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Chapter 7. Adaptations & Patterns of Subsistence. What Is Adaptation?. Adaptation : Any change in the structure or functioning of an organism that makes it better suited to its environment. This process leads to changes in the organisms and impacts their environment.

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Chapter 7 l.jpg

Chapter 7

Adaptations &

Patterns of Subsistence


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What Is Adaptation?

  • Adaptation: Any change in the structure or functioning of an organism that makes it better suited to its environment.

  • This process leads to changes in the organisms and impacts their environment.

  • The human species adapts biologically and culturally.


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What Is Not an Adaptation?

Eye

  • Lots of things: One example is vestigial structures. A vestigial structure is a feature that was an adaptation for the organism’s ancestor, but that evolved to be non-functional because the organism’s environment changed.

  • Another example is Red Blood; blood is red because of it’s chemistry, not because it’s an adaptation to the color red.


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Adaptation Vs. Acclimatization

  • Adaptation: Anything that helps an organism survive in its environment which usually occurs over several generations.

  • Acclimatization: The short-term process of adjusting to changes in an environment such as shivering for temperature regulation or increasing red blood cell counts to acclimatize to high altitudes. Usually occurs in one lifetime.


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Human Adaptations

Bolivians in the highlands use increased hemoglobin production to adapt to the low levels of oxygen at high altitudes, while inhabitants of the Tibetan plateau use increased respiration.


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Sickle cell anemia, malaria & adaptation

  • People who have sickle cell anemia, a serious hereditary blood disease, are more likely to survive malaria, a disease which kills some 1.2 million people every year. What is puzzling is why sickle cell anemia is so prevalent in some African populations.

  • Red blood cells, containing some abnormal hemoglobin, tend to sickle when they are infected by the malaria parasite. Those infected cells flow through the spleen, which culls them out because of their sickle shape -- and the parasite is eliminated along with them.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/2/l_012_02.html


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Physical Vs. Behavioral Adaptation

Physical = Structural

Behavioral = Cultural

  • Structural Adaptation: Physical features of an organism that change to allow an animal to survive in it’s environment.

  • Behavioral (Cultural) Adaptations: Things organism do to survive in an environment.


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Structural Adaptations: Camouflage

  • Coloration and protective resemblance allow an animal to blend into its environment. 

  • Camouflage makes it hard for enemies to single out individuals.  


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Structural: Mimicry

  • Mimicry allows one animal to look, sound, or act like another animal to fool predators into thinking it is poisonous or dangerous. 

Monarch Viceroy

Poisonous Non-poisonous

Coral snake Red milk snake

Poisonous Non-poisonous


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Structural: Coverings, etc…

  • The skin covering & parts: claws, beaks, feet, skulls, teeth, etc.

  • The elephant’s trunkis a physical adaptation that helps it to clean itself, eat, drink, and to pick things up.


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Why we don’t all look alike

Bergmann’s Rule: Within a species the body mass increases with latitude and colder climate (i.e., larger sub-species are found at higher altitudes or colder climates.

Allen’s Rule: In warm blooded species, the relative size of the limbs of the body decreases with decreases of mean temperature.

Gloger’s Rule: within a species more heavily pigmented forms tend to be found in more humid environments (e.g., near the equator: most studied in birds). Caveats: Tibetans (high UV radiation); Inuits (diet high in vitamin D).


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Behavioral Adaptation

  • Behavioral adaptations include activities (i.e., actions = behavior) that help an animal survive. 

  • Behavioral adaptations can be learned or instinctive.

  • Instinctive: migrating, hibernating, defending oneself, etc…

  • Learned: Obtained by interacting with the environment and cannot be passed on to the next generation except by teaching.


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How Do Humans Adapt Culturally?

  • Through cultural adaptation, humans develop ways of doing things that are compatible with the resources they have available to them and within the limitations of the various habitats in which they live.

  • Adaptations may be remarkably stable for long periods of time, even thousands of years. - And other times it can change quickly.

Terraced rice fields in Bali reflect cultural adaptation to a mountainous tropical environment.


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Human Adaptations in Prehistory

  • Food foraging is a universal type of human adaptation and typically involves geographic mobility including migration.

  • Adaptations involving domestication of plants and animals, began to develop in some parts of the world about 10,000 years ago.

  • Horticulture led to more permanent settlements while pastoralism required mobility to seek out pasture and water.

  • Cities began to develop as early as 5,000 years ago in some world regions.


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Adaptation in Cultural Evolution

  • Human groups adapt to their environments by means of their cultures.

  • Cultural Evolutionis the process of cultures changing over time (not to be confused with progress).

  • Not all changes turn out to be positive, nor do they improve conditions for every member of a society.

  • Complex, urban societies are not more “highly evolved” than those of food foragers.


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Convergent Evolution

  • In cultural evolution, convergent evolution is the development of similar cultural adaptations to similar environmental conditions by different peoples with different ancestral cultures.

  • Parallel evolution is the independent evolution of similar traits, starting from a similar ancestral condition due to similar environments or other evolutionary pressures.


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Comanche & Cheyenne

  • Commanche: Ancestors from highlands of southern Idaho.

  • foragers, small animals, etc.

  • Limited group size.

  • Social power = Shamans

  • Cheyenne: Ancestors from woodlands of Great lakes.

  • Cultivated crops, gathering

  • Gave up crop cultivation.

  • Plains Indians such as the Comanche and Cheyenne developed similar cultures, as they had to adapt to similar environmental conditions.


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Culture Area

  • This map shows the culture areas defined for North and Central America.

  • Cultural Area: a geographic region in which a number of societies follow similar patterns of life.


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Question

  • A/an ____________ is a geographic region in which a number of different societies follow similar patterns of life.

