ANTHR101 Study Guide - Final Guide: Orrorin, Sahelanthropus, Dual Inheritance Theory
SchoolUniversity of Alberta
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Cultural anthro must be based on cultural relativism. Includes enthnography (firsthand observations of a
culture) & ethnolinguistics.
Principals of Darwinism: overproduction of offspring, variation within a species, so individuals with
favourable characteristics are more likely to survive than others. Reproduction of the fittest, inheritance of
desirable traits, creation of new species.
Darwinian evidence: domestication/artificial selection of plants and animals; geographic distribution of
life forms (isolation ex. Galapagos); geological/paleontological evidence; comparative anatomy; vestigial
A trait must be inherited to have importance in natural selection, cannot occur without variation, fitness is
a relative measure determined by the environment and = differential reproductive success. Darwin didn’t
know about intraspecific variation (genes).
Macro/micro evolution refer to amount of time involved. Adaptations are phenotypic/genotypic.
Acclimatization is a thing.
3 types nat. select.
Directional: linear pattern of change to a physical trait over time (ex. increase in average size)
Stabilizing: Selection away from the extremes of a continuum (ex. not too big, not too small)
Disruptive: Selection towards extremes (ex. male and female)
Speciation: anagenesis – when one species gradually evolves into another one (gradualism) OR
cladogenesis – when one species branches into two or more, with the original species potentially still
Mapping biodiversity: human populations vary in FREQUENCY of alleles, not in the presence or absence
of them. Alleles can be discrete or continuous. Mapping allele frequencies generally produces clines
(gradual changes in frequency of pheno/genotypes over geographical region).
Problems with classifying human diversity: biologically all humans are too similar due to
historical interbreeding to be categorized according to anything. Also any method of classification is
dynamic – will shift with each generation. More genetic variation WITHIN groups than between them.
Biological characteristics not linked with abilities or behaviors.
Primatology: studied in anthropology b/c common ancestry, common physical/behavioral traits.
Senses: limited sense of smell b/c reduced snout, less reliant on smell; binocular COLOUR
vision; tactile pads & dermal ridges on hands and feet for greater prehensility with pentadactility.
Generalized dental pattern 2-1-2-3 or 2-1-3-3 shows omnivorous diet.
One of the mammals that never lost the clavicle (as opposed to cats dogs etc). large brain to body ratio.
Erect upper body. Diversity of modes of locomotion ex. vertical clinging and leaping, brachiation,
knuckle-walking, quadrupedal, bipedal. Loooooong gestation period & period of infancy (k-selected).
VARIETY of geographical/ecological/temporal niches.
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3 hypotheses of origins of primate patterns:
grouping patterns b/c food, safety, alloparenting ; group size limited by optimal foraging strategy (diet),
dispersal of food, individual needs.
Socioecology – study of relationship between ecological factors & social behavior
Nocturnal primates are physically small, live individually or in v. small family groups
Diurnal primates physically bigger OR bigger groups
Arboreal species small groups/physical size
Terrestrial species bigger groups/physical size
Sexual dimorphism: monogamous species tend to be monomorphic in body & canine size. Species living
in 1 male/multi female groups tend to have more extreme sexual dimorphism than species w/ multi-
male/multi-female species. Controlled by female diet (distance foraged).
Primate brain size
ecological hypothesis – spatial memory/food processing/tool use – brain size relative to body size
& correlates w/ complexity of diet
social hypothesis – alliances/rank/tactical deception/strategy/culture – brain size relates to
complexity of social life
Archeology: to recover, describe & preserve sites or artifacts. Reconstruct life pathways, describe cultural
history of an area & understand processes of cultural evolution. Find locations either surface survey
(artifacts) or aerial photos (soil/crop marks). Non-intrusive methods (radar). Excavation: grid system
In the field Time period analysis: faunal analysis, palynology, fluorine method, varves=lake mud deposits
Absolute/chronometric dating methods (in the lab):
carbon dating (usually 14, sometimes 12) half-life 5730 years, only for previously living things –
cannot date most objects. only precise up to 40 000 years ago, only useful up to 70 000 years ago. Thanks
to industrialization/pollution, ratio of carbon 14 in the atmosphere is no longer constant, so future
archeologists are fucked.
Potassium-argon dating half-life 1.3 billion years – only used to date volcanic rock layers,
minimum 500 000 years, max 3 billion.
Dendrochronology (tree rings), calendrical dating, thermo luminescence, uranium series dating.
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