121erectus

121erectus - Homo Erectus About 1.8 million years ago Homo...

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Homo Erectus • About 1.8 million years ago, Homo habilis began to be replaced by more modern- looking hominids with larger brains and bodies similar in size to modern humans. • By about 800,000 years ago, these more advanced hominids had spread out of Africa and firmly established themselves in Asia as a new species, H. erectus.
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Homo erectus Morphologically diverse Has a larger cranial capacity and smaller teeth than Homo habilis Cranial capacities range between about 780 cc and 1200 cc. The average is 1000 cc. Associated with Acheulean tools
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Geographical Distribution of Homo erectus • Homo erectus is found throughout Eurasia and Africa. • There is very little evidence of Homo habilis outside of Africa. A recent 1.6 my crania from Soviet Georgia may be from resemble African Homo erectus • Homo erectus skeletal remains from Europe are rare, perhaps because early deposits were destroyed by glaciers.
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Expansion of Hominids out of Africa
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Homo erectus Morphology
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Supraorbital Torus A large brow ridge (supraorbital torus) is present above eyes of Homo erectus The Homo erectus supra- orbital torus is continuous, rather than arched and divided in the center as seen in many of the later archaic Homo sapiens This is not found in Homo habilis or Australopithecus
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Post-Orbital Constriction and Depression Transition between face and brain case is marked by a constriction. A deep post-orbital constriction and post- orbital depression are typical of Homo erectus constriction depression
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Shape of the Cranial Vault Cranial vault is long and low with a marked convergence in the back (occipital bun). Widest dimension of the cranial vault is low in comparison to modern human. Bones of the cranial vault are thick. Asian forms have “keeling” in the midline of the frontal bones keeling Widest dimension
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Teeth, and Jaws Face is large and prognathic in comparison to modern Homo sapiens Jaw lacks well developed chin Teeth are large but fall within the range of modern human variation The continued trend toward smaller teeth probably reflects the same selective pressures mentioned for H. habilis. For example, greater use of tools more meat and less abrasive material in the diet
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Postcranial Morphology • Although heavily built, the limb bones of Homo erectus are essentially modern in size and shape. • Recently discovered African remains indicate that some individuals were just as tall (6 ft.) as modern humans
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Homo erectus locomotion
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The adaptive significance of Homo erectus cranial features
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Cranial Vault Shape • Why such a long low skull? • Occipital bun may function to balance the skull on the vertebral column by counteracting the weight of heavy jaws and face of Homo erectus
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Cranial Vault Size The increased size of the cranial vault over that found in H. habilis reflects continued selection for a larger brain with increased symbolic capacity
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Hypotheses attempting to explain the large supraorbital torus of
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This note was uploaded on 08/06/2008 for the course ANTH 121 taught by Professor Walker during the Spring '08 term at UCSB.

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121erectus - Homo Erectus About 1.8 million years ago Homo...

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