Osbjorn M. Pearson

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This study examines the extent to which the major dimensions of the cranial base (maximum length, maximum breadth, and flexion) interact with brain volume to influence major proportions of the neurocranium and face. A model is presented for developmental interactions that occur during ontogeny between the brain and the cranial base and neurocranium, and(More)
The premise that bones grow and remodel throughout life to adapt to their mechanical environment is often called Wolff's law. Wolff's law, however, is not always true, and in fact comprises a variety of different processes that are best considered separately. Here we review the molecular and physiological mechanisms by which bone senses, transduces, and(More)
How bones respond dynamically to mechanical loading through changes in shape and structure is poorly understood, particularly with respect to variations between bones. Structurally, cortical bones adapt in vivo to their mechanical environments primarily by modulating two processes, modeling and Haversian remodeling. Modeling, defined here as the addition of(More)
The proximal half of a hominid femur was recovered from deep within a paleokarst feature at the Berg Aukas mine, northern Namibia. The femur is fully mineralized, but it is not possible to place it in geochronological context. It has a very large head, an exceptionally thick diaphyseal cortex, and a very low collodiaphyseal angle, which serve to(More)
How reliable are reconstructions of body mass and joint function based on articular surface areas? While the dynamic relationship between mechanical loading and cross-sectional geometry in long bones is well-established, the effect of loading on the subchondral articular surface area of epiphyses (hereafter, articular surface area, or ASA) has not been(More)
The site of Klasies River Mouth (KRM) in South Africa has produced a small sample of early Upper Pleistocene hominid remains that have been a focus for discussions of the origins of modern humans. Despite certain primitive characteristics exhibited by these fossils, proponents of a single recent origin have attributed them to early modern humans. Critics of(More)
BACKGROUND Primates--including fossil species of apes and hominins--show variation in their degree of molar enamel thickness, a trait long thought to reflect a diet of hard or tough foods. The early hominins demonstrated molar enamel thickness of moderate to extreme degrees, which suggested to most researchers that they ate hard foods obtained on or near(More)
Postcranial robusticity--the massiveness of the skeleton--figures prominently in the debate over the origin of modern humans. Anthropologists use postcranial robusticity to infer the activity levels of prehistoric populations, and changes in robusticity are often used to support scenarios of adaptive change. These scenarios explain differences in morphology(More)
The Barker model of the in utero origins of diminished muscle mass in those born small invokes the adaptive "sparing" of brain tissue development at the expense of muscle. Though compelling, to date this model has not been directly tested. This article develops an allometric framework for testing the principal prediction of the Barker model-that among those(More)
A fragmentary temporal bone and partial atlas from the Middle Stone Age (MSA) at Klasies River Mouth (KRM) are described and analyzed. The atlas (SAM-AP 6268) is comparable to Levantine "Early Modern", Neandertal and recent human vertebrae. The temporal (SAM-AP 6269) is similar to recent African homologues except that the posteromedial wall of the glenoid(More)