Early Hominin Paleoecology
Publication Year: 2013
Recent advances in the field and the laboratory are not only improving our understanding of human evolution but are also transforming it. Given the increasing specialization of the individual fields of study in hominin paleontology, communicating research results and data is difficult, especially to a broad audience of graduate students, advanced undergraduates, and the interested public. Early Hominin Paleoecology provides a good working knowledge of the subject while also presenting a solid grounding in the sundry ways this knowledge has been constructed. The book is divided into three sections—climate and environment (with a particular focus on the latter), adaptation and behavior, and modern analogs and models—and features contributors from various fields of study, including archaeology, primatology, paleoclimatology, sedimentology, and geochemistry. Early Hominin Paleoecology is an accessible entrée into this fascinating and ever-evolving field and will be essential to any student interested in pursuing research in human paleoecology.
Early Hominin Paleoecology is an accessible entrée into this fascinating and ever-evolving field and will be essential to any student interested in pursuing research in human paleoecology.
Published by: University Press of Colorado
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We have advanced less, however, in our understanding of how these dis-parate elements can be distilled to produce a coherent story of hominin evo-lution; and although this is at least partly a failure of theory, it is also the inevitable result of the often cloudy, controversial, and contradictory evidence that forms the pediment on which our evolutionary scenarios are built. If ...
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AcknowledgmentsA great many people contributed to this book. We ...
Part 1: Paleoclimate and Paleoenvironment
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1. Faunal Approaches in Early Hominin Paleoecology
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...tions relating to evolutionary paleoecology. First, fossil DOI: 10.5876/9781607322252:c01mammals have been used as indicators of habitats since early paleontologi-cal studies (e.g., Ewer 1958; Brain 19six.oldstyleseven.oldstyle; Leakey and Harris 198seven.oldstyle). More recent work on this topic has emphasized the importance of determining taphonomic histories before reconstructions are attempted (e.g., Behrensmeyer and Hill ...
2. Facies Analysis and Plio-Pleistocene Paleoecology
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...its origin and the environment of its formation may be DOI: 10.5876/9781607322252:c02inferred” (Teichert 1nine.oldstylefive.oldstyleeight.oldstyle). The concept is an invaluable tool for the description and interpretation of sedimentary rocks, as it allows the easy integration of lithological characteristics, primary and secondary sedimentary structures, and pedogenic (soil) overprints. A facies is a distinctive rock type, recognizable on ...
3. East African HomininPaleoecology
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Dee Belemnite (VPDB) standard. DOI: 10.5eight.taboldstyleseven.taboldstylesix.taboldstyle/nine.taboldstyleseven.taboldstyleeight.taboldstyle1six.taboldstyle0seven.taboldstylethree.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyle5two.taboldstyle:c0three.taboldstylethe fundamental contribution of gaseous dif_fusion to the carbon isotopic com-position of pedogenic carbonate. These pre-1984 models of the carbon isotopic system in pedogenic carbonate were superseded by the Cerling (1984) soil- dif_fusion model, which with some modest revisions is widely embraced by the ...
4. Tectonics, Orbital Forcing, Global Climate Change, and Human Evolution in Africa
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...decade later, we have a more developed understanding DOI: 10.5876/9781607three.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyle5two.taboldstyle:c0four.taboldstyleof the global climate system and of Plio-Pleistocene changes in African climate. It is our hope that this chapter will highlight not only recent advances but also the next steps that might be taken toward understanding the role of African To understand how early human and mammalian evolution and migration ...
Part 2: Hominin Adaptations and Behavior
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5. Early Hominin Postureand Locomotion
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...fully ascertained, nor are their relationships with later DOI: 10.5eight.taboldstyleseven.taboldstylesix.taboldstyle/nine.taboldstyleseven.taboldstyleeight.taboldstyle1six.taboldstyle0seven.taboldstylethree.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyle5two.taboldstyle:c05hominins clear. There is evidence that O. tugenensis was bipedal, based on its femur (Richmond and Jungers 2008), suggesting that bipedality was estab-lished long before Australopithecus. Ardipithecus ramidus is suggested to have been bipedal when on the ground, although it still retained significant climbing ...
6. The Functional Morphology of Jaws and Teeth
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...can “predict” (or retrodict) that fossil animals with that DOI: 10.5876/97816073two.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyle5two.taboldstyle:c06structure would have used it the same way (Kay and Cartmill 19seven.oldstylefive.oldstyle; Anthony and Kay 199three.oldstyle). Studies of the mechanics of anatomical structures and theo-retical models further help us understand what a trait is best suited for, which can be very useful for evaluating hypothesized form–function relationships ...
7. Dental Microwear and Paleoecology
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...have addressed this question. A major reason for this DOI: 10.5eight.taboldstyleseven.taboldstylesix.taboldstyle/nine.taboldstyleseven.taboldstyleeight.taboldstyle1six.taboldstyle0seven.taboldstylethree.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyle5two.taboldstyle:c0seven.taboldstylem.scark f. teaford, peter s. u.scngar, and frederick e. grine252shortcoming is that most workers have focused on primates, and these taxa have very eclectic diets as compared with many other animals. Thus, it is hard to extract paleoecological insights from microwear evidence when the animal in ...
8. Hominin Ecology from Hard-Tissue Biogeochemistry
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...animal foods at the expense of plants. A good deal of DOI: 10.58seven.taboldstylesix.taboldstyle/nine.taboldstyleseven.taboldstyle81six.taboldstyle0seven.taboldstylethree.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyle5two.taboldstyle:c08the information about early hominin diet has come from the fossils themselves, and comparisons with extant primates. Comparative morphology and allom-etry of the dental “equipment” used for processing and consuming foods have received by far the most attention (e.g., Kay 1985). But there are limitations, ...
9. The Behavior of Plio-Pleistocene Hominins
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Rodrigo et al. 2010). Evidence of hominins butchering DOI: 10.5876/9781607three.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyle5two.taboldstyle:c09large mammals prior to 2.0 mya exists in the Afar, yet this evidence is infre-quent and currently poorly documented (de Heinzelin et al. 1999; Domínguez-Rodrigo et al. 200five.oldstyle; Domínguez-Rodrigo 2009). These major shifts in hom-inin behavior have implications for the nature and timing of hominin dietary ...
Part 3: Analogies and Models
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10. Plants and Protopeople
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For example, when considering evidence for the plant-food diet of early hominins, we can reasonably assume that the fruit of an ancient fig would have had similar nutritional properties to the fruit of closely related modern figs, and would have been eaten when available by hominins, just as living primates and people commonly feed on raw figs today (Peters and O’Brien 1981). We can ...
11. Chimpanzee Models of Human Behavioral Evolution
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...baboons would reflect the behavior of our ancestors in DOI: 10.587six.taboldstyle/nine.taboldstyle781six.taboldstyle07three.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyletwo.taboldstyle5two.taboldstyle:c11a very real way. As shown in Chapter 1two.oldstyle, baboon models continue to furnish In Japan, a distinctly different approach to primate field studies developed under the leadership of Kinji Imanishi and Junichiro Itani. Here, too, the under-lying motivation was to understand our own evolution, but unlike Washburn ...
12. Analogies and Models in the Study of the Early Hominins
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...upon information from chimpanzees to illuminate DOI: 10.5876/9781607322252:c12the unobservable aspects of early hominin biology are quite dif_ferent in logic from those that use cercopithecoid monkeys (or other organisms, primate and nonprimate). It is suggested that while both approaches are vital and comple-mentary sources of insight, only the latter involve analogies in the strict sense. ...
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Page Count: 368
Publication Year: 2013