The os navicular of humans, great apes, OH 8, Hadar, and Oreopithecus : function, phylogeny, and multivariate analysis. American Museum novitates ; no. 3288

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New York, NY : American Museum of Natural History
To clarify fossil hominid behavior and phylogeny, and to test the accuracy of basing these studies on single bones, navicular measurements of Olduvai and Hadar hominids, Oreopithecus, and a representative sample of humans and great apes were compared. The measurements chosen for comparison quantify the relative orientation, articular area, and curvature of the navicular facets. The measurements demonstrate that the OH 8 navicular belongs to a rigid foot with an adducted hallux and a strong commitment to terrestriality. The Hadar naviculars belong to a foot which lacked a fixed longitudinal plantar arch and had at least a degree of hallucal opposability comparable to that of mountain gorillas. The Oreopithecus navicular belongs to a mobile foot with a widely divergent hallux committed to arboreal behaviors. Multiple discriminant and canonical variate analyses of navicular measurements emphasize the uniqueness of Oreopithecus and the similarities between OH 8 and humans, and between Hadar and African apes. The African apelike morphology of the Hadar naviculars contradicts the alleged humanlike morphology of the Hadar pelvis and knee joints. This contradiction underscores the fallacies inherent in constructing phylogenies on the basis of single bones and/or fragmentary remains, and of reconstructing locomotor behaviors on the basis of localized anatomy.
38 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 34-38).