Australopithecus afarensis Scapular Ontogeny, Function, and the Role of Climbing in Human Evolution

  title={Australopithecus afarensis Scapular Ontogeny, Function, and the Role of Climbing in Human Evolution},
  author={David J Green and Zeresenay Alemseged},
  pages={514 - 517}
Climbing Like an Ape Recently, studies of several early human leg and foot fossils have implied that in some early species—even after humans became bipedal—climbing may have still been important. Shoulder bones, which would provide i mportant complementary information, are scarce, however. One of the few examples is from Australopithecus afarensis skeleton (DIK-1-1), which includes both scapula. Green and Alemseged (p. 514; see the Perspective of Larson) provide an analysis of the fossil's… 

Visualization of a Juvenile Australopithecus afarensis Specimen: Implications for Functional Foot Anatomy

The purpose of this project is to create a 3D animation that accurately reconstructs the anatomy and taphonomy of the Dikika foot that aims to contribute to the breadth of fossil reconstruction techniques in the field of biomedical visualization.

Scapular anatomy of Paranthropus boisei from Ileret, Kenya.

Age and Sex Differences in the Locomotor Skeleton of Australopithecus

The goal of this review is to assess whether the pattern of growth in the Australopithecus skeleton as can now be perceived provides insight into previously developed locomotor hypotheses derived from the adult skeleton.

Human-like hip joint loading in Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus.

Earliest axial fossils from the genus Australopithecus.

The upper limb of Paranthropus boisei from Ileret, Kenya.

Ontogeny of the hominoid scapula: The influence of locomotion on morphology.

  • D. Green
  • Biology, Psychology
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 2013
The scapular morphology of five hominoid primates and one catarrhine outgroup was examined throughout ontogeny to evaluate if scAPular traits linked with arboreal activities are modified in response to ontogenetic behavioral shifts away from climbing.

The Shoulder Girdle of KSD-VP-1/1

A more detailed comparative description of the KSD-VP-1/1 scapula and clavicle is provided, which constitute the oldest substantial evidence of hominin shoulder girdle anatomy currently known.

The morphology and evolutionary history of the glenohumeral joint of hominoids: A review

Current understanding of glenohumeral joint functional morphology and its evolution throughout the Miocene and Pleistocene are reviewed, as well as highlighting the areas where a deeper study of this joint is still needed.



A juvenile early hominin skeleton from Dikika, Ethiopia

The foot and other evidence from the lower limb provide clear evidence for bipedal locomotion, but the gorilla-like scapula and long and curved manual phalanges raise new questions about the importance of arboreal behaviour in the A. afarensis locomotor repertoire.

Evolutionary transformation of the hominin shoulder

The recently discovered Australopithecus afarensis juvenile scapula DIK‐1‐1 from Dikika, Ethiopia, which seems to most closely resemble those of gorillas, which one would have expected more similarity to chimpanzees among extant hominoids.

Pierolapithecus catalaunicus, a New Middle Miocene Great Ape from Spain

The new skeleton reveals that early great apes retained primitive monkeylike characters associated with a derived body structure that permits upright postures of the trunk, and suggests that Pierolapithecus is probably close to the last common ancestor of great apes and humans.

Origine(s) de la bipédie chez les hominidés

Origine is tangible evidence that paleoanthropological opinion on A. afarensis has ripened and now presents a majority opinion that australopithecines were committed, but rather inefficient, bipeds that also retained a substantial capacity to engage in ape-like climbing and suspension.

Scapula form and locomotion in chimpanzee evolution

A comparative analysis of ontogenetic allometries of linear dimensions is utilized to determine shape differences in the scapulae of adult pygmy and common chimpanzees and to clarify size-related changes in shape resulting fromOntogenetic scaling, i.e., the differential extension of common patterns of growth allometry.

The feeding biomechanics and dietary ecology of Australopithecus africanus

It is suggested that the mastication of either small objects or large volumes of food is unlikely to fully explain the evolution of facial form in this species, and key aspects of australopith craniofacial morphology are more likely to be related to the ingestion and initial preparation of large, mechanically protected food objects like large nuts and seeds.

An early Australopithecus afarensis postcranium from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia

A large-bodied specimen is described that is well within the range of living Homo and substantially antedates A.L. 288–1, establishing that bipedality in Australopithecus was highly evolved and that thoracic form differed substantially from that of either extant African ape.

The first rib of hominoids.

  • J. C. Ohman
  • Biology, Geography
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 1986
F fossil evidence shows that, by the appearance of A. afarensis, the hominid upper limb had been freed from locomotor constraints, which concomitantly confirms full adaptation to upright posture, and four hypotheses for the evolution of the univertebral pattern are postulated.

Australopithecus sediba: A New Species of Homo-Like Australopith from South Africa

Combined craniodental and postcranial evidence demonstrates that this new species of Australopithecus shares more derived features with early Homo than any other australopith species and thus might help reveal the ancestor of that genus.