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1.
PLoS One ; 17(10): e0273714, 2022.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36264956

RESUMO

Amanzi Springs is a series of inactive thermal springs located near Kariega in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Excavations in the 1960s exposed rare, stratified Acheulian-bearing deposits that were not further investigated over the next 50 years. Reanalysis of the site and its legacy collection has led to a redefined stratigraphic context for the archaeology, a confirmed direct association between Acheulian artefacts and wood, as well as the first reliable age estimates for the site. Thermally transferred optically stimulated luminescence and post-infrared infrared stimulated luminescence dating indicates that the Acheulian deposits from the Amanzi Springs Area 1 spring eye formed during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 at ~ 404-390 ka. At this time, higher sea levels of ~13-14m would have placed Amanzi Springs around 7 km from a ria that would have formed along what is today the Swartkops River, and which likely led to spring reactivation. This makes the Amanzi Springs Area 1 assemblage an unusual occurrence of a verified late occurring, seaward, open-air Acheulian occupation. The Acheulian levels do not contain any Middle Stone Age (MSA) elements such as blades and points that have been documented in the interior of South Africa at this time. However, a small number of stone tools from the upper layers of the artefact zone, and originally thought of as intrusive, have been dated to ~190 ka, at the transition between MIS 7 to 6, and represent the first potential MSA identified at the site.


Assuntos
Arqueologia , Madeira , África do Sul , Rios , Isótopos , Fósseis
2.
Data Brief ; 42: 108144, 2022 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35479421

RESUMO

This Data in Brief paper comprises dataset obtained for sediment cores collected from Lake Selina, located in the West Coast Range of Tasmania, Australia. Datasets include radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence age estimates, elemental composition, beryllium isotopes, magnetic properties and the paleomagnetic record measured on the cores assigned as TAS1402 (Location: Tasmania, Year: 2014, Site number: 02). The multi-proxy dataset was used to develop a chronostratigraphy for the 5.5 m and 270,000 year old record. See Lisé-Pronovost et al. (2021) (10.1016/j.quageo.2021.101152) for interpretation and discussion. The data presented in this study serve as an archive for future studies focusing on Earth system dynamics and the timeline and linkages of environmental changes across Tasmania, the Southern Hemisphere and at a global scale.

3.
Nanotechnology ; 33(2)2021 Oct 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34610590

RESUMO

Graphitic nanoplatelets (GNPs) have been treated using an ultrasonicated ozonolysis procedure to produce stable aqueous dispersions that facilitate deposition of thin films using electrophoretic deposition. The thin GNP films were then coated with zero valence (ZV) iron nanocubes using a pulsed electrodeposition technique. Characterization of the ZV-iron coating with deposition time revealed that the changing magnetic character of the ferromagnetic-graphitic hybrid material was related to the nucleation density and growth of the ZV-iron nanocubes. Density functional theory calculations show a preference for ZV-iron adsorption at the oxygen sites of the GNPs, with ZV-iron displacement of oxygen groups favored in some configurations. Transmission electron microscopy studies confirm ZV-iron growth nucleates preferentially at the graphite nanoplatelet edges and the hybrid material magnetism is affected by the convergent crystalline grain boundaries formed between adjacent ZV-iron nanocubes.

5.
J Hum Evol ; 153: 102954, 2021 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33714916

RESUMO

The Middle to Later Stone Age transition is a critical period of human behavioral change that has been variously argued to pertain to the emergence of modern cognition, substantial population growth, and major dispersals of Homo sapiens within and beyond Africa. However, there is little consensus about when the transition occurred, the geographic patterning of its emergence, or even how it is manifested in the stone tool technology that is used to define it. Here, we examine a long sequence of lithic technological change at the cave site of Panga ya Saidi, Kenya, that spans the Middle and Later Stone Age and includes human occupations in each of the last five Marine Isotope Stages. In addition to the stone artifact technology, Panga ya Saidi preserves osseous and shell artifacts, enabling broader considerations of the covariation between different spheres of material culture. Several environmental proxies contextualize the artifactual record of human behavior at Panga ya Saidi. We compare technological change between the Middle and Later Stone Age with on-site paleoenvironmental manifestations of wider climatic fluctuations in the Late Pleistocene. The principal distinguishing feature of Middle from Later Stone Age technology at Panga ya Saidi is the preference for fine-grained stone, coupled with the creation of small flakes (miniaturization). Our review of the Middle to Later Stone Age transition elsewhere in eastern Africa and across the continent suggests that this broader distinction between the two periods is in fact widespread. We suggest that the Later Stone Age represents new short use-life and multicomponent ways of using stone tools, in which edge sharpness was prioritized over durability.


