Human Evolution - a notebook


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A visual guide to major sites related to Human Evolution worldwide. For each site it indicates the hominid fossils found, species, age, pics of the fossil, the site and other illustrative pics.
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Human Evolution - a notebook

  1. 1. 1 Human Evolution - a notebook - Roberto Sáezv. 5/11/2015
  2. 2. 2 A Human Evolution Timeline (Million Years) 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Sahelanthropus tchadensis Ardiphitecus kadabba Orrorin tugenensis Ardiphitecus ramidus Kenyanthropus platyops Au. afarensis Au. bahrelghazali Au. anamensis Au. africanus Au. garhi Au. aethiopicus Au. boisei Au. robustus H. rudolfensis H. habilis H. ergaster H. erectus H. heidelbergensis H. neanderthalensis H. sapiens ? ? ? ? ? H. floresiensis H. rhodesiensis ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Au. sediba ? ? ? ? Robust australopitecines / Paranthropus Homo Australopithecus Early hominin Light colors mean possible variations within the same species ? H. antecessor ? ? ?
  3. 3. 3 Early Hominin (7.0-4.2 MYA) (6 MYA) (6-7 MYA) (5.5 MYA) (4.4 MYA)
  4. 4. 4 Sahelanthropus tchadensis TM 266 ‘Toumai’ (7 MYA) Discovered by Michael Brunet's team in Chad in 2001 and described in Nature in 2002. Some suggest that S. tchadensis existed near the time that hominids and apes separated on their evolutionary paths. It could be that this specimen is a representative of an early hominid, predating A. afarensis by 3 to 4 million years; on the other hand, it might be an ancestor of the gorilla. Some of the oldest evidence of a humanlike species moving about in an upright position comes from Sahelanthropus. The large opening (foramen magnum) where the spinal cord exits out of the cranium from the brain is located further forward (on the underside of the cranium) than in apes or any other primate except humans. This feature indicates that the head of Sahelanthropus was held on an upright body, probably associated with walking on two legs. Walking upright may have helped this species survive in diverse habitats, including forests and grasslands. Although we have only cranial material from Sahelanthropus, studies so far show this species had a combination of apelike and humanlike features. Apelike features included a small brain (even slightly smaller than a chimpanzee’s), sloping face, very prominent brow ridges, and elongated skull. Humanlike features included small canine teeth, a short middle part of the face, and a spinal cord opening underneath the skull instead of towards the back as seen in non-bipedal apes. We can infer based on its environment and other early human species that it ate a mainly plant-based diet. This probably included leaves, fruit, seeds, roots, nuts, and insect 1. What did the body of Sahelanthropus tchadensis look like? So far paleoanthropologists have only uncovered cranial fossils of this species. 2. What was their primary form of locomotion? 3. What did they eat? 4. Why did Sahelanthropus tchadensis males have smaller canines? This is unlike male chimpanzees and most other primates who use their long canine teeth to threaten others, especially when competing for mates. 5. Were there size differences between Sahelanthropus tchadensis males and females? 6. Was Sahelanthropus tchadensis a common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees? 100 cm, 35 kg 17x10x10, 350 cc
  5. 5. 5 Ardipithecus ramidus ARA-VP-6/500 ‘Ardi’ (4.4 MYA) Discovered by Tim White and associates in 1994 in the Afar region of Ethiopia. White and associates hypothesize that Australopithecus is a descendant of Ardipithecus, while others hypothesize that Ardipithecus might be an extinct sister species to Lucy's genus. The partial skeleton ARA-VP-6/500 is now considered by many to be the oldest skeleton of a supposed human ancestor. The discoverers argue that the ‘Ardi’ skeleton reflects a human-African ape common ancestor that was not chimpanzee-like. The bones of the wrist indicate, according to the discovery team, that while moving quadrupedally, weight was placed on the palms of the hands rather than on the knuckles. The foot bones in this skeleton indicate a divergent large toe combined with a rigid foot – it's still unclear what this means concerning bipedal behavior. The pelvis, reconstructed from a crushed specimen, is said to show adaptations that combine tree- climbing and bipedal activity. It indicates that this species was able to walk upright, not with the same fluidity of later humans or even 'Lucy' but with much more efficiency than chimpanzees. However, the lower part of the pelvis offers evidence that the species possessed the musculature required for tree- climbing. A good sample of canine teeth of this species indicates very little difference in size between males and females in this species. There no sexual dimorphism is expected. It’s possible that Ar. ramidus males did not compete against each other for dominance, and therefore did not need to grow bigger in size Ardi’s fossils were found alongside faunal remains indicating she lived in a wooded environment. This contradicts the open savanna theory for the origin of bipedalism, which states that humans learned to walk upright as climates became drier and environments became more open and grassy. The enamel on Ar. ramidus teeth remains show it was neither very thick nor very thin. If the enamel was thick, it would mean Ar. ramidus ate tough, abrasive foods. If the enamel was thin, this would suggest Ar. ramidus ate softer foods such as fruit. Instead, A. ramidus has an enamel thickness between a chimpanzee’s and later Australopithecus or Homo species, suggesting a mixed diet. However, the wear pattern and incisor sizes indicate Ar. Ramidus was not a specialized frugivore (fruit-eater). Ar. ramidus probably also avoided tough foods, as they did not have the heavy chewing specializations of later Australopithecus species. 1. Does the pelvis of Ar. ramidus support the hypothesis that this early human species was bipedal? The pelvis was reconstructed from crushed fossils and, according to some scientists, is only suggestive of bipedalism. 2. What is the average size of male Ar. ramidus individuals? If more fossils support the original finding of relatively low sexual dimorphism, how does this relate to male and female size differences in other early humans at the base of our family tree -- and what does it mean? F 120 cm, 50 kg 15x11x12.5, 300-350 cc
  6. 6. 6 Early Australopithecine (3.8-3.0 MYA) AL 288-1 Au.afarensis, Lucy (3.2 MYA) AL 444-2 (3 MYA) Dick 1-1 Lucy’s baby (3.3 MYA)3.56 MYA Nachukui Formation, KNM-WT 40000 Kenyanthropus platyops (3.5-3.2 MYA) Kanapoi Lake Turkana Au.anamensis (4 MYA)
  7. 7. 7 Kenyanthropus platyops KNM-WT-40000 (3.5 MYA) Discovered in 1999 by J. Erus (a member of Meave Leakey's team) west of Lake Turkana, Kenya. The specimen was described in Nature in 2001. Leakey and colleagues viewed the finds as being distinct enough from Australopithecus, particularly in the marked flatness of the face, to justify a new genus and species, Kenyanthropus platyops (meaning "flat faced hominid from Kenya"). Providing a second hominid species in the period from 3 to 3.5 MYA, this specimen challenges A. afarensis "Lucy" as the direct ancestor of modern human. Its classification as a separate genus is not uncontroversial, especially given the damaged condition (1,100 face pieces) in which the skull was found. It is unknown whether this hominid was bipedal. The skull dates to about a million years before the earliest known use of tools and long predate the first use of fire. Although Leakey et al. (2001) erected a new genus to accommodate this skull, there is as yet no real consensus as to whether Kenyanthropus platyops is even distinct from the contemporary and much better known Australopithecus afarensis. For example, Tim White, a member of the team who discovered Lucy in 1973, argued that K. platyops is merely a Kenyan version of Australopithecus afarensis and that the subtle differences between the two do not warrant their separate treatment. There are also those who think it's similar to Homo rudolfensis, which existed in the same geographic region, but more than a million years later. 19x12.5x10, 400-500 cc 150 cm, 38-50 kg
