Strontium isotope evidence for landscape use by early hominins

@article{Copeland2011StrontiumIE,
  title={Strontium isotope evidence for landscape use by early hominins},
  author={Sandi R. Copeland and Matt Sponheimer and Darryl J. de Ruiter and Julia A Lee-Thorp and Daryl Codron and Petrus le Roux and Vaughan Grimes and Michael P. Richards},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2011},
  volume={474},
  pages={76-78}
}
Ranging and residence patterns among early hominins have been indirectly inferred from morphology, stone-tool sourcing, referential models and phylogenetic models. However, the highly uncertain nature of such reconstructions limits our understanding of early hominin ecology, biology, social structure and evolution. We investigated landscape use in Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus from the Sterkfontein and Swartkrans cave sites in South Africa using strontium isotope analysis… 
Evidence for dietary change but not landscape use in South African early hominins
TLDR
It is shown that the home range area was of similar size for species of the three hominin genera but that the dietary breadth was much higher in Australopithecus africanus than in Paranthropus robustus and early Homo, and that P. robustus relied more on plant-based foodstuffs than early Homo.
Palaeoanthropology: In search of the australopithecines
TLDR
A strontium-isotope study of Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus specimens from South Africa shows that the smaller individuals, inferred to have been females, ranged further than the males, suggesting that females tended to move away from their natal groups and joined others, whereas males tend to stay at home.
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Elemental signatures of Australopithecus africanus teeth reveal seasonal dietary stress
TLDR
Insight is provided into the dietary cycles and ecological behaviours of A. africanus in response to food availability, including the potential cyclical resurgence of milk intake during times of nutritional challenge (as observed in modern wild orangutans5).
Viewpoints: feeding mechanics, diet, and dietary adaptations in early hominins.
TLDR
Microwear and stable isotope analysis together suggest that australopiths are not united by a single, increasingly specialized dietary adaptation, and finite element analysis is limited in its ability to identify adaptation in paleobiological contexts.
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Male philopatry and female dispersal amongst two species of early hominins from the Sterkfontein valley
© 2011. The Authors. Licensee: AOSIS OpenJournals. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License. An article by Sandi Copeland and colleagues,1 which appeared in Nature on 02
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