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life history - Courtney Peterson BAA 180S Ape/Human...

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Courtney Peterson BAA 180S – Ape/Human Transition December 4, 2007 Coqueugniot, H. et al. "Early brain growth in Homo erectus and implications for cognitive ability" Nature, 431:299-302, 2004. Life History Today’s article is an example of how limited a paleontologist’s knowledge of the life histories of fossil organism is. While the geographic age of the infant cranium in question is about 1.8 million years old, scientists disagree as to how old the H. erectus infant was at its death. The reason a good understanding of life history is important because life history charts when certain events occur in an organism, such as fusion of the cranial bones. For example, in humans an infants head will increase as much as four times in size. In comparison, chimps are born with about 40% of the volume of an adult. Given that H. erectus is somewhat intermediate between the LCA of humans and chimps, an approximation of the age of the infant can be made.
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