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Proximal Femoral Anatomy of Australopithecus


BECAUSE of the importance of the femur in the gait of bipeds, it is surprising that only moderate attention has been paid to the samples of proximal femora of Australopithecus for which published descriptions and/or casts are now available (STS-14, SK-82, SK-97 and OH-20). In descriptions of these specimens, several morphological features have been claimed to separate them significantly from later Pleistocene hominids1–4. We consider that only two features may lie outside the normal range of variation of Homo sapiens.

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  1. 1

    Broom, R., Robinson, J. T., and Schepers, G. W. H., Trans. Mus. Mem., 4 (1950).

  2. 2

    Day, M. H., Nature, 221, 230 (1969).

  3. 3

    Napier, J. R., Arch. Biol., Liège, 75, Suppl. 673 (1964).

  4. 4

    Le Gros Clark, W. E., Man-Apes or Ape-Men (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, New York, 1967).

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