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Chapter 12

Chapter 12 How Humans Evolved - Bio 1M03.docx

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James S Quinn

Bio 1M03 How Humans Evolved Part 3: The History Of The Human Lineage Chapter 12: Oldowan Toolmakers and the Origin of Human Life History “First” Stone Tools  First use of stone obviously preceded the first stone tools that were clearly modified by humans  This could have included a transition stage where rocks were first shattered before use  First stone tools that were clearly modified date to ~2.5-2.6 mya  Earliest tools found in the Awash River basin of Ethiopia  Other tools have been found around this time in Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa  Stone Tools o Oldowan/Mode 1 Technology  Choppers  Hammer Stones  Core and Flakes o Unknown which hominin was responsible but could be A. garhi, H. habilis, H. ergaster o Oldowan/Mode 1 technology was the only stone tool technology from ~2.6-1.7 mya o This “Mode 1” technology overlapped in time with the next technology, maybe because of variation among or within species o Hammer stone used to band a “core” stone to obtain flakes from the core o Some people think the “cores” were the tool but most now think that the flakes were the tool Complex Foraging Shapes Human Life History  Three types of foraging (in increasing difficulty) o Collection (eg/ ripe fruit) o Extraction (eg/ termites, coconuts) o Hunting (eg/ baby monkeys)  Efficient extraction and hunting requires practice  Humans and chimps expend different degrees of effort on different types of foraging – humans greatly depend on hunted foods  Hunting and extractive foraging lead to o Food sharing Bio 1M03 o Division of labour, usually by sex o Food flow among different ages and genders  Hunting requires learning o Peak ability for one hunter-gatherer society (Ache in Paraguay) was age 35 o Same is true of extraction of tubers by women of Hiwi tribe of Venezuela  Men usually take primary responsibility for hunting  Women usually take primary responsibility for extraction (more compatible with child are)  Some produce more than they consume, others consume more than they produce  Men become self-sufficient around the age of 17  Women do not produce enough to feed themselves until they are in their late 40s  Self sufficient food production only achieved in adults  System only works if food is shared  Complex foraging methods could have been contributed to or benefited from the evolution of o Larger brains (for learning) o Prolonged juvenile dependence (care supported by high nutrition content of meat and sharing; longer period for skill development) o Longer life spans (better nutrition)  Sharing and Cooperating o Success at hunting is unpredictable o Success at hunting often yields too much food for one individual o Nutritional benefits from a diverse diet Bio 1M03 o Food is relatively easy to transport back to a “home base” o Specialization on hunting or extraction increases efficiency o Food sharing has been observed in many other animals including primates, bats, insects, birds and cetaceans o Can occur among non-kin individuals, creating an interesting evolutionary situation  Vampire bats regurgitate food for other non-kin members of their group to avoid starvation; may involve recognition and reciprocity  Some species may exchange food for sex o In some cannibalistic insect species the male may provision food to the female before copulation o Prisoner’s dilemma – two prisoners being questions in isolation  Consequences of “ratting out” their friend:
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