  8. 8. 8 Australopithecus afarensis AL 444-2 (3 MYA) Discovered in 1992 by Yoel Rak in Hadar, Ethiopia, and analyzed with collaborators B. Kimbel and D. Johanson. A.L. 444-2, in addition to being the largest Australopithecus afarensis skull found to date, was the first discovery of an associated cranium and mandible for this taxon. Its size and morphological aspects indicate that it is clearly a male, and heavy dental wear suggests advanced age. Before the discovery of A.L. 444-2, the A. afarensis species was known only from fragments of various skulls and a subsequent composite reconstruction, the accuracy of which had been questioned. This long awaited find (nearly 18 years after Lucy's discovery) confirmed the essential features of the composite and played a significant role in addressing other key questions about this taxon. In addition to underscoring the extensive sexual dimorphism present in A. afarensis, Kimbel et al. (1994, 2004) argue that the evident variability supports their argument for the taxonomic unity of the species. Further, they posit that in conjunction with the other finds from Hadar and Belohdelie, these fossils are evidence of a 900,000 period of evolutionary stasis for A. afarensis. Similar to chimpanzees, Au. afarensis children grew rapidly after birth and reached adulthood earlier than modern humans. This meant A. afarensis had a shorter period of growing up than modern humans have today, leaving them less time for parental guidance and socialization during childhood. Au. afarensis had both ape and human characteristics: members of this species had apelike face proportions (a flat nose, a strongly projecting lower jaw) and braincase (with a small brain, usually less than 500 cubic centimeters -- about 1/3 the size of a modern human brain), and long, strong arms with curved fingers adapted for climbing trees. They also had small canine teeth like all other early humans, and a body that stood on two legs and regularly walked upright. Their adaptations for living both in the trees and on the ground helped them survive for almost a million years as climate and environments changed. Looking at the remains of their teeth, dental microwear studies indicate they ate soft, sugar-rich fruits, but their tooth size and shape suggest that they could have also eaten hard, brittle foods too – probably as ‘fallback’ foods during seasons when fruits were not available. AL 288-1 ‘Lucy’ (3.2 MYA) M 151 cm, F 105 cm M 42 kg, F 29 kg 22.5x16x20, 550 cc 16x12.5x14, 410 cc
  9. 9. 9 Australopithecus afarensis AL 444-2 (3 MYA) 1. A fossil similar to Au. afarensis and dating to 3.5 million years ago has been found in Chad—did this species extend so far into central Africa? 2. We know Au. afarensis were capable of walking upright on two legs, but they would have walked differently than modern humans do today; so, what did their bipedal locomotion look like? 3. Did Au. afarensis usually walk upright like modern humans, or did they spend more time climbing trees like other living African apes? 4. The species Au. afarensis existed through a period of environmental fluctuation yet showed no adaptations to the changing environment—why? Was it because they were able to migrate to where their usual food sources were located? Or were their food sources somehow unaffected? 5. Au. afarensis shows strong sexual dimorphism in that the body sizes between males and females are quite different; however, sexual dimorphism in other primates is usually characterized by size differences in bodies and teeth. Fossil evidence shows that male Au. afarensis individuals had canine teeth comparable in size to those of females. Did male dominance in Au. afarensis individuals not include the need to bear large canine teeth, as it does in many other male primates? 6. The teeth and jaw of Au. afarensis are robust enough to chew hard foods, but dental microwear studies show Au. afarensis individuals ate soft foods like plants and fruit instead. While most scientists think that Au. afarensis ate hard, brittle foods during tough times when vegetation was not easily found, further microwear studies show that eating hard foods did not coincide with dry seasons of little vegetation. So how do properties of A. afarensis teeth relate to their diet? 22.5x16x20, 550 cc 16x12.5x14, 410 cc AL 288-1 ‘Lucy’ (3.2 MYA)
  10. 10. 10 Au.africanus, STS-5 Mrs Ples (2.5 MYA) Au.africanus, Taung child (2.8-2.6 MYA) Au.sediba, MH1 (1.95-1.78 MYA) Au.africanus, MLD-18 (3.0-2.5 MYA) Au.garhi, Bou-VP 12/130 (2.5 MYA) Later Australopithecine (3.2-1.9 MYA)
  11. 11. 11 Australopithecus africanus STS-5 ‘Mrs Ples’ (2.5 MYA) Discovered in 1947 by R. Broom and J. Robinson in Sterkfontein, Transvaal, South Africa. The discovery of this nearly complete cranium of a mature specimen led to a much more positive reception of South African australopithecines as hominids. Twenty years earlier Raymond Dart labeled a skull found at Taung "Australopithecus africanus." Au. africanus was anatomically similar to Au. afarensis, with a combination of human-like and ape-like features. The dentition of that skull indicates that it was a juvenile, which led to much criticism and broad dismissal of Dart's contention that the skull was a hominid; instead, critics considered it an ape. Like other early hominids, it had an ape-sized brain. The Sts 5 cranial capacity is 485 cc. Compared to Australopithecus afarensis, it has a rounder cranium housing a larger brain, a less projecting face, absence of cranial crests, and smaller front teeth. However, the front teeth are larger than in robust australopithecines. The cheek teeth are larger than in Australopithecus afarensis but smaller than in the robust australopithecines. It has some ape-like features including relatively long arms and a strongly sloping face that juts out from underneath the braincase with a pronounced jaw. Like Au. afarensis, the pelvis, femur (upper leg), and foot bones of Au. africanus indicate that it walked bipedally, but its shoulder and hand bones indicate they were also adapted for climbing, The cranium from Sts 5 is often combined with the mandible of Sts 52 in order to recreate a composite reconstruction of a complete A. africanus skull. M 138 cm, F 115 cm M 41 kg, F 30 kg Taung 1 ‘Taung child’ (2.3 MYA) 13x7.5x11, 340 cc 21x15x22, 485 cc STS-52 (2.8-2.3 MYA)
  12. 12. 12 Australopithecus africanus STS-5 ‘Mrs Ples’ (2.5 MYA) No stone tools have been discovered in the same sediments as A. africanus fossils; however, for a long time researchers believed A. africanus was a hunter. Raymond Dart created the term ‘osteodontokeratic’ culture (osteo = bone, donto = tooth, keratic = horn) in the 1940s and 1950s because remains of this species were found alongside broken animal bones. Dart assumed these broken animal bones, teeth and horns were used by Au. africanus as weapons; however, in the 1970s and 1980s, other scientists began to recognize that predators such as lions, leopards, and hyenas were instead responsible for leaving these broken animal bones. These predators even ate Au. africanus individuals, too. Despite the carnivorous preferences of their contemporaneous predators, Au. africanusindividuals had a diet similar to modern chimpanzees, which consisted of fruit, plants, nuts, seeds, roots, insects, and eggs. Scientists can tell what Au. africanus may have eaten from looking at the remains of their teeth---tooth-size, shape, and tooth-wear can all provide diet clues. Dental microwearstudies found more scratches than pits on Au. africanus teeth compared to a contemporaneous species, P. robustus. This pattern indicates that Au. africanus ate tough foods but also had a very variable diet including softer fruits and plants. 1. Au. africanus is currently the oldest known early human from southern Africa. Where did it come from? Was it a descendent of Au. afarensis from Eastern Africa? 2. Is Au. africanus part of the lineage that led to our own species, Homo sapiens? 3. In 1994, scientist Ron Clarke found four left early human foot bones while searching through boxes of fossils at Sterkfontein, a site in South Africa where most Au. Africanus fossils come from. He dubbed this fossil "Little Foot", and has since found that it comes from a 3.3 million year old partial skeleton, most of which is still embedded in the cave sediments. When this fossil is completely excavated, it shed light on several questions about this species (if it is designated as an Au. africanus individual): How big was it? What did its post-cranial skeleton look like? How does it compare to STS 14, another partial skeleton of Au. africanus?
