Anthropology #11 - Anthropology-Lecture 11 Some key...

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Anthropology-Lecture 11: Some key Australopithecines: The first “real” Hominins Australopithecus anamensis Kanapoi, Kenya 4.2-3.9 MYA Tooth row is parallel (ape-like)- in humans teeth are parabolic (curves) Partial tibia (shin-bone) provides strong evidence for bipedality NOT missing links NO such thing as “missing link” (just branches on a tree of life) Australopithecus afarensis 4.2-3 (MYA)- long lived species Many specimens found Complex morphology exhibiting some ape-like traits (e.g. sagittal crests) & hominin-like traits (e.g. valgus knee) o Powerful muscles powerful jaw/bite Fascinating transitional process Were very intelligent Single, sexually dimorphic species or two species? Laetoli Footprints o 3.6 MYA in Laetoli, Tanzania o Demonstrate that early were bipedal o Big toes hardly diverged from the rest of foot, unlike in chimpanzees o Gait was “heel-strike” followed by “toe-off”; the way modern humans walk Australopithecus africanus Various sites in South Africa 3-2.3 MYA Avg. brain size is 458 cc size of chimp brain (not too big) Dental features differ from those in A. afarensis ( more human like) Postcranial features similar to those in A. afarensis Australopithecus aethiopicus West Turkana, Kenya 2.7-2.3 MYA strong! More ape-like than hominin-like Evolution isn’t linear things are evolving (Natural Selection) Remarkably primitive hominin at such a late date Australopithecus boisei Olduvai, Tansania 2.2-1.2 MYA “Hyper-robust” hominin Morphology broadly similar to that seen in A. aethiopicus Huge teeth Found in the same time periods with our spiees (homo) Controversial: who was producing stone tools (us or them?) Contemporaneous with members of the genus Homo Australopithecus robustus
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2-1 MYA Antoher robust form Thick enamel eating something hard Thick anamel human like trait in our Homo tree Gracile Austrolopithecoines A. afarensis A. africanus Robust Astro A. boisei A. robustus A. aethiopicus Rise of the genus Homo Earliest evolved in Africa Most date 2.4 to 1.8 MYA First fossil member of taxon: Homo habilis meaning “Handy man” Some researchers suggest that H. habilis is “junk taxon” & that there may be two or more species of
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Anthropology #11 - Anthropology-Lecture 11 Some key...

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