Oldest Modern-looking finger bone sheds light on Human evolution
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18-08-2015, 07:49 PM (This post was last modified: 18-08-2015 07:53 PM by ghostexorcist.)
Oldest Modern-looking finger bone sheds light on Human evolution
http://www.iflscience.com/environment/ol...-evolution

Quote:This latest discovery by a team from the Institute of Evolution in Africa (IDEA), based in Madrid, reveals the earliest modern-human-like hand bone known of so far, dating back 1.84 million years. It was found at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. The bone is thought to be from an unidentified modern-looking hominin (human ancestor) lineage, similar to Homo erectus, that originated in East Africa and lived alongside other ancient hominins called Paranthropus boisei and Homo habilis. But this hand is more similar to modern humans than any other.

Called Olduvai Hominin (OH) 86, the finger bone (phalanx) suggests that human hands took their present form early in our evolution – but have barely changed since. It is thought to be from the little finger of a hand, and its importance is due to the bone being straight. Older hand bones have been discovered, but they are curved – and thus more suited for living in trees. “The discovery shows the species was 100% committed to living on the ground,” lead researcher Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo from IDEA told IFLScience.

The complete article.

http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150818...s8987.html

Anyway, the reason I'm excited about the publishing of the paper is because I've seen the phalanx up close. I trained under Prof. Domínguez-Rodrigo in Olduvai Gorge in summer of 2014. Here is a picture I took of Manuel using a field school student's hand for comparison. That is a cast of the bone from the article (he didn't want to handle the physical specimen too much)...

[Image: Y3CW6u.jpg]

I'm still waiting for the analysis of the hominin material that I helped escavate to be published. I'll be able to post more pictures at that point.
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18-08-2015, 08:05 PM
RE: Oldest Modern-looking finger bone sheds light on Human evolution
PS. I worked at the PTK site where the phalanx was discovered. You can read about my days at PTK on my Africa blog.

https://anapeinafrica.wordpress.com/?s=PTK
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18-08-2015, 08:05 PM
RE: Oldest Modern-looking finger bone sheds light on Human evolution
So we likely got our ever so important manipulation capacity early on?

Cool. Thanks for sharing, Ghost.

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18-08-2015, 08:15 PM
RE: Oldest Modern-looking finger bone sheds light on Human evolution
That puts it right about in the timeline with the advent of more-advanced toolmaking. Awesome!

The earliest stone toolmaking developed by at least 2.6 million years ago. The Early Stone Age includes the most basic stone toolkits made by early humans. The Early Stone Age in Africa is equivalent to what is called the Lower Paleolithic in Europe and Asia.

The oldest stone tools, known as the Oldowan toolkit, consist of at least:
• Hammerstones that show battering on their surfaces
• Stone cores that show a series of flake scars along one or more edges
• Sharp stone flakes that were struck from the cores and offer useful cutting edges, along with lots of debris from the process of percussion flaking

By about 1.76 million years ago, early humans began to strike really large flakes and then continue to shape them by striking smaller flakes from around the edges. The resulting implements included a new kind of tool called a handaxe. These tools and other kinds of ‘large cutting tools’ characterize the Acheulean toolkit.


http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/beha...arly-tools

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18-08-2015, 08:47 PM
RE: Oldest Modern-looking finger bone sheds light on Human evolution
(18-08-2015 08:15 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  That puts it right about in the timeline with the advent of more-advanced toolmaking. Awesome!

The earliest stone toolmaking developed by at least 2.6 million years ago. The Early Stone Age includes the most basic stone toolkits made by early humans. The Early Stone Age in Africa is equivalent to what is called the Lower Paleolithic in Europe and Asia.

The oldest stone tools, known as the Oldowan toolkit, consist of at least:
• Hammerstones that show battering on their surfaces
• Stone cores that show a series of flake scars along one or more edges
• Sharp stone flakes that were struck from the cores and offer useful cutting edges, along with lots of debris from the process of percussion flaking

By about 1.76 million years ago, early humans began to strike really large flakes and then continue to shape them by striking smaller flakes from around the edges. The resulting implements included a new kind of tool called a handaxe. These tools and other kinds of ‘large cutting tools’ characterize the Acheulean toolkit.


http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/beha...arly-tools

One of my biological anthropology professors co-wrote an article that reanalyzed oldowan tools, the oldest tool complex. The consensus was that the makers were more like non-human apes than Homo habilis. The paper doesn't appear to be available online. I have a PDF of it if people are interested. Just send me a private message if you are.
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18-08-2015, 08:59 PM
RE: Oldest Modern-looking finger bone sheds light on Human evolution
Yeah, actually I'd love to read that. I'm fascinated with human origins. I still remember where I was (in college) in '99 when they found Kenyanthropus platyops, the flat-faced (like us, and thought to be a possible on the branch that led to us) Australopithecis. I read recently that we thought they were a likely suspect for earliest tool-users.

