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Lecture 17

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ANTH 203
Michael Bisson

Early Hominin Phylogeny Lumpers vs Splitters Debate There are theoretically, between 9 and 30 hominin species are expected in the 4.5 million years from 6.5-2 MYA Large mammal species have a time duration between 300,000 to 1 million years Two major lineages Robust lineage of specialized vegetarians Gracile lineage of omnivores Most problems found here Retained part of "primitive" ape-like dental pattern which included Wide, sharp incisors for cutting, and premolars with two strong pointed cusps design to break things Evidence of a wider variety of dietary items than the robust Possibly meat Unusual posture of A. africanus suggest that bipedalism may have evolved later in South Africa Major research questions How much diversity is there within the very earliest hominins? When did the gracile and robust lines diverge? Lumpers see earlier branching, but less branching within the lineages How many branches are
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