The Evolution of Man

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Department
Women and Gender Studies
Course
WGS160Y1
Professor
Grant Henderson
Semester
Fall

Description
The Evolution of Man: The Genesis of a Genus - Hominidae family – 2 similar yet different subfamilies: Ponginae and Homininae - Within these 2 subfamilies: 4 distinct genera: - Pan: chimpanzees (pan troglodyte) & bonobo split from each other - Pongo: Bornean orang-utan & Sumatran orang-utan - Gorilla: lowland gorilla, mountain gorilla, etc. ... - Homo: (archaic and modern) humans - Bornean & chimp: extensive ability to fashion tools, use of sticks & stones to attain food (prey) - most/all apes from Old World monkey (25-35mya) - Great apes from Miocene period - Orrorin tugenesis also found in Kenya – Brigitte Senut & Martin Pickford - Most hominim fossils found – Eastern and Southern Africa humans believed to have originated there as well - Great apes split from Hyloblatidae (Gibbon) family, roughly 15-20mya Australopithecus: southern ape - thought to have evolved Africa 4mya - may have laid foundation for Homo genus - Debate on inclusion of A.robustus & A. boisei in the genus - If not, genus name would be: Paranthropus - Were widespread throughout Africa (footprints found dating 3.6 mya) - Molecular clock restraints* Origins: - Ramidus lived approx. 4.4mya – Tim White in Ehiopia, 1992  first hominid to break from Pan genus Australopithecus anamensis: - tree climbers and predecessor to A. afarensis - large tibia bones also indicated it walked upright - Lived approx. 3.9-4.3 mya - 21 fossils found in total - Major fossil finds: Lake Turkana, Kenya (late 1900’s-21 century)t nd 2 major find – Australopithecus Afarensis: - lived: b/w 2.9-3.9 mya - Found: Donald Johnson 1973 - Fossils showed – smaller teeth than apes, but larger than modern humans - Leg & pelvic bone suggest bipedalism - Loss of abductable big toe –difficulty grasping
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