Evolution Man Picture Encyclopedia Neanderthal Boisei Habilis Australopithecus For Sale
Evolution Man Picture Encyclopedia Neanderthal Boisei Habilis Australopithecus:
The Pictorial Encyclopedia of The Evolution of Man by J. Jelinek.
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DESCRIPTION: Hardcover with Dust Jacket: 551 pages. Publisher: The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited; (1975). Size: 8¾ x 6 x 1¾ inches; 2¾ pounds.
SUMMARY: In this encyclopedia Dr. Jelinek outlines many of the discoveries that have led to the unraveling of Man's origins and development. This exciting topic is treated here in four main sections. Firstly, the author places Man in the context of the zoological classification including his relationships with monkeys and apes. Dr. Jelinek builds up a fascinating picture of how Man has evolved from primitive ape-like creatures to more advanced forms such as Neanderthal-man. The following three sections show how Man has learned to make use of fire, to make and use tools for hunting, to build dwellings more advanced than just holes in a cliff, and finally how he has expressed himself throughout history in painting, sculpture, and jewelry.
CONDITION: VERY GOOD (PLUS). Lightly/partially read hardcover w/dustjacket. Hamlyn (1975) 552 pages. Seems most likely that only the first 70-80 pages of the book were read. I'd guess someone then flipped through the photographic plates, which are at the end of the book. The plates show stone age artifacts, The center portion of the book seems entirely unread. It appears as if someone read the first 75 pages, flipped through the last pages within the book, then put the book away never to be actually read "through". In the worst case the book may have been read once, by someone with an exceedingly light "footprint". Inside the book is almost pristine. The pages are clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, and remain tightly bound. HOWEVER there is a small, rough spot on the front end paper (that's the paper covering of the underside of the front cover) where I'd guess there was once a price sticker, which was torn off and left a "scar" where the adhesive tore off some of the paper "skin". I'd nonetheless guess that only the first 70-80 pages were actually read. Dustjacket evidences only very, very mild edge and corner shelfwear which is principally evidenced as faint crinkling to the edges. Even then you really need to hold the book up to a light source and scrutinize the book fairly closely to discern this. There are no tears, chips, etc. It's a remarkably clean and intact dustjacket given its age. Beneath the dustjacket the brown full cloth covers are clean and without significant blemish. Overall a very clean, solid, handsome book, perhaps not quite a "shelf trophy", but likely only partially read and considering its age, very clean. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! Selling rare and out-of-print ancient history books on-line since 1997. We accept returns for any reason within 30 days! #939L.
PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR JACKET DESCRIPTION(S) AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK.
PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW.
REVIEW With 860 illustrations in black & white and color. Bibliography. Index.
REVIEW: Outlines many of the discoveries that have lead to the unraveling of humankind's origins and development. Well illustrated. Includes some stunning photographs of Czech and Ukranian Palaeolithic material and sites. Truly encyclopedic.
REVIEW: Fascinating for the many illustrations of the very rich Paleolithic sites of Eastern Europe, many not seen before in the West. An exceptional account of the rise of the species known as “Man” from varied perspectives. A very thorough and extensively illustrated account. What a magnificent production! Not only a detailed and complete examination of the ascent of mankind, but extremely readable as well. This is truly an epic story told in the grand style.
Australopithecus: The term “Australopithecus” is derived from the Latin “australis”, meaning “southern”, and the Greek “pithekos”, meaning “ape”. Australopithecus is a genus of hominins that existed in Africa from around 4.2 to 1.9 million years ago. It is from Australopithecus the genus Homo, including modern humans, is considered to be descended. Australopithecus is a member of the Australopithecina family, which includes Paranthropus, Kenyanthropus, Ardipithecus and Praeanthropus.
The term "australopithecine" is however sometimes used to refer only to members of Australopithecus. Sub-species include: Australopithecus garhi, africanus, sediba, afarensis, anamensis, bahrelghazali and deyiremeda. Debate exists as to whether other hominid species of this time belong to a separate genus. These would include Paranthropus ('robust australopithecines') or Australopithecus ('gracile australopiths’). There’s also ongoing discussion as to whether some Australopithecus species should be completely reclassified.
