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Hominin Fossils

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  1. Hominin Fossils

  2. What is a hominin? • Habitually bipedal (upright, 2-legged locomotion) primate • Larger (relative to body size) and complex brain than apes • Unique dentition (small canines, no diastema, and thick tooth enamel)

  3. Bipedalism vs. Knuckle-walking

  4. Figure 8.4: A Comparison of Human and Chimpanzee Pelvises

  5. Human Dentition Small canines No diastema Thick tooth enamel

  6. A Comparison of the Skull and Dentition (Upper Jaw) of Humansand Chimpanzees

  7. Australopithecusafarensis[Fossil Cast: reconstruction, based on several individuals – over 300 individuals found in East Africa] “Lucy” fossil [AL 288-1], on right, found in 1974 in Ethiopia 40% of skeleton found Humerofemoral Index Length of humerus/Length of femur x 100 = Lucy = 84.6 Humans = 71.8 Chimpanzees = 100 4 – 3 million years ago East Africa 430 cm3

  8. “Lucy” • Hip bone bowl-shaped • Femur angled more like a • human

  9. Hominin Fossils 4.0 MYA 3.0 MYA 2.0 MYA 1.0 MYA Present Australopithecus afarensis (430 cm3)

  10. Laetoli Footprints Footprints fossilized in volcanic ash date to 3.6 million years ago from East Africa [found in 1976] Footprints show the big toe in line with the other toes – characteristic of bipedality

  11. Australopithecus africanus[Fossil Cast: STS 5 – found in 1947 in South Africa/2.6 million years old] 3 – 2 million years ago South Africa 485 cm3

  12. Hominin Fossils 4.0 MYA 3.0 MYA 2.0 MYA 1.0 MYA Present Australopithecus afarensis (430 cm3) Australopithecus africanus (485 cm3)

  13. Homo habilis[Fossil Cast: KNM-ER 1813 – found in 1973 in East Africa] 2.5 – 1.5 million years ago East Africa 510 cm3

  14. Artifacts Associated with Homo habilis and Homo rudolphensis • Oldowan stone tools - crude stone tools made from water-worn creek pebbles made of volcanic rock cores and flakes 2 million years old East Africa

  15. Hominin Fossils 4.0 MYA 3.0 MYA 2.0 MYA 1.0 MYA Present Homo habilis (510 cm3) Australopithecus afarensis (430 cm3) Australopithecus africanus (485 cm3)

  16. Homo erectus[Fossil Cast: KNM-WT 1500 “Turkana Boy” – found in 1984 in East Africa] 1.6 million years ago East Africa 880 cm3/ 909 cm3

  17. Homo erectus- “Turkana Boy” 5’5”/6’ as an adult Estimated to be 9 – 12 years old

  18. Homo erectus[Fossil Cast: Weidenreich Reconstruction from 40 individualsfound in the 1930’s in China] 1.8 million years ago – 300,000 years ago: Africa Europe China Indonesia 970 cm3 (range 750 – 1250)

  19. Homo erectus Sites

  20. Artifacts Associated with Homo erectus • Acheulean stone tools (hand axes) • Also – evidence of fire hearths at some cave sites

  21. Hominin Fossils 4.0 MYA 3.0 MYA 2.0 MYA 1.0 MYA Present Homo erectus (970 cm3) Homo habilis (510 cm3) Australopithecus afarensis (430 cm3) Australopithecus africanus (485 cm3)

  22. Archaic Homo sapiens[Fossil Cast: Broken Hill 1 – found in 1921 in Southern Africa] 500,000 – 130,000 years ago: Europe Asia Africa 1200 cm3

  23. Archaic Homo sapiens Sites

  24. Archaeological Remains Associated with Archaic Homo sapiens • Remains of 21 oval branch and brush huts with simple fire hearths at the site of Terra Amata on the southern French coast (400,000 years ago) • 32 skeletons buried in a cave chamber at a site in Atapuerca, Spain (300,000 years ago)

  25. Hominin Fossils 4.0 MYA 3.0 MYA 2.0 MYA 1.0 MYA Present Homo erectus (970 cm3) Archaic Homo sapiens Homo habilis (510 cm3) Australopithecus afarensis (1200 cm3) (430 cm3) Australopithecus africanus (485 cm3)

  26. Homo neanderthalensis[Fossil Cast: La Ferrassie 1 – found in 1909 in France/70,000 years old] 230,000 – 28,000 years ago: Europe SW Asia 1450 cm3

  27. Neanderthal hyoid bone

  28. Artifacts Associated with Neanderthals • Mousterian stone tools hand axes stone awls for making leather clothing • antler hammers for final stages of shaping stone tools • Cave sites with hearths containing charred animal bones • Several sites with evidence of intentional burial of the dead (skeletons flexed and stained with hematite)

  29. Neanderthal Sites

  30. Hominin Fossils 4.0 MYA 3.0 MYA 2.0 MYA 1.0 MYA Present Homo erectus (970 cm3) Archaic Homo sapiens Homo habilis (510 cm3) Australopithecus afarensis (1200 cm3) (430 cm3) Australopithecus africanus (485 cm3) Homo neanderthalensis (1450 cm3)

  31. Homo sapiens[Fossil Cast: Cro-Magnon 1 – found in 1868 in France/30,000 years old] 160,000 years ago- present: Africa – 160,000 years ago Near East – 90,000 years ago Asia – 80,000 years ago Australia – 50,000 years ago Europe – 40,000 years ago Americas – 20,000 years ago 1350 cm3 (range 1100 – 1800)

  32. Artifacts Associated with earliest Homo sapiens • Stone blade tools • Bone and antler implements • Artwork

  33. Hominin Fossils 4.0 MYA 3.0 MYA 2.0 MYA 1.0 MYA Present Homo erectus (970 cm3) Archaic Homo sapiens Homo habilis (510 cm3) Australopithecus afarensis (1200 cm3) (430 cm3) Homo sapiens Australopithecus africanus (1350 cm3) (485 cm3) Homo neanderthalensis (1450 cm3)

  34. Trends of Hominin Evolution • Increase in brain size through time • Increase in body size through time • Increasing sophistication in making stone tools • Decrease in tooth size • Decrease in skeletal robusticity

  35. What is this??Homo floresiensis (the “Hobbit”)[Fossil Cast: LB1 – found in 2003 in LiungBua Cave on the island of Flores, Indonesia] 95,000 – 13,000 years ago Flores, Indonesia 400 cm3

  36. Homo floresiensis Site

  37. Stone Tools Found With Homo Floresiensis These are indistinguishable from stone tools found with Homo sapiens fossils.

  38. Resources for Hominin Evolution: • The National Museum of Natural History – part of the Smithsonian Institution http://humanorigins.si.edu/index2.html The NMNH will open a new 15,000 sq. foot exhibition hall devoted to human origins on March 17, 2010 [funded by a gift from chemical engineer and philanthropist, David H. Koch] • The American Museum of Natural History www.amnh.org/humanorigins/ • Talk Origins website http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/

  39. From the National Museum of Natural History website: http://humanorigins.si.edu/index2.html