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ANT100Y1 Study Guide - Meiosis, Pelvic Inlet, Ecological Niche

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Christopher Watts

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Anthropology Term 1 Study Guide Lehman 10-12-07 1:54 AM
Evolutionary Anthropology
Application of modern evolutionary theory to studies of the
morphology, ecology and behaviour of human and non-human
Scientific study of non-human primates
o Primate anatomy, field studies of wild animals, primate
psychology, etc.
Multi-disciplinary study of biological evolution of humans and non-
human primates and advent of and changes in human cultural
Evolutionary history of behaviour in human and non-human
Human Variation
Spatial and temporal variations in human features
o i.e. geographic and climatic variations in body size, skin
colour, and eye colour
Medical Anthropology
The social, environmental, and biological factors influence health
and illness of individuals at the community, regional, national, and
global levels
Forensic Anthropology
Focuses only on skeletal remains of humans
o Forensic anthropologists seek to determine the age, sex,
stature, ancestry, and any trauma or disease of the deceased
Carolus (Carl) Linnaeus
Taxonomic system and binomial nomenclature
o First comprehensive classification system for living things
o Each living thing named separate species
! On basis of physical resemblances, species grouped into
broader categories called genera (sing. Genus)
Binomial nomenclature

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o First letter of genus capitalized: Homo
o Species designation lower case: sapiens
George-Louis Leclerc (Comte de Buffon)
36-volume Histoire Naturelle: described everything known about
natural history
o natural history: the study of animals, plants, and minerals
founded biogeography
o the study of the geographic distribution of organisms
! despite similar environments, different regions have
distinct plants and animals
Jean-Baptist Lamarck
Suggested that individuals lose useless characteristics and develop
useful ones which are passed down to offspring (inheritance of
acquired characteristics)
Among the first to formulate method for origination of new species
through use or disuse of certain characters of an organism
Charles Darwin
Observed incredible variety of living and fossilized creatures on
scientific expedition
Concluded that NO fixity of species and notion on short, thus
catastrophism must be incorrect
Variation Important in Evolution
Physical variety in any population of organisms
If variety provides advantage to certain individuals, then they may
produce more offspring
o Offspring inherit beneficial variation, so they produce more
offspring; variation norm of population (population may
change, perhaps into a completely new and different species)
How Adaptive Change Occurs
Came from Malthus Essay: many more organisms are born than an
possible survive
Darwin: individuals in a species adapt to environment in long-term
adaptations means evolutionary shift in entire population in
response to environmental change

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Darwins Theory on Natural Selection
All extant and extinct species share a common ancestry
Species evolve by natural selection
o A process in nature resulting in survival and perpetuation of
only those forms of life having certain favourable
characteristics that enable them to adapt best to their
Alfred Russell Wallace
Writes to Darwin from Malaysia, describing certain aspects theory of
natural selection that Darwin had been researching for 20 years
His short sketch is far from the massive body of evidence Darwin
had collected, but its ideas were similar
3 Postulates of Darwanian Evolution
1. Struggle for existence: ability of population to expand is infinite,
but environment is always finite
2. Variation in fitness: organisms vary, some individuals possess
traits enabling them to survive and reproduce more successfully
than others in same environment
3. Inheritance of variation: advantageous traits inherited by
offspring will become more common in succeeding variations. Traits
that confer advantages in survival and reproduction retained in
population; disadvantageous traits disappear
Darwins Other Contributions
Avoided implications of general process or directionality
Later works apply evolution to humans and discuss other aspects of
trait variation
Sexual selection: certain evolutionary traits can be explained by
intraspecific (within species) competition
“Survival of the Fittest”
Herbert Spencer
Proclaimed wrongly that a struggle for existence in human society
leads to its evolution
Darwanian Evolution and Inheritances
Weakness: no explanation on how characteristics are inherited
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