The foot of Homo naledi.

Published

Journal Article

Modern humans are characterized by a highly specialized foot that reflects our obligate bipedalism. Our understanding of hominin foot evolution is, although, hindered by a paucity of well-associated remains. Here we describe the foot of Homo naledi from Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa, using 107 pedal elements, including one nearly-complete adult foot. The H. naledi foot is predominantly modern human-like in morphology and inferred function, with an adducted hallux, an elongated tarsus, and derived ankle and calcaneocuboid joints. In combination, these features indicate a foot well adapted for striding bipedalism. However, the H. naledi foot differs from modern humans in having more curved proximal pedal phalanges, and features suggestive of a reduced medial longitudinal arch. Within the context of primitive features found elsewhere in the skeleton, these findings suggest a unique locomotor repertoire for H. naledi, thus providing further evidence of locomotor diversity within both the hominin clade and the genus Homo.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Harcourt-Smith, WEH; Throckmorton, Z; Congdon, KA; Zipfel, B; Deane, AS; Drapeau, MSM; Churchill, SE; Berger, LR; DeSilva, JM

Published Date

  • January 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 /

Start / End Page

  • 8432 -

PubMed ID

  • 26439101

Pubmed Central ID

  • 26439101

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2041-1723

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2041-1723

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/ncomms9432

Language

  • eng