Assuntos
Arqueologia , Florestas , Tecnologia/história , Clima Tropical , História Antiga , Humanos , Quênia
6.
Nat Ecol Evol ; 5(1): 38-45, 2021 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33168991

RESUMO

Paranthropus robustus is a small-brained extinct hominin from South Africa characterized by derived, robust craniodental morphology. The most complete known skull of this species is DNH 7 from Drimolen Main Quarry, which differs from P. robustus specimens recovered elsewhere in ways attributed to sexual dimorphism. Here, we describe a new fossil specimen from Drimolen Main Quarry, dated from approximately 2.04-1.95 million years ago, that challenges this view. DNH 155 is a well-preserved adult male cranium that shares with DNH 7 a suite of primitive and derived features unlike those seen in adult P. robustus specimens from other chronologically younger deposits. This refutes existing hypotheses linking sexual dimorphism, ontogeny and social behaviour within this taxon, and clarifies hypotheses concerning hominin phylogeny. We document small-scale morphological changes in P. robustus associated with ecological change within a short time frame and restricted geography. This represents the most highly resolved evidence yet of microevolutionary change within an early hominin species.


Assuntos
Hominidae , Animais , Fósseis , Masculino , Filogenia , Crânio , África do Sul
7.
Science ; 368(6486)2020 04 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32241925

RESUMO

Understanding the extinction of Australopithecus and origins of Paranthropus and Homo in South Africa has been hampered by the perceived complex geological context of hominin fossils, poor chronological resolution, and a lack of well-preserved early Homo specimens. We describe, date, and contextualize the discovery of two hominin crania from Drimolen Main Quarry in South Africa. At ~2.04 million to 1.95 million years old, DNH 152 represents the earliest definitive occurrence of Paranthropus robustus, and DNH 134 represents the earliest occurrence of a cranium with clear affinities to Homo erectus These crania also show that Homo, Paranthropus, and Australopithecus were contemporaneous at ~2 million years ago. This high taxonomic diversity is also reflected in non-hominin species and provides evidence of endemic evolution and dispersal during a period of climatic variability.


Assuntos
Evolução Biológica , Extinção Biológica , Hominidae/anatomia & histologia , Hominidae/classificação , Animais , Cavernas , Classificação , Humanos , Crânio , África do Sul
8.
PeerJ ; 8: e10360, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33391865

RESUMO

Palaeocave sites in South Africa are world renowned repositories for palaeontological and archaeological material, dating from the terminal Pliocene to the Early Pleistocene. Due to their antiquity, complex karstification history and multifaceted infilling phases, palaeocave sites are notoriously difficult to contextualise. Further to this, 19th century lime-mining and diverse excavation and sampling techniques, have complicated stratigraphic interpretations of fossil-bearing deposits within the region. Locating and assessing newly discovered, minimally disturbed palaeocave sites allow for contextual information to be gathered with greater confidence and can aid in constructing a more robust understanding of the South African fossil record. Here, we use Drimolen Makondo; a minimally lime-mined ∼2.61 Ma palaeontological site, to apply a series of in-depth stratigraphic and micromorphological studies. Contextual data presented within this study, testifies to a relatively rapid infill with greater fluvial activity when compared to adjacent deposits at the younger ∼2.04-1.95 Ma Drimolen Main Quarry. The quantity of articulated macromammalian remains, high density of micromammalian remains and pollen identified, also highlights Drimolen Makondo as a key site for ongoing palaeoenvironmental studies at the Pliocene to Pleistocene transition in South Africa.

