Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Sacrum morphology supports taxonomic heterogeneity of Australopithecus africanus at Sterkfontein Member 4


Fornai, Cinzia; Krenn, Viktoria; Mitteröcker, Philipp; Webb, Nicole; Haeusler, Martin (2020). Sacrum morphology supports taxonomic heterogeneity of Australopithecus africanus at Sterkfontein Member 4. Research Square 72859, Blenheim Chalcot Company.

Abstract

The presence of multiple Australopithecus species at Sterkfontein Member 4, South Africa (2.07 to 2.61 Ma) is highly contentious. Quantitative assessments of craniodental and postcranial variability remain inconclusive. Using geometric morphometrics, we compared the sacrum of the small-bodied, presumed female subadult Australopithecus africanus skeleton Sts 14 and the large, alleged male adult StW 431 against a geographically diverse sample of modern humans, and two species for each of the genera Gorilla, Pan and Pongo. The probabilities of sampling morphologies as distinct as Sts 14 and StW 431 from a single species ranged from 1.3 to 2.5% for the human sample, and from 0.0 to 4.5% for the ape sample, depending on the analysis performed. Neither differences in developmental or geologic age nor sexual dimorphism could account for the differences between StW 431 and Sts 14 sacra. These findings support earlier claims of taxonomic heterogeneity at Sterkfontein Member 4.

Abstract

The presence of multiple Australopithecus species at Sterkfontein Member 4, South Africa (2.07 to 2.61 Ma) is highly contentious. Quantitative assessments of craniodental and postcranial variability remain inconclusive. Using geometric morphometrics, we compared the sacrum of the small-bodied, presumed female subadult Australopithecus africanus skeleton Sts 14 and the large, alleged male adult StW 431 against a geographically diverse sample of modern humans, and two species for each of the genera Gorilla, Pan and Pongo. The probabilities of sampling morphologies as distinct as Sts 14 and StW 431 from a single species ranged from 1.3 to 2.5% for the human sample, and from 0.0 to 4.5% for the ape sample, depending on the analysis performed. Neither differences in developmental or geologic age nor sexual dimorphism could account for the differences between StW 431 and Sts 14 sacra. These findings support earlier claims of taxonomic heterogeneity at Sterkfontein Member 4.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics

Altmetrics

Downloads

32 downloads since deposited on 16 Nov 2020
4 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2020
Deposited On:16 Nov 2020 16:45
Last Modified:27 May 2024 15:39
Series Name:Research Square
ISSN:2693-5015
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-72859/v1
Related URLs:https://www.zora.uzh.ch/id/eprint/201663/
https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-01850-7
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)