EarlyHomLab - Anthropology 1 Spring 2009 DISCUSSION SECTION...

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Anthropology 1 – Spring 2009 DISCUSSION SECTION 6 – FOSSIL ANCESTORS – PART I Humans belong to the Suborder Anthropoidea, which also includes monkeys and apes, and is one of the two major divisions of the Order Primates. Within our Suborder, humans are more closely related to apes than apes are to monkeys. Thomas Henry Huxley reached this conclusion based on anatomical comparisons shortly after Charles Darwin published Origin of Species , and molecular studies amply confirm this conclusion. Today, we will start with the origins of our Suborder and finish with the earliest members of the human lineage. Station 1 – Oligocene (34-23 mya) In this epoch tropical rain forests extended far into areas that are now temperate zones. One ofthe best Oligocene fossil deposits is in the Egyptian desert – a locality called Fayum. Once thiswas an ideal habitat for early anthropoid primates; a sluggish river delta surrounded by lushforest provided niches for several primate species. In the 1960s, Dr. Elwyn Simons and a Yale Expedition discovered a nearly complete skull of Aegyptopithecus . Simons maintains that Aegyptopithecus was the earliest ape, a member of the Superfamily Hominoidea. Most others dispute this assertion and argue that Aegyptopithecus has a mosaic of features that suggest it is probably a basal catarrhine. Compare the ape, monkey, and prosimiian skulls to Aegyptopithecus . Note the characters that Simons might point to as hominoid-like. Also note the traits for which the skull resembles prosimians and monkeys. Prosimian Ape Monkey Aegyptopithecus Orientation of the orbits Postorbital closure Length of snout Size of face relative to size of brain Dental formula Pattern of molar-cusps (mandible) Station 2 – Miocene (23-5 mya)
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This note was uploaded on 11/15/2010 for the course ANT 51158 taught by Professor Mcelreath during the Fall '10 term at UC Davis.

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EarlyHomLab - Anthropology 1 Spring 2009 DISCUSSION SECTION...

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