9.
Nature ; 572(7767): 112-115, 2019 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31308534

RESUMO

Reconstructing the detailed dietary behaviour of extinct hominins is challenging1-particularly for a species such as Australopithecus africanus, which has a highly variable dental morphology that suggests a broad diet2,3. The dietary responses of extinct hominins to seasonal fluctuations in food availability are poorly understood, and nursing behaviours even less so; most of the direct information currently available has been obtained from high-resolution trace-element geochemical analysis of Homo sapiens (both modern and fossil), Homo neanderthalensis4 and living apes5. Here we apply high-resolution trace-element analysis to two A. africanus specimens from Sterkfontein Member 4 (South Africa), dated to 2.6-2.1 million years ago. Elemental signals indicate that A. africanus infants predominantly consumed breast milk for the first year after birth. A cyclical elemental pattern observed following the nursing sequence-comparable to the seasonal dietary signal that is seen in contemporary wild primates and other mammals-indicates irregular food availability. These results are supported by isotopic evidence for a geographical range that was dominated by nutritionally depauperate areas. Cyclical accumulation of lithium in A. africanus teeth also corroborates the idea that their range was characterized by fluctuating resources, and that they possessed physiological adaptations to this instability. This study provides insights into the dietary cycles and ecological behaviours of A. africanus in response to food availability, including the potential cyclical resurgence of milk intake during times of nutritional challenge (as observed in modern wild orangutans5). The geochemical findings for these teeth reinforce the unique place of A. africanus in the fossil record, and indicate dietary stress in specimens that date to shortly before the extinction of Australopithecus in South Africa about two million years ago.


Assuntos
Fósseis , Hominidae , Estações do Ano , Estresse Fisiológico , Dente/química , Animais , Aleitamento Materno , Hominidae/anatomia & histologia , Hominidae/fisiologia , Pongo , Dente/anatomia & histologia , Dente/fisiologia
10.
PeerJ ; 7: e6202, 2019.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30656072

RESUMO

Bolt's Farm is a Plio-Pleistocene fossil site located within the southwestern corner of the UNESCO Hominid Fossil Sites of South Africa World Heritage Site. The site is a complex of active caves and more than 20 palaeokarst deposits or pits, many of which were exposed through the action of lime mining in the early 20th century. The pits represent heavily eroded cave systems, and as such associating the palaeocave sediments within and between the pits is difficult, especially as little geochronological data exists. These pits and the associated lime miner's rubble were first explored by palaeoanthropologists in the late 1930s, but as yet no hominin material has been recovered. The first systematic mapping was undertaken by Frank Peabody as part of the University of California Africa Expedition (UCAE) in 1947-1948. A redrawn version of the map was not published until 1991 by Basil Cooke and this has subsequently been used and modified by recent researchers. Renewed work in the 2000s used Cooke's map to try and relocate the original fossil deposits. However, Peabody's map does not include all the pits and caves, and thus in some cases this was successful, while in others previously sampled pits were inadvertently given new names. This was compounded by the fact that new fossil bearing deposits were discovered in this new phase, causing confusion in associating the 1940s fossils with the deposits from which they originated; as well as associating them with the recently excavated material. To address this, we have used a Geographic Information System (GIS) to compare Peabody's original map with subsequently published maps. This highlighted transcription errors between maps, most notably the location of Pit 23, an important palaeontological deposit given the recovery of well-preserved primate crania (Parapapio, Cercopithecoides) and partial skeletons of the extinct felid Dinofelis. We conducted the first drone and Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) survey of Bolt's Farm. Using legacy data, high-resolution aerial imagery, accurate DGPS survey and GIS, we relocate the original fossil deposits and propose a definitive and transparent naming strategy for Bolt's Farm, based on the original UCAE Pit numbers. We provide datum points and a new comprehensive, georectified map to facilitate spatially accurate fossil collection for all future work. Additionally, we have collated recently published faunal data with historic fossil data to evaluate the biochronological potential of the various deposits. This suggests that the palaeocave deposits in different pits formed at different times with the occurrence of Equus in some pits implying ages of <2.3 Ma, whereas more primitive suids (Metridiochoerus) hint at a terminal Pliocene age for other deposits. This study highlights that Bolt's Farm contains rare South African terminal Pliocene fossil deposits and creates a framework for future studies of the deposits and previously excavated material.

11.
Nature ; 565(7738): 226-229, 2019 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30464348

RESUMO

The Cradle of Humankind (Cradle) in South Africa preserves a rich collection of fossil hominins representing Australopithecus, Paranthropus and Homo1. The ages of these fossils are contentious2-4 and have compromised the degree to which the South African hominin record can be used to test hypotheses of human evolution. However, uranium-lead (U-Pb) analyses of horizontally bedded layers of calcium carbonate (flowstone) provide a potential opportunity to obtain a robust chronology5. Flowstones are ubiquitous cave features and provide a palaeoclimatic context, because they grow only during phases of increased effective precipitation6,7, ideally in closed caves. Here we show that flowstones from eight Cradle caves date to six narrow time intervals between 3.2 and 1.3 million years ago. We use a kernel density estimate to combine 29 U-Pb ages into a single record of flowstone growth intervals. We interpret these as major wet phases, when an increased water supply, more extensive vegetation cover and at least partially closed caves allowed for undisturbed, semi-continuous growth of the flowstones. The intervening times represent substantially drier phases, during which fossils of hominins and other fossils accumulated in open caves. Fossil preservation, restricted to drier intervals, thus biases the view of hominin evolutionary history and behaviour, and places the hominins in a community of comparatively dry-adapted fauna. Although the periods of cave closure leave temporal gaps in the South African fossil record, the flowstones themselves provide valuable insights into both local and pan-African climate variability.


