Homo erectus - Lecture notesHomo erectus 11/30/09 Three...

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Lecture notes— Homo erectus 11/30/09 Three major groups of early hominids: 1. Pre-australopiths-earliest and most primitive possible hominids (7.0-4.4 Ma.) 2. Australopiths-diverse forms, some more primitive, others more derived. First definitive hominids. (4.2-1.2 Ma.) 3. Early Homo-the first members of our genus (2.4-1.4 Ma.) Homo erectus Homo erectus are the first hominids to leave Africa Body Size Larger than earlier hominids Average height about 5’6” May have still been quite sexually dimorphic Increased robusticity Human-like limb proportions Brain Size About 700-1,250 cc (Average of 900 cc) H. habilis only averaged between 500-800 cc. Cranial Shape Heavily built Thick cranial bones Large browridges Projecting nuchal crest Long, low braincase Little forehead development Nasal prominence Activity Levels, Thermoregulation •Thermoregulation like humans •Nose sticks out •Follow Allen’s Rule •Human sweating ability •Highly active •Human limb proportions •Long stride, distance walker •Endurance running Morphology of H. erectus Body size dramatically increased compared to earlier hominids Human-like limb proportions Average cranial capacity ca. 900 cc (larger than any other hominid so far) Low braincase, widest point near ear holes Solid shelf of bone (supraorbital torus) above eyes Occipital crest (bar of bone) across back of cranium Teeth smaller than robust australopithecines and even H. habilis Nasal prominence Primates: Big brains = high quality diet 1
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All Homo species had high quality diets Homo erectus Large body and large brain Reduced guts Nutrient dense foods E.g. Meat, nuts (maybe tubers) Reproductive Costs of Big Body and Brain H. erectus gave birth to altricial (needy) young? Support system for reproductive females
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This note was uploaded on 12/05/2011 for the course ANTHRO 102 taught by Professor F during the Spring '11 term at CUNY Queens.

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Homo erectus - Lecture notesHomo erectus 11/30/09 Three...

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