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PALec10 - The Genus Homo Lecture 10 Background By the...

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The Genus Homo Lecture 10
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Background By the beginning of the Pliocene (3 mya) substantial ice sheets had formed at the north and south poles. This was part of a general cooling and drying of the earth. During this period many animals species went extinct and many new one appeared. This was the case with primates as well, including hominids.
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Background 2 For hominids, there appears to have been strong selective pressures for intelligence and general adaptability (both in the biological and cultural realms. This period sets the stage for the later rise of later highly intelligent, mobile, and socially complex hominid species.
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Earliest Homo Discoveries In the 1960s, Louis and Mary Leaky discovered at Oldulvai Gorge in Tanzania remains of a 2.5 mya hominid. It later would be called Homo habilis (“Handy Man”)[2.5-1.4 mya?]
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Homo habilis Finds
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Early Homo (Compared to Australopithecines) Larger, more rounded braincase (larger brain). Smaller, less jutting face. Smaller teeth. More efficient in their bipedalism. Eventually larger in overall size. Eventually more intelligent.
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Early Bipedalism?
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Homo habilis?
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Homo habilis?
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Homo habilis?
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Notes on Early Homo Fossils There is great differences in size within the members of the Homo habilis classification. Some researches believe there are two species: Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis . Others see this as an example of extreme sexual dimorphism.
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Evolutionary Tree
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Early Homo and Tool Use Stone tools start appearing in the archaeological record around 2.5 mya . These first stone tool are called the Oldowan Industry . This seems to coincide with the rise of Homo habilis (and Homo rudolfensis ) Australopithecines may have made stone tools, but the first established use is with the early members of the genus homo.
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Oldowan Tools
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Oldowan Tools (Close Up)
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Oldowan Tools (Regional Variation)
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Early Tool Industries?
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