Assuntos
Carbonato de Cálcio/química , Clima , Fósseis , Hominidae , Chumbo/análise , Datação Radiométrica , Urânio/análise , África Oriental , Animais , Cavernas , Chuva , África do Sul
12.
Nat Commun ; 9(1): 2242, 2018 06 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29872049

RESUMO

The originally published version of this Article contained an error in Fig. 3, whereby an additional unrelated graph was overlaid on top of the magnetic susceptibility plot. Furthermore, the Article title contained an error in the capitalisation of 'Stone Age'. Both of these errors have now been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the Article.

13.
Nat Commun ; 9(1): 1832, 2018 05 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29743572

RESUMO

The Middle to Later Stone Age transition in Africa has been debated as a significant shift in human technological, cultural, and cognitive evolution. However, the majority of research on this transition is currently focused on southern Africa due to a lack of long-term, stratified sites across much of the African continent. Here, we report a 78,000-year-long archeological record from Panga ya Saidi, a cave in the humid coastal forest of Kenya. Following a shift in toolkits ~67,000 years ago, novel symbolic and technological behaviors assemble in a non-unilinear manner. Against a backdrop of a persistent tropical forest-grassland ecotone, localized innovations better characterize the Late Pleistocene of this part of East Africa than alternative emphases on dramatic revolutions or migrations.

14.
PeerJ ; 4: e2024, 2016.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27190720

RESUMO

Haasgat is a primate-rich fossil locality in the northeastern part of the Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here we report the first hominin identified from Haasgat, a partial maxillary molar (HGT 500), that was recovered from an ex situ calcified sediment block sampled from the locality. The in situ fossil bearing deposits of the Haasgat paleokarstic deposits are estimated to date to slightly older than 1.95 Ma based on magnetobiostratigraphy. This places the hominin specimen at a critical time period in South Africa that marks the last occurrence of Australopithecus around 1.98 Ma and the first evidence of Paranthropus and Homo in the region between ∼2.0 and 1.8 Ma. A comprehensive morphological evaluation of the Haasgat hominin molar was conducted against the current South African catalogue of hominin dental remains and imaging analyses using micro-CT, electron and confocal microscopy. The preserved occlusal morphology is most similar to Australopithecus africanus or early Homo specimens but different from Paranthropus. Occlusal linear enamel thickness measured from micro-CT scans provides an average of ∼2.0 mm consistent with Australopithecus and early Homo. Analysis of the enamel microstructure suggests an estimated periodicity of 7-9 days. Hunter-Schreger bands appear long and straight as in some Paranthropus, but contrast with this genus in the short shape of the striae of Retzius. Taken together, these data suggests that the maxillary fragment recovered from Haasgat best fits within the Australopithecus-early Homo hypodigms to the exclusion of the genus Paranthropus. At ∼1.95 Ma this specimen would either represent another example of late occurring Australopithecus or one of the earliest examples of Homo in the region. While the identification of this first hominin specimen from Haasgat is not unexpected given the composition of other South African penecontemporaneous site deposits, it represents one of the few hominin localities in the topographically-distinct northern World Heritage Site. When coupled with the substantial differences in the mammalian faunal communities between the northern localities (e.g., Haasgat, Gondolin) and well-sampled Bloubank Valley sites (e.g., Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai), the recovery of the HGT 500 specimen highlights the potential for further research at the Haasgat locality for understanding the distribution and interactions of hominin populations across the landscape, ecosystems and fossil mammalian communities of early Pleistocene South Africa. Such contextual data from sites like Haasgat is critical for understanding the transition in hominin representation at ∼2 Ma sites in the region from Australopithecus to Paranthropus and early Homo.

