14-31 - • Bipedalism – the main characteristic that...

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Anthropology lectures 1.4.09 Bipedalism How do we become human? What to look for first? Head or feet? Late 19 th and early 20 th century Head first hypothesis Time of belief that Europeans are the dominant race Colonialism Darwin suggested in “the descent of man” that early human probably had a large brain and an ape-like face and jaw Focus on looking for the “missing link” in “civilized” places like Europe or Asia “Taung Child” Found by Raymond Dart in South Africa First Australopithecus to be found Features of both apes and humans o Small brain (apes) o Bipedal (human) “Eoanthropus dawsoni” Fitted better in the prevailing world-view of the time 1910, Piltdown in Sussex, England Charles Dawson Feature of both ape and human o Jaw (ape) o Large cranium (human) 1953 discovered to be a hoax Final verdict?
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Feet first – bipedalsim Bipedalism= the mode of locomotion that involves only two hind legs
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Unformatted text preview: • Bipedalism – the main characteristic that separates hominids from other primates What to look for? • Evidence for bipedalism o Fossil evidence Changes observable throughout the skeletal structure Head – foramen magnum located more towards the center of the skull in bipeds Spine – spinal column curved in bipeds and arched in other primates • Center of gravity Pelvis – pelvis of bipeds wider and doesn’t follow the spinal column Legs • Femur angles in in bipeds • Asymmetrical knee joints • Heel bone more robust • Foot stable and arched • No opposable big toe • Shorter toes (on average) o 2 types of evidence Bones Footprints The earliest bipeds? • Ahelanthropus tchadensis • C. 7 mya • Orrorin tugenensis • C. 6 mya...
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