Chapter

The Postcranial Anatomy of Australopithecus afarensis

Part of the series Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology pp 155-178

Date:

The Pelvic Girdle and Limb Bones of KSD-VP-1/1

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

The pelvis and limb bones of KSD-VP-1/1 are analyzed with respect to their implications for the history of morphology, gait pattern, and bauplan of Australopithecus afarensis . The pelvis is essentially of modern aspect, and differs little from that of modern humans save in a few minor respects, such as, for example, size of the auricular surface and acetabulum. Its ischial conformation is the direct evidence of a strong history of dynamic running in its immediate ancestors, and its general shape confirms the overall Australopithecus pattern of platypelloidy. The implications with respect to the history of the hominin bauplan are discussed, as are those impacted by recent developments in our understanding of developmental biology. These are reviewed in light of other recent analyses of early hominin morphology and locomotion.

Keywords

Australopithecus Ardipithecus Pelvis Bipedality Hominin bauplan