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ANT100Y1Y Outline for BIO Lecture #5
What to “Get” Today
General patterns of morphology for some key fossil hominins.
Main hypotheses on human origins.
How evolutionary anthropologists refute human race concepts.
What forensic anthropology is and how it relates to applied anthropology
Some Key Australopithecines: The First “Real” Hominins
Australopithecus anamensis
Australopithecus afarensis
Australopithecus africanus
Australopithecus aethiopicus
Australopithecus boisei
Australopithecus robustus
Australopithecus anamensis
Kanapoi, Kenya. 4.2–3.9 MYA.
Tooth row is parallel (ape-like).
Partial tibia provides strong evidence for bipedality.
Primitive (ape-like) cranial morphology and a derived (human-like) postcranial morphology.
Australopithecus afarensis
Ethiopia (Hadar, Omo, and Fejej) and Tanzania (Laetoli).
4.2–3.0 MYA. Many specimens.
Complex morphology exhibiting some ape-like traits (e.g., sagittal crests) and hominin-like traits
(e.g., valgus knee).
Single, sexually dimorphic species or two species?
Laetoli Footprints
o3.6 MYA in Laetoli, Tanzania.
oDemonstrate that early hominins were bipedal.
oBig toes hardly diverged from the rest of foot, unlike in chimpanzees.
oGait was "heel-strike" followed by "toe-off"; the way modern humans walk.
Australopithecus africanus
Various sites in South Africa.
3.0–2.3 MYA. Average brain size is 458 cc.
Dental features differ from those in A. afarensis.
Postcranial features similar to those in A. afarensis.
Australopithecus aethiopicus
West Turkana, Kenya.
2.7–2.3 MYA.
Large face, huge zygomatics, large skull crests, and enormous teeth.
Remarkably primitive hominin at such a late date; shows evolution is not linear or positive
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Australopithecus boisei
Olduvai, Tanzania. 2.2–1.2 MYA.
Hyper-robust hominin.
Morphology broadly similar to that seen in A. aethiopicus.
Contemporaneous with members of the genus Homo.
Australopithecus robustus
Swartkrans and Kromdraai, South Africa.
2–1 MYA. Another robust form.
Small anterior teeth and large posterior teeth, which are covered in thick enamel.
Gracile and Robust Forms?
Gracile Australopithecines (thin)
Australopithecus afarensis
Australopithecus africanus
Robust Australopithecines (thick)
Australopithecus boisei
Australopithecus robustus
Australopithecus aethiopicus
Rise of the genus Homo
Earliest evolved in Africa.
Most date 2.4 to 1.8 MYA.
First fossil member of taxon: Homo habilis, which meansHandy man.
Some researchers suggest that H. habilis isjunk taxon” and that there may be two or more
species of Homo by 2.0 MYA.
Species in the Genus Homo
Homo habilis.
Homo rudolfensis.
Homo erectus.
Homo ergaster.
Homo heidelbergensis.
Homo antecessor.
Homo neanderthalensis.
Homo floresiensis.
Homo sapiens.
Homo habilis
From sites in Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia (2.3-1.6 MYA).
Species designation: brain size and association with stone tools.
Skeletal morphology similar to contemporaneous australopithecines.
First species of Homo or junk taxon?
May represent 2 or more different species (H. rudolfensis & H. habilis).
Homo rudolfensis
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Document Summary

 general patterns of morphology for some key fossil hominins.  how evolutionary anthropologists refute human race concepts.  what forensic anthropology is and how it relates to applied anthropology.  partial tibia provides strong evidence for bipedality.  primitive (ape-like) cranial morphology and a derived (human-like) postcranial morphology.  ethiopia (hadar, omo, and fejej) and tanzania (laetoli).  complex morphology exhibiting some ape-like traits (e. g. , sagittal crests) and hominin-like traits.  laetoli footprints: 3. 6 mya in laetoli, tanzania, demonstrate that early hominins were bipedal, big toes hardly diverged from the rest of foot, unlike in chimpanzees, gait was heel-strike followed by toe-off; the way modern humans walk.  dental features differ from those in a. afarensis.  postcranial features similar to those in a. afarensis.  large face, huge zygomatics, large skull crests, and enormous teeth.  remarkably primitive hominin at such a late date; shows evolution is not linear or positive.

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