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ANTA01 - Day 5.docx

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Mary Silcox

October 7, 2013 ANTA01 – Day 5 Early hominins and the first tools Homini: the group that includes all those species more closely to Homo sapiens than to any living great ape Some unique human features  Extremely large brain  Anatomical features associated with bipedalism (=walking on two limbs)  Very small canines – third from middle  Relatively flat faces (orthognathic)  Prognathic (face sticks forward)  Ability to modify raw materials into recognizable tool types  Chin  Ability to both learn and invent language Two possible scenarios for human evolution Brain first: the big brain is the most distinctive human feature, and must therefore have been evolving for the longest time  Took the longest to evolve  Early 20 century, thought the brain came first  In Piltdown, Southern England, 1908  Charles Dawson, worked in a gravel pit Piltdown discovered human skulls that were stained dark  Drew interest of Arthur Smith Woodward (Keeper of British museum’s history department)  Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (a preist, a prominent paleontologist) Piltdown I – Brain first  Skull fragments suggested a very large brain  Jaw bone seemed to pertain to something ape like  Suggested something we had something ape like with something with a human sized brain.  Presented in a meeting in 1912  Woodward presented a reconstruction of the skull  Small canine, but not known  In 1913, it was discovered  IT WAS A HOAX  Fluorine dating based on fluorine that is present in ground water  Specimens will accumulate fluorine overtime  A relative dating technique  Skull case had more fluorine than the lower jaw October 7, 2013  A combination of anatomically modern human skull fragments  And a fully modern orangutan jaw  Teeth were so filed down  Broken in 1953 by Weiner et al  Tools had been carved with steel implements  Probable Dawson was involved Martin A.C. Hinton was the possible perpetrator  1996, a case was found in the museum, with specimens stained in the similar way with Piltdown I  The motive: turned down shortly before Piltdown I for a promotion Piltdown II  Skull fragments and a molar Non-primate fossils found  Suggested that Piltdown we were looking at our ancestors Bipedalism first: humans began walking on their hind limbs first, which freed the hands for tool use, leading to brain expansion  Bipedalism opened up opportunities to use hands 3 clusters of early hominins Pre-australopiths (7-4.4 mya) – very old, primitive  e.g., Ardipithecus ramidus (~4.4 mya) Earlier, more primitive australopiths (4.2-3.0 mya) – clearly related to us  e.g., Australopithecus afarensis (3.9 – 3.0 mya) Later, more derived australopiths (2.5-1.0 mya) – not directed ancestors, but closely related to us than any other ape  e.g., Paranthropus (robusts) Ardipithecus ramidus (4.4 mya) “Ardi”  MATERIALS COME FROM 3 METERS WITH TUFF  ARGON-ARGON October 7, 2013  About 4.4 million years old  Comes from Ethiopia  From middle Awash  Very damaged  Discovered in 1995  Published in 2009  Small brain; chimpsized (~300-350 cubic centimeters) compared to humans: 1200-2000; chimps (285-500 cc)  Anteriorly positioned foramen magnum suggest bipedal locomotion  The big hole in the bottom of the skull through which the spinal cord can talk to the brain  Quadrapedal animals has the foramen magnum at the back of the skull  Best bone to determine if a species was bipedal, it is the pelvis  Side-to-side = humans – In humans, the iliac blades of the pelvis face toward the sides  Front-to-back = chimps, they face toward the back  Extension – movement of pushing your leg back at the hip; opening any angle (thumb on butt)  Abduction – moving away from the midline of your body (thumb on side)  We have muscles to support us when we walk called the lesser gluteal muscles to act as abductors  Had an opposable big toe (unlike humans)  Intermediate in terms of canine between a human and a chimp  A perfect combination of a chimpanzee and a common ancestor Australopithecus afarensis (3.9 – 3.0 mya)  “Lucy” (3.18 mya)  Found in 1974, Lucy – The Beatles  Short, laterally oriented iliac blade  Knee angled under the body (femur)  We have an angle in our thigh (knock knee) compared to being straight like a great ape  Can tell by the distal end of the femur  Footprints at Laetoli (Tanzania)  Likely made by Australopithecus afarensis  3.7 million years ago  Big toes are in line with other toes; no opposable toe  Chim
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