Foot bones from Omo: Implications for hominid evolution

Daniel L. Gebo, Gary Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Scopus citations

Abstract

We reanalyze a hominid talus and calcaneus from Omo dating to 2.2 mya and 2.36 mya, respectively. Although both specimens occur at different localities and times, both tarsals articulate well together, suggesting a single taxon on the basis of size and function. We attribute these foot bones to early Homo on the basis of their morphology. The more modern-like tarsal morphology of these Omo foot bones makes them very similar to a talus from Koobi Fora (KNM-ER 813), a specimen attributed to Homo rudolfensis or Homo erectus. Although the Omo tarsals are a million years younger than the oldest known foot bones from Hadar, both localities demonstrate anatomical differences representing two distinct morphological patterns. Although all known hominid tarsals demonstrate clear bipedal features, the tarsal features noted below suggest that biomechanical changes did occur over time, and that certain features are associated with different hominid lineages (especially the robust australopithecines).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-511
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican journal of physical anthropology
Volume129
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006

Keywords

  • Bipedalism
  • Foot bones
  • Human evolution
  • Omo
  • Talus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology

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