Anthro Final

  1. Taphonomy
    The study of the deposition of plant or animal remains and the environmental conditions affecting their preservation.
  2. Fossilization
    The act of becoming a fossil
  3. Geologic Time Scale
    The earth's physical history over time
  4. Pangaea
    A hypothetical landmass in which all the continents were joined, approximately 300-200 million years ago.
  5. Plate Tectonics
    A theory of global tectonics in which the lithosphere is divided into a number of crustal plates, each of which moves on the plastic asthenosphere more or less independently to collide with, slide under, or move past adjacent plates.
  6. Continental Drift
    The lateral movement of continents resulting from the motion of crustal plates.
  7. Relative Dating
    In archaeology, the arrangement of artifacts or events in a sequence relative to one another but without ties calendrically measured time; the arrangement of artifacts in a typological sequence or seriation
  8. Law of Superposition
    A basic law of geochronology, stating that in any undisturbed sequence of rocks deposited in layers, the youngest layer is on top and the oldest on bottom, each layer being younger than the one beneath it and older than the one above it.
  9. Stratigraphy
    A branch of geology dealing with the classification, nomenclature, correlation, and interpretation of stratified rocks.
  10. Stratigraphic Correlation
    The process of matching up strata from several sites through the analysis of chemical, physical, and other properties.
  11. Krakatoa
    The eruption of 1883 was one of the most violent explosions in recorded history. The ash layer that resulted provided a frame of reference for dating materials found above and below. Anything found under the layer of ash existed before 1883; everything on top existed after 1883.
  12. Absolute/Numerical Dating
    The determination of the age of an object with reference to a specific time scale, such as a fixed calendar or in years before present (BP), based on measurable physical or chemical qualities or associations with written records; also called chronometric dating
  13. Radiocarbon Dating
    The radiometric dating method in which the ratio of 14^C to 12^C is measured to provide an absolute date for a material younger than 50,000 years.
  14. Radiopotassium Dating
    The radiometric dating method in which the ratio of 40^K to 40^Ar is measured to provide an absolute date for a material older than 200,000 years.
  15. Isotope
    A form of a chemical element that varies in the number of neutrons in the nucleus and by the atomic weight.
  16. Half-Life
    The time it takes for half of the radioisotopes in a substance to decay; used in various radiometric dating methods.
  17. Arboreal Hypothesis
    The proposition that primates' unique suite of traits is an adaptation to living in trees.
  18. Visual Predations Hypothesis
    The proposition that unique primate traits arose as adaptations to preying on insects and on small animals.
  19. Angiosperm Hypothesis
    The proposition that certain primate traits, such as visual acuity, occurred in response to the availibility of fruit and flowers follwing the spread of angiosperms.
  20. Anthropoids
    Belonging or pertaining to the primate suborder Anthropoidea, characterized by a relatively flat face, dry nose, small immobile ears, and forward-facing eyes, comprising humans, apes, Old World monkeys, and New World monkeys.
  21. Aegyptopithecus
    A propliopithecid genus from the Oligocene, probably ancestral to catarrhines; the largest primate found in the Fayum, Egypt.
  22. Primates in The New World
  23. Sivapithecus
    A genus of Miocene sivapithecids, proposed as ancestral to orangutans.
  24. 5 Characteristics of Primates
    Generalized skeletal structure, enhanced touch, enhanced vision, reduced smell, and dietary versatility.
  25. Adapids
    Euprimates of the Eocene that were likely ancestral to modern lemurs and possibly ancestral to anthropoids.
  26. Omomyids
    Eocene euprimates that may be ancestral to tarsiers.
  27. Eocene
    Noting or pertaining to an epoch of the Tertiary Period, occurring from 55 to 40 million years ago and characterized by the advent of the modern mammalian orders.
  28. Oligocene
    Noting or pertaining to an epoch of the Tertiary Period, occurring from 40 to 25 million years ago.
  29. El Fayum
    A province in N central Egypt: many archaeological remains.
  30. Gigantopithecus
    A genus of Miocene pongids from Asia; the largest primate that ever lived.
  31. Hominid Characteristics
    Bipedalism, nonhoning chewing, complex material culture and tool use, hunting, speech, and dependence on domesticated foods.
