A GEOMETRIC MORPHOMETRIC ANALYSIS OF THE NAVICULAR BONE IN HUMANS, CHIMPANZEES, BABOONS, AND HOMO HABILIS (OH 8)
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This is the first thesis based on geometric morphometric comparison of the navicular bone across different primate species. The navicular bone is involved in three important functions in the modern human foot related to human obligate bipedalism. Obligate bipedalism is a distinguishing feature of humans and by comparing how the overall size and shape of the navicular bone differ among modern humans, chimpanzees, baboons, and fossil Olduvai Hominid 8 (Homo habilis), paleoanthropologists will be able to better describe the evolution of bipedalism in our lineage. I found that the OH 8 navicular is more similar in shape to that of modern humans and more similar in size to chimpanzees. Bones of the foot, such as the navicular, can therefore be used to assess the mode of locomotion in a fossil species and can aid in the placement of new fossils within the hominin lineage.