X-ray of a ballet dancer’s feet
The ankle joint connects the lower leg to the foot and, in dance, allows for pointing the toe (plantar flexion) and flexing the foot during plié (dorsiflexion). The ankle also allows for inversion and eversion, producing turn-in and turn-out, respectively. The 26 bones in the foot work in concert with ligamentous support and muscular force to create three separate arches, critical for shock absorption during jumps. Structurally, the ideal foot for ballet is considered to be a flexible “square foot”, which has equal-length first and second toes.
Read more: http://bit.ly/W3Zaoq
- by Alex Mackay, Alex Sumner, Zenobia Jacobs, Ben Marwick, Kyla Bluff and Matthew Shaw
"Existing data suggest weak human occupation of southern Africa’s Winter Rainfall Zone (WRZ) during later Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3, the causes of which are unknown. Here we report briefly on the results of recent surveys of alluvial terrace sites of the Doring River in the WRZ, which document occupation over a broad expanse of the later Middle Stone Age (MSA) and Pleistocene Later Stone Age. We then report on test excavations at one terrace site, denoted Putslaagte site 1 (PL1), describe in detail the assemblage of flaked stone artefacts produced from that excavation, and present two OSL ages obtained from 0.8 m to 1.5 m below surface. The results suggest that a) artefact accumulations at PL1 are dense, b) the technological systems documented are characteristically MSA but differ in form from the range of systems known from other excavated sites in the region, and c) that the assemblages accumulated in MIS 3. Taken together with the survey data the results introduce new variation into the later MSA in southern Africa, and imply reorganisation of land use in the WRZ in late MIS 3 rather than abandonment. We suggest that a research emphasis on rock shelter deposits may have produced misleading depictions of regional occupation” (read more/open access).
- by Susanne C. Münzel, Florent Rivals, Martina Pacher, Doris Döppes, Gernot Rabeder, Nicholas J. Conard and Hervé Bocherens
“Several types of bears lived in Europe during the Late Pleistocene. Some of them, such as cave bears (Ursus s. spelaeus and Ursus ingressus), did not survive after about 25,000 years ago, while others are still extant, such as brown bear (Ursus arctos). Our article aims at a better understanding of the palaeoecology of these large “carnivores” and focuses on two regions, the Ach valley in the Swabian Jura (SW-Germany) with Geißenklösterle and Hohle Fels, and the Totes Gebirge (Austria) with Ramesch and Gamssulzen caves. Both regions revealed two genetically distinct cave bear lineages, and previous studies suggest behavioural differences for the respective bears in these two regions.
In the Ach valley, irrespective of the cave site, U. s. spelaeus was replaced by U. ingressus around 28 ka uncal BP with limited chronological overlap without recognizable dietary changes as documented by the isotopic composition (13C, 15N) of the bones. Furthermore, the present study shows that the dental microwear pattern was similar for all bears in both caves, however with a larger variability in Geißenklösterle than in Hohle Fels.
In contrast, the two Austrian caves, Gamssulzen (U. ingressus) and Ramesch (Ursus s. eremus), show considerable differences in both palaeodietary indicators, i.e., stable isotopes, and dental microwear, over at least 15,000 years. The oxygen and carbon analysis of the tooth enamel combined with the dental microwear of the same molars provide an extremely diversified picture of the feeding behaviour of these fossil bears. The already known differences between these two study areas are confirmed and refined using the new approaches. Moreover, the differences between the two cave bear lineages in the Totes Gebirge became even larger. Some niche partitioning between both types of cave bears was supported by the present study but it does not seem to be triggered by climate. This multi-disciplinary approach gives new insights into the palaeobiology of extinct bears” (read more/open access).
(Open access source: Quaternary International 339/340: 148-163 via Academia.edu)
Born Ganyu, Jiangsu, 1970. Lives and works in Changzhou, Jiangsu
Dong Wensheng’s photographs look at first glance like realistic depictions of ordinary scenes or objects, but many have an odd or eerie aspect—a missing finger joint, as in The Convert No. 1, or an anatomically impossible twist, as in 2012. His artful editing blurs the lines between painting, installation and film to create pictures that often resemble stills from a mystery or horror movie (he also makes video art). A protégé of Zhou Xiaohu, Dong Wensheng names among his influences traditional Chinese art, porcelain and poetry, as well as physics, Nietzsche, and Robert Rauschenberg. His work is a visual counterpart of Freud’s observation that the uncanny is “nothing new or alien, but something which is familiar and old-established in the mind and which has become alienated from it only through the process of repression”. Each of Dong Wensheng’s framed scenes is an allegorical glimpse of a human truth for so long kept dark that we barely have words to express it.
Annotated radiographs of the hands of an adult (above) and a child (below)
From childhood, the bones of the hand undergo major development. Note the changes in position and size among the bones of the wrist as well as the joining of the phalanges to their proximal epipheses (seen below as dark, narrow bands adjacent to each bone in the fingers of the five-year-old).
See if you can spot something unusual in one of the radiographs…
Illustration from Cunningham’s Manual of Practical Anatomy, 7th Edition (1920)
Such different terminology!
"Kathu Townlands is a high density Earlier Stone Age locality in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa. Here we present the first detailed information on this locality based on analysis of a sample of lithic material from excavations by P. Beaumont and field observations made in the course of fieldwork in 2013. The results confirm the remarkably high artefact density at Kathu Townlands and do not provide evidence consistent with high energy transport as a mechanism of site formation, suggesting that Kathu Townlands was the site of intensive exploitation of highly siliceous outcroppings of banded iron formation. The results presented here provide a first step towards understanding this complex locality and point to the need for further research and the importance of preserving this locality in the face of intensive and rapid development" (read more/open access).
(Open access source: PLoS ONE 9(7): e103436, 2014)