  32. Non-honing Chewing
    Chewing as done by hominids. The nonhoning canine is not sharpened against the lower third premolar.
  33. Diastema
    A space between two teeth.
  34. Biological Shifts Accompanying Bipedalism
    Repositioned foramen magnum, s-shaped spine, wide broad pelvis, angled femur, double arched foot, non-abductable big toe.
  35. Hunting Hypothesis
    The hypothesis that human evolution was primarily influenced by the activity of hunting, and that the activity of hunting distinguished human ancestors from other primates.
  36. Patchy Forest Hypothesis
    Human origins and bipedality in particular may be related to the greater efficiency, in certain habitats, of walking on two feet rather than four feet.
  37. Provisioning Hypothesis
    Freeing the early hominids' hands was important in initiating bipedal locomotion, but not for the reasons Darwin cited.
  38. Piltdown Man Controversy
    A famous paleontological hoax concerning the finding of the remains of a previously unknown early human. The hoax find consisted of fragments of a skull and jawbone collected in 1912 from a gravel pit at Piltdown, a village near Uckfield, East Sussex, England. The fragments were thought by many experts of the day to be the fossilised remains of a hitherto unknown form of early man.
  39. Great Rift Valley
    The continuous geographic trench, approximately 6,000 kilometres (3,700 mi) in length, that runs from northern Syria in Southwest Asia to central Mozambique in East Africa. One of two places Australopithecus was mainly found.
  40. Ardipithecus Ramidus
    A later pre-australopithecine species from the late Miocene to the early Pliocene; shows evidence of both bipedalism and arboreal activity but no indication of the primitive perihoning complex.
  41. The Australopithecines
    Represented by hundreds of fossils of at least seven species from one genus, Australopithecus.
  42. Laetoli Footprints
    One of the creatures that passed across this landscape 3.6 million years ago was a member of the early human species Australopithecus afarensis. In fact, at least two individuals were present, walking along side each other. The importance of the fossil footprints at Laetoli cannot be overstated. They demonstrate incontrovertibly that 3.6 million years ago, early humans were bipedal (walking upright on two legs). Their big toes hardly diverged from the rest of the foot, it is pssoible to tell that the gait of these early humans was "heel-strike" (the heel of the foot hit first) followed by "toe-off" (the toes push off at the end of the stride); the way modern humans walk. Thus, bipedality was essentially developed by this time.
  43. Lucy
    An Australopithecus afarensis fossil named after "Lucy in the sky with diamonds". Lucy's remains include both arms, much of the pelvis, a left femur and a right tibia, and hand and foot bones.
  44. First Family
  45. Robust vs. Gracile
    • Robust - strong and healthy; hardy; vigorous
    • Gracile - slender; thin
  46. Sagittal Crest
    A ridge of bone located at the sagittal suture along the midline of the cranium. The more highly developed the sagittal crest, the more highly developed the masticatory muscles are. Appears in gorillas and orangutans, and in some human and primate ancestors.
  47. Zygomatic Arches
    Formed by the zygomatic process of temporal bone (a bone extending forward from the side of the skull, over the opening of the ear) and the temporal process of the zygomatic bone (the side of the cheekbone), the two being united by an oblique suture; the tendon of the Temporalis passes medial to the arch to gain insertion into the coronoid process of the mandible.
  48. Supraorbital Torus
    A bony ridge located above the eye sockets of all primates. In Homo sapiens sapiens (modern humans) the eyebrows are located on their lower margin.
  49. Megadontia
    A great enlargement of the molars and premolars which is found in early vegetarian hominid ancestors such as Paranthropus aetheopicus. Considered to be evidence for vegetarianism, as the robust size would result from the eating of tough, hard shelled food such as seeds and nuts.
  50. Mosaic Habitat
  51. Raymond Dart
    An Australian anatomist and anthropologist who discovered in 1924 of a fossil (first ever found) of Australopithecus africanus (extinct hominid closely related to humans) at Taung in Northwestern South Africa.
  52. Taung Child
    The fossilized skull of a young Australopithecus africanus individual. It was discovered in 1924 by quarrymen working for the Northern Lime Company in Taung, South Africa. Raymond Dart (1893-1988), an anatomist at the University of Witwatersrand, received the fossil, recognized its importance and published his discovery in the journal Nature in 1925, describing it as a new species.
