evolutionary psychology workshop 1 hominid evolution l.
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Evolutionary Psychology, Workshop 1 Hominid Evolution. Learning Outcomes. 1). Locate and navigate specific resources using the web. 2). Construct a chart representing changes in brain size over time in the hominid lineage.

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learning outcomes
Learning Outcomes.
  • 1). Locate and navigate specific resources using the web.
  • 2). Construct a chart representing changes in brain size over time in the hominid lineage.
  • 3). Answer a series of questions concerning hominid evolution
  • Key Skills: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.4, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5.1
main task
Main Task.
  • Work in small groups and construct a chart of changes in brain size over the course of hominid evolution. You may include comparative information from other primate species if you wish. You should include the following hominid species but you may include others if you wish:
      • Australopithecus afarensis
      • Australopithecus africanus
      • Homo rudolfensis
      • Homo habilis
      • Homo erectus
      • Homo heidelbergensis
      • Homo neanderthalensis
      • Homo sapiens.
where to find the information
Where to Find the Information.
  • The following 2 web sites are particularly useful but feel free to search for others, if you come across any relevant sites please inform the rest of the group:
  • Features of extinct hominids: http://www.humboldt.edu/~mrc1/main.shtml
  • Timeline of hominids and their characteristics:
  • http://www.wsu.edu:8001/vwsu/gened/learn-modules/top_longfor/timeline/timeline.html
  • Note that the information concerning brain size and duration of existence are approximate, and may differ slightly between web sites.
  • In order to construct your chart you may thus have to use mean skull size per species and either mean time of existence, or first recorded appearance.
  • You should construct your chart on in a package such as Excel.
second task
Second Task.
  • While you are searching for dates and brain sizes - note down the answers to these questions:
  • 1. Which ancestor discovered by Donald Johanson in 1978 was named after a Beatles song?
  • 2. Which ancestral species was discovered in East Africa by Maeve Leakey and named in 1995?
  • 3. What does 'prognathic' refer to?
  • 4. The discovery of the 'Taung child' was important as it established that humans originated in Africa. Who found this specimen and in what year?
  • 5. Which ancestor is regarded as being the earliest known species in the genus Homo?
questions continued
Questions Continued.
  • 6. What did the Laetoli footprints provide strong evidence of?
  • 7. What is the principle difference between Homo ergaster and Homo erectus?
  • 8. Which ancestral hominid species does the 'Turkana boy' belong?
  • 9. What are the 7 key characteristics of the Homo genus?
  • 10. What is the key feature of 'Mousterian' tools as used by Homo neanderthalensis?
brain expansion in hominids
Brain Expansion in Hominids









answers to the questions
Answers to the Questions.
  • 1. Lucy - from 'Lucy in the sky with diamonds'.
  • 2. Australopithecus anamensis.
  • 3. Protruding jaw.
  • 4. Raymond Dart in 1924.
  • 5. Homo habilis.
  • 6. Bipedalism.
  • 7. They both share the same characteristics but Homo ergaster was found in Africa while Homo erectus was found in Asia.
  • 8. Homo ergaster/erectus.
  • 9. Brain above 1000ml in size; forehead is vertical; rounder skull; smaller teeth; shorter arms; longer legs; more delicate skeleton.
  • 10. They were hafted - ie had handles.
other web sites
Other Web Sites.
  • A timeline of human evolution can be found at:
  • http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/5579/timeline.html
  • Human prehistory: an exhibition:
  • http://users.hol.gr/%7Edilos/prehis.htm
  • If you have time during the session or at your leisure watch the e-documentary on the evolution of the hominids on
  • http://www.becominghuman.org