Human evolution News

Our ancestors more gorilla than chimp?

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From ScienceDaily:

A new study that for the first time examined the internal anatomy of a fossil human relative’s heel bone, or calcaneus, shows greater similarities with gorillas than chimpanzees.

In doing this, the team revealed new insights into how our ancestors moved through and interacted with their environment approximately 2-2.5 million years ago. Similarities between the fossil from Sterkfontein and gorillas indicate that Australopithecus africanus, the species of human ancestor (or hominin) also represented by the Taung Child, or at least this individual member of the species, exhibited gorilla-like levels of joint mobility and structural reinforcement.

Results of the new study were surprising because other recent studies of the australopithecine calcaneus, focusing on its external anatomy, have emphasised similarities with chimpanzees or humans. Paper. (paywall) – Angel Zeininger, Biren A. Patel, Bernhard Zipfel, Kristian J. Carlson. Trabecular architecture in the StW 352 fossil hominin calcaneus. Journal of Human Evolution, 2016; 97: 145 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.05.009 More.

An alternative thesis might be that we don’t know much about it at all. 😉

See also: Gorilla y chromosome closer to human than chimp

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3 Replies to “Our ancestors more gorilla than chimp?

  1. 1
    mahuna says:

    Is a Darwinist clutching at heel bones roughly the same as a drowning man clutching at straws?

    Any general comparison of the human skeleton with the gorilla skeleton shows the OBVIOUS differences between us and them. Now we’re to get excited because PART of the heel bone of a dead animal, which might in fact be an ancestor of gorillas rather than an ancestor of humans, kinda sorta looks like PART of the heel bone of a human.

    The changes to the general primate design that give us a human skeleton include major revisions to our hips, chest, and shoulders. And of course our wondrous hands. And changes to our skulls to allow entry of large diameter arteries to pump LARGE amounts of blood to our very sophisticated brains.

    But, hey, these poor guys are angling for another grant before they starve to death, and so publishing ANYTHING ups their chances for survival. Does that make “publishing dreary papers” part of the “test for fitness”?

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    Perhaps we should return to ancestor worship.

  3. 3
    SteveGoss says:

    Mung-
    It might just be my satirical bent, but darwinism is a kind of ancestor worship.

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