final chapter notes - Chapter12:FromHomininToHomo 19:44

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Chapter 12: From Hominin To Homo 19:44 Hominins of the Lower Pleistocene: Homo Ergaster The Pleistocene epoch began 1.8 mya and saw a cooling of the world’s  climate Homo ergaster appears in the African fossil record about 1.8 my and  disappears about .6 mya o Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, S. Africa o Associate with Oldowan tools Morpohology o Skulls of Homo ergaster differ from earlier hominins and modern humans Hominin traits: narrowing behind eyes, receding forehead, no chin Derived features: shorter face, taller skull, smaller jaw and post-canine  teeth, reduction in number of roots on upper premolars Also has derived features not seen in hominins or early humans Derived features related to diet – tearing, biting, less heavy chewing  with molars, larger browridges Drier environment – downward facing nostrils, projecting nose Larger brain than earlier hominins o Postcranial skeleton of Homo ergaster is more similar to modern humans  that earlier hominins, but still differs KNM-WT 15000 – 12 year old boy Homo ergaster Long legs, narrow hips, narrow shoulders, barrel shaped chest,  short arms   terrestrial life Tall but robust and heavily muscled Reduced sexual dimorphism No spoken language Committed to life on the ground, could run for long distances
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o May have developed more slowly than early hominins, but more rapidly  than modern humans Tools and Substinence o Homo ergaster made fancier tools than earlier hominins New types of stone tools called  bifaces Hand ax – shaped like a tear drop with a sharp point at narrow end Cleaver – lozenge shaped biface with a flat sharp edge on one end Pick – thicker, more triangular bi face Larger than Oldowan tools Mode 2 Technology Called the Acheulean industry Seems like tools were made with specific design in mind o Hand axes were probably used to butcher large animals Possible uses: Butchering Digging up tubers, animals, water Stripping bark from frees Hurling at prey Dispensing flake tools Evidence for butchery use: Best suited to butchery because cuts through meat, separates joint,  secure handle, large size for long kutting edge and weight  necessary Wear patterns consistent with animal butchery
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Evidence of flake dispensers Elephant remains in Kenya o Acheulean industry remained remarkably unchanged for almost 1 million  years o A number of lines of evidence suggest H. ergaster at meat regularly Skeleton poisoned by vitamin A most likely from the liver of large 
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This note was uploaded on 02/02/2011 for the course ANTHRBIO 161 taught by Professor Mitani during the Fall '08 term at University of Michigan.

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final chapter notes - Chapter12:FromHomininToHomo 19:44

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