  13. 13. 13 Australopithecus sediba MH-1 (2 MYA) Discovered in Malapa, South Africa by Matthew Berger (son of Lee Berger) in 2008 and reported in Science in 2010 ("sediba" means "natural spring" or "well" in the Sotho language). The species is known from six skeletons discovered in the Malapa Fossil Site at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in South Africa, one a juvenile male (MH1 also called "Karabo", the holotype), an adult female (MH2, the paratype), an adult male, and three infants. The fossils were found together at the bottom of the Malapa Cave, where they apparently fell to their death. Over 220 fragments from the species have been recovered to date. The fossil skeletons of Au. sediba from Malapa cave are so complete that scientists can see what entire skeletons looked like near the time when Homo evolved. Details of the teeth, the length of the arms and legs, and the narrow upper chest resemble earlier Australopithecus, while other tooth traits and the broad lower chest resemble humans. These links indicate that Au. sediba may reveal information about the origins and ancestor of the genus Homo. Functional changes in the pelvis of Au. sediba point to the evolution of upright walking, while other parts of the skeleton retain features found in other australopithecines. The strength of the humerus and femur shows that it had a more human-like pattern of locomotion than a fossil attributed to H. habilis. These features suggest that it walked upright on a regular basis and that changes in the pelvis occurred before other changes in the body that are found in later specimens of Homo. The Au. sediba skull has several derived features, such as relatively small premolars and molars, and facial features that are more similar to those in Homo. However, despite these changes in the pelvis and skull, other parts of Au. sediba skeleton shows a body similar to that of other australopithecines with long upper limbs and a small cranial capacity. The fossils also show that changes in the pelvis and the dentition occurred before changes in limb proportions or cranial capacity. No sexual dimorphism is appreciable. 130 cm, 30.5-37.4 kg 14x12x14, 420 cc
  14. 14. 14 Australopithecus sediba MH-1 (2 MYA) The combination of primitive and derived traits in Au. sediba shows part of the transition from a form adapted to partial arboreality to one primarily adapted to bipedal walking. but the legs and feet point to a previously unknown way of walking upright. With each step, Au. sediba turned its foot inward with its weight focused on the outer edge of the foot. This odd way of striding may mean that upright walking evolved on more than one path during human evolution. Due to the mixture of derived features in the pelvis and primitive features in other areas of the skeleton, it is unclear to some researchers the extent to which Au. sediba used arboreal habitats or remained on the ground using terrestrial bipedal locomotion. Relatively long arms and a small body may have allowed Au. sediba to utilize arboreal habitats. Derived features in the pelvis and the pattern of diaphyseal strength in the humerus and femur suggest that Au. sediba might have regularly walked upright in a way that was more similar to modern humans than to earlier members of Australopithecus. The possible increasing emphasis on upright walking is accompanied by differences in the skull and teeth compared with other australopithecines. The relatively small dentition of Au. sediba may signal a dietary change. As more features of the environment and functional morphology of Australopithecus sediba are discovered, their way of life will become clearer. 1. What is the time range and geographic range of Australopithecus sediba? This question can only be answered by the finds of more specimens. 2. Is the close relationship between Au. sediba and Homo confirmed by future finds?
  15. 15. 15 OH-5 P.boisei (2 MYA) DNH-7 P.robustus (1.5 MYA) OH-7 H.habilis (2 MYA) SK-48 P.robustus (2-1 MYA) SK 847 H.erectus (2-1 MYA) KNM WT 17000, Black skull P.aethiopicus (2.5 MYA) Robust Australopithecine (2.5-1.2 MYA)
  16. 16. 16 1. What kind of environments did it prefer to live in? 2. Is it actually more closely related to Au. afarensis, with which it shares many features, or the other “robust” australopithecines like P. boisei, which many scientists think is a direct descendant of P. aethiopicus? 3. How big were this species (body size)? 4. Did it exhibit body size sexual dimorphism, like most other australopithecines from this time period? Paranthropus aethiopicus KNM WT 17000 ‘Black Skull’ (2.5 MYA) Discovered by A. Walker in 1985 on the west shore of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya. It was described by Walker, Leakey, Harris and Brown in Nature in 1986. The skull is commonly referred to as the "Black Skull" due to its blue-black color. It is still much of a mystery to paleoanthropologists, as very few remains of this speces have been found. The discovery of the 2.5 million year old ’Black Skull’ in 1985 helped define this species as the earliest known robust australopithecine. P. aethiopicus has a strongly protruding face, large megadont teeth, and a powerful jaw, and a well-developed sagittal crest on top of skull indicates huge chewing muscles, with a strong emphasis on the muscles that connected toward the back of the crest and created strong chewing forces on the front teeth. Although it shares many primitive features with A. afarensis (e.g., projecting face, small cranial capacity 410 cc), it also has features typical of australopithecine species (e.g., projecting face, large sagittal crest and jaws, and expanded cheek teeth). Given that it seems to fall between A. afarensis and A. boisei, it was given its own species name. The gorilla-like structure of this skull has led some to propose that australopithecines were not human ancestors. This skull has much more in common with a gorilla than does that of a gracile australopithecine. Perhaps the gracile forms, and not the robust ones, were the ancestors of humans. Given the lack of postcranial material, perhaps this skull, with its large sagittal crest and zygomas, why not suppose that this skull actually does represent the remains of an ancient gorilla or gorilla-like ape (modern gorilla skulls show a great deal of individual variation and this particular cranium probably falls within that range of variation) — this, however, is not an idea generally accepted. Unknown (no postcranial fossils) 22x15x13, 410 cc
