Anthropology: Paleoanthropology and the Fossil Record

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Anthropology: Paleoanthropology and the Fossil Record

By | May 2011
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Unit 3: Paleoanthropology and the Fossil Record
Paleoanthropology
* The study of human evolution, the hominid fossils, and their relations to each other and modern humans. The study of the fossil record, the study of the relationships among the fossils to themselves and to us. * There is nothing outside Africa that is even in the running to be a potential human ancestor * The most fossils are found in East Africa in the Rift valley, several in South Africa, and a few in Central Africa Definition : the study of human evolution, the fossil record, and the relationship among the fossils themselves * Hominids

* Anything in the family hominidae; may be human but have more ape like characteristics * Hominin
* A little more specifically human; getting to the sub-family and tribe level * Does not include apes at all, NO APE, human lineage or humans * Goals
* ID the early hominid species, identify the species
* Establishing and understand their relationships to one another * Gain insight to their behavior
* Multidisciplinary- a lot of different fields contributing to reaching the goals. * Geology – understanding the sites’ statigraphy
* Zooarcheologist – specializes in animal remains
* Paleobotanist – specializes in ancient plant or pollen * Archaeologist (expert on tools)
* What separates humans from apes
* Culture
* Religion, art, ritual, etc
* Brain Size – skull of a chimp and a human are very different and size and shape of brain * Primates are more encephalized than other mammals * Relative to their body size they have bigger brains * Within primates only, humans are the most encephalized * Bipedality

* Walk habitually on two feet; have no other ways of walking * There are differences in the skeletons between bipeds and quadrupeds * These three things did NOT happen at the same...
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