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Chapter 6

ANTH100 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Ancient Dna, Denisovan, Oldowan

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Robert Park

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Anthro 100 Chapter Six Reading
Key Concepts
-hominin evolution
-how did Homo sapiens evolve?
-culture form the stone age
-anatomy of modern humans
-later stone age
-modern Homo sapien migration
Hominin Evolution
-10 mya close to Miocene epoch = grasslands took over the forests and many hominoids went
-natural selection favoured bipedalism (walking on 2 feet)
-hominins (bipedal hominoids) appear in Africa
-Australopiths - hominins that aren’t Homo (human)
-mosaic evolution - over time, different phenotypic traits, responding to different selection
pressures, evolve at different rates
First Hominins (6-3 mya)
-bipedalism - walking on 2 feet
-upright posture made this possible
-easier to exploit food resources outside of shrinking miocene forests
-upright posture = easier to spot predators
-bipedalism = easier to escape
-energy efficient - increased stamina
-allows less skin to be in contact with the sun
-dentition indicates an omnivore diet
-australoptihs - oldest hominins found in Africa (miocene)
-ardipithecus genus = bipedalism
-Australopithecus afarensis - most early hominins from Laetoli Ethiopia forest (nicknamed the
Afar Depression)
-Lucy fossil is found
-basin like pelvis
-big toe in line with the foot
-femur bends towards knee joint
-allows for bipedalism (support and centre of gravity)
-tree climbing ability
-apes have a diastema (a space in the upper jaw where the canine teeth from the lower jaw fit
when the mouth is closed)
-humans don't have this
-afarensis = small diastema
-u-shape dental arcade
-smaller canines than apes
-bigger molars
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Later Australopiths (3-1.5 mya)
-South and East Africa
-Australopithecus africanus
-small front teeth, large cheek teeth, small face, lightly built
-Paranthropus robustus
-enormous molars, rugged jaws, flat faces
-ate plants
-increased cranial capacity (400-500 cc)
-South Africa = controlled fire and cooked meat
-may have also used digging tools (bone and wood)
-highly dexterous hands
-robustus = flat faces so their large teeth/jaws could chew
-African fossils were recovered from limestone caves
Early Homo (2.4-1.5 mya)
-earth got drier
-increase cranial capacity range (510-750 cc)
-Homo habilus - nicknamed “handy man”
-Homo - the genus for large brained hominins (2 mya and younger)
-thin boned skull, rounder skull, small flat face, less rugged jaw
-brain size increased, but body size was the same
-larger brains were favoured by natural selection
-change in lateral cerebrum
-improved memory and learning abilities
-early pleistocene - several species of Homo in East Africa
-more than one hominin genus coexisted
Homo erectus (1.8-0.3 mya)
-early Homo species dissappear at the end of the pleistocene
-evolved into Homo erectus
-increased cranial capacity (1000 cc)
-coexisted with robust Australopithecus until 0.7 mya
-Homo erectus left Africa and moved into Georgia and Asia
-hairless, naked skin to allow sweating
-probably couldn't use speech yet
-heavy brow ridges
-five-sided cranial profile
-nuchal crest - protuberance at the back of the skull
-smaller molars
-less robust jaw
-reduced sexual dimorphism
-Homo erectus developed the ability to long distance run
-energetics, stabilization (balance) and temperature control
-better ability to scavenge and hunt bigger animals
Homo sapien Evolution
-Homo erectus disappears 0.5 mya
-archaic Homo sapiens in Asia, Africa and Europe
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