Early Hominids (prehistoric humans). Chapter 2. Australopithecus Afarensis: “Southern Ape”. aka: Lucy. Discovered by anthropologist , Donald Johanson, in Africa in an area known as, the Afar Triangle. Lucy was 3’ tall and had a mix of ape and human features.
Discovered by anthropologist, Donald Johanson, in Africa in an area known as, the Afar Triangle.
Lucy was 3’ tall and had a mix of ape and human features.
Her arms were long but her hands and feet were similar to modern humans.
She had a large head and her forehead and jaw stuck out from her face.
Remains of other hominids have been found in the same area. Scientists guess that Lucy’s relatives lived in Africa, about 3 to 4 million years ago.
Anthropologists agree that Lucy was an early form of humans.
Lucy had many advantages because she was a biped:
-gather and carry food easily
-use their hands to defend their young
Lucy’s brain was 1/3 our size.
Scientists have not found any tools from Lucy’s time and they don’t think these early hominids could speak.
aka: Handy Man
Discovered in Africa, by a husband-wife team Louis and Mary Leakey.
The Leakeys named their discovery Homo Habilis, or Handy Man because the artifacts they discovered that looked like tools.
Handy Man also had a combination of human and ape features.
They were bipeds but they were taller than Lucy with slightly more humanlike features.
Handy Man’s brain was twice the size of Lucy’s.
Handy Man lived in groups, this allowed them to work together to:
Handy Man lived 1.5 to 2 million years ago.
They were more advanced than Lucy, however, his tools were very simple. They used:
rocks as chopping tools
sharp pieces of stone for cutting
animal bones as digging sticks
Making a tool takes some thought. They had to imagine the tool, then plan how to craft it and then make it. They may have passed this knowledge down.
These tools allowed Handy Man to lead a better life than Lucy. With their tools they could:
cut meat off of dead animals
crack animal bones
dig traps for small animals
aka: Upright Man
A third type of hominid was discovered in 1891 by Eugene Dubois. It was found on the island of Java off the coast of Asia. He was found before Lucy or Handy Man.
Upright Man was around much longer than any hominid group.
Scientists believe that they were the first to migrate out of Africa. Their remains have been found in parts of Asia and Europe.
Upright Man was taller and thinner than earlier hominids. Their bones were strong and they were good walkers and runners.
The face was much more like Modern Humans. Their foreheads were round and smooth, but they still had a jaw and brow that stuck out.
Upright Man still had Handy Man’s tools, plus he had a bigger brain. So, Upright Man was able to improve Handy Man’s tools and invent better ones.
Upright Man’s biggest discovery was fire. Upright Man used fire to cook their meat.
Upright Man built huts and used fire and animal skins to keep warm and comfortable.
Building shelters gave Upright Man protection from the weather and any animals that might want to hurt them. He had the first hominid communities.