来自美国中西大学的David J. Green和加州科学院的Zeresenay Alemseged根据南方古猿肩胛骨化石的形态特点,发现尽管它们直立行走,但它们却擅长攀爬。

-2012年10月26日《科学》

中文翻译


【题目】人类进化的见证:南方古猿肩胛骨

【译文】肩胛骨的形态特点能够预测灵长类动物的运动适应能力,但是在发现的人类化石中,这种骨骼结构非常罕见。在塞俄比亚迪基卡发现的幼年南方古猿骨骼化石中,成功地找到了两块肩胛骨。这些肩胛骨表现出一些特征,这些特征类似善于攀爬的类人猿。在一些早先发现的成年南方古猿的骨骼碎片中也发现了类似的特征。在漫漫进化长河中,大多数特征发生了显著变化,但在类人猿中这些特征仍保持稳定。因此,幼年和成年化石形态的相似性暗示南方古猿的发育模式是与类人猿类似的。此外,在非洲类人猿发育过程中,其他肩胛骨特征的变化,与运动行为的变化有关。这些发现证实了这些特征的功能与攀爬相关,它们在南方古猿化石中存在的证据支持了这一假说:南方古猿的运动行为包括大量的攀爬活动。

英文原稿


[Title]: Australopithecus afarensis Scapular Ontogeny, Function, and the Role of Climbing in Human Evolution

[Authors]: David J. Green and Zeresenay Alemseged

[Abstract]: Scapular morphology is predictive of locomotor adaptations among primates, but this skeletal element is scarce in the hominin fossil record. Notably, both scapulae of the juvenile Australopithecus afarensis skeleton from Dikika, Ethiopia, have been recovered. These scapulae display several traits characteristic of suspensory apes, as do the few known fragmentary adult australopith representatives. Many of these traits change significantly throughout modern human ontogeny, but remain stable in apes. Thus, the similarity of juvenile and adult fossil morphologies implies that A. afarensis development was apelike. Additionally, changes in other scapular traits throughout African ape development are associated with shifts in locomotor behavior. This affirms the functional relevance of those characteristics, and their presence in australopith fossils supports the hypothesis that their locomotor repertoire included a substantial amount of climbing.

原文地址

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/338/6106/514.abstract

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