EEB 2202 Study Guide - Comprehensive Midterm Guide: Anatomically Modern Human, Homo Heidelbergensis, Homo Erectus

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EEB 2202
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Biological Evolution
Evolutionary History
o Human ancestors
o Primates, hominoids and hominins
Humans belong to the order primates
o Includes lemurs, monkeys and apes, these are humans
evolutionary relatives
Apes and humans = hominoids
Evolutionary history
o Origins and spread of modern humans
o Human ancestors
Anatomically modern humans appeared about 200,000 years ago
Two competing hypothesis for spread:
o “Out of Africa” hypothesis
o “Multiregional” hypothesis
Basic human genetic principles
o Phenotypic variation
Variation among humans that we see in populations from
different parts of the world
o Genotypic variation
Variation in genes contained in DNA
o Many human traits have complex genetic control
Primates, Hominoids & Hominins
o Phylogenetic trees
Hypothesis about evolutionary relatedness between
populations or individuals within a species
o Taxon= species
o Tell us which species are most closely related to each other
o Tell us common ancestors
o Branching patterns reflect hypothesized ancestor-descendent
relations
How to Build a Phylogenetic Tree
o Any characteristic can be used to build a phylogenetic tree
Height, fur color, number of digits, protein structure, DNA
sequence
o Want phylogeny to reflect genetic relatedness so we use traits that
contain as much genetic information as possible
o Majority of phylogenic trees use some kind of molecular sequence
data, nucleotides of DNA or RNA, amino acids
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o Distance in some trees are proportional to relatedness, in others
distances are proportional to time
o Mutations can cause evolutionary distances to increase with time
since last common ancestor
o Mutations accumulate at steady rate
Evolutionary Context
o Order primates
o The order primates
Lemurs, moneys and apes
o Hominoids
Gibbons, great apes, humans
o Humans and their ancestors are the hominins
Bipedal apes that arose ~6 mya
o Include australopithecines and Homo
Genus Homo
o Brain size increase, tool use, hunting, fire
o A species of Australopithecus likely gave rise to the genus
o There were several species each of Homo and Australopithecus
o Increased brain size, better adapted for walking
Origins and Spread of Modern Humans
o Modern vs. archaic humans
o ~200,000 years ago
o Their ancestors are referred to as Homo heidelbergensis not
Neanderthals
o Key features of homo sapiens is that it has an overall smaller
cranium size but higher ratio of brain: body size
o Brain: Body ratio is important indicator for capacity for complex
thinking
Phenotype of Modern Humans
o Small, separate brow rides
o Well rounded skull
o Vertical forehead
o Smaller face with chin present
Evolution of Culture
o Culture is behavior that is shared, socially transmitted or learned
o Humans have intensified cultural transmission through teaching,
passing information along culturally rather than just genetically
o Tools, harpoons, flutes, knives
Relationship between Biological and Cultural Evolution
o Interconnected
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