Bernhard Zipfel

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The discovery of a relatively complete Australopithecus sediba adult female skeleton permits a detailed locomotor analysis in which joint systems can be integrated to form a comprehensive picture of gait kinematics in this late australopith. Here we describe the lower limb anatomy of Au. sediba and hypothesize that this species walked with a fully extended(More)
This study examines radiographs of first metatarsals of 131 individuals from age 17-88 years to determine whether internal basal epiphyseal lines may be visible past the age of metatarsal fusion, which usually occurs between 14 and 16 years of age (Scheuer and Black: The juvenile skeleton. San Diego: Elsevier Academic Press,2004). In 29% (38 out of 131) of(More)
Mammalian tooth enamel is often chipped, providing clear evidence for localized contacts with large hard food objects. Here, we apply a simple fracture equation to estimate peak bite forces directly from chip size. Many fossil hominins exhibit antemortem chips on their posterior teeth, indicating their use of high bite forces. The inference that these(More)
Homo naledi is a previously-unknown species of extinct hominin discovered within the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star cave system, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. This species is characterized by body mass and stature similar to small-bodied human populations but a small endocranial volume similar to australopiths. Cranial morphology of H. naledi is(More)
Humans are unique, compared with our closest living relatives (chimpanzees) and early fossil hominins, in having an enlarged body size and lower limb joint surfaces in combination with a relatively gracile skeleton (i.e., lower bone mass for our body size). Some analyses have observed that in at least a few anatomical regions modern humans today appear to(More)
A well-preserved and articulated partial foot and ankle of Australopithecus sediba, including an associated complete adult distal tibia, talus, and calcaneus, have been discovered at the Malapa site, South Africa, and reported in direct association with the female paratype Malapa Hominin 2. These fossils reveal a mosaic of primitive and derived features(More)
CONTEXT Hallux abducto valgus (HAV) is a frequent cause of great toe pain and disability, yet common treatments are only supported by mixed or equivocal research findings. Surgery often only provides modest improvement and post-surgery complications may significantly hamper outcomes, implying the need for trials testing conservative treatment, such as(More)
StW 114/115, from Sterkfontein, South Africa, is the earliest complete hominin fifth metatarsal. Comparisons of StW 114/115 to modern humans, extant apes, and partial hominin metatarsals AL 333-13, AL 333-78, SKX 33380, OH 8, and KNM-ER 803f reveal a similar morphology in all six fossils consistent with habitual bipedality. Although StW 114/115 possesses(More)
Australopithecus africanus has been interpreted as having a rigid lateral foot. One mechanism contributing to a rigid foot during push-off in humans is a calcaneocuboid joint (CCJ) with limited dorsiflexion and a "close-packed" talocalcaneal joint (TCJ). In contrast, apes likely have a greater CCJ range of motion and lack a close-packed TCJ. Differences in(More)
We report on the paleopathological analysis of the partial skeleton of the late Pliocene hominin species Australopithecus africanus Stw 431 from Sterkfontein, South Africa. A previous study noted the presence of lesions on vertebral bodies diagnosed as spondylosis deformans due to trauma. Instead, we suggest that these lesions are pathological changes due(More)