Study Notes -- Power of Plagues Chapter 2
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The Power of Plagues
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
- 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.)
-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
- 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
- hunter gatherers that used tools such as “hand axes” to break down food, etc.
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