Hominid Skull Analysis



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Once measurements are complete:


  • Create 3 graphs (one for each data group A, B &C) that illustrate the changes in the anatomy of the primates.

  • Choose just one characteristic from each data set to illustrate in your graphs.

  • Graphs should be completed with “specimen” on the X-axis arranged in sequential order with the great apes and modern humans on the far right.

Data



A- Braincase

Specimen

1. Forehead

2. Browridge

3. Browridge

4. Braincase

5. Sagittal crest

6. Foreamen magnum

7. Mastoid










































































































































































B - Face

Specimen

8. Nasal Bones

9. Nasal opening width

10. Nasal opening height

11. Maxilla width

12. Bizygomatic breadth
















































































































































































C - Dentition

Specimen

13. Dental Arcade

14. Incisors

15. Incisors width

16. Canine

17. Diastema

18. Chewing surface











































































































































































DISCUSSION:


1. Why do you think the canine tooth reduced in size so much from earlier to later hominids?

2. Why do you think the face flattens over time in hominids?


3. How does the position of the foramen magnum relate to the body posture and locomotion of the animal (how it walks)?

4. What areas or portions of the braincase enlarge first and which ones enlarge later in the hominids?


5. Which specific traits distinguish modern humans from modern apes?
6. Based on your measurements, are the extinct hominids more closely related to modern humans or modern apes? Explain using specific facial features.
7. If you were on an archeological dig and found the remains of a skull that only contained the mandible, could you use that determine if the remains are early hominid, modern human, or ape? Justify your answer using evidence from the lab.

--Teacher Use--



http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/lessons/hom.cran.html

DISCUSSION answers:

1. Why do you think the canine tooth reduced in size so much from earlier to later hominins? (Ans.: grasping function of long canines replaced by easy use of hands, associated with bipedalism).

2. Why do you think the face flattens over time in hominins? (Ans.: similar reason as for item 1.)



3. How does the position of the foramen magnum relate to the body posture and locomotor pattern of the animal? (Ans.: more forward and under the skull, associated with erect posture of bipedalism; skull balances on top of spinal column. With semi-erect posture of apes, foramen magnum is located more to the rear of the skull.)

4. What areas or portions of the braincase enlarge first and which ones enlarge later in the hominins? (Ans.: Rear portion enlarges first; top and forward portions enlarge later.)
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