miller (ie., Aiello, Wood).      
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Dear Colleague,
Thank you for this interesting question. It shows us that there is still a lot to discover and to describe in anatomy, and that comparative anatomy e.g., primatology, can be of great value in this. In the recent past, e.g., with respect to functional anatomy of primates and their predecessors (like the marsupials that we studied), the Journal of Anatomy papers by the late Professor F.G. Parsons (1863-1943) did help us a lot ! I therefore attach this 1898 paper by Prof. Parsons, with his description of the levator claviculae muscle from p. 449 on, plus some sketches. Remarkably, he calls this muscle also "omo-trachelian". 
I  think that his explanations make sense, be they quite short. Unfortunately, I could not figure out right now, where his second lecture on head & neck anatomy was published.
Anyway, I still hope that this paper will give you some of the wanted information.
Wishing you success, with kind regards,
Koos Jaap van Zwieten
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There are classic examples of heterozygote superiority (e.g., the malarial resistance of individuals heterozygous for the sickle-cell gene). But, how common — across the genome and across taxa — is heterozygote superiority?
I can think of two crudely relevant data points. In a wide array of taxa well over 50% of loci are monomorphic (which suggests no heterozygote advantage at those loci). On the other hand, inbreeding depression implies a homozygote disadvantage, at least at some loci.
The reason I said these facts are crudely relevant is because of a 2002 paper by Derek Roff where he presents experimental evidence that inbreeding depression (in a cricket) results more from an increased incidence of harmful recessives than from a reduction in the frequency of beneficial heterozygotes. If that result generalizes it does not argue for the prevalence of heterozygote superiority. Any thoughts?
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Dear Steven, I think different topics might be slightly muddled in this question: 1) the heterozygote advantage in cases where the effect of a single gene on the phenotype is well known and has strong phenotypic effects, with 2) heterozygosity advantage as one of the mechanisms underlying inbreeding depression. The first case you mention, is not central to the final question you pose. In the second case, molecular ecologists tend to use heterozygosity measured in neutral markers to infer inbreeding levels in natural populations, or to reveal the strength of the associations between heterozygosity and fitness-related traits. Most often this refers to complex traits (affected by many genes) normally distributed and hence that are amenable of study using quantitative genetics techniques. Thus, when looking at empirical studies it is important to find-out what genes (coding, non-coding), the strength of their effects, the number of genes/markers and what type of trait (simple or complex) the researchers are dealing with.
First, sickle cell anemia is an example of heterozygote advantage, one of the mechanisms that allow the maintenance of genetic polymorphism through balancing selection. The other well-known mechanism is frequency-dependent selection (as in the peppered moth phenotypic change to melanic forms during the industrial revolution). Thus the heterozygote advantage of the sickle-cell gene is context-dependent and depends on the frequency of the protozoan parasite in the population; outside malaria infested areas there is no such heterozygote advantage. So for answering your first question “how common — across the genome and across taxa is heterozygote superiority?” you would have to first account as well for the context-dependency and reformulate your question as follows: “how common — across the genome, taxa, and environmental contexts (phenotype by environment interactions) is heterozygote superiority?”. But there is more to this, because the answer won't be the same for complex traits (dozens of genes) and simple traits (1 gene).
Second, and importantly, regarding your second point: inbreeding depression does exclusively imply a homozygote disadvantage; there are other potential mechanisms such as overdominance (with neutral markers you can also have associative overdominance). Inbreeding depression is just the reduction in fitness that happens with the increase in frequency of mating between related individuals (recognized by Darwin in 1868 and formally defined by Morton 1956). Roff’s 2002 empirical study supported the partial dominance hypothesis, which had been previously highlighted as the main underlying mechanism by the Charlesworth’s. It overall seems that the overdominance hypothesis has received significantly less support than the others (recessives, or mild recessives). 
I am unsure of at what level you want to explore this question further. If you want to dive more in the theory of quantitative genetics behind it go for the Charlesworth work, recent chapters by Bruce Walsh ( I think they are available online), Patrice David... If you are interested on heterozygosity-fitness correlations in wild populations (using neutral markers) you should start looking at Chapman 2011 (recent review in Mol Ecol), work from Amos, Aparicio, Balloux, Coltman, Coulson, Hansson, Keller, Ortego, Pemberton, Slate, etc… (these authors have also worked on the power of different heterozygosity-based measures). For papers showing heterozygosity on coding loci or allozymes on fitness traits such as growth or metabolic efficiency you should look at 70s-80s work on invertebrates. Mitton and Grant 1984 gives a good overview. Hope this helps.
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While RACE and RACISM remain powerful concepts in popular culture, the notion of races seems to be difficult to pin down in light of more sophisticated genetic analysis. Is it time to promote the idea of abandoning the fundamental motion of races rather than simply advocating for improved interracial tolerance?
