Evolutionary History of the

Evolutionary History of the "Robust" Australopithecines

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In paleoanthropology the group of hominids known as the qrobustq australopithecines has emerged as one of the most interesting. Through them we have the opportunity to examine the origin, natural history, and ultimate extinction of not just a single species, but of an entire branch in the hominid fossil record. It is generally agreed that the human lineage can be traced back to this group of comparatively small-brained, large-toothed creatures. This volume focuses on the evolutionary history of these early hominids with state-of-the-art contributions by leading international authorities in the field. Although a case can be made for a qrobustq lineage, the functional and taxonomic implications of the morphological features are subject to vigorous disagreement. An area of lively debate is the possible causal relationship between the presence of early Homo and the origin, evolution, and virtual extinction of qrobustq australopithecines. This volume summarizes what has been learned about the evolutionary history of the qrobustq australopithecines in the 50 years since Robert Broom first encountered the visage of a new kind of ape-man from Kromdraai. New discoveries from Kromdraai to Lomekwi have served to keep us aware that the paleontological record for hominid evolution is hardly exhausted. Because of such finds no single volume can hope to stand as a summary on the qrobustq australopithecines for very long, but this classic volume comes close to achieving this goal. The book sheds new light upon some old questions and also acts to provide new questions. The answers to those questions bring us closer to a fuller understanding and appreciation of the origins, evolution, and ultimate demise of the qrobustq australopithecines. Since the qrobustq australopithecines most likely stand as our closest relatives, a better understanding of their origin, history, and demise serves to provide heightened appreciation of the course of human evolution itself. This definitive volume addresses the questions and problems surrounding this important lineage. Frederick E. Grine is professor and chairperson in the department of anthropology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has published many scientific articles in books and international journals, and he is co-editor of Primate Phylogeny and Scanning Microscopy of Vertebrate Mineralized Tissues and author of Regional Human Anatomy.Enamel preserves the best incremental record of its formation because it mineralizes very quickly after secretion. ... Enamel cross-striations are another manifestation of this rhythm visible when ground sections of teeth are viewed with lightanbsp;...

Title:Evolutionary History of the "Robust" Australopithecines
Author:Frederick E. Grine
Publisher:Transaction Publishers - 2007-12-01


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