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Title: Rib cage anatomy in Homo erectus suggests a recent evolutionary origin of modern human body shape
Authors: Bastir, Markus
García-Martínez, Daniel
Torres-Tamayo, Nicole
Palancar, Carlos A.
Beyer, Benoit
Barash, Alon ‎
Villa, Chiara
Sanchis-Gimeno, Juan Alberto
Riesco-López, Alberto
Nalla, Shahed
Torres-Sánchez, Isabel
García Río, F.
Been, Ella
Gómez-Olivencia, Azier
Häusler, Martin ‎
Williams, Scott A.
Spoor, Fred ‎
Keywords: Palaeoecology;Palaeontology
Issue Date: Sep-2020
Publisher: Nature Research
Citation: Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2020, 4 (9), 1178-1187
Abstract: The tall and narrow body shape of anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens) evolved via changes in the thorax, pelvis and limbs. It is debated, however, whether these modifications first evolved together in African Homo erectus, or whether H. erectus had a more primitive body shape that was distinct from both the more ape-like Australopithecus species and H. sapiens. Here we present the first quantitative three-dimensional reconstruction of the thorax of the juvenile H. erectus skeleton, KNM-WT 15000, from Nariokotome, Kenya, along with its estimated adult rib cage, for comparison with H. sapiens and the Kebara 2 Neanderthal. Our three-dimensional reconstruction demonstrates a short, mediolaterally wide and anteroposteriorly deep thorax in KNM-WT 15000 that differs considerably from the much shallower thorax of H. sapiens, pointing to a recent evolutionary origin of fully modern human body shape. The large respiratory capacity of KNM-WT 15000 is compatible with the relatively stocky, more primitive, body shape of H. erectus.
ISSN: 2397-334X
DOI: 10.1038/s41559-020-1240-4
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Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

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