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Anthropology 1025F/G
Terry Webb

The Beginning of Human Culture Jan.14 • non-human primates are not miniture images of us ◦ part of the tree in which humans stem from ◦ use them to try and figure out the behaviour of our previous ancestors • comparative method ◦ how we are the same, how we are different ◦ causes of similarities and differences Primate Traits • dentition – enspecialized ◦ hominid dental formula – each quarter of the mouth includes two incisors, one canine, two premolars, three molars • sense organs – arboreal lifestyle encourages emphasis on vision or vinocular vision so that you can just movement, depth etc. • brain – increase in cerebral hemispheres, the areas of conscious thought • skeleton – what are the changes: hands are free, disproportionate arms, no tail ◦ monkeys have nails, not claws ◦ bi-pedalism – can walk on two feet, often don't ◦ apes have opposable thumbs and flexible fingers ◦ shoulder joints provide movement all the way around, clavicle holds arms at side for humans ◦ not born with instinct, but are taught problems with the comparative method • simplify complex behaviour ◦ eg. nurturing females, aggressive males etc. • Biased selection of examples ◦ eg. don't go out looking for examples that only support your hypothesis, over emphasis on males ◦ though there are limitations, the comparative method can shine light on social life ◦ sexually dimorphic, the males are larger and therefore garner more attention • primates are so varied that its not difficult to find one or several examples of almost any point one wishes to make ◦ First Hominins • Ardipithecus ◦ fragmentary remains • bipedal • more chimp like than other hominin • 5.8-4.4mya • sahelanthropus tchadensis ◦ nearly complete cranium ◦ reduced canine • derived traits of a hominin • bipedal?? - not bipedal, then considered hominin Australopithecus • hominidae – family classification • two genera: australopithecus homo Australopithecus • to determine pongid from homonid fossil finds ◦ pongid: a great ape ◦ look for newer traits called derived because older traits might be common to both ape and human ancestors General Characteristics of Australopithecines • bipedalism ◦ only occasionally use it when they see family members/try to make it look larger ◦ savannah environment forced us into an upright posture to monitor surroundings and find resources, mitigates sunlight(release heat better, retain hair to protect hair from being sunburnt) ◦ biped walker can outlast a quadruped runner • sexual dimorphism ◦ larger males, shorter females (men have 12 pints of blood, women have 9) • braincase capacity ◦ raymond darte taung tile ◦ larger brain capacity • jaws and teeth ◦ teeth are very human like ◦ chewing nothing not tearing motion when eating Homo habilis • meat eater ◦ when you eat mea
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