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The foot of Homo floresiensis

Homo floresiensis is an endemic hominin species that occupied Liang Bua, a limestone cave on Flores in eastern Indonesia, during the Late Pleistocene epoch. The skeleton of the type specimen (LB1) of H. floresiensis includes a relatively complete left foot and parts of the right foot. These feet pro... Full description

Journal Title: Nature (London) 2009-05-07, Vol.459 (7243), p.81-84
Main Author: Jungers, W. L
Other Authors: Harcourt-Smith, W. E. H , Wunderlich, R. E , Tocheri, M. W , Larson, S. G , Sutikna, T , Due, Rhokus Awe , Morwood, M. J
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
Publisher: London: Nature Publishing Group
ID: ISSN: 0028-0836
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recordid: cdi_smithsonian_dspace_oai_repository_si_edu_10088_15856
title: The foot of Homo floresiensis
format: Article
creator:
  • Jungers, W. L
  • Harcourt-Smith, W. E. H
  • Wunderlich, R. E
  • Tocheri, M. W
  • Larson, S. G
  • Sutikna, T
  • Due, Rhokus Awe
  • Morwood, M. J
subjects:
  • Animals
  • Arm Bones - anatomy & histology
  • Body Size
  • Earth sciences
  • Earth, ocean, space
  • Evolution
  • Exact sciences and technology
  • Foot Bones - anatomy & histology
  • Fossils
  • Hominidae - anatomy & histology
  • Hominidae - classification
  • Homo floresiensis
  • Humans
  • Indonesia
  • Leg Bones - anatomy & histology
  • Natural history
  • Paleontology
  • Phylogeny
  • Research
  • Tarsal Bones - anatomy & histology
  • Vertebrate paleontology
ispartof: Nature (London), 2009-05-07, Vol.459 (7243), p.81-84
description: Homo floresiensis is an endemic hominin species that occupied Liang Bua, a limestone cave on Flores in eastern Indonesia, during the Late Pleistocene epoch. The skeleton of the type specimen (LB1) of H. floresiensis includes a relatively complete left foot and parts of the right foot. These feet provide insights into the evolution of bipedalism and, together with the rest of the skeleton, have implications for hominin dispersal events into Asia. Here we show that LB1's foot is exceptionally long relative to the femur and tibia, proportions never before documented in hominins but seen in some African apes. Although the metatarsal robusticity sequence is human-like and the hallux is fully adducted, other intrinsic proportions and pedal features are more ape-like. The postcranial anatomy of H. floresiensis is that of a biped, but the unique lower-limb proportions and surprising combination of derived and primitive pedal morphologies suggest kinematic and biomechanical differences from modern human gait. Therefore, LB1 offers the most complete glimpse of a bipedal hominin foot that lacks the full suite of derived features characteristic of modern humans and whose mosaic design may be primitive for the genus Homo. These new findings raise the possibility that the ancestor of H. floresiensis was not Homo erectus but instead some other, more primitive, hominin whose dispersal into southeast Asia is still undocumented.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0028-0836
fulltext: no_fulltext
issn:
  • 0028-0836
  • 1476-4687
url: Link


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descriptionHomo floresiensis is an endemic hominin species that occupied Liang Bua, a limestone cave on Flores in eastern Indonesia, during the Late Pleistocene epoch. The skeleton of the type specimen (LB1) of H. floresiensis includes a relatively complete left foot and parts of the right foot. These feet provide insights into the evolution of bipedalism and, together with the rest of the skeleton, have implications for hominin dispersal events into Asia. Here we show that LB1's foot is exceptionally long relative to the femur and tibia, proportions never before documented in hominins but seen in some African apes. Although the metatarsal robusticity sequence is human-like and the hallux is fully adducted, other intrinsic proportions and pedal features are more ape-like. The postcranial anatomy of H. floresiensis is that of a biped, but the unique lower-limb proportions and surprising combination of derived and primitive pedal morphologies suggest kinematic and biomechanical differences from modern human gait. Therefore, LB1 offers the most complete glimpse of a bipedal hominin foot that lacks the full suite of derived features characteristic of modern humans and whose mosaic design may be primitive for the genus Homo. These new findings raise the possibility that the ancestor of H. floresiensis was not Homo erectus but instead some other, more primitive, hominin whose dispersal into southeast Asia is still undocumented.
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subjectAnimals ; Arm Bones - anatomy & histology ; Body Size ; Earth sciences ; Earth, ocean, space ; Evolution ; Exact sciences and technology ; Foot Bones - anatomy & histology ; Fossils ; Hominidae - anatomy & histology ; Hominidae - classification ; Homo floresiensis ; Humans ; Indonesia ; Leg Bones - anatomy & histology ; Natural history ; Paleontology ; Phylogeny ; Research ; Tarsal Bones - anatomy & histology ; Vertebrate paleontology
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descriptionHomo floresiensis is an endemic hominin species that occupied Liang Bua, a limestone cave on Flores in eastern Indonesia, during the Late Pleistocene epoch. The skeleton of the type specimen (LB1) of H. floresiensis includes a relatively complete left foot and parts of the right foot. These feet provide insights into the evolution of bipedalism and, together with the rest of the skeleton, have implications for hominin dispersal events into Asia. Here we show that LB1's foot is exceptionally long relative to the femur and tibia, proportions never before documented in hominins but seen in some African apes. Although the metatarsal robusticity sequence is human-like and the hallux is fully adducted, other intrinsic proportions and pedal features are more ape-like. The postcranial anatomy of H. floresiensis is that of a biped, but the unique lower-limb proportions and surprising combination of derived and primitive pedal morphologies suggest kinematic and biomechanical differences from modern human gait. Therefore, LB1 offers the most complete glimpse of a bipedal hominin foot that lacks the full suite of derived features characteristic of modern humans and whose mosaic design may be primitive for the genus Homo. These new findings raise the possibility that the ancestor of H. floresiensis was not Homo erectus but instead some other, more primitive, hominin whose dispersal into southeast Asia is still undocumented.
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abstractHomo floresiensis is an endemic hominin species that occupied Liang Bua, a limestone cave on Flores in eastern Indonesia, during the Late Pleistocene epoch. The skeleton of the type specimen (LB1) of H. floresiensis includes a relatively complete left foot and parts of the right foot. These feet provide insights into the evolution of bipedalism and, together with the rest of the skeleton, have implications for hominin dispersal events into Asia. Here we show that LB1's foot is exceptionally long relative to the femur and tibia, proportions never before documented in hominins but seen in some African apes. Although the metatarsal robusticity sequence is human-like and the hallux is fully adducted, other intrinsic proportions and pedal features are more ape-like. The postcranial anatomy of H. floresiensis is that of a biped, but the unique lower-limb proportions and surprising combination of derived and primitive pedal morphologies suggest kinematic and biomechanical differences from modern human gait. Therefore, LB1 offers the most complete glimpse of a bipedal hominin foot that lacks the full suite of derived features characteristic of modern humans and whose mosaic design may be primitive for the genus Homo. These new findings raise the possibility that the ancestor of H. floresiensis was not Homo erectus but instead some other, more primitive, hominin whose dispersal into southeast Asia is still undocumented.
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