I’ll be MIA for the next few days because I’m at this conference.
Above are some of the symposiums I am looking forward to tomorrow morning before I die during my presentation in the afternoon.
If some of you aren’t able to attend then take advantage of casethejointfirst's kind offer to take pictures of posters that peak your interest!
- by Lauren A. Michel, Daniel J. Peppe, James A. Lutz, Steven G. Driese, Holly M. Dunsworth, William E.H. Harcourt-Smith, William H. Horner, Thomas Lehmann, Sheila Nightingale and Kieran P. McNulty
“The lineage of apes and humans (Hominoidea) evolved and radiated across Afro-Arabia in the early Neogene during a time of global climatic changes and ongoing tectonic processes that formed the East African Rift. These changes probably created highly variable environments and introduced selective pressures influencing the diversification of early apes. However, interpreting the connection between environmental dynamics and adaptive evolution is hampered by difficulties in locating taxa within specific ecological contexts: time-averaged or reworked deposits may not faithfully represent individual palaeohabitats. Here we present multiproxy evidence from Early Miocene deposits on Rusinga Island, Kenya, which directly ties the early ape Proconsul to a widespread, dense, multistoried, closed-canopy tropical seasonal forest set in a warm and relatively wet, local climate. These results underscore the importance of forested environments in the evolution of early apes” (read more/not open access).
(Source: Nature Communications 5(2336) doi: 0.1038/ncomms4236, 2014)
Look at that glorious mud. And that tusk! The Ice Age VSI included a link to this 2011 article: Humans and Climate Contributed to Extinctions of Large Ice-Age Mammals, New Study Finds from Penn State.
(Source: @Jamie_Woodward on Twitter)
"Some 6 million years ago we split from a common ancestor with chimps. Fossils found at the key sites shown on the map below reveal that hominins then diversified into many species and spread far from their ancestral home in Africa. Click on each site to learn more about what we’ve found there.
Read more: ’Denisovans: The lost humans who shared our world’”
***It’s not comprehensive but it could definitely be the start of something useful.
Meet Lucy, a 3.2 million-year-old ancestor of ours. Though she looks like an ape, her knees were close together, just like a human’s! That positioned her feet directly under her body and made walking easier.
See the final installment of Your Inner Fish tomorrow night (4/23) on PBS at 10/9c.
- by V.S. Zhitenev (Lomonosov Moscow State University)
- by Nathan E. Holton, Todd R. Yokley,Andrew W. Froehle and Thomas E. Southard
“Researchers have hypothesized that nasal morphology, both in archaic Homo and in recent humans, is influenced by body mass and associated oxygen consumption demands required for tissue maintenance. Similarly, recent studies of the adult human nasal region have documented key differences in nasal form between males and females that are potentially linked to sexual dimorphism in body size, composition, and energetics. To better understand this potential developmental and functional dynamic, we first assessed sexual dimorphism in the nasal cavity in recent humans to determine when during ontogeny male-female differences in nasal cavity size appear. Next, we assessed whether there are significant differences in nasal/body size scaling relationships in males and females during ontogeny. Using a mixed longitudinal sample we collected cephalometric and anthropometric measurements from n=20 males and n18 females from 3.0 to 20.01 years of age totaling n=290 observations. We found that males and females exhibit similar nasal size values early in ontogeny and that sexual dimorphism in nasal size appears during adolescence. Moreover, when scaled to body size, males exhibit greater positive allometry in nasal size compared to females. This differs from patterns of sexual dimorphism in overall facial size, which are already present in our earliest age groups. Sexually dimorphic differences in nasal development and scaling mirror patterns of ontogenetic variation in variables associated with oxygen consumption and tissue maintenance. This underscores the importance of considering broader systemic factors in craniofacial development and may have important implications for the study of patters craniofacial evolution in the genus Homo" (read more/open access).
(Open access source: American Journal of Physical Anthropology 153:52-60, 2014)
- from The Onion
“An archaeological team from the University of Cambridge announced Wednesday the discovery of cave paintings in northern Spain that suggest prehistoric humans battled a variety of inner demons, nagging fears, and insecurities that plagued them as they struggled with life’s demands in the Paleolithic era.
According to lead researcher Alan Reddy, the images found on the limestone walls and ceiling of the cave trace back to 14,000 B.C. and seem to indicate that early hunter-gatherers were often anxious about their ability to kill game animals, reeled from the challenges of raising a family, and “generally had a really hard time keeping it together.”
