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7_1 Emergence of the Genus Homo_lecture script.pdf

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Simon Fraser University
ARCH 131
Dennis Sandgathe

UNIT 7EMERGENCE OF THE GENUS HOMO Slide 1 Title slide Slide 2 The genus Homo is the genus to which we modern humans belong Getting to this point in our evolutionary history means we are talking about hominin species that its difficult not to call human like us Slide 3 Which fossil hominins researchers decide to include in the genus Homo is a particularly important decision since the implication is that they think these are on our own direct evolutionary line While most researchers tend to agree with the taxonomic decisions made on this so far we still dont really have a good idea of where the Homo line really originates Most researchers seem to feel that an ancestry in the Australopithecine line is a plausible one but there is certainly not a consensus on this There are currently at least two very early species of that most researchers assign to the genus Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis Both species appearance dates prior to 20 myr Slide 4 bilis means handy man a name that stems from the Homo hathinking that this species may have been the first to begin making stone tools Since H habilis fossils date to between 25 and 20 million year ago their appearance seems to correspond closely with the oldest stone tools found so far H habilis is a wellknown but poorly defined species The initial specimen OH 7 was discovered in 1960 by the Leakey team in Olduvai Gorge Tanzania This specimen and its designation was the subject of a lot of controversy throughout the 1970s Many researchers of the time did not fully accept that the material was
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