Physical Anthropology Flashcards Preview

Intro to Anthro, Soc., and Psych. > Physical Anthropology > Flashcards

Flashcards in Physical Anthropology Deck (37)
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Physical anthropology has the roots in the theories of whom?

Charles Darwin


Name six defining traits of humans.

- Opposable thumbs
- Binocular vision
- Highly developed brain
- Children remain dependent for a while
- Bipedalism
- Social creatures


Define mimicry

A structural adaptation that enables our species to resemble another


Define adaptation

Any variation that aids in survival and occurs over many generations


Define camouflage.

An adaptation that enables a species to blend into their surroundings.


What are physiological adaptation?

Changes in an organisms metabolic processes.


Differentiate between homologous and analogous structures.

Structural features with a common evolutionary ancestor that are similar in arrangement, function, or both. Analogous structures do not have a common evolutionary organism, but are similar in function.


What is a vestigial structure?

A body structure that no longer serves its original purpose, but was probably useful to an ancestor.


How do we know evolution occurred? [4]

- Fossil records of change in earlier species (fossil records from sedimentary rock indicate change and extinct species showed transitioning traits)
- Chemical and anatomical similarities
- Geographic changes of related species (isolated areas have unique species and islands evolve distinct biological communities)
- Genetic change over time


State the significance of Mary Leakey.

A physical anthropologist who was married to Louis Leakey,
- Found a hominid fossil in 1959 with her husband which turned out to be a species of robust australopithecus, the A. boisei (~1.75 myo).
- Discovered first early transitional human fossils in 1960 and named them homo habilis (handy or skilled human) because they made stone tools.
- In 1978 with Tim White, found A. afarensis (3.5-3.7 myo) and 59 footprints of bipedal hominins.


State the significance of Louis Leakey.

A physical anthropologist who was married to Mary Leakey,
- Experimented with stone age tools to discover how our ancestors hunted for food.
- Made studying primates and primatology a thing
- Found a hominid fossil in 1959 with his wife which turned out to be a species of robust australopithecus, the A. boisei (~1.75 myo).
- Discovered first early transitional human fossils in 1960 and named them homo habilis (handy or skilled human) because they made stone tools.


State the significance of Dian Fossey.

A physical anthropologist,
- Studied the mountain gorilla tribe of Rwanda in Africa.
- Gained acceptance into the tribe by imitating their habits and sounds.
- Was murdered in 1985 by poachers, assumedly.


State the significance of Jane Goodall.

A physical anthropologist and primatologist,
- Observed and recorded the behaviour of chimpanzees
- Discovered chimps used tools for their daily routine, they weren't vegetarians and occasionally practised cannibalism, and the tribe had a highly developed social structure.


What would trigger periods of rapid change?

- Long, severe droughts
- Major volcanic eruptions
- Beginning and ending of ice ages


Differentiate between adaptive radiation and successive speciation.

- Adaptive radiation is the progressive change of one species into multiple species.
- Successive speciation occurs within a single evolutionary line without branching off into other species.


Tell me everything about the Taung Child.

- Sent to Raymond Dart in 1924
- 2 myo fossilized skull of a 3-4 year old child of the A. africanus species thought to have been killed by an eagle
- Position of it's foramen magnum was pointed downward and nearly at the centre of the skull, which indicated bipedalism.
- Canine teeth were also relatively short, making it more human than ape.


State the significance of Raymond Dart.

Physical anthropologist/anatomy professor,
- Was sent the fossilized skull of the Taung Child.


State the significance of Don Johanson.

Physical anthropologist/archaeologist,
- Discovered there were multiple human-like species living in Africa together around the same time, disproving the idea of evolution occurred in a straight line.
- Discovered "Lucy" in 1974


Explain "Lucy".

- 40% complete skeleton of the A. afarensis (3.18-3.2 myo).


What fossil dating method is based on the principle of superposition?



What is the simplest form of fossil dating?



What invention allowed the evolving humans to migrate north?



What is the process by which modern organisms have descended from ancient ancestors known as?



What is dendrochronology?

Tree ring dating


Name 8 differences between humans and apes.

- Humans are bipedal
- Primates are stronger
- Humans have stronger linguistic skills
- Genomes differ about 1.23%
- Humans have a more highly developed brain
- Humans have a slightly different body structure due to bipedalism
- Humans have a smaller birth canal
- Primates are ahead in cognitive development for the first six months.


Name 6 similarities between humans and primates.

- Opposable thumbs
- Binocular vision
- Social structures
- Sexually dimorphic
- Same arrangement of internal organs and bones
- Omnivorous


The climate of the world is constantly changing, shifting between warm, dry eras and cold, wet ones. This is important to understanding the development of species because...

...It forced early humans to adapt to changing weather conditions.


Whose work with apes has given us a better understanding of our pre-historic lives?

Jane Goodall


Modern humans and other mammals appeared during which era?



What is the foramen magnum?

The unique and changing angle at which transitional hominds/autstralopithecines necks affixed to their skulls.