Walk like a man

first_imgFor decades, scientists have recognized the upright posture exhibited by chimpanzees, gorillas, and humans as a key feature separating the “great apes” from other primates, but a host of questions about the evolution of that posture — particularly how and when it emerged — have long gone unanswered.For more than a century, the belief was that the posture, known as the orthograde body plan, evolved only once, as part of a suite of features, including broad torsos and mobile forelimbs, in an early ancestor of modern apes.But a fossilized hipbone of an ape called Sivapithecus is challenging that belief.The bone, about 6 inches long, is described in a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) co-authored by Michèle Morgan, museum curator of osteology and paleoanthropology at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, and colleagues including Kristi Lewton, Erik Otárola-Castillo, John Barry, Jay Kelley, Lawrence Flynn, and David Pilbeam. The finding has raised a host of new questions about whether that upright body plan may have evolved multiple times.“We always thought if we found this body part, that it would show some of the features we find in the living great apes,” Morgan said. “To find something like this was surprising.”Where modern apes have large, broad chests, Sivapithecus is believed to have had a relatively narrow, monkey-like torso, but facial features that closely resemble modern orangutans. That mixture, showing some ape- and monkey-like features, has left researchers scratching their heads about the arrangement of the primate tree, and raises questions about how the stereotypically ape-like body plan evolved.“Today, all the living great apes — gorillas, orangutans, chimps — have very broad torsos … and people had commonly thought that this torso shape was shared among all the great apes, meaning it must have evolved in a common ancestor,” Morgan said.“We initially believed that Sivapithecus, with a narrow torso, was on the orangutan line, but if that is the case, then the great ape body shape would have had to evolve at least twice,” she added. “There are a lot of questions that this fossil raises, and we don’t have good answers for them yet. What we do know is that the evolution of the orthograde body plan in apes is not a simple story.”“What we do know is that the evolution of the orthograde body plan in apes is not a simple story,” noted Harvard’s Michèle Morgan, co-author of the paper. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerWhat Sivapithecus may ultimately demonstrate, said Flynn, assistant director of the American School of Prehistoric Research at the Peabody Museum, is that evolution doesn’t occur in a straight line, but happens as a mosaic across many species.“What this speaks to is a rich tree with a lot of branches,” Flynn said. “There are not just one or two branches that reach back into the Miocene (epoch). It’s a very rich and complex tree.“I think we sometimes take the easy route of trying to understand these fossils based on creatures we find today,” Flynn said. “But what we’re finding out time and again is these 10- or 12- or 15-million-year-old creatures were their own entities. Today is not always a very good model for the past.”To fully understand where Sivapithecus belongs in the evolutionary tree of apes, Flynn said, more fossils must be found, and additional research must be conducted.“It’s a very easy thing for people to ask, why do we need to go find more fossils; don’t we already know everything? The answer is no,” he said. “We’re only just beginning to understand what we don’t know. And as we learn more, there are more interesting and exciting questions we can ask, and hopefully we can answer.”last_img read more

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The Trunchbull’s Back 2 School Rule #2: What to Bring on Your First Day

first_img Matilda View Comments Related Shows Watch rule #2 on what to bring your first day of school below and check back here throughout August for more of Miss Trunchbull’s rules!center_img It’s back-to-school time, and Broadway.com is rolling out a series of tips from esteemed Headmistress Agatha Trunchbull (Christopher Sieber) of Broadway’s Matilda for incoming maggots. Learn how to get good grades and stay out of Chokey! Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 1, 2017last_img

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Hamptons-style stunner is set to wow

first_imgThe home at 103 Cubberla St, Fig Tree PocketMs White said she spent most of her time downstairs enjoying the single level living layout. “It’s a really nice open space,” she said. “The back of the house is all glass.“I love looking out and seeing the birds and butterflies in the garden.”Ms White said the layout made it an ideal family home. The home at 103 Cubberla St, Fig Tree Pocket“You have good visuals from anywhere in the house,” she said.“You can be inside and see straight out to the pool and garden, which is a great attribute and will really appeal to young families.” The home at 103 Cubberla St, Fig Tree PocketThe home sits on a 1045sq m block and spans across two levels. On the ground floor, there is an open plan kitchen, living and dining area. 103 Cubberla St, Fig Tree PocketThis Hamptons-inspired home is styled to perfection. The home at 103 Cubberla St, Fig Tree PocketOwner Naomi White bought 103 Cubberla St, Fig Tree Pocket, in 2001 after seeing the property online.“We were living in Sydney at the time and I was looking for something in Brisbane,” Ms White said.“I saw it listed and fell in love straight away.”center_img More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market20 hours agoInside 103 Cubberla St, Fig Tree PocketThe section opens out to the covered deck, pool and garden through french doors.On the same floor, there is also a master suite with walk-in-wardrobe and ensuite, plus an additional bathroom and formal entryway. Inside 103 Cubberla St, Fig Tree PocketUpstairs, there are additional bedrooms, a bathroom plus a study which runs across the length of the back of the house. The gardens at 103 Cubberla St, Fig Tree PocketMs White said she loved the outdoor area of the home the most. “For me, the garden is what makes this place special,” she said.“I love it in the springtime when the star jasmine and gardenias are in full bloom.“It’s so intoxicating and so visually beautiful.”last_img read more

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