  17. 17. 17 Paranthropus boisei OH-5 ‘Nutcracker Man’ (1.8 MYA) Discovered by Mary Leakey in 1959 and originally classified as Zinjanthropus boisei by L. Leakey in Nature later that year. The accepted genus name has since changed to Australopithecus. It is the most famous fossil from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. This discovery spurred paleoanthropology toward a modern, multidisciplinary approach, and focused paleoanthropologists' attention on East Africa. Unique in hominid evolution, A. boisei's massive skull features a wide, concave face, enormous, flat molars (about 4 times as big as modern H. sapiens) and cranial adaptations for powerful chewing, hence its nickname, Nutcracker Man. Note the sagittal crest and extremely large area for muscle attachments on the zygomatic arch. The thick jaw allowed for the species' exceptional chewing capabilities. Cranial capacity of this individual is 530 cc, about the same as that of a typical gorilla. Moreover, its skull exhibits various other gorilla-like traits — a robust jaw, sagittal crest, heavy postcanine teeth, thick tooth enamel, and a flaring zygomatic arch — But the canines and incisors are similar to a human's. A relevant jaw is the one designated KNM-ER 729 found by Paul Abell in Kenya, 1970. This hominid may have used shaped stone tools, albeit crude ones — little more than broken pebbles with sharp edges. However, this is controversial — the tools in question might have been the products of contemporaneous Homo. It is still uncertain how the paranthropines are related to modern humans. Some maintain they were our direct ancestors. But their contemporaneous existence with early representatives of the genus Homo casts this claim in doubt. (Indeed, given modern trends in evolutionary theory, it may well turn out that the best way to describe human evolution is in terms of a web rather than a tree). Perhaps the greatest significance of Paranthropus boisei is that its 1959 discovery convinced the scientific world that the place to look for the earliest humans is Africa. M 130 cm, F 105 cm M 70 kg, F 45 kg 20x15x20 530 cc
  18. 18. 18 Paranthropus boisei KMN-ER 406 partial mandible OMO L. 7a-125 (1.7 MYA) Discovered by R. Leakey at Koobi Fora, Kenya, in 1969. This discovery helped to shed light on the controversial hypothesis that all australopithecines were of the same species, and tended to support the classification of boisei as a separate species of Australopithecus. The cranium is virtually complete and has a capacity of 510 cc. This species was nicknamed for its big teeth and strong chewing muscles, which attached to the large crest on the skull. Those features show that Paranthropus boisei likely ate tough foods like roots and nuts. But dental microwear patterns seen on P. boisei teeth are more similar to living fruit-eaters with fine striations, rather than large, deep pits seen in the teeth of living species that eat grass, tough leaves and stems, or other hard, brittle foods. While the morphology of P. boisei skull and teeth indicate it could have chewed hard or tough foods, dental microwear analysis does not demonstrate that they regularly did so—suggesting a wider, more diverse diet for P. boisei. It's possible that this species only ate hard or tough foods during times when it's preferred resources were scarce, relying on them as fallback foods. This species lived in environments that were dominated by grasslands but also includes more closed, wet habitats associated with rivers and lakes. 1. What, specifically, did P. boisei eat? The morphology and microwear of their teeth indicate different things 2. Did P. boisei use stone tools? While we don’t think they did, P. boisei individuals have been found in stratigraphic layers with tools, and also with Homo specimens who often made tools, so there’s always a possibility. 3. What was the advantage of the big jaws and teeth of P. boisei? 4. These early humans flourished for a million years, over four times as long as our ownspecies Homo sapiens have been around, and then went extinct---why? Scientists have one prevailing hypothesis: P. boisei was unable to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. When Earth’s climate intense irregular with fluctuating hot and cold spells, there may have been changes in the proportions of food resources available to P. boisei. Certain plants could have dwindled or died out. A species’ ability to adapt to changing resources, like food, is critical to their survival. Was highly specialized P. boiseiunable to adapt if some of their favored plant foods disappeared due to climatic changes? 20x17x17.5 510 cc
  19. 19. 19 Paranthropus robustus SK-48 mandible SK-23 (1.5-2 MYA) Discovered by Fourie in Swartkrans, South Africa in 1950 and described by R. Broom in 1952. The Transvaal cave site where it was found was blasted by explosives but, remarkably, the skull survived. SK-48, formerly called Paranthropus crassidens, greatly increased what is known about australopithecines. Brain size in Paranthropus robustus ranges from 410 to 530 cc, a bit larger than the typical chimpanzee's. Paranthropus robustus was the first of the robust Paranthropus australopithecines to be found (the other two robust australopithecines are Paranthropus aethiopicus and Paranthropus boisei). The skull was found with the right canine, the first premolar and all three molars intact. On the basis of the adult teeth and small sagittal crest, Broom determined the specimen to be an adult female. The mandible is constructed on the basis of Robert Broom's additional discovery of SK 23 at Swartkrans. SK 23, the best preserved mandible from this area, was found close to the discovery site of SK 48. While considered to be a female of the same species, it is not presumed to be from the same individual. It existed at a time when stone tools were being made, but it is uncertain that hominids of this type either manufactured or used them. Although the robust australopithecines had larger brains than their gracile counterparts, most experts think early members of the genus Homo were the actual toolmakers. M 120 cm, F 100 cm M 54 kg, F 40 kg 17.5x15x15 410-530 cc
  20. 20. 20 Paranthropus robustus SK-48 mandible SK-23 (1.5-2 MYA) Robust species like Paranthropys robustus had large teeth as well as a ridge on top of the skull, where strong chewing muscles attached. These features allowed individuals to crush and grind hard foods such as nuts, seeds, roots, and tubers in the back of the jaw; however, P. robustus didn’t just eat tough foods. This early human species may have been more of a dietary generalist, also eating variety of other foods such as soft fruits and possibly young leaves, insects, and meat. While scientists have not found any stone tools associated with Paranthropus robustus fossils, experiments and microscopic studies of bone fragments show that these early humans probably used bones as tools to dig in termite mounds. Through repeated use, the ends of these tools became rounded and polished. Termites are rich in protein, would have been a nutritious source of food for Paranthropus. 1. Which species did Paranthropus robustus evolve from? Did P. robustus evolve from P. aethiopicus, or were there regionally distinct robust australopithecine lineages - meaning P. robustus evolved from the other southern African species Au. africanus? 2. Bone tools presumably used by P. robustus to dig into termite mounds have been found at several South African sites. Was this tool-making, termite-mound-digging behavior something shared by all populations of this species, or was it a regional behavior?