Based on the paleontological and archaeological evidence Australopithecus apparently evolved in eastern Africa around 4.2 million years ago. They spread throughout the African continent and eventually becoming extinct 1.9 million years ago (or 1.2 million years ago if Paranthropus is included). None of the groups directly assigned to this group survived. However Australopithecus is not literally extinct in the sense of having no living descendants. This is due to the fact that the genus Homo probably emerged from an Australopithecus species at some time between 3 and 2 million years ago.
Australopithecus possessed genes which contributed to the increase in number and migration of neurons in the human brain. Significant changes to the hand first appear in the fossil record of later Australopithecus afarensis. About 3 million years ago shorter fingers evolved relative to thumb and as well as changes to the joints between the index finger and hand.
The first Australopithecus specimen, the type specimen, was discovered in 1924 in a lime quarry by workers at Taung, South Africa. The specimen was studied by the Australian anatomist Raymond Dart, who was then working at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. The fossil skull was from a three-year-old bipedal primate that he named Australopithecus africanus. The first report was published in Nature in February 1925. Dart realized that the fossil contained a number of humanoid features, and so he came to the conclusion that this was an early human ancestor.
Later Scottish paleontologist Robert Broom and Dart set out to search for more early hominin specimens. They discovered several more sets of Australopithecus africanus remains from various sites. Initially the anthropological community was largely hostile to the idea that these discoveries were anything but apes. However this institutional attitude changed during the late 1940s. In 1950 evolutionary biologist Ernst Walter Mayr said that all bipedal apes should be classified into the genus Homo, and considered renaming Australopithecus to Homo transvaalensis. However the contradictory view taken by Robinson in 1954 excluded australopiths from Homo, and this became the prevalent view.
The first australopithecine fossil discovered in eastern Africa was an Australopithecus boisei skull excavated by Mary Leakey in 1959 in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. The scientific community took 20 more years to widely accept Australopithecus as a member of the human family tree. Since then, the Leakey family has continued to excavate the gorge. Their efforts have provided further evidence for australopithecines, as well as for Homo habilis and Homo erectus.
In 1997 an almost complete Australopithecus skeleton with skull was found in the Sterkfontein caves of Gauteng, South Africa. It is now called "Little Foot" and it is around 3.7 million years old. It was named Australopithecus prometheus which has since been placed within Australopithecus africanus. Other fossil remains found in the same cave in 2008 were named Australopithecus sediba, which lived 1.9 million years ago. Australopithecus africanus probably evolved into Australopithecus sediba. Some scientists think Australopithecus sediba may have evolved into Homo erectus, though this remain contentious.
The genus Australopithecus is considered to be a “wastebasket” classification. The members are united by their similar physiology rather than close relations with each other over other hominin groups. As such the genus does not consist of a common ancestor and all of its descendents. However Australopithecus is considered to be the ancestor of the Homo genus, Kenyanthropus, and Paranthropus. Opinions differ as to whether the Paranthropus should be included within Australopithecus. It is suggested that Paranthropus along with Homo evolved from Australopithecus africanus. The members of Paranthropus appear to have a distinctly robust character distinct from other australopiths. But it is unclear if this indicates all members stemmed from a common ancestor, or independently evolved similar traits from occupying a similar ecological niche.
Australopiths shared several traits with modern apes and humans. They were widespread throughout Eastern and Northern Africa by 3.5 million years ago. The earliest evidence of fundamentally bipedal hominins is a 3.6 million year old fossil trackway in Laetoli, Tanzania. The footprints bear a remarkable similarity to those of modern humans, and have generally been classified as australopith. Australopiths are the only form of prehuman hominins known to have existed in that region at that time. Australopithecus anamensis, afarensis, and africanus are among the most famous of the extinct hominins.
Australopithecus africanus was once considered to be ancestral to the genus Homo, in particular Homo erectus. However, fossils assigned to the genus Homo have been found that are older than Australopithecus Africanus. Thus the genus Homo likely split off from the genus Australopithecus at an earlier date. The latest common ancestor would be either Australopithecus afarensis or an even earlier form, possibly Kenyanthropus. The alternative would be that both developed independently from a yet possibly unknown common ancestor.
