• Modern pale-anthropology: recent insights

    From marc verhaegen@21:1/5 to All on Wed Aug 2 03:54:44 2023
    1) There's no doubt that Pleistocene archaic Homo (H.erectus cs) was semi-aquatic: we have at least 8 *independent* indications:
    • Archaic Homo's atypical tooth-wear was caused by "sand and oral processing of marine mollusks", Towle cs 2022 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajpa.24500
    • H.erectus s.s. fossilized typically (always?) in coastal sediments, e.g. Mojokerto amid barnacles & corals, Trinil amid Pseudodon & Elongaria, Sangiran-17 in "brackish marsh near the coast".
    • Stephen Munro discovered sea-shell engravings made by H.erectus, Joordens cs 2015 Nature 518:228–231 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25470048/
    • Ear exostoses (H.erectus & H.neand.) develop after years of cold(er) water irrigation https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5696936/
    • Pachyosteosclerosis is typically & exclusively seen in slow+shallow-diving tetrapods (de Buffrénil cs 2010 J.Mamm.Evol.17:101-120), e.g. erectus’ parietal bone is 2x as thick as in gorillas!
    • Brain size in erectus (2x apes-australopiths) is facilitated by sea-food, e.g. DHA docosahexaenoic acid in shellfish etc., e.g. Odontocetes, Pinnipedia.
    • Pleistocene Homo even colonized overseas islands (Flores & later even Luzon) https://www.academia.edu/36193382/Coastal_Dispersal_of_Pleistocene_Homo_2018
    • Homo’s stone tool use & dexterity is typical for molluscivores, cf. sea-otters etc.

    2) There's also no doubt that Mio-Pliocene Hominoidea were already "bipedal" = aquarboreal (aqua=water, arbor=tree) = regular BP wading + vertic.climbing + arm-hanging in swamp/coastal forests

    3) I have no doubt: afarensis-->boisei = fossil Gorilla // africanus-->robustus = fossil Pan (but rarely get support & even less opposition to this).

    4) I have no doubt (my 2022 book p.299): Plate Tectonics played an essential role in hominoid splittings, but how *exactly*? e.g.
    • India approaching Eurasia: OWM/ape (some Catarrhini reaching these islands became Hominoidea),
    • India under Eurasia: lesser/gr.ape (E/W),
    • Mesopotamian Seaway closure c 15 Ma: hominids/pongids (W/E), https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-45308-7 + comments
    • Red Sea fm, colonized by HPG),
    • N-Rift fm (colonized by Gorilla-Praeanthropus: Lucy etc.,
    • Red Sea opening into Gulf 6–5 Ma: Homo-->S.Asia, Pan-->E.Africa,
    • S-Rift fm, colonized by Pan-Australopithecus: Taung etc.

    5) More speculative: island evolution = drastic innovations? esp.
    -- India approaching S-Eurasia 30?25 Ma: island archipel fm:
    (some?) Catarrhini reaching these islands + coastal forests underwent drastic changes vs "monkeys":
    larger body & brain, very broad body=pelvis/thorax/esp.sternum + lateral scapulas = lateral leg & arm (+upward) movements, centrally-placed spine (vs dorsally- in most mammals), tail loss...
    -- "Sunda hypothesis": some hominoids in evolved into Homo s.s. = shellfish-diving = "aquatic"ape" s.s.??

    These new insights in PA require a complete re-arrangement of the old paleo-anthropology,
    but many (most??) PAs still believe their ancestors ran after antelopes over Afr.savanna... :-D

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