  21. 21. 21 Early Homo (2.5-1.6 MYA) OH-16 H.habilis (1.5 MYA) Dmanisi 4500 H.erectus (1.8 MYA) KNM-ER 1813 H.habilis (1.86 MYA) UR-501 H.habilis/rudolfensis (2.4 MYA) KNM-WT 15000 H.ergaster, Turkana Boy (1.6 MYA) Turkana KNM-ER 1470 H. habilis/rudolfensis (2 MYA)
  22. 22. 22 Discovered by K. Kimeu in 1973 at Koobi Fora, Kenya, and described by R. Leakey in Nature in 1973. This species, one of the earliest members of the genus Homo, has a slightly larger braincase and smaller face and teeth than in Australopithecus or older hominin species. But it still retains some ape-like features, including long arms and a moderately-prognathic face. There is still controversy about this specimen's classification, with some scientists opting to classify it as an australopithecine and others believing it is a species of Homo. It has often been suggested that H. habilis was ancestral to Homo erectus. But recent findings indicate the two coexisted for about 500,000 years. The most recent H. habilis remains known date to 1.44 million years ago, while the earliest material assigned to H. erectus dates to about two million years ago. So it seems unlikely that H. habilis was the ancestor of H. erectus. As is usually the case with distinct types of hominids, the exact nature of their relationship remains unresolved. Some paleoanthropologists have raised the possibility that KNM-ER 1813 is the female counterpart to the Homo rudolfensis KNM-ER 1470. While dated to the same time period and sharing some characteristics, KNM-ER 1813 has a much smaller face, brain and teeth than 1470. Other paleoanthropologists argue that its brain size of 510 cc (in contrast to 1470's 750 cc) indicates a size difference too great to be due to sexual dimorphism and represents a separate species. It's also not the case that this specimen is simply an immature version of H. rudolfensis, as the third molar appears to have been worn down. Instead, it has been suggested that it belongs in a category of Homo habilis, with which it shares similarities in tooth size and shape, cranium size, and face shape. Another hominid, Homo georgicus, recently discovered in the Republic of Georgia, was also a contemporary of late H. habilis. The two were similar in size and cranial capacity (possibly the two have been treated separately only because of the wide separation of their sites of discovery). Homo habilis KNM-ER 1813 (1.9 MYA) 17x11x14, 510 cc M 131 cm, F 100 cm M 37 kg, F 32 kg
  23. 23. 23 Early Homo had smaller teeth than Australopithecus, but their tooth enamel was still thick and their jaws were still strong, indicating their teeth were still adapted chewing some hard foods (possibly only seasonally when their preferred foods became less available). Dental microwear studies suggest that the diet of H. habilis was flexible and versatile and that they were capable of eating a broad range of foods, including some tougher foods like leaves, woody plants, and some animal tissues, but that they did not routinely consume or specialize in eating hard foods like brittle nuts or seeds, dried meat, or very hard tubers. Another line of evidence for the diet of H. habilis comes from some of the earliest cut- and percussion-marked bones, found back to 2.6 million years ago. Scientists usually associate these traces of butchery of large animals, direct evidence of meat and marrow eating, with the earliest appearance of the genus Homo, including H. habilis. Many scientists think early Homo, including H. habilis, made and used the first stone tools found in the archaeological record—these also date back to about 2.6 million years ago; however, this hypothesis is difficult to test because several other species of early human lived at the same time, and in the same geographic area, as where traces of the earliest tool use have been found. Homo habilis KNM-ER 1813 (1.9 MYA) 1. Was H. habilis on the evolutionary lineage that evolved into later species of Homo and even perhaps our species, H. sapiens? 2. Are H. habilis and Homo rudolfensis indeed different species, or are they part of a single, variable species? Or was one the ancestor of the other? 3. If H. habilis is not the ancestor of H. erectus, how does it fit into our evolutionary tree? 4. H. habilis is one of the earliest members of the genus Homo. Was there a relationship between the origin of this genus and climate change – either with an increased period of climatic fluctuations, or major episodes of global cooling and drying leading to the spread of C4 grasslands?
  24. 24. 24 Discovered in 1999 by Abesalom Vekua, et al. in Dmanisi, Georgia. This small-brained specimen, found alongside Oldowan-like choppers and scrapers, undercuts the theory that hominids did not leave Africa until about one million years ago and only after becoming large-brained bipeds with well-developed tool-making abilities. The small capacity of the cranium D2700 (600 cc) is similar to that of the African H. habilis specimens. Despite their small cranial capacity, characteristics of the crania and mandibles show greater similarity to early African H. erectus/ergaster than to H. habilis. The skull is small and rounded at the back. Long face similar to the more recent homo erectus. Large teeth similar to older Homo rudolfensis. Most paleoanthropologists had always believed that the first humans to leave Africa were similar to the Nariokotome skull, an African Homo erectus. Comparatively, the skull of Georgia has a much more primitive appearance, lower brain capacity and lower nostril, a fine brow and large canine teeth, features that give it more apelike, close to Homo habilis. Homo erectus D2700 mandible D2735 (1.75-2 MYA) 150 cm, 50 kg 17.5x12.5x15, 600 cc
  25. 25. 25 Homo habilis / rudolfensis KNM-ER 1470 (1.8-1.9 MYA) Discovered by Bernard Ngeneo in 1972 at Koobi Fora in Kenya and described by R. Leakey in Nature in 1973. The classification of this specimen has been a matter of debate since its discovery, with some scientists arguing in favor of Australopithecus, and some in favor of a species of Homo. In general, all non-australopithecine remains from Olduvai Gorge have been assigned to Homo habilis, whereas those from Lake Turkana are attributed to either Homo habilis or Homo rudolfensis. Originally dated (incorrectly) a million years before habilis, the most current theory holds that though contemporaneous and geographically concurrent with habilis, this specimen is in fact a different species of Homo. 1470 features a 750 cc braincase, too large for australopithecines, and perhaps even for habilis, and lacks the crests and heavy muscle markings that characterize australopithecine skulls, as well as lacking the brow ridges associated with Homo erectus. Several features differ from other habilis specimens (a longer face, squared upper jaw and short, shallow palate), leading some scientists to conclude that there is too great a range of characteristics within the specimens for them to be a single species. There is no postcranial material known. Nor has much been ascertained about the diet of this hominid on the basis of tooth wear due to the paucity of available fossil remains. Originally, Skull 1470 was described as Homo habilis, and was first assigned to a newly erected Homo rudolfensis only in 1986. This arrangement has seen increasing favor, but some researchers asserted that 1470 is similar to fossil KNM-WT 40000, Kenyanthropus platyops (Leakey et al. 2001), and that it should be reclassified as such. However, other specimens, mostly mandibles, have been tentatively assigned to Homo rudolfensis. Moreover, it has been questioned whether Kenyanthropus platyops is actually distinct from the contemporaneous Australopithecus afarensis.. 20x12.5x16 750 cc 185-145 cm, 68-40 kg
  26. 26. 26 Homo habilis / rudolfensis KNM-ER 1470 (1.8-1.9 MYA) Homo rudolfensis had large and wider molars compared to Homo habilis. While their teeth were only slightly smaller than those seen in robust australopithecines, H. rudolfensis didn’t have the heavily-built jaw and strong jaw muscle attachments seen in robust early humans. These anatomical differences likely indicate different diets between H. rudolfensis and earlier australopith species capable of more powerful chewing. Like other early Homo species, Homo rudolfensis may have used stone tools process their food. However, because more than one species of early human lived at the time tool manufacture and use originated, it’s hard for scientists to be certain which species is responsible for the making and using the first stone tools. There are currently no stone tools found in the same layers as the H. rudolfensis fossils, but there are stone tools existing in the same time period that H. rudolfensis lived. 1. Was Homo rudolfensis on the evolutionary lineage that evolved into later species of Homo and even perhaps our species, Homo sapiens? 2. Are Homo rudolfensis and Homo habilis indeed different species, or are they part of a single, variable species? Or was one the ancestor of the other? 3. Are Homo rudolfensis fossils more like australopithecines than other Homo fossils, as some scientists have suggested? 4. How big was Homo rudolfensis? Was this species sexually dimorphic?
