Physical anthro

  1. prehistory
    a conventional term used to refer to the period of time before appearance of written records; does not deny the existence of history, merely of written history.
  2. artifact
    any object fashioned or altered by humans
  3. material culture
    the durable aspects of culture, such as tools, structures, and arts.
  4. ecofact
    the natural remains of plants and animals found in the archaeological record.
  5. feature
    a non portable element such as a hearth or an architectural element such as a wall that is preserved in the archaeological record.
  6. fossil
    any mineralized trace or impression of an organism that has been preserved in the earth's crust from past geological time.
  7. soil mark
    a stain that shows up on the surface of recently plowed fields that reveals an archaeological site.
  8. middens
    a refuse or garbage disposal area in an archaeological site.
  9. grid system
    a system for recording data in three dimensions for an archaeological excavation.
  10. datum point
    the starting point, or reference, for a grid system.
  11. flotation
    an archaeological technique employed to recover very tiny objects by immersion of soil samples in water to separate heavy from light particles.
  12. stratified
    layered; term used to describe archaeological sites where the remains lie in layers, one upon another.
  13. endocast
    a cast of the inside of a skull; used to help determine the size and shape of the brain.
  14. polymerase chain reaction
    a technique for amplifying or creating multiple copies of fragments of DNA so that it can be studied in the laboratory.
  15. relative dating
    designating an event, object, or fossil as being older or younger than another.
  16. chronometric dating
    dating recovered material based on solar years, centuries or other units of absolute time.
  17. stratigraphy
    the most reliable method of relative dating by means of strata.
  18. fluorine dating
    a technique for relative dating based on the fact that the amount of flourine in bones is proportional to their age.
  19. seriation
    a technique of relative dating based on putting groups of objects into a sequence in relation to one another.
  20. palynology
    a technique of relative dating based on changes in fossil pollen over time.
  21. radio carbon dating
    a technique of chronometric dating based on the number of rings of growth found in a tree trunk.
  22. potassium argon dating
    a technique of chronometric dating that measures the ratio of radio active potassium to argon in volcanic debris associated with human remains.
  23. macroevolution
    evolution above the species level
  24. speciation
    the process of forming new species
  25. isolating mechanism
    a factor that separates breeding populations, thereby preventing gene flow, creating divergent subspecies and ultimately divergent species.
  26. cladogenesis
    speciation through a branching mechanism whereby an ancestral population gives rise to two or more descendant populations.
  27. heterochrony
    change in the timing of developmental events that is often responsible for changes in the shape or size of a body part.
  28. homeobox gene
    a gene responsible for large scale effects on growth and development that are frequently responsible for major reorganization of body plans in organisms.
  29. punctuated equilibria
    a model of macroevolutionary change that suggest evolution occurs via long periods of stability or stasis punctuated by periods of rapid change.
  30. anagenesis
    a sustained directional shift in a populations average characteristics.
  31. derived
    characteristics that define a group of organisms and that did not exist in ancestral populations.
  32. ancestral
    characteristics that define a group of organisms that are due to shared ancestry.
  33. convergent evolution
    in biological evolution, a process by which unrelated populations develop similarities to one another due to similar function rather than shared ancestry.
  34. continental drift
    according to the theory of plate tectonics, the movement of continents embedded in underlying plates on the earth's surface in relation to one another over the history of life on earth.
  35. adaptive radiation
    rapid diversification of an evolving population as it adapts to a variety of available niches.
  36. preadapted
    possessing characteristics that, by chance, are advantageous in future environmental conditions.
  37. homeotherm
    an animal that maintains a relatively constant body temperature despite environmental fluctuations
  38. isotherm
    an animal whose body temperature rises or falls according to the temperature of the surrounding environment.
  39. k-selected
    reproduction involving the production of relatively few offspring with high parental investment in each.
  40. r-selected
    reproduction involving the production of large numbers of offspring with relatively low parental investment in each.
  41. arboreal hypothesis
    a theory for primate evolution that proposes that life in the trees was responsible for enhanced visual acuity and manual dexterity in primates.
  42. visual predation hypothesis
    a theory for primate evolution that proposes that hunting behavior in tree dwelling primates was responsible for their enhanced visual acuity and dexterity.
  43. bipedalism
    the mode of locomotion in which an organism walks upright on its two hind legs, characteristics of humans and their ancestors; bipedality.
  44. Ardipithecus ramidus
    one of the earliest bipeds that lived in forested portions of eastern Africa about 4.4 million years ago.
  45. australopithecus
    the genus including several species of early bipeds from East, South, and Central Africa living between about 1.1 and 4.3 million years ago, one of whom was directly ancestral to humans.
  46. savannah
    semi-arid plains environment as in eastern Africa.
  47. diastema
    a space between the canines and other teeth allowing the large projecting canines to fit within the jaw.
  48. Kenyanthropus platyops
    a proposed genus and species of biped contemporary with early australopithecines; may not be a separate genus.
  49. gracile australopithecines
    members of the genus Australopithecus possessing more lightly built chewing apparatus; likely had a diet that included more meat than that of the robust Australopithecines; best represented by the South African species A. africanus.
  50. robust australopithecines
    several species within the genus australopithecus, who lived from 2.5 to 1.1 million years ago in East and Southern Africa; known for the rugged nature of their chewing apparatus (large back teeth, large chewing muscles, and a bony ridge on their skull tops for the insertion of these large muscles).
  51. sagittal crest
    a crest running from front to back on the top of the skull along the midline to provide a surface of bone for the attachment of the large temporal muscles for chewing.
  52. law of competitive exclusion
    when two closely related species compete for the same niche, one will out-compete the other, bringing about the latter's extinction.
Card Set
Physical anthro