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Femoral ontogeny in humans and great apes and its implications for their last common ancestor


Morimoto, Naoki; Nakatsukasa, Masato; Ponce de León, Marcia S; Zollikofer, Christoph P E (2018). Femoral ontogeny in humans and great apes and its implications for their last common ancestor. Scientific Reports, 8(1):1930.

Abstract

Inferring the morphology of the last common ancestor of humans, chimpanzees and gorillas is a matter of ongoing debate. Recent findings and reassessment of fossil hominins leads to the hypothesis that the last common ancestor was not extant African ape-like. However, an African great-ape-like ancestor with knuckle walking features still remains plausible and the most parsimonious scenario. Here we address this question via an evolutionary developmental approach, comparing taxon-specific patterns of shape change of the femoral diaphysis from birth to adulthood in great apes, humans, and macaques. While chimpanzees and gorillas exhibit similar locomotor behaviors, our data provide evidence for distinct ontogenetic trajectories, indicating independent evolutionary histories of femoral ontogeny. Our data further indicate that anthropoid primates share a basic pattern of femoral diaphyseal ontogeny that reflects shared developmental constraints. Humans escaped from these constraints via differential elongation of femur.

Abstract

Inferring the morphology of the last common ancestor of humans, chimpanzees and gorillas is a matter of ongoing debate. Recent findings and reassessment of fossil hominins leads to the hypothesis that the last common ancestor was not extant African ape-like. However, an African great-ape-like ancestor with knuckle walking features still remains plausible and the most parsimonious scenario. Here we address this question via an evolutionary developmental approach, comparing taxon-specific patterns of shape change of the femoral diaphysis from birth to adulthood in great apes, humans, and macaques. While chimpanzees and gorillas exhibit similar locomotor behaviors, our data provide evidence for distinct ontogenetic trajectories, indicating independent evolutionary histories of femoral ontogeny. Our data further indicate that anthropoid primates share a basic pattern of femoral diaphyseal ontogeny that reflects shared developmental constraints. Humans escaped from these constraints via differential elongation of femur.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Anthropology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Multidisciplinary
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:19 Jul 2018 09:04
Last Modified:08 Apr 2020 23:46
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-20410-4
PubMed ID:29386644

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