Little Foot

3 Aug 1995 17:21:22 GMT

I just finished the article by Clarke and Tobias in the July 28 Science on
the early hominid foot bones found at Sterkfontein. Their basic conclusion
of arboreal capacity is based on the hallux being varus and strongly
mobile. I seem to recall something about the A. afarensis hallux being
varus in a book at home. (I'll dig it out tonight.) Is there much known
about the A. afarensis cuneometatarsal joint? What about other primitive

BTW, the way the divergent hallux would probably have been used (in my
opinion) is as a fork placed over a branch, with the force running through
the webbing between the hallux and the other toes. I've seen pictures of
chimps doing just that. I doubt the hallux would have been freely opposed
to the other toes and gripping branches like we see orangs doing.

Harry Erwin
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PhD student in comp neurosci: "Glitches happen" & "Meaning is emotional"