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The Human Genome Project has shown that people of different races/nationalities can have more similarities in DNA than 2 people of the same race/nationality. Appearance is 0.01% of DNA. So, from an academic perspective it's not useful to divide humans into races. The same holds for race-based nationalism, which is simply unfounded in the scientific view. It comes into play with social concepts and processes.
BTW. I had to fill out a form the other day, where I was asked for my race. I left this empty because I really don't know - and as a German post war child I think in the categories of humans and non-humans.
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Knowing the influence of environmental factors, I wonder if it is correct/possible to estimate biological relatedness from the morphology of these bones.
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Before the advent of easy genotyping, phenotypic distances (such as you suggest) have been used to estimate relatedness between populations. However, a 1997 paper by Burstin and Charcosset (see link) showed that there exists a triangular relationship between genetic and phenotypic distances: Short genetic distances are associated with short phenotypic distances, but long genetic distances are associated with a wide range of phenotypic distance. In other words: Phenotypic distances are not all that predictive of genetic distances.
I agree with @Pedro: If possible use some type of genetic markers to infer relatedness or genetic distance.
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Within the Mousterian record of western Europe, we have evidence for usage of black pigment made from MnO2 by Neandertals (50 000 years old at Pech-de-l'Azé I for instance). I've been using the analogy with the ethnographic record as well as some preliminary experiments to argue that they might have been used as dye stuff/stain (see Soressi et D'Errico, 2007 as well as Soressi et al 2008). Would anybody know of usage of MnO2 pigment for other purposes than body decoration/symbolic purposes?
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Dear Marie
I have been studied the medical and cosmetical uses of various minerals (see my papers on academia.edu) .
For the MnO2 (pyrolusite, ) I documented rather accidential use of it.
The by-product of the cave art was probably the intoxication and altered states of consciousness due to inhalation of MnO2 in suspension (the MnO2 is the only mineral that causes this kind of biological reaction - see works of M. Lorblanchet (e.g. 1995 Les grottes ornees de la prehistoire) and various works on intoxication in the manganeese mines in 19th and 20th centuries, e.g. Hine, Ch. H. & A. Pasi. 1975. Manganese intoxication. Western Journal of Medicine 123(2): 101-107; Dietz, M. C., A. Ihrig, W. Wrazidlo, M. Bader, O. Jansen & G. Triebig. 2001. Results of magnetic resonance imaging in long-term manganese dioxide-exposed workers. Environmental Research 85: 37-40; and some Polish if you want :)
Another use (external) is for antiseptic reasons - it is the mineral of negligible toxicity for humans.
From Neolithic pyrolusite (in various minerlogical forms) was used for pottery and angoba decoration.
Iternal use of MnO2 in the treatment of anemia was discredited at the beginning of 20th century and even claimed as dangerous due to iron absorbtion disorder caused by it.
In 20th century for steel production, as pigments, in pils technology.
Sincerely
Michal Wasilewski PhD
PS. I will be delighted for any articles or informations on medical uses of any minerals.
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Need help from someone who knows how to look at the Neanderthal genome sequence
Here is the link to the database at the Max-Plank-Institute http://www.eva.mpg.de/neandertal/index.html
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Each human gene is present once in the Neanderthal genome. Neanderthals were humans, more than 99.9% identical in DNA to modern humans. Svante Paabo has a book out now, that tells all about the sequencing of the Neanderthal and Denisova genomes, and what they found in them: http://www.amazon.com/Neanderthal-Man-Search-Lost-Genomes/dp/0465020836
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For my research I am trying to find health issues with the Egyptian elite and royal mummies.
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Hello Catherine,
The inner and outer tables (and diploe) of the skull are normal; the superior triangle at the top is the "Superior sagittal sinus" . So you have a normal coronal XR of a child skull!
You can see also the beginning of the "frontal sinus"development. They take their individual anatomical characteristics about 2 years and are visible on XR about 6 or 8 years old. Under the right orbit, sit the maxillary sinus; at 5 years they take a pyramid shape but I only see its foramen!
Best regards. PhiL.
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Are humans the only animals that are menopausal in females? If not, which are the others? What other relevant factors do they all have in common? Does the menopause confer the same survival advantage to all of them, or is it different? Is there an evolutionary advantage behind menopause?
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Natural selection requires an advantage for replicators (genes) competing against alternatives; hence selection cannot favor traits that diminish the success of genes, regardless of potential benefits at the species level.
Menopause is a complex, organized physiological process -- evidence against a simple 'breakdown' hypothesis.
Other species with analogous reproductive cessation include pilot whales and elephants. In all cases, species with co-resident maternal kin, multi-generational overlaps, long periods of juvenile development and dependence, and important functions for old females.
The evolutionary logic here is that the reproductive value of additional offspring diminishes as a female ages -- she is increasingly likely to die before the offspring has been successfully raised. Conversely, older females can be useful as helpers for older offspring, and eventually, grandoffspring. So selection favored genes for menopause in hominins (and some whales & elephants) because females that stopped having babies got more genes into future generations than those females who continued to reproduce and were less able to help their existing kin because they died sooner (cost of making additional offspring, who were unlikely to survive to reproduce).
