domingo, abril 24, 2011

Notícias de 18 a 24 de Abril de 2011

Was Eurasia a stone's throw for early humans?

La vida emergió del mar 500 millones de años antes de lo pensado

Hear my chewin': how jawbones evolved into ear bones

Exponen las enfermedades de los homínidos de Atapuerca

Early human fossils from South Africa could upend longheld view of human evolution

Right-Handedness Prevailed 500,000 Years Ago

Chimpanzees give birth 'like humans'

Bear DNA is clue to age of Chauvet cave art

Un nuevo y diminuto primate del Eoceno Medio de España

Did Neanderthals Believe in an Afterlife?

quarta-feira, abril 20, 2011

Transitional mammalian middle ear from a new Cretaceous Jehol eutriconodont

Jin Meng, Yuanqing Wang, Chuankui Li
Nature | Article

The transference of post-dentary jaw elements to the cranium of mammals as auditory ossicles is one of the central topics in evolutionary biology of vertebrates. Homologies of these bones among jawed vertebrates have long been demonstrated by developmental studies; but fossils illuminating this critical transference are sparse and often ambiguous. Here we report the first unambiguous ectotympanic (angular), malleus (articular and prearticular) and incus (quadrate) of an Early Cretaceous eutriconodont mammal from the Jehol Biota, Liaoning, China. The ectotympanic and malleus have lost their direct contact with the dentary bone but still connect the ossified Meckel’s cartilage (OMC); we hypothesize that the OMC serves as a stabilizing mechanism bridging the dentary and the detached ossicles during mammalian evolution. This transitional mammalian middle ear narrows the morphological gap between the mandibular middle ear in basal mammaliaforms and the definitive mammalian middle ear (DMME) of extant mammals; it reveals complex changes contributing to the detachment of ear ossicles during mammalian evolution.

Noticia em português: CIência Hoje

domingo, abril 17, 2011

Metatarsal fusion pattern and developmental morphology of the Olduvai Hominid 8 foot: Evidence of adolescence

Randall L. Susman a, Biren A. Patel a, Megan J. Francis b and Hugo F.V. Cardoso c, d

a Department of Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8081, USA
b Department of Health Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8200, USA
c Museu Nacional de História Natural & Centro de Biologia Ambiental, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
d Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto, Portugal


The morphology of the Olduvai Hominid (OH) 8 foot and the sequence of metatarsal epiphyseal fusion in modern humans and chimpanzees support the hypothesis that OH 8 belonged to an individual of approximately the same relative age as the OH 7 subadult, the holotype of Homo habilis. Modern humans and chimpanzees exhibit a variety of metatarsal epiphyseal fusion patterns, including one identical to that observed in OH 8 in which metatarsal 1 fuses before metatarsals 2–5. More than the metatarsal fusion sequence, however, the principal evidence of the youthful age of OH 8 lies in the morphology of metatarsals 1, 2, and 3. Because both OH 8 and OH 7 come from the same stratum at the FLK NN type site, the most parsimonious explanation of the OH 8 and OH 7 data is that this material belonged to the same individual, as originally proposed by Louis Leakey. The proposition that OH 8 belonged to an adult is unsupported by morphology, including radiographic evidence, and the fusion sequences in human and chimpanzee skeletal material reported here and in the literature.

Homo habilis; Hominin; Early Homo; Foot; Epiphysis; Metatarsal; OH 8

Jornadas sobre "La imagen pública de la Arqueología"

Notícias de 11 a 17 de Abril 2011

Neanderthal downfall largely due to 'bad luck

Hole in the head: How medieval soldiers survived after battle thanks to early day brain surgery

Achaeologists excitement over an old plough found at Lyminbge in Kent that reveals how farmers worked in the 7th Century

Weak Evidence for Word-Order Universals: Language Not as 'Innate' as Thought?

Recent Census in War-Torn DR Congo Finds Gorillas Have Survived, Even Increased

Carbon dating identifies South America's oldest textiles

Social Wasps Show How Bigger Brains Provide Complex Cognition

Did Lucy's species butcher animals?