  27. 27. 27 Homo ergaster KNM WT 15000 ‘Nariokotome or Turkana Boy’ (1.6 MYA) Early African Homo erectus fossils (normally called H. ergaster) are the oldest known early humans to have possessed modern human-like body proportions with relatively elongated legs and shorter arms compared to the size of the torso. These features are considered adaptations to a life lived on the ground, indicating the loss of earlier tree-climbing adaptations, with the ability to walk and possibly run long distances. The most complete fossil individual of this species is known as the ‘Turkana Boy’ – a well- preserved skeleton (though minus almost all the hand and foot bones), dated around 1.6 million years old. Microscopic study of the teeth indicates that he grew up at a growth rate similar to that of a great ape. It was discovered in 1984 in Nariokotome, Kenya. The first fragment was found by K. Kimeu and the rest of the find was excavated by R. Leakey, Walker and their team. It was first described by Brown, Harris, R. Leakey and Walker in Nature in 1985 as H. erectus. Compared with earlier fossil humans, note the expanded braincase relative to the size of the face. The cranial capacity of Turkana Boy was about 880 cc, although if he had lived to adulthood, it would have been about 910 cc. The pelvis reveals a greater ability to run than modern humans, and some bones reveal a closer affinity to australopithecines. There is fossil evidence that this species cared for old and weak individuals. The appearance of Homo erectus in the fossil record is often associated with the earliest handaxes, the first major innovation in stone tool technology. Early fossil discoveries from Java (beginning in the 1890s) and China (‘Peking Man’, beginning in the 1920s) comprise the classic examples of this species. Generally considered to have been the first species to have expanded beyond Africa, Homo erectus is considered a highly variable species, spread over two continents (it's not certain whether it reached Europe), and possibly the longest lived early human species - about nine times as long as our own species, Homo sapiens, has been around! 185-145 cm, 68-40 kg 19x12.5x15, 900 cc
  28. 28. 28 Homo ergaster KNM WT 15000 ‘Nariokotome or Turkana Boy’ (1.6 MYA) 1. Was Homo erectus the direct ancestor of Homo sapiens, our own species? 2. Data suggest that increasing body size, greater reliance on animal food resources, and increased range size were part of a web of factors that facilitated the initial early dispersal of H. erectus from Africa. Was one of these factors more important than the others? 3. Are the fossils from earlier time periods in East Africa, and from Georgia, all part of a single species (Homo erectus), regionally variable in size and shape? Or are there actually several species of early human represented by what we are now calling Homo erectus? 4. How well did Homo erectus master the control of fire and how widespread was fire used? What does this say about possible dietary shifts in this species? 5. Did Homo erectus grow up in a more human-like pattern and rate, or a more ape-like one? Was Homo erectus the first early human species to experience an adolescent growth spurt? The tall bodies and large brains of Homo erectus individuals required a lot of energy on a regular basis to function. Eating meat and other types of protein that could be quickly digested made it possible to absorb nutrients with a shorter digestive tract, making more energy available faster. There is also speculation that honey and underground tubers may have been significant food sources for Homo erectus. Soon after we see evidence in the fossil record of the earliest Homo erectus fossils (by about 1.9 MYA), we see evidence in the archeological record for the first major innovation in stone tool technology (by about 1.76 million years ago). Known as the Acheulean stone tool industry, it consisted of the creation of large cutting tools like hand axes and cleavers. Increased reliance on a broader set of tools may have helped Homo erectus survive during changing climates. The earliest evidence of hearths (campfires) occur during the time range of Homo erectus. While we have evidence that hearths were used for cooking (and probably sharing) food, they are likely to have been places for social interaction, and also used for warmth and to keep away large predators.
  29. 29. 29 Mid Pleistocene (1.4 - 0.3 MYA) Sangiran 17 H.erectus (1.3 MYA) H.erectus (0.6-0,4 MYA) H.rhodesiensis (0.35-0.25 MYA) H.erectus? (0.6 MYA) H.heidelbergensis (0.35-0.15 MYA) H.heidelbergensis? (0.43 MYA)
  30. 30. 30 Homo erectus Sangiran 17 (0.8-1.3 MYA) Found in 1969 in Java, Indonesia, by Towikromo. Homo erectus exhibits more humanlike features than any other Homo species. Its features include a long, low cranium with thick bones, flat frontal bone with large brow ridges, a raised sagittal keel, an occipital torus, skull widest near the base, projecting face, and cranial capacity slightly over 1,000 cc 23x14x15, 1000 cc 21.5x14.5x17, 1030 cc Peking Man (300-600 KYA) The Homo erectus Skull Peking Man is also known as Pithecanthropus pekinensis (Sinanthropus). 40 individuals were found within a cave, known as Locality 1, at Zhoukoudian, about 42 km southwest of Beijing, China. Excavations began at Locality 1 in the early 1920s, with the first skullcap found in 1929. With China on the brink of war in December 1941, the fossils were sent to the United States for safekeeping. Unfortunately, all the original fossils, except for 2 teeth, disappeared during shipment. Luckily, extraordinary casts and descriptions of the fossils made prior to shipment survived. A comprehensive first generation reproduction of casts are housed at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). These excellent, highly detailed casts were prepared by Dr. Franz Weidenreich and his colleagues just prior to the tragic loss of the original fossils. These casts, the reference set of which were officially presented to the AMNH in 1941, are all that remains of the original Zhoukoudian fossil humans.
  31. 31. 31 Homo antecessor ATD6-69 (780 KYA) Discovered in 1995 by J. M. Bermudez de Castro at the Gran Dolina site in Atapuerca, Spain, and described in Science in 1997. Before the discovery of Homo antecessor, there was no evidence that would substantiate the presence of hominids in Europe before a half million years ago. The researchers believe they have discovered a missing link that may cause a major reconsideration of human ancestry. Fossils and stone tools at least 936,000 years old were found at the Gran Dolina site in Atapuerca. Homo antecessor (brain size over 1,000 cc) possessed characteristics of both Neanderthals and Homo sapiens: bulky brow and big jaw of the Neanderthal, cheekbones and nose of Homo sapiens. Other primitive aspects are teeth, protruding occipital bun, low forehead, lack of a strong chin. Various archaeologists and anthropologists have debated how H. antecessor relates to other Homo species in Europe, with suggestions that it was an evolutionary link between H. ergaster and H. heidelbergensis. Some of the remains are almost indistinguishable from the fossil attributable to the 1.5 million year old Turkana Boy, belonging to H. ergaster. Others like Richard Klein think that it was instead a separate species that evolved from H. ergaster. Some scientists consider H. antecessor to be the same species as H. heidelbergensis, who inhabited Europe from 250,000 to 600,000 years ago in the Pleistocene. Footprints presumed to be from H. antecessor dating to more than 800,000 years ago have been found at Happisburgh on the coast of Norfolk, England. 1000-1150 cc 160-180 cm, 90 kg
  32. 32. 32 Homo heidelbergensis Mauer 1 (400-500 KYA) Lower jaw discovered in 1907 in Mauer, near Heidelberg, Germany, by workers at a gravel quarry which had previously yielded many fossils of extinct mammals. It was lying at a depth of about 24 metres. It was the oldest human fossil until 1994. This jaw is the ‘type specimen’ or official representative of the species Homo heidelbergensis, based on a combination of primitive and derived features. The molars are smaller than those of Homo erectus, but their size overlaps with the molars of some early modern humans. The teeth, however, lack typical Neanderthal traits. It has a strongly built lower jaw for the attachment of strong chewing muscles. As with earlier hominins, the lower jaw did not have a protruding, pointed chin. Ample retro-molar space. The nearly upright, robust ascending rami are also unique. The teeth were arranged in the jaw so that they formed a parabolic shape (curved at the front then splayed out toward the back) and were smaller than those of earlier species (but larger than those of modern humans).
