Chapter

The Postcranial Anatomy of Australopithecus afarensis

Part of the series Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology pp 143-153

Date:

The Thoracic Cage of KSD-VP-1/1

  • Bruce M. LatimerAffiliated withDepartment of Orthodontics School of Dental Medicine, Case Western Reserve UniversityDepartment of Physical Anthropology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History Email author 
  • , C. Owen LovejoyAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Anthropology, Cleveland Museum of Natural HistoryDepartment of Anthropology and Division of Biomedical Sciences, Kent State University
  • , Linda SpurlockAffiliated withDepartment of Anthropology and Division of Biomedical Sciences, Kent State UniversityDepartment of Physical Anthropology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
  • , Yohannes Haile-SelassieAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Anthropology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History

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Abstract

Ribs are naturally fragile and, as a consequence, are rarely preserved in the fossil record. The costal elements recovered from the KSD-VP-1/1 partial skeleton are important evidence allowing reconstruction of the hominin thoracic cage. The ribs of KSD-VP-1/1 are examined with respect to their implications for the evolution of Australopithecus afarensis thoracic morphology. Angulation and torsion along the rib corpus and rib declination indicate a broad upper thorax and a deeply invaginated thoracic vertebral column. Implications for the early hominin thoracic bauplan are discussed.

Keywords

Australopithecus Thorax Ribs