“While these pictographs are crude in terms of their rendering of human anatomy, they have a vivid expressive quality that led our team to surmise that Ice Age humans had an awful lot of personal stuff going on,” said Reddy, showing reporters a photo of a rudimentary figure painted in smeared charcoal that appeared to be on its knees weeping into its hands. “Although we don’t want to read too much into these images at this point, it’s hard not to deduce that our prehistoric ancestors were often desperately lonely and felt like they had no one else to turn to.”
“This one seems as if it’s suddenly waking up in the middle of the night,” added Reddy, pointing to a figure that appeared to be sitting bolt upright on a mat of antelope skin. “If you look carefully, you can still see how the artist used daubs of yellow clay to drench him in sweat.”
Reddy confirmed that other images in the cave include a downcast man apparently being mocked by potential mates for his inability to start a fire, a woman using a stone chopping implement to cut her own body, and a seated man seemingly resigned to his fate at the approach of a charging mastodon. Further chemical analysis will have to be conducted to determine if the ominous red handprints along the walls were symbolic works rendered in red ochre or simply the result of anguished early humans striking the stone surface until they started to bleed.
“What’s remarkable is how, with just a few basic pigments and the most primitive painting tools, our ancestors could so intensely portray their dread of dying alone or their toxic jealously of alpha males,” said Reddy, adding that only a highly skilled but extremely alienated artist could use nothing but melted animal fat blown through a hollow bone to convey his dismay at having no one he could consider a close friend and realizing he was too old to make new ones. “It’s clear that these humans felt so disconnected from one another, so unable to constructively address their problems, that they used these sad, disturbing paintings as their sole outlet for comfort.”
According to Reddy, the paintings not only represent the ability of Late Stone Age humans to express their immediate emotional torment but perhaps also to construct larger, more elaborate narratives of their prolonged, agonizing downward spirals. Through paint-application analysis and radiocarbon dating methods, Reddy said his team was able to determine that individual artists sometimes depicted their unraveling over a series of months or even years” (read more).
(Source: The Onion)
Application deadline: Saturday, May 31, 2014
"The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) invites scientists and science educators of all stripes — students, postdocs, faculty, and full- or part-time science communicators — to enter the fourth annual Evolution Video Competition. To enter, please submit a video that explains a fun fact, key concept, compelling question, or exciting area of evolution research in three minutes or less. Entries may be related or unrelated to your own research, and should be suitable for use in a classroom (K-12, undergraduate, graduate…your choice). Videos should be both informative and entertaining. (In other words, no taped lectures or narrated Powerpoint presentations!) Animations, music videos, and mini documentaries are all fair game. The finalists will be screened at the Evolution 2014 conference in Raleigh, NC. To enter your video, please complete our online registration form.
- Contestants may work alone or as a team. All entries must be original. Videos created in the past are eligible for submission, provided the person submitting the video also played a role in its production, and has permission from the videographer and any people depicted in the video to submit it to the contest.
- Entries should be under three minutes.
- Entries should be in MOV or AVI format, uploaded to Vimeo and tagged “NESCent video contest”. (We need to be able to download the full original video file.)
- After uploading your video, please enter the contest using our online form. Include the Vimeo ID for your video.
Selecting the winners
A panel of reviewers from both NESCent and the science video community will select the finalists, who will be notified by e-mail. The finalists will then be screened at a film festival at the Evolution 2014 conference in Raleigh, NC. After screening the videos, the audience will vote for their favorites. The first- and second-place winners will receive a travel allowance of up to $1,000 and $500, respectively, for travel expenses to attend the scientific meeting of their choice. All travel will be booked through NESCent and the travel allowance must be used by Oct. 31st, 2014.
You don’t need to attend the conference to submit an entry. All videos submitted by Saturday, May 31, 2014 (5:00 p.m. ET) are eligible to win.
By submitting an entry, you confirm that you have the right, including any required permission of individuals depicted in the video, to publicly display the video. You also confirm that any music or images contained therein do not violate any copyright, trademark or other rights of any third party. By submitting your video, you grant to NESCent the right to display the submitted video on the NESCent website, YouTube channel, Facebook or Twitter page.”
“1993. Come with Melissa and her brother Chad as they take a walk on a picnic with their dad. Melissa exploring on her own meets “Sherdy” a piece of a broken pot from the past. Sherdy tells Melissa about the people of the past and how archaeologists use artifacts to tell the story of these people. Melissa learns that each piece is an important part of the puzzle, and what she can do to help the past.”
***Who knew pedagogy could be so incredibly…creepy? Is this an Archaeology PSA or an Anti-Drug PSA?
- by Brian M. Shearer, Melissa Tallman, Siobhán Cooke, Lauren Halenar, Samantha Reber, Jeanette Plummer and Eric Delson
(Source: AAPAs, Alberta Canada, 2014 via Academia.edu)