David M. Alba

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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)
Morphological and biometrical analyses of the partial hand IPS18800 of the fossil great ape Hispanopithecus laietanus (=Dryopithecus laietanus), from the Late Miocene (about 9.5Ma) of Can Llobateres (Catalonia, Spain), reveal many similarities with extant orang-utans (Pongo). These similarities are interpreted as adaptations to below-branch suspensory(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)
On the basis of industrial computed tomography, relative enamel thickness (RET) is computed in three Middle Miocene (ca 11.9-11.8 Ma) hominoids from Abocador de Can Mata (Vallès-Penedès Basin, Catalonia, Spain): Pierolapithecus catalaunicus from BCV1 and Anoiapithecus brevirostris from C3-Aj, interpreted as stem hominids; and Dryopithecus fontani from C3-Ae(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)
In a recent contribution, Rolian and Gordon (2013) provided new randomization analyses to test whether Australopithecus afarensis possessed human-like manual proportions (particularly a long thumb/finger relationship), as previously argued by Alba et al. (2003). The latter authors had previously concluded that “thumb/ hand proportions in A. afarensis are(More)
The taxonomic affinities of the Eppelsheim femur, known as Paidopithex, have been unclear for more than a century. Over the years, due to similarities with Pliopithecus, some authors have considered it a large pliopithecid, while others refer to it as Dryopithecus. The issue could not be resolved, because no definitive Dryopithecus femora were available.(More)
Currently restricted to Southeast Asia and Africa, extant hominoids are the remnants of a group that was much more diverse during the Miocene. Apes initially diversified in Africa during the early Miocene, but by the middle Miocene they extended their geographical range into Eurasia, where they experienced an impressive evolutionary radiation. Understanding(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)
Extant apes (Primates: Hominoidea) are the relics of a group that was much more diverse in the past. They originated in Africa around the Oligocene/Miocene boundary, but by the beginning of the Middle Miocene they expanded their range into Eurasia, where they experienced a far-reaching evolutionary radiation. A Eurasian origin of the great ape and human(More)