  33. 33. 33 Homo heidelbergensis Skull Atapuerca 5 (430 KYA) Discovered in Spain in 1992 by Juan-Luis Arsuaga, in the fossil-rich caves of Sima de los Huesos (Bone Pit), Sierra de Atapuerca. This site has thus far yielded over 5000 fossil hominid remains. Although somewhat smaller than other H. heidelbergensis, this individual is considered among the most complete premodern skulls ever found. The cranial capacity is 1125 cc. The cranial features of skulls in the Sima de los Huesos collection, including cranial capacity, overlap the ranges for H. erectus, H. neanderthalensis, and modern H. sapiens. In fact, Atapuerca 5 shares many features with H. neanderthalensis, such as heavy browridges, wide nasal opening, and large, projecting middle face. Certain features, such as the shape of the cheekbone, do not occur in Neanderthals but do in modern humans. 20x12.5x17.5, 1125 cc
  34. 34. 34 Homo rhodesiensis Kabwe 1 (Broken Hill 1) (300 KYA) Rhodesian Man was discovered in Kabwe, Zambia (formerly Rhodesia), by miner T. Zwigelaar and originally described by A. Woodward in 1921 in Nature as Rhodesian Man (H. rhodesiensis). This is the first human ancestor to be found in Africa. Once considered to be only 40,000 years old, which would make it a contemporary of Homo sapiens in Europe, the skull was pointed to by some as evidence of the "primitiveness" of Africans. Subsequent evidence led to the more correct dating of at least 125,000 to possibly 400,000 YA. The skull shares features of both Homo erectus (heavy brow ridge) and Homo sapiens (flatter face, large brain, 1300 cc). This was the first early human species to live in colder climates: their short, wide bodies were likely an adaptation to conserving heat. It lived at the time of the oldest definite control of fire and use of wooden spears, and it was the first early human species to routinely hunt large animals. This early human also broke new ground; it was the first species to build shelters—creating simple dwellings out of wood and rock. M 175 cm, F 157cm M 62 kg, F 51 kg 22.5x15x14 1300 cc
  35. 35. 35 Homo rhodesiensis Kabwe 1 (Broken Hill 1) (300 KYA) This species may reach back to 1.3 million years ago, and include early humans from Spain (‘Homo antecessor’ fossils and archeological evidence from 800,000 to 1.3 million years old), England (archeological remains back to about 1 million years old), and Italy (from the site of Ceprano, possibly as old as 1 million years). Comparison of Neanderthal and modern human DNA suggests that the two lineages diverged from a common ancestor, most likely Homo heidelbergensis, sometime between 350,000 and 400,000 years ago – with the European branch leading to H. neanderthalensis and the African branch (sometimes called Homo rhodesiensis) to H. sapiens. There is evidence that H. heidelbergensis was capable of controlling fire by building hearths, or early fireplaces, by 790,000 years ago in the form of fire-altered tools and burnt wood at the site of Gesher Benot Ya-aqov in Israel. Social groups probably often gathered around their hearths sharing food, stay warm, and ward off predators. H. heidelbergensis probably took advantage of natural shelters but this species was also the first to build simple shelters. Evidence for this comes from the site of Terra Amata, France. H. heidelbergensis was also the first hunter of large game animals; remains of animals such as wild deer, horses, elephants, hippos, and rhinos with butchery marks on their bones have been found together at sites with H. heidelbergensis fossils. Evidence for this also comes from 400,000 year old wooden spears found at the site of Schöningen, Germany, which were found together with stone tools and the remains of more than 10 butchered horses. One site in Atapuerca, northern Spain, dating to about 400,000 years ago, shows evidence of what may be human ritual. Scientists have found bones of roughly 30 H. heidelbergensis individuals deliberately thrown inside a pit. The pit has been named Sima de los Huesos (‘Pit of Bones’). Alongside the skeletal remains, scientists uncovered a single well-made symmetrical handaxe —illustrating the tool-making abilityof H. heidelbergensis . 1. Did this early human species indeed range in time from 1.3 MYA to 200 KYA, and in geography from Africa to Europe to Asia? Or are there more than one species represented among the fossils that some scientists call H. heidelbergensis (including H. antecessor, H. cepranensis, and H. rhodesiensis)? 2. Many scientists think this species was ancestral to our own, but which species was the ancestor of H. heidelbergensis? 3. Did H. heidelbergensis have any cultural or behavioral adaptations that facilitated it living in colder climates? 4. Did regional groups or populations of H. heidelbergensis exhibit any unique behaviors or anatomical adaptations?