  53. Endocast
  54. Characteristics of Homo
  55. Olduwan Tools
    The earliest known stone tools that were uncovered in the Middle Awash Valley.
  56. Olduvai Gorge
    A steep-sided ravine in the Great Rift Valley, which stretches along eastern Africa. Olduvai is in the eastern Serengeti Plains in northern Tanzania and is about 30 miles (48 km) long. Olduvai Gorge is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the world and has been instrumental in furthering understanding of early human evolution. Excavation work there was pioneered by Louis and Mary Leakey beginning in 1931.
  57. Louis Leakey
    A Kenyan anthropologist and naturalist whose work was important in establishing human evolutionary development in Africa.
  58. Homo Rudolfensis
    A fossil hominin species discovered by Bernard Ngeneo, a member of a team led by anthropologist Richard Leakey and zoologist Meave Leakey in 1972, at Koobi Fora on the east side of Lake Rudolf (now Lake Turkana) in Kenya. Originally thought to be a member of the species Homo habilis, the fossil was the center of much debate concerning its species. Assigned initially to Homo habilis, the skull was at first incorrectly dated at nearly three million years old. The differences in this skull, when compared to others of the Homo habilis species, are too pronounced, leading to the presumption of a Homo rudolfensis species, contemporary with Homo habilis.
  59. Homo Erectus
    An early Homo species, and the likely descendant of H. habilis; the first hominid species to move out of Africa into Asia and Europe.
  60. Eugene Dubois
    A Dutch anatomist who was the first anthropologist to embark upon a purposeful search for hominid fossils. In 1891, Dubois discovered remains of what he described as "a species in between humans and apes". He called his finds Pithecanthropus erectus ("ape-human which stood upright") or Java Man. Today, they are classified as Homo erectus ("human which stood upright").[1] These were the first specimens of early hominid remains to be found outside of Africa or Europe.
  61. Sagittal Keel
    A slight ridge of bone found along the midline sagittal suture of the cranium, which is typically found on H. erectus skulls.
  62. Distribution of H. Erectus
    Originally migrated from Africa during the Early Pleistocene, possibly as a result of the operation of the Saharan pump, around 2.0 million years ago, and dispersed throughout much of the Old World. Fossilized remains 1.8 and 1.0 million years old have been found in Africa (e.g., Lake Turkana[4] and Olduvai Gorge), Europe (Georgia, Spain), Indonesia (e.g., Sangiran and Trinil), Vietnam, and China (e.g., Shaanxi).
  63. 4 Biological Forces of Natural Variation
    Mutation, natural selection, genetic drift, gene flow.
  64. Lake Turkana Boy
    A nearly complete skeleton of an 8- to 12-year-old hominid boy who died 1.5 million[2] years ago in the early Pleistocene. The skeleton was discovered in 1984 by Kamoya Kimeu, a member of a team led by Richard Leakey, at Nariokotome near Lake Turkana in Kenya.
  65. Zhoukoudian Cave
    Has yielded many archaeological discoveries, including one of the first specimens of Homo erectus, dubbed Peking Man, and a fine assemblage of bones of the gigantic hyena Pachycrocuta brevirostris. The Peking Man lived in this cave approximately 200,000 to 750,000 years ago.
  66. Acheulian Tools
    The hand-axe, cleavers, scrapers and picks. There is also evidence that Homo erectus man used wood to make tools, by sharpening the ends of sticks.
  67. Pleistocene
    The epoch from 2.588 million to 12 000 years BP covering the world's recent period of repeated glaciations.
  68. Glaciation and Interglacials
    • Glaciation: the formation, movement, and recession of glaciers.
    • Interglacials: geological intervals of warmer global average temperature that separates glacial periods within an ice age.
  69. Anatomical Differences Between Archaic and Modern H. sapiens
    Archaics are distinguished from anatomically modern humans by having a thick skull, prominent brow ridges and the lack of a prominent chin.
  70. Occipital Bun
    A prominent bulge, or projection, of the occipital bone at the back of the skull.
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Anthro Final
Anthro Final Study Guide