Skip to comments.Discovery Pushes Back the Clock on Human Hand Evolution
Posted on 12/19/2013 12:18:58 AM PST by SunkenCiv
Researchers suspect the bone belonged to the early human species, Homo erectus, a human species that existed between 1.8 million and 143,000 years ago. It is considered the first human species to go global --- geographically, Home erectus fossil remains have been found in East Africa, Georgia, India, Sri Lanka, China and Java. The bone was found near sites where the earliest Acheulian tools have appeared. Acheulian tools are ancient, shaped stone tools that include stone hand axes more than 1.6 million years old. They are most often associated with the presence of Homo erectus. "What makes this bone so distinct," says Carol Ward, professor of pathology and anatomical sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia and lead author of the study, "is the presence of a styloid process, or projection of bone, at the end that connects to the wrist. Until now, this styloid process has been found only in us, Neandertals and other archaic humans" whose remains have been dated to much later times.
"The styloid process reflects an increased dexterity that allowed early human species to use powerful yet precise grips when manipulating objects. This was something that their predecessors couldn't do as well due to the lack of this styloid process and its associated anatomy," Ward said. "With this discovery, we are closing the gap on the evolutionary history of the human hand. This may not be the first appearance of the modern human hand, but we believe that it is close to the origin, given that we do not see this anatomy in any human fossils older than 1.8 million years. Our specialized, dexterous hands have been with us for most of the evolutionary history of our genus, Homo. They are and have been for almost 1.5 million years fundamental to our survival."
(Excerpt) Read more at popular-archaeology.com ...
The styloid process is a projection of bone. Ward and her team found a styloid process at the end of a hand/wrist bone more than 1.42 million years old, indicating this anatomical feature existed more than half a million years earlier than previously known. By explanation, above, Australopithecus is an early hominin that is generally thought to be ancestral to, and predates, the Homo genus, which contains the earliest species of the human line. Credit: University of Missouri
The human race is older than the evolutions claim though.
This may have made the Homo erectus "limp-wristed". I suspect that liberals evolved from this creature, and the rest of us from some other line. :)
But wouldn’t it be great if we could view the Earth as it was in the distant past and actually see how these and other creatures looked? Say there are aliens on some other world millions of light years away peering at the Earth from ultra powerful telescopes. Scopes so powerful they can make out clear images of the Earth’s surface and inhabitants from such distances (likely impossible, but who knows). They would actually be able to see these things going on before their eyes, or whatever means they had for perceiving optical light waves. One at a distance of, say, 100 million light years would see live dinosaurs roaming around. 4.6 or so billion LYs, the Earth in the earliest stages of formation.
...they(the aliens) would in theory be seeing Earth’s past at this very moment in time(now). Because it would have taken that long for the light from the ancient events to have reached them. This sort of thing happens all the time when astronomers look out into the universe. They see stars and other galaxies as they were in the distant past, in some cases from billions of years ago.
Nevertheless, I’ve always thought tentacles would be better than hands. Finger bones are so limiting, and everything has to be tailor made to them instead of the other way around. But of course, that would also mean no finger nails. That doesn’t change my mind, however.
Reminds me of that great Jane Goodall National Geo documentary from years ago. Can’t find it anywhere for free download. I was surprised that YouTube didn’t have it.
Hmmm. I wonder what use Homo Erectus was making of his hands that caused this evolution???