According to the Chimpanzee Genome Project, assuming a constant rate of mutation the last common human–chimpanzee ancestor existed about five to six million years ago,. However hominin species dated to earlier than the date could call this into question. Sahelanthropus tchadensis, commonly called "Toumai", is about seven million years old and Orrorin tugenensis lived at least six million years ago. Since little is known of them they remain controversial among scientists since the molecular clock in humans has determined that humans and chimpanzees had a genetic split at least a million years later. One theory suggests that (as was the caser with Homo sapien and Neanderthals) the human and chimpanzee lineages diverged somewhat at first. After this split some populations interbred around one million years later.
The brains of most species of Australopithecus were roughly 35% of the size of a modern human brain with an endocranial volume average of 466 cc. This is more than the average endocranial volume of chimpanzee brains at 360 cc. Nonetheless the earliest australopiths (Australopithecus anamensis) appear to have been roughly within the chimpanzee range. Some later australopith specimens have a larger endocranial volume, even larger than that of some early Homo fossils.
Most species of Australopithecus were diminutive and gracile, usually standing 1.2 to 1.4 meters (4 to4 ½ feet) tall. It is possible that they exhibited a considerable degree of sexual dimorphism, i.e., males being larger than females. In modern human populations males are on average 15% larger than females. In Australopithecus some estimates suggest that males could have been up to 50% larger than females by some estimates. However the actual degree of sexual dimorphism is uncertain due to the fragmentary nature of australopith fossil remains.
According to researchers Australopithecus body proportions closely resemble those of bonobos (Pan paniscus), and suggest that bonobos may be phenotypically similar to Australopithecus. Furthermore thermoregulatory models suggest that australopiths were fully hair covered. They more resembled chimpanzees and bonobos than they did humans. The fossil record seems to indicate that Australopithecus is ancestral to Homo and modern humans. It was once assumed that large brain size had been a precursor to bipedalism. However the recent discovery of Australopithecus remains with a small brain but that had developed bipedality upset this theory.
Nonetheless it remains a matter of controversy as to how bipedalism first emerged. The advantages of bipedalism were that it left the hands free to grasp objects, i.e., to carry food and infants. It also allowed the eyes to look over tall grasses for possible food sources or predators. However many evolutionary biologists argue that these advantages alone were not significant enough to cause the emergence of bipedalism. Earlier fossils such as Orrorin tugenensis indicate bipedalism around six million years ago. This would have been around the time of the split between humans and chimpanzees indicated by genetic studies.
This suggests that erect, straight-legged walking originated as an adaptation to tree-dwelling. Major changes to the pelvis and feet had already taken place before Australopithecus. It was once thought that humans descended from a knuckle-walking ancestor, but this is not well-supported in the archaeological record. Australopithecines have thirty two teeth, like modern humans. Their molars were parallel, like those of great apes, and they had a slight pre-canine gap (diastema). Their canines were smaller, like modern humans, and with the teeth less interlocked than in previous hominins. In fact, in some australopithecines, the canines are shaped more like modern incisors.
The molars of Australopithecus fit together in much the same way those of humans do, with low crowns and four low, rounded cusps used for crushing. They have cutting edges on the crests. However, australopiths generally evolved a larger postcanine dentition with thicker enamel. Australopiths in general had thick enamel, like Homo, while other great apes have markedly thinner enamel. Robust australopiths wore their molar surfaces down flat, unlike the more gracile species, who kept their crests.
In a 1979 preliminary microwear study of Australopithecus fossil teeth, anthropologists theorized that robust australopiths ate predominantly fruit (frugivory). Australopithecus species are thought to have eaten mainly fruit, vegetables, and tubers, and perhaps easy to catch animals such as small lizards. Much research has focused on a comparison between the South African species Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus. Early analyses of dental microwear in these two species showed that compared to Paranthropus robustus, Australopithecus africanus had fewer microwear features and more scratches as opposed to pits on its molar wear facets.
Microwear patterns on the cheek teeth of Australopithecus afarensis and Australopithecus anamensis indicate that Australopithecus afarensis predominantly ate fruits and leaves. In contrast Australopithecus anamensis included grasses and seeds in addition to fruits and leaves. The thickening of enamel in australopiths may have been a response to eating more ground-bound foods such as tubers, nuts, and cereal grains. Such a diet would have been contaminated by gritty dirt and other small particulates which would wear away enamel. Gracile australopiths had larger incisors, which indicates tearing food was important. This may have included eating scavenged meat. Even if so, the wearing patterns on the teeth suggest a largely herbivorous diet.
