Monday, November 11, 2013

Proceedings of Royal Society B, December 22, 2013

In the most recent issue of Proceedings of Royal Society B, one article was particularly relevant to molecular anthropology.  The paper titled "Chimpanzee fauna isotopes provide new interpretations of fossil ape and hominin ecologies" examined the isotopic composition of oxygen and carbon in the tooth enamel of modern and ancient hominin species including Ardipithicus and  Sivapithicus.  The study found that Sivapithicus, a Miocine ape, likely lived in area with canopy, similar to modern chimpanzees, though fed relatively more on leaves.  In contrast, Ardipithicus was found to feed on arboreal and terrestrial sources in a habitat that was predicted to have more open spaces than that of modern chimpanzees. The author, Sherry V. Nelson, hopes to apply this technique to a wide range of fossil specimens to gain a better understanding of diet and habitat in ancient anthropoid species.

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