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Chapter 13

Chapter 13

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Michael Schillaci

Chapter 13: Homo sapiens and the Evolution of Modern Human Behaviour Modern looking humans evolved in Africa between 200-100 kya and then migrated from Africa about 60 kya and eventually spread throughout the world Anatomically modern people inhabiting Africa 100 kya still lived much like the more robust hominins in Europe and Asia One view: 60 kya, important cognitive innovation arose that allowed people to develop more complex technology and social lives, producing human revolution Second view: components of modern human behaviour and technology gradually evolved in Africa along with modern human morphology over a period of about 200 000 years o No human evolution in Europe or elsewhere. What seems like revolutionary change in Europe simply reflects migration of modern people from Africa to Europe Morphological Features of Modern Homo sapiens Modern humans characterized by several derived morphological traits, including small face and teeth, pointed chin, a high, rounded cranium, less robust postcranium First fossils of modern humans found in France at Cro-Magnon rock shelter Shared important derived features with contemporary humans that were not present in previous hominins: o Small, flat face with protruding chin. Flat face, tucked under braincase. Smaller teeth favoured by natural selection bc they did not use teeth as tools as much as earlier people o Rounded skull. Had high foreheads, distinctive rounded back of cranium and greatly reduced browridges o Cranial capacity of at least 1350cc o Less robust postcranial skeleton. Had longer limbs with thinner walled bones, long more lightly built hands, shorter, thicker pubic bones and distinctive shoulder blades o Relatively long limbs and short trunks. Body proportions of these creatures were similar to those people who live in warm climates and may reflect African origins of these people Genetic Features of Modern Homo sapiens Sequencing of the genomes of humans and other mammals provides new information about genetic differences between modern humans and other primates Genome of an organism is all genetic information carried on chromosomes in that species By comparing sequences nucleotide by nucleotide, able to measure magnitude of genetic differences between 2 species Humans and chimps differ by 1.06% 3 billion bases in human genome, 1.06% differences represents differences in about 30 million nucleotides Approx. 5 million insertions and deletions of bits of DNA in or out of human of chimps genome Most insertions and deletions involve a small number of nucleotides and most involve repetitive sequences or transposable elements- copies of DNA segments from one part of genome that have been inserted somewhere else, contribute to another 3% to overall difference Majority of protein coding genes differ between humans and chimps Only a small fraction of protein coding genes shows evidence of selection since divergence of human and chimps lineages Mutations and genetic drift could also create differences between DNA sequences of humans and chimps Noncoding sequences show evidence of positive selection since the human-chimp split Negative selection: selection that favoured the observed stable sequence over mutants that arose during these million years Archaeological Evidence for Modern Human Behaviour www.notesolution.com
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