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104 Cards in this Set

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Geological Time Scale
The organization of earth history into eras, periods, and epochs; commonly used by geologists and paleoanthropologists
Era System
Cenozoic - 1.8 - 65 MYA
Mesozoic - 136 - 225 MYA
Paleozoic - 280 - 570 MYA
Epoch System
Categories of the geological time scale; subdivisions of periods.
Cenozoic Epoch System
Holocene - Began 0.01 MYA
Pleistocene - Began 1.8 MYA
Pliocene - Began 5 MYA
Miocene - Began 23 MYA
Oligocene - Began 33 MYA
Eocene - Began 55 MYA
Paleocene - Began 65 MYA
Continental Drift
The movement of continents on sliding plates of the earth's surface. As a result, the positions of large landmasses have shiftd drastically during the earth's history
all continents linked together as one and it was called this
the continients that Laurasia doesn't cover (Africa, S. America, Antartica, Australia...)
North America, European Linked together as they continue to drift apart
Gradualism Equalibrium
change accumulates gradually in evolving lineages
Punctuated Equilibrium
The concept that evolutionary change proceeds through long periods of stasis punctuated by rapid periods of change
Mosiac Evolution
A pattern of evolution in which the rates of evolution in one functional system vary from those in other systems. For example, in hominid evolution, the dental system, locomotor system, and neurological system all evolved at markedly different rates.
Generalized Traits
a trait that is adaptive for many functions

example: a generalized mammilian limb has 5 fairly flexible digits, adaptive for many different things (grasping), so in that aspect, humans have very generalized hands
the branch of anthropology concerned with fossil hominids.
the branch of science concerned with fossil animals and plants.
the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains.
the ecology of fossil animals and plants.
Objects or materials made or modified for use by hoominids. The earliest artifacts are usually made of stone or, occasionally, bone
The enviromental setting where an archeological trace is found.
Relationships between components of an archeological site. All the things artifacts are found with
Dating Techniques
placing sites and fossils into a time frame.
-Relative Dating
-Absolute Dating
Relative Dating
tells that something is older or younger than something else, but not by how much.
Absolute Dating
AKA Chronometic Dating

A dating tecnique that gives an estimate in actual number of years.
Study of the sequential layering of deposits
A relative dating technique based on regular changes seen in evolving groups of animals as well as presence or absence of particular species
Fluorine Dating
use of fluorine to determine the duration of time an object found in the soil has been there. It is a relative dating technique, in comparison to absolute dating techniques like radiocarbon dating.
Radiocarbon Dating
a radiometric dating method that uses the naturally occurring radioisotope carbon-14 (14C) to estimate the age of carbonaceous materials up to about 58,000 to 62,000 years.
Fission Track Dating
A method of dating an object that counts the number of tracks made by the breakdown of radiocarbon elements. The older an object is the more tracks it leaves. This method is used mostly on rocks, pottery, and glass.
Half Life
The time period in which one half the amount of a radioactive isotope is converted chemically.
when rocks are heated to the melting point, any Ar contained on them is released. When thi rock recrystalizes it becomes impermeable to gasses again. As the K in the rock decays into the Ar gas which is trapped into the rock
Pertaining to the Pliocene and the first half of the Plieostocene, a time range of 5-1 mya. For this time period, numerous fossil hominids have been found in Africa
Early Hominids
Sahelanthropus Tchadensis
Orroin Tugenensis
Ardipithecus Ramidius

-shortened pelvis; some differences from later hominids, showing smaller body size and long arms relative to legs; long fingers and toes; probably capable of considerable climbing

Larger than Miocene forms, but still only moderately encephalized; prior to 6 mya, no more thn encephalized than chimpanzees

moderately large front teeth (incisors) canines somewhat reduced; molar tooth enamel caps very thick