So bring it on. My email is in my profile.

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18-08-2015, 09:01 PM
RE: Oldest Modern-looking finger bone sheds light on Human evolution
Whoa... did some digging to find the article on K. platyops, and saw what I'd missed, before. The find pushed back our "earliest tools found" date by 700,000 years. !!!

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-32804177

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19-08-2015, 11:49 AM
RE: Oldest Modern-looking finger bone sheds light on Human evolution
(18-08-2015 08:05 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  PS. I worked at the PTK site where the phalanx was discovered. You can read about my days at PTK on my Africa blog.

https://anapeinafrica.wordpress.com/?s=PTK

Maybe I missed it in reading through your blog, but I read how you were saying that that area was a "paleoanthropological goldmine." What's the history of this area, in terms of why there are so many fossils being found here?
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19-08-2015, 12:10 PM
RE: Oldest Modern-looking finger bone sheds light on Human evolution
(18-08-2015 07:49 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  http://www.iflscience.com/environment/ol...-evolution

Quote:This latest discovery by a team from the Institute of Evolution in Africa (IDEA), based in Madrid, reveals the earliest modern-human-like hand bone known of so far, dating back 1.84 million years. It was found at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. The bone is thought to be from an unidentified modern-looking hominin (human ancestor) lineage, similar to Homo erectus, that originated in East Africa and lived alongside other ancient hominins called Paranthropus boisei and Homo habilis. But this hand is more similar to modern humans than any other.

Called Olduvai Hominin (OH) 86, the finger bone (phalanx) suggests that human hands took their present form early in our evolution – but have barely changed since. It is thought to be from the little finger of a hand, and its importance is due to the bone being straight. Older hand bones have been discovered, but they are curved – and thus more suited for living in trees. “The discovery shows the species was 100% committed to living on the ground,” lead researcher Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo from IDEA told IFLScience.

The complete article.

http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150818...s8987.html

Anyway, the reason I'm excited about the publishing of the paper is because I've seen the phalanx up close. I trained under Prof. Domínguez-Rodrigo in Olduvai Gorge in summer of 2014. Here is a picture I took of Manuel using a field school student's hand for comparison. That is a cast of the bone from the article (he didn't want to handle the physical specimen too much)...

[Image: Y3CW6u.jpg]

I'm still waiting for the analysis of the hominin material that I helped escavate to be published. I'll be able to post more pictures at that point.

Love stuff like this. Excellent post, thanks for sharing.

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19-08-2015, 02:28 PM
RE: Oldest Modern-looking finger bone sheds light on Human evolution
(18-08-2015 07:49 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  http://www.iflscience.com/environment/ol...-evolution

Quote:This latest discovery by a team from the Institute of Evolution in Africa (IDEA), based in Madrid, reveals the earliest modern-human-like hand bone known of so far, dating back 1.84 million years. It was found at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. The bone is thought to be from an unidentified modern-looking hominin (human ancestor) lineage, similar to Homo erectus, that originated in East Africa and lived alongside other ancient hominins called Paranthropus boisei and Homo habilis. But this hand is more similar to modern humans than any other.

Called Olduvai Hominin (OH) 86, the finger bone (phalanx) suggests that human hands took their present form early in our evolution – but have barely changed since. It is thought to be from the little finger of a hand, and its importance is due to the bone being straight. Older hand bones have been discovered, but they are curved – and thus more suited for living in trees. “The discovery shows the species was 100% committed to living on the ground,” lead researcher Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo from IDEA told IFLScience.

The complete article.

http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150818...s8987.html

Anyway, the reason I'm excited about the publishing of the paper is because I've seen the phalanx up close. I trained under Prof. Domínguez-Rodrigo in Olduvai Gorge in summer of 2014. Here is a picture I took of Manuel using a field school student's hand for comparison. That is a cast of the bone from the article (he didn't want to handle the physical specimen too much)...

[Image: Y3CW6u.jpg]

I'm still waiting for the analysis of the hominin material that I helped escavate to be published. I'll be able to post more pictures at that point.

"thought to be' ... unidentified modern-looking hominin ..... sounds pretty hypothemtical to me... and when the author says the species has straight bones, how does a species COMMIT to living on the ground, when evolution or chance and luck dictates a so called open ended spectrum. And besides, genetics shows nothing we do in life changes our DNA, it is separated early in embriology and development.

I think the absolute beauty and ratio of human bones is a design by the template of design called the Golden Section, it is why our hands are beautiful and adaptable and awesome in function and design... and beauty.

Straight by design, not because they luckily straightened out when monkeys left trees.

.618, 1.000, 1.618, 2.618, etc etc etc etc..
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