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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 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)
  • David M Alba
  • 2010
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)
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)
Cercopithecid fossil remains from the post-evaporitic Messinian (5.40-5.33 Ma, MN13, latest Turolian, latest Miocene) locality of Moncucco Torinese (Tertiary Piedmont Basin, NW Italy) are described. A talus is assigned to the fossil colobine Mesopithecus pentelicus, while a proximal fragment of ulna and a male lower canine are attributed to cf. Me.(More)
Garcia et al. (2011) recently discussed early human dispersals into the Iberian Peninsula, describing several putative lithic artifacts (Martínez et al., 2010) recovered from layer 7 of the Vallpara díssection (Madurell-Malapeira et al., 2010) in Terrassa (Vallès-Penedès Basin, Catalonia, Spain). According to the authors' opinion, such evidence (1) fills a(More)
The great ape and human clade (Primates: Hominidae) currently includes orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans. When, where, and from which taxon hominids evolved are among the most exciting questions yet to be resolved. Within the Afropithecidae, the Kenyapithecinae (Kenyapithecini + Equatorini) have been proposed as the sister taxon of(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)