    • ecosystem

    • culture core

    • culture type

    • culture area

    • sphere of influence


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Question: D

  • A/an culture area is a geographic region in which a number of different societies follow similar patterns of life.


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Modes of SubsistenceFood Foraging Societies

  • Move about a great deal.

  • Small size of local groups (usually >100).

  • Carrying Capacity: number of people that the available resources can support (ecological factor).

  • Density of social relations = low: number & intensity of interactions among members; higher means more opportunities for conflict (social factor).

  • Egalitarian, populations have few possessions and share what they have.


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Question

  • Which of the following does not correctly describe food foraging societies?

    • They are egalitarian.

    • They are small nomadic groups living within a fixed territory.

    • They are primitive because they did not progress to a higher level.

    • They are not very aggressive or warlike.

    • They live in marginal areas of the world today.


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Answer: C

  • The following does not correctly describe food foraging societies:

    • They are primitive because they did not progress to a higher level.


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Interactions & Impacts

  • For 2,000 years, Bushmen have been interacting regularly with neighboring farmers and pastoralists.

  • Much of the elephant ivory used for the keyboards on pianos so widely sought in 19th-century North America came from the Bushmen.


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Food Foragers and Population

  • Frequent nursing of children over four or five years acts to suppress ovulation among food foragers such as Bushmen.

  • As a consequence, women give birth to relatively few offspring at widely spaced intervals.


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Modes of SubsistenceThe Neolithic – Food Producing Societies

  • The New Stone Age; prehistoric period beginning about 10,000 years ago in which peoples possessed stone-based technologies and depended on domesticated plants and/or animals.

  • The first agricultural revolution – the transition from hunting & gathering communities & bands.

  • 7-8 separate locales worldwide with the earliest in the Middle East around 10,000 ya.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdbnW-9c27U


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Animal Domestication - Regional

  • Southwest Asia: This area probably included some of the first domesticated dogs, sheep, goats and pigs.

  • CentralAsia: People raised chicken and used Bactrian camels for carrying loads in Central Asia.

  • Arabia: As the name implies, the Arabian camel (a one-humped camel, also known as a dromedary) originated here.

  • China: China was home to early domestication of the water buffalo, pigs and dogs.

  • Ukraine: People in the area that is now Ukraine domesticated the wild tarpan horses that historians believe are the ancestors of modern horses.

  • Egypt: The donkey came in handy here, as it can work hard without much water and vegetation.

  • South America: The domesticated llama and alpaca came from this continent. Historians believe South Americans saved these species from the brink of extinction with domestication.


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Domestication of the Dog

  • The modern dog evolved from the gray wolf. 1st animal to be domesticated.

  • Oldest fossil dog from 14,000 ya – although DNA suggest much older 15k – 100k.

  • Because wolves operate in packs, humans easily took the place of the "highest ranking wolf." So the animals quickly learned obedience.

  • Domestication caused the development of floppy ears, short snouts, spotted coats, highly-set tails and even a tendency to bark.




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Horticulture

  • Cultivation of crops carried out with simple hand tools such as digging sticks or hoes.

  • slash-and-burn cultivation

    • Also known as swidden farming.

    • An extensive form of horticulture in which the natural vegetation is cut, the slash is subsequently burned, and crops are then planted among the ashes.

    • Also used to raise cattle


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Slash-and-Burn Cultivation

  • Reburning an old, overgrown slash-and-burn plot in the Amazon forest in Venezuela in preparation for new planting.

  • Although it looks destructive, if properly carried out, slash-and-burn cultivation is an ecologically sound way of growing crops in the tropics.


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Pastoralism

  • Subsistence that relies on raising herds of domesticated animals, such as cattle, sheep, and goats.

  • Pastoralists are usually nomadic.


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Pastoral Nomads

  • In the Zagros Mountains region of Iran, pastoral nomads follow seasonal pastures, migrating with their flocks over rugged terrain that includes perilously steep snowy passes and fast ice-cold rivers.


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Locations of Major Early Civilizations

  • Civilizations of Central and South America developed independently of those in Africa and Eurasia.

  • Chinese civilization may have developed independently of those in Mesopotamia, the Egyptian Valley, and the Indus Valley.


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Development of Cities

  • Cities developed as intensified agricultural techniques created a surplus.

  • Individuals were free to specialize full-time in other activities.

  • http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=the+lost+pyramids+of+caral&hl=en&emb=0&aq=f#


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Otzi – The Ice Man (Neolithic – Mesolithic)

  • When did he live?

    • 5,300 years ago

  • Where did he live?

    • Swiss Alps, between Austria & Italy.

  • Who was he?

    • heardsman, hunter, or leader; we don’t really know.

  • How did he die?

    • Arrow to the back.


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Otzi Quiz

  • Approximately how long ago did Otzi live? (A) 1,000 yrs (B) 5,000 yrs (C) 10,000 yrs

  • How do we know Otzi was from the South of the Alps in present day Northern Italy?

    (A) his flint knife (B) his tattoos (C) his grass filled shoes (D) specific plants

  • Otzi had an axe made of ____________ . (A) Bronze (B) Copper (C) Stone

  • Evidence suggests that Otzi’s death was related to an arrow wound in his back.

    (A) True (B) False

  • The most recent evidence suggest that Otzi and his people lived a peaceful, egalitarian lifestyle. (A) True (B) False

  • Based on plants and the contents of his stomach we know Otzi died in the ______.

    (A) Winter (B) Spring (C) Summer (D) Fall

  • It is well established that Otzi stood over 7 feet tall. (A) True (B) False

  • Otzi was a: (A) Male (B) Female ( C) Child (D) hobbit


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