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Title:Functional Information in Individual Anterior Tarsal Bones of Anthropoids
Author(s):Mann, Diane Messmann
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Anthropology, Physical
Abstract:The five anterior tarsals of the foot--navicular, cuboid, first, second, and third cuneiforms--are promising candidates for good fossil preservation because of their compact shape and density, but are frequently unassociated with the more commonly preserved teeth and mandibular fragments. To be of use in interpreting the evolutionary history of locomotor modes, an anterior tarsal as a separate entity must contain information. Quantitative morphological studies and discriminant analyses of measured anterior tarsal variables and their ratios for Ateles, Cebus, Colobus, Gorilla, Homo, Hylobates, Mandrillus, Pan, Papio, Pongo, Presbytis, Symphalangus, and Theropithecus demonstrate that specializations have been impressed in their shape. Although morphologically conservative, the external architecture of the five bones, especially the proportions of the articular surfaces, correlates with weight support, mobility, stability, and direction of stress which in turn relate to habitat and locomotion.
The navicular is the most successful predictor and sensitive recorder of increasing terrestrial behavior, but the first cuneiform has the most easily discerned specializations. The cuboid appears to be the most generalized and the least useful in classifying for habitat and locomotor mode. Predictive ability for habitat, three categories of locomotion, and eight subdivisions of locomotion vary from bone to bone, but the difference between the best and the worst predictors is less than 13%. Terrestrial striding bipedalism of hominids is the most distinctly recorded behavior on all the anterior tarsals.
Bipedal locomotion may have been a major factor in the hominization process. Evidence that striding bipedalism was fully developed in Australopithecus afarensis by 3.5 m.y.b.p. implies that the search for when, how, and by which species this was accomplished must be sought in the Miocene fossil record. Anterior tarsals are small in size with a bewildering array of articular surfaces, but they can contribute to the morphological-behavioral-environmental interfacing of fossil interpretation.
Issue Date:1981
Description:414 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1981.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8203522
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1981

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