Toolmaking behavior:
in earliest stages - unknow; no stone tool use prior to 2.5 mya; probably somewhat more oriented toward tool maufacture and use than chimpanzees were
Adapted for cutting or shearing; among primates, refers to the compressed first lower premolar. which functions as a sheering surface with the upper canine
that of at least three extinct primates living in the early Oligocene, roughly 36 to 32 millions years ago
Aegyptopithecus zuxus
means “linking Egyptian ape”. It was discovered by E. Simons in 1965. There is controversy over whether or not Aegyptopithecus should be a genus on its own or whether it should be moved into the genus Propliopithecus
Proconsul africanus
the first species of the Miocene-era fossil genus of primate to be discovered and was named by Arthur Hopwood, an associate of Louis Leakey, in 1933
a genus of apes that is known from Eastern Africa into Eurasia the late Miocene period.
a genus of extinct primates. Fossil remains of animals now assigned to this genus, dated from 12.5 million to 8.5 million years old in the Miocene, have been found since the 19th century in the Siwalik Hills in what is now India, Nepal, and Pakistan
A genus of fossil apes, dated at 12 to perhaps 1 mya, found in China, India, and Vietnam. It may have reached a height of 12 feet when standing erect and may have weighed 1,200 pounds, making it the largest primate known.
Bipedal Adaption
several hypothesis that attempted to explain why bipedal locomotion fisrt evolved in hominids. Morphological Evidence shows when, where, and how hominid bipedal locomotion evolved
Hominoid Characteristics
large brain size, bipedal locomotion, large brain size, tool making behavior, jaw, and dental formula
Large-Bodied Hominoids
How did continental drift effect the modern distribution of primate species?
When the continents drifted apart, there were primates on a certain part of the world. Therefore when the continients drifted apart, some of the species were isolated and stayed in the area.
What are the characteristics of the Lower Paleolithic tool industries?
For the most part, they all use flaking tools. In fact, the Flake tool industry was during this period along with the Acheulean Tool Industry.
What are the weaknesses of the Hominid data that make inferences from them often speculative at best?
Describe the difference between absolute and relative dating. Give examples.
Absolute Dating is the process of determing an approximate computed age for an object, whereas, relative dating just provides an order of events, stating it is before this, but after that.
Convert a radiocarbon date to the appropriate calendarical equivalent.
Discuss the process of radiocarbon dating and include the following: Half-Life, Zeroing,
Carbon Reservoir, effective range of the time it can be used, materials than can be dated, limitations, and how it is linked to the calendar.
What is the difference between gradualism and punctuated equilibrium?
Graduism - change accumulates gradually in evolving lineages

Punctuated Equilibrium - The concept that evolutionary change proceeds through long periods of stasis punctuated by rapid periods of change
Describe the major “scenarios” used to explain bipedalism.
-Carrying (Darwin)
people needed to walk bipedally to carry things

Hunting (Jolly)
It was easier to hunt bipedally, and gather seeds and nuts

Thermoregulation (Falk)
Helps with visual survalience, long distance walking, and male provisioning
What are the types of information used in paleoanthropology?
Things such as the Geological Time scale and early hominids becasue it is the branch of anthropology concerned with fossil hominids.
What are the commonalities and differences between Young Earth, Old Earth and Theistic Evolution as Creationist viewpoints. How do they contrast with contemporary secular evolutionary theory?
Young Earth Creationism
believes that the Earth was created by a direct act of God in six 24-hour days, and the earth is about 6,000 to 10,000 years old.

Old Earth Creationism
the physical universe was created by God, but that the creation event of Genesis is not to be taken strictly literally. This group generally believes that the age of the Universe and the age of the Earth are as described by astronomers and geologists, but that details of modern evolutionary theory are questionable.

