Final Reports from Recent Grantees
The Archaeology of Archaic and Early Modern Humans in Northwest China
Bettinger, Robert L.
Assessing the reliability of infraorbital characters in phylogenetic analyses of Pleistocene Homo
Reciprocal Altruism and Bartering Capacities in Monkeys and Great Apes
Altruistic warriors: Cooperative cattle-raiding among Turkana pastoralists
Gona Palaeoanthropological Research Project
Comparative Ecology of Two Chimpanzee Communities in Kibale National Park
Fossil Birds: Strengthening Hominin Land Use Models at Olduvai
Evolutionary effects of light environment on nocturnal lemur color vision
Qadisha Valley Early Prehistory Project, Northern Lebanon
Early Pliocene Hominin Paleoenvironments in the Tugen Hills, Kenya
Bipedalism and the Evolution of Short Lateral Toes in Humans
Color Vision and Frugivory in Costa Rican Capuchin Monkeys
Paleoanthropology in Mainland Southeast Asia: Excavation at Tam Hang, Laos
Dominance Effects on Diet Quality Among Kanyawara Male Chimpanzees
In each observation-tree exploited by chimpanzees, I will first quantify the vertical stratification of light. Then, I will evaluate patch quality both within the whole tree crown and within micropatches, which will be predetermined vertical layers. Patch and micropatch quality will be assessed through the following variables: mass of individual fruit, individual fruit density, fruit pulp density, and biochemical analyses. Diet quality will be determined through the feeding rate (number of fruit put in the mouth per minute), the feeding cost (mean distance moved for one fruit put in the mouth), the relative feeding height (index varying from 0, the very bottom of a tree crown, to 1, the very top), and nutritional analyses. The inter-patch foraging cost the distance walked S between the patches- will also be measured (GIS). Finally, I will test the role of alliance on diet quality. Trees will be climbed after a modified version of the Single Rope Technique (Houle, 2002).
From the perspective of human origin and evolution, a sound evolutionary ecology of chimpanzee social organization is critical to understanding the evolution of human social organization from a chimpanzee-like ancestor.
The Excavation of Mousterian Deposits in Dzudzuana Cave, Republic of Georgia
However, Middle Paleolithic layers were not reached. Apparently, due to erosion they are missing from the frontal part of the cave.As all past excavations of caves in the region produced such Mousterian deposits, we believe that they are present inside the cave as indicated by a few artifacts. The difference in the hunted game between the two sites, which lie 5 km apart is reflected by the Caucasian tur that dominates the Ortvale Klde sequence while steppe bison, aurochs and Caucasian tur are the major prey species throughout the Upper Palaeolithic of Dzudzuana. Here we propose to excavate inside Dzudzuana cave, where we can obtain a large sample of animal bones, stone artifacts and sound dates and test the dates regarding the arrival of Modern humans in the Caucasus region.
Ecomorphological Analyses of a Late Oligocene Catarrhine Bearing Community from Kenya
Gutierrez, Maria Mercedes
Temporomandibular Joint Variation in Primates: Perspectives from Phylogeny, Function and Allometry
The functional morphology of subchondral and trabecular bone in the hominid hindfoot
study will quantify and concurrently examine subchondral and trabecular bone structural properties, both of which have been hypothesized to reflect the habitual compressive joint loads incurred during locomotion. To test these hypotheses, this study will first compare the pattern of these bone properties in modern human talocrural and subtalar joints to the contact area and articular pressure patterns that have been quantified in these joints from studies of simulated bipedal gait. Two archaeological human populations associated with different terrains (mountainous Machu Picchu, Peru and coastal Ancon, Peru) will also be examined to characterize intraspecific differences in these bone properties. Secondly, this study will assess whether these bone properties are consistent with current hypotheses of habitual hindfoot loads in hominids and can distinguish among species with different habitual locomotor behaviors. In doing so, this study will serve to mutually validate the use of subchondral and trabecular bone structural properties as tools to infer locomotor behavior from isolated skeletal elements. Finally, relevant to the mission of the Leakey Foundation, this study will provide a comparative sample with which to interpret the subchondral bone thickness and trabecular bone structure of fossil hominin hindfoot bones once µCT images are available, particularly those of AL 288-1, OH 8, Stw 573 and LB 1 whose functional morphologies are critical to our understanding of human evolution.
