Department of Anthropology

Guest Speaker: Carol Ward

"The Shape of Human Origins"

Mon, November 18, 2019 | WCP 5.118

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Guest Speaker: Carol Ward

The transition to upright, bipedal locomotion is the hallmark of hominin origins. Understanding how the transition to committed bipedality took place is key to deciphering how, and why, our lineage evolved. Although the limbs have received considerable attention, primates vary in the shape and structure of their torsos, which reflects body posture, spinal mobility, and even limb use. New fossil pelves, ribs, vertebrae and other torso elements of fossil apes and early hominins have been discovered over the past several years and, coupled with analysis using the latest technologies, are shedding new light on the evolution of body form in apes and humans. These insights into the evolution of ape and human body form not only give a new picture of the locomotor transitions involved in hominin origins, but suggest that we need to rethink the questions we are asking about how, and why, hominins evolved.

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