In 1992, trace-element studies of the strontium/calcium ratios in robust australopith fossils suggested the possibility of animal consumption, as they did in 1994 using stable carbon isotopic analysis. In 2005 fossil animal bones with butchery marks dating to 2.6 million years old were found at the site of Gona, Ethiopia. This implies meat consumption by at least one of three species of hominins occurring around that time: Australopithecus africanus, Australopithecus garhi, and/or Paranthropus aethiopicus. In 2010 fossils of butchered animal bones dated 3.4 million years old were found in Ethiopia, close to regions where australopith fossils were found.
Robust australopithecines (Paranthropus) had larger cheek teeth than gracile australopiths. This might possibly be because robust australopithecines had more tough, fibrous plant material in their diets. On the other hand it is likely that gracile australopiths ate more hard and brittle foods. However such divergence in chewing adaptations may instead have been a response to fallback food availability. In leaner times robust and gracile australopithecines may have turned to different low-quality foods (fibrous plants for the former, and hard food for the latter). However in more bountiful times it is likely they had more variable and overlapping diets.
A study in 2018 found non-carious cervical lesions on the teeth of Australopithecus Africanus. The cause of the lesions was acid erosion, probably caused by consumption of acidic fruit. It was once thought that Australopithecus could not produce tools like Homo. However the 1994 discovery of Australopithecus garhi associated with large mammal bones bearing evidence of processing by stone tools showed this to not have been the case. This was the oldest evidence of manufacturing at the time until the 2010 discovery of cut marks dating to 3.4 million years ago attributed to Australopithecus afarensis. Following that was a similar 2015 discovery of the Lomekwi culture from Lake Turkana dating to 3.3 million years ago possibly attributed to Kenyanthropus. More stone tools dating to about 2.6 million years ago in Ledi-Geraru in the Afar Region were found in 2019, although these may be attributed to Homo [Wikipedia].
Australopithecus afarensis : When this small-bodied, small-brained hominin was discovered it proved that our early human relatives habitually walked on two legs. Its story began to take shape in late November 1974 in Ethiopia with the discovery of the fossilized skeleton of a small female nicknamed Lucy. More than 40 years later, Australopithecus afarensis is one of the best-represented species in the hominin fossil record. Australopithecus afarensis lived 3.7 million to three million years ago in Africa. Australopithecus afarensis possessed an appearance characterized by a projecting face, an upright stance and a mixture of ape-like and human-like body features.
Australopithecus afarensis brain size ranged from about 385-550cc. They stood about 1 to 1.7 meters (3 feet, 3 inches to 5 feet, 7 inches) in height. Females were likely much shorter than males. Their weight would have been about 25 to 64 kilograms (55 to 141 pounds). Again, it is likely that females were significantly smaller than males. Their diet consisted primarily of plants including grasses, fruits and leaves. The species was named in 1978, four years after the discovery of Lucy. The name Australopithecus afarensis means “southern ape from Afar”, Afar being a region within Ethiopia.
Australopithecus afarensis changed our understanding of human evolution. The genus Australopithecus consists of a group of small-bodied and small-brained early hominin species (human relatives). They were capable of walking upright but not well adapted for traveling long distances on the ground. Species in the australopith group also includes Australopithecus africanus, Australopithecus sediba, Australopithecus anamensis and Kenyanthropus platyops. Sometime prior to 2.5 million years ago the group probably gave rise to two more recent hominin groups, Homo and Paranthropus.
Australopithecus afarensis wasn't the first member of the group discovered. That distinction went to the Australopithecus africanus, from South Africa. However the discovery of Australopithecus afarensis confirmed that these ancient human relatives habitually walked upright. The discovery confirmed that this feature of the human lineage occurred long before the evolution of bigger brains. Australopithecus afarensis discoveries in the 1970s, including Lucy’s fossilized remains as well as the Laetoli footprints, confirmed our ancient relatives were bipedal. They walked upright on two legs before big brains evolved.
Replicas are on display at the Natural History Museum of London in the Human Evolution gallery. Also on display alongside is the skull of Kenyanthropus platyops. Kenyanthropus platyops is another hominin species that lived in East Africa during the same period. The ability to walk upright may have offered survival benefits, including the ability to spot dangerous predators earlier. Perhaps even more crucially it left the hands free to do other tasks, such as carry food and use tools.
