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Human Evolution

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... Evolution Trends in Hominid Evolution Increasing brain size in relation to body size Hominid Diets and Brain Size Early hominid skulls display large powerful ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Human Evolution


1
Human Evolution
2
Primates
  • The order Primates includes humans, apes,
    monkeys, and prosimians.
  • Some taxonomic splitters classify up to 350
    species, while lumpers include as few as 190. 
  • Most estimates are in the range of 230-270.

Natural Range of Non-Human Primates
3
Primates
4
Primate Characteristics
  • Grasping limbs, with long fingers and separated
    opposable thumb

5
Primate Characteristics
  • Mobile arms, with shoulder joints allowing
    movement in three planes

6
Primate Characteristics
  • Stereoscopic vision, with forward facing eyes
    giving an overlapping field of view

7
Primate Characteristics
  • Skull and hips modified for upright posture

8
Taxonomic Classification of Humans
  • Kingdom Animalia
  • Phylum Chordata
  • Class Mammalia
  • Order Primates
  • Family Hominidae
  • Genus Homo
  • Species sapiens

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Family Hominidae
  • Includes the extant genera
  • Homo humans
  • Pan chimpanzees
  • Gorilla gorillas
  • Pongo - orangutans

11
Fossil Evidence of Extinct Hominids
  • Lucy Australopithecus afarensis
  • 40 complete skeleton
  • Discovered in1974in Ethiopias Rift Valley
  • Estimated 3.2 million years old, and 3.6 feet
    tall

12
Fossil Evidence of Extinct Hominids
  • Laetoli Footprints
  • Estimated Date 3.6 million years ago
  • Prints of adult and child walking through
    volcanic ash
  • Found in Great Rift Valley

13
The Fossil Evidence of Hominid Evolution is
Limited
14
Transitional Fossils In Hominid Evolution
15
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17
Trends in Hominid Evolution
  • Increasing brain size in relation to body size

18
Hominid Diets and Brain Size
  • Early hominid skulls display large powerful jaws,
    indicating a vegetarian diet.
  • Over time, fossils show an increase in brain
    size, correlating to discovery of tools.

19
Hominid Diets and Brain Size
  • Meat contains more energy, allowing increased
    growth of brain size
  • Greater intelligence would make for a significant
    hunting advantage

20
Trends in Hominid Evolution
  • Increasing adaptation to bipedalism

21
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22
Cultural Evolution
  • Does not involve changes in allele frequencies in
    gene pools
  • Can occur within a individuals lifetime
  • Includes language, tool making skills, hunting
    techniques, agriculture, religion, art, etc.
  • Currently our cultural evolution is far outpacing
    genetic evolution
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