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Human Antiquity Textbook Notes - Ch. 8

Course Code
Genevieve Dewar

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Chapter 8 – The Emergence of the Human Lineage
Charles Dawson, 1912 – found the missing link in England, Piltdown ..*believed t be earliest human*
- bones that had the mandible of an ape and the brain cranial looked similar to human (pretty large)
the remains were named Eoanthropus “dawn man” - had an ape like jaw and human braincase
later discovered to be fake, it was just the cranium of a modern human and jaw of an orangutan
what kept the belief? Nationalism, it was greatly regarded that the piltdown man was found on
British soil
helped picture an early ancestor, biggest difference b/w ape and human = human's Big brain
- therefore, realized that the most changed part of our anatomy, was the brain, which would have
developed first and had evolved the longest – helped conclude that the missing link should be an
ape with a big head
MISTAKE – this wrong idea, led to not understanding the australopithecine, due to their bipedalism
BUT had ape-like brains(didn't fit with the model that the brain developed first)
brains developed 780,000; bipedalism developed 4million years ago (difference b/w apes + us)
The Early Hominds: Bipedal Primates
1925, first evidence of hominid evolution, Raymond Dart – given a fossil found from a site, Taung
had TWO important differences, 1 the canine teeth, which are usually long and large for apes with
gaps to support them when jaws are shut, were no bigger than those of a human child, 2 the position
of the foramen magnum, the hole was underneath the skull, rather than toward the back, which
showed a upright bipedal posture, than a quadrupedal one
the remains were later named, Taung Baby and classified as a link between apes and humans..called
the Australopithecus africanus, “Southern ape of Africa”, had many apelike traits, but wasn't fully
ready to be classified in the human family
was classified as a primate and instead of as a link(intermediary), was actually a hominid, a bipedal
primate – Australopithecus
Family Hominidae: 4 generas... (bipedal primates)
1. Genus Ardipithecus – the more ape-like hominids
2. Genus Australopithecus–small brained, gracile(slender) hominids w/ a mixed vegetable/ fruit diet
3. Genus Paranthropus – small-brained, robust hominids with a grassland vegetable diet
4. Genus Homo – large brained and omnivorous hominids
*only the last exists, the other three are extinct
Ardipithecus ramidus - “ground ape”, stands for roots, fossil finds were dated 4.4 mya
- considered a hominid because, the foramen magnum is more forward than in apes (evidence of
bipedalism) and because of some of the detailed features of the elbow joint and teeth
- it is the most ape-like hominid ancestor
- the canine teeth is larger, compared to the other teeth, than in later hominids
- believed to have existed close 2 the time when apes + hominids split hence “roots” (species name)
Australopithecus anamensis – 1995
- consisted of ape-like features, like large canine teeth and parallel tooth rows, the root of the canine
is vertical like humans, rather than angled as in apes, the tooth enamel is thicker than in apes or in
Ardipithecus ramidus, more like later hominids
- believed that this species represents all the later hominids

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Australopithecus afarensis - 3.2 million years old, “bipedal apes”
- also known as Lucy, from Ethiopia, found in 1974 by Donald Johanson and his team
- 40% of her skeleton was well preserved and all parts of her body were well represented
- believed to have lived from 3.9 -3 mya
- variation is size, tell us they were very sexually dimorphic
- brain size was about 440ml, close to the avg. for chimps and with the same maximum size of
- had prognathism(the jutting forward of the lower face and jaw area)
- pointy canine teeth and the gaps in the tooth rows – characteristic of apes
- there was a hint of a sagital crest, a ridge of bone along the top of the skull for the attachment
of major chewing muscles – gorillas have the most pronounced, modern humans these
muscles are attached on the side of the the muscle temporalis
Australopithecus bahrelghazalia - found in 1995 by a French team, Chad north-central Africa
- dated at 3.5 -3 mya
- believed to be the second species of hominid living during the time
- indicated that the early hominid species were really widely spread
Searching for the First Hominids
1998 and 1998 in Kenya, dated 3.5 mya..fossils were found
the brain size, some dental features and details of the nasal region are like those of the genus
Australopithecus, but its face appears flat, tall vertically oriented cheek area and shows no
depression behind the brow ridges – a new species and genus was created.. Kenyanthropus
platyops - “flat faced hominid from Kenya”
Ardipithecus kadabba , 2004 “base family ancestor”
- fossil remains were found in the same location as Ard. Ramidus BUT these were older,5.8-5.2mya
- the toe, showed an angle at the joint that indicated the “toe-off” stride as in modern human
walking – showed habitual bidepalism at an early date
- some claim these fossils may be chimpanzee ancestors
Orrorin tugenesis , 2000 – fossil remains found were dated about 5.6 – 6.2 mya
- represent a real modern human ancestor or early hominids – created a new genus and species
- “original man” , was bipedal and had modern human traits, than early hominids
- these fossil finds assert that bipedalism happened 2 million years earlier than the original finds,
but some disagree!
Sahelanthropus tchadensis - “Toumai”
- most recent find, for the “first hominid” found from the TorosMenalla site in northern Chad, fossil
remains that dated 7=6 mya – created a new genus and species
- ape like in its brain size(320-380 ml), had widely spaced eye orbits
- has a great number of characteristics of later hominids, like small canines of a hominid size, shape
and wear pattern, face with reduced prognathism, forward position of the foramen magnum
- this species represents the oldest and most primitive known known member of the hominid clase,
close to the split of chimpanzees and hominids
*bipedalism is first hominid trait to evolve – changes in posture and locomotion – led to the only
changes we see in early hominids- which shows it occurred quickly, meaning it was strongly and
quickly selected for...therefore it was the first adaptation that begun our family or primates
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