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7. Humans and the Environment.docx

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Tracy Prowse

Week 7 Readings 07/03/2013 11:53:00 AM Human and the Environment pg 223-247 Homininds – a classification of primates  different from other primate in form of teeth, jaws and brains  Two types: o Australopithecus  Fossils date over 6M-1M ya o Homo  Earliest members included H. habilis and H. rudolfensis Bipedalism – ability for a mammal to walk on 2 feet Trends in Hominid Evolution  Difficult to track through fossil recors Bipedalism  Related to the foramen magnum – opening in the base of the skull for the passage of the spinal cord ; in quadrupedals, the aperture is located at the back of the skull  Shown through fossils as far as 6M ya  Transportation o allowed for infants to be carried but reduces speed – predators would be given the advantage o Benefits of being able to transport food or offspring is offset by slower speed and less mobility  Provisioning o Food sharing and cooperation produced reproductive strategy that favoured sexual fidelity and long-term relations between male and female  Thermoregulation Models o Bipedalism allowed for fast movements – increased heart rates, sweating (in reaction), less body hair Reduction of the Face, Teeth and Jaws  hominid jaw and teeth allowed for the chewing of an omnivorous diet  robust australopithecines develop large muscles for chewing and large molars Increase in Cranial Capacity  Very little change in cranial size for 2M yr  Homo began to show a steady increase in cranial size  Change in cranial capacity influence physical, social developments – increasing brain size prompted modifications in diet, use of tools, evolution of language and intricacies of social organizations Fossil Evidence The Oldest Species  evolution of first hominid – 6-10M ya  Fullbody fossils include Ethiopia, Somalia, Chad, etc. (mainly eastern African countries) Ardipithecus Ramidus  Oldest hominids found in the Middle Awash area of Somalia  Small stature; ape-like cranium, large canine teeth  Considered a common ancestor of the ape Hominids from Kanapoi and East Turkana  Australopithecus aethiopicus  Homo habilis  Homo erectus  Australopithecus anamensis o fossils found include fragments if teeth, jaw and postcranial o Primitive skull o molars are thick and more analogous Australopithecus Afarensis  between 3 and 4M ya  similar to australop
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