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Lecture

ANT203 - 7 February 2012.pdf


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANT203Y1
Professor
Xueda Song

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Emergence of Homo
Announcements
film available online
test next week (same room/time as last one)
format
2/3 multiple choice
1/3 matching, fill in the blank, definition, maybe identifying the hominin
(from a description)
content (key themes)
locomotion (esp. re: anatomical features and which change along with the
shift from quadrupedalism to bipedalism)
adaptation (esp. re: diet)
relates to cranial features, teeth
anatomical change over time (relative size, proportions, crania)
ex. cranial capacity
facial morphology
dates - ranges (specific dates would relate to specific fossil, e.g. date for
Lucy)
primitive vs. derived traits (human-like vs. ape-like traits)
pattern of human mosaic evolution (major shifts / anatomical change)
ex. locomotion, encephalization
general understanding of interspecies variation (within a given species)
lines of evidence that paleoanthropologists use to reconstruct the lifeways of
a hominin
e.g. dating techniques, taphonomic processes, paleoecology, etc.
chapters 9-12... 9 is less than a quarter (least important)
guest chapter/miocene: only need to know what overlaps between text and
lecture
know where the fossils come from, generally (e.g. South Africa)
have a sense of cranial capacity range (esp. 327, 345; appendix)
See timeline of African Hominins; first Homo around 2 mya
Recall: Four main events in human evolution
arboreal to terrestrial
bipedalism
encephalization
culture / civilization
Changes with Homo (2.5 mya)
Brain size
Body size and proportions
Life history schedule becoming more human-like, esp. in childhood
Subsistence behaviour

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Technological innovation
According to L. Leakey: Homo habilis named because the new genus could be defined by a
difference in behaviour (especially tool making) and accompanying anatomical change
(greater encephalization)
Early Homo (2+ to 1.4 mya)
Homo habilis at Olduvai
1.8 mya
631 squared cm cranial capacity
larger front teeth relative to back teeth and narrower premolars
"handy man" based on suggested toolmaking capabilities
Oldowan tool tradition (as early as 2.6 mya)
basic but shows modification of stones to process things (bones?)
H. Habilis at East Turkana, 1.8 - 1.44 mya
775 cm3 cranial capacity
robust face, large back teeth
possibly lived contemporaneously with australopith species for 1 million
years
some argue that there were two Homo species at 2 mya, though they would share
important trends of increased cranial capacity and reduced masticatory system
H. habilis: smaller-brained hominid with smaller, more primitive post-
cranial features (shorter legs relative to big, robust arms; shoulder and trunk
suggestive of climbing ability; hip joint less suited for bipedalism than later
hominids; hands lacking morphology for precision/power grips; more
flexible feet)
H. rudolfensis: larger-brained hominid (more human-like frontal lobes),
with more "modern" post-crania
Homo erectus
archaeological sites dated from 1.8 mya to ~100 kya (possibly as young as
27-53 kya in Java)
a new "grade" : a grade is a grouping of organisms sharing a similar
adaptive pattern
grade isn't necessarily based on closeness of evolutionary relationship, but it
does contrast organisms in a useful way (e.g. Homo erectus with Homo
sapiens)
a new kind of Hominin
the oldest specimens of H. erectus have been found in East Africa, dated to
approx. 1.8 mya
these new East African hominins used the same stone tools as their
ancestors
they lived in lakeshores, riversides, forests, and grasslands
they scavenged and ate at least some meat, as evidenced by cut-marked bone
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