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humans and environment.docx

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Tracy Prowse

humans and environment 11/20/2012 9:38:00 AM Paleoanthropology- the study of fossil humans and their ancestors The study of fossil humans When and Where did the first humans Appear? Fragment of a hominid fossil Perspective from the scientific method Hominid: humans and their ancestors, identify humans like us Multidisciplinary- experts from various scientific disciplines Physical sciences eg geology; biological sciences; and social sciences What are fossils? Organic material (eg bone) Is replaced by minerals from surrounding soil What are the earliest fossils found? Ardipithecuss ramidus (5.8-5.2 mya) Etheopia, walking on two feet, bipedalism: ability to walk on two feet We are the only createrst that walk bipedaly What does a hominid look like? Small font teeth and large molars Bipedalism and associated abotomical adaptations Manual dexterity Australopithecus afarensis (4 mya) Lucy vs modern female She was bipedal Laetoli – footprints- found in Tanzania (1978) Major Features of Bipedalism 1. position of foramen magnum (neck is more at the back of the skull) 2. hominid spine has distinctive curves (s shape) 3. shape of the pelvis- broad and low 4. length of lower limbs 5. structure of femur and knee 6. shape and structure of the foot (arch) why did Bipedalism Develop?  tool-use?  NO- earliest tools date to 2.5 mya  Efficient scavenging? Gathering food and scavenged dead animals  Bipedalism is much more energy efficient  Energetic cost vs body mass, results: humans were more energy efficient that’s why bipedalism developed  Predator avoidance?  Sexual division of labour (man the hunter)?  Provisioning: food sharing and carrying  Enhanced heat loss (bipedal gets hit by the sun less) The australopithecines (3-1 mya)  Genus – australopithecus  Many different species recognized  Found exclusively in Easy and South Africa (so far….)  Clearly bipedal  Relatively small brains  Large teeth (esp molars)  Mosaic evolutions  Diverse species in east and south Africa  Australopithecus boisei  2.3-1.2 mya  brain size 510cc  features on skull adapted for chewing tough foods  became extinct 1 million years ago   earliest evidence for genus homo?  2.5 – 1.8 mya Models for origins of modern humans 11/20/2012 9:38:00 AM Neanderthal Features Anterior tooth wear- use teeth as tools Neanderthal tool technology Tools about 8 cm big Retouching on edges of the refined tool How closely related are we? Debate has gone back and forth Analyzed dna from the tooth of Neanderthals indicated that the Neanderthals were more related to each other then to modern day humans They had a evolutionary offshoot and did not contribute anything to modern humans Relationship of Neanderthals and modern humans Most humans have a little Neanderthal in them 60% of Neanderthal genome sequenced 1-4% of nuclear DNA is shared were coexisting and there was some in breading Main Points All models support the idea that our origins lie in Africa Debates center on timing and process New DNA evidence suggests that modern humans have a nit of
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