15.
PeerJ ; 4: e1941, 2016.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27114884

RESUMO

The Drimolen Palaeocave System Main Quarry deposits (DMQ) are some of the most prolific hominin and primate-bearing deposits in the Fossil Hominids of South Africa UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discovered in the 1990s, excavations into the DMQ have yielded a demographically diverse sample of Paranthropus robustus (including DNH 7, the most complete cranium of the species recovered to date), early Homo, Papio hamadryas robinsoni and Cercopithecoides williamsi. Alongside the hominin and primate sample is a diverse macromammalian assemblage, but prior publications have only provided a provisional species list and an analysis of the carnivores recovered prior to 2008. Here we present the first description and analysis of the non-primate macromammalian faunas from the DMQ, including all 826 taxonomically identifiable specimens catalogued from over two decades of excavation. We also provide a biochronological interpretation of the DMQ deposits and an initial discussion of local palaeoecology based on taxon representation.The current DMQ assemblage consists of the remains of minimally 147 individuals from 9 Orders and 14 Families of mammals. The carnivore assemblage described here is even more diverse than established in prior publications, including the identification of Megantereon whitei, Lycyaenops silberbergi, and first evidence for the occurrence of Dinofelis cf. barlowi and Dinofelis aff. piveteaui within a single South African site deposit. The cetartiodactyl assemblage is dominated by bovids, with the specimen composition unique in the high recovery of horn cores and dominance of Antidorcas recki remains. Other cetartiodactyl and perissodactyl taxa are represented by few specimens, as are Hystrix and Procavia; the latter somewhat surprisingly so given their common occurrence at penecontemporaneous deposits in the region. Equally unusual (particularly given the size of the sample) is the identification of single specimens of giraffoid, elephantid and aardvark (Orycteropus cf. afer) that are rarely recovered from regional site deposits. Despite the diversity within the DMQ macromammalian faunas, there are few habitat- or biochronologically-sensitive species that provide specific ecologic or age boundaries for the deposits. Recovered species can only support the non-specific, mixed open-to-closed palaeohabitats around Drimolen that have been reconstructed for the other penecontemporaneous South African palaeokarst deposits. The identified Equus quagga ssp. specimens recovered from the floor of the current excavation (∾-4.5-5 m below datum) suggests that most, if not all the DMQ specimens, were deposited after 2.33 Ma. Simultaneously, the carnivore specimens (D. cf. barlowi, L. silberbergi) suggest earlier Pleistocene (pre- 2.0-1.8 Ma) to maximally 1.6 Ma deposition (D. aff. piveteaui) for most of the DMQ fossil assemblage.

17.
Am J Phys Anthropol ; 151(2): 316-24, 2013 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23633001

RESUMO

Following the discovery of the "Taung Child" (Australopithecus africanus) in 1924 in the Buxton-Norlim Limeworks near Taung, the fossil-bearing deposits associated with the Dart and Hrdlicka pinnacles have been interpreted as the mined remnants of cave sediments that formed within the Plio-Pleistocene Thabaseek Tufa: either as a younger cave-fill or as contemporaneous carapace caves. When combined with the Plio-Pleistocene dolomitic cave deposits from the "Cradle of Humankind," a rather restricted view emerges that South African early hominins derived from cave deposits, whereas those of east and central Africa are derived from fluvio-lacustrine and paleosol deposits. We undertook a sedimentological and paleomagnetic analysis of the pink-colored deposit (PCS) from which the "Taung Child" is purported to have derived and demonstrate that it is a calcrete, a carbonate-rich pedogenic sediment, which formed on the paleo-land surface. The deposit extends 100 s of meters laterally beyond the Dart and Hrdlicka Pinnacles where it is interbedded with the Thabaseek Tufa, indicating multiple episodes of calcrete development and tufa growth. The presence of in situ rhizoconcretions and insect trace fossils (Celliforma sp. and Coprinisphaera sp.) and the distinctive carbonate microfabric confirm that the pink deposit is a pedogenic calcrete, not a calcified cave sediment. Paleomagnetic and stratigraphic evidence indicates that a second, reversed polarity, fossil-bearing deposit (YRSS) is a younger fissure-fill formed within a solutional cavity of the normal polarity tufa and pink calcrete (PCS). These observations have implications for the dating, environment, and taphonomy of the site, and increase the likelihood of future fossil discoveries within the Buxton-Norlim Limeworks.