El sistema SIG ofrece un nuevo enfoque al estudio de la evolución en Olduvai (Tanzania)

sexta-feira, abril 15, 2011

Ciclo Territórios de Fronteira

Irá decorrer às 18 horas do próximo dia 4 de Maio de 2011 novo ciclo Territórios de Fronteira co-organizado pelo Grupo de Estudos em Evolução Humana (GEEVH), pelo Museu Nacional de Arqueologia (MNA) e pelo Núcleo de Arqueologia e Paleoecologia da Universidade do Algarve (NAP).

O ciclo inclui palestras de Silvério Figueiredo (Docente do... Instituto Politécnico de Tomar) com Aves (ou dinossauros!) plistocénicas de Portugal: a sua contextualização arqueológica e paleontológica; Cláudia Sousa (Docente da Universidade Nova de Lisboa) com O comportamento dos chimpanzés em vida e perante a morte. Um exemplo da população de Bossou, Guiné-Conakry; e Luís Rios (Docente da Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) com Identificación en fosas comunes de la guerra civil española: juntando testimonios, arqueología, archivos, osteología y DNA.

quinta-feira, abril 14, 2011

Maternal investment, life histories, and the costs of brain growth in mammals

Robert A. Barton, Isabella Capellini


Brain size variation in mammals correlates with life histories: larger-brained species have longer gestations, mature later, and have increased lifespans. These patterns have been explained in terms of developmental costs (larger brains take longer to grow) and cognitive benefits (large brains enhance survival and increase lifespan). In support of the developmental cost hypothesis, we show that evolutionary changes in pre- and postnatal brain growth correlate specifically with duration of the relevant phases of maternal investment (gestation and lactation, respectively). We also find support for the hypothesis that the rate of fetal brain growth is related to the energy turnover of the mother. In contrast, we find no support for hypotheses proposing that costs are accommodated through direct tradeoffs between brain and body growth, or between brain growth and litter size. When the duration of maternal investment is taken into account, adult brain size is uncorrelated with other life history traits such as lifespan. Hence, the general pattern of slower life histories in large-brained species appears to be a direct consequence of developmental costs.

Rapid metabolic evolution in human prefrontal cortex

Xing Fu, Patrick Giavalisco, Xiling Liu, Gareth Catchpole, Ning Fu, Zhi-Bin Ning, Song Guo, Zheng Yan, Mehmet Somel, Svante Pääbo, Rong Zeng, Lothar Willmitzer, Philipp Khaitovich


Human evolution is characterized by the rapid expansion of brain size and drastic increase in cognitive capabilities. It has long been suggested that these changes were accompanied by modifications of brain metabolism. Indeed, human-specific changes on gene expression or amino acid sequence were reported for a number of metabolic genes, but actual metabolite measurements in humans and apes have remained scarce. Here, we investigate concentrations of more than 100 metabolites in the prefrontal and cerebellar cortex in 49 humans, 11 chimpanzees, and 45 rhesus macaques of different ages using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). We show that the brain metabolome undergoes substantial changes, both ontogenetically and evolutionarily: 88% of detected metabolites show significant concentration changes with age, whereas 77% of these metabolic changes differ significantly among species. Although overall metabolic divergence reflects phylogenetic relationships among species, we found a fourfold acceleration of metabolic changes in prefrontal cortex compared with cerebellum in the human lineage. These human-specific metabolic changes are paralleled by changes in expression patterns of the corresponding enzymes, and affect pathways involved in synaptic transmission, memory, and learning.


segunda-feira, abril 11, 2011

Durante escavações, pesquisadores ingleses encontraram crânio humano com massa cefálica preservada

O estudo desenvolvido pela Universidade de York relata que o crânio encontrado pertencia a um homem da Idade do Ferro que tinha entre 26 e 45 anos e provavelmente sua morte se deu por enforcamento, há também indícios de que ele foi decapitado.

O grupo composto por biólogos, arqueólogos, químicos e neurologistas tenta encontrar explicações para a preservação do cérebro neste caso, visto que os tecidos moles são os primeiros a entrar em decomposição por possuir maiores quantidades de gorduras na sua estrutura. A equipe pretende também desvendar os detalhes do sepultamento.

