Anthro (got 94% in the course)

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Louisiana State University
ANTH 2050

PeoplingtheAmericas01232013The evolution of our primate ancestors is most relevant during the oMiocene 2325 myaoPliocene 5325 myaoPleistocene 25 mya12 kya oHolocene 12 kyaRemember climate and vegetation determineinfluence how animals live and evolve99 of hominids lived in a different environment than we do todayThere are several geological epochs during which global climate fluctuatedWe will mainly look at Pliocene and Pleistocene from hominin evolutionThe cradle of humanity AfricaEast African RiftExtend over 6000 kmNarrow zone where African plate is in the process of splitting into two new plates Nubian and Somalian sub platesThree main characteristics important for early homin sitesoTrough that fills up with sediments thus preserving potential sitesoTectonically activelots of erosionoVolcanically activelevels of volcanic ash that can be used to date sitesOur family treeFossil record very scant between 104 myaCa 56 myatime when homin lineage diverge from lineage comprising chimpanzeesTwo possible earlier ancestors Sahelanthropus Tchadensis and Ardipithecus ramidusSahelanthropus t chadensis7myaStill debated whether or not it lived before or after human chimp divergenceDiscovered in 2001Chad AfricaCranium known as Toumai hope of lifeIs it a true HOMININ or just another HOMINIDWas it bipedalCommon ancestor of human and chimpanzeesRelated to both but ancestor of neitherAripithecus ramidus Discovered in 1993 in Ethiopia 5myaHuman or chimpanzee sideTim White discovered the first A ramidus fossils seventeen fragments including skull mandible teeth and armbonesBipedalMore fragments were recovered in 1994 amounting to 45 of the total skeleton oCranial capacity 350400 same as chimpoHad an opposable big toe for climbing in treesoBut was bipedaloHands and limbs are not suggestive of being a quadrupedsoDoesnt have large canines like other great apesAustralopithecines great apes of the southEarliest wellknown homininsEmerged around 4myaPersisted until 25 myaSouth and east AfricaSix known speciesMost common are A afarensis and A africanus Australopithecines featuresoUpright position
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