Human Evolution

Human Evolution - Gene 3000 Human Evolution(cont'd Problems...

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Gene 3000 02-22-07 Human Evolution (cont’d) Problems with the fossil record of the lineage leading to Homo Few fossils Arranged into numerous phylogenetic trees (not just one) Species concept (ex. Sapiens and Neanderthalensis) Inability to accurately date fossils (What lineages pre-date other lineages?) Small sample sizes Result: detailed phylogeny is unattainable, only a rough pattern of evolution is discernable (when only the fossil record is used); with molecular data (and the fossil record) we are able to paint a more detailed picture Human Autapomorphic characteristics Vertebral column Pelvis position and shape Leg Foot More fully opposable thumb (as compared to other primates) Short face and jaw Position of Foramen Magnum (the hole at the base of the skull) Teeth (very convergent with pigs) Enlarged brain (compared with the chimp and gorilla) Capacity for language? Depends on how language is defined… Humans and Chimps
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Human Evolution - Gene 3000 Human Evolution(cont'd Problems...

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