A primeira hipótese levantada afirma que após a morte o corpo foi imediatamente enterrado em solo úmido - tipo de solo carente de oxigênio. A ausência deste elemento químico teria impedido a putrefação do tecido. O cérebro encontrado é mantido agora em um centro de pesquisa com condições controladas, onde os cientistas podem realizar análises mais precisas, pois dispõem do auxilio de exames como a tomografia computadorizada. As amostras examinadas até então não apresentaram marcadores que evidenciem uma preservação intencional, como o embalsamento.

O crânio de 2500 anos apresenta em seus tecidos cerebrais a presença de lipídeos e de proteínas bem especificas; a equipe liderada por Sônia O’Connor trabalha atualmente com a possibilidade de estas substâncias terem desempenhado alguma função atípica que possa ter possibilitado a preservação do cérebro.

Notícia de Jornal Ciência

domingo, abril 10, 2011

Notícias de 4 a 10 de Abril 2011

“Conservationists are calling for worldwide action to stop the growing trade in endangered primates being smuggled out of Africa by criminal gangs alongside drugs and arms”

Prehistoric fossil may have inspired Greek myths

The evolution of nice

Life and Death of an Etruscan Settlement

A Garage, A Roman Cemetery and an Elephant Tusk!!

Climate change and evolution of Cross River gorillas

Weird & Wild: Monkeys’ “Do Not Disturb” Sign

Five Reasons Anti-Evolution Measures are a Bad Idea

Estátua-menir do Fundão

“Study which examined hundreds of Spanish and Portuguese skulls spanning four centuries, shows that differences in the craniofacial features of men and women have become less pronounced”

iPad Helps Archaeologists

1,700-year-old African skeleton could be an ancestor

'Gay Caveman' not definitely gay nor caveman, say archaeologists

terça-feira, abril 05, 2011

Palaeolithic Research Centre

"The Palaeolithic Research Centre (PARC) was established in the year 2010. PARC is an institution in which science and art are tightly interweaven. The common roots of this once indivisible unity extend far back into the past, when the first signs of abstract, symbolic thinking appeared in mankind. Today science and art share a common place in the concept of culture. Thus PARC is a cultural institution, which is concerned with the longest period of human history, the Old Stone Age or Palaeolithic. PARC is not limited to Slovenia, but cooperates with similar institutions all over the world. PARC organizes international expert meetings about new discoveries, ideas and theories within anthropology."
Texto de PARC

segunda-feira, abril 04, 2011

Velhos e Novos Mundos: Congresso internacional de Arqueologia moderna

"Neste congresso pretende-se, pois, reunir arqueólogos, consagrados e jovens, com trabalhos provenientes de contextos académicos ou de salvamento, que sejam pertinentes para a discussão em torno de diversas temáticas, balizadas nos séculos XV a XVIII, tanto em contexto europeu, como em espaços colonizados. Além de se pretender dar um impulso ao desenvolvimento da arqueologia moderna, procura-se lançar pontes de contacto entre comunidades arqueológicas espalhadas em diversas partes do mundo, nomeadamente aquelas que centram a sua investigação em torno dos reinos ibéricos e da sua expansão mundial.


- Cidades: urbanismo, arquitectura e quotidianos
- Fortificações, espaços de guerra e armamento
- Edifícios religiosos e práticas funerárias
- Paisagens marítimas, navios e vida a bordo
- Espaço rural: paisagens e meios de produção
- Cerâmicas: produção, comércio e consumo
- Gestão e valorização do património"

1.º Congresso de História e Património da Alta Estremadura

O Centro do Património da Estremadura (CEPAE) e a Câmara Municipal de Ourém vão coordenar a organização do 1.º Congresso de História e Património da Alta Estremadura.

domingo, abril 03, 2011

Notícias de 28 Março a 3 de Abril 2011

New Species Found: Thai Fossils Reveal Ancient Primate

2,500-Year-Old Preserved Human Brain Discovered

X-ray technique peers beneath archaeology's surface

Prehistoric Americans Traded Chocolate for Turquoise?

Tablet discovery pushes earliest European writing back 150 years

Lewis Research Unit (U.K.)