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Lecture 5

EVOL ANTH Lecture 5.docx Oct 18th.docx

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Shawn Lehman

EVOL ANTH Lecture 5: Human Evolution October 18 th Some key Australopithecines: The first “real” hominins - Australopithecus anamensis - Australopithecus afarensis - Australopithecus africanus - Australopithecus aethiopicus - Australopithecus boisei - Australopithecus robustus - Australopithecus sediba 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 - First of these changes were in the hips and movement toward bipedalism not towards having a large brain 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? - Fossil records indicate it lived for over a million years - Grew up in extreme hostile conditions Australopithecus afarensis, cont’d Laetoli Footprints - 3.6 MYA in laetoli, Tanzania - Demonstrate that early hominins were bipedal - Big toes hardly diverged from the rest of the foot, unlike in chimpanzees - Gait was “heel-strike” followed by “toe-off”; the way modern humans walk Recent A. afarensis Discovery - Selman (peace): fossilized skull and skeletal remains of 3 years old, female. Dated to 3.2 MYA - Hyoid bone: typical ape morphology - Foot and lower limb remains: bipedal locomotion - Scapula and hand bones: gorilla-like scapula and long and curved manual phalanges indicate importance of arboreal behaviour 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 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 Gracile and Robust forms? Gracile Australopithecines - Australopithecus afarensis - Australopithecus africannus Robust Australopithecines - Australopithecus boisei - Australopithecus robustus - Australopithecus aethiopicus Australopithecus sediba - Malapa, South Africa - 1.98 MYA - Initial discovery by 9 years old son of researcher - Juvvenile male (MH1) and adult female (MH2) remains - Very controversial! Australopithecus sediba - Brain: human-like in shape, yet < brain volumes in Homo - Hand: good for tree-climbing, and long thumb and short fingers (precision gripping) - Pelvis: more human-like than ape-like - Conclusion: unique form of upright walking, not quite like that of humans, along with some degree of tree climbing 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 means “handy man” - Some researchers suggest that H. habilis is “junk taxon” and that there may be two or more species of Homo by 2.0 MYA Species in the Genus Homo Homo habilis - Fr
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