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Anthro 101 Test 2
Terms in this set (82)
Characteristics found in an ancestor and all or most of its descendants.
Characteristic found only in one descendent branch and not in its ancestral form.
What is the foramen magnum and why is it important to paleoanthropologists?
the hole at the base of the skull; has important implications for the study of hominins
How does this feature differ between quadrupeds and bipeds?
The foramen magnum of quadrupeds is placed at the back of the skull, but for bipeds it's found underneath
What is heterodontism?
organisms developing different types of teeth that have evolved for different purposes
How does enamel on teeth affect the fossilization process?
which is extremely hard and dense, teeth have a better chance of fossilizing than other body parts
Four regions of a human skeleton
the skull, the torso, the upper appendages(arms and hands), and lower appendages (legs and feet)
The scientific study of the relationships between organisms and their environments
What are the levels of ecological study
Organism, population, community, ecosystem, biome, biosphere
An entity engaging in chemical and mechanical processes associated with life
A group of interacting and interbreeding organisms (can be an entire species)
Different populations interacting with each other, as competitors, predators and prey, or symbiotically
Organisms and their physical and chemical environments together in a particular area; the smallest units that can sustain life in isolation from all but their atmospheric surroundings
Large-scale areas of similar vegetation and climatic characteristics
The area between (and including) the earth's soil and atmosphere, permeated by the sun's rays
Nonliving features of an environment, such as temperature (weather, climate), (sun) light, water, wind, nutrients, substrate (rocks and soil), and fire.
Includes all the living (or to some extent, formerly living) component of an environment.
"Principle of Allocation."
All organisms take in energy in some form and use this energy to survive and reproduce. An organism must "balance out" its allocation of energy it needs for survival with that it must use for reproduction.
macro-level descriptions of ecosystems energy flows
Usually green plants, which utilize energy from the sun and nutrients from the abiotic component of the ecosystem to perform photosynthesis and grow.
Consumers are organisms that have evolved to feed on producers, and other consumers.
Utilize the energy of dead organisms and organisms' waste products. (Bacteria, fungi; detrivores - earthworms, millipedes, woodlice).
What is Evolutionary (Behavioral Ecology)?
Studies how the behavior of organisms affects evolutionary "fitness." Looks at how group behavior effects the selection of the individual phenotype
"Theories of Optimality"
Organisms generally attempt to forage (for food primarily) in the most optimum manner, where the food mass and value is greatest in comparison to energy expended.
"Evolutionarily Stable Strategies"
that maximize reproductive success within the context of environmental limits.
Stable environments tend to produce conservative behaviors in organisms; they do not encourage change. Unstable environments tend to encourage innovative behaviors. Flexible behavior is often rewarded in unstable
the idea that both the behavior and the creations of organisms affect their survival and are in a sense a part of the their phenotype.
What are ecological niches? How are they defined?
These refer to the way an organism survives in its environment (how it lives). These niches are defined by three criteria: time, space, and food"choice."
the mammalian orders
Prototheria, Metatharia, Eutheria
Egg laying mammals.
Mammals whose offspring gestate their without the aid of a placenta.
How many species of living primates are there?
Where are they found today in the wild? (primates)
Today they occur in the wild in Africa (the birthplace of the first primates), parts of Asia, South America andCentral America, Mexico, and a small area of Europe.
Classification Scheme 1
-Strepsirhine(Strepsirhini) - Lemurs and Lorises (including Galagoes)
-Haplorhine (haplorhini) - Tarsiers, monkeys, apes, and humans
Classification Scheme 2
-Prosimii (prosimians) - Lemurs and Lorises (including Galagoes), and Tarsiers
-Anthropoidea (anthropoids) - Monkeys, Apes, and humans
- In general, primate bodies are not overly specialized for specific tasks (niches).
- Teeth not overly specialized for specific tasks.
-Grasping hands with Opposable Digits
-Stereoscopic Eyes (Forward facing)
-Quadrupedal Locomotion (Primarily move on four legs)
What is a fossil?
Preserved remnants of once living things, where the remains (most often bones or other "hard parts") have been replaced by minerals
A trace fossil?
Tracks of animals and other evidence of an organism's activities, which have been turned to stone.
What is paleontology?
The study of past organisms thru their fossil remains.
The study of humans and their ancestors and relatives thru their fossil remains.
The study of what happens to the remains of an animal from the time it dies until it is discovered.
basics of fossilization
•To become a fossil an organism generally needs to become buried (under soil) relatively rapidly after it has died
.•This halts predation and slows (or halts) the decomposition process.
•This also allows the time for the remains to absorb surrounding minerals (often from the soil or from groundwater).
What is an artifact?
the "cultural" remains left behind by past organisms (modern humans and their relatives and ancestors).
Cultural remains (artifacts) that cannot (practically) be removed from a site.
Evidence of past alteration of an environment (by humans or human ancestors).
What is stratigraphy?
The study of rock and soil layers; also refers to rock and soil layers themselves.
two principles of stratigraphy
•Original Horizontality- Strata (rock or soil layers) is laid down in relation to the earth's gravity.
•Superposition - Deeper layers of strata are sequentially older than higher layers and vice-versa.
