Hominin Environments in the East African Pliocene

Author: René Bobe
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1402030983
Format: PDF
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This volume presents the work of researchers at many sites spanning the East African Pliocene. The authors take a broad approach that seeks to compare paleoenvironmental and paleoecological patterns across localities and among various taxonomic groups. This volume aims to synthesize large amounts of faunal data, and to present the evolution of East African vertebrates in the context of environmental and climatic changes during the Pliocene.

Out of Africa I

Author: John G Fleagle
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789048190362
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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For the first two thirds of our evolutionary history, we hominins were restricted to Africa. Dating from about two million years ago, hominin fossils first appear in Eurasia. This volume addresses many of the issues surrounding this initial hominin intercontinental dispersal. Why did hominins first leave Africa in the early Pleistocene and not earlier? What do we know about the adaptations of the hominins that dispersed - their diet, locomotor abilities, cultural abilities? Was there a single dispersal event or several? Was the hominin dispersal part of a broader faunal expansion of African mammals northward? What route or routes did dispersing populations take?

Applications of Palaeontology

Author: Robert Wynn Jones
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139499203
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Palaeontology, the scientific study of fossils, has developed from a descriptive science to an analytical science used to interpret relationships between earth and life history. This book provides a comprehensive and thematic treatment of applied palaeontology, covering the use of fossils in the ordering of rocks in time and in space, in biostratigraphy, palaeobiology and sequence stratigraphy. Robert Wynn Jones presents a practical workflow for applied palaeontology, including sample acquisition, preparation and analysis, and interpretation and integration. He then presents numerous case studies that demonstrate the applicability and value of the subject to areas such as petroleum, mineral and coal exploration and exploitation, engineering geology and environmental science. Specialist applications outside of the geosciences (including archaeology, forensic science, medical palynology, entomopalynology and melissopalynology) are also addressed. Abundantly illustrated and referenced, Applications of Palaeontology provides a user-friendly reference for academic researchers and professionals across a range of disciplines and industry settings.

The Paleobiology of Australopithecus

Author: Kaye Reed
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400759193
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Australopithecus species have been the topic of much debate in palaeoanthropology since Raymond Dart described the first species, Australopithecus africanus, in 1925. This volume synthesizes the geological and paleontological context of the species in East and South Africa; covers individual sites, such as Dikika, Hadar, Sterkfontein, and Malapa; debates the alpha taxonomy of some of the species; and addresses questions regarding the movements of the species across the continent. Additional chapters discuss the genus in terms of sexual dimorphism, diet reconstruction using microwear and isotopic methodologies, postural and locomotor behavior, and ontogeny.

Changing Climates Ecosystems and Environments within Arid Southern Africa and Adjoining Regions

Author: Juergen Runge
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 1315738309
Format: PDF, Docs
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This book is volume 33 of the yearbook series ‘Palaeoecology of Africa’ presenting the outcome of a ‘tribute conference’ to the internationally recognized South African researcher and palynologist Professor Louis Scott. He has recently retired, but is continuing his active research career. The conference proceedings and articles published here highlight and celebrate Prof. Scott’s contribution to palaeoscience and to the natural sciences in general. The conference was organized in July 2014 by the National Museum, Bloemfontein and the University of the Free State, South Africa, and focused on both past and present environments, ecosystems and climates of the arid regions of southern Africa, an area that serves as major focus of Prof. Scott's research. Louis Scott’s research interests include stratigraphic palynology, long-term continental environmental change during the Cainozoic, and interpretation of palaeoenvironmental records associated with archaeological sites. His research has contributed insights into the origin of our current environment by identifying long-term patterns of climate change. Results have been applied in numerical models of vegetation change in Africa and globally. The results of these studies are relevant across the fields of botany, geology, climatology, archaeology, anthropology and palaeontology. The chapters revisit and discuss the scientific work of Prof. Scott: among others the reconstructions of vegetation and climatic history in various areas of southern Africa, including the Tswaing Crater with a record of 200 000 years, that give insights into environmental conditions during the Last Glacial Period and the subsequent development of modern conditions. Some observations also provide key baseline information, contributing to understanding past human and environmental contexts and climatic change and the effects of global warming.

