Plate 5-3 – Fossils in the Making: From Death to Discovery



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Plate 5-2 – Human Origins: The Savanna Mosaic

  1. Where do we find most early hominid sites in Africa?

  2. Hominid sites usually occur near the ancient margins of what?


Plate 5-3 – Fossils in the Making: From Death to Discovery

  1. What is key to preservation of bones?

  2. What three things often have the final word in the preservation and discovery of fossils?


Plate 5-4 – Measuring Time: Nuclear and Paleomagnetic Clocks

  1. What is the atomic number of an element? The atomic weight?

  2. What is the half-life of 14C? 40K

  3. What does the paleomagnetic clock record?


Plate 5-14 – Bipedal Anatomy and Locomotion: Chimpanzees & Humans

  1. During the stance phase of human gait what three positions does the foot assume?

  2. What two things are distinctive about the human vertebral column?

  3. What is the carrying angle of a chimp’s femur? A human’s?

  4. Why are the gluteus medius and minimus important during the stance phase of human walking?

  5. Why are the human calf muscles so large?


Plate 5-15 – Hominid Locomotion: Pelvis and Lower Limb

  1. What type of ilium is diagnostic of bipedalism?

  2. How does the head of the femur and the acetabulum differ in humans from apes?

  3. Through which condyle does the weight-axis pass in humans?


Plate 5-16 – Hominid Locomotion: Footprints and Foot Bones

  1. Why is the longitudinal arch so important for human locomotion?

  2. How do the human toes differ from those of a chimp?


Plate 5-18 – Australopithecines: Cranial and Facial Comparisons

  1. Who does Australopithecus resemble more in terms of cranial capacity? facial prognathism (i.e., facial projection)? masticatory apparatus (i.e., size of jaws)?

  2. Why are the nuchal muscles so large in chimps? So small in humans?


Plate 5-19 – Australopithecines: Dental Comparisons

  1. What makes up the honing triad in chimps?

  2. What are the conditions of the comparable teeth in humans?

  3. What are the conditions of the comparable teeth in early Australopithecus?

  4. What is the enamel thickness like in Australopithecus?

  5. What is the shape of the dental arch in chimps? Australopithecus? Humans?

  6. What is the position of the foramen magnum in chimps? Humans? Australopithecus?

  7. What action does the temporalis muscle cause? The Masseter muscle?


Plate 5-20 – Australopithecine Adaptation: Gracile & Robust Species

  1. What do the gracile and robust australopiths share dentally?

  2. What is distinctive about the robust australopith’s dentition? What is it likely adapted for?

  3. Why do robust australopiths have a sagittal crest? Enlarged zygomatic arches?


Plate 5-21 – The Great Brain Drain: Brain Evolution

  1. Bipedalism was established about 4 mya but brain expansion didn’t occur until about 2 mya – why did it take so long for brain expansion?

  2. How does blood drainage differ in quadrupeds and bipedal humans?

  3. How do robust australopiths differ from gracile ones?

  4. What do we see in the evolution of brain size in Homo over time?


Plate 5-22 – Making Visible the Invisible: New Techniques

  1. There are two sets of periodic growth lines in enamel. What are they?

  2. What was the pattern of dental growth in early hominids.

  3. What did study of the Devil’s Tower child dental growth show?


Plate 5-23- Hands and Tools

  1. What does the size of chimp hands and feet show?

  2. What is the function of the bony ridges on the chimp phalanges?

  3. What does curvature of the phalanges suggest?

  4. What does the large attachment area for flexor pollicis longus tell us?


Plate 5-5 – Hominid Sites: Site Distribution

  1. What is the time range for hominid sites in Africa?


Plate 5-9 – Afar Triangle, Ethiopia

  1. The oldest hominid known from this region is controversial and from Aramis. What is its name and geological age?

  2. What famous fossil was found at Hadar? What is its scientific name? What is its geological age?

  3. What age is the Bodo cranium?


Plate 5-8 – West Lake Turkana, Kenya

  1. What species is known from Kanapoi? What is its geological age?

  2. Why is the “black skull” important?

  3. What did the nearly complete skeleton of the Turkana Boy offer?


Plate 5-6 – Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania

  1. Olduvai Gorge was the first hominid site to be dated with the K/Ar technique. How old is the basalt layer and what was the implication of its age for then known human ancestors?

  2. What two species are found in Bed I?

  3. What two species are found in Bed II

  4. What tool tradition is found in Bed 1? In Bed II? What types of tools characterize the traditions? What species made the tools?


Plate 5-7 – East Lake Turkana, Kenya

  1. Why was there a controversy about the KBS tuff in the early 1970s?


Plate 5-10 – South African Cave Sites: Taung and Sterkfontein

  1. The Taung child was thought by Raymond Dart to be about six years old. What is the current age estimate?

  2. What exciting find was made in the Silberberg Grotto of Member 2 at Sterkfontein?

  3. What species of hominid did Broom discover from Member 4? What do the postcranial remains indicate?

  4. What species of hominid is known from Member 5? How many artifacts have been recovered from this member?


Plate 5-11 – Swartkrans Cave, South Africa

  1. What species of australopith accounts for the majority of fossil fragments found in Swartkrans Cave? How many individuals are represented?

  2. What do the stone tools that are found with predominantly robust australopiths suggest?


Plate 5-12 – Bones in South African Caves: Predators and Prey

  1. Raymond Dart interpreted the bones found at Taung & at Makapansgat as evidence of what kind of culture:

  2. During the 1960s what did C.K. Brain suggest was responsible for the bone accumulations in the South African caves?

  3. What does the size of animals and the V-nick marks on bones suggest about the Taung accumulation?


Plate 5-24 – Early Homo in Africa: Hominids leave Africa

  1. What time range did the African australopithecines span?

  2. What appeared between 2.5 and 2 mya?

  3. How does Homo differ from the australopithecines?

  4. How many species of Homo have been recognized in Africa between 2.5 and 1.5 mya?

  5. What species of Homo is known from Eurasia between 2 and 1 mya?


Plate 5-25 – Expansion into Europe: Homo Heidelbergensis

  1. Who is identified as a common ancestor of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens?

  2. By what time can Neanderthal and H. sapiens be recognized morphologically?


Plate 5-26 – Neanderthals: A Distinct Species

  1. When did Neanderthals live?

  2. What is the Neanderthal stone culture called?

  3. What are some distinctive features of the Neanderthal cranium and dentition?

  4. What are some distinctive features of the skull in Homo sapiens?

  5. What are some distinctive features of the Neanderthal postcranium? What kind of weather were Neanderthals built for?

  6. Did Neanderthals bury their dead?

  7. About how many Neanderthal individuals have been recovered so far?


Plate 5-27 – African Origin of Homo Sapiens: Origin of Homo Sapiens

  1. Rebecca Cann’s genetic analysis suggested that our ancestors originated in Africa about when?

  2. Why is the “multiregional hypothesis” for the origin of Homo sapiens not consistent with the genetic data?

  3. The archaeological remains at Klasies River Mouth is consistent with what type of lifestyle?


Plate 5-28 – Modern Humans Meet Neanderthals

  1. Thermoluminescence was used to date the Neanderthal and Homo sapiens sites in the Jordan Valley. What was discovered? How did the results fit with the “Out of Africa” hypothesis?


Plate 5 – 29 Expansion of Homo Sapiens

  1. What does the rather sudden explosion of paintings and carvings suggest about modern humans?









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