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2008-11-15 – Etiopia – Homo erectus: ossa di bacino femminile (female pelvis)

Scoperto in Etiopia un bacino fossile appartenente a una femmina di Homo Erectus.

Il ritrovamento ha consentito ai ricercatori che hanno pubblicato l’articolo su Science di fare interessanti considerazioni di carattere antropologico (ad esempio sulle dimensioni del bambino alla nascita, o sul grado di socializzazzione della specie).

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Wide-hipped fossil changes picture of Homo erectus

Thu 13 Nov 2008, 20:09 GMT

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor

WASHINGTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) – The fossil of a wide-hipped Homo erectus found in Ethiopia suggests females of the pre-human species swayed their hips as they walked and gave birth to relatively developed babies with big heads, researchers said on Thursday.

The finding transforms thinking about some early human ancestors and evolution and suggests that helpless babies came along relatively late in the human lineage.

“We could look at this pelvis and then, using a series of measurements, we can calculate … how big the baby’s head could be at birth,” said Scott Simpson, a paleontologist at Case Western Reserve University who worked on the study.

Writing in the journal Science, Simpson and colleagues said the size and shape of the 1.2 million-year-old pelvis indicates that H. erectus females had hips wider than those of modern human females and their infants were born with heads about 30 percent larger than previously calculated.

“What this means is the offspring were not as helpless as a modern human,” he said in a telephone interview.

“It is not coming out walking and talking. But it was probably capable of more advanced behavior at a younger age like grasping, like sitting up … than we would see in a modern human.”

An extended childhood is a particularly human characteristic. Helpless babies require intensive care, not only from the mothers but from an extended group, which may have spurred the development of human society and culture.

Homo erectus, Latin for “upright man,” arose in Africa 1.8 to 2 million years ago, migrating to Asia and Europe before becoming extinct about half a million years ago. Experts agree it was likely a direct ancestor of modern humans.

Scientists did not know much about what its body would have looked like until the discovery of “Turkana Boy,” an adolescent H. erectus whose bones were discovered in 1984.

His slim-hipped build led researchers to believe that H. erectus gave birth to small-headed babies that would have required a great deal of care in early life, much like modern human infants.

But Simpson said Turkana boy’s pelvis was damaged and the restoration of a near-complete female pelvis from Gona, Ethiopia, changes this picture.

“This H. erectus would have even wider hips (than modern women),” Simpson said.

One main difference between human males and females is hip width, which makes women sway as they walk and which allows men to run and walk more efficiently.

“The reason women do have that sway is their hips are a little further apart,” Simpson said. “She would have had a good one.” (Editing by Alan Elsner)

source: http://africa.reuters.com/wire/news/usnN13527961.html


afrol News

Discovery of 1.5 Million Year Old Fossil of Female Pelvis in
MarketWatch – 20 ore fa
GOSPORT, Ind., Nov 14, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ — The Stone Age Institute announces an important new fossil of a Homo erectus female pelvis from approximately 1.3 million years ago. This fossil reveals important new information about
Could fossil adds key piece to human evolution? Salt Lake Tribune
1.3 million year old human fossil found in Ethiopia afrol News
New Scientist (subscription) – Reuters South Africa – RedOrbit – Deseret News
e altri 101 articoli simili »

novembre 15, 2008 - Posted by | - Ominidi, - Primati, Africa, Articolo sc. di riferimento, Italiano (riassunto), P - Paleoantropologia, P - Ritrovamenti fossili, Paleontology / Paleontologia, X - Science, x Terziario | , , , , ,

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