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any of various primates with short tails or no tail at all



Australopithecus Afarensis

Southern ape from the afar desert. Earliest fossil 4-2.8 million years ago. Remains found in Ethiopia and Sth Tanzania. Small stature, brain size similar to chimp. Bipedal, ape-like face (elongated, pronounced brow ridges).


Omnivorous diet and therefore more varied cutting teeth like incisors; wider variety of foods like fruit, possibly meat; multiple evolutionary lines within this group

H. erectus

Brain two thirds of modern human; Hunters; Adapted for running; fire; moved out of africa.


Europe, Tall, muscular Tool: Achulean

H. neanderthalensis

Physically capable of speach, light skin, red hair, Broader, shorter, more robust body. Larger nasal
cavity, brow ridges, larger brains extinct 25-30,000 years ago

H. sapiens

100,000 - present. Cave art, sculptures, etc. Small teeth and jaws. high forehead, prominent chin


Humans and Apes


humans and human ancestors in a more recent evolutionary taxonomy


Africa, Short w/ long arms, small brain (grouped with A.) Tool: Oldowan


any living or extinct member of the family Hominidae


Genus of vegetarian hominins includes P.aethiopicus, robustus and boisei


monkeys, apes, and humans


physically strong


Overall weather in an area over a long period of time


the usual food and drink consumed by an organism (person or animal)


the type of environment in which an organism or group normally lives or occurs


wandering, moving about from place to place

Selection Pressures

Those factors that influence the direction of natural selection

Sexual dimorphism

A special case of polymorphism based on the distinction between the secondary sex characteristics of males and females.


a flat grassland in tropical or subtropical regions

Broca's Area

controls language expression - an area of the frontal lobe, usually in the left hemisphere, that directs the muscle movements involved in speech

Brow ridge

Bony projection protecting eyes. Prominent in early hominins.


one of the four pointed conical teeth (two in each jaw) located between the incisors and the premolars


the protruding part of the lower jaw


The kind, number, and arrangement of teeth


physical or mental skill, ability


a space between two teeth

Facial Angle

The slope of the lower face and jaw away from the flatness of the forehead, used by "scientific racists" to measure the difference between races (the sharper the angle, the more "primitive" the face).

Femoral condyles

the enlarged inferior end of the femur that forms the top of the knee joint

Foramen magnum

the large opening at the base of the cranium through which the spinal cord passes


the large cranial bone forming the front part of the cranium: the forehead and the upper part of the orbits

Frontal Lobe

that part of the cerebral cortex in either hemisphere of the brain lying directly behind the forehead

Great toe

the first largest innermost toe


lower jaw bone

Nuchal Crust

Ridge that holds the neck muscles to the Skull.

Opposable thumb

thumb that enables grasping objects and using tools


the upper surface of the mouth that separates the oral and nasal cavities

Post Cranial Skeleton

below head


projection of the jaw(s) beyond the projection of the forehead.

Sagittal Crest

ridge of bone running lengthwise down the center of the cranium where muscles used for mastication attach

Valgus Angle

Carrying angle; the angle less than 180' between the femur and tibia. Indicates bipedalism

Wernicke's Area

controls language reception-a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression;usually in the left temporal lobe

Zygomatic Arches

Bars under which the jaw muscles reach the back of the head


the "little brain" attached to the rear of the brainstem; it helps coordinate voluntary movement and balance


the ability to walk upright on two legs


Hard, outermost layer of a tooth

Abstract Thought

allows teens to consider 'what if' situations

Achulean Tools

began making axes and cleaves to better butcher meat. they made a bifacail tool (symmetrical) Teardrop


the products of human creativity


the act of decorating something (in the hope of making it more attractive)


the ritual placing of a corpse in a grave


the attitudes and behavior that are characteristic of a particular social group or organization


accommodation to domestic life


the act of gathering something

Mousterian Tools

carefully use bone to sharpen tools, Much like Levallois tools but retouched around the edges. Hafter tools like using super glue to attach to spears.

Oldowan Tools

stone tools made by homo habilis Pebbles

Social organisation

the people in a society considered as a system organized by a characteristic pattern of relationships

Upper Palaeolithic Tools

Tools Of H.sapien. Made of Bone, Ivoy

"African Eve" Hypothesis

Theory that all humans came from one female in African. Via mtDNA


a native or inhabitant of Africa


little evolved from or characteristic of an earlier ancestral type


a native or inhabitant of Asia


the struggle between organisms to survive in a habitat with limited resources


a native or inhabitant of Europe


no longer in existence

Fossil Evidence

Remains of once living organisms show change over time

Gene Flow

exchange of genes between populations


Of the now


the genetic instructions or genome in mitochondria. Passed down olnly maternally

Multiregional Hypothesis

the hypothesis that modern humans originated through a process of simultaneous local transition from Homo erectus to Homo sapiens throughout the inhabited world

Out of Africa Hypothesis

The hypothesis that modern humans (Homo sapiens) evolved in Africa and spread to other continents, replacing other Homo species without interbreeding with them.


groups of individuals that belong to the same species and live in the same area

Replacement Hypothesis

Another name for the "out of Africa" hypothesis.

Y Chromosome

the sex chromosome that is carried by men

A. africanus

3-2 mya, 3-3.5 feet tall, 60-90 lbs, 490 cc, south africa, more human like teeth.

A. bahrelghazali

found by Brunet in Chad about 3.5 million years ago only upper jaw found may not really be a different species


Ethiopia, prominent prognathism, large canines, sagittal crest, Tools: Possible, Bipedal: Yes


inhabiting or frequenting trees

Ardipithecus ramidus

early Pliocene hominin; forest-dweller, possibly bipedal; lived about 4.4 mya

Australopithecus anamensis

4.2 to 3.9 mya in Ethiopia/Kenya; bipedalism (tibia and parallel ankle joint evidence), small canines


a method of movement that uses the arms to swing from branch to branch

Carbon dating

a chemical analysis used to determine the age of organic materials based on their content of the radioisotope carbon-14

H. ergaster

Africa, thin cranial bones, small brain size, less pronounced brow Tool: Achulean

H. floresiensis

Indonesia, thin cranial bones, sm teeth, very short (3ft) Tool: some complex stone tools


Africa, larger brain than habilis but could be same species Tool: Oldowan

Isotope dating

The process of using relative proportions of parent to daughter isotopes in radioactive decay to determine the age of a given rock or rock stratum.

Knuckle Walking

A form of movement used by chimpanzees and gorillas that is characterized by all four limbs touching the ground, with the weight of the arms resting on the knuckles of the hands

Orrorin Tugenensis

"Millennium Man" found in Tugen Hills, Kenya; possibly earliest human ancestor, more human in some ways than australopithecines; possible bepedality; lived 6 mya


-sagital crest
-very sexually dimorphic
-extreme disc-shaped face

Paranthropus Robustus

1-2 mya, 1950 by Robert Broom,Thick mandible, Deeper zygomatic arches, Teeth are worn flat

Potassium-argon dating

used to date rocks, uses radioactive decay, dates when a rock was formed

Prehensile tail

long muscular tail used as a fifth limb for grasping wrapping around objects


Using all four limbs to support the body during locomotion; the basic mammalian (and primate) form of locomotion.

Sahelanthropus tchadensis

one of te earliest-known members of the hominin lineage, dating to 7 million years ago

Sexual dimorphism

A special case of polymorphism based on the distinction between the secondary sex characteristics of males and females.


the maintenance of body temperature within a range that enables cells to function efficiently.

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