ANTH 1030 - Human Origins
ANTH 1030 - Human Origins ANTH 1030-001
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jazmine Beckstrand on Saturday September 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 1030-001 at University of Utah taught by Brian Codding in Summer 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see World Prehistory: Introduction in ANTH at University of Utah.
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Date Created: 09/03/16
Week 2: Human Origins Definitions, Key Concepts, Locations, * = on exam Biological Species: the basic unit of biological classification defined as the largest group of individual organisms capable of interbreeding and producing viable offspring. Fossil Species: the basic unit of taxonomic classification used by paleontologists, paleoanthropologists and archaeologists to denote morphologically distinct species identified by their fossil remains. *Problem: how do we know if the morphology of a fossil species is distinct? (consider variation driven by age or sex). Fossil Evidence - (phenotypic) examine morphological variability across ancient populations and/or species to determine how closely related they may be to one another. Molecular Evidence - (genetic: examine genetic variability across populations and/or species to infer how closely related they may be to one another. Modern DNA - analyze DNA from living individuals Ancient DNA - analyze DNA from ancient individuals Post-Molecular Classification of Humans Order - Primates Family - Homindae (apes) Subfamily - Homininae (gorillas, chimps, humans) Tribe - Hominini (humans and extinct ancestors) Genus - Homo Relative Dating: the processes and methods associated with determining the age of some series of strata or objects relative to one another. Absolute (or numerical) Dating: the processes and methods associated with determining the calendar age of and object or strata. Where Potassium (K) is present, so is its radioactive isotope K40. A proportion of K40 decays into Argon 40 (Ar40 ), at a stable rate, reducing the amount of K40 by half every 1248 mya (the half life). When volcanic rocks form, all of their Ar40 is released, setting the ratio of K -Ar to 0. As time goes, on K 40 decays to Ar 40. By measuring the proportion of K40 to Ar 40 in volcanic rocks, we can determine how much time has passed since the rock was formed. Miocene (28.3-5.3 mya) - during which grasslands expanded at the expense of forests, much warmer, likely driving the radiation of ape species. Imagine ape on all fours, no tail, time spent in trees. Pliocene (5.3-2.6 mya) - a time of great seasonality marked the divergence of the chimp and human lineage. The end of this epoch is marked by cooling into the next time period. Pleistocene (2.6-11.7 kya) - sometimes referred to as the "Ice Age", this time period is characterized by alternating cold and warm periods known as the glacial and interglacial periods. Our genus (homo) and species (homo sapiens) emerged during this period of fluctuating climate. Holocene (11.7 kya-present) - the most recent interglacial period during which climate stabilized and human populations rapidly expanded. Cranial Morphology Cranial capacity 400-500 cc (cf. approximately 1600 cc) Low forehead with brow ridges Mid-facial prognathism Flat nose, no chin Human-like teeth (small molars) Post-Cranial Morphology Long forelimbs, slightly curved fingers; arboreal Conical chest, low-quality diet Human-like pelvis and lower limbs, bipedal locomotion Cladistics: analysis that concentrates not only on features that identify common ancestry but also on these that are derived independently and are unique to specific lineages. Monophyletic: descended from a single ancestor; humans are believed to be monophyletic. Four lines of evidence offer opportunities for testing hypotheses about early hominin behavior: Scatters of artifacts Manufactured artifacts Surviving food remains Isotopic analyses Taphonomy: the study of how bones decompose after being discarded or after an animal dies. The Savanna Hypothesis - Pliocene drying-cooling opened up forests creating savanna landscape. Resources become patchily distributed across space Resources within specific forest patches would quickly become scarce Some individuals may be better able to walk upright than others Because bipedal locomotion is the most efficient way to travel long distances, these individuals could travel to new areas at lower costs. These individuals would be more likely to survive and reproduce, passing this trait on to their descendants Early Homo Larger brain (600-700+ cc) Higher brain-case Less prognathic Smaller teeth Bipedal limb morphology Long fore-limbs Opposable thumbs Early Homo vs. Robust Australopiths (go extinct) Generalized diet vs. specialized diet Behavioral vs morphological Adaptation vs adaptation *What makes up human? Bipedalism Small teeth Brain size above 600 cc Language (?), controlled use of fire (?), small generalized gut (?), slow life- history (?), complex inter-generational social groups (?) Precision grip Manufacture stone tools Hypotheses for whey Homo developed: 1 *Dart's Predatory Apes - hominin bones alongside large herbivore remains, hominin's were predators (increased dietary protein), meat eating provided selective advantage. --> *It was proven that hominin bones and skulls have predator damage; incorrect. 1 *Lovejoy's Love Story - environment produces patchy resources, spatially distinct foraging locales by sex, females remain close to home bases, males provision females at home bases, monogamy, nuclear families. --> he studied poor areas; incorrect. 1 *O'Connell's Competitive Scavenging - environmental change increased scavenging opportunities, increased body size --> increased competitive edge, encourages tools us, cognitive problem solving, mixed-sex groups gather at new kill sites - not home bases. Potential evidence: bones represent nearly complete animal and cut marks over tooth marks. 1 *Hawkes' Grand maternal Investment - changes to cooler, drier climates reduced available foods, foraging shifted to locally available foods (likely USOs - underground storage organs), grandmothers who helped feed grand-offspring had daughters who weaned earlier (shorter IBI), selective advantage to inter- generational care, benefits of post-menopausal lifespans leads to fixation: longer lifespans, slower life-histories. 1 *Bickerton's Conscious Communicator - natural selection should favor communication among social animals, communication allows problems to be solved collectively and information to be passed within or across generations, this would provide a selective advantage in variable environments. --> is this a hypothesis a cause of consequence? Potential evidence: Australopiths have chimp-like hyoid bone, while H. habilis show expanded areas of the brain responsible for speech and language. 1 *Wrangham's Catching Fire and Cooking Meat - fire increases the nutrients available in food, can be used to stay warm and ward of predators, those who were able to use fire for cooking would have a profound selective advantage, modern humans cannot survive on exclusively raw food (experiment), explains smaller gut and molars, increased brain size and social adeptness. 1 *Pott's' Diverse, Fluid and Flexible Foraging - increased inter annual and seasonal climatic variability, high selective benefits for individuals who could deal with variability, results in physiologically and mentally flexible species, able to adapt to changing environmental conditions, adaptation moves from genetic change, no phenotypic change. Interglacial: a warm period between major Ice Age glaciations.
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