As my team and I discovered a new fossil in our excavation project, the unknown site yielded the skull of a mysterious specimen. Our goal as reputable anthropologist was to analyze the specimen to the best of our ability so our team can provide the most probable and reliable taxonomic identification. In order for us to effectively interpret the results our experiment yielded, we needed to review our knowledge in human evolution. The field that uncovers the mystery of the evolution of humans is paleoanthropology, the study of human evolution through the fossil record. According to Walker-Pacheco (2010) hominins posses various characteristics that separate them from other primates, such as: bipedal locomotion and dental morphology. Most common …show more content…
Nonetheless, our group observed specific locations in the skull that over time, changed among species. The following methodology will include how to observe or examine the different locations that were relevant to the study. By looking for the widest part in the back of the skull the location of the maximum skull breath can be identified. The degree of postorbital constriction can be recognized by observing the space behind the brow/supraorbital ridge. The zygomatic flare can be examined by evaluating how wide is the zygomatic bone. The cranium size can be analyzed by comparing the size of the overall cranium with the size of the overall face. The cranium shape can be determined by analyzing the height and width of the overall skull. The degree of prognathism can be examined by looking at the profile of the skull and determined how much the face projects outward. By looking at the back of the skull and analyzing the morphology of the occipital and nuchal region the shape of occipital and nuchal region can be determined. When determining canine size and diastema, one should analyze and compare the canine to other teeth and the space between the canine and the premolars. The chin or mandibular symphysis can be analyzed by looking at the profile of the mandibule. The shape of dental arcade can be determined by looking at the skull from a ventral view and analyzing the shape that the upper teeth generate. The dentition can be determined by analyzing the size of the overall teeth with the size of the overall facial size. Finally, the retromolar space can be identified by evaluating the space between the last molar and the rest of the
The Dmanisi skull 4, also known as D3444 with its mandible D3900, is one of five Homo erectus skulls discovered in Dmanisi, Georgia. Described in a publication in October 2006, it is believed to be about 1.8 million years old. Dmanisi D3444/D3900 is believed to be a Homo erectus adult female with a marked edentulous (toothless) grin. The cranium (D3444) was found first in 2002 and the mandible (D3900) was found later in 2004, immediately adjacent to the spot the cranium was found. The brain has an endocranial capacity of 650 cm.
In “Rethinking Neanderthals,” we learn how these early hominins used tools as a form of communication and culture. In “Human Hybrids,” we learn how the modern human has similar DNA sequences with Neanderthals and Denisovans. In “The Naked Truth,” we learn how modern humans became hairless due to archaic human’s adaptation to their environment and physiology. In class, we have discussed the rise of early hominins and how they differ from each other. We learned about the importance of tool-making, symbolism, bipedalism, and brain
The H. erectus Turkana Boy is a nearly complete set of 108 bones. He is about 63 in tall with hips and limbs that are much similar to that of the H. sapiens. These features signal the beginning of a major alteration in the bipedal locomotion. More specifically the curvatures of his spine, the orientation and balancing of hips, and the presence of a barrel-shaped rib cage like that of a modern human contrary to the funnel-shaped rib cage of apes indicate that the Turkana Boy was fully adapted to bipedal locomotion. The H. erectus had become completely dependent on terrestrial life by adopting to a modern stride.
Modern humans have evolved over millions of years from primates and therefore we share many special characteristics but as many anthropologists believe, there are many identifiable characteristics which distinguish modern humans from non-human primates. These constraints are both anatomical and behavioural. Biological features include larger brains, smaller frontal teeth, smaller faces and bipedalism (Mann 1972). Bipedalism is a form of terrestrial locomotion which gives the ability of species to walk completely on two legs which Homo Sapiens, known as modern humans, have the ability to do. This gave many special definitive features and traits to humans which have led to many advantages that we now contain today.
It has been decades since paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson discovered the first fossilized bone of Australopithecus afarensis. Donald and his team had been surveying a remote area in Ethiopia when the discovery was made. Donald later unearthed vertebra, skull fragments, and a jaw bone further giving validity to a new hominid he would later name Lucy. It wouldn’t be for a few years, but the discovery would be labeled as the “missing link” between humans and a direct ancestor. The scientific community finally had a crucial puzzle piece to explain “how and why” in their evolutionary theory.
