Fossil Hominids - Fossil Hominids: Stw 573 (Little Foot) In...

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Fossil Hominids: Stw 573 (Little Foot) In 1995, Ronald Clarke and Phillip Tobias announced the discovery of the fossil Stw 573, nicknamed Little Foot, consisting of four articulating foot bones from an australopithecine. These bones were actually discovered in Sterkfontein Cave in the late 1970's, but were only recognized as hominid when Ronald Clarke found them while looking through a box of miscellaneous bones in 1994. The bones had human features in the hindfoot, while the forefoot was very apelike. Although adapted to bipedalism, the big toe could spread out sideways from the rest of the foot, like chimpanzees but unlike humans. Clarke and Tobias interpreted this as evidence that Little Foot had walked bipedally, but also spent a significant amount of time climbing in trees (Clarke and Tobias 1995, Oliwenstein 1995). Other scientists, most notably Owen Lovejoy, disagreed, arguing that the australopithecine hip, knee and spine are all adapted for bipedality, and that it is "mechanically and developmentally naive" to ignore all this evidence in favor of one foot joint. In 1997, while examining more boxes of bones from Sterkfontein, Clarke found, over the space
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This note was uploaded on 11/22/2011 for the course GLY GLY1100 taught by Professor Jaymuza during the Spring '10 term at Broward College.

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Fossil Hominids - Fossil Hominids: Stw 573 (Little Foot) In...

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