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《Certebrata Palasiatica》 1979-02
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SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES ON THE TEETH OF YUANMOU MAN WITH DISCUSSIONS ON MORPHOLOGICAL EVOLUTION OF MESIAL UPPER INCISORS IN THE HOMINOIDS

Zhou Guoxing (Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology,Academia Sinica) Hu Cheng-chih (Geological Museum,Academy of Geolagival Sciences)  
The two mesial upper incisors of the Yuanmou Man(Homo erectus yuanmouensis)found in the summer of 1965 at a site about 500 meters northwest of Shang-na-bang,Yuanmou County in northern Yunnan indicate the first occurrence of a probably lateEarly Pleistocene man in China.In the past decade many Geologists,Palaeontologistsand Palaeoanthropologists had worked in this district.Although no new hominid ma-terial has been discovered in the interim,the stritigraphic horizon and the geological age of the human fossils,as well as that of the Yuanmou formation becomes clearernow;it is evident that the horizon which contains the fossil hominid remains belongsto the late stage of Early Pleistocene.It seems that the “Yuanmou Man” can make notonly crude stone implements,but also it is possible that they could use fire.One of the present writers(Hu)in his prilliminary report of the teeth publishedin 1973,pointed out that the teeth are comparable with those of Homo erectuspekinensis,therefore,belong to Homo erectus grade.However,these teeth in manyrespects,differ markedly from those of H.e.pekinensis.Thus,a new subspecies name,Homo erectus yuanmouensis Hu was proposed for it.Recently the present authors have made some observations on the Yuanmou Manmaterial with a view to show in more detail the morphological evolution in the char-acters of the mesial upper incisors in human.The inure important morphological features of the mesial upper incisors of Homoerectus yuanmouensis are briefly given below:1.The teeth represent probably those of a youthful male individual.2.They are quite massive,especially in the crown part.The crown is nearlytriangular in outline,with widely expanded incisive margin,and a spread index of141.9.3.The labial side of the crown is flat,except at its basal part which is moreconvex,with labial grooves,Tome's lines and area of shallow depression.4.The basal tubercle is prominent,and developed as a rounded eminence occupy-ing an area of about half of the lingual surfaces.The margin of basal tubercle isdivided into three finger-like prejections different in size.The one in the mesial is thestrongest and forms the lingual median ridge extending almost to the cutting ridge.5.The lingual surface shows a distinct shovel fossa which divided by the medianridge into two halves,the distal border being slightly stronger.The distal marginalridge does not come into contact with the basal tubercle,and separated from it by anotch.Numerous enamel furrows are visible in the lingual fossa.6.The transverse section at the neck part of the root is nearly elliptical,thinner in labiolingual diameter of root.Both the mesial and distal sides curve inward,especially on the mesial side,forming a curvature of cervical line(3.8)greater thanthat on the distal side(3.1).Comparative materials used to compare with the Yuanmou teeth include thefollowing:Hominoids of Pleistocene stage:Mesial upper incisors of Pongo fossils,Gigantopi-thecus,A ustralopithecus africanus(Sterkfontein),A.(Paranthropus)robustus(Swart-krans),Zinjanthropus,Homo erectus pekinensis,Homo sapiens fossils etc.;and Pongopygmaeus palaeosumatremis of Holocene stage,the large living anthropoids(Pongidae:Pan,Pongo and Gorilla),and some groups of Modern man(includes Northern Chinese,Javanese,Australian aborigine,Caucasians etc.).By comparing the teeth of the foregoing forms,it is concluded that the mesialupper ineisors of Homo e rectus yuanmouensis is quite distinet from those of anthropoidapes(including Gigantopithecus).They are certainly not of the same type.In com-parison with these of Homo sapiens,there exist prominent distinotions and can notassign the Yuanmou teeth to hominid teeth of the late stage.When they are compared with those of Australopithecus,it is decidedly different from these known Africanforms,and can not ascribe it to the genus of Australopithecus.Our teeth are in generalcomparable with those of Homo erectus pekinensis,though they differ more or less instructure.In certain respects the characteristics of difference between Homo erectus yuan-mouensis and H.e.pekinensis,are either more closely related to Australopithecus or toanthropoid ape.We now still consider the mesial upper incisors belong to Homo erectus grade.In consideration of the fact that the geological age of Homo erectus yuanmouensisis much earlier than that of H.e.pekinensis,and the complicate nature of morphologiccharacteristics that distinguish Homo erectus grade into an Early phase and a Latephase by some authorities,and certain aspects shown by some of Early phase of Homeerectus grade that reflect transitional traits leading from gracile Australopitheous toHomo erectus.Therefore,we believe that the mesial upper incisors of Yuanmou repre-sent the first definite finds of Early phase of Homo erectus grade in China.Thedifferences that distinguishes Homo erectus yuanmouensis from H.e.pekinensis in thecharacteristic features which represent its primitive trait in all probability and alsorepresent a type transitional from gracile Australopithecus to Homo erectus grade.
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