Document Detail


The rise of the hominids as an adaptive shift in fallback foods: plant underground storage organs (USOs) and australopith origins.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16085279     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
We propose that a key change in the evolution of hominids from the last common ancestor shared with chimpanzees was the substitution of plant underground storage organs (USOs) for herbaceous vegetation as fallback foods. Four kinds of evidence support this hypothesis: (1) dental and masticatory adaptations of hominids in comparison with the African apes; (2) changes in australopith dentition in the fossil record; (3) paleoecological evidence for the expansion of USO-rich habitats in the late Miocene; and (4) the co-occurrence of hominid fossils with root-eating rodents. We suggest that some of the patterning in the early hominid fossil record, such as the existence of gracile and robust australopiths, may be understood in reference to this adaptive shift in the use of fallback foods. Our hypothesis implicates fallback foods as a critical limiting factor with far-reaching evolutionary effects. This complements the more common focus on adaptations to preferred foods, such as fruit and meat, in hominid evolution.
Authors:
Greg Laden; Richard Wrangham
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of human evolution     Volume:  49     ISSN:  0047-2484     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Hum. Evol.     Publication Date:  2005 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-09-12     Completed Date:  2006-01-26     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0337330     Medline TA:  J Hum Evol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  482-98     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, 301 19th Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. laden002@tc.umn.edu
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Adaptation, Biological
Animals
Ecosystem
Environment
Evolution*
Food Habits*
Hominidae / physiology*
Plant Roots

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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