According to the fossils recovered to date Australopithecus afarensis lived between 3.7 and 3 million years ago. This means the species survived for at least 700,000 years. That’s more than twice as long as our own species, Homo sapiens, has been around. Australopithecus afarensis fossils have been unearthed in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania at Laetoli, Omo, Hadar, Woranso-Mille and Dikika. They have also been found at Lake Turkana in Kenya.
Lucy the Australopithecus afarensis was one of the first hominin fossils to become a household name. Her skeleton is around 40% complete. At the time of her discovery she was by far the most complete early hominin known. The momentous occasion occurred on November 24, 1974. Palaeoanthropologist Donald Johanson was exploring the ravines and valleys of the Hadar river in the Afar region of northeastern Ethiopia. He spotted an arm bone fragment poking out of a slope. Johanson later recounted that his pulse quickened as he realized the arm bone fragment belonged not to a monkey, but a hominin.
As the team found more and more fragments, they began to appreciate that they were uncovering an extraordinary skeleton. The full excavation took three weeks. Lucy's skeleton consists of 47 out of 207 bones, including parts of the arms, legs, spine, ribs and pelvis. In addition the lower jaw and several other skull fragments were excavated. However most of the hand and foot bones were missing. The fossils are slightly less than 3.18 million years old. None of the bones were duplicates, supporting the conclusion that they came from a single individual.
The shape of the pelvic bones revealed the individual was female. Lucy measured just 1.05 meters (40 inches) and would have weighed around 28 kilograms (62 pounds). Yet an erupted wisdom tooth and the fact that certain bones were fused suggested Lucy was a young adult. The affectionate nickname comes from the Beatles' song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, which was often playing from the team's tape recorder back at camp. Her small skull, long arms and conical rib cage are like an ape's. However Lucy possesses a more human-like spine, pelvis and knee due to walking upright.
Johanson thought Lucy was either a small member of the genus Homo or a small australopithecine. Only after analyzing other fossils subsequently uncovered nearby and at Laetoli in Kenya did scientists establish a new species. Four years after the discovery the new species was established, Australopithecus afarensis. At the time Australopithecus afarensis was the oldest hominin species known, although far older species have since been found.
Researchers studied injuries to Lucy's bones to see whether they offered insights into how she died, publishing their findings in 2016. CT scans revealed fractures in her shoulder joint and arms. The fractures were similar to those observed in people who fall from a great height, as if she reached out to break her fall. They also indicated that many of the breaks occurred around the time of death, rather than over time as the bones became fossilized. The researchers believe the injuries observed were severe enough that internal organs could also have been damaged. Based on their evidence, the team suggest that Lucy died falling out of a tree.
However this conclusion is not uncertain. Many scientists, including Johanson, say there are other plausible explanations for the breakages. It’s possible that Lucy may have been trampled by stampeding animals after death. Australopithecus afarensis possessed both ape-like and human-like characteristics. The top of its skull, the cranial vault, was slightly domed and its brain was comparable in size to a chimpanzee's. Its face projected outwards, less so in females than in males.
Some Australopithecus afarensis skull specimens show evidence this species possessed powerful chewing muscles, indications that their diet required hard chewing of tough plant material. They possessed ape-like long arms and more human-like feet, together with an upright stance. It is generally believed they had an abundance of body hair, a characteristic likely lost later in human evolution.
The smallest Australopithecus afarensis adults weighed an estimated 55 pounds (25 kilograms). The largest weighed about 141 pounds (64 kilograms). This is a broad range, suggesting pointing high sexual dimorphism. Sexual dimorphism is the difference in size and shape between males and females. Modern humans have a low level of sexual dimorphism and the two sexes look very similar. Gorillas on the other hand are sexually dimorphic to a high degree. The difference between Australopithecus afarensis males and females is similar to the latter.
Australopithecus afarensis had a number of distinctive dental features. In some members of the species the tooth rows diverge slightly towards the back. This forms a dental arcade (the part of the mouth where teeth sit) that is neither parallel-sided as in modern apes nor more rounded as in humans. The canine teeth of Australopithecus afarensis are much smaller than those of chimpanzees. They are also narrower and differently shaped to those of the earlier Australopithecus anamensis.
The canine premolar honing complex has been completely lost. This is a feature present in chimpanzees and other apes outside of the hominin lineage. The large and projecting upper canine teeth are sharpened against the lower third premolars. All known modern and fossil apes have this honing complex. Its absence along with the presence of bipedalism is thought to be characteristic of species on the hominin lineage.
