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Unformatted text preview: ANTH 1001 Note: mya = millions of years ago; ya = years ago; cm 3 = cubic centimeters Early Homo A: Geographical location: Lake Turkana, Kenya; Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania; Sterkfontein, S. Africa B: Dates: 2.4 1.6 mya C: Morphologies and significance: 1. Increased cranial capacity, both absolute and relative to body mass, compared to australopithecines. Early Homo mean cranial capacity is 631 cm 3 , whereas range for Australopithecus is 410 to 530 cm 3 . a. Important fossil specimen KNM-ER 1470, with 750 cm 3 cranial capacity b. Significance : b.1. Early Homo is contemporaneous with Oldowan tools. Oldowan tools also called pebble choppers. Infer that the large brained early Homo was a maker of stone tools (because later Homo also used stone tools). Earliest Oldowan tools are dated to 2.6 mya from East Africa. (Oldowan tools may have been used in meat eating (scavenging or hunting) and plant processing. Cores vs. flakes in use. b.2. Alternative interpretation: Australopithecus garhi may have used stone tools. A. garhi dated to 2.5 mya, from Ethiopia. Evidence is mammal bones with cut marks and percussion marks from stone tools from same site as A. garhi , but no actual tools found at the site. Infer that the tool user was eating meat and extracting marrow. If A. garhi was stone tool user, then stone tool use preceded increase in cranial capacity associated with Homo , and the increase in cranial capacity may have been associated with incorporation of meat in diet. b.3. would increase in cranial capacity be related to development of language? 2. Dental size in early Homo is about the same as that of gracile australopithecines ( A. afarensis and A. africanus ), but smaller than that of contemporaneous robust australopithecines , A. boisei and A. robustus . a. Significance: Difference in dental size (and cranial size) between early Homo and robust australopithecines reflects different dietary adaptations. Robust australopithecines may have eaten gritty, fibrous foods, whereas early Homo may have been more omnivorous . Dental and cranial differences between early Homo and robust australopithecines may illustrate Principle of Competitive Exclusion. 3. fully modern looking foot and thigh bones a. Significance: full adaptation to bipedality 4. Variation in size and anatomy in early Homo a. Perhaps two species of early Homo , H. habilis and H. rudolfensis a.1. Significance There were at least 3 species of early hominids living in same place and same time period in East Africa: H. habilis , H. rudolfensis , and A. boisei . This would imply a successful radiation of early bipeds. One species of early Homo would have been our ancestor, and the other went extinct....
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- Spring '07