Human evolution; another Australopithecus species? (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, December 12, 2018, 04:57 (39 days ago) @ David Turell

“'This hominin had longer lower limbs than upper limbs, like ourselves,” says Crompton. This is an interesting finding, as the slightly older hominin Ardipithecus, which came before Australopithecus, had longer arms than legs – more like great apes do. “That means it was being selected for stride length in bipedalism,” says Crompton.

"Little Foot would not have been as good at carrying objects as we are. However, she would have been better at climbing trees than modern humans.

"That would have suited her home: a mix of tropical rainforest, broken woodland and grassland, through which she roamed widely.

A further paper examines the deposits in which Little Foot was encased and concludes that the fossil is 3.67 million years old, more than a million years older than previously thought. (my bold)

"Clarke has argued for over a decade that Little Foot does not belong to any of the known Australopithecus species, and should be named a new species in its own right. He favours calling it A. prometheus.

"The name was coined in 1948 by Raymond Dart, to describe a piece of skull found at Makapansgat in South Africa. Dart is a key figure in anthropology, because in 1925 he described the first Australopithecus specimen, the Taung Child. He used the fossil to argue that humans evolved in Africa. At the time most biologists thought our origins lay in Asia, and Dart was ridiculed for years until other discoveries confirmed that he was right.

"Clarke is convinced that many of the bones from Sterkfontein, including Little Foot, are not A. africanus, so he has resurrected the name A. prometheus. “There are many, many differences, not only in the skull but also in the rest of the skeleton,” he says. They include a flatter face than A. africanus, and larger teeth with a big gap between the upper canines and incisors.

"There is also Little Foot’s diet. Based on her teeth, she ate almost nothing but plants. “A. africanus was more omnivorous,” says Clarke."

Comment: The main thrust here to recognize is that this lady is roughly Lucy's age in fossil time, but she has longer arms than legs and Lucy is longer arms. What this means is a that there were several lines of hominin development going on at different places in Africa in the same periods of time. Places of discovery, to remind us, Lucy is Northeastern Africa and Little Foot is South Africa. It suggests God liked diversity in evolving humans, just as He created diversity in the huge bush of like. I suspect the reason for the diversity in life is econiches for food, while I suspect He already knew what H' sapiens would be like when evolution got to that point..

This comment is incorrect in that it reversed arm and leg length, which is clear in the article. Little foot had longer legs and is more advanced in bipedalism than Lucy who is younger in the timing of evolution.

New article really adds little::

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