Hallucal tarsometatarsal joint in Australopithecus afarensis

Authors

  • Bruce Latimer,

    1. Laboratory of Physical Anthropology, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland, Ohio 44106
    2. Department of Anatomy, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106
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  • C. Owen Lovejoy

    1. Laboratory of Physical Anthropology, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland, Ohio 44106
    2. Departments of Anthropology and Biology, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio 44242
    3. Human Anatomy Program, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown, Ohio 44292
    4. Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office, Cleveland, Ohio 44106
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Abstract

Hallucal tarsometatarsal joints from African pongids, modern humans, and Australopithecus afarensis are compared to investigate the anatomical and mechanical changes that accompanied the transition to terrestrial bipedality. Features analyzed include the articular orientation of the medial cuneiform, curvature of the distal articular surface of the medial cuneiform, and the articular configuration of the hallucal metatarsal proximal joint surface. Morphological characteristics of the hallucal tarsometatarsal joint unequivocally segregate quadrupedal pongids and bipedal hominids.

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