David R. Begun

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Some of the most long-standing questions in paleoanthropology concern how and why human bipedalism evolved. Over the last century, many hypotheses have been offered on the mode of locomotion from which bipedalism originated. Candidate ancestral adaptations include monkey-like arboreal or terrestrial quadrupedalism, gibbon- or orangutan-like (or other forms(More)
Miocene hominoids from Europe are among the earliest members of the great ape and human clade (the Hominidae). One of these forms, represented by well-preserved cranial remains from Rudabánya, Hungary, sheds new light on the question of the evolutionary relations among living hominids. This new evidence supports the view that humans have a specific(More)
A major contribution of previous analyses of Miocene hominoid postcrania is the recognition of a great ape grade of locomotor morphology in the late Miocene. However, in the absence of a consideration of the taxonomic and phylogenetic implications of the specimens concerned, the importance of this conclusion remains unappreciated. This paper presents a(More)
Hominoids, or taxa identified as hominoids, are known from much of Africa, Asia, and Europe since the Late Oligocene. The earliest taxa, fromAfrica, resemble extant hominoids but share with them mainly primitive characters. Middle and Late Miocene taxa are clearly hominoids, and by the end of the Middle Miocene most can be attributed to either the pongine(More)
In 1871, Darwin famously opined, "In each great region of the world the living mammals are closely related to the extinct species of the same region. It is therefore probable that Africa was formerly inhabited by extinct apes closely allied to the gorilla and chimpanzee; and as these two species are now man's nearest allies, it is somewhat more probable(More)
There is much debate on the definitions of homoplasy and homology, and on how to spot them among character states used in a phylogenetic analysis. Many advocate what I call a "processual approach," in which information on genetics, development, function, or other criteria help a priori in identifying two character states as homologous or homoplastic. I(More)
Phalangeal curvature has frequently been used as a proxy indicator of fossil hominoid and hominin positional behavior and locomotor adaptations, both independently and within the context of broader discussions of the postcranium as a whole. This study used high-resolution polynomial curve fitting (HR-PCF) to measure the shaft curvature of fragmentary(More)
Late Miocene great ape crania are rare, mostly fragmentary, and the focus of much debate on great ape and human origins (Brown & Ward, 1988; Bonis et al., 1990; Moyà-Solà & Köhler, 1993, 1995; Begun, 1994; Kordos & Begun, 1997; Schwartz, 1997). Due to poor preservation, information on important features of cranial anatomy (facial angulation, prognathism,(More)