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Chapter 11

BIOLOGY 1M03 Chapter 11: Chapter 11

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Department
Biology
Course Code
BIOLOGY 1M03
Professor
Ben Evans

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Chapter11 Tool Use What is a tool? • A physical object rather than an animals own body that is used as a means to extend its physical influence on the environment • Could involve modification od material in the environment • Could be carried or maintained for future use Chimps use tools • Rocks are carefully selected to use for breaking open nuts • Modified sticks to extract termites • Leaves are balled up to make “sponges” for drinking water for small cavities • Sharpened sticks are used for hunting (first evidence of non-human weapon) • Sticks are used to break open bee hives Gorillas use tools • Used sticks to test depth of water • Detached sticks also used for support is swampy areas Orangutans use tools • Modified sticks are used to collect seeds from a fruit with stinging hairs on the outside • Also known to use sticks to measure water depth • Leaves are used to modify the frequency of vocalization (the kiss-squeak) • Leaves were used more by individuals with small body size, and mostly in situation of high stress • Supports the contention that kiss-squeak is indeed a form of communication, as opposed to just an emotional response NWM used tools • Capuchin monkeys are known to use modified sticks to retrieve food and also use rocks to process food Birds: rocks used to crack ostrich eggs by Egyptian vultures; various species drop nuts and mollusks on streets to be cracked by cars Otters: crack abalone shells with rocks Elephants: use branches to swat flies what is the evidence that early hominins developed complex foraging, including tool use? Archeological evidence of food procurement • Early hominins used tools for a variety of tasks (large game butchery) • Wear patterns on bone tools from South Africa indicate that they were use to excavate termite mounds • Taphonomy: study of the processes that produce archaeological sites • Researches evaluate whether concentrations of bones might be evidence of hominin activity or some other cause such as hyenas scavenging • its risky • most large mammalian carnivores practice hunting and scavenging • hominins might have stolen kills from carnivores ex. o hunting: tooth marks on top of cut marks o scavenging: cut marks on top of carnivore tooth marks “first” stone tools • first use of stone preceded the stone tools were modified by humans • this could have included a transition stage where rocks were first shattered before use • first modified stone tools: 2.5—2.6 mya • found in the awash river, Ethiopia, also in tanzinia, kenya, and south Africa Stone Tools • oldowan/mode 1 technology (2.6-1.7 mya) o choppers o hammer stones o core and flakes • not known which hominim is responsible, but could e A. garhi, H. habilis, or H. ergaster • mode 1 technology overlapped with more next technology, maybe because of variation among or within species • hammer stone use to bang a core to obtain flakes from the core • the flake was used as the tool (not the core)  to carve carcus Types of stone tools Oldowan/mode 1: use a hammer to break flakes off of a core Achulean/ mode 2: additional processing, works both sides of the flake Levallois/ mode 3: modifying the core, prepare one side of the core to have really sharp slides o final cut cuts it in half to have very sharp large piece o more complex than mode 2 and 1 Timing of recent hominin fossils Homo ergaster • 1.8-0.6 mya • African and Eurasia • Can be same species as homo erectus found in Indonesia • Ancestral features: narrowing of braincase behind eyes, receding forehead • Derived species: shorter nose, small jaw, large brain, less sexual dimorphism, taller skull • The oldest hominin detected outside of Africa • Made it out of Africa • F
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