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Flashcard data for early human evolution


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FLASHCARD DATA FOR EARLY HUMAN EVOLUTION
Topic 1: Early Transitional Humans

Topic 2: Homo erectus




1.

The biological tribe of Homo and Australopithecus.

Hominini (homininis)

2.

The species name of the most recent hominin.

Homo sapiens

3.

The name of the first species of early transitional humans. They lived in East Africa about 2.4-1.6 million years ago and were relatively slender and small like their australopithecine ancestors but had larger brains.

Homo habilis

(some consider this species to be 2 sequential species--Homo rudolfensis and Homo habilis)



4.

The continent on which all known Homo habilis lived.

Africa

5.

The name of the species that was the immediate descendent of Homo habilis.

Homo erectus (some consider this species to be 2 sequential species--Homo ergaster and Homo erectus)

6.

The first hominin species known to migrate out of Africa.

Homo erectus

7.

The first person to discover Homo erectus fossils. He was a Dutch anatomist and medical doctor who made these discoveries while exploring in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) during the late 19th century.

Eugene Dubois


8.

The name that Eugene Dubois gave in 1894 to the fossil hominin that he discovered in Java and Sumatra. His name for them literally meant "ape man who stands erect." They are now considered to be Homo erectus.

Pithecanthropus erectus

9.

A limestone cave complex near Beijing China where, in 1927, bones of Homo erectus were discovered by Gunnar Anderson. This discovery sparked 10 years of intense excavations by Anderson, Davidson Black, and others that resulted in the discovery of the bones of 40 Homo erectus.

Zhoukoudian

10.

The scientific name given by Davidson Black to the Homo erectus found at Zhoukoudian in the 1920’s. The name literally means "Chinese man from Peking” (or Beijing). Black’s name for this species is no longer used by paleoanthropologists.

Sinanthropus pekinensis

11.

The general location where a nearly complete Homo erectus skeleton was found in 1984 by Richard Leakey's team of paleoanthropologists. This skeleton of an unusually tall 12 year old boy dating to 1.6 million years ago was named the "Turkana Boy."

Lake Turkana, Kenya, East Africa

12.

The species of the oldest hominin skeletons found in Europe. They were found during the 1990's on the fringes of Eastern Europe at Dmanisi in the Republic of Georgia.  They date to 1.75 million years ago.

Homo erectus (some researchers consider these early fossils to have been Homo ergaster)

13.

The term for a prominent projecting bony bar or brow ridge above the eyes.  This trait was characteristic of Homo erectus and some other early humans. The two Latin words in this term literally mean “bony ridge above the eye.”

supraorbital torus (plural supraorbital tori)

14.

The term for the distinctive shape of the incisor teeth of Homo erectus. Their incisors usually had a "scooped out" appearance on the tongue side.  This characteristic is also found among many Asians and Native Americans today.

shovel-shaped incisors

Topic 3: Climate Change and Early Human Evolution




1.

The geological epoch during which all human species, beginning with Homo erectus, evolved.

Pleistocene

2.

Which epoch was warmer on average, the Pliocene or the Pleistocene?

Pliocene

3.

The number of ice ages that occurred during the Pleistocene.

at least 4

4.

When the last ice age ended.

about 10,000 years ago

5.

What commonly happens to global sea levels during ice ages? Do they go up, down, or stay the same?

go down

6.

The hemisphere that commonly has the most extensive glaciers during ice ages. (northern or the southern?)

northern

7.

Another term for an ice age.

glacial

8.

What commonly happened to the size of mammal bodies during the colder periods of the Pleistocene Epoch?

They got larger in response to colder conditions. More massive bodies produce and retain heat better than do small ones according to Bergmann’s rule.

9.

What generally happened to the size of human bodies as they evolved in response to the climate changes of the Pleistocene Epoch?

got larger

10.

What are we most likely living in now, a glacial or an interglacial climate?

interglacial

Topic 4: Early Human Culture




1.

The generic term for a thing that has been manufactured or intentionally modified for some use.  A stone tool such as a hand ax is an example as is the computer that you are using.

artifact

2.

The name of the first unquestionable stone tool tradition. They were probably first made and used by early transitional humans in East Africa 2.5-2.4 million years ago.  While the earliest sites with these tools are from Ethiopia, simple tools of this kind were first discovered by Mary and Louis Leakey associated with Homo habilis at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania.  Subsequently, the name of this tool tradition was derived from that location.

Oldowan Tool Tradition

3.

The generic term for a tool made from a relatively large block of rock rather than from the flakes that are removed from it by percussion flaking in the manufacturing process.  Most hand axes fit this definition.

core tool

4.

The name of a very early tool tradition that involved the presumed use of bones, teeth, and horns as clubs and other sorts of weapons by late australopithecines and early humans. This idea was proposed in the 1940's by Raymond Dart but is rejected by most paleoanthropologists today.

Osteodontokeratic Tool Tradition

5.

The generic term for an artifact made from a relatively thin piece of rock knocked off of a larger rock usually by percussion flaking.  Homo habilis and Homo erectus used them mostly as cutting and scraping tools.

flake tool

6.

The name of the most well known stone tool making tradition of Homo erectus.  It first appeared about 1.5 million years ago in East Africa and eventually spread throughout Africa, Southern Europe, and South Asia.  The most diagnostic artifact in this tradition is the hand ax.

Acheulean Tool Tradition

7.

A tool making technique in which a glass-like rock (e.g., obsidian, flint, chert, and basalt) is struck with a heavy glancing blow from another dense rock (a hammerstone) in order to cause a flake to be removed.  When a sufficiently large shock wave from a blow is directed into the target rock, the elastic limit of the material is exceeded which causes one or more flakes to be broken off.

percussion flaking

8.

A type of stone tool made from a core or large flake that has been systematically worked by percussion flaking to an elongated oval shape with one pointed end and sharp edges on the sides.  In profile, it usually has a teardrop or leaf shape.  It is the most well known type of tool in the Acheulean Tool Tradition of Homo erectus after about 1.5 million years ago. Very likely, they were multipurpose implements used for light chopping of wood, digging up roots and bulbs, butchering animals, and cracking bones.

hand ax

9.

A term referring to sources of food and the way they are obtained (e.g., scavenging and hunting).

subsistence pattern or base or strategy

10.

The subsistence pattern of the late australopithecines and early transitional humans.

wild plant food collecting and occasional scavenging for meat and eggs

11.

The subsistence pattern of late Homo erectus.

animal hunting and carcass scavenging along with wild plant food collecting

12.

A term for climatic regions in between subtropical and subarctic zones.  These areas usually have winter snow and are too cold to grow oranges and avocados. New York and Seattle are in this climatic zone.

temperate zone

13.

The first hominin known to be able to live in temperate zones in addition to tropical and subtropical ones.

Homo erectus

14.

The term for evolution in which natural selection is altered by cultural inventions.  Culture alters the direction of evolution by creating non-biological adaptations to environmental stresses (e.g., wearing insulating clothes on very cold days).  This potentially reduces the need to evolve genetic responses to the stresses.

biocultural evolution


Copyright © 2006-2012 by Dennis O'Neil. All rights reserved.


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