Study Notes -- Power of Plagues Chapter 2

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27 Jan 2011
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The Power of Plagues
Chapter 2
Plagues, the Price of Being Sedentray:
Becoming Human, Becoming Parasitized:
- Africa was the cradle of humanity, hominids found
- Hominids: animals ancestral to modern humans and not closely related to other monkeys
and apes
- Fossils of several different species found 4.2 million years ago
- Australopithecus anamenis: discovered in Kenya in 1994split from ape lineage
- spent time in trees and behaved similar to chimpanzees
- A. afarensis: walked on two feet shown in fossil findings—moved from trees to land.
- freed them from diseases in the canopies of trees, but allowed for new diseases to
develop on land. (ex: in trees, susceptible to fleas, mosquitoes, etc. On land,
susceptible to air borne ticks and new food sources, etc.)
-life span of 18-23 years
- Australopithecus boisei: small-brained vegetarian
- Homo habilis (handy man): scavangers and gatherers
- used tools to break down animal carcasses
- suggested greater intelligence than A. afrensis, somewhat larger brain aswell
- with meat eating came an increase in parasitism
- developed Zoonoses: animal infections transmitted to humans (anthrax, tetanus
bacteria, round worm that causes trichinosis, and a variety of intestinal tapeworms)
- bitten by mosquitoes (yellow fever), ticks, mites, and tsetse flies, and probably had
head lice
- suffered from non-vector-borne diseases that causes hepatitis, herpes, and colds,
sleep sickness, malaria, and leprosy.
- Homo erectus (erect man): close to modern humans in bosy size and had larger brain than
H. habilis
- hunter gatherers that used tools such as hand axes to break down food, etc.
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Document Summary

Africa was the cradle of humanity, hominids found. Hominids: animals ancestral to modern humans and not closely related to other monkeys and apes. Fossils of several different species found 4. 2 million years ago. Australopithecus anamenis: discovered in kenya in 1994 split from ape lineage. Spent time in trees and behaved similar to chimpanzees. A. afarensis: walked on two feet shown in fossil findings moved from trees to land. Freed them from diseases in the canopies of trees, but allowed for new diseases to develop on land. (ex: in trees, susceptible to fleas, mosquitoes, etc. On land, susceptible to air borne ticks and new food sources, etc. ) Homo habilis (handy man): scavangers and gatherers. Used tools to break down animal carcasses. Suggested greater intelligence than a. afrensis, somewhat larger brain aswell. With meat eating came an increase in parasitism. Developed zoonoses: animal infections transmitted to humans (anthrax, tetanus bacteria, round worm that causes trichinosis, and a variety of intestinal tapeworms)

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