Intro to the Human Fossil Record

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Intro to the Human Fossil Record


Begins the series of lectures on Humans and Human ancestors by giving an introduction to the human fossil record

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University of Missouri
Anthro 2050 - Introduction to Biological Anthropology With Laboratory
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Anthro2050 1st Edition Lecture 22 Outline of Last Lecture I. Primate Altruism and Affiliation II. Primate Conservation Outline of Current Lecture I. Intro to the Human Fossil Record Current Lecture Intro to the Human Fossil Record -Clearing Misconceptions About Fossils 1. number of fossils: people assume that there are very few fossils of humans and hominid ancestors (such as Lucy) when there are actually very many, though not all are world famous as some of the more completed skeletons are. 2. geological time: most people have no grasp over the amount of time that has passed from the earth's beginnings to where we are now, when major parts of evolution took place, and the temporal distances between these occurrences. It is too difficult at times to understand the idea of billions of years passing, when a single person only lives around 80. -Sites and Geology 1. Where in the world do we look for fossils and human remains? And how do we go about research and excavation in various geological areas. 2. The three places where we can find the most fossils are East Africa, South Africa, and Europe. 3. In East Africa, the primary countries of focus are Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia. 4. In this area, there exists the Great Rift Valley System, which is a valley caused by a rift from two huge tectonic plates slowly pulling apart. As the valley deepens, more layers of earth are revealed, and more of the fossil record is accessible. In the valley, Olduvai Gorge holds a lot of materials, and has been primarily excavated by the Leakey family. In this valley, and this gorge in particular, there have been fossils recovered of Australopithicus boisei, Homo habilis, and Homo erectus. 5. In this area there is a lot of volcanic activity. When volcanic ash settles, it settles evenly and is very easy to date. Therefore, any fossils found in or around volcanic ash are easier to get a more These notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor’s lecture. GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes, not as a substitute.

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