Assuntos
Cavernas , Fósseis , Sedimentos Geológicos/química , Paleontologia , Animais , Carbonatos/análise , Carbonatos/química , Sedimentos Geológicos/análise , Hominidae , Magnetismo , África do Sul
18.
J Hum Evol ; 63(3): 527-35, 2012 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22840572

RESUMO

We report here on evidence of early Homo around 1.0 Ma (millions of years ago) in the central plains of southern Africa. The human material, a first upper molar, was discovered during the systematic excavation of a densely-packed bone bed in the basal part of the sedimentary sequence at the Cornelia-Uitzoek fossil vertebrate locality. We dated this sequence by palaeomagnetism and correlated the bone bed to the Jaramillo subchron, between 1.07 and 0.99 Ma. This makes the specimen the oldest southern African hominine remains outside the dolomitic karst landscapes of northern South Africa. Cornelia-Uitzoek is the type locality of the Cornelian Land Mammal Age. The fauna contains an archaic component, reflecting previous biogeographic links with East Africa, and a derived component, suggesting incipient southern endemism. The bone bed is considered to be the result of the bone collecting behaviour of a large predator, possibly spotted hyaenas. Acheulian artefacts are found in small numbers within the bone bed among the fossil vertebrates, reflecting the penecontemporaneous presence of people in the immediate vicinity of the occurrence. The hominine tooth was recovered from the central, deeper part of the bone bed. In size, it clusters with southern African early Homo and it is also morphologically similar. We propose that the early Homo specimen forms part of an archaic component in the fauna, in parallel with the other archaic faunal elements at Uitzoek. This supports an emergent pattern of archaic survivors in the southern landscape at this time, but also demonstrates the presence of early Homo in the central plains of southern Africa, beyond the dolomitic karst areas.


Assuntos
Fósseis , Hominidae/anatomia & histologia , Animais , Ecologia , História Antiga , Dente Molar/anatomia & histologia , África do Sul , Comportamento de Utilização de Ferramentas
19.
Primates ; 53(4): 337-44, 2012 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22399261

RESUMO

We report the current species distribution and population estimate for the chacma baboon (Papio ursinus) in KwaZulu-Natal Province (KZN), South Africa, based on an analysis of estimated area of occupancy and estimated home range size. This estimate suggests a total population size of approximately 11,000 individuals for KZN. Much of the province is uninhabited, with a density in occupied areas of approximately 1.8 animals per km(2). The current population size may be more than an order of magnitude smaller than historical population size. Chacma baboons now exhibit a highly fragmented and discontinuous distribution in KZN, with 58% of the population residing within protected areas, and more than half of these troops reside in areas >1,500 m above average sea level. The small population and highly fragmented distribution of chacma baboons in KZN, combined with rapidly increasing human population size and transformation of natural habitat, suggest this species requires greater conservation attention.


Assuntos
Distribuição Animal , Papio ursinus/fisiologia , Animais , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Sistemas de Informação Geográfica , Densidade Demográfica , África do Sul
20.
PLoS One ; 7(3): e31918, 2012.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22431968

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Later Pleistocene human evolution in East Asia remains poorly understood owing to a scarcity of well described, reliably classified and accurately dated fossils. Southwest China has been identified from genetic research as a hotspot of human diversity, containing ancient mtDNA and Y-DNA lineages, and has yielded a number of human remains thought to derive from Pleistocene deposits. We have prepared, reconstructed, described and dated a new partial skull from a consolidated sediment block collected in 1979 from the site of Longlin Cave (Guangxi Province). We also undertook new excavations at Maludong (Yunnan Province) to clarify the stratigraphy and dating of a large sample of mostly undescribed human remains from the site. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We undertook a detailed comparison of cranial, including a virtual endocast for the Maludong calotte, mandibular and dental remains from these two localities. Both samples probably derive from the same population, exhibiting an unusual mixture of modern human traits, characters probably plesiomorphic for later Homo, and some unusual features. We dated charcoal with AMS radiocarbon dating and speleothem with the Uranium-series technique and the results show both samples to be from the Pleistocene-Holocene transition: ∼14.3-11.5 ka. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our analysis suggests two plausible explanations for the morphology sampled at Longlin Cave and Maludong. First, it may represent a late-surviving archaic population, perhaps paralleling the situation seen in North Africa as indicated by remains from Dar-es-Soltane and Temara, and maybe also in southern China at Zhirendong. Alternatively, East Asia may have been colonised during multiple waves during the Pleistocene, with the Longlin-Maludong morphology possibly reflecting deep population substructure in Africa prior to modern humans dispersing into Eurasia.


Assuntos
Evolução Biológica , Fósseis , Tamanho Corporal/fisiologia , China , Coroas , Face/anatomia & histologia , Geografia , Humanos , Inuítes , Mandíbula/anatomia & histologia , Análise de Componente Principal , Datação Radiométrica , Crânio/anatomia & histologia , Fatores de Tempo , Urânio
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