Australopithecus afarensis was competent at walking upright on two legs. Skeletal features indicate it did so regularly. However it may not have walked in exactly the same way as we do or been able to walk long distances efficiently. Anatomical features associated with upright walking are present in the spine, pelvis, legs and feet. These include a broad pelvis and a femur that is angled inwards towards the knee so that the center of gravity lies directly above the foot.
Lucy and her species also retained some adaptations for climbing and hanging from trees. These features are seen in the shoulders, arms, wrists and hands. It is likely that particularly the smaller females spent a significant amount of time moving around in trees. The larger males were probably less arboreal. Australopithecus afarensis may have foraged in the tree canopy as well as on the ground. They probably retreated to the trees at night to avoid predators and for a good night's sleep. Chimpanzees and other apes are known to build nesting platforms in tree canopies.
The site of Laetoli in Tanzania preserves the oldest known hominin footprints. Nearly 3.7 million years ago, a volcanic eruption covered the landscape with a layer of fine ash. Rain created a surface like wet cement. Before it hardened a variety of animals wandered across it. Further eruptions covered the footprints they left behind. Thus the footprints were preserved for posterity. More than 20 species left tracks, including rhinoceroses, giraffes and baboons. Two years after the first animal prints were uncovered in 1978 palaeoanthropologist Mary Leakey excavated a 60 foot (27 meter) long trail made by hominins, consisting of about 70 footprints. They were attributed to Australopithecus afarensis. They remain to this day the most likely candidate as only this species has been found at Laetoli.
The tracks show two individuals walked side by side and a third followed behind. Their toes and way of walking were more human than ape-like. According to the close spacing of the footprints, the hominins who made them had short legs. The prints resemble those of modern humans, with an arch and a big toe aligned with the other toes. Their steps were also similar to those of modern humans. The heel touched the ground first and weight transferring to the ball of the foot before the toes push the foot off the ground.
Biomechanical analysis suggests the bipedal gait was not entirely modern though. Additionally that the leg may have been slightly more bent at the knee as the foot hit the floor. The impressions left in the ash reveal that a small group with different sized feet were walking from south to north. At least one smaller individual was walking behind and stepping into the footprints made by a larger individual. Nearly forty years later in 2015 another set of footprints was found 150 meters (330 feet) from the original trail.
This second set of footprints was also nearly 3.7 million years old. These were made by two individuals one of whom was much taller and heavier. They were walking in the same direction as the original group. Perhaps a single social group made the two trails. It’s possible that a large male was walking with females and children. It's quite rare to find footprints of hominins, the group to which humans and our ancestors and close relatives belong. The footprints at Laetoli are the only ones attributed to a species not in the genus Homo.
Various lines of evidence suggest that Australopithecus afarensis ate a slightly different diet than that of earlier hominins. Carbon isotope values in tooth enamel reveal that Australopithecus afarensis is currently the earliest hominin species showing evidence for a more diverse diet. This would have included savannah-based foods such as sedges or grasses. These grasses would be in addition to the more traditional diet based on fruits and leaves from trees and shrubs. Some of the anatomical changes compared to the earlier species Australopithecus anamensis suggest there was a change in diet towards foods that were harder or tougher over time, as Australopithecus afarensis has adaptations for heavy chewing.
As the species walked upright but retained the ability to climb trees, it may have searched for food in the trees, as well as on the ground. Our closest living relatives have been observed making and using simple tools. These include chimpanzees, as well as other apes and monkeys. So it seems likely that all hominins made use of tools to some extent. No tools have yet been directly associated with Australopithecus afarensis. However the Australopithecine species had hands that were well suited for the controlled manipulation of objects, and they probably did use tools.
The oldest known stone tools are around 3.3 million years old and were unearthed in Kenya. These Lomekwian tools were made from volcanic rock and crafted into cores, flakes and potential anvils. Australopithecus afarensis is known from Kenya around this time. However the most likely candidate for the toolmaker is another species called Kenyanthropus platyops. Specimens of this hominin have been found close to where the tools were excavated. A small number of animal bones found at Dikika in Ethiopia have been reported as showing cut marks made by stone tools. They have been dated to about 3.4 million years ago and the team involved attribute the butchery to Australopithecus afarensis. In this instance this is the only hominin species known to live in the area at this time.
