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Anthropology notes 3

Anthropology notes 3 - Anthropology notes(3 I...

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Anthropology notes (3) I. Paleoanthropology A. Definition: the study of human evolution, the hominid fossils, the relationship between the fossils, and how they’re related to us 1. Goals: a. identify what the fossils are b. establishing their chronology: what time periods do they date to c. gain insight into behavior 2. Multi-disciplinary: it draws on many disciplines such as geology and archeology 3. hominids: humans are only members of the hominid family 4. bipedality, brain size, and culture a. we walk on two limbs naturally: it is what separates us from apes b. we are most ensephalized c. we look for tools to gain insight into past cultures 5. East Africa vs. South Africa a. Differences in environment change the taphonomy b. East Africa: is a rift valley, which means it had volcanic activity in the past i. the spreading of volcanic ash helped with preservation ii. can get a good chronometric date c. South Africa: fossils were found in limestone quarries i. dating is not that great ii. breccia: a cement-like matrix containing sand, pebbles, soil, debris, etc. iii. most fossils found in breccia B. Terms 1. post-orbital constriction: constriction behind they eye orbits on the top of the skull 2. supra-orbital torus: ridge of bone behind the eyes (SOT or brow ridge) 3. prognathism: anterior projection of the maxilla (upper jaw) 4. othognathism: a straight maxilla, no projection anteriorly 5. sagittal crest: a very roughened ridge of bone on the center of the top of the skull 6. nuchal crest: ridge of bone on the posterior part (back) of the skull II. Miocene Fossils A. Sahelanthropus tchadensis (6-7 mya) 1. fossil found in Chad, Africa 2. nearly complete skull about the size of a modern chimp a. brain size is the same as well b. gigantic supra-orbital torus c. flatter, straighter face d. teeth are different 3. position of the foramen magnum suggests that it was bipedal 4. very few fossils found in Central Africa
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C. Orrorin tugenesis 1. found in Kenya in December of 2000 a. site dated radiometrically to be 6.2-5.6 mya 2. small body, probably around the size of a chimp 3. long neck of femur bone suggests that it was bipedal 4. has thicker enamel 5. group of post cranial and teeth D. Ardipithicus Ramidus (5.8-4.4 mya) 1. found in Ethiopia in East Africa 2. there are 47 different fossils that are believed to belong to 9 different individuals 3. 3-rooted premolar 4. mainly jaws and teeth, but there are foot and hand bones a. there’s a hint of bipedality in the feet bones b. teeth and jaws tend to be more ape-like E. Kenyanthropus Platyops 1. found in Kenya in 1999 2. more flat-faced skull 3. 3.5-3.2 myo 4. nearly complete cranium, but slightly distorted a. small brained individual 5. prognathism is reduced compared to other fossils a. looks more derived than other contemporary fossils b. includes a reduction in the nuchal crest and a non-existent sagittal crest 6. these descriptions make it a better candidate for a human ancestor than the other contemporary fossils III. Australopithecus: “southern ape” A. Afarensis (3.9 – 3.0 mya) 1. are all found in East Africa 2.
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