Japanese Macaques, Physical Disability and the Evolution of Conspecific Care
social and individual behavior, reproductive condition, infant care, and baseline fecal cortisol levels to examine their relationships to conspecific care and disability. I will collect behavioral and physiological data on disabled and nondisabled adult female Japanese macaques during three consecutive birth seasons (May-August 2005, 2006, and 2007) at the AMC, conducting behavioral data collection on 24 focal animals using 30-minutes continuous time samples. Fecal samples will be collected opportunistically and analyzed using enzyme immunoassay to assess cortisol concentrations. By combining physiological and behavioral measures, this study will contribute to understanding the consequences of physical impairment for free-ranging nonhuman primates and the origins of conspecific care in humans.
The Effects of Males on Female Feeding Success in Chimpanzees
Genotype-specific growth patterns and long bone functional adaptation
The socioecological function of vocal communication in Gorillas
Stone Tool Function and Behavioral Changes Among Modern Humans in Southern Germany
of specialization and standardization of stone tool types in the Upper Paleolithic and can test hypotheses about behavioral differences between Neandertals and modem humans.
Geochemical Correlation of Peninj and Olduvai Bed II and III Tuffs
Female Chimpanzees Social Relationships at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda
Predicting Intergroup Relationships: A Case Study with Ugandan Primate Species
Using Strontium Isotopes to Investigate Land Use at Olduvai Gorge
Social Influences on Sex-Typical Social Development in Two Lemur Species
3D analysis of the human face: development, integration and evolution
To answer these questions, I will use a novel semilandmark geometric morphometric method involving analysis of facial surfaces rather than just landmarks to quantify subtle facial features frequently used to define Pleistocene taxa. Patterns of adult and ontogenetic variation and co-variation of these features will be established within recent human geographic samples and used as a framework for interpreting the human fossil record. This approach for the first time enables the rigorous quantitative analysis of facial morphology and the evaluation of its evolutionary significance. This work will have important implications for our use of facial morphology in assessing the human fossil record and will help elucidate the evolutionary processes of the later stages of human evolution and modern human origins.
Chronometric Dating of Lower to Middle Paleolithic Sites in Syria
Descriptive and functional morphology of Homo habilis from Olduvai Gorge
The proposed research will provide the first in-depth descriptive and functional morphological accounts of the Olduvai postcrania including, among others, OH 7, OH 8, OH 10, OH 35, & OH 48. This work will address a number of questions, principal among them: 1) what constitutes the holotype of Homo habilis, 2) which fossils should be included in the type and, 3) what do the postcranial remains tell us about the functional morphology and behavior of early Homo versus contemporary australopithecines.
Skeletal Correlates of Knuckle Walking in the Manus of Great Apes
Relationships, relatedness and residency patterns in female Colobus vellerosus, Ghana
Behavioral endocrinology and reproductive strategies in wild female geladas
Life History, Menopause and Grandmothering in the Dogon of Mali
Laboratory research on DIK-1-1 skeleton
Excavation of Varsche River 3, a new Middle Stone Age site in Namaqualand, South Africa
In July 2009 we explored the archaeological potential of the Knersvlakte of Namaqualand, South Africa, a previously archaeologically undocumented region with a unique environment 265km N of Cape Town. During this 3-week field season, we tested three rockshelters and collected data on numerous Middle Stone Age (MSA) artifact scatters. Two shelters preserved rich Later Stone Age sequences, probably extending back only a few thousand years. The third shelter, Varsche River (VR) 003, yielded >13,000 MSA stone artifacts (some potentially representing the Howeisons Poort and Still Bay), bones, and ostrich eggshell. In five days of excavation, we tested only the upper one-third of the slope with two test units each ~1m deep. However, the site could potentially reach 8m deep, so much remains to be explored. We are now seeking funds for a 4-week field season focused on VR003, plus support for analysis. To facilitate comparisons, we are following standard excavation practices established at other Paleolithic sites and are analyzing the assemblages within the frameworks currently applied to contemporaneous southern African assemblages.
Continuing excavation of VR003 has considerable potential to contribute to our knowledge of MSA behavioral variation and therefore modern human origins, and thereby directly furthers the goals of the Leakey Foundation. Most specialists agree that behavioral innovations in Africa allowed the descendants of African populations to spread throughout the world beginning ~50,000 years ago. However, disagreement continues about what caused these innovations and the significance of their temporal and spatial patterning. Resolving these issues requires a better understanding of MSA technological and ecological variation and data from more sites of appropriate antiquity in Africa, particularly those with faunal preservation. VR003 offers such an opportunity.