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Hominin Fossils. 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). Bipedalism vs. Knuckle-walking.

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what is a hominin
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)
human dentition
Human Dentition

Small canines

No diastema

Thick tooth enamel

slide7
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

slide8

“Lucy”

  • Hip bone bowl-shaped
  • Femur angled more like a
  • human
slide9

Hominin Fossils

4.0 MYA

3.0 MYA

2.0 MYA

1.0 MYA

Present

Australopithecus afarensis

(430 cm3)

laetoli footprints
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

australopithecus africanus fossil cast sts 5 found in 1947 in south africa 2 6 million years old
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

slide12

Hominin Fossils

4.0 MYA

3.0 MYA

2.0 MYA

1.0 MYA

Present

Australopithecus afarensis

(430 cm3)

Australopithecus africanus

(485 cm3)

homo habilis fossil cast knm er 1813 found in 1973 in east africa
Homo habilis[Fossil Cast: KNM-ER 1813 – found in 1973 in East Africa]

2.5 – 1.5 million years ago

East Africa

510 cm3

artifacts associated with homo habilis and homo rudolphensis
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

slide15

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)

homo erectus fossil cast knm wt 1500 turkana boy found in 1984 in east africa
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

homo erectus turkana boy
Homo erectus- “Turkana Boy”

5’5”/6’ as an adult

Estimated to be 9 – 12 years old

slide18
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)

artifacts associated with homo erectus
Artifacts Associated with Homo erectus
  • Acheulean stone tools (hand axes)
  • Also – evidence of fire hearths at some cave sites
slide21

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)

archaic homo sapiens fossil cast broken hill 1 found in 1921 in southern africa
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

archaeological remains associated with archaic homo sapiens
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)
slide25

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 fossil cast la ferrassie 1 found in 1909 in france 70 000 years old
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

artifacts associated with neanderthals
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)
slide30

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)

homo sapiens fossil cast cro magnon 1 found in 1868 in france 30 000 years old
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)

artifacts associated with earliest homo sapiens
Artifacts Associated with earliest Homo sapiens
  • Stone blade tools
  • Bone and antler implements
  • Artwork
slide33

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)

trends of hominin evolution
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
slide35
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

stone tools found with homo floresiensis
Stone Tools Found With Homo Floresiensis

These are indistinguishable from

stone tools found with Homo sapiens

fossils.

resources for hominin evolution
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/
slide39

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