-Quaternary, Neogene, and Paleogene Periods.
-Holocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene Epochs
Determining the age of an event(s) (biological and/or behavioral) in relation to something else, often by the use of stratigraphic principles.
Assigning a calendar date to an event(s) (biological and/or behavioral).
-a half life of 1.3 billion years
-Used to date volcanic deposits.
-40K decays into 40Ar at a consistent rate, therefore when the remaining potassium in a volcanic deposit is measured an age estimate for the deposit can be obtained.
-taken in by plants when engaging in photosynthesis.
-As the carbon-14 decays its percentage in ratio to other carbon atoms consistently diminishes.
-By measuring its percentage in an organic sample an age for the sample can be estimated.
What is Pangaea?
225 million years ago most of the land component of the earth was found in one super-continent
What are plate tectonics?
The earth's surface is made up of a series interlocking sections which are in constant (albeit relatively slow) motion
floral and faunal analysis
-Archaeological / paleo-anthropological sites often contain remnants of the plant and animal life from when the site was formed.
-Thru examination of past pollen sequences plant community changes can be tracked thru time.
-Phytoliths are found in soil deposits and adhering to tools and other artifacts.
How can ice cores and oxygen isotope analysis help reconstruct past environments?
-The ice traps atmospheric components, thus is a proxy record of climate for a given period.
-Measuring the 18O/ 16O ratios of their remains can give us a good measurement of the climate during the times these organisms were alive.
What important event seems to happen in the Terminal Mesozoic?
-abrupt world-wide climate changes
-The changes instigated catastrophic global extinction events, which most famously eliminated all dinosaur populations.
What are Therapsids?
a highly diverse group of animals featuring traits associated with both reptiles and mammals
When do the first mammals appear?
-as far back as 225 MYA
-Early mammals were small, hairy, insectivorous, and largely arboreal "weasel-like" creatures.
What are the "diagnostic traits" of mammals
Homiothermy, Heterodontism, Lactation, Internal Gestation
Ability to generate and regulate internal body temperature
Having different types of teeth (which have evolved for different purposes
Internal production of milk by the female to feed offspring
Retention of the fetus inside the body of the female thru the course of pre-natal development
What are Plesiadapiforms and when do they first appear?
-May be the first primates or direct primate ancestors.
•Small brains (compared to later primates).
•Most species did not have grasping toes (and had limited grasping abilities in general).
•Some species have claws instead of nails (or a mixture of claws and nails).
What is Carpolestes simpsoni?
•This plesiadapiform species dates to roughly 56 MYA.
•Similar to most other plesiadapiforms, except that it features claws on all of its digits, except its big toe, which has a flattened nail.
•Also featured a grasping toe.
What are Euprimates? When do they first appear?
-("true primates") the primates that came after Plesiadapiforms extinction
-roughly 56 MYA
•Currently represented by 37 genera and nearly 90 species
•Range in size from ½ to 15 lbs. (with an average of around 4 lbs.)
•Featured large degrees of sexual dimorphism, in regards to body and canine size.
•Much more encephalized than Plesiadapiforms.
•Probably diverged from adapids, as early as 54 MYA.
•Found in primarily North America and Europe.
•Seemed to have existed in large numbers at their height (especially in North America).
•Thus far represented by 44 genera and nearly 100 species.
•Weighed between 1-5 lbs.•Probably ate insects and fruit.
•Emerged during the Eocene.•Lived in Africa and Asia.
•Their ankle and foot bones resemble those in some later (New World) monkeys.
•More recent basal anthropoids would also seem to share dental characteristics with later monkeys.
When do the first monkeys appear?
Appear in the late-Eocene/early Oligocene, at around 34MYA.
What is the Grande Coupure?
a cold climate spell around 36 MYA which caused the extinction of many animals, including primates
What is the genus Apidium?
•This genus may feature the ancestor to all later "higher primates" (monkeys, apes and hominins).
•It also likely features the last common ancestor between today's New World and Old World monkey species.
What is the dental pattern of these primates?
Its members feature the same dental formula (2-1-3-3) of today's New World monkeys, which differs from their Old World counterparts (which in most cases is 2-1-2-3).
When do New World monkeys first appear?
The first fossil monkeys in the New World currently go back to roughly 26 MYA.
How did they likely get to the Americas?
•Earlier primates existed in North America, but this is the first appearance of primates in the south.
•Note: New World monkeys do not evolve out of earlier primate species in North America.
When is the last common ancestor between Old and New World monkeys?
Last common ancestor with New World Monkeys was 25 MYA
When do the first ape appear? Where?
•The basic suite of traits associated with hominoids (apes an humans) arise between 25-22 MYA, when apes appear (diverging from Old World monkeys).
•Unlike monkeys, apes appear to be restricted to Africa during this period (they seem to migrate into Asia at 17-16 MYA).
Basic Hominoid Traits"
•Feature brachiator anatomy (suspensory shoulder and changes in arm anatomy that allows for swinging from trees - the very first apes lack this).
•Low, rounded molar teeth (designed for eating tougher harder foods than typical of earlier primates).
•Larger brain and body size than monkeys (eventually).
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