The Funadomari Jomon people were hunter-gatherers living on Rebun Island, Hokkaido, Japan c. 3500–3800 years ago. In this study, we determined the high-depth and low-depth nuclear genome sequences from a Funadomari Jomon female (F23) and male (F5), respectively. We genotyped the nuclear DNA of F23 and determined the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class-I genotypes and the phenotypic traits. Moreover, a pathogenic mutation in the CPT1A gene was identified in both F23 and F5. The mutation provides metabolic advantages for consumption of a high-fat diet, and its allele frequency is more than 70% in Arctic populations, but is absent elsewhere. This variant may be related to the lifestyle of the Funadomari Jomon people, who fished and hunted land and marine animals. We observed high homozygosity by descent (HBD) in F23, but HBD tracts longer than 10 cM were very limited, suggesting that the population size of Northern Jomon populations were small. Our analysis suggested that population size of the Jomon people started to decrease c. 50000 years ago. The phylogenetic relationship among F23, modern/ancient Eurasians, and Native Americans showed a deep divergence of F23 in East Eurasia, probably before the split of the ancestor of Native Americans from East Eurasians, but after the split of 40000-year-old Tianyuan, indicating that the Northern Jomon people were genetically isolated from continental East Eurasians for a long period. Intriguingly, we found that modern Japanese as well as Ulchi, Korean, aboriginal Taiwanese, and Philippine populations were genetically closer to F23 than to Han Chinese. Moreover, the Y chromosome of F5 belonged to haplogroup D1b2b, which is rare in modern Japanese populations. These findings provided insights into the history and reconstructions of the ancient human population structures in East Eurasia, and the F23 genome data can be considered as the Jomon Reference Genome for future studies.
This study investigates the morphological variation and taxonomic affinities of 28 fossil gibbon molars from eight newly discovered Pleistocene cave sites in the area of Chongzuo, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China. A recent descriptive analysis demonstrated that these fossil teeth form a uniform group that can be assigned to a single species of Nomascus. In this contribution, a two-dimensional morphometric approach is employed to examine the Chongzuo specimens in comparison with a large sample of extant hylobatids, as well as with previously reported hylobatid dental remains from the Pleistocene of China. Buccolingual and mesiodistal measurements and crown outline areas reveal that the Chongzuo molars correspond most closely with Nomascus and, to a lesser extent, Hoolock. Crown shape was investigated using elliptical Fourier analysis. Our results show that the Chongzuo specimens fall in most cases either within the range of variation of extant Nomascus to the exclusion of all other hylobatid genera, or their distance from the cluster represented by the Nomascus sample is relatively small. Similarly, the Mahalanobis distances for crown shape show a trend towards smaller morphological distances between the Chongzuo specimens and Nomascus, followed by Hoolock and Hylobates. The Chongzuo molars are also morphometrically distinct from Bunopithecus sericus, but fall within the range of overlap of other Pleistocene hylobatid dental remains from southern China. The balance of evidence indicates that the Chongzuo teeth can be attributed to cf. Nomascus. The fossil teeth are sufficiently distinct from those of extant Nomascus that they may represent an extinct species.
Primate hands and feet are versatile and offer an opportunity to examine how morphology reflects compromises among different functions in daily activities. In this study, we investigated the diaphyseal robusticity of metacarpals (MCs) and metatarsals (MTs) and discussed their correlation with locomotor and other behaviors in the semiterrestrial Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata). The objectives of this study were to determine (1) whether more robust MCs and MTs experience higher forces during terrestrial locomotion than less robust bones; and (2) whether MT3, which is suggested to be the functional axis of the foot in Japanese macaques, is more robust than MT2, MT4, and MT5. Computed tomography of MCs1–5 and MTs1–5 was performed in 10 monkeys. As a measure of bone robusticity, the buckling strength of each MT and MC was calculated as J/L2 where J is the polar second moment of area and L is the bone length. Hand and foot pressure were recorded using plantar pressure measurement systems while two monkeys moved on a flat floor over a range of speeds (0.72–2.56 m/s). The relationship between the bone robusticity and the load applied to the bones during terrestrial locomotion was analyzed. Our results did not support the two predictions. There was no positive correlation between diaphyseal robusticity and the peak force in both male and female Japanese macaques. There was no clear difference in bone robusticity among MTs2–5 in both males and females. These results suggest that the relation between MC and MT robusticity and mechanical loading during locomotion is not as straightforward as might be expected, possibly due to the complex multifunctionality of primate hands and feet. Additional integrative studies that similarly incorporate morphological and experimental approaches are expected to provide useful insights into macaque hand and foot morphology.
The reconstruction of everyday diets in villages is important for understanding the diversity of diets and commerce networks of food items in premodern Japan. However, premodern diets in villages have not been well studied compared with those in cities. In this study, stable isotope analyses were performed on 23 adult human skeletons excavated from Sendaiji, a mountainous woodland village of underground Christians in Osaka in premodern Japan. No significant isotopic differences was found between individuals identified as Buddhists and those identified as Christians or between females and males. The total mean carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur isotope ratios were −21.1 ± 0.4‰, 11.6 ± 1.0‰, and 8.9 ± 1.3‰, respectively. The carbon isotope ratios in Sendaiji were the lowest among the studied premodern populations probably because these individuals consumed woodland foods that are affected by the canopy effect. No significant correlation between sulfur and nitrogen isotope ratios was apparent, suggesting that there was little contribution from marine foods or marine fertilizers to the diet of individuals in premodern Sendaiji. The relatively high nitrogen isotope ratios in Sendaiji were possibly because of the denitrification in paddy rice fields, ammonium uptake by paddy rice, use of animal fertilizers, and/or consumption of freshwater fish. To our knowledge, this is the first detailed bioarchaeological study of the premodern diet in a mountainous village in western Japan.