Theistic Evolution
believe that there is a God, that God is the creator of the material universe and (by consequence) all life within, and that biological evolution is simply a natural process within that creation. Evolution, according to this view, is simply a tool that God employed to develop human life.
premolar teeth with 2 cusps. Traditional teeth located between canine and molar teeth
Sagittal Crest
presence indicated large jaw muscls for intense chewing. Ridge of bone between canine and molar teeth
Nuchal Crest
the thick, transverse crest on the occipital bone
Sagittal Kneel
Thickening of bone on the midline of the frontal or parietals where they meet along the sagittal suture
Brain Endocast
internal cast of a hollow object, specifically used for an endocast of the cranial vault. Can be man-made or occur naturally through fossilization
Robust Australopithecines
Paranthropus - bipedal hominids that probably desceneded from gracile australopithicines
Gracile Australopithecines
hominids belonging to austropithecus genus. hominids. Now extinct
theoretical construct of anthropologist Raymond Dart. Proposed that certain jagged animal bones found at the Makeepansgat site represent where Australopithecines murdered and cannabalized other Australopithecines
Adaptive Radiation
evolution of ecological and phenotypic diversity within a rapidly multiplying lineage.
study of evolutionary relatedness among various groups of organisms (family tree concept)
Stable Carbon Isotopes
12C and 13C are stable carbon isotopes. Naturally occuring. Occur in a natural proportion of 99:1
Flake Tool Industry
making flakes struck off unmodified cores to create tools. Began during the lower paleoluthic period in Africa. Believe Homo Hablis was maker of the tools
Oldowan tool industry
found in olduvai Gorge on Tanzania in Africa
Percussion Flaking
Method of forming a tool flint by striking flakes from a stone corre with another stone or a peice of bone or wood
a lump of stone (like flint) from which prehistoric humans struck flakes in order to make tools
Flake tools
a type of tool created by striking a flake from a prepared stone core
hard cobble used to strike off flakes from another lump of tool stone (core) It is a type of flake tool
Core tools
Core of stone may be discarded after flaking or shaped further into a core tool, such as a type of handax.
all waste material produced during tool-making (specifically when chipped stone tools are involved)
Pressure flaking
method of trimming the edge of a stone tool by removing small lithic flakes by pressuring on the stone with a sharp instrument rather than striking it with a percussor
type of tool used to create prehistoric tools in early stone working
using a pointed implement of wood, bone, or stone, the artisian forces a flat flake from the lower surface of the tool by pressing against the edge in a slightly downward movement
a category of stone tool formed by the grinding of a course-grained tool stone
Oldowan Tool Traditions
-stone tools used by hominins in Lower Paleolithic
-earliest tool industry
-discovered by Louis Leaky
-"pebble tools"
- flake tools
-choppers, scrapers, pounders
Acheulean Tool Traditions
Lower paleolithic
-typically found with homo erectus remains
-developed out of oldowan
-oval and pear-shaped hand axes
Mousetrian Tool Traditions
predominantly flint tools
-associated with homo neanderthalensis
-middle paleolithic
-handaxes, radirs, points
-prepared core technique
wathering leading to the loss of argon gas, partial melting
Specialized Traits
a trait that is limited to a narrow set of functions
never seen evidence for life, or even building blocks for life. 'sterile rocks'
5 1/2 - 3 billion years old, absolutely no evidence for life
amino acids other biological building of life present
3 1/2 billion years old, proto life,--> semi biological figures, random amino acids
evidence of life, single celled animals/plants. primitive worms, strametolites--> cal curious concretions
1/2 billion years old, blue green algae, very basis of life
reptiles on their way to be a mammal
fishes on their way to be amphibians
derived traits
variant form that results from an adaptation
primitive traits
ancestral form
species defined from fossil evidence, often covering a long time span
a group of organisms that can interbreed to produce fertile offspring. members of one species are reproductively isolated from members of all other species ( they cannot mate with them to produce fertile offspring)
paleospecies vs. species
species: theoretically testable (offspring) by observation

paleospecies: this is impossible, observe variation, compare fossils to well known modern equal animal counterpart
the study of earlier cultures by anthropologists who specialize in the scientific recovery, analysis, and interpretation of the material remains of past societies.
chronometric dating
a dating technique that gives an estimate in actual numbers of years; also known as absolute dating
the branch of science concerned with the rules of classifying organisms on the basis of evolutionary relationships
members of the primate superfamily (hominoidea) which includes apes and humans
any of a family (Hominidae) of erect bipedal primate mammals that includes recent humans together with extinct ancestral and related forms
brain size in a hominid
biggest frontal cortex = smartest species
brain case in hominid
shape: greatest width, transverse section, post orbital constriction, forehead
facial skeleton in hominid
mechanics of prognathisism
superorbital torus- "brow" above eyes
profile, cheek plates, big cheek bones, maxilla width
dentition in hominid
tooth size, cusp pattern- 5 cusps
shape of dental arcade
relative size of each tooth type
enamel thickness
fore and hind limb lengths in hominid
upper arm/ forearm proportions- similar length forearm and elbow to shoulder. hands- smaller hands, shorter/straighter phalanges
hip, knee and ankle anatomy in hominid
pelvis- shaped more in the form of a basin to support internal organs, also shorter and broader thus stabilizing weight transmission
knee- legs more directly under the body, modified knee anatomy also perm is full extension of this joint
ankle- longitudinal arch forms helping absorb shock and adding propulsive spring
tool use in hominid
toolmakers outcompeted non tool makers--> continue to develop tools --> shift
raymond dart
discovered australopithecus africanus
young anatomist
very first early hominid discovery from Africa, from the taung site, discovered in 1924
taung child--> small brained, 440cm
robert broom
decade after dart
found the 1st robust australopithecus
taung, sterkfontein, swartkransm kromdraai, makapansgat
mary leakey
most methodocal/thorough