ANTHROPOLOGY FINAL REVIEW

ANTHROPOLOGY FINAL REVIEW - aA bB ANTHROPOLOGY FINAL REVIEW...

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B A b a ANTHROPOLOGY FINAL REVIEW EARLY HUMAN EVOLUTION: A. taxonomic position B. ecological context C. timing D. derived traits E. cast of characters (who’s who) A. taxonomic position -most texts differentiate between nonhuman apes (pongids) and human apes (hominids) B. ecological context -during the Miocene (25-7mya) the earth’s climate cooled -polar ice caps and mountain glaciers formed -cooling had multiple effects in Africa: 1. overall decrease in rainfall 2. rainfall became more seasonal 3. forest shrunk 4. woodland and savanna expanded (new niche) C. timing -ape/human divergence can be approx. dated based on amount of genetic difference -divergence time: 7-5mya D. derived traits -habitual bibedalism -larger brains -slower life history -material culture -language -dental differences -all traits DON’T appear at the same time -some traits continue for a while, then reverse E. cast of characters (who’s who) -Pre-Australopithecus 6-4mya -Australopithecines: Australopithecus 4-2mya Parathropus 2.5-1mya -Homo 2mya-present DERIVED TRAITS: -habitual bibedalism -larger brains -slower life history -material culture -language -dental differences habitual bibedalism
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-1 st derived trait in fossil record -recognizable from anatomy of: -skull base -pelvis -knee joint -efficient terrestrial locomotion -cooling -carrying -harvesting from small trees larger brains -increase isn’t steady -not rapid at first -fairly significant increase with transition to genus Homo TAXON BRAIN SIZE Pan species 375 contemp. A. Afarensis 400 (3.5 mya) A. Africanus 440 (2.5mya) H. Ergaster 800 (1.8mya) H. Sapiens 1250 contemp -why larger brains? 1. ecological complexity 2. material culture 3. language 4. social complexity slower life history -various development occur at later ages -life history of Australopithecus is like that of Pan -only with Homo do we first see slower life history -why slower life history? 1. humans were born at a more immature stage 2. more to learn 3. neccessary for maturation of larger brain material culture -no good evidence for stone tools until 2.5mya -why material culture? 1. helpful in exploiting highly patchy resource base of savanna habitat 2. extractive foraging 3. related to the transition to a less vegetarian diet language -difficult to date from fossil record -hemispheric specializations -enlargement of thoracic region of vertebral canal (NOT present in early Homo) CAST OF CHARACTERS: Sahelanthropus (6-7mya) -Chad skull deformed
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-flat face, heavy brow ridges -central foramen -apelike magnum Nuchal (back of skull) -small brain (320-350cc) -U-shaped dental arcade; apelike teeth -reduced canines Orrorin tugenensis (6mya) kenya -femur (thigh bones) suggest bipedality -thick molar enamel -chimp-like incisors, canines, premolars -arm and finger bones=climbing -associated fossils include forest-living, savanna-
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ANTHROPOLOGY FINAL REVIEW - aA bB ANTHROPOLOGY FINAL REVIEW...

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