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22 Cards in this Set

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A pattern of evolution in which the rate of evolution in one functional system varies from that in other systems. For example, in hominid evolution, the dental system, locomotor system, and neurological system (especially the brain) all evolved at markedly different rates.
Mosaic evolution
The earliest members of the hominid lineage, as yet basically unrepresented in the fossil record; thus, their structure and behavior are reconstructed hypothetically.
Protohominids
Scientists who study ancient environments.
Paleoecologists
Material traces of hominid behavior. Very old ones are usually made of stone or, occasionally, bone.
Artifacts
The study of how bones and other materials came to be buried in the earth and preserved as fossils. A taphonomist studies the processes of sedimentation, the action of streams, preservation properties of bone, and carnivore disturbance factors.
taphonomy
The environmental setting where an archaeological trace is found. A primary context is a setting in which an archaeological trace was originally deposited. A secondary context is one to which it has been moved (e.g., by the action of a stream).
context
A dating technique that gives an estimate in actual numbers of years.
Chronometric dating
Study of the sequential layering of deposits.
stratigraphy
Dating method based on the shifting magnetic pole.
paleomagnetism
Dating method based on evolutionary changes within an evolving lineage.
biostratigraphy
What an archaeological trace is found with.
association
Thin-edged fragment removed from a core.
flake
Stone reduced by flake removal, and not necessarily a “tool” itself.
core
Those who flake stone tools.
knappers
Striking a core or flake with a hammerstone.
direct percussion
Small stone tools usually produced from narrow blades punched from a core; found especially in Africa during the latter part of the Pleistocene.
microliths
A method of removing flakes from a core by pressing a pointed implement (e.g., bone or antler) against the stone.
Pressure flaking
Polishes, striations, and other diagnostic microscopic changes on the edges of stone tools.
microwear
Microscopic silica structures formed in the cells of many plants, particularly grasses.
phytoliths
General, speculative reconstructions derived from various scientific data. In paleoanthropology, scenarios are usually presented as imaginative reconstructions of early hominid behavior. Such interpretations are broader than typical scientific hypotheses and theories and are not as rigorously amenable to verification.
scenarios
An interpretation that links simple environmental changes directly to a major evolutionary shift in an organism. Such explanations tend to be extreme oversimplifications of the evolutionary process.
environmental determinism
A view that postulates a correlation of periods of hominid diversification during the Pliocene and early Pleistocene with major shifts in several African mammalian species. These changes in mammalian evolution, in turn, are thought to be related to periodic episodes of aridity.
Evolutionary pulse theory