ANHB1102 Final: ANHB1102 EXAM NOTES: Human Ecology

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TOPIC FOURTEEN: Human Ecology
Human Ecology:
Ecology can be defined as the relation of an organism to its environment, the
study of factors determining the numbers and distribution of organisms.
Human ecology, therefore, is the inter-relationship between humans and their
environment, taken in an evolutionary context. Human ecology is comprised of
Biological ecology how the environment has shaped our biology
Evolutionary ecology evolution of behaviour and morphology relative to
the environment
Cultural ecology environmental sharing of socially transmitted
information, like social and political structures
Ecology and Adaptation:
As organisms, humans are trying to survive and reproduce. To be able to do this,
we need food and water, shelter and mates. However, our hostile, changing
environment with competitors is making this hard. In order to be able to survive
and reproduce, humans need to adapt their behaviour and morphology.
Types and Examples of Genetic Adaptation:
There are four types of genetic adaptations:
1. Species-wide traits
2. Population specific traits
3. Acclimatization
4. Acclimation
Species-Wide Traits
Species-wide traits are the oldest types of genetic adaptations. The biggest
example of species-wide traits separating humans from other species is our
upright posture, and later, our enlarged brains. These adaptations have allowed
humans to increase their fitness.
Population Specific Traits
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Document Summary

Ecology can be defined as the relation of an organism to its environment, the study of factors determining the numbers and distribution of organisms. Human ecology, therefore, is the inter-relationship between humans and their environment, taken in an evolutionary context. As organisms, humans are trying to survive and reproduce. To be able to do this, we need food and water, shelter and mates. However, our hostile, changing environment with competitors is making this hard. In order to be able to survive and reproduce, humans need to adapt their behaviour and morphology. There are four types of genetic adaptations: species-wide traits, population specific traits, acclimatization, acclimation. Species-wide traits are the oldest types of genetic adaptations. The biggest example of species-wide traits separating humans from other species is our upright posture, and later, our enlarged brains. These adaptations have allowed humans to increase their fitness.

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