INTER-SECTION Volume III - Page 13

| These bones were made for jogging | that anatomical markers in the lower limb that studies could instead be markers of increased walking ability instead of running behaviours. Including other skeletal elements in the analysis may describe several other skeletal features in the upper segment of the skeleton, such as the restructuring of the shoulders and thorax, and the shortening of the forearms, that according to the authors are solely skeletal features are related to trunk stabilisation and redistribution of the centre of gravity during running (Bramble and Lieberman 2004, 349). touches the ground, which would require greater control of balance than bipedal walking (Levine et al 2012, 57). However, these features may also be not only identify the presence of these features in the fossil hominin record, but also test their validity skeletal markers, Bramble and Lieberman (2004, 348) list a number of soft tissue features, such as the increased size of the gluteus maximus, the erector spinae, and the presence of the nuchal ligament. Ascertaining the effect of differences in size of muscle insertions related to habitual running may provide additional skeletal markers to examine in the future. Apart from the skeletal features described above as indicators of endurance running, several other lines of evidence also contradict that endurance running evolution of later Homo species. Before 400,000 years ago (Shea 2006, 823), there is no evidence of projectile weaponry, which would be necessary to initially injure the animal before running it into overheating (Pickering and Bunn 2007, 436). If Homo erectus did not have the technological means anatomical traits evolved to support this behaviour. This behaviour is also rarely seen in hunter-gatherers today (Pickering and Bunn 2007, 436) and less would also require the ability to track prey across large distances. Pickering and Bunn (2007, 435) note that the savannah-woodland environment in which these hominins lived, which was characterised by dense soil and vegetation covered ground, was ill- suited for tracking prey across large distances as these environmental conditions are not optimal for leaving tracks. early as 1.7 million years ago, hominins migrated out of Africa (Dennell and Roebroeks 2005, 1099; Lordkipanidze et al. 2007, 307). These hominins do not yet have all the features necessary for endurance running. For example, the morphology of the longitudinal arch of the Dmansi hominins does not yet resemble that of modern humans and may have (Lordkipanidze et al. 2007, 307; Pontzer et al. 2010, has elongated toes, but a bipedally adapted lower limb. This elongation of the toe is puzzling, as this species is thought to be younger than Homo erectus. This elongation may represent an evolutionary reversal. However, it is unlikely that a feature so vital to running were able to disperse across Eurasia, contrary to Bramble and Lieberman’s (2004, 351; Lieberman et al. 2006, 78) belief that running and persistence hunting would be necessary to achieve this. Conclusion The aim of this study was to assess whether new fossil evidence discovered over the past decade could shed new light on the appearance of the anatomical features related to endurance running. Although limited to the lower-limb, this study cannot corroborate Bramble and Lieberman’s conclusion that these features evolved for endurance running around 1.8 million years ago with the appearance of Homo erectus. The skeletal features discussed in this with exception of the calcaneal tuber, these features study suggest that endurance running may have been practiced from 1.8 million years onwards, but the earlier presence of many of these features in the fossil record suggest that endurance running most likely was not a driving force behind the evolution of these anatomical features. Furthermore, the lack of lithic evidence for persistence hunting associated with early Homo and the primitive morphology of the Dmanisi and lower-limb indicate that early Homo travelled long distances before the evolution of all features related to endurance running occurred. The most likely scenario at this time seems to be that the lower limb features discussed here evolved to improve walking product. Further analyses should focus on testing 2017 | INTER-SECTION | VOL III | p.11