  36. 36. 36 Early Pre-modern Homo (400-50 KYA) H.erectus (150-50 KYA) H.sapiens (90-60 KYA) H.erectus (sapiens?) (300 KYA) H.heidelber- gensis (400 KYA) H.neander thalensis (60-70 KYA) H.neanderthalensis (190-130 KYA) H.neander thalensis (50 KYA)
  37. 37. 37 Homo neanderthalensis La Ferrasie 1 (50-70 KYA) Discovered in France in 1909 and described that same year by Capitan and Peyrony. A more thorough study of the La Ferrassie skeleton was published in 1976 by Heim. This is the largest and most complete Neanderthal skull ever found. It was along with several other Neanderthal fossils, in the rock shelter of La Ferrassie which Neanderthals used thousands of years before the arrival of Homo sapiens in Europe. La Ferrassie is considered to be a "classic" Neanderthal, having features that best represent the features of its anatomy, including a low-vaulted cranium with projecting face (with large middle part of the face) and low forehead, pronounced double browridge, wide angled cheekbones, weak chin, heavily worn front teeth, a substantial nasal opening for humidifying and warming cold, dry air, and very large brain capacity (more than 1600 cc). Some consider Neanderthal not much more than a subspecies, H. s. neanderthalensis, of Homo sapiens, and that, rather than becoming extinct, they were absorbed into the modern human population. Others consider them a separate species, H. neanderthalensis, that eventually became extinct. Neanderthals lived between 200K and 30K years ago. Neanderthals made and used a diverse set of sophisticated tools, controlled fire, lived in shelters, made and wore clothing, were skilled hunters of large animals and also ate plant foods, and occasionally made symbolic or ornamental objects. There is evidence that Neanderthals deliberately buried their dead and occasionally even marked their graves with offerings, such as flowers. No other primates, and no earlier human species, had ever practiced this sophisticated and symbolic behavior. M 164 cm, F 155cm M 65 kg, F 54 kg 1. Will more studies of Neanderthal DNA help us identify what is unique about the modern human genome compared with our closest extinct relatives, the Neanderthals? 2. Is there a close correlation between climate change and the extinction of the Neanderthals, or was competition with modern humans the key factor? 3. What was the relative contribution of animal and plant sources to the average Neanderthal's diet? 4. Were Neanderthals routinely symbolic (e.g. making ornamental or decorative objects, burying the dead), or did this just occur in specific populations? - in the last case, why did those populations exhibit these behaviors? 24x14x17.5 1600 cc
  38. 38. 38 H.neanderthalensis (latest in Europe, 30-40 KYA) (50-30 KYA) H.neander thalensis (40 KYA) H.sapiens (99-167 KYA) H.neanderthalensis (62-48 KYA) H.sapiens?neanderthalensis? (160 KYA) H.sapiens (154-160 KYA) H.sapiens (90-100 KYA) (80 KYA) Late Pleistocene (160-30 KYA)
  39. 39. 39 Homo sapiens Skhül V Mount Carmel (100 KYA) Discovered by T. McCown near Mount Carmel, Israel in 1932, described in 1936 in the Bulletin American School of Prehistoric Research (Issue 12). The remains of 10 individuals were excavated from Skhul cave in 1932 and are considered to be the earliest examples of H. sapiens outside of Africa. The Skhul skulls show much variation in the expression of modern traits. With a cranial capacity of 1520 cc, features common to modern skulls are the high forehead, expanded frontal portion of the braincase, and rounded back of the skull. Differences from modern skulls include its more pronounced brow ridges, and prognathic lower face. Skhul 5 has been suggested as providing evidence of hybridization between humans and Neanderthals. Current evidence indicates that Neanderthals and early modern Homo sapiens alternately occupied the Near East during cold and warm periods, respectively, for thousands of years. 22x14x16 1520 cc Qafzeh IX Mount Carmel (90 KYA) Found in 1934 by R. Neuville in Qafzeh caves, a few meters apart from Skhül caves. 11 different persons were discovered between 1933 and 1977 in Mousterian industry levels. For the greatest part of its characteristics - high cranial vault, upright frontal, orthognathism, presence of a canine fossa, shape of the orbits, etc.—the Qafzeh man is closer to Upper Paleolithic Homo sapiens than to Neandertal man. Some of its traits, the supra-orbital torus for example, recall the Neandertalian characteristics but without ever attaining the development observed on the latter. 1568 cc
  40. 40. 40 Terminal Pleistocene (30-10 KYA) H.floresiensis (18 KYA) (12 KYA) H.sapiens (earliest in Europe, 26-32 KYA) (25-29 KYA)
  41. 41. 41 Homo floresiensis Flores Skull LB1 (18 KYA) Discovered by P. Brown and his team on the island of Flores, Indonesia, in 2003 and reported in Nature in 2004. Another Homo species in existence only 18,000 YA could be one of the most important discoveries in decades. A skeleton of this species, which has been designated as female because of the characteristics of the pelvis, shows that in maturity she was only about 1 m tall with a small cranial capacity of only 380 cc. Remains of it have been found between 95,000 and 17,000 years ago. They had large teeth for their small size, shrugged-forward shoulders, no chins, receding foreheads, and relatively large feet due to their short legs. Despite their small body and brain size, H. floresiensis made and used stone tools, hunted small elephants and large rodents, coped with predators such as giant Komodo dragons, and may have used fire. H. floresiensis is the subject of much debate centering on whether it is a new human species, a pathological H. sapiens, or a case of insular dwarfism of a small H. erectus population. Stone tools found on the island of Flores show that early humans arrived there at least 800,000 years ago, but it’s not known how early humans got there as the nearest island is 9 km away across treacherous seas. Paleoanthropologists found many stone tools associated with H. floresiensis, and these tools are broadly similar to those found earlier on Flores and throughout the human evolutionary career (i.e., Lower Paleolithic tools in Asia or Oldowan tools in Africa). There is also evidence that H. floresiensis selectively hunted Stegodon (an extinct type of elephant) as hundreds of Stegodon bone fragments are found within H. floresiensis occupation layers and some of these Stegodon bones show butchery marks. 106 cm, 30 kg 1. Which hominin species made the 800K year old stone tools found on Flores? 2. How did these early humans manage to get to the island of Flores? 3. Did H. floresiensis have language, make art, and have other forms of cultural expression? 4. Did H. floresiensis and our species, H. sapiens, ever come into contact with one another? 5. Was a volcanic eruption on Flores the reason H. floresiensis went extinct? 6. How similar is the DNA of H. floresiensis to the DNA of other human species? So far, no DNA has been retrieved from the bones of a H. floresiensis individual. 14x13x14 417 cc
  42. 42. 42 1. Who was our direct evolutionary ancestor? Was it Homo heidelbergensis, like many paleoanthropologists think, or another species? 2. How much interbreeding occured between our species and Homo neanderthalensis? 3. What does the future hold for our species in an evolutionary sense? 19x14x18 1300 cc Discovered by L. Lartet and H. Christy on a cliff in 1868 (during the construction of railway lines in Les-Eyzies, France). Cro-Magnon, meaning "big cliff," represents the earliest modern humans from Western Europe. Many feel Cro-Magnon is more similar in appearance to modern Africans than modern Europeans, suggesting that this population came from Africa or Asia. It has many classic modern human features like a large brain capacity (1600 cc), shortened face with rectangular eye sockets, a high forehead, hollowed cheekbones, and noticeable chin. Homo sapiens Cro-magnon 1 (30-32 KYA) Zhoukoudian Upper Cave 101 (10-25 KYA) Cast of skull Zhoukoudian Upper Cave 101, classified as a Homo sapiens and was discovered in 1933 in Zhoukoudian, China. Anatomically, modern humans can generally be characterized by the lighter build of their skeletons compared to earlier humans, and very large brains, which vary in size from population to population and between males and females (but average size is approx. 1300 cc). Housing this big brain involved the reorganization of the skull into what is thought of as "modern" - a thin-walled, high vaulted skull with a flat and near vertical forehead. Modern human faces also show much less (if any) of the heavy brow ridges and prognathism of other early humans. Our jaws are also less heavily developed, with smaller teeth. 22x15x22 1600 cc
  43. 43. 43 Bibliography • Human Evolution by The Smithsonian Institution's Human Origins Program • Natural History Museum • BBC- Mystery early human revealed by DNA data environment-25423498 • Kariandusi Prehistoric Site • • • • • • • • The Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian • Dolni Vestonice Venus figures • • Introduction to Human Evolution, Wellesley College, edX • Human Evolution: Past and Future, University of Wisconsin-Madison, coursera • Paleoantropología Hoy • “El mito del eslabón perdido” • • Becoming Human: Anthropology, Macquarie University, open2study