Sex at Sterkfontein: ‘Mrs. Ples’ is still an adult female

Citation

Material Information

Title:
Sex at Sterkfontein: ‘Mrs. Ples’ is still an adult female
Series Title:
Journal of Human Evolution
Creator:
Grine, Frederick E.
Weber, Gerhard W.
Plavcan, J. Michael
Benazzi, Stefano
Publisher:
Elsevier
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Sexual Dimorphism ( local )
Canine Root Size ( local )
Palate Depth ( local )
Dental Development ( local )
Computed Tomography ( local )
Australopithecus Africanus ( local )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

Notes

Abstract:
The important question of whether the Australopithecus africanus hypodigm is taxonomically heterogeneous revolves largely around the interpretation of the morphological variation exhibited by the fossils from Sterkfontein. The sex assignment of these specimens is a critical component in the evaluation of their morphological variability. The Sts 5 cranium is pivotal in this regard because it is the most complete and undistorted specimen attributed to A. africanus. Although it has traditionally been regarded as an adult female, this view has been challenged. In particular, it has been argued recently that Sts 5 is a juvenile and that this, together with alveolar bone loss that has supposedly reduced the size of the canine socket, has led to its misinterpretation as a female. Virtual reconstruction of the M3 roots (and/or alveoli) contradicts arguments that these teeth were erupting at the time of death. Regardless, canine emergence and root completion are well ahead of M3 development in juvenile australopiths from Sterkfontein. Thus, even if the M3 root of Sts 5 was incomplete, its canine root would have been fully formed. Measurements of palate depth indicate that the alveolar margins of Sts 5 have not suffered from much (if any) bone loss in the region of the C/P3; any additional bone would result in a palate of truly exceptional depth. Therefore, the dimensions of the canine alveolus of Sts 5 can be regarded as proxies for those of the canine root. The canine root of Sts 5 is among the smallest recorded for any Sterkfontein australopith, which provides strong support for Robert Broom's initial attribution of sex to this specimen. There is no evidence to contradict the assertion that ‘Mrs. Ples’ is an adult female.
Original Version:
Journal of Human Evolution, Vol. 62, no. 5 (2012-05).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.

USFLDC Membership

Aggregations:
University of South Florida
Karst Information Portal

Postcard Information

Format:
serial

printinsert_linkshareget_appmore_horiz

Download Options

close

No images or PDF downloads are available for this resource.


Cite this item close

APA

Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.

MLA

Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.

CHICAGO

Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.

WIKIPEDIA

Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.