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ANTHROP 1AA3 Lecture Notes - Osteology, Fundamental Interaction, Jane Goodall

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Tracy Prowse

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What is Anthropology? Continued
January 10, 2013
Osteo=bone; ology=study of
-study of the structure and function of the human skeleton
-foundational; understanding this provides us with a basis of understanding the fossil records, looking
skeletons of the past, way our bodies adapt (apply to present)
-central to physical anthropology
Important for understanding:
-changes in fossils
-how we lived in the past
-adaptations in living populations
Example-How do we know if an organism is bipedal (walks on two feet)?
-unique characteristics of humans is that we walk bipedally
Human vs. Great Ape
-hole at the bottom of our skulls foramen magnumwhere the spinal column enters
-in humans this whole is directly under the skull
-in great apes situated more to the back
-humans have a spinal column that is double ‘s’
-shape of pelvis in the human vs. great ape humans have an open basin like pelvis vs. great apes they
have narrow tall pelvises
-leg structure also differs humans are a little bit knock kneed vs. great apes whose legs go straight
If looking for evidence of early humans
-can actually look at the structure of the fossil and imply function
Note: paleontology fossil animals and plants
-people that study human fossils are paleoanthropologists
-when and where do we see the first evidence for humans?
-what are human characteristics? what makes a specific fossil human
Jane Goodall Primatologist, very famous, 1960s went and spent time observing chimps in the wild, she
was very famous for identifying the use of tools in chimps, dispelled the myth of easy-going primates.
-study of nonhuman primates
-social behaviour, communication, infant care, reproduction (looking at living primates)
-understand natural forces that have shaped human evolution and aspects of human behaviour
(=context) because their natural living situation was likely comparable to where we evolved
Human Biology
-don’t just focus on skeletal remains
-also look at living populations; differences, variations
-human growth and development
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