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Human-like hand-use in the hand of Australopithecus africanus

Skinner, Matthew M., Stephens, Nicholas, Tsegai, Zewdi J, Foote, Alexandra, Nguyen, N Huynh, Gross, Thomas, Pahr, Dieter H, Hublin, Jean-Jacques, Kivell, Tracy L. (2015) Human-like hand-use in the hand of Australopithecus africanus. Science, 347 (6220). pp. 395-399. ISSN 0036-8075. E-ISSN 1095-9203. (doi:10.1126/science.1261735) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1261735

Abstract

The distinctly human ability for forceful precision and power “squeeze” gripping is linked to two key evolutionary transitions in hand use: a reduction in arboreal climbing and the manufacture and use of tools. However, it is unclear when these locomotory and manipulative transitions occurred. Here we show that Australopithecus africanus (~3 to 2 million years ago) and several Pleistocene hominins, traditionally considered not to have engaged in habitual tool manufacture, have a human-like trabecular bone pattern in the metacarpals consistent with forceful opposition of the thumb and fingers typically adopted during tool use. These results support archaeological evidence for stone tool use in australopiths and provide morphological evidence that Pliocene hominins achieved human-like hand postures much earlier and more frequently than previously considered.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1126/science.1261735
Additional information: ORCID Reference type: formatted-unspecified; ORCID Reference: Skinner MM, Stephens NB, Tsegai ZJ, Foote AC, Nguyen NH, Gross T, Pahr DH, Hublin JJ, Kivell TL, Science (New York, N.Y.), 2015, vol. 347, no. 6220, pp. 395-399
Subjects: Q Science
Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biological Anthropology
Depositing User: Tracy Kivell
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2015 21:53 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2019 10:38 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/48049 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Skinner, Matthew M.: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8321-3543
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