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BIOL 1001 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Homo Erectus, Survivorship Curve, Maximum Sustainable Yield

Course Code
BIOL 1001
Tamara Kelly
Study Guide

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Final Bio 1001 Learning Objectives
H. Human Evolution
H1. Describe key adaptations that distinguish humans from non-human primates.
Describe hypotheses for the evolution of bipedalism in humans. Describe traits
formerly attributed only to humans that are found in other species.
Characteristics found in primates include
Opposable thumbs: hands that can grasp things
Front facing eyes
Larger brains relative to overall size
Complex social behavior
Extensive parental care
Upright posture
Hypothesis for evolution of bipedalism
1. Change in environment (forest to savannah)
Favoured those who could walk
Less energy to walk on 2 than on 4
2. Ability to grab food high up
Competition for food is very tough and those who were able to reach food on
trees evolved opposable thumbs and bipedalism
Trails that aren’t only in humans!
Ability to use tools and ability to “think”
Complex social behaviour
H2. Explain why humans are more correctly described as “sharing common
ancestry with chimpanzees” rather than the incorrect descended from chimpanzees.
Descended from chimpanzees implies that other paths on the phylogenetic
tree stopped evolving but that’s not true
Both humans and chimpanzees have evolved since divergence between the
two occurred
Our common ancestor isn’t the chimpanzee
H3. Explain and describe the evidence, from both humans and other organisms,
supporting African ancestry of hominids and the pattern of migration of humans
over their evolutionary history, relating evidence to founder events. Describe
evidence of the relationship between H. sapiens and Neanderthals.
All hominid fossils were found in Africa
oAll had large faces, protruding jaws, small skulls and brains and had an
ape like appearance
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Many different homo species lived in the area: ex. Homo habillis, erectus
oAs the population grew the homo erectus was forced out of Africa due to
growing population
oHomo erectus was successful in many different environments
oFrom homo erectus’ success, homo sapiens are descendants from homo
oBecause homo erectus travelled to Europe (founders effect) they removed
a part of the gene pool from Africa and founded a new one
Homo sapiens have: larger brain, rounder skulls and smaller molars
oResources were plentiful and they became specialized to a niche
Evidence besides fossils
oHair lice (tracking co-evolutionary species that evolve with homo sapiens)
oDNA evidence (has a link to something to Africa)
Culturally sophisticated and lived in Europe and western Asia
Separate species from Homo (ex. Homo sapiens)
oProof? Different mitochondrial DNA
oMitochondrial DNA used instead of nuclear DNA because:
o1) only inherited from the mother
o2) doesn’t undergo genetic recombination
o3) high mutation rate serves as a molecular clock
oalso can look at nuclear DNA if we only look at the Y chromosome from
the father
little concrete evidence that they interacted with homo sapiens
homo sapiens were more resourceful than Neanderthals
there was SOME gene flow between modern humans and Neanderthals
ofemale are responsible for gene flow
eventually Neanderthals were out sourced
African Emergence Hypothesis: all modern humans are descended from fairly
recent African ancestor
multiregional hypothesis: due to founder effect different populations (geographic)
of hominids evolved simultaneously
I. Population Ecology
Population Characteristics
geographic range (does not equal to habitat)
opotential range vs. actual range
oenvironment (abiotic vs. biotic)
population size and density
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population dispersion
age structure
generation time
sex ratio
proportion of reproducing individuals
Density vs. Size
density allows you to calculate the accessibility to resources
olow density = more access
ohigh density = decrease reproduction, increase stress, more intraspecific
onumber of individuals in a specified area
population size only tells us the number of individuals
Methods of estimation for population size and density (3 of them)
Direct Count
olarge organisms
odistinguishable in open land
osee them from boats and planes
ooffspring can be hiding behind the parents
ouses quadrants and transects
ocount variety of small areas for a larger area
oaccounts number of small species
odisadvantage: not a natural way of counting because you chose where to
count and isn’t random (convenience and accessibility based on human)
Mark, Release, Recapture
ouses proportional ratios (very useful)
otells us how many grew, died, etc. after initial recapture
odisadvantage: there are assumptions
odisadvantage: usually overestimate/underestimate
o1) how many initially?
o2) how many total were caught
o3) of these caught how many had tags?
o4) Solve for x
1) Direct counts
oonly used when you’re tracking species (in helicopter and counting)
oonly used for larger organisms that are relatively easy to see and
distinguish with other
obut: must have a relatively clear land /open landscape
ooften use boats and airplanes
obut: still might be missing some (elephants can hide between legs or
between 2 adults or even if they’re in the shade it’s harder to count)
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