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Lecture 2

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McMaster University
Mosey Nicholas J

Anthropology- week 2 th Monday January 13 , 2014 Last week: 4 subfields Cultural Biological Archaeological Linguistic (not in this course) The biocultural perspective: centred on the understanding of biology and culture. Looks at the interaction with the environment Omnivorous diet- we eat everything from vegetation to meat -we use cooking and have intensive food preparation -different preferences and prohibitions on food 6 major classes or nutrients -water -macronutrients (3) -micronutrients (2) Today: PART 1: The primate diet: -diverse type of diet, frugivors (fruit), insectivores (insects), omnivores (everything), and folivores (folio) -chimpanzees do some hunting and eat meat. Reconstructing Hominid Diets -climate and environment as evidence -fossilized teeth- can tell us if they were eating hard or soft foods -bones- examine isotopes to determine what type of plants they were eating -ethnographic analogy- comparing to hunter-gatherer groups today Lucy- Australopithecus afarensis -partial skeleton- 40% of a skeleton -same spinal curvature as humans -were as long as modern humans -she was walking upright, much like us -vegetarian diet Taung Juvenile- Australopithecus africanus -took 4 years to extract it from the rock that it was in -full set of deciduous teeth -believed to be bipedal because the foramen magnum (hole in your head where the spine goes) was in the centre Adult Australopithecus africanus: -these showed that they were indeed bipedal and were close to a human ancestor Gracile -much more rounded, thinner bones Robust -thick bones, thick muscle attachment, thick teeth, etc -hyper-robust: boisei (Australopithecus.paranthropus) -entire face is built towards chewing foods- strong maxilla region, large molars Nutcracker man -tiger nut: edible grass bubs -would have to chew for a long time Homo habilus -increased cranium size and capacity -smaller face in comparison- much more robust -very large incisors, but had reduced canines and premolars -increase in relative brain size, specifically in the area that produces speech Homo Erectus -long and low skull, large teeth, flat frontal bone -upper limbs, lower hips
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