Transmission of biology and culture among post-contact Native Americans on the western Great Plains.
Scientific reports 6:25695 (2016)
The transmission of genes and culture between human populations has major implications for understanding potential correlations between history, biological, and cultural variation. Understanding such dynamics in 19th century, post-contact Native Americans on the western Great Plains is especiall...
Are human hands and feet affected by climate? A test of Allen's rule.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology 158(1):132 (2015)
In recent years, several studies have shown that populations from cold, high-latitude regions tend to have relatively shorter limbs than populations from tropical regions, with most of the difference due to the relative length of the zeugopods (i.e., radius, ulna, tibia, fibula). This pattern ha...
A comparison of catarrhine genetic distances with pelvic and cranial morphology: implications for determining hominin phylogeny.
Journal of Human Evolution 77:179 (2014)
Inferring the evolutionary history of the hominins is necessarily reliant on comparative analyses of fossilized skeletal anatomy. However, the reliability of different primate skeletal regions for recovering phylogenetic relationships is currently poorly understood. Historically, postcranial var...
From cultural traditions to cumulative culture: parameterizing the differences between human and nonhuman culture.
Journal of Theoretical Biology 359:29 (2014)
Diverse species exhibit cultural traditions, i.e. population-specific profiles of socially learned traits, from songbird dialects to primate tool-use behaviours. However, only humans appear to possess cumulative culture, in which cultural traits increase in complexity over successive generations...
The interaction of neutral evolutionary processes with climatically-driven adaptive changes in the 3D shape of the human os coxae.
Journal of Human Evolution 73:64 (2014)
Differences in the breadth of the pelvis among modern human populations and among extinct hominin species have often been interpreted in the light of thermoregulatory adaptation, whereby a larger pelvic girdle would help preserve body temperature in cold environments while a narrower pelvis woul...
Dynamics of cultural transmission in Native Americans of the high Great Plains.
PLoS ONE 9(11):e112244 (2014)
Culture is a phenomenon shared by all humans. Attempts to understand how dynamic factors affect the origin and distribution of cultural elements are, therefore, of interest to all humanity. As case studies go, understanding the distribution of cultural elements in Native American communities dur...
Considering the role of time budgets on copy-error rates in material culture traditions: an experimental assessment.
PLoS ONE 9(5):e97157 (2014)
Ethnographic research highlights that there are constraints placed on the time available to produce cultural artefacts in differing circumstances. Given that copying error, or cultural 'mutation', can have important implications for the evolutionary processes involved in material culture change,...
Understanding the comparative catarrhine context of human pelvic form: a 3D geometric morphometric analysis.
Journal of Human Evolution 64(4):300 (2013)
Comparative studies of catarrhine pelvic morphology in an evolutionary framework play an important role in paleoanthropology, especially since this is the context from which human bipedalism eventually arose. Given the abundance of potentially confounding evolutionary and mechanical factors infl...
Global geometric morphometric analyses of the human pelvis reveal substantial neutral population history effects, even across sexes.
PLoS ONE 8(2):e55909 (2013)
Recent applications of population genetic models to human craniodental traits have revealed a strong neutral component to patterns of global variation. However, little work has been undertaken to determine whether neutral processes might also be influencing the postcranium, perhaps due to substa...
Late Pleistocene climate change and the global expansion of anatomically modern humans.
PNAS 109(40):16089 (2012)
The extent to which past climate change has dictated the pattern and timing of the out-of-Africa expansion by anatomically modern humans is currently unclear [Stewart JR, Stringer CB (2012) Science 335:1317-1321]. In particular, the incompleteness of the fossil record makes it difficult to quant...
Human pelvis and long bones reveal differential preservation of ancient population history and migration out of Africa.
Human Biology 84(2):139 (2012)
One of the main events in the history of our species has been our expansion out of Africa. A clear signature of this expansion has been found on global patterns of neutral genetic variation, whereby a serial founder effect accompanied the colonization of new regions, in turn creating a wilhin-pu...
Why Levallois? A morphometric comparison of experimental 'preferential' Levallois flakes versus debitage flakes.
PLoS ONE 7(1):e29273 (2012)
Middle Palaeolithic stone artefacts referred to as 'Levallois' have caused considerable debate regarding issues of technological predetermination, cognition and linguistic capacities in extinct hominins. Their association with both Neanderthals and early modern humans has, in particular, fuelled...
Comparison of handaxes from Bose Basin (China) and the western Acheulean indicates convergence of form, not cognitive differences.
PLoS ONE 7(4):e35804 (2012)
Alleged differences between Palaeolithic assemblages from eastern Asia and the west have been the focus of controversial discussion for over half a century, most famously in terms of the so-called 'Movius Line'. Recent discussion has centered on issues of comparability between handaxes from east...
Correlations between genetic and behavioural dissimilarities in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) do not undermine the case for culture.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological ... 278(1715):2091 (2011)
The importance of history in definitions of culture: Implications from phylogenetic approaches to the study of social learning in chimpanzees.
Learning & Behavior 38(3):252 (2010)
Some have claimed that wild chimpanzees possess multiple socially learned traditions that might constitute cultural patterns. Others, however, have suggested that even fundamental alternative explanations, such as proximate genetic mechanisms, have not been addressed satisfactorily. Multiple ana...
Are behavioral differences among wild chimpanzee communities genetic or cultural? An assessment using tool-use data and phylogenetic methods.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology 142(3):461 (2010)
Over the last 30 years it has become increasingly apparent that there are many behavioral differences among wild communities of Pan troglodytes. Some researchers argue these differences are a consequence of the behaviors being socially learned, and thus may be considered cultural. Others contend...
Understanding ancient hominin dispersals using artefactual data: a phylogeographic analysis of Acheulean handaxes.
PLoS ONE 4(10):e7404 (2009)
Reconstructing the dispersal patterns of extinct hominins remains a challenging but essential goal. One means of supplementing fossil evidence is to utilize archaeological evidence in the form of stone tools. Based on broad dating patterns, it has long been thought that the appearance of Acheule...
Brief communication: human cranial variation fits iterative founder effect model with African origin.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology 136(1):108 (2008)
Recent studies comparing craniometric and neutral genetic affinity matrices have concluded that, on average, human cranial variation fits a model of neutral expectation. While human craniometric and genetic data fit a model of isolation by geographic distance, it is not yet clear whether this is...
Does phenotypic plasticity confound attempts to identify hominin fossil species? An assessment using extant Old World monkey craniodental data.
Folia Primatologica 79(3):111 (2008)
It has been hypothesised recently that masticatory strain-induced phenotypic plasticity complicates efforts to delineate species in the hominin fossil record. Here, we report a study that evaluated this hypothesis by subjecting craniodental data from 8 Old World monkey species to ANOVA and discr...
Phylogenetic analyses of behavior support existence of culture among wild chimpanzees.
PNAS 104(45):17588 (2007)
Culture has long been considered to be not only unique to humans, but also responsible for making us qualitatively different from all other forms of life. In recent years, however, researchers studying chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) have challenged this idea. Natural populations of chimpanzees ha...