These conclusions are contentious however. If they withstand scrutiny this would be the earliest evidence of meat-eating behavior by a hominin. A number of other significant Australopithecus afarensis finds have been made in addition to Lucy and the Laetoli footprints. A knee was uncovered in 1973, and was the first hominin fossil found at Hadar in Ethiopia. The anatomy of the knee joint indicated it belonged to a species that walked on two legs. At the time it was discovered it was the oldest evidence of a biped. It encouraged Johanson's team to return to the area, where they found Lucy the following year.
A lower jaw bone containing nine teeth was discovered in 1974 by Mary Leakey at Laetoli in Tanzania. It was designated the type specimen for Australopithecus afarensis. This designation made the specimen the official representative of the species to which other potential Australopithecus afarensis fossils are be compared. In 1975 more than 200 hominin fossils were unearthed from Hadar. They represent at least 13 individuals, including 4 children. Scientists think they were probably related. The specimens support the theory that Australopithecus afarensis was significantly sexually dimorphic.
Other than their size the group showed nearly identical anatomical features. Clearly this fact demonstrated that they were all the same species. Whatever disaster befell the group, it happened around 3.2 million years ago. Then unearthed in Ethiopia between 2005 and 2009 a partial skeleton similarly complete to Lucy but much older. It dated to about 3.6 million years ago. It belonged to a male that was about 5 foot, 3 inches (1.6 meters) tall, about 30% bigger than Lucy. He was nicknamed “Kadanuumuu”, which means 'Big Man' in the Afar language. Due to the lack of skull or dental parts to compare with the Australopithecus afarensis type specimen some scientists question whether Kadanuumuu can be assigned to Australopithecus afarensis.
An almost complete skeleton of a tiny Australopithecus afarensis child nicknamed “Selam” was found at Dikika in Ethiopia in 2006. More than five years of painstaking excavation revealed previously unknown aspects of the species. CT scans of the skull showed the child's dental development was similar to a three-year-old chimpanzee. The remains were absent marks from predators or scavengers. It appears likely that the child died naturally or in an accident and was quickly buried, perhaps by a flash flood [Natural History Museum of London].
SHIPPING & RETURNS/REFUNDS: We always ship books domestically (within the USA) via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). Most international orders cost an additional $15.49 to $46.49 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer. There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Our postage charges are as reasonable as USPS rates allow. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs.
Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are fully insured against loss, and our shipping rates include the cost of this coverage (through stamps.com, Shipsaver.com, the USPS, UPS, or Fed-Ex). International tracking is provided free by the USPS for certain countries, other countries are at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with.
If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked 30-day return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price; 1) less our original shipping/insurance costs, 2) less non-refundable PayPal/ payment processing fees. Please note that PayPal does NOT refund fees. Even if you “accidentally” purchase something and then cancel the purchase before it is shipped, PayPal will not refund their fees. So all refunds for any reason, without exception, do not include PayPal/ payment processing fees (typically between 3% and 5%) and shipping/insurance costs (if any). If you’re unhappy with PayPal and ’s “no fee refund” policy, and we are EXTREMELY unhappy, please voice your displeasure by contacting PayPal and/or . We have no ability to influence, modify or waive PayPal or policies.
ABOUT US: Prior to our retirement we used to travel to Europe and Central Asia several times a year. Most of the items we offer came from acquisitions we made in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) during these years from various institutions and dealers. Much of what we generate on Etsy, Amazon and goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe and Asia connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. Though we have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, our primary interests are ancient jewelry and gemstones. Prior to our retirement we traveled to Russia every year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from one of the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers, the area between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, Russia. From all corners of Siberia, as well as from India, Ceylon, Burma and Siam, gemstones have for centuries gone to Yekaterinburg where they have been cut and incorporated into the fabulous jewelry for which the Czars and the royal families of Europe were famous for.
My wife grew up and received a university education in the Southern Urals of Russia, just a few hours away from the mountains of Siberia, where alexandrite, diamond, emerald, sapphire, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid garnet, and many other rare and precious gemstones are produced. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, antique gemstones are commonly unmounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset. Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them centuries old. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting.
Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from us. There is a $3 fee for mailing under separate cover. I will always respond to every inquiry whether via email or message, so please feel free to write.