Notes for the Final

Notes for the Final - *Notes for the Final...

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**********************************Notes for the Final********************************* June 28, 2010 Paleoanthropology: is the interdisciplinary subfield of physical anthropology focused on the primate and human fossil record employing: functional morphology, geology/paleontology (dating excavation, geophysics, paleoecology, palynology, taphonomy, etc), phylogenetic systematics, and archaeology. One of the fundamental principles is continental drift . Effects of continental drift: biogeography (geographic distribution of different organisms), global climate. Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction: stable carbon isotopes (C3/C4), temperature, aridity, plant type; morphotypes (bovid limbs). Three groups of dating: 1. Relative: not an absolute date; allow dating of fossils or sediments relative to other sediments or deposits. a. Stratigraphy: 3 principles i. Original horizontality: sediments are laid down horiz. ii. Lateral continuity: layers extend laterally iii. Superposition: younger layers will be deposited on top of older. b. Biostratigraphy: based on dating by association and index fossils i. Dating by association ii. Index fossils 2. Absolute: provides absolute date using specific materials; use radiometric clocks- rely on radioactive decay of isotopes of certain elements present in the atmosphere. Decay is constant and unalterable. Techniques measure the proportion of the isotopes in relation to their stable counterpart; half life : time it takes for ½ of the present isotopes to decay. a. Radiocarbon Dating (C14): uses remains of living organisms; half life = 5,730 years. Useful for <58 kyr – 62 kyr. (thousands) b. Potassium-argon dating (sometimes argon-argon dating): uses volcanic rock, ½ life is 1.3 billion years; useful for sediments >100,000 years. 3. Paleomagnetism: relative dating technique that can be calibrated to absolute dates based on major periodic changes in the earth’s magnetic field. Magnetic pole information is permanently encoded in certain rocks as they are formed. Can match up the pattern of pole reversal at a certain site with well-dated sequence of reversals from the rest of the world. Primate Evolution :
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From 220-65 mya, dinos: one day – Boom. Chicxulub Impact Crater (200 km diameter). At K-T Boundary: before asteroid the earliest mammals were small, nocturnal insectivores (like shrews). After asteroid, 50-70% of all living species went extinct. = adaptive radiation . Huge radiation of placental animals that adapted into the open niches left by the extinct dinosaurs. Our closest living relatives are flying lemurs and tree shrews; then rabbits and rodents. Tree shews and flying lemurs are only found in SE Asia; first rabbits and rodents are found in East Asia.
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Notes for the Final - *Notes for the Final...

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