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1

What is paleoanthropology?

Study of primates and their relatives to understand where humans came from

2

What physical features are used to define primates? That is, features of the limbs, hands, feet, eyes, etc.

Hind limbs & fore limbs
Clavicle
Omnivorous teeth
Flexible hands
Stereoscopic vision (forward facing eyes, depth
perception)
Brain larger area dedicated to vision & big brain
Bipedal

3

What is bipedalism?

Walking on two legs

4

Pros and Cons of Bipedalism

Pros:
More efficient over long distance travel
Regulate body temperature- less exposed to sun
standing upright;more of body exposed to wind

Cons:
Always falling
Oxygen does not reach the brain as well
Stress on joints in lower body
Challenges of childbirth

5

Why did early primates decide to walk on two feet?

See over tall grass
Keep hands free for carrying things

6

What are the anatomical features associated with bipedalism?

Foramen magnum in middle of head
Curvature of spine
Shorter arms than legs
Pelvis is short curved and broad
Knees angle inward
Feet natural curvature to bones

7

Who are the Australopithecines?
Where are they found?
Why are they important?

"Southern Ape Man"
Dates from 1-4 MYA
FIRST EVIDENCE OF BIPEDALISM
East Africa

8

What do I mean by gracile Australopithecines and robust Australopithecines?

Gracile
Lighter in build
A. Aferensis
A. Africanus

Robust
Massive face and jaws
Sagital crest
A. Boisei
A, Robustus

9

Quadrupedal

magnum would be back of skull
Dog
Long skinny pelvis
Knee straight up and down

10

A. Aferensis

3 to 4 mya
East Africa
"Lucy"
440 cc
Large canines
First Bipedal- pelvis and leg bones
Hard Diet
GRACILE
Cheeks slope inward

11

A. Africanus

2 to 3 mya
South Africa
"Southern Ape Man of Africa"
Material found in caves
Moderate brow ridges
428-485 cc
90 degree angle cheek bones

12

A. Boisei

1 to 2.3 mya
East Africa
"The Nutcracker Man"
Co-existed with homo habilis and homo erectus
Hyper robust
Ate coarse nuts, seeds, and roots

13

A. Robustus

1 to 2.3 mya
South Africa

14

Human childbirth

Babies are born earlier and with a soft spot
Rate of development in the womb delayed
Pliable skulls

15

Homo Habilis

2.3 mya
Africa
"The Handy Man"
600 cc
First stone tools
Jump in brain size
First meat consumption
•Olduwan=Chopper
◦Hard Hammer- all tools start out this way

16

Homo Erectus

DOES NOT COME FROM AFRICA
1.8 MYA
Long, football shaped skull
Big, thick brow ridge
800-1000 cc
Jaw bones are thinner and smaller
Teeth relatively small
Occipital Torus
Post Orbital Constriction- cheekbones stick outmore
BACK OF HEAD LOOKS LIKE PENTAGON
Sagital keel, sagittal crest
Soft hammer

Outside Africa
Controlled use of fire
Clothing
Hunting
Projecting nose
Same height as us
Using bone and antlers

17

Neandertals

NOT FOUND IN AFRICA
Europe and Middle East
30,000 to 130,000 years ago
Pronounced brow ridges
Big head, big face
Sloping forehead
Big face
Occipital bun
LAST TO NOT HAVE CHIN
1,450 cc-1,300 cc
Big protruding nose
Big teeth
No post orbital constriction