The first Neanderthal discovered in 1856 in German limestone caves, uncovered a skull (~1525cm3) bigger than modern humans (Figure 2) and 15 pieces of postcranial remains. Original analysis by Schaaffhausen (1858, 1888) and T.H. Huxley (1863) suggested the remains belonged to an under-developed ancestor, yet re-examination by R. Virchow (1872) argued the stooped stature was a pathological result, the skeleton was that of an old man, suffering from arthritis. Neanderthals had larger bodies than early modern humans, with wide shoulders, thick bones for their strong muscle attachments, and stockier frame. The large size of the brain has been accounted for by comparing body to brain size; analysis comparing the two shows that the brain is in fact in proportion to the rest of their body. The brain capacity designated for body control has been calculated; the volume of brain left for tasks other than body control is significantly smaller than that of humans.
When examining the skeleton’s dentition, there needs to significant reduction of the canines compared to apes. The canines should not protrude as greatly as apes, and the teeth ought to lack severe diastemas. The smaller canines on the skeleton should allow for its jaw to be more circular than apes. Also, the enamel on the teeth should be relatively thinner than apes due to the changes in chewing motion from up and down to side to side. Moreover, the enamel can provide information about the specimen’s diet and the abundance of food through the enamel
Being apart of history is the greatest feeling in the world. Knowing that our ancestors can be trace all the way back to the Neanderthals would be absolutely incredible. We’ve come along way since then when it comes to appearance, cultures, and stereotyping. In this paper I will be addressing how I feel about the possibility of having Neanderthals as a part of our ancestry.
Humans became a species when the hominins biologically separated from the ancestors of modern chimpanzees. This separation occurred about seven million years ago. Evidence found in Chad shows that hominins were bipedal, walking upright on two legs. Hominins were able to compete with other primates by taking advantages of the perks of being bipedal. The origin of bipedalism is still a highly debated topic.
Similar to the traditional approach, when using computer-aided 3D facial reconstruction, it is also necessary to assess the characteristics of the skull. Using this anatomical information alongside scanning technology, the computer can model the soft tissue depths onto a virtually generated image of the skull (Lee et al., 2011). The reconstructed computer image can then be altered instantaneously depending on whatever facial features need to be added. The image can also be sent via the internet or made accessible on the web for further dissemination into a wider community (Clement & Marks, 2005). The advantages of the computerised approach over the traditional approach are numerous, and include increased efficiency, rapid editing capability
Neandertal bodies were uniquely acclimated to the harsh environment of Eurasia making them the dominating species of the land and they were quite intelligent in their use of tool making, practiced forms of art and culture, engaged in ritualistic behaviour and
Critical thinking questions: physical anthropology textbook 1. Given that you’ve only just been introduced to the field of physical anthropology, why do you think subjects such as skeletal anatomy, genetics, nonhuman primate behavior, and human evolution are integrated into a discussion of what it means to be human? The study of physical anthropology integrates the subjects of skeletal anatomy, genetics, nonhuman primate behavior, and human evolution because anthropologists look to the fossilized remains of hominins to see what their environments were like and what they ate. In addition to these sub fields, anthropologists look to skeletal anatomy to see any evolutionary change or if the hominin had died from any diseases and how old and tall
Geographically speaking, East Africa’s Great Rift Valley is home to a number of hominins including the Australopithecus. These fossils date back to 8 mya, closing a 4 million year gap, which we previously knew little about. A number of scientist hypothesized on the reasons for a shift to bipedalism. Charles Darwin proposed that the shift to bipedalism was motivated primarily by the desire to hunt.
(Own knowledge, Source D) Bipedalism is unique to humans and it is known to be one of the earliest developments in hominids. (Source G, C) This phenomenon has intrigued researchers and historians for a number of years. There are many answers to this involved question; this essay will look at a few of them.
Chandra et al. (1999), presented more evidence concerning the cranial thickening in lions, particularly of tentorium cerebelli and the parietals, and concluded that the deficiency of vitamin A could be the source of the problem. Additionally to changes of pathological origin, there are great differences concerning the body size and rate of maturity between captive and wild animals, evidence suggest that better nutrition while captive could be the cause. A good example is given by Smuts, Anderson & Austin (1978), they found that the dimensions of the cranium of a small sample from a captive lion cub was great than those of the wild from the same geographical area. In addition, observations showed that wild lion cubs were smaller than captive cubs of the same age and are thought to be because of various periods of starvation in the wild animals - a great factor displaying the impact of selective evolution.