Heather L. Dingwall

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The early Pleistocene marks a period of major transition in hominin body form, including increases in body mass and stature relative to earlier hominins. However, because complete postcranial fossils with reliable taxonomic attributions are rare, efforts to estimate hominin mass and stature are complicated by the frequent albeit necessary use of isolated,(More)
OBJECTIVES Determining the functional significance of pubic rami is important for reconstructing locomotor behavior of fossil species. The slow loris pelvis, characterized by long pubic rami, is unusual among primates. Long pubic rami may be related to increasing the moment arm of the abdominal musculature during ventroflexion after the termination of(More)
Endurance running may have a long evolutionary history in the hominin clade but it was not until very recently that humans ran wearing shoes. Research on modern habitually unshod runners has suggested that they utilize a different biomechanical strategy than runners who wear shoes, namely that barefoot runners typically use a forefoot strike in order to(More)
Fossil footprints preserve the only direct evidence of the external foot morphologies and gaits of extinct hominin taxa. However, their interpretation requires an understanding of the complex interaction among foot anatomy, foot function, and soft sediment mechanics. We applied an experimental approach aimed at understanding how one measure of foot(More)
Fossil hominin footprints offer unique direct windows to the locomotor behaviors of our ancestors. These data could allow a clearer understanding of the evolution of human locomotion by circumventing issues associated with indirect interpretations of habitual locomotor patterns from fossil skeletal material. However, before we can use fossil hominin(More)
Tracks can provide unique, direct records of behaviors of fossil organisms moving across their landscapes millions of years ago. While track discoveries have been rare in the human fossil record, over the last decade our team has uncovered multiple sediment surfaces within the Okote Member of the Koobi Fora Formation near Ileret, Kenya that contain large(More)
Bipedalism is a defining feature of the human lineage. Despite evidence that walking on two feet dates back 6-7 Ma, reconstructing hominin gait evolution is complicated by a sparse fossil record and challenges in inferring biomechanical patterns from isolated and fragmentary bones. Similarly, patterns of social behavior that distinguish modern humans from(More)
OBJECTIVES To study the effects of urbanization on physical fitness (PF), we compare PF between urban and rural children from western Kenya. We hypothesize that active rural children are stronger, more flexible, and have greater endurance, and that PF differences are predictive of endurance running performance. METHODS We recruited an age-matched,(More)
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