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Flashcards in Chapter 8 Deck (23)
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Australopithetcus Sediba (Au. Sediba)

-South Africa
-Last gracile australopithecus
-Smaller orbital gap
-Relatively long arms and curved finger bones
-Habitual biped
-Walked by shifting weight from heel to inside sole
-Not considered homo b/c of small brain size


Early Genus homo discovery in Ethiopia

-2.8 to 2.75 mya
-Significance: 400k years older than previously known oldest specimen of genus homo


Homo habilis

-Gracile biped
-East and South Africa
-First recognized member of genus homo
-Australopithecus body (long arm, curved fingers); Homo head (larger brain size)


Homo Rudolfensis

-Gracile biped
-East Africa Kenya
-Sagital ridge
-Large molar teeth
-Largest of early hominids


Site Taphonomy

The study of the cultural and biological processes that surround the formation of an archeological site
Cultural processes can be accidental or deliberate (i.e. plowing, looting, resuse of materials by later inhabitants)
Natural Processes (i.e. erosion, floods)


Oldowan Tools

Stone age tools including relatively simple choppers and flakes
Significance: Opens up new meat-eating niche to hominins not acessible before


Older hominins better understood how to strike stones to create tools than monkey why?

Consider the grip of apes, their thumb is shorter


Mary Leakey

Interpreteed Oldowan stone tool inudstry as having a hunting role based on cut marks on animal bones
-Wrong b/c of site taphonomy
-FKL 22 site


Lewis Binford

-Believed early hominins were scavengers not hunters
-Suggested nutrient-ruch marrow extraction was more important than getting meat
-Passive scavenging


Passive Scavenging

Hominins remove bone marrow and remaining meat after a larger predator kills animal and consumes most of the meat.


Active/Confrontational Scavenging

Hominins chase large predator away from its kill and removes the bones with the most meat.
Supports Rodrigo's belief that meat was most important


Ideas for Emergence of Homo Erectus in Africa

Ecosystem Variability; Interdependence Hypothesis; and the Social Brain


Ecosystem Variability

Rapid fluctuations b/w grassland and closed woodlands
-Desirability to retain knowledge of different resources led to increased brain size in hominins


Interdependence Hypothesis

Natural selection for cooperative behaviors and altruism


Social Brain Hypothesis

Increased brain size in hominins is due to:
-Larger social groups
-Larger networks (of other individuals)
-Control of emotions (moral network and responsibilities)


Homo Erectus

-Modern form of bipedalism (habitual)
-Shorter arms and longer legs characteristic of African hominins
-Could carry heavier objects with their hands
-First hominin to leave Africa
-Increased reliance on meat-eating
-Capable of high-speed throwing


Acheulian site BK

A homo erectus excavation site
-Indicates H. erectus had access to large amount of meat from megafauna in surrounding area



Homo erectus site in Georgia
-Indicates high population variability among H. erectus


Gran Dolina

H. Erectus site in Spain
-Indicates some H. erectus populations may have practiced cannibalism


Acheulian tools

Stone Age tools that include: Handaxes, cleavers, picks, flake tools
-Usually sharpened on both sides (unlike Oldowan tools)



Epoch dating from 1.8 mya to 10,000 years ago


Biocultural evolution

Evolutionary change and adaption through both somatic(biological) adn extrasomatic (material/cultural) means


Sagitall Crest

A ridge running between the parietal bones along the top of the cranium, usually representing increased bone area for the attachment of chewing muscles