For review see:
Flinn, M.V., Quinlan, R.J., Ward, C.V., & Coe, M.K. (2007). Evolution of the human family: Cooperative males, long social childhoods, smart mothers, and extended kin networks. In: Family relationships, C. Salmon & T. Shackelford (Eds.) Chapter 2, pp. 16-38. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Flinn, M.V. (2011a). Evolutionary anthropology of the human family. In Oxford handbook of evolutionary family psychology, C. Salmon & T. Shackleford (Eds.), chapter 2, pp. 12-32. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Geary, D.C. & Flinn, M.V. (2001). Evolution of human parental behavior and the human family. Parenting: Science and Practice, 1 (1&2), 5-61.
Muehlenbein, M. & Flinn, M.V. (2011). Pattern and process of human life history evolution. In: Oxford handbook of life history, T. Flatt & A. Heyland (Eds.), chapter 23, pp. 153-168. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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I have a very specific question concerning modern human/neanderthal studies. As long as I understand, neanderthal trace in human genome is due to some recombinant loci. That means, neanderthal clonal genes (Y-chromosome, mt-DNA) were completely washed out from the modern human populations due to gene drift, but some recombinant loci still remain in the gene pool. Moreover, they exist in literally any non-African human person.
Discovering presence of neanderthal alleles in the sapiens genome became possible after scientists sequenced neanderthal genome. Thus, the location of the neanderthal alleles in Eurasian genomes is known and, perhaps, even available. That means, primers can be easily designed for these fragments and the "neanderthal" fragments should be relatively easy to sequence for any modern human.
That means, by sequencing these fragments for humans from the different parts of Eurasia one can reconstruct the underlining Neanderthal phylogeny, i.e. one can compare the neanderthals from West Europe, Caucasus, Central and East Asia, whose differences may well be much deeper in time than the differences between respective modern human lineages, which are thought to diverge 100 TY or similar. Should the existing differences between modern human populations be completely attributed to the divergence that started 100,000 TY? Or, perhaps, they at least partly root into the time of divergence among neanderthal geographic populations?
It sounds too simple, that means, most likely is something wrong and stupid in this logic, or evolutionary anthropologists already working on this. Or?
Would appreciate much for the comment.
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There is a very nice paper by L Excoffier who modelised the admixture between Neandertal and Sapiens. One of the results is to show that we expect different parts of Neandertal genome to have been retained up to now in each non-african individuals. So it would be very difficult to find different homologous Neandertal fragments and do population genetics with them. Else your idea would be very nice. You should also look to a paper by Labuda's team on the X chromosome (Dystrophin gene), I do not remember all the details, but he was able to clearly identify some Nenadertal "fragments".
Best regards
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For about 3 months, I will be observing indigenous Nicaraguans while they are fishing with a variety of technologies (bows, masks and crossbows, hooks, and nets). Overall, my associates and I will observe approximately 32 hour-long fishing bouts every day (evenly divided among the four technologies). The success of these bouts, as measured in kilograms of acquired fish, will depend on a variety of factors -- I am mostly interested in characteristics of the individual fishers: age, sex, experience, etc.
Owing to the behavior of the most common fish species, I anticipate that fishing returns will vary across the duration of the study. For example, the water varies in clarity throughout the study period, which means that return rates in mid-March, for example, will exceed those in early May. I will include fixed effects for water clarity and temperature to account for this variation as well as possible. And although I haven't implemented such models, I understand that I can model the temporal autocorrelation structure to account for residual day-to-day variation.
It occurs to me, however, that returns might also vary by time of day. For example, some species forage primarily in the early morning hours, which could lead to elevated returns for fishing bouts at that time. But those correlations by time of day could also exhibit a temporal autocorrelation structure across days, such that returns at 8:00 in the morning on April 15 and April 18 will be more closely correlated than returns on April 18 and May 9, for example.
I'm wondering if a general autocorrelation structure would successfully account for that double-correlation of day-to-day variation and time-of-day variation.
As an analogy to more conventional multilevel modeling, I feel like I'm trying to allow "time of day" to have varying slopes, not just varying intercepts. Any suggestions?
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First, what software will you use? SAS, R, Genstat. If you use SAS, there is proc mixed that allows to use autocorrelation structure. THis will be under the repated statement, and you will need AR(1) but you can use an heterogenous structure (i.e. a different error by day or week.
You can specify a correlation that is day to day and time to time, the best way, is to reserve the lower level to the repeated statement, (i.e. hor-to-hour), and the day-to day as a random effect that will simplify the temporal correlation across days usin a compound symmetry.
With respect to the other factors you need a fixed effect. Here, a factor associated with time or week will be usefull unless you want to simplify the model.
In general, it is possible, but you need to work with repeated measures and there are plenty of good books about it. I suggest Littell etl all (1996).
Chees
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Salvador