Microwear, Mechanics and the Feeding Adaptations of Australopithecus Africanus
Journal of Human Evolution
Recent studies of dental microwear and craniofacial mechanics have yielded contradictory interpretations regarding the feeding ecology and adaptations of Australopithecus africanus. As part of this debate, the methods used in the mechanical studies have been criticized. In particular, it has been claimed that finite element analysis has been poorly applied to this research question. This paper responds to some of these mechanical criticisms, highlights limitations of dental microwear analysis, and identifies avenues of future research.
Australopithecus, Feeding mechanics, Diet, Microwear, Finite element analysis
Strait DS, Weber GW, Constantino P, Lucas PW, Richmond BG, Spencer MA, Dechow PC, Ross CF, Grosse IR, Wright B, Wood BA, Wang Q, Byron C, Slice DE. Microwear, Mechanics and the Feeding Adaptations of Australopithecus Africanus. Journal of Human Evolution. 2012; 62(1). doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2011.10.006.