Human Evolution
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Outline. Evolution of Primates Mobile Limbs Binocular Vision Evolution of Early Hominids Evolution of Later Hominids Evolution of Early Homo Modern Humans Human Variation. Evolution of Primates. The evolution of primates is characterized by trends towards: Mobile limbs Grasping hands

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Human evolution

Human Evolution


Outline

Outline

  • Evolution of Primates

    • Mobile Limbs

    • Binocular Vision

  • Evolution of Early Hominids

  • Evolution of Later Hominids

  • Evolution of Early Homo

    • Modern Humans

    • Human Variation


Evolution of primates

Evolution of Primates

  • The evolution of primates is characterized by trends towards:

    • Mobile limbs

    • Grasping hands

    • A flattened face

    • Binocular vision

    • A large, complex brain, and

    • A reduced reproductive rate


Primate diversity

Primate Diversity


Mobile limbs

Mobile Limbs

  • Hands and feet

    • Most primates have flat nails

    • Sensitive pads on the undersides of fingers and toes

    • Many also have both an opposable big toe and thumb

  • Mobile limbs and clawless opposable digits allow primates to freely grasp and release tree limbs


Evolution of primate hand

Evolution of Primate Hand


Binocular vision

Binocular Vision

  • Stereoscopic vision

  • Depth perception

  • Allows primates to make accurate judgments about distance and position of adjoining tree limbs


Binocular vision1

Binocular Vision


Primate characteristics

Primate Characteristics

  • Opposable thumb

  • Nails instead of claws

  • Single births

  • Binocular vision

  • Expanded, complex brain

  • Emphasis on learned behavior


Evolution of primates1

Evolution of Primates

  • Prosimians were the first type of primate to diverge from the human line

  • Surviving anthropoids are classified into three superfamilies

    • New World monkeys

    • Old World monkeys

    • Hominoids


Evolution of primates2

Evolution of primates


Evolution of hominids

Evolution of Hominids

  • Proconsul is believed ancestral to hominids

  • Phylogenetic tree indicates humans are most closely related to African apes

    • Genetic changes used as a molecular clock to measure relatedness of different groups

    • Last common ancestor appears to have lived about 7 mya


Monkey skeleton compared to proconsul skeleton

Monkey SkeletonCompared to Proconsul Skeleton


Hominids

Hominids

  • Hominid fossils:

    • Must have an anatomy suitable for standing erect and walking on two feet

    • Bipedalism

  • Skeletal differences between humans and apes largely because:

    • Humans are bipedal, while

    • Apes are quadrupedal


Adaptations for standing

Adaptations for Standing


Australopithecines

Australopithecines

  • Australopithecines:

    • Evolved and diversified in Africa 4 mya

    • Possibly a direct ancestor of humans

    • Southern Africa

      • Australopithecus africanus

    • Eastern Africa

      • Australopithecus afarensis


Human evolution

Human Evolution


Australopithecus afarensis

Australopithecus afarensis


Evolution of early homo

Evolution of Early Homo

  • Homo habilis

    • Dated between 20 an 19 mya

    • May be ancestral to modern humans

    • Skulls suggest portions of the brain associated with speech were enlarged

    • Ability to speak may have led to hunting cooperatively and the advent of culture


Homo erectus

Homo erectus

  • Homo erectus and similar fossils

    • Found in Africa, Asia, and Europe

    • Dated between 19 and 03 mya

    • Larger brain and flatter face than Homo habilis

    • Much taller than previous hominids

    • Thought to have first appeared in Africa and then migrated into Asia and Europe

    • First hominid to use fire


Homo ergaster

Homo ergaster


Evolution of modern humans

Evolution of Modern Humans

  • Most researchers believe Homo sapiens evolved from Homo erectus

    • Multiregional Continuity Hypothesis

      • Similar evolution occurred in many different places

    • Out-of-Africa Hypothesis

      • H. sapiens evolved from H. erectus only in Africa, and thereafter migrated to Europe


Evolution of modern humans1

Evolution of Modern Humans


Neanderthals

Neanderthals

  • Neanderthal (H. neanderthalensis) skeletons were first discovered in Germany’s Neander Valley

    • Skeletons date back 200,000 years

      • Massive brow ridges with protruding nose, jaws, and teeth

      • Heavily muscled

      • Culturally advanced

        • Manufactured variety of tools


Neandertals

Neandertals


Cro magnons

Cro-Magnons

  • Oldest fossils to be designated H. sapiens

  • Modern humans who entered Asia and Europe from Africa 100,000 years ago

    • Made advanced stone tools

    • Accomplished hunters

      • Hunted cooperatively

    • First to have language


Cro magnons1

Cro-Magnons


Human variation

Human Variation

  • Hypothesized that human variations evolved as adaptations to local environmental conditions

    • Bergmann’s Rule - Animals in colder regions of their range have a bulkier body build

    • Allen’s Rule - Animals in colder regions of their range have shorter limbs, digits, and ears

  • Comparative study of mitochondrial DNA

    • Suggests human populations have a common ancestor no more than a million years ago


Ethnic groups

Ethnic Groups


Review

Review

  • Evolution of Primates

    • Mobile Limbs

    • Binocular Vision

  • Evolution of Early Hominids

  • Evolution of Later Hominids

  • Evolution of Early Homo

    • Modern Humans

    • Human Variation


Human evolution

Human Evolution


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