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The hands of apes and humans differ considerably with regard to proportions between several bones. Of critical significance is the long thumb relative to other fingers, which is the basis for human-like pad-to-pad precision grip capability, and has been considered by some as evidence of tool-making. The nature and timing of the evolutionary transition from(More)
The phylogenetic position of the giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca (Carnivora: Ursidae: Ailuropodinae), has been one of the most hotly debated topics by mammalian biologists and paleontologists during the last century. Based on molecular data, it is currently recognized as a true ursid, sister-taxon of the remaining extant bears, from which it would have(More)
Paleobiological inferences on general cognitive abilities (intelligence) in fossil hominoids strongly rely on relative brain size or encephalization, computed by means of allometric residuals, quotients or constants. Th is has been criticized on the basis that it presumably fails to reflect the higher intelligence of great apes, and absolute brain size has(More)
BACKGROUND The morphology of human pollical distal phalanges (PDP) closely reflects the adaptation of human hands for refined precision grip with pad-to-pad contact. The presence of these precision grip-related traits in the PDP of fossil hominins has been related to human-like hand proportions (i.e. short hands with a long thumb) enabling the thumb and(More)
Orrorin tugenensis (Kenya, ca. 6 Ma) is one of the earliest putative hominins. Its proximal femur, BAR 1002'00, was originally described as being very human-like, although later multivariate analyses showed an australopith pattern. However, some of its traits (for example, laterally protruding greater trochanter, medially oriented lesser trochanter and(More)
We describe a partial skeleton with facial cranium of Pierolapithecus catalaunicus gen. et sp. nov., a new Middle Miocene (12.5 to 13 million years ago) ape from Barranc de Can Vila 1 (Barcelona, Spain). It is the first known individual of this age that combines well-preserved cranial, dental, and postcranial material. The thorax, lumbar region, and wrist(More)
In this paper, we test the currently accepted taxonomic hypothesis that the hand of the Homo habilis holotype Olduvai hominid 7 (OH7) from Olduvai Gorge can be unambiguously assigned to Homo. Morphometric and morphological comparison with humans and australopithecines (Australopithecus and Paranthropus) indicate that the OH7 hand most likely belongs to P.(More)
The partial skeleton of Pierolapithecus, which provides the oldest unequivocal evidence of orthogrady, together with the recently described phalanges from Paşalar most likely attributable to Griphopithecus, provide a unique opportunity for understanding the changes in hand anatomy during the pronogrady/orthogrady transition in hominoid evolution. In this(More)
A well-preserved 11.8-million-years-old lower face attributed to the seminal taxon Dryopithecus fontani (Primates, Hominidae) from the Catalan site ACM/C3-Ae of the Hostalets de Pierola area (Vallès-Penedès Basin, Catalonia, NE Spain) is described. The new data indicate that D. fontani is distinct at the genus level from Late Miocene European taxa(More)