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The atlas of StW 573 and the late emergence of human-like head mobility and brain metabolism

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Abstract
Functional morphology of the atlas reflects multiple aspects of an organism’s biology. More specifically, its shape indicates patterns of head mobility, while the size of its vascular foramina reflects blood flow to the brain. Anatomy and function of the early hominin atlas, and thus, its evolutionary history, are poorly documented because of a paucity of fossilized material. Meticulous excavation, cleaning and high-resolution micro-CT scanning of the StW 573 (‘Little Foot’) skull has revealed the most complete early hominin atlas yet found, having been cemented by breccia in its displaced and flipped over position on the cranial base anterolateral to the foramen magnum. Description and landmark-free morphometric analyses of the StW 573 atlas, along with other less complete hominin atlases from Sterkfontein (StW 679) and Hadar (AL 333-83), confirm the presence of an arboreal component in the positional repertoire of Australopithecus. Finally, assessment of the cross-sectional areas of the transverse foramina of the atlas and the left carotid canal in StW 573 further suggests there may have been lower metabolic costs for cerebral tissues in this hominin than have been attributed to extant humans and may support the idea that blood perfusion of these tissues increased over the course of hominin evolution.
Keywords
Multidisciplinary, CERVICAL-SPINE, MEMBER 2, AUSTRALOPITHECUS-AFARENSIS, STERKFONTEIN CAVES, EVOLUTION, HOMINID, LOCOMOTOR, SKELETON, FOOT, MORPHOLOGY

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MLA
Beaudet, Amélie, et al. “The Atlas of StW 573 and the Late Emergence of Human-like Head Mobility and Brain Metabolism.” SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, vol. 10, no. 1, 2020, doi:10.1038/s41598-020-60837-2.
APA
Beaudet, A., Clarke, R. J., Heaton, J. L., Pickering, T. R., Carlson, K. J., Crompton, R. H., … Stratford, D. (2020). The atlas of StW 573 and the late emergence of human-like head mobility and brain metabolism. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-60837-2
Chicago author-date
Beaudet, Amélie, Ronald J. Clarke, Jason L. Heaton, Travis R. Pickering, Kristian J. Carlson, Robin H. Crompton, Tea Jashashvili, et al. 2020. “The Atlas of StW 573 and the Late Emergence of Human-like Head Mobility and Brain Metabolism.” SCIENTIFIC REPORTS 10 (1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-60837-2.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Beaudet, Amélie, Ronald J. Clarke, Jason L. Heaton, Travis R. Pickering, Kristian J. Carlson, Robin H. Crompton, Tea Jashashvili, Laurent Bruxelles, Kudakwashe Jakata, Lunga Bam, Luc Van Hoorebeke, Kathleen Kuman, and Dominic Stratford. 2020. “The Atlas of StW 573 and the Late Emergence of Human-like Head Mobility and Brain Metabolism.” SCIENTIFIC REPORTS 10 (1). doi:10.1038/s41598-020-60837-2.
Vancouver
1.
Beaudet A, Clarke RJ, Heaton JL, Pickering TR, Carlson KJ, Crompton RH, et al. The atlas of StW 573 and the late emergence of human-like head mobility and brain metabolism. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. 2020;10(1).
IEEE
[1]
A. Beaudet et al., “The atlas of StW 573 and the late emergence of human-like head mobility and brain metabolism,” SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, vol. 10, no. 1, 2020.
@article{8665891,
  abstract     = {{Functional morphology of the atlas reflects multiple aspects of an organism’s biology. More specifically, its shape indicates patterns of head mobility, while the size of its vascular foramina reflects blood flow to the brain. Anatomy and function of the early hominin atlas, and thus, its evolutionary history, are poorly documented because of a paucity of fossilized material. Meticulous excavation, cleaning and high-resolution micro-CT scanning of the StW 573 (‘Little Foot’) skull has revealed the most complete early hominin atlas yet found, having been cemented by breccia in its displaced and flipped over position on the cranial base anterolateral to the foramen magnum. Description and landmark-free morphometric analyses of the StW 573 atlas, along with other less complete hominin atlases from Sterkfontein (StW 679) and Hadar (AL 333-83), confirm the presence of an arboreal component in the positional repertoire of Australopithecus. Finally, assessment of the cross-sectional areas of the transverse foramina of the atlas and the left carotid canal in StW 573 further suggests there may have been lower metabolic costs for cerebral tissues in this hominin than have been attributed to extant humans and may support the idea that blood perfusion of these tissues increased over the course of hominin evolution.}},
  articleno    = {{4285}},
  author       = {{Beaudet, Amélie and Clarke, Ronald J. and Heaton, Jason L. and Pickering, Travis R. and Carlson, Kristian J. and Crompton, Robin H. and Jashashvili, Tea and Bruxelles, Laurent and Jakata, Kudakwashe and Bam, Lunga and Van Hoorebeke, Luc and Kuman, Kathleen and Stratford, Dominic}},
  issn         = {{2045-2322}},
  journal      = {{SCIENTIFIC REPORTS}},
  keywords     = {{Multidisciplinary,CERVICAL-SPINE,MEMBER 2,AUSTRALOPITHECUS-AFARENSIS,STERKFONTEIN CAVES,EVOLUTION,HOMINID,LOCOMOTOR,SKELETON,FOOT,MORPHOLOGY}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  pages        = {{13}},
  title        = {{The atlas of StW 573 and the late emergence of human-like head mobility and brain metabolism}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-60837-2}},
  volume       = {{10}},
  year         = {{2020}},
}

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