Pliocene-Pleistocene transition Discussion
During the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition the Homo genus appeared in the fossil record. The Homo genus is a continuation of the Gracile Australopithecines. Like those that came before, Homo is an obligate biped, but unlike its precursors Homo displays a unique set of physical adaptations along with behaviors that make the genus unique among hominins. To begin with, Homo and all its eventual lineages display hunting behaviors along with the associated stone tools necessary to process meat. At the same time, the creation and dependence on stone tools and other cultural technologies is a function of the increase in brain size that begins with the onset of Homo.
Hunting, the new Homo subsistence pattern, required not just a new kind of mindset to create new cultural technologies but at the same time required a specialized hand that would allow for better manipulation of objects while being capable of resisting the unique physical pressures associated with making tools.
In addition, being able to run after prey became essential. The Homo genus was the first to display adaptations that allow for endurance running. The type of running that Homo becomes known for is not a type of running that allows us to be fast but rather it allows us to run for long distances at a pace which forces prey to undergo hyperthermia over the long run.
Your task for this activity will be to compare and contrast the locomotor features of Australopithecus afarensis to Homo erectus. You will accomplish this by answering the following.
Before you begin make sure view all relevant reading material so that you can give me informed opinions.
What anatomical features makes it possible for Homo erectus to be a biped runner.
Pick only onefeature discussed in this week’s material that allowed Homo erectus to be a biped runner.
How is your chosen feature different from Australopithecus aferensis equivalent feature? Briefly explain the difference.
Lastly, I would like you to briefly explain in your own words how endurance running would enhance the fitness of the Homo genus.
You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.
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The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.
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