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25TH FEBRUARY Class Notes- 7/ Emergence of the genus Homo.docx

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ARCH 131
Dennis Sandgathe

1 th ARCH 131- 25 February, Lecture 1 Australopithecus afarensis • 3.7-2.9 mya • East African species • 415 cc average brain size • Typical Ape characteristics • Canine diastema- unique feature. Upper canine fits in this space in the lower jaw, (carnivores have this- cats and dogs) • Last specie to have this characteristics of diastema before humans evolved • afarensis’s femur bone is similar to human species than chimpanzee’s (who have a narrower femur neck. • Footprints, dating to ~3.7 mya ð Laetoli footprints ð Obligate bipedalism ð Similar to modern humans 2 “Lucy” • 3.2 mya • Partial skeleton • Found in 1974 • Hadar, Ethiopia “Selam” • 3.3 mya • Mostly complete skeleton • 3 year old female child • From Hadar region • Discovered in 2000 ð Afrensis spent a lot of time on the land for foraging. To hunt, they would stay on the ground, but when the predator showed up, they would go up the trees to avoid being eaten up or attacked Conclusions- 1) Modern looking bodies- modern hands 2) Bodies slightly proportioned than us 3) No idea about the hair (no evidence) 4) Less hairy than the chimpanzees 5) Not our straight ancestors, there are some species between them and us, but no definite proof found therefore, there might be a chance. 3 Australopithecus africanus • South African versions of afarensis • Taller • 440 cc brain size- larger than afarensis • Body size smaller than afarensis, but bigger brains • Hip bone flares out than the chimpanzee • Much more similar pelvis bone than ours than chimpanzee • Very much similar to afarensis, not much difference Fossils- 1) Taung Child • Raymon Dart 2) “Mrs. Ples” • 435 cm - largest skeleton found • Zygomatic arch (cheek bone) pushed forward • Large nasal aperature Afarensis and africanus are not separate species, but rather subspecies. Africanus is older than afarensis. 4 Australopithecus sediba • South African Species, Malapa • ~1.95-1.98 mya • Height of a 8-9 years old modern human boy • Much more recent than afarensis or africanus Paranthropus aethiopicus 5 • ~2.5 mya • The “Black skull”- presence of manganese in it which turn it in black colo
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