DAVID: [i]About 15 found Evolution and humans; a new hominin (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, October 07, 2015, 18:04 (1350 days ago) @ David Turell

More on H. naledi. Walking possibilities:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/extinct-tree-climbing-human-walked-with-a-swa...

Scientists investigated the hands and feet of H. naledi to learn more about a key shift in human evolution—the move from a life of climbing trees to one spent walking on the ground. Modern humans dominate the planet partly because walking upright frees their hands for tool use, scientists have found.

"The researchers analyzed more than 150 H. naledi hand bones, including a nearly complete adult right hand that was missing just one wrist bone. They found the species shared a long, robust thumb and wrist architecture with modern humans and Neanderthals, potentially giving the hand a precise, forceful grip that may have been useful for tool use.

"However, its fingers were longer and more curved than most australopithecines—indeed, more curved than those of nearly any other species of early hominin. This quality hints at a life suited for moving and climbing through trees. The scientists detailed their findings on H. naledi's hands and feet online today (Oct. 6) in two papers in the journal Nature Communications.

“'The tool-using features of the H. naledi hand, in combination with its small brain size, has interesting implications for what cognitive requirements might be needed to make and use tools, and, depending on the age of these fossils, who might have made the stone tools that we find in South Africa,” Tracy Kivell at the University of Kent in England, lead author of one of the two H. naledi papers, said in a statement.

"The scientists also investigated 107 H. naledi foot bones, including a nearly complete adult right foot. They found the ancient hominin's foot shared many features with the modern human foot, suggesting that it was well-suited for standing and walking on two feet."

Comment: Human evolution is from a bush of attempts.


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