Java Man Research Paper

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When Eugene DuBois found the first specimen of the Java Man, he was instantly convinced that he had discovered the missing piece of the puzzle of human evolution. The Java Man was the perfect linkage between man and ape thus earning the name Pithecanthropus erectus, or the upright walking chimp (Carroll 92). His findings of a skull cap, thigh, and molar all found within the same area at Trinil suggested that his finding was the perfect intermediate. The skull cap had a braincase capacity of only 1,000 cc, shorter than that of a human, but significantly larger than that of an ape. All of DuBois’s hard work had paid off; however, his critics were far from satisfied. They believed that DuBois’s claim was not substantial and that the bones he…show more content…
Outside of modern day Beijing, a very similar looking fossil had surfaced, and it was dubbed: The Peking Man. The excavations at the Zhoukoudian were so numerous that a prominent evolutionary biologist at the time Ernst Mayr could see similarities between them and the Java Man. Mayr was able to compare the cranial capacities of the braincases from each site in the drawing of his conclusions. The average braincase capacity of the Javanese findings was 1,085 cc, and the average of the Chinese findings was 1,058 cc (Bruner 82). These numbers are shockingly close and with such a large volume of findings, hard to refute. This braincase capacity was also in between the average capacities for a human and a chimpanzee, which are respectively 1,250 cc and 410cc (Carroll 92). The numbers from the Java and Peking man, however, are must closer to the capacity for that of a human and this one of the reasons that Ernst Mayr placed the two species together directly in the genus…show more content…
Then, the subsequent findings at Zhoukoudian, including the Peking Man were enough for Ernst Mayr to declare that these fossils were closer to modern day humans than to great ape earning them the distinction of Homo erectus. Whether this decision is correct or not should be based on the abilities of this species. With a braincase capacity that is much closer to that of humankind’s, the Java Man would have had the intelligence to engage in more advanced activities such as potentially hunting or increased socialization. One of these activities could have been the ability to control and manipulate fire. Studies now support this belief due to the presence of siliceous aggregates found at the Zhoukoudian site. With fire at its disposal, Homo erectus would have been able to expand its territory and begin to cook its meat. These abilities, in my opinion, show that the species discovered at the Trinil and Zhoukoudian sites were both advanced enough to be part of humankind’s genus. But just how advanced were these hominins? Did they cook meat just for making it more appetizing or did they gather around the fire to socialize while cooking? Socializing would make them even more complex and I personally would not be surprised if that were the case. These creatures were advanced and by far more closely related to humans

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