The First Humans

Author: Frederick E. Grine
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781402099809
Format: PDF, Kindle
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There are some issues in human paleontology that seem to be timeless. Most deal with the origin and early evolution of our own genus – something about which we should care. Some of these issues pertain to taxonomy and systematics. How many species of Homo were there in the Pliocene and Pleistocene? How do we identify the earliest members the genus Homo? If there is more than one Plio-Pleistocene species, how do they relate to one another, and where and when did they evolve? Other issues relate to questions about body size, proportions and the functional adaptations of the locomotor skeleton. When did the human postcranial “Bauplan” evolve, and for what reasons? What behaviors (and what behavioral limitations) can be inferred from the postcranial bones that have been attributed to Homo habilis and Homo erectus? Still other issues relate to growth, development and life history strategies, and the biological and archeological evidence for diet and behavior in early Homo. It is often argued that dietary change played an important role in the origin and early evolution of our genus, with stone tools opening up scavenging and hunting opportunities that would have added meat protein to the diet of Homo. Still other issues relate to the environmental and climatic context in which this genus evolved.

Understanding Climate s Influence on Human Evolution

Author: Committee on the Earth system Context for Hominin Evolution
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 0309148383
Format: PDF
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The hominin fossil record documents a history of critical evolutionary events that have ultimately shaped and defined what it means to be human, including the origins of bipedalism; the emergence of our genus Homo; the first use of stone tools; increases in brain size; and the emergence of Homo sapiens, tools, and culture. The Earth's geological record suggests that some evolutionary events were coincident with substantial changes in African and Eurasian climate, raising the possibility that critical junctures in human evolution and behavioral development may have been affected by the environmental characteristics of the areas where hominins evolved. Understanding Climate's Change on Human Evolution explores the opportunities of using scientific research to improve our understanding of how climate may have helped shape our species. Improved climate records for specific regions will be required before it is possible to evaluate how critical resources for hominins, especially water and vegetation, would have been distributed on the landscape during key intervals of hominin history. Existing records contain substantial temporal gaps. The book's initiatives are presented in two major research themes: first, determining the impacts of climate change and climate variability on human evolution and dispersal; and second, integrating climate modeling, environmental records, and biotic responses. Understanding Climate's Change on Human Evolution suggests a new scientific program for international climate and human evolution studies that involve an exploration initiative to locate new fossil sites and to broaden the geographic and temporal sampling of the fossil and archeological record; a comprehensive and integrative scientific drilling program in lakes, lake bed outcrops, and ocean basins surrounding the regions where hominins evolved and a major investment in climate modeling experiments for key time intervals and regions that are critical to understanding human evolution.

The Emergence of the Acheulean in East Africa and Beyond

Author: Rosalia Gallotti
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 331975985X
Format: PDF, ePub
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This edited volume presents current archaeological research and data from the major early Acheulean sites in East Africa, and addresses three main areas of focus; 1) the tempo and mode of technological changes that led to the emergence of the Acheulean in East Africa; 2) new approaches to lithic collections, including lithic technology analyses; and 3) the debated coexistence of the Developed Oldowan and the early Acheulean. The chapters are the proceedings from the workshop titled “The Emergence of the Acheulean in East Africa”, held at University of Rome “La Sapienza” on September 12–13, 2013. The aim of the workshop was to bring together researchers currently working in this field in East Africa, in order to define the characteristics and the evolution of the early Acheulean. The volume was expanded with some chapters on the preceding Oldowan, on the African fauna and on paleovegetation, on the Acheulean in Asia and, eventually, on the Acheulean in Europe. The book is addressed to the scientific community, and will be of interest to researchers, graduate students, archaeologists, paleontologists, and paleoanthropologists. This volume is dedicated to the memory of Jean Chavaillon (March 25, 1925 - December 21, 2013), the leading archaeologist and Quaternary geologist who researched with unfailing enthusiasm the earliest human cultures and directed from 1965 to 1995 the French Archaeological Mission at Melka Kunture.

Asian Paleoanthropology

Author: Christopher J. Norton
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789048190942
Format: PDF
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This volume brings together a group of authors that address the question of the first out of Africa into Asia c. 2 Ma. The scope of the book is comprehensive as it covers almost every major region of Asia. The primary goal of this volume is to provide an updated synthesis of the current state of the Asian paleoanthropological and paleoenvironmental records. Papers include detailed studies of the theoretical constructs underlying the move out of Africa, including detailed reconstructions of the paleoenvironment and possible migration routes. Other papers detail the